Bullet Camera Usage Statistics

By John Honovich, Published on Jun 20, 2014

Bullet cameras seemingly came from nowhere. Only a few years ago, IP bullets were rare, with very limited options. Now, nearly every major manufacturer sells this form factor in varying sizes and feature sets.

With box cameras on the way down and domes up, how much are bullet cameras actually being used? For what applications?

Here we share results from our exclusive integrator surveys to answer these questions.

Overall Usage Limited

Though bullet use is on the rise, only about one out of every eight cameras integrators deploy is a bullet:

Few integrators use bullet cameras more than 20% of the time, with only a small number using them for the majority of their cameras.


Bullets are most favored outdoors by integrators:

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  • "Almost always installed outside"
  • "Corner of the room or in outdoor spaces to cover parking lots, etc."
  • "Mostly outdoors or in some warehouse/industrial environments."
  • "Indoor bullets are a waste of time mounting and positioning cameras and then always having to deal with cameras that get hit or moved by clerks or customers."
  • "Typically this is in outdoor, wall-mount locations."
  • "Outdoor settings replacing the typical box camera."
  • "These are deployed outdoors and usually because of the IP66 rating. Although some domes are also IP66, the bullets are easier to deploy on fence posts, walls, etc."

Replacing Boxes

Some specifically mentioned that bullets were replacing box cameras, outdoors as well as in, due to their smaller construction and easier mounting in outdoor locations:

  • "The bullet cameras have typically become the dome equivalent for the box form factor - but making it that much easier to mount externally"
  • "Especially for outdoor use instead of box form cameras because many come with IR illuminator."
  • "Smaller installation versus box cameras with housing."
  • "Most box type camera are getting replaced by bullet type." 

Integrated IR

Integrators also stated integrated IR as a key advantage to bullet cameras:

  • "We are starting to use bullets more and more - outdoor settings replacing the typical box camera - (50/50) - most are now coming with integrated IR and weather proofing using just the PoE for power."
  • "In the past we used them when IR illumination was needed, however more domes are now coming with IR"
  • "IR bullets Avigilon camera's and it's only for special project."
  • "Simpler mounting and includes IR"
  • "We use these are we have found their IR to be typically better at night then domes and we avoid the 'halo' effect."
  • "Are mostly used where an integrated IR light source is required."
  •  "Can think of one job where we used Vivotek bullets but only because we wanted the IR range of that particular model."

License Plate Recognition/Capture

Finally, some mentioned license plate recognition/capture as their main use for bullets:

  • "Only for license plate cameras"
  • "About 1% of our cameras are Bullets and this is for LPR cameras"
  • "Where: parking lots, driveways, gates, LPR"
  • "License plate readers mostly."


The main complain of integrators against bullets was that they are too easy to tamper with, changing the camera's intended view:

  • "Placement of this type of camera is critical since they can be manipulated by anyone."
  • "People can hit or move the position of the camera more easily vs. dome."
  • "Too easy to knock out of alignment."
  • "They concern me regarding tampering or changing views"
  • "They are much easier to circumvent or tamper with than a dome."

A small number of integrators also had complaints about the aesthetics of bullets:

  • "Our customers do not like the form factor aesthetically"
  • "A general perception of it being a consumer level camera aesthetically."
  • "Architects don't like them"

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