Picking the right security cameras for your business can pay immediate dividends.  It not only helps you catch potential thieves and other threats to your business, but it can keep both your customers and employees honest thanks to the knowledge of surveillance, gives you analytic tools to let you evaluate the shopping patterns of your customers and help answer disputes that may arise.  Picking a suitable security camera is important, and there are several important factors to consider when making your decision.

The first thing to consider is the location of your security setup.  If you need an outdoor camera to monitor entrances or exits, you’re going to have to make sure you get a weatherproof system – especially important in Canada’s harsh weather conditions — as wind, rain, UV rays and other contaminants can quickly render a poor quality camera useless.   Outdoor cameras should be IP66 rated – dust tight, and protected against heavy seas or powerful jets of water – in order to insure that it will work properly, even in Canada’s extreme weather conditions.

You also want consider the conditions your camera will be filming in.  If your camera focuses on bright, well-lit areas, then nearly any camera you choose will be able to get clear, accurate footage.  However, if your camera will be operating in dim lighting, you’ll want to look for a day and night camera or one with low-light compatibility.   You’ll also want to consider getting one a thermographic camera, with special sensors to help detect heat signatures, if you’re recording far away areas that gets very dark indeed, but most cameras rated “day and night” will handle most normal conditions.

You’ll also want to consider the size of the area you’re recording.  If you’re focusing on a certain specific section—perhaps the front entrance, a particularly vulnerable part of a store or a parking lot, then a standard, fixed camera will suit your needs.  However, if you’re trying to cover a large area, like a warehouse or large store floor, then you might want to consider a PTZ camera.  PTZ stands for “pan, tilt and zoom”—they freely move their lenses around, allowing a single camera to cover more space.  Most PTZ cameras allow you to manually adjust the camera’s prientation, and many will either allow you to create pre-set motion routines to sweep an area or automatically pan, tilt and zoom whenever motion is detected.

Resolution is another key aspect.  For home security systems, a standard-definition camera covers most needs, but commercial interests often require the higher quality picture of high-definition cameras (i.e. 1080P or 4K).   A high-definition picture can be the difference between identifying a criminal and not, or capturing a license plate accurately.  This is definitely an aspect you do not want to pass up when making your selection.

A hardwired security camera system is often preferable to a wireless system.  They are more stable, without transmission delays and other issues you’ll get with a wireless network.  For security reasons, you’ll want to run your system in its own network, and not part of your existing office network.  Simply installing a security system on your existing IT network can cause delays, which can be very damaging in an emergency.  Wireless cameras should only be a last option for commercial and industrial applications, only if installing hardwired cameras are simply not an option.

Finally, you’ll need to determine where you’ll be accessing this video.  For many people, a feed going to a monitor or television in the office is all that is needed, but some people need to access their security feeds remotely from a central office, or from their smart phones or tablets.  Remote access is available in most of the high-quality security camera systems available on the market today.  However, it’s important to choose a top-quality surveillance system, and to have professionals install and program the system for you.  This will help ensure reliability, and avoid those dreaded delays, errors and other issues that can get in the way when you most need your system to work immediately.