Camera Form Factor Guide

By: IPVM Team, Published on Mar 16, 2018

When selecting surveillance cameras, users may choose from a number of different form factors, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses, varying in physical size, aesthetics, vandal resistance, and advanced features provided.

In this report, we review these form factors and their advantages and disadvantages, including:

  • Form factor popularity
  • Domes
  • Turrets
  • Bullets
  • Boxes
  • Cubes
  • Price differences
  • Other form factors - fisheye, multi-imager, remote / head, wall mount, door stations
  • PTZ options

Inside, we review these topics and give our recommendations on when and when not to use each.

Domes Most Popular

Dome cameras are by far the most popular form factor in surveillance, with integrators preferring them to non-dome form factors nearly 2-to-1. Bullets and turrets are have become more popular with box cameras as integrated IR preference has increased, with cube and PTZ cameras both smaller segments than others.

**** ********* ************ *******, users *** ****** **** a ****** ** ********* form *******, **** **** its *** ****** ********* and **********, ******* ** physical ****, **********, ****** resistance, *** ******** ******** provided.

** **** ******, ** review ***** **** ******* and ***** ********** *** disadvantages, *********:

  • **** ****** **********
  • *****
  • *******
  • *******
  • *****
  • *****
  • ***** ***********
  • ***** **** ******* - fisheye, *****-******, ****** / head, **** *****, **** ********
  • *** *******

******, ** ****** ***** topics *** **** *** recommendations ** **** *** when *** ** *** each.

Domes **** *******

**** ******* *** ** far *** **** ******* form ****** ** ************, with *********** ********** **** to ***-**** **** ******* nearly*-**-*. ******* *** ******* are **** ****** **** popular **** *** ******* as********** ** ************* *********, **** **** and *** ******* **** smaller ******** **** ******.

[***************] 

Dome ****** ********

**** ******* ***** *** camera's ****** *** **** under * ********** ***** of ***** *******, **** often *************. *** ****** is ******* ** ** articulating *********, ****** * gimbal, ***** ****** *** camera's *** *** **** to ** ********. *** more ** ****** *********** and ***** **** *******, see *** **** ****** ******* *****.

***** ********* **** **** two **********, (*) **** minidomes/microdomes ** (*) **** size *****, ***** ***** *** comparison.

******* ***** ********* ******* fixed ****** *** **** audio, */*, ****** ***** IR, ***., ***** **** size ****** ******* ***** advanced ********. ******* ****** ****** ****** for ********* ** ****** size.

Dome Pros *** ****

***** *** ******* ********** of ***** ***** ****** boxes *** *******:

  • ****** ********** **** ******:***** *** ***** ***** against * ******* ** wall, ****** **** ********** inconspicuous, ********** *********. *******, not **** **** ***** vary *************, *** ****** dome *** ***** ** quite *****/*********.
  • **** ****** ***** *******: **** ***** *** **** ****** *****, ***** ** **** less ****** ** ****** cameras (***** **** ** lower) *** ** *** common ** *** ** box ******* ***** *** intended *** *** ** add-on **********. *******: ****** ********* **********
  • **** ******* *******: *** ******* ***** *******, domes ******* * ******* number ** *******, ********* outdoor ******, ******* ***-******, flush *****, ******* *****, etc., *** ***** ** other ******.

*******, ***** *** ******* drawbacks, ** ****:

  • ***** **** *******:**** ******* ********* ** not ***** **** ***** length ****** (***** ~****). If ********* ****** *** required, ****** ******* *** offer ********** *******, ** box ******* **** ***-** lenses ****** ** ****.
  • ******* ** ***********:** ************ ***** ** **** ******* ** often ******* **** ****** models, **** **** ********* for *********** ****** ** domes.
  • ***** **** ******:*******, ** ***** *** not ********* *******, *********** image ******* *** ** reflectance ****** *** ******. See *** ***** **** ****** **** *** **** *******.

Turret ****** ********

****** ******* *** * relatively *** ****** ** domes, ***** ********* *** a ********* ****** ********** the **** *** ** illuminator(s) ***** ** ******* sealed *** ********* *** cable **** ******* ** cables ******** *** ******* as ** ******* *****.

Turret **** *** ****

***** *** ***** *** ********** of using ****** ******* ******* of *****:

  • ******* *****:****** ******* **** **** of * ******* **** IR ***** **** (****) dome ******* ***** ************ are ********** ********* **** the ******'* ****.
  • ****** ******** **********: ***** ****** ******* *** typically ******* ******, **** may **** ***** ******** with ******** *** ******** than **** ** *** housings ***** ******* ***** to **** *** ****** to **** ***********.
  • ****/******* **********: *** ** *** ********* surface **** ** *****, dirt *** ********* *** more ****** ****** **** in *******.

*** **** ******** ** turrets ** **** **** **** ****** show *** ******'* *** than *****, ** *** **** and *********** *** **** visible ******* *** ******'* body **** ** **** models.

Bullet ****** ********

****** ******* *** ** **** thought ** ** * specialist **** ** *** camera. *** **** ******** of ******* *** ******* rated (**** ** ******) and ******* ********** **.

******* ** **** *******, bullets *** ********* ** both ******* ****** (********* fixed ****) *** **** size ****** **** ********* lenses, ********* ** *****, I/O, *****, *** ***** features.

Bullet **** *** ****

******* **** * *** key **********:

  • ****** ** ***** *******:****** ******* ********* ***** longer ** ***** **** dome ** ****** ******. 
  • **** ***** **********:******* *** **** ********* than ***** *** *******, which *** ** ********** for ***** ******* *** greater **********. 

*******, ***** *** **** disadvantages, ** ****.

  • **** ***** **********: ******** ** *** ** an ********* *** ********** purposes, ****** ******* *** bulkier *** **** **********, reducing **********.
  • **** ** *** ********:*** ** ***** ************, it ** ****** ** see ***** ****** ******* are ***** **** ***** ** turrets, ***** *** ****** body ** *** ****** must ** ******* ** the ********* ** ** aimed.
  • ******* ****** *******:**** ***** ****** ******* are *** **** ****** than *****. *****-***** ****** (IK07/IK08) *** **** ******, but **** ****** ******* are ****** *** ****** rated.
  • **** ****** ************:******** ** ***** *** turrets, ****** ******* *** be **** ****** ******* out ** ********, ******* to *** *******.

Box ****** ********

************, *** ******* **** the **** ****** **** factor. *******, ***, *** cameras *** ************* ***** uncommon. *** ***** ****** and ***** ********** *** enclosed ** * "***" housing, **** ** *************** lens ******** ** *** front *** ******* *** other *********** ** *** rear.

****** *** ******* ********* us */** ***** ******, though ****** *** ****** using **** ** ***-* sensors ********** ** *** past *-* ***** *** use ** ** * mount ******.

Box ****** **** *** ****

*** **** ********** ** box ******* ***:

  • *************** ******: **** *** ******* ***** users ** ****** ****** lenses. **** ** ********* especially ** *** *** trying ** **** ********* that ** *** **** (and **** ******* * telephoto ****). ** ********, very *** ***** *** bullets ******* *************** ******.
  • **** **** ** *******: ******* *** ******* are ***** ******** **** via * ***** ***** to * ******* ** wall, **** *** ***** be ********* **** ******* and **** **** ***** than ***** ******* ***** require ******* *******, ******** mounting, ***.
  • **** ******* **** ******: *** ******** **** as ***** *** *****, high *** ***, *** others **** ************ ******** first ** *** ****** models, *** ***** ** bullets. **** *** ****** somewhat ** ****-**, *** new **** *** ****** still ***** *** *** box **** ******.

*** ******* ***** *********** the **** ********* ** bullets: *****/********* **********, ****** determined ***, ****** ** knock *** ** ********. ************, b** ******* **** ** mounted ** ** ***-** ******* in ***** ** *** them ******* ** ******* any **** ** ****** resistance. ******* ** ****, bullets **** ********* *** cameras ** ******* *****, limiting ***** ** *********** applications.

Cube ****** ********

**** ******* *** *********** similar ** ******* *** models, ********* **** ******* featuresets. ***** *** ******** ********* *** ***** ****** models *** ****** *** use ** ***** ********/******, DIY, *** **** *******. 

Cube ****** **** *** ****

**** ******* ************ **** been **** ******* ******** to ***** **** *******, with **** ****** ******* PoE, ***, ***/***** ******* and ***** ********* *** standard ** *******, *****, and *****. *******, **** has ******* ** *** past *** *****, **** many ** ***** ******** now ******** ** ** least **** ****** ** a ************'* ****.

***** *** *** *** *************** found ** **** **** cameras *** ********* ***** in ***** ****** ***** may ** ********** ** some ************:

  • ******** ************:**** **** ******* ******* 802.11 ******** **********, ***** may ** ****** ** applications ***** ****** *********** are *** *********.
  • *** ****** *********:**** ******* ***** ******* PIR ******* *** ****** detection, ***** *** ** more ******** **** ***** motion ********* ********* ****.

Pricing *********

** ****, ***-**** ******* dome, ******, *** ****** models **** *** $***-***, much ***** **** ******* box *******. ** ******* ****** are ********, ****-**** ***** *** bullets *** ********* *** most ********* ****** *********, ranging **** ~$***-*,*** *** to ***** ******* ********, vandal **********, ****** ***** IR, **** ***, *** other ********.

*** ******* *** *** most ********* ***** ****** form ****** ** *******, ****** ******* ***** drops due ** *** **** ** *** ****** **** *** ******** ***** as ****, **** *** cost ****** ******** ** dome, ******, *** ****** models *******. *** ******* box ***** ***** ** the **** ****** ****** is ********* ~$*** ***, vs. ~$*** *** ***** and *******.

Less ****** **** *******

***** **** *** **** factors ********* *****, ***** are ******* **** ****** form ******* **** *********** applications:

  • ******* *** *****-****** *******: *** ******** ***** areas ****** ********* **** less ***** ******* / detail, ******** ******* ********* ************-****** ******* *** ************** *****-****** ******* (**** *** ********* ****** for **** ** ***** options). These ******* *** **** physically ** * **** form ****** ****** **** particular **** *** **** different **** ***** ******-******, narrower *** ********.
  • ******/****** ****:****** ******* ********* ******* ** a **** **** ********** Ethernet ***/** ***** *********** attached ** ** ****** module ** * ****** of ***** (*****). *** imager ****** ****** *** be **** ** ***** mount, ** ***** ****** (*******), ** ******* **** height ****** ** **** applications.

  • **** *****:**** ************* **** ******** cameras ***** ***** **** to * ****, ******* to * ****, *** intended **** *** **** orientation, *** ******* ********. The ****** ********* **********/********* ******** ******* * ***° view.

  • **** ********:*********, ******* ** ****** manufacturers **** ******** **** station *******, ******** ** replace *********** ****** ******** models. ***** ******** ********* include * **** ******, mic, *** *******, ********** to * *** ** phone ******. **** ******** are ********* ******* ** residential ************ *** **** so ** ********** ****. 

  • ****** ********/****** *******:****** ******** ******* ******** a ********* **** **** two *******, **** ************ in ****** ******** ******** applications, ***** ******* ** the ********* ** ****** stores.

PTZ *******

**** ***** ******, ***/****/**** cameras *** ********* ** several **** *******, ** well, **** **** ******** advantages *** *************, ******** here:

********** *** ** *** the **** ****** *** in *** *****. **** PTZs *** ***** *** have ****** ****** ***** their *** **** *** *********** for *******, ***** ****** areas. ***/**** ********* *** the ***** ****** ** the *****. *******, *** capabilities **** ***/**** *********** provider *** **** ******* tracking ** ******** *** higher-end ************.

Comments (2)

** *** **** **** comment "******* ***** ********* ******* fixed ****** *** **** audio, */*, ****** ***** IR, ***., ***** **** size ****** ******* ***** advanced ********" ** *****. ***** are ******* **** ***** in *** ****** **** Audio, ******, ********* *** even **** ! **** by *** ******* *************.

**** *** *** *****, most ***** **** ***** manufacturers ******** *** *** with ****. *****, ********* and ****. **** *** positioned ** ***-**** ******, so, *** **** **** selection ** ****** *** the **** ******** *** indoors.

***, * ** *** consider *** '****' ***** used ** ***** ********* (ADT *** ****) ** a ********* ** ******** camera. 

***** ** **** ***** are ** **** ********* of *******.

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