Top Features For Easy Camera Installation (Statistics)

By IPVM Team, Published Jun 05, 2018, 09:45am EDT

Camera installation is the most fundamental and common task for video security technicians. Because of this, camera manufacturers market their products as easier and quicker to install versus the competition, in addition to the quality images they produce.

In this note we will review the most common features that 140+ integrators cited when we asked them what feature(s) make a camera easy to install:

  • Back Boxes/Bases/Standard Hole Patterns
  • Removable Pigtails/ Easy Port
  • Remote/Motorized Autofocus
  • Mounting Templates / Stickers
  • Captive Hardware (Lenses/Screws)
  • Video Output Port

Back *****/*****/******** **** ******** *** ******** *****

*** ******** *** ** decrease ****** ************ **** is ********* **********/********/****** **** adhere ** ******** ******** box ******** ***** (******- or ******-****, *******, *" square, ***). *** *** report *********** *** ************ ********.

*********** **** **** ********* cameras **** **** **** to ***** ** * range ** *****:

  • "******** ***** ****** *** body ***********. * ***** size **** **** **** in ******** ***** ****** or ** * **** box ****** ******."
  • "**** ******* ******* - Pole *****, **** ***."
  • "**** ******** ******** **** suits * ******* ** common ************ *****"
  • "*** **** ** *** camera ****** ***** ***** that *** ********** *****."
  • "********** ******** ******** **** a ******** ** ****** camera ***** *** ******** back *** ********."
  • "**** ***/***** **** ** fastened ** *** **** or ******* *** **** the ****** ****** ** it."

Removable ********/ **** ****

******* **** ***** ** "pigtails" *** ** ********* to *****-***** ** ** exterior ****, ** **** to ** ********** ***, because ** *** ***** female **** ** *** end ** *** *****, and ****** ** **** space ** **** ** the ****. **** ****** whips *** ** ********* to ******* *** **-********* with ******* **** ******* of *** ******** ******* Ethernet *****.

  • "******-**** ********** ****** *** camera (*** *** **** Dahua *** ********* **** a ***** ******* *** camera)"
  • "*** ****** ****** * female **** ******* ** a **** ** ****** that **** ** ** boxed"
  • "********** *******, ******* ******** pigtails"
  • "********** ******* ** ***** removal ** ****** ****** leads **** ** ***, audio, *** ***** *** IP *******."
  • "***** ** ******** ****, not * *******"
  • "******** **** ***********"
  • "******** ******* * **** cat5 *****"

** * ******** ********** poll, **% ** *********** responded **** **** ****** "No ****" (******: ** **** ** Not ** ****?)

Remote/Motorized *********

******* ******* ********* *** the ******* ** ******** or ************* ********* * camera. **** *********** ***** the **** ** * technicians **** ******** ******** a ******, *** ******* a ****** ******** ** focus ******** ** ******** focusing ***** ******* ** a ****** ** **** monitor.

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

**** ****** ********* ********** the ********** ** *** feature ** ****** ************ easy. ****** ******** *******:

  • "** ******** ********* ****** makes ****** ****** ****."
  • "*** ***** ***** ******* that ***** ****** ************* much ******, ** ** least ****** *** **** less ***********, ** *** remote ***** *** ****. No **** ******* ******* over *** ***** **** your **********."
  • "****-**** *** ***** ******** the ****** ************ ** not ********* *** ********** to **** *** ***** perfect ******** ***** ** install"
  • "****** ***** ** * definite ****** ** ****** a ****** ****** ** install."
  • "**** ****/**** *****. **** way *** *** **** to ** ** ***** the ****** ** *** right ********* *** **** sure *** *** ** what *** ******** ***** and *** *** ****."

******* *** *** *********** *********** **** ***********, ******* ***** ********** ************* ********** ****** *******.

Mounting *********/********

*** ******* ** ******* tape ** ******** ***** a ***** ******** **** can ** ****** ** drilled ******* *** **** time ** * ****** measuring *** **** ******* mounts.

