Camera Mounting - Ceiling Vs Wall?

We are having a debate about a half million dollar robbery. One of the specific issues challenged is the camera placement that delivers a poor angle of incident and level of detail on the thieves.

Carl retorted:

"Unless you want to really complicate the installation with low-hanging pendants, ceilings are the only place to mount cameras in most casino (and I'm sure other) applications. Wall mounts are typically not an option and in any case would likely be blocked from getting optimal views anyway."

What's your experience? When do you use ceiling vs wall mounts? What drives the decision of one versus the other?


Most 3-axis domes are much easier to adjust the view to perfection when mounted with the lens pointing downwards. Cabling is usually also easier. These two factors increase the likelihood the installer will get the view right.

In my experience, ceiling height and ceiling material played a key role in determining where a camera is mounted. For example, ceiling mount is a workable possibility if the height is 9 feet (3m) above the floor. This is simply not the case if the ceiling is 30' (10m).

Working backward from desired PPF plays a key role in selecting the final mounting surface. From there, the durability of the substrate is a factor. Gypsum drywall board is a stronger mounting surface than acoustic ceiling tiles; masonry is stronger than drywall, and so on...

I'm with Brian here - as with so much else, it really is on a case-by-case basis. Working mainly with retail and restaurants, I haven't found that ceiling vs. wall makes any general difference when it comes to blockages, etc. - as often as not, I'll have to mount on a wall to get below things like hanging marketing displays, TVs, light fixtures, and the like. And sometimes ceilings are simply too high.

Generally speaking, indoor cameras I've mounted were ceiling mount. When the ceiling was too high to be practical, we would use a wall arm and put it lower on the wall.

One exception to this was any area where the camera was intended to be quite overt, like banks, school entrances, etc. Anywhere they wanted to make sure you knew you were being watched. They were also mounted lower.

I rarely if ever use an arm for a wall mount - that just starts getting ugly. The only dome cameras I even use now that don't have a three-axis adjustment are the 2MP Dahua mini-domes... you just learn to compensate by mounting them properly in the first place, since available adjustments are minimal. :)

Generally I try to ceiling mount whenever possible. Where we have high ceilings >15' and obstructions (beams, banners, etc.) we wall mount a dome camera.

There are ceiling mount options for certain areas. We've found that in many locations, we can mount the camera further away from the area of interest and use a longer focal length lens to "zoom in". That also provides the advantage of shortening relative distances from the camera, allowing better ID over a wider area.

That also lowers the angle of view...

Some softwares can simulate the quality of viewing in 2D and 3D with pixel density depending on the camera height ..and angle, especially when the camera main purpose is to identify /or recognize

That way you can choose if the best location is ceiling or wall (if ceiling height is too high)