Camera Advice Centre

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When selecting a camera, price is not the only factor to consider. It is important to consider other factors such as the lighting in the area being monitored, the camera resolution which is measured basis the television lines (TVLs) and how many pixel/mega pixel the camera is, the storage capacity you will need, the area where the camera(s) will be mounted, how many cameras you might be considering for your system, to name a few. We've answered some questions and answers below, which can help you refine your needs.

Find a trusted provider near you to discuss these and any other questions to help you select the right solution.

Types of CCTVs

Based on Iris

(Iris is the slit or the eye hole in the camera through which the camera focuses on the object to be captured).

Manual Iris

This type of iris is found in analog cameras where the focus on the camera is set manually. The camera is kept in a steady position focused on one particular spot. You have to manually turn the camera if you want to change its point of focus. If there is a particular point or area to be covered by the camera then a manual iris is preferred. For example in a godown or a stairway, a manual iris camera can be focused on the most vulnerable spot where thefts can occur.

Auto Iris

Auto Iris changes focus automatically following the movement of the camera. Cameras with auto iris can be used when you have to cover a wide area. The camera can be set up to pan from left to right or tilt top to bottom. This type of camera finds use in most applications.

Opt for the right type of camera – inside and outside your premises

A wide range of CCTV surveillance cameras suitable for indoor and outdoor home security applications are available in the market now, such as to monitor entrances and exits and to keep an eye on the children and domestic staff when you are at work or away on holiday.

Indoor Camera

Indoor Cameras are placed inside the home. These are black and white cameras with not very high resolution, and ability to work in low light conditions. These are the features of an Indoor Camera.


  • Works under low light conditions.
  • Standard camera with fixed lens and manual iris.
  • Requires standard mounting equipment like c-clamps or s-clamps for installation.

Outdoor Camera

As the name suggests, these cameras are placed outdoors, in grounds, housing societies, outside shops and malls, on roads and outside your home or office entrance. Typically, these cameras cover larger areas.


  • Has auto-iris lens.
  • Needs camera housings which are NEMA rated (NEMA is the National Electrical Manufacturers Association).
  • Shows difference between day and night lighting in the output.
  • Features automatic gain control (Gain is a function of a camera that can automatically set the lighting input of the camera depending on the lighting of the surroundings).
Based on Resolution and Lighting

High Resolution Cameras

  • Most outdoor cameras have high resolution (from 470 to 570 TVL).
  • Can have either auto or manual iris.
  • Features more number of pixels or dots per inch, which makes the image display compact and clear.

Low Light Cameras

  • Low Light Cameras are used in places where the light conditions are always poor.
  • Produce image at extremely low light conditions.
  • Features auto iris that adjusts according to the lighting conditions.
  • Requires NEMA rated housing.

Infrared Illumination

Cameras with infrared (IR) LEDs can be used at night, when light is less or absent. They can capture accurate black and white image with the IR LEDs that surround the camera, and emit a light captured only by the image sensor. The number of LEDs range from 25 to 70 LEDs.

Based on size and shape

The various types of cameras based on size and shape are Box Camera, Dome Camera, Bullet Camera, Board Camera and Hidden Camera. The functions of all these cameras are the same, only their construction is different. Bullet, board or hidden cameras are used for outdoor purposes because they have auto iris and high resolution. For indoor cameras it is mostly a bullet or dome camera which does not need housing. This is because the cameras are not vulnerable to weather conditions and there is no scope for moisture to enter into the camera.

CCTV Cameras for Home

These are some common features of a CCTV camera for home:

  • Mostly analog camera with manual iris.
  • High resolution auto iris camera are used to cover wide areas.
  • For dark areas, low light cameras or infrared cameras are preferred.
  • Some security systems are smart phone enabled and can be remotely accessed.

CCTV Cameras for Offices

These are some common features of a CCTV camera for offices:

  • Black and white cameras are mostly preferred due to their high efficiency in low light conditions.
  • Many also go for IR (Infrared) cameras which change color and become black and white at night and color during day time.