four IP security cameras of different shapes from Dahua

Different shapes of CCTV security cameras and their uses

Bullet cameras. Dome cameras. Turret Cameras. These are all terms you would have seen and heard of if you’ve been exploring CCTV options for your property. You are probably wondering what the difference is aside from shape and what their different purposes are. What scenario does each camera excel in?

This article dives into the unique strengths and weaknesses of four different security camera shape types.

Bullet cameras

bullet cctv camera showing its long shape

These security cameras (like most others) get their name from their shape. Usually they are round, cylindrical shapes, somewhat resembling a bullet pointed towards their target. They can be square as well, very commonly found in more commercial properties.

Bullet cameras are generally for longer range applications, using a smaller field of view than dome cameras. They can also have variable zoom. They are less discrete than dome cameras, which can be a good thing if you want a strong visual deterrent, however they can also be more intimidating towards your neighbours than dome cameras. You can mount them on any surface, wall, ceiling, or anything in between.

Dome cameras

photo of a wide angle ceiling mounted dome camera

Just like bullet cameras, dome cameras get their name from their shape, and quite obviously. They are simply a semi-circular dome shield covering a small camera inside. The dome shape has two obvious benefits.

One is the extra structural strength, making it more vandalproof.

The second strength of the shape is the difficulty in seeing where the camera is pointed. This prevents criminals from easily spotting blind spots.

These security cameras are generally more for indoor use and utilise wider lens angles than bullet cameras, making them suitable for completely covering a room. Usually they are limited to ceiling installations because of their shape, however we have seen a few businesses use them on a wall near the exits, probably for their more damage resistant nature.

Panoramic/fish eye cameras

dahua ceiling mounted fish eye security camera

These are special cameras with a very handy purpose. They have a 180 degree field of view both vertically and horizontally. Meaning you can cover a huge viewing angle, typically from the centre of a room. The downside is that the image is quite distorted, bulging out from the centre of the picture.

viewing centre of a room

Typically these are better suited to indoor use, they are able to provide truly continuous footage of an entire room. However as you get further away, the details are compressed into a small part of the frame, so they are more useful for tracking movements than offering great detail of the area and the people in it.

Turret cameras

dahua ceiling mounted turret security camera

Shaped similarly to dome cameras, they assume a comparable discrete nature. One noticeable benefit is less glare effect because of no dome shell in front of the camera. This is very useful for outdoor applications where the light sources constantly shift through the day and can’t be accounted for.

Additionally, some turret cameras have PTZ (Pitch, Tilt, Zoom) ability, meaning you can move it remotely via software commands. Rather than having to manually physically rotate the camera.

Conclusion: the arsenal of different CCTV camera shapes

Each of the four camera types mentioned have their own specialised purposes stemming from their benefits and drawbacks.

  • Bullet cameras generally have a smaller lens angle and perform better at longer range applications.
  • Dome cameras have a larger viewing angle and also offer an element of vandal protection.
  • Panoramic and Fish eye cameras have a huge, 180 degree viewing angle, but suffer from lack of detail correlating to distance from the camera.
  • Turret cameras are more powerful than dome cameras whilst still maintaining a discrete profile, and will have less lens glare due to the lack of the secondary glass shield.

Hopefully this article leaves you confident about where and how you can use each of these cameras on your own property. If you have any confusion or would like advice, get in touch with us.

two security cameras; one black, one white

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