With so many different options to choose from – currently over 45 major brands of security cameras readily available online – it can be overwhelming to make a decision for your business. If you choose wrong, you may find yourself with an unreliable, inadequate system, to address your business’s surveillance needs. Or possibly worse, you may spend way too much on an overly complex system that requires an IT professional to operate! Don’t navigate this decision on your own, look to the experts at Camera Security Now to help guide you through this decision.
Factors to Consider
There are many factors to consider when selecting your security camera system.
- What problem are you trying to solve, what do you hope to see on your cameras? Crime and theft is a common concern, and you may want to get a clear face shot of everyone entering and exiting a building, or potentially even read license plates of vehicles entering your lot. For employee monitoring, you may need more widespread coverage without the need for close-ups. If you expect some or most of your incidents to occur in the dark or at night, powerful infrared or super low lux cameras may be necessary. For businesses with on-site security actively monitoring the cameras, a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera may be ideal.
- How many cameras do you anticipate needing, and do you expect to expand? We can generate a camera layout map to determine exactly how many cameras you will need, but in order to make the best recommendation for your business, we need to have a general idea. Many brands of cameras are suitable only for a small number of cameras and can be a hassle to view multiple locations at the same time. If you anticipate needing a large number of cameras, or would like to grow your facility or expand your business to multiple locations, this is something that should be considered from the start.
- Do you have an existing system in place? While IP systems are the next step up in technology, some brands offer hybrid systems that accept both IP and coax inputs. This would allow you to reuse the cabling from your existing system, saving the installation team tons of time which translates to a much lower installation price.
- How much storage space do you need? Many businesses just need to be able to come in on Monday and review footage from the weekend if they have an incident. Some businesses may not discover the need to review footage for weeks, months, or even years in some cases! Long term storage can be the biggest portion of the cost of some systems, so it is important to understand your need for storage.
- What is your budget? While you may not be comfortable sharing your budget with your installer right away, it is important to have a general idea. You can find cameras online for as cheap as $25 per camera; but that’s before installation, wiring, troubleshooting, and figuring out how the features work. That’s why it’s better to go with an installer. While the cost can be as little as $500 per camera, you’ll also receive professional installation and have the option to talk to a real technician about any problems that may arise with your system throughout its lifespan.
Uniview is our top selection for best bang-for-your-buck business-grade security cameras. Uniview is practical for business systems with as few as 4 cameras but their higher-end recording servers can support over 100 cameras. Uniview is ideal for businesses with multiple locations, as they can each be viewed on the same viewing app on your smartphone or PC, from one single account. Cameras are available in resolutions from 1080p to 4MP, 5MP, all the way up to 4K resolution on single-sensor cameras. Multisensor cameras are available at resolutions of 12MP! All major specialty cameras including PTZ, LPR, super low lux, varifocal lens, fisheye, and 180-degree are available.
When compared to other brands in the same price range as Uniview, a few things set them apart. Notably, the 3-year manufacturer’s warranty backed by Camera Security Now’s worry-free installation guarantee is the best support you can find without a monthly fee. We can only team up with the manufacturer for best-in-class warranty support because we know we are offering a reliable, high-quality product. Watch out for cheaper brands posing as business-grade solutions to try to compete with Uniview, in addition to less reliability and poor warranty support, you may face issues such as monthly fees required to access your cameras, and cumbersome user interfaces, particularly when you have a lot of cameras or multiple locations. Camera Security Now will never offer any products with required monthly fees, and Uniview operates seamlessly with any number of cameras or locations.
Uniview does offer some valuable technological advancements when compared to other brands. They have pioneered H.265 Ultra, an advanced version of H.265 compression that reduces bandwidth and storage requirements by as much as half when compared to standard H.265. When you are looking for longer-term storage for a large number of cameras, this feature can save you thousands of dollars. Their higher end NVRs and recording servers also boast features like RAID storage and hot-swappable hard drive bays, making this a practical solution even when storage needs are high.
Many businesses can justify purchasing an enterprise-grade solution, and Axis leads the way in this space. Axis offers dozens of cameras to choose from for pretty much any problem you are looking to solve. Axis is suitable for large enterprises with any number of cameras or sites, and is ideal for organizations with the need to use enterprise VMS like Milestone for advanced analytics and integrations.
Axis offers some of the most interesting and powerful cameras on the market. The P3719-PLE takes fisheye cameras to the next level with adjustable lenses. One of the issues with a fisheye camera in most environments, is that when you have a 360-degree view, some of that view is dedicated to watching something uninteresting, like a wall. This adjustable multidirectional camera allows you to focus all 3 lenses on the most important areas, for a total of 15MP of resolution.
Another amazing feature is their multidirectional cameras with PTZ. The Q6000-E, soon to be replaced with the Q6010-E, is a remarkable combination of a PTZ and a fisheye camera all in one. Anyone who has worked with a PTZ camera knows that one of the main drawbacks of the PTZ is that when you are viewing playback footage, it might as well be a fixed camera because you can’t pan, tilt, or zoom on the playback. However, this camera offers a fisheye view as a default, which even during playback can be manipulated like a PTZ camera.
There are too many different options and features to discuss here, from 60fps cameras that can read a license plate tag (not just the license plate) on a moving vehicle from hundreds of feet away, to a wide array of explosion-protected cameras, to anything in between. While they offer some lower-priced models to obtain wider coverage without blowing up your budget, expect to pay a premium for an Axis system. Most businesses should expect to pay as much as $1,000 or more per camera if they select an Axis system.
For businesses looking to upgrade and expand existing systems, Dahua offers an excellent solution with their Penta-brid DVR. This DVR can accept inputs from coax and IP simultaneously, meaning you can reuse the cabling from your existing system, and add new IP cameras where you would like to expand coverage or are in need of a specialty camera. Not only does reusing your cabling save you money on the installation, but coax cameras and DVR systems are a bit less expensive than IP systems. While installation prices vary depending on many different factors, you can purchase a replacement coax system with cameras, storage, and video recorder starting at as low as $200 per camera.
A World of Options, Simplified for You
For help selecting a brand and designing the optimal solution for your business, please contact us today. We do more than just quote you a price, we will work with you to understand your business needs and engineer the optimal solution for you. We offer straightforward pricing with no hidden fees or recurring costs, so you know exactly what you’re paying for with no surprises. We have worked with dozens of brands in our over 20 years of operation, and that experience has led us to recommend these brands for most business needs. If your business has unique needs not satisfied by these brands, do not worry, we are not limited to these solutions but have a wide selection of products available to us and the understanding to navigate these options. Don’t wait, fill out a quote request form today, and have all of your questions answered!
Security Camera Advice and Installation with Camera Security Now
Are you looking for security camera advice? Johnny can give you a free security consultation for your location. Even if you’re not sure what you need, our security technicians will walk you through what it takes to secure your business. No matter what kind of facility in which you’re requesting surveillance support, Johnny can assist you with all of your security needs! If you have any questions about how thermal cameras work, what you need for your facility, or the purchasing and installation process, contact Johnny today at 800-440-1662 ext. 360 or fill out a fast, easy online quote form.
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