Do We Need More Non-White Cameras?

90%+ of cameras have white housings, from scanning through 2500+ models on the IP Camera Finder.

You can paint housings but it is typically a pain and expense.

That said, what do you think? If you could have cameras stocked in other colors, what would you prefer?


Hat tip to useIP for raising this issue.

It would be intresting to see how black camera housings effect cameras reliability when installed in sunny high heat environments.

It's ironic that Samsung's black bullet cameras have model numbers starting with SNO.

I hear that yellow painted SNO cams give off a weird smell.

Flavor is a little off as well....

It's ironic that Samsung's black bullet cameras have model numbers starting with SNO.

Even in their new "Lite" series...

There have been very few times a client has complained about color choices. The ones that have got the housings painted. I can see some value though and a creative manufacturer could probably very cheaply make some plastic snap on covers in various colors, at least for domes. Bullet/Torpedo could be more challenging but thinking about that you could cover the bottom 2/3 and make a more attractive camera.

There is a "no name" chinese brand that does this. I erm forget their name!

It looks like a thin vac formed plastic part which goes over the whole dome with a space for the hemisphere of course. Double sided tape to secure ?

An advantage may be to hide the screws and the joins. A disadvantage will be that it itself is not IK10 even if the dome is, so you may have to replace it in some areas. Or perhaps not fit it !

But it would be very cheap and flexible on colour choice. Even if you had say 5 colours, painting your own would be a lot less trouble then than the actual dome.

Thinking out of the box, it's not too hard if you have standardised on domes to contract out for metal spinning or vac forming for a specific job to give yourself a unique look to the client with a replacement cover.

Definitely would like more dark colors...Samsung has a good line of dark bullet cameras that I've recently been using. I know from experience that painting PTZ housings black or darker colors can have poor results when the temps rise. Need to invent a powder coat process that has thermal insulaion properties. I'll get right on that...

Reference picture of the Samsung SNO-6084R.

Just as a nit-pick, they're not black. They're actually a bit lighter in person than that photo shows. Sort of a charcoal grey. Not that there's anything wrong with that. They're still dark, just pointing out they're not black for clarity's sake.

your such a diva ethan :)

#thedress, #whiteandgold, #blackcamerasmatter

but to answer the question it would be helpful to have other color options... like anything else that isn't a stock color i am sure it would be a special order situation probably similar to door strikes... we did a project where it was specified that all cameras in a parking lot had to be painted to match the light poles (brown/bronze color). I am curious by painting camera housings if it voids the manufacturers warranty.

#allcamerasmatter, Keefe, gosh.

In my experience, painting a camera housing pretty much always voids the warranty. In cases where you have to paint, it's best to use external housings with removable "guts" so you can send them back if need be, and leave the housing in place.

We actually have a guide to painting cameras (thanks, Brian) which covers these issues.

What happened to that mainstay of analog antiquity, the magical "Silver Bullet"? The "coolest" of them all but now in declining numbers, possibly due to their current "dummy cam" association.

But of course the reason for that was because dummy camera makers copied the most used styles and colors of the day...

Few people realize it but you can get black housings or "skins" for many Axis cameras.

They're listed on this page, and it includes indoor and outdoor domes, though not the whole line.

Black housings would increase the temp inside the camera, unless it has proper ventilation.

Considering the negative effects of heat on electronics, it would be interesting as Michael alluded, to see some actual data comparing identical models with different reflectivities.

And who could blame a manufacturer for going all-white if it means even a couple months added to the MTBF?

Every month added means more cameras that fail outside the warranty period. Or it would allow you to lengthen your warranty...

Got to be careful when painting housings. If exterior, the heat build up numbers may be beyond the camera's rated test limits. Also, have heard of manufacturer's not honering their warranty if not a factory original.

Pelco offers custom colors (quite a few actually) They also used to have a unique approach to this issue that is truly cool and i don’t see why the technique could not be used for any manufacture (notwithstanding the above). I think it’s the same process as is used to wrap cars with those adds covering the entire body of the car. It involves a material can be "heat shrunk" over the housing. You can use patterns or colors by simply taking a digital picture of what you want. They print it on the material and apply it to the camera housing. Never used it, but it sounds like it would work well.

I wonder if there are any lessons from Apple's use of colors? When Apple brought out their iMac in 5 flavors, they were hugely popular.

iMac 5 flavors

They even released their high-end tower model in bright blue.

PowerMac G3 Blue and White

However the corporate market wanted conservative colors and so the tower model became gray and then aluminum metal in subsequent models. The pretty iMacs lost their colorful plumage and became all white and then subsequently black and aluminum. I don't know why Apple dropped colors from their iMacs although I suspect some color models sold well and others were less popular which would have become a costly issue. So now we just have unexciting but shiny colors.

iMac 2012

I like the idea of more camera colors but security is very conservative and I don't imagine there will ever be a great choice of colors in regular security cameras. I did think the Parsons Animals video cameras could have changed things but their extremely high prices ensured that they didn't.

Parsons Animals video cameras