Top Security Camera Features to Consider Before Buying
High-definition (HD) video quality
- The higher the camera resolution, the sharper the images. Ideally, you’ll want a 1080p or higher resolution for the best view. Keep in mind that if you connect your camera to a digital video recorder (DVR) to record your camera’s footage, it will also need to be HD compatible to have crystal clear photos and videos.
- Clear night vision is one of the most important features for outdoor security cameras. To get the best and brightest night view, consider a camera with infrared (IR) technology to sending bright light through wavelengths. The number of infrared LEDs used in a camera determines how far your outdoor security camera will be able to clearly show what’s outside your home. Look for surveillance cameras that have at least 100 feet or better of night vision. Many models also have a built-in IR cut-switch that automatically enables and disables the infrared technology depending on the lighting conditions.
Pan, tilt and zoom function
- Cameras with remote-controlled pan, tilt, and zoom functionality are ideal for providing coverage to larger areas and allow the user to get the best viewing angle possible without physically re-positioning the camera.
- Many outdoor security cameras available today are able to live stream a feed directly to your mobile device. If you want to be able to check in during the day or while away for extended periods, this is a valuable feature to have. Be sure to choose a camera that is compatible with your device. Generally, remote access, mobile alerts or cloud-based features require monthly or yearly fees with your home security monitoring provider.
- Finding out what type of storage a security camera offers is very important. You’ll want to look for cloud storage, meaning that your recordings will be saved online. Find out if there’s a cap on cloud storage or if it’s unlimited. You’ll also want to know how long your recordings are stored online.
- Activity notifications alert the user whenever significant activity is detected near the camera. Find out if you can get notifications via push notifications, text messages, and or email. They’ll keep you abreast of anything happening real-time near your camera.
Custom activity zones
- Some security cameras allow you to set up custom activity zones, meaning that you choose the areas that are most significant for capturing movement. One of the biggest benefits of this feature is it prevents you from being notified of insignificant activity, like a car driving by or an insect flying by your camera.
- Two-way audio allows you to be able to hear and speak with visitors (those who are both welcome and unwelcome). You’ll typically find this feature with video doorbells, but many indoor cameras have this feature as well. If an unwelcome visitor comes by, you can use two-way audio as a deterrence feature.
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