Camera Course January 2021

By IPVM Team, Published Jan 18, 2021, 07:24am EST

This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing. Register now.

IPVM Image

Lots of manufacturer training exists but none it really teaches the underlying technologies and tradeoffs of current camera technology. This IPVM course solves this.

Camera Course Video Introduction

In 12 sessions, updated for 2020, including new training on AI, we cover surveillance cameras extensively. This also includes a special bonus lesson on "Fever" cameras.

(1) Basic Lenses

The course starts with the fundamentals - lens length, FoV/AoV, varifocal vs fixed focal and focusing - to make sure everyone understands how to use, calculate and plan coverage area.

(2) Advance Lenses

We then proceed to F stops, DoF, lens irises, and shutter speed so attendees understand the impact on low light performance and image quality.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

(3) Image Quality

With lensing covered, we turn to resolution and compression, breaking down quantizations levels, quality tradeoffs and measuring image quality variances.

(4) Streaming

Covering codecs (H.265, H.264, etc.), smart codecs and streaming modes (MBR, VBR, CBR), we explain the tradeoffs between bandwidth, image quality and network impact. [NOTE BANDWIDTH MOVES HERE]

(5) WDR / FPS / AGC / DNR

Here we teach the differences across WDR performance, show the impact of frame rate increases (up to 120fps) and explain the critical role and side effects of gain control and digital noise reduction (2DNR, 3DNR, etc.).

(6) Low Light

Covers D/N, IR, Integrated IR, Smart IR, 'super' low light and thermal, contrasting these options and teaching the pros and cons of each one.

(7) PPF

We teach how to use PPF / PPM correctly, what mistakes to avoid and how to incorporate this to improve the quality of your designs.

(8) AI / Smart Cameras

New for 2020, we explain the options and tradeoffs amongst cameras offering VMD, video analytics, ‘AI’, ‘Deep Learning’ including performance issues, hardware options and future trends.

(9) Form Factors

Covers domes, minidomes, turrets, boxes, bullets, PTZs, and cubes, plus IK and IP ratings, explaining the tradeoffs and key reasons for using one vs the other.

(10) Panoramic And PTZs

Fisheye, multi-imager panormarics, and PTZs are the most common choices for covering wide areas. We examine the tradeoffs amongst them, including resolution, range, usability, low light and more.

(11) ONVIF / API & SDKs

Learn what API and SDKs are, going through practical examples of camera and VMS manufacturer's APIs. Plus, understand ONVIF S, G, C, Q and T profiles, breaking down the strengths and limitations of these offerings.

(12) Camera Selection

In our capstone session, we pull all of the training together, showing you how to select and use different camera technologies in common scenarios including parking lots, offices, hallways, entrances, license plates and more.

Who Should and Should NOT Take this Course

Even if you have lots of hands on experience with surveillance cameras and manufacturer training, you should take this course. It teaches cameras at much greater depth than what regular field work or product specific training provides.

However, if you have no experience with IP cameras, you should not take this course unless you can commit to spending 10 to 15 hours per week studying. We have had many people take this course without experience and do very well, but only if they dedicate sufficient time to studying. You cannot pass this course simply by reading a few hours the night before the exam.

Course Calendar

The Camera course will meet live online, starting January 19th, 12 times over 6 weeks (Tuesday and Thursday for 1 hour from 11am ET to 12pm ET).

IPVM Image

Recorded Sessions

All sessions are recorded and posted immediately after they are held live for viewing on-demand anytime.


At the end of classes, you will take a comprehensive final exam including multiple choice and essay questions. If you pass, you will become IPVMU Camera certified (see list of IPVM Certified Professionals).

Attendees Feedback

Here are the experience and benefits of past students.

First up, end users:

  • "Invaluable. Starting up and implementing a standard in our organization for IP video surveillance, this course has allowed me to set a working baseline."
  • "This class covered so many topics from security and surveillance. It was incredibly helpful."
  • "Better understanding of camera design, placement, and network requirements."
  • "I developed the ability to speak with designers and technicians and understand the terminology and technology."
  • "While I do not manage selection or installation of video surveillance systems directly, I do work closely with the folks who do, and this knowledge will make my dealings with them much more fruitful."
  • "Improved my understanding and knowledge of camera security. I now feel confident when making my camera selection."
  • "By the time class was completed I was also able to sit in on a 'show & tell' session from a group of vendors that installed our city's IP camera system and ask intelligent questions - and even better, was able to understand the answers!"

Next, integrators and consultants:

  • "Helped me sharpen skills I already have and clear up areas that are not covered in traditional manufacture training."
  • "Now I can apply camera types and lens types to applications without hesitation."
  • "It showed me how to disregard non-essential information and focus on technical information that is crucial."
  • "This course gave me good insight to understanding the ins and outs of IP cameras. It showed great depth in not only how IP cameras work but as to how each type applies to various applications."
  • "I've been doing this job for a few years but never had any real training for it. This course has expanded on many things that I had the basics but may have not fully understood."
  • “It has brought clear perspective of surveillance basics - many things that we assumed or just used rules of thumb were made clear. It is helping me in my day to day work at my job.”
  • "I think it's very easy to learn about technical specs of a camera, but it's very difficult to learn how to answer correctly to "what kind of camera and what specs should i choose" and "what is the best place and how should I install this camera" regarding the needs of the customer. And this course teaches how to do that."
  • "This course helps to sharpen my skills and understand the basic how the technology works from scratch. This helps a lot when I am working on integration project & it helps me become an better communication bridge our customer & technical and development team."
  • "I just recently got into the security camera industry, I was in aviation maintenance for the past 7 years. This course helped me understand how cameras work from the ground up not knowing anything about them to begin with. Great course."
  • "Besides the fundamental knowledge, there are also sharing sessions by the facilitators as well as industries participant on what they are experiencing on the ground. It also allow me to see the numerous consideration that one need to take note for field deployment."

