A Beginner’s Guide To Security Cameras

Author: Pro Video Security | | Categories: Access Control Systems , home security , Surveillance Cameras


When shopping around for security cameras for the first time, it’s important to keep in mind how their capabilities will help you get what you want out of them. Whether you want general surveillance that is not so detailed for peace of mind or those that have a mission to get as many details as possible of what goes on around you. Whatever it is, we are sure we have the right camera for you. As experts in the field, we at Pro Video Security have written down a beginner’s guide to security cameras so that we can help you understand the ins and outs of security cameras. 

Getting Started 

Be prepared: If you were to venture into the world of Do It Yourself, you would need the following tools: hammer drill, screwdrivers, wire tacks, voltmeter, wire cutter, crimp, or compression tool, test monitor, pipe bender, screws, ladder, and pliers.

Hire a professional: Hiring a professional security integrator will ensure the job is done correctly with the right equipment. This is critical to security.

Next Steps

Decide on the cameras: Decide on the cameras and recorder you desire. Are you going to use 2, 4, 5, 8, or higher megapixel cameras, and what about the style? Do you want bullet cameras that are easily vandalized, or will you want a dome that protects from vandals better but is not as good in rainy weather? Do you want infrared for black and white video at night, or do you prefer a 24/7 color that provides full-color viewing all the time? Do you want no microphone, audio one way, or audio two ways? Do you want a one terabyte hard drive or something that records longer, like a ten terabyte? What camera lens do you need? Wide-angle or more zoomed in? Do you want a fixed lens or an adjustable lens that you manually adjust on the camera or a motorized lens that allows you to zoom in and out using the DVR screen or the app? What color do you want? Usually, it is either white, but some models offer gray or black. Having all this decided can help you finish the process faster!

Consider camera location: Camera location is also important. What height and position should the camera be mounted? How are you running wires? Are you going through walls, floors, ceilings? Do you want to cover your wire in a wire cover or use a pipe? What color wire? Talk to a professional or do the necessary research to ensure you are actually protecting your property. 

Choose a good brand: The brand is also an important factor. How can one choose? What is the warranty? Our brands offer a three-year minimum. Many manufacturers white label their cameras. So it is difficult to tell, especially when buying at a big box store where large orders have “created” name brands affixed to the cameras and recorder. White labels are not a bad thing, but we strongly recommend buying from reputable and reliable manufacturers like Uniview, Dahua, Hikvision, Digital Watchdog, and Vivotek, to name a few.

Advice From The Pros 

Do not rush: Go slow when doing your installation. Don’t rush, and make sure to follow best practices. Be very careful with the ladder and electric tools. Be sure to weatherproof your connections. Most cameras are sold without considering the connectors and how they will be weatherized. 

Don’t use indoor wire outside: Be aware that laying the wire on a rooftop will cause the wire to deteriorate faster. Don’t screw into a wall or floor without knowing what is behind it. The last thing you need to do is push a screw into a high voltage line behind a wall or floor. Make sure everything is sealed from the elements.

Research: Understand that it takes years of learning to install cameras and security. It’s always better to research and understand the project you are undertaking. Careful planning and consideration go a long way. Understand what you are getting into. Don’t cheap out on the equipment. There is a reason cheap stuff is sold at a low price. You DO get what you pay for.

If you are looking for security system installation and maintenance in Chicago, IL, reach out to us at Pro Video Security. Pro Video Security is an electronic security equipment company owned and operated by a licensed private investigator and assisted by a team of highly experienced and trained technicians and installers. Since 2001, we have been providing professional security installations and repairs to our customers in the Chicago area. 

Our clients include manufacturing, municipal, warehouses, office buildings, nursing homes, as well as large and small residential buildings. Our services include video surveillance systems, access control systems, intercom systems, alarm monitoring systems. To learn more about the services we offer, please click here. To get in touch with us, please click here