Camera Application Selection Guide

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Aug 23, 2017

Entrances, hallways, rooms and parking lots are perhaps the 4 most common areas where surveillance is deployed. But what is the best type of camera for each? What resolution, form factors and FoV are best? Where do special features like WDR, integrated IR, super low light fit? Where is the best place to position the cameras?

In this report, we share test findings and recommendations showing tradeoffs of different camera options in each of these 4 fundamental spots - entrance, hallways, rooms and parking lots.

Below is an image of the FOVs used in our four different scenes.

Advances For 2018

Since our original writing of this guide in 2013, several changes have occurred in the industry, changing our recommendations:

  • 4MP/4K replaced 5MP/10MP: In the past 1-2 years, 5MP and 10MP cameras have become much less common, with 4MP and 4K sensors moving into even low cost cameras. (Note that new generation 5MP models are now becoming available, but we have not yet tested them.)
  • Integrated IR is everywhere: Integrated IR used to be a rare feature, but is now available in practically every manufacturer line, in low end and high end cameras and multiple form factors, with a majority of integrators installing integrated IR models.
  • True WDR is no longer a premium feature: True multi-exposure WDR is now found in even low cost models, under $200. This feature used to be limited to high end models, a significant premium over most cameras. See our WDR Shootout: Low Cost/High End for more details.
  • Fisheye image quality improved: Fisheye panoramic models now often use 4K/12MP sensors, with streaming resolutions of 9MP or higher, providing much better details than previous 3 and 5MP models common a few years ago. Additionally, integrated IR panoramic models improve fisheye low light performance, previously a key drawback.

*********, ********, ***** *** ******* **** *** ******* *** * most ****** ***** ***** ************ ** ********. *** **** ** the **** **** ** ****** *** ****? **** **********, **** factors *** *** *** ****? ***** ** ******* ******** **** WDR, ********** **, ***** *** ***** ***? ***** ** *** best ***** ** ******** *** *******?

** **** ******, ** ***** **** ******** *** *************** ******* tradeoffs ** ********* ****** ******* ** **** ** ***** * fundamental ***** - ********, ********, ***** *** ******* ****.

***** ** ** ***** ** *** **** **** ** *** four ********* ******.

Advances *** ****

***** *********** ******* ** **** ***** ** ****, ******* ******* **** ******** ** *** ********, ******** *** recommendations:

  • ***/** ******** ***/****:** *** **** *-* *****, *** *** **** ******* **** become **** **** ******, **** *** *** ** ******* ****** into **** *** **** *******. (**** **** *** ********** *** models *** *** ******** *********, *** ** **** *** *** tested ****.)
  • ********** ** ** **********:********** ** **** ** ** * **** *******, *** ** now ********* ** *********** ***** ************ ****, ** *** *** and **** *** ******* *** ******** **** *******, **** ********* ** *********** ********** ********** ** ******.
  • **** *** ** ** ****** * ******* *******:**** *****-******** *** ** *** ***** ** **** *** **** models, ***** $***. **** ******* **** ** ** ******* ** high *** ******, * *********** ******* **** **** *******. *** our*** ********: *** ****/**** *** *** **** *******.
  • ******* ***** ******* ********:******* ********* ****** *** ***** *** **/**** *******, **** ********* resolutions ** *** ** ******, ********* **** ****** ******* **** previous * *** *** ****** ****** * *** ***** ***. Additionally, ********** ** ********* ****** ******* ******* *** ***** ***********, previously * *** ********.

[***************]

Key ********

**** *** *** *** ******** **** **** ******:

*********/*******

  • **** ******* *********** *** *** **** ****** ** *********** ** lobbies **** ******** ************, * ****** **********. ****** ********** *** is **** ****** **** ********* ********** ** ***** *****.
  • *** ** *** **** *** ** ******* ******** ***** (*-* doors), ******* ********* ** *****, ***, *** ** ******* *** all ****** (***** *********** *** ********** ** ***).

