When you are looking for a camera system, it is very easy to get overwhelmed by a large number of products or services available and the confusing technical terminologies that come with them. If you walk into a retail store, you will know that there are different kinds of brands and products that look the same to the untrained eyes.
Every brand and product claims to offer the best device with high resolution, as well as various features like night vision and 360-degree field of view. Sorting these products through the claims can be a little bit confusing. What a lot of people do not realize is that another class of surveillance camera’s directly available to the paying public.
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Not only that, but they are also not found in your usual warehouse stores. These types of surveillance devices are classified as commercial-grade cameras and the ones that are used by commercial buildings or businesses to secure their products or inventory.
Look at the walls and ceilings of warehouse chains and electronic stores and you will notice that every aisle has a white dome device that is larger than the average home security camera. You need to remember that these businesses do not even use the kind of surveillance device they reselling to their customers, and there’s a reason why.
Consumer-grade versus Commercial-grade security camera
As you know, there are two kinds of security surveillance cameras. What you find in electronic stores are called consumer-grade security devices, which are usually eight to sixteen cameras bundled with a recorder and sell for more or less a thousand US dollars for the wholes set. The second type of devices is the commercial-grade ones. They usually priced at around $400 per device.
More expensive compared to consumer-grade devices. The recorder needs to be bought separately, and the commercial-grade recorder starts at about $500. It can go up to $5,000 depending on the brand of the product and the amount of storage, as well as the image processing features and the camera connectivity.
On the surface, both cameras may look the same, but if you were able to look at the inside of the device, the difference between the two becomes more distinct and unmistakable. Commercial-grade devices are built and designed for high-performance applications where there is no room for errors, and failure is probably not an option.
These consumer-grade devices are not made for high-performance applications like the other one. Usually, these consumer-grade devices are created to work well when the area is well-lit. Once the area has low-light or too dark (during sunset and nighttime), the pedigree of the device will start to show.
Commercial ones can outperform their cheaper counterparts because they have bigger internal sensors, as well as high-quality components that help adapt or capture an excellent low-light photo or video. You think of it this way – if a good still-camera can cost you more or less $250 per device, how do you think it will cost you if you buy a sophisticated device with a lot of excellent features.
Do you think it will only cost you $100? That is not how it works. To sell quality devices with a lot of useful features, manufacturers need to cut corners. That can result in a compromised and lower-quality performance. Why do you need a surveillance device that will only work in perfect condition with bright lighting?
Consumer-grade cameras can work well in situations like checking your pet cats and dogs or as a nanny cam. If you want your device to gather crime-scene evidence or get the plate number of a speeding vehicle, they usually come up short.
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Now let us check out why a consumer-grade camera usually has poor night vision capabilities. When these gadgets try to see during night time, it will need a good light source to illuminate the area that they need to shoot. The bad news is, the night vision feature that comes to consumer-grade devices are designed and made for short-range shots and fixed brightness only. It means that they usually over-expose everything nearby, causing objects and people to blow out without any details.
If you want it to catch bad guys, then you have a problem. Commercial ones, on the other hand, usually are equipped with advanced night vision IR (infrared) illuminators that can help adjust its brightness automatically. The feature is called a Smart Infrared. If the camera can’t capture or deliver a sharp and properly-exposed image during day or night, its usefulness is limited.
Another important subject that needs to be discussed is the resolution. It can be very confusing to understand or know how much is enough. Resolution refers to the number of pixels, or dots, that makes up the video picture. The more pixel it has, the more detailed video images become.
It is the same with high-resolution television sets. The most common television resolution available in the market today is 1080p and the 4K resolution. $K contains four times as much picture details as the 1080P sets. Surveillance cameras are also designed and made in these two resolutions.
It would be just natural to believe that the more pixels in your image, the better, right? The answer is both yes and no. When it comes to security cameras, there are some consequences to having higher resolution 4K images. In some cases, more pixels do not mean better quality.