HD/Analogue CCTV Camera Buying Guide

With so many different HD/Analogue cameras available and new features added frequently it can be confusing choosing the perfect camera for your needs. This guide will help you decide what specifications and features your camera has to have. Once you have decided these, use the filters in the product sections to find your ideal camera/s, or call 020 8126 6666 to discuss your requirements.

Choose by Signal type click for more info
Depending on the manufacturer of the camera, it will support one or more of the following signal types. All signal types offer similar functionality and quality, so if you do not have a preference, then you can skip this and choose your camera by resolution.
      • AHD - The most popular HD signal type, most AHD cameras will support CVI and TVI signals too.
      • CVI - Mainly used by Dahua but also supported by other manufacturers such as IQCCTV
      • TVI - Mainly used by Hikvision but also supported by other manufacturers such as IQCCTV
      • CVBS - The older generation of signal type, CVBS does not support HD resolutions. Also known as composite video, D1, 700TVL and 960H.

    Choose by Resolution click for more info
    The higher the resolution the greater the detail in the images provided by the camera.
        • 2MP (1080P) - Our lowest cost cameras, offering 5x the resolution of legacy analogue CCTV cameras. 2MP cameras are an ideal entry in to high definition surveillance.
        • 4/5/6MP - Our most popular cameras. 4/5/6MP cameras provide the best balance between cost and performance. They offer up to 3x the resolution of 2MP systems and 15x the resolution of legacy analogue CCTV cameras.
        • 8MP (4K) - Our best performance HD CCTV cameras. 8MP HD CCTV cameras offer 4K image quality (that's 4x the picture quality of 2MP cameras, and an amazing 20x the resolution of legacy analogue CCTV cameras). 8MP (4K) HD CCTV cameras are excellent value when compared to equivalent resolution IP cameras.

    Choose by Lighting Environment click for more info
    Unless the camera is being used in daylight or applications where there is good lighting, it is important to choose a camera that is designed to perform in the lighting conditions present in your application.
        • No Light - Our most popular option, these cameras are designed for applications where there is no light. The camera will have either IR (Infra Red) or White Light LEDs which will illuminate the area being watched.
        • Night (Starlight) - Our best performing low light cameras, designed for applications where the only light source is starlight. These cameras will have integrated IR (Infra Red) or White Light LEDs which will illuminate a limited area, however beyond this range they will use their Starlight imaging sensor to provide clear images over longer distances.
        • Night (Street Lights) - Cameras designed for applications where there is moderate ambient light, such as street lights.
        • Day/Good Light - All of our cameras can be used in daylight and in applications where there is good lighting.

    Choose by Lens type click for more info
    Your choice of lens will depend on whether you want to Detect, Observe, Recognise or Identify objects and people within the camera view.
        • Wide Angle Lens - Cameras with horizontal viewing angles that are greater than 75°. These are perfect for observing and detecting objects and people in large areas, or for recognition of objects and people that are close to the camera.
        • Standard Lens - Cameras with horizontal viewing angles that are between 30° and 75°. These are perfect for recognising objects and people in large areas, or for identification of objects and people that are close to the camera.
        • Telephoto Lens - Cameras with horizontal viewing angles of less than 30°. These are perfect for identification of objects and people in areas of all sizes. The further away the object or person, the narrower the lens angle required.
    The above is an approximate guide, the exact angle of lens you require will depend on the distance of the object/person from the camera. This 3rd party Lens Calculator lets you enter your exact requirements and then recommends the lens you will need, alternatively call us on 020 8126 6666 and we will recommend the lens you require.

      Choose by Audio requirements click for more info
      Audio can add an important additional layer of surveillance and evidence to CCTV cameras. Our cameras are available with the following audio features:
          • Built-in Microphone - The camera has a built-in microphone for listening to the area where the the camera is located.
          • Audio Input - The camera has an audio input connection for connecting a microphone.
          • Built-in Speaker - The camera has a built-in speaker. This allows people near the camera to hear you when you coomunicate with them remotely.
          • Audio Output - The camera has an audio output connection for connecting a speaker.
          • 2 Way Audio (from Windows PC) - You can have a 2 way audio conversation with people near the camera, from a