********

  • ** ********, **** *:* *** **:* *********** ***** **** ** the *** ** ***** **** *****, ****** *:* **** *** scene ********** ****** *** ** *** ****** ***********.
  • ******** ******* ** ******* *** ***** *:** ******** **** ******** greatly ******* *** ***** ****** ** ******** ***** *** ******** coverage ** **** ** *** ****.
  • ********** *** ** ******** **** ******** ***** ** **** **** beneath *** ****** ***** *** **** ** **** ********* ** subjects. *******, **** ******** ******* ** * **** ** *** in *** ******* ******, *********** ** *********** **********.

******** *****

  • ** ***** ******** *****, ** ******* ******** * ******* ******** in ******* **** ***** ****** ** **** *** *****, ***** may ** ****** *** ******** ***** ********* ** ******* ** more ******** ****** **************. *** ******* ******* **** ****** ********* (due ** **** ** **** ***** ******** ** ****** ** have ******).
  • *******, ** *** ***** ******, **** ********** ** **, ****** resolutions ***** *** ********** ******* **** *****.
  • ********** ** ** ********** ****** ** ******** ******, ** ***** and ***** ******** ******* ************, ********* ***** ******* **** **** super *** ***** ******.
  • * ****** **** ********** (*-*+ **) ******* ********* ****** ******* in *** ****** ** * **** ******** ****** ******* *** overview **** * ***** **** ***** ***** (***°+ ***) ******* at *** ***, *** ******* ******* ** **.
  • ********* ** ***** ** **** ** **** ******** ****** ** what ******** *** **** ******* ** ** ********: *****/**** ** general ******** ** *** **** ******.

******* ****

  • *** *** ** ******* ******** ******* ********* ** ****** **** 1080p ****** ****** *** ***, ******** **** ******** ************** ** subjects.
  • *******, ********** ********** *** ******* ** *****, ** ***** ******* higher *********** ******* ******** ****** *** ***** ***** **** ****** resolution ******, *********** ********** ******* ******* ** *** *** **.
  • *** ******* ** **** ******* *** *******. **** ***** ***** provided ******** ** ********** ** *** ******* ***, *** * moderate ********* ** *********** ** ******** *** ******* ******.
  • ******** *** *** ** ***** **** ******** ********** ****** *********** capabilities, *** * **** ******** ** ******** (**** *** ****** coming *** *****) *** ****, ******** ********* ********** ******* ** the **** *****.
  • ***** **** ******* **** **** **** **** ** ******* ******** for ********* ******, ***** *** ***** ******* ******* ******* ******* to ********** ** *******. ** ***** ** **** ***** *** parking ****, ********** ** ****** ******* ****** ***********.

***************

***** ** ***** ************ ** **** *** ********* *** *************** for **** ** ***** *****:

*********

** ******* *********, ** ********* ***** ******* **** **** *** performance (** ****** ************ ******). ******* ****** ***** *********** *** not ********* ****** *** *********** ** **** *****, ********* ** wasted ******* *** *********. ******* ******* *** **** **** ****** due ** ************, ******** ***** ******* ** ******** ********.

********

******** ********, ** ********* ******** **** ** ****, ******** *** aspect ***** **** **:* ** *:**. **** ********** **** ** the **** ***** **** **** ***** ******** *:* ** **:* cameras. *******, **** ********** *** ** ******* ** ****** ** VMS ******.

** ********, **** ********** ** *** ****** ******. ***** ****** resolution ******** **** ****** *** ****, ***** ******* **** ********* handle ***** ***** **** ***** ******, ******** ****** ***** *******. If ***** ** ****** *** ****, *** ******* ***** ** not * ***** *******, ** *** ** ******.

******** *****

** ******* ******** ****** **** ** ********** *****, ** ********* at ***** ***** ********** ** ****. ***** *********** **** ** provide ****** *****. ** ********, **** *********** **** ** ** may ****** ***** ***** ****** **** ******* ** ******** *** activities *** ********** *********.

