Home security camera systems could be a part of your overall home security strategy.
For example, if you are looking to deter criminals, you could have an outdoor camera. Or, if you are concerned about the activities of a housekeeper, you might consider a spy surveillance camera.
Once you determine your security strategy, you will need to determine if cameras fit into your strategy and which ones would be best for you.
A webcam is a very inexpensive option for home security camera systems. It is a video camera which feeds images to a computer and the web. The most popular use for the webcam is video conferencing between two people or groups. But it also used as a security camera.
Software can be purchased for a webcam security camera that will be triggered by a change in sound or light to start recording. These recordings can be uploaded to the computer or internet.
The thing to be aware of regarding webcams is that there is a slight chance of your privacy being invaded. Specific viruses or Trojan horses on your computer can access the webcams, allowing hackers to activate and view the cameras without your knowledge. Not an ideal situation because burglars can scope out your situation. Make sure to have the latest anti-virus software installed if you have these cameras.
Spy Cameras (Pinhole Cameras)are also used towards home security camera systems. They are generally used to film without people's knowledge. They are usually small, disguised, or hidden. You would use this type of camera if you wanted to monitor a housekeeper.
Pinhole cameras are extremely small and usually run with a 9-Volt battery. These types of cameras can be wired or wireless. The picture quality for these types of cameras is usually poor.
You should not use this type of camera for a long-term security strategy. Use the camera as a short-term solution to your issues. The cameras are relatively inexpensive. You get what you pay for regarding the quality of the camera.
Then there are regular security cameras. The difference between these cameras and webcams or spy cameras is the level of quality. Regular security cameras include the option of additional features for high picture quality. The features include varifocal lenses, auto iris lenses, and infrared illuminators.
Varifocal lenses allow you to change the viewing angle by zooming in and out. The auto iris feature allows the camera to automatically adjust for changing lighting conditions. An infrared illuminator allows the camera to take quality pictures in darkness.
The better quality home security camera systems include all of these features.
Outdoor security cameras have the same features as the regular security cameras but they are better protected to deal with the outdoor environment.
A Camera enclosure keeps the cameras in great working condition. There are many shapes and sizes of enclosures to best fit the camera. There are also options to control the temperature of the enclosure with heaters during the winter months.
Varifocal lenses are great for surveillance because any angle of view can be obtained. Also, you do not need different cameras with different focal lengths. Once you install the camera, you can adjust by changing the focal length of the lens.
The manual iris lens has a manual adjustment to set the iris opening in a fixed position. This type of lens should be used when it is not necessary to adjust the lens continuously for correct picture brightness. The lens should be used where the amount of light is relatively fixed. You will see type of lens for a security camera in schools, libraries, malls, etc.
An auto iris lens is electronically controlled to maintain lighting levels. The lens allows the camera to obtain the best picture with changing lighting conditions. This type of lens is very appropriate for use in the outdoors. You will see these type of lenses in outdoor security cameras in residences or commercial parking lots.
An infrared illuminator is a device that emits infrared light-low frequency electromagnetic radiation that is outside the visible eye. It gives off a light that a camera can see, but humans cannot see the 'invisible' light.
There are different types of IR illuminators that have different quality levels of night illumination. You need to figure what range of illumination you need and find the appropriate device. A very useful feature for home security camera systems.