All About a Digital Video Surveillance Camera

A digital video surveillance camera or IP (Internet Protocol) camera will allow you to use the Internet as the backbone of the surveillance system. There are a number of advantages of this over analog CCTV security systems.

The video from the camera can be viewed on multiple devices which connect to the Internet. These devices can range from computer monitors to cell phones.

Why a Digital Camera?

No Cabling

With a digital video surveillance camera you do not need to deal with cabling as in CCTV systems. This makes for more efficient and cost-effective installations of your surveillance systems.

Easier Installation

Many digital cameras feature an easy connect technology, allowing people with no experience to install the system.

digital video surveillance

Easy Finding of Video Feeds

Because information is digital, you can save the video feeds on off-site servers. You also will be able to find video feeds from certain days and times very easily from the data servers.

High Resolution Option

You also have the option of purchasing a digital surveillance camera with very high resolution quality. IP cameras support many different image resolutions, such as standard CCTV analog resolutions and megapixel resolutions.

Airports and banks have digital cameras with very high video quality. Some even have the capability to use software analytics to recognize and detect faces. You probably do not need this level of detail for your home security.

Types of Digital Cameras

There are many different types of a digital video surveillance camera that you can purchase. Below are some general classifications of cameras.

Fixed Body IP Camera

A fixed body IP camera is set to view and monitor a certain location. They have a rectangular body and a fixed viewing angle. They are generally located in plain view and are used to deter criminals. The camera and the viewing direction are known, and will make a criminal think twice about going after your house.

Fixed Dome IP Camera

A fixed dome IP Camera is hidden within a smaller dome housing. It is very difficult to see where the camera is pointed and in which location the surveillance is occurring. It is also a camera that will deter criminals.

PTZ IP Camera

A PTZ IP Camera is not a fixed camera. The viewing angle can be in 'guard mode' where it moves in a preset fashion. This camera can also be moved with joysticks. The cameras can come with standard housing or dome housing. They can be installed indoors or outdoors. They are generally more expensive than other types of cameras.

Megapixel Surveillance Camera

Then there are megapixel surveillance cameras. These cameras have extremely high resolution and video quality. They are also very expensive, sometimes about 3 to 4 times as much as comparable lower-resolution cameras. Your residence probably does not need this level of quality for a camera.

airport surveillance

Commercial or retail locations would consider these cameras because they have higher resolution. They would also use these cameras because they can cover a larger area with very high quality. One megapixel camera might do the job of two or three other security cameras.

Type of Lens

Many IP/Digital Cameras accept different interchangeable lenses for different types of surveillance needs. You need to consider the following features in choosing the right type of lens for you.

Focal Length

It is best to get a lens size that is the same size as the network camera sensor size. The focal length determines the horizontal field of view at a distance.


The role of the iris within a network camera is to adjust the amount of light through the camera. An auto iris lens automatically adjusts for changing lighting conditions and should be used in an outdoor environment. You can also get a manual iris lens. It should be used where lighting does not change much.


A lens' f-number determines the amount of light that gets to the image sensor. The lower the f- number the more light that passes through to the sensor. A lower f-number should be used in situations that have less light.