***** **** ***** ******* *** *********** ** *** ****** **** must ********** ** *******, ******* ** ****** *** *** ** the *****, *** ** ***** ******** ***** ******** ************ ******** to ********* ****** ********* *******.

********** ** ******* *** *********** ** ******** ** ******** **** lights *** ***. ***-** ******* ******* ****** ** *** *** of ********* ** *********** ** ********.

******* ****

***** ******* ******** *** **** ******** ******* *** ***** ********** and ********** ** **** *****. *** *** ** *** ******* more ******* ****** *** ***, *** ****** *********** ******* ******* to ***** ** ***** **** ** **.

** ********* ***** **** ** **** ** ******* ****, ** details ** *** ****** ******** ********* ** ***** ***** *** low. ********* *** *** ** ****** **% **** ****** ** increase ******* ** ****** ** ****** ******, *** ******* *** camera's ******* ** ******* ** ******** ** ******** ********** *** scene.

***** **** ******* **** *** ***, *** ******** ** ******* to *** ********** ** ** ***** *** ***** ******* ***** down ** *** *******:

  • *****:** ***** ** * *** **** ** *** *****, ** order ** ******** ******** ** ********, ***** *** ***** ******* should ** ****.
  • ****:** ***** ** *** ******, ********** ** ******* *** ********* be ********* *** * ***** *****, ***** ***** ********* ***** details.

*********

*****, ** ****** *** ** *** **** ****** ********* *** cameras ** *** ********, ** ******** *****. *** *********, **** the *** ******** *****, ** ****** *** *********:

  • *** **. *** ***
  • ***** **. *** **. **

*** **. ***-*** *******

**** ******* ********** ** ** *** *** **** ********* ****** in ********* ******* *** ******** *******. ** *** ********** *****, with *** **, *** *******, *****, *** **** ******* *** building *** *** ******* *******. **** *** ****** ***, *** subject's **** ** ********* ********, *** ******* ***** *** ********** washed ***.

***** **. * ** **. **

** * ***** ** **** **** ****** (~**'), *** ***** camera ** ****** **** ** ******* *********** ******* ** *** subject. ****** ********** ****** ***** ***** *** *********** (****** **** are **** *** ******), ********* ******* ** *** *******, ******** any ********* ******** *** ** ********* ***.

********

*** ********, **** *** *** ******** *****, ** ****** *** following:

  • *:* ** **:* **. ******** ****
  • ******** **** ******** **. **** **. ***** **** ***
  • ***** **. * ** **. **

*:* **. **:* **. ******** ****

***** ******** *** **** ****** **** **** *** ****, **** 4:3 *** **:* ****** ****** ****** ** *********** ******* ** space ** *** *** ****** ** ******* ***** **** ** blank ***** (*********** ** *** *** ***** *****).******** ********** **** ****** ***** ** *:**, ********* **** ******** ** useful *****, ** *** ** **** *********** ** ***** *****.

************, ***** ** ****** ******* *** ****** ** *******, ******** mode ********* *** **** *** ** ******** ****** ****** **** using *** **** ***** ******, ** *** ** **** ** a ********** ** *** *** *****:

**** **** ******** **** ** *** ********* ** **** ******* or ****, ******** *** *******. ******* ****** **************** **** ** *** ** *** ******* ******** ******* **** ***********.

******* ** *** ** ******** ****

** *** *** ****** ***** ** **** *** ** ******** mode *******, ** ****** ** ** **** ********* ****** ** view, ******* **** ********** ****** ** ***** **** (***°). ** the ******** *** *****, *** ****** ********** * ***** ** view ******* ** *** **:* ******* *****, ***** **-**°, *** was ******* **** ******** ****. *** *** ************* *******, ** ~90°, ***°, *** ***° ** ****** ** *** *****.

