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, **** *****, **** stations
  • *** *******

******, ** ****** ***** 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 *****, ***** ***** for **********.

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

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

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

***** *** ***** *** advantages ** ***** ****** cameras ******* ** *****:

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

*** **** ******** ** turrets ** **** **** more ****** **** *** camera's *** **** *****, as *** **** *** illuminator *** **** ******* against *** ******'* **** than ** **** ******.

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

****** ******* *** ** best ******* ** ** a ********** **** ** box ******. *** **** majority ** ******* *** outdoor ***** (**** ** higher) *** ******* ********** IR.

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

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

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

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

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

  • **** ***** **********:******** ** *** ** an ********* *** ********** purposes, ****** ******* *** bulkier *** **** **********, reducing **********.
  • **** ** *** ********:*** ** ***** ************, it ** ****** ** see ***** ****** ******* are ***** **** ***** or *******, ***** *** entire **** ** *** camera **** ** ******* in *** ********* ** is *****.
  • ******* ****** *******:**** ***** ****** ******* 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 ******* ***:

  • *************** ******: **** *** ******* allow ***** ** ****** change ******. **** ** important ********** ** *** are ****** ** **** something **** ** *** away (*** **** ******* a ********* ****). ** contrast, **** *** ***** and ******* ******* *************** lenses.
  • **** **** ** *******: ******* *** ******* are ***** ******** **** via * ***** ***** to * ******* ** wall, **** *** ***** be ********* **** ******* and **** **** ***** than ***** ******* ***** require ******* *******, ******** mounting, ***.
  • **** ******* **** ******: *** ******** **** as ***** *** *****, high *** ***, *** others **** ************ ******** first ** *** ****** models, *** ***** ** bullets. **** *** ****** somewhat ** ****-**, *** new **** *** ****** still ***** *** *** box **** ******.

*** ******* ***** *********** the **** ********* ** bullets: *****/********* **********, ****** determined ***, ****** ** knock *** ** ********. Additionally, *** ******* **** ** mounted ** ** ***-** housing ** ***** ** use **** ******* ** provide *** **** ** vandal **********. ******* ** this, ******* **** ********* box ******* ** ******* usage, ******** ***** ** specialized ************.

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

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

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

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

***** *** *** *** differentiators ***** ** **** cube ******* *** ********* found ** ***** ****** which *** ** ********** in **** ************:

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

Pricing *********

** ****, ***-**** ******* dome, ******, *** ****** models **** *** $***-***, much ***** **** ******* box *******. ** ******* models *** ********, ****-**** domes *** ******* *** typically *** **** ********* models *********, ******* **** ~$600-1,200 *** ** ***** outdoor ********, ****** **********, longer ***** **, **** WDR, *** ***** ********.

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

Less ****** **** *******

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

  • ******* *** *****-****** *******: *** ******** ***** areas ****** ********* **** less ***** ******* / detail, *************** ********* *******,*****-****** ************************ *****-****** *******(**** *** ********* ****** for **** ** ***** options). ***** ******* *** most ********** ** * dome **** ****** ****** have ********** **** *** cons ********* **** ***** single-imager, ******** *** ********.
  • ******/****** ****:****** ******* ********* ******* of * **** **** containing ******** ***/** ***** connections ******** ** ** imager ****** ** * length ** ***** (*****). The ****** ****** ****** may ** **** ** flush *****, ** ***** covert (*******), ** ******* **** 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 *** **** *** suitability *** *******, ***** indoor *****. ***/**** ********* are *** ***** ****** of *** *****. *******, the ************ **** ***/**** positioners ******** *** **** distant ******** ** ******** for ******-*** ************.

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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