Finally, even manufacturers had positive things to say:

  • "IPVM helped me understand key concepts and fundamentals of IP cameras to the point that I can explain it well to people that are not necessarily tech savvy. This is invaluable knowledge as I work in the tech support department of an IP camera manufacturer."
  • "This course allows me to identify the strength and weakness of the product that we are using, that will help better marketing approach to our clients."
  • “I have learned basic knowledge for camera in general and the essay questions in the final exams actually helped me to reorganize my thoughts as I was explaining what is in my head in words. Now, I understand what the engineers in our company talk about and am able to ask questions against their opinions.”
  • "I am a technical writer for a home automation equipment manufacturer that recently expanded its IP camera line. This course helped me to better understand the features and functions of the various IP cameras, as well as the best practices used for selecting and implementing the correct camera needed a particular application or environment. I can use this information when I write the documentation that accompanies our cameras."

Need to Be A Member

To take the course, you need to become an IPVM member. Membership gives you full access to course books + 6,000 reports + 800 tests + the Camera Calculator and many more resources.

Register Now

The member's price is $299. This covers classes, personal help, and certification.

If you are not already an IPVM member, registration also includes 1 month of IPVM membership.

IPVM Image

Comments (21)

Only IPVM Members may comment. Login or Join.

Bonus question on test:   Do all cameras require a lens???




Do all cameras require a lens???

Not according to SIA, IP Cameras Lose Buy America Protection.

I have been working on security systems since 2014 and I used to think that I had a good knowledge about cameras. I have attended Camera Course Fall 2017 and I realized that I was far from it.

At every lesson and especially at every reading assignment I was learning something new. It may be because I worked only with a few different camera models. But I am sure there are many people like me just working on the same camera brand and or model, and did not have the chance to widen their perspective. For those I strongly suggest this course.

How can i attend this camera course?

U3 - You can register here. Please let me know how else I can help.

Trying to register but seems like something is wrong with the Paypal link

I was trying to register on this course, entered card details, submitted, but no confirmation appeared. I didn't receive any email confirmation as well. Am I already registered or should I retry?


Please check your inbox. I just sent you an email about this. Thanks.

Unfortunately, I did not receive any email, checked between spam, but nothing there as well. Please give your email, so I could write to you. Maybe then your reply would reach me. Thanks!

My email is

Ryan, will all classes be recorded and push to registered person after one day? since we'are in asia time zone

Michael, all classes are recorded and published on the course page before the next business day. There is no push or email notification for them at this time.

Maybe consider having a single price that includes both the class and a temp IPVM membership during the class if they do not already have one. It would make it a lot easier for managers like me to sign my people up for classes. It's been a cumbersome process so far, but we really do value the classes.

Agreed and our apologies. I asked Ryan to email you and help.

We are going to look for better options to do this. One note: for group accounts, group admins can immediately sign up co-workers with IPVM logins for courses, with same login, same payment.

The problem we have is that an increasing number of members want to sign up co-workers not on a group plan and we don't have any simple way to facilitate that. We will look into what we can do here. Thanks for the feedback.

I appreciate the response. And like I said, we still really value the classes. Most of our new people have been through them and they rate them very highly. For people new to the physical security world, they're a great introduction!

When are you guys going to offer another session for the class? I'm wasn't able to make it this time around but want to try next time.

Welcome! I'm one of the instructors for the camera courses.  The next session is scheduled for Winter 2019, running from Jan 29th - March 7th, at 11 am - 12 pm ET.

Beyond that, we have another session scheduled for Summer 2019, starting in mid-July

Let me know if you have any other questions.  I am happy to help!

I imagine we don't have to present for every live session? I'm considering taking the course but hoping to take a week off with the family in August. 


You do not need to be present for the live session. If you attend live we have a chat utility where you can ask questions and two instructors to field questions during class. If you can not attend live the live session we record them and post them to the course page the same day for on demand viewing.

I took the last camera course and I recommend it. The deep dive covers not just how cameras work, but why some cameras are better than others for specific scenarios, camera selection and placement. This information was invaluable to me as an end user.

The second benefit to this course was in understanding how camera bandwidth can impact on your network, and how to set up cameras for their most efficient profile-most benefit for lowest bandwidth. Although this isn't an IP network course, there is a ton of background information you pick up on compression, codec's and image quality.

The third benefit is that you own the course content, and you can go back in to the class recording at any time if you have to brush up on a specific topic.

In taking this course you set yourself up to talk cameras from a very good level of knowledge, and as an end user, you can spot the BS a mile away when someone is trying to sell you something that isn't what you need or want.

Loading Related Reports