**** **** *** **** ******* *** ****** ******* **** *** more ******* ** *** *** ** *********, ***** *** ** useful ** *********** ********* ******** ******** ** **** **** ******* the ***. *******, *** **** **** (***/***°) ****** ** **** offer ****** **** ********* *****, ** ********* *** ** ********** even ** *** ********* ***** ** ****.

************, ******* **** ******* ** *** *** ** *******, ** can ** **** ** *** ***** *****. ** **** ****, ability ** ******** *** ******* ****** **** *** **** ******* lost ** **° *** ******.

***** **. * ** **. **

**** *** ******* ** *** **** *** ** *** *******, not ************, *** *********** *** **** ** ******* ******* *****. Even ***** ** **** ***** ** ****** **** ** ******* recognition *******.

** *** *** ***** ** *** *******, ~**' **** *** camera ********, ******* ***** ** ****, ****** *** ***** ****** still ******** ******* ******** ** ********* *** *******.

*******, ** *** *** *** ** *** ****, ***** ****** drop ********, **** ~***** ** **. *** ** ********* ***** and *********, **** ** *** ******* *** **** ** ******* definite *********** ** *** *******, **** **** * ******** ********* to ** **********.

Interior *****

*** *****, **** ** *** ********** **** *****, ** ****** the *********:

  • ****** ********: ***** **. ****
  • ****** ******* **** ***** ** ****** ******* ******* *********
  • ***** **. * ** **. **
  • ********** ** **. ***** *** *****

***** **. **** ********

*** ***** ******** ** ******** ******* ** ******** ***** **** as ***** ** *** ******'* ******* *******.

  • ******* ** *** ****, *** ****** *** ** **** ** view ******* ******** ** *** ****, *** * **** ** entries/exits ******* *** **** *** ** ****.
  • ******* ** *** ***** ** *** ****, *** ****** *** more ****** ******* ******** ******** *** *******, *** ******** ** the ***** ** *** **** *** ** ******.

******* ** ****, *** ******** ****** ** ******** ******** ** simply *** *** **** ** ****, *.*., ***** *** ****** are ******* ** ********** **** *****.

***** *** ***** **** *** ********** ******* ***** *** **** mounting:

***** **. *** **. **

** **** ******* ********** **** (~**' * **'), ***** ******** recognizable ******* ** *** *******, ****** **** *** ******* ** higher ********** ******. **** ********** ** ******* ****** ** * MP *** ** ******.

*******, ** *** ***** **** ** **, *** ***** ***** provides ******* ******* ** *** ** ***** *** ******* **** the *** ******, *** ** ****** ****** *** ********* ***** in ***** ***** *******. * ********* ******* **** **** ******* poor ** *** *****. ****** *** ***** ******** ********* **** ***********.

********** ** **. ***** *** *****

*** ********** ***** ***** ***** ********** ** **. ***** *** light *** ************ ***/***** ******. ** ******** ****** **** ** the ********** **** ****, ** ******** *** ** ***** *** other ********, ********* ***** *******. ******* ** *** ***-** ****** show ******* ** *** ******* ** **** ***** ** **** light ***** (****** ***, ~*.****).

***** **** ***** **. *********

**** ********** ************ *** ********** ******* ******** * ****** ****** panoramic ** *** ****** ** *** **** **. * ***** wide ***** ****** ** *** ***. *** ** *** ********* in ********* ********** ** *** **** *** *****, **** ********** 8-9 ** ********* ****** *** *** *********, ********* ****** ******* than **** ****** *** ******* ******* **** ******** ** * 1080p ************ ****** ** *** **** ** *** ****, ***** below.

*******, *** **** ** ***** ******* **** **** ****** *********, improving ******* **** *** **** ***** ***** ***** ***** ** further ****** ** *** ****, *** **** ****** ****** ****** to *** ******.