  • "******** ******** *******"
  • "******* ******** *** ******* is ** ***** *** involves **** *********"
  • "**** ************'* *** ******* paper ********* ** ***** to ***** *** ******* holes."
  • "******** *********."
  • "************ *********"
  • "*** ********* ******** / screws / ************** / templates"
  • "******** ******** *** ********"

Captive ******** (******/******)

******** ****** ** ****** parts **** ******* ** a ****** *** ** dangerous *** **** *********. You *** **** ****** to ***** *** ******** part, ** ***** **** looking *** * **** screw.

**** ** ** ******* of * ****-**** ****** with ******* ******:

*** ****/***** ** * dome ****** *** **** be ******* ** * safety **** ** ******:

*********** ****** *** ** both ** ***** ******** are ********:

  • "* ** **** ************ of ************* *** ****** the ********* **** **** of *** ****** ******** with **** **** ** cable ** ***** ** that **** *** **** the ****** *** ******* both ***** *** ************ / *******, *** **** can **** ** ***** without ****** ** ***** about **."
  • "****** **** ***'* **** out *** *** ******** with *** ******* / dome **** *** *******"
  • "******* ****** *** ****** tether *** *** ****."
  • "* ****** ** **** it **** **'* ******** plate ******* ** **** the **** **'* ********* to"
  • "******* **** ** ***** (connected ** *******)"

Video ****** ****

* ******* ***** ** a ***** ****** ** integrators **** ** *** common ** **** ** cameras ** ** ****** video ****** **** *** aiming *** ******** *** camera ******* *** **** of * ******/********* ****:

  • "****** ***** ********** ** I *** ******* * monitor *** ********* *** image."
  • "** ****** *** ** RCA ********* ** * tech *** ***** ** a ******"
  • "******* **** **** ***** output ****** ********** *** the ******** ** *** camera."
  • "******* ***** *** ******. When ****** ** ********* a ******, **** ** best."

Comments (17)

+1 for captive screws. I wasn't able to respond to the survey. Also, a nice feature on something like the Hikvision WMSB would be to have the mounting bolt, lock washer, and washer together in one part similar to what they already do on pole mount screws. I like to reach in my pouch, if on a ladder, and grab one part and not try to locate three small pieces.

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

The removable pigtails, or simply having no pigtails at all is my favorite, but rarely do the low cost models have this. Its a booger to drill a hole big enough to stuff those gigantic things through. The worst is when you have a pigtail with all sorts of connections on them (Alarm, Audio, Reset Button, etc). Sure they make back boxes but even then its a shore to try to stuff all the stuff inside the jbox.

Agree: 5
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

We are actually going to cover this coming up, as well. I remember installing a Hikvision DS-2CD2542 camera on a wall once and thinking 1" was big enough... it ended up being closer to 1.5". I think 1.25" may have squeaked by but it still wasn't too smooth. Hikvision isn't the only one but that was one that sticks in my head.

For those unfamiliar, this is because the cable whip often includes large molded connectors (example below), which can be very difficult to fit through without damage if you're trying to push them through one at a time, leading most people to drill one big hole (~1.25-1.5" in this case).

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

A well designed camera that still insists on a pigtail should have a different length for each connector to make it easier to feed through a hole. 

Agree: 5
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

One very specific feature I loved as an installer is specific to the Axis T91A wall and pole mounts, which was the temporary support tabs that held the front of the mount to the backplate at a 90 degree angle, allowing you to hang the camera, finish wiring, without having to support the camera:

This was a real shoulder/anxiety saver when installing heavy PTZ cameras 20'+ on a ladder.

Can anyone think of other specific features like that, which weren't mentioned in the report?

Agree: 5
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

Even my regular Axis customers were amazed every time I showed them this - it shows how easy it is to skip over the instructions for something as simple as a bracket.

I am a big fan of the new bracket with IDC or RJ connected to an integrated IP67 pigtail.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Hikvision's mounts also have this feature, however last time I installed a PTZ on one the bracket's design caused a sharp edge to rub on the side of the back box and damage the finish. A minor annoyance given its aluminum and won't rust, but annoying nonetheless.

Then again what does one expect from Hikvision and a $30 mount.

Agree
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Funny

Analog, or video output has been very helpful. We still install quite a few cameras that don't have autofocus. And even the ones that do, it's nice to see where I'm looking before running upstairs to hit autofocus.

In some cases we have used the analog output for public display monitors, which has also been very helpful.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

WIFI dongles for the cameras are really useful.  Mount and plug camera in,  plug in WIFI dongle, get a phone and connect to WIFI then you can control and focus the camera.  

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

WIFI dongles for the cameras are really useful

Does anyone offer this beside Avigilon (H4A series) at this point?  I hope others (Axis, Panasonic especially) take this up in the near future.

 

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

The Hanwha X-Series supports USB Wifi dongles with their smartphone app.

These are the supported units per Hanwha documentation:

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 4
Unhelpful
Funny

That's pretty awesome!

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
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Funny

Here is a video of the wifi dongle action.  It can also perform zoom, focus, image flip, hallway mode, image snapshot, & PTRZ movement.

You can also use any browser (mobile, tablet, PC, mac, etc.) since it uses plugin-free architecture and responsive web.  Connect to the existing IP address or the wifi IP of 192.168.100.1 and you can now configure anything you want while on the ladder. 

 

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny

This is exactly how you can differentiate cheap cameras vs quality products. Installation should be calculated in the total cost of ownership of the product because time is money and additional installation material is not free of charge. Typical example of excellent, “out of the box” set up available with all SONY cameras.

  • All dome covers are connected with the camera body with rubber wire, cannot fall down.
  • All camera screws have safety rings, cannot fall down
  • O ring is also secured.
  • Most of the cameras (depends on camera type) have motorized zoom & focus control via small joystick. One push initiate autofocusing.
  • All cameras have analogue output
  • All cameras are equipped with paper template (mask) for easy drilling, screws and anchors
  • Small camera models have PCB RJ45 connectors , bigger models have well marked (on the cable , itself) pigtails.
  • Back side of the camera is thick enough (bullet and bigger domes) , no need for additional mounting hardware. You can pack all cables inside the camera !!!
  • All bigger cameras are equipped with iron wire to help with installation.
  • All cameras are equipped with proper tool, a screwdriver or torx key.
  • New G7 models have USB connector for WiFi dongle, for remote set up via phone or tablet. Software is foc.

Not less important is good installation software for quick & easy IP address detection and camera set up. Could be residential or non-residential type. Even doe professional installer should not relay on default camera settings, this is also an important part to reduce installation time.

Of course another topic is accessories, also very important for installation. My conclusion is that good quality can not be cheap ! 

 

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Thanks, I'll definitely look into Sony cameras if I can plug into my phone for aiming and initial focusing. WiFi is disrupts other observatories and so its use is not allowed.

I expect I'll just use a POE injector and small laptop for this task though.

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One thing I don't see ANY manufacturer doing (at least not openly) is offering additional bits and pieces specific to their cameras.

Screws, O-rings, those green terminal blocks used on Hik camera whips, detachable cables, anything that comes loose. These should ALL be available for purchase separately to keep on hand, ESPECIALLY SCREWS!!

I've lost count of how many times I've tried to screw a camera to a proprietary base/box vertically and it falls off the screwdriver, plunges 20 feet and is lost forever. Now what? I have to sacrifice another camera just to scavenge a single screw out of it?

If your products include loose parts make them available EASILY. It should not be something I need to special order and wait four weeks for. What would it take to throw a bunch of these bits into a baggie, toss it in a small box, give it a SKU and make it a stock item? I'd order ten just to keep on hand so I don't have to worry. At the very least put screw diameters and thread pitch in your data sheets!

Agree
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Any good/true manufacturer should offer this. Period. Since I work for Hanwha, I can state that you can give us a call or take a look on our knowledgebase and get a list of common parts (connectors, dome bubble, screws, etc.) and they can all be ordered via our service department. If you can only get new whole units, it means that they are not actually servicing the products in your region. They are just selling boxes made overseas.

No more worrying if you lost or cut the alarm I/O cable or the camera's grommets or waterproofing accessories, or scratched the dome, or dinged the case....

I can also speak for a former employer who also had service and repair in the US and sold parts. Tech Support would look up in a service manual to get a part number, and then get a price on the part.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
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Funny
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