Millions of people throughout the India rely on CCTV cameras for the protection of their property, for the physical protection of their families, or for the protection of their businesses. Night vision CCTV cameras are the only ones that can guarantee a certain level of protection 24/7, which makes them very popular.
But, as in any other field of the tech industry, competition leads not only to better performance in general, but also to a proliferation of features and technologies. Night vision CCTV cameras are no exception.
Manufacturers, service providers and security consultants can, upon command, produce a seemingly never-ending litany of technical parameters and standards that sound very important and relevant. But – just as with anything else, from cars to computers – not all of them are equally important to everyone.
So how do you choose the best night vision camera? What parameters of a night vision security camera are relevant for your property, or for your business?
If you just pick the camera that ticks all the checkboxes, has the most features, lists the best parameters and so on, you’ll just end up buying the most expensive one. And, since many parameters are, in fact, correlated, you may end up buying a camera that gets everything right except for one thing that you really need. A one-size-fits-all is just as bad when choosing security devices as when choosing a suit.
What Do I Need This Night Vision CCTV Camera For?
The first and only question that you want to ask yourself when choosing a night vision CCTV camera is “what do I need it for”. If you can articulate the answer to that question, everything else will just fall right into place.
Specifically, what you want to know is:
1. What area does the camera need to monitor – i.e. what location does it need to monitor, and how big an area?
2. What kind of threats are you looking to guard against?
3. How will you be using the recordings?
These three elements determine all the relevant parameters of a CCTV camera.
What area the camera needs to monitor will determine all relevant installation parameters – indoor vs. outdoor installation, connectivity, range – and will tell if you need any approvals from public authorities.
What kind of threats you are looking to guard against and how you will be using the recordings will help you determine a whole lot of other parameters related to image quality, software and image processing capabilities, and so on.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Night-Time Cameras
Let’s start with the most basic differentiating feature: where a camera is installed.
There is no fundamental difference in terms of imaging technology or inner workings between an outdoor CCTV camera and an indoor one. However, outdoor night vision cameras have their housings and electronics designed so as to withstand a harsher environment than those designed for indoors use.
All CCTV cameras have specific ratings, but these are particularly more relevant for outdoors cameras. Ratings are given two-digit names, such as IP65 or IP66. The first rates protection against dust and solid objects, and the second one refers to protection against liquids. The minimum rating you should consider for an outdoors camera is IP65, but a higher rating colour– IP66 or IP67 – is recommended for harsh weather. Ratings above that are reserved for cameras that can be immersed in liquids, which you are very unlikely to need.
Why would you want to install a camera in an outdoors environment? The most obvious reason, of course, is that you have to monitor a large outdoors area, such as a parking area or a large yard. But even small areas, like a porch or a small yard, often need to be monitored using outdoors CCTV cameras. That’s because, for reasons that we will discuss shortly, you cannot aim night vision CCTV cameras at windows.