*** ** *** ******* *****'* ***** ** **, ******* *** similar ** *** ** **** ***** ** **** ** *****, as ****, *** ******** ** *** ***** **** ***** *****.

Parking ****

*** ******* ****, **** *** *** ******** *****, ** ****** the *********:

  • ***** **. * ** **. **
  • **** *** *******
  • ********** ** **. ***** *** *****

***** **. * ** **. **

********* ********** *** ******* **** *********** ******* ** *** ********/***** of **** ***** ** ** *******. ** ***-***** (~**' **** the ******), *** ***** ****** ******** ***** ****** ******* ** the *******, *** **** *** ** ***** ******** ***** *********** (and ********** ** "****" ** *** *****). ** ******** *****, higher ********** ****** **** ******* ***** ** ******** ******** ********* in **** *****, *** ******* ****** ****** ***** *** *******.

**** *** **. ***

** **** ****, ** ******** *** *** **** ***** **', which ******** *** ****** ***** ** *** ******* ***, ********* the ******** ** *** ***** ** *** ****, ** ***** 55'. **** ********* ******* *** ******* ** ******* ******** ******** and *******, ** **** ** *** ***** ******* ***** ** the *****, ***** *** ******** ** *** ***** ***.

************, ******** *** **** *** ****** ** **** ********* **** in *******, **** *** ******* *** ***** **** ******** **** discernible.

********** ** **. ***** *** *****

*******, *** ********** ***** ***** *** ********** ******* * ******* integrated ** ***** *** ***** *** ***** *** ******** ***/***** models. **** **** ** **** *****, *** ******* *** *** illuminated ** ***** * *** ** ******, ******* ** **** parking ****.

***** ** *** **** *****, *** ***** *** ***** ****** captures ****** ****** (***** *******, **** ******* *** *****) ***** the ********** ** ***** **** *** *** *** ******** **** day/night ***** ** **** *********.

** ~**' *****, *** ********** ** ***** ******** *** ******** details ** *** ******* *** *****, *** ** ***** ***********. The ***** *** ***** ***** ** ******* ******* *** **** detailed, *** ***** *********** ** *********.

********** ** *********** ***********

** **** *****, *****, ***, *** ** ******* ******* ******* details ** *** *******, **** *** ************ ** *** ***********. However, **** **** ** ********** ******* ** *** ** *****.

*******, ** ****** *********, ****** *********** *** ****** **** *** 1080p ******, ****** ********* ** *** ******* **** *********, *** providing ** ******* ** ******* ****.

******* ***** *******

** *** *****, ********** *** **** **** ********* **** ***** handling ********** ** ******* ***** ******* ************, **** ***** ******* providing ****** ******* *** ******* ******** ** ** ****** ** many *****, ******* ***** ****** *** ****.

*** *******, ** *** *** ***** ******* *** *********** *****, the ** ****** ******** **** **** ********** **** * ******* 1080p *****, ********* **** **** */***** ********, ******* ****, *** external **. ** ******** *** ***** ****** ** **** ** use * ****** */**** ********, **** ** **** **********.

Comments (6)

***** *****! **** **** *** ********!

***** ******* ****. * ******* ******* *** ** ***** *** a ******* **** *** **** ******* *********** ** *** **** application ******* *'** ****. *'** ** ******* **** **** *** video ******* *****.

******** ***.

***** ******* *** **** ****** & ******* *** ********, **** though **** **** * ********** ** ************ **** *** ******* is ***** ********** ** *** **** *** *** ***** & if *** ************ ****** *** **** - *** ** *** details ***** ** **** **** ****** *** ***** ********* * recognizable ** * ****** *** ******* & ****** ******** - but *** ****** **** **** *** ** * ***-***** ***** thinking **** **** **** ** *** * ***** **** (********* in *** ***) , ****** ** **** **** ********** **** surveillance ** *** ********* ** ****** * ***% ***** **** but ** ********* *** ****** ******** *** *********** **** ****... not **** ** ** ********** ** ******* *** **** ** what * **** ** **** ****; **** ****** *******!

**** ************** ** ********.

** ** ***** ** *** *** **** ** **** ***********.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Hanwha Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (PNM-7000VD) on Oct 18, 2018
Hanwha has introduced their first dual-imager model, the PNM-7000VD, a twin 1080p model featuring independently positionable sensors and a snap-in...
Best Alternatives to Banned Dahua and Hikvision on Oct 17, 2018
With the US government ban and a growing number of users banning Dahua and Hikvision, one key question is what to use for low cost? While Dahua and...
Video Quality / Compression Tutorial on Oct 17, 2018
While CODECs, like H.264, H.265, and MJPEG, get a lot of attention, a camera's 'quality' or compression setting has a big impact on overall...
Integrator Laptop Guide on Oct 16, 2018
This 18-page guide provides guidance and statistics about integrator laptop use. 150 integrators explained to IPVM in detail about their laptops,...
Dahua Face Recognition Camera Tested on Oct 15, 2018
Dahua has been one of the industry's most vocal proponents of the value that AI creates: As part of this, Dahua has released a facial...
Higher Power PoE 802.3bt Ratified, Impact on Security Products Examined on Oct 12, 2018
Power over Ethernet has become one of the most popular features of many video, access, and other security products. See our PoE for IP Video...
Door Hinges Guide on Oct 10, 2018
Some of the trickiest access control problems are caused by bad door hinges. From doors not closing right, to locks not locking, worn or warped...
IP Camera Installability Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Oct 08, 2018
What are the best and worst cameras from an installation standpoint? Which manufacturers make it harder or easier to install their cameras? We...
IACP 2018 Police Show Final Report on Oct 08, 2018
IPVM went to Orlando to cover the 2018 IACP conference, the country's largest police show (about as big as ASIS), examining the 700+...
Last Chance - October 2018 Camera Course on Oct 04, 2018
Today is the last day to register for the October 2018 Camera Course, register now. This is the only independent surveillance camera course,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

IP Camera Installation Tool Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Ideal, Hanwha, Triplett, Veracity on Oct 23, 2018
Setting up IP cameras has historically been challenging, with techs often precariously using a laptop on a ladder or lift. Some options for install...
ADT and Brinks Home Security Struggles Impact On Industry Examined on Oct 23, 2018
ADT and Brinks Home Security have both been struggling over the last year. ADT valuation is 50%+ less than their IPO target. Brinks Home Security,...
Hikvision Growth Declines Q3 2018 on Oct 22, 2018
Hikvision's growth continues to decline in 2018 going from: Q1 - 33% Q2 - 22% Q3 - 14.6% In this note, we examine Hikvision's newest Q3...
Geutebruck Company Profile on Oct 22, 2018
Geutebrück has been in business for nearly 50 years, but they are not well known within the US surveillance market. In this report, we profile...
Chinese Government Blocks IPVM on Oct 22, 2018
IPVM has been blocked by the Chinese government without any notice or explanation. This means IPVM.com is no longer officially accessible anywhere...
Startup SafePass Profile on Oct 19, 2018
A major problem with visitor management is that the systems mostly require adhesive printed paper labels and paper logs, creating waste and an...
China Is Not A Security Megatrend, Says SIA on Oct 19, 2018
The US Security Industry Association has released its 10 "Security Megatrends" for 2019. SIA declares that these megatrends, such as "Advanced...
Hanwha Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (PNM-7000VD) on Oct 18, 2018
Hanwha has introduced their first dual-imager model, the PNM-7000VD, a twin 1080p model featuring independently positionable sensors and a snap-in...
Camera Height / Blind Spot Added to IPVM Camera Calculator on Oct 18, 2018
IPVM has added camera height and blind spot estimation to the Camera Calculator. This is especially helpful for those who need to mount cameras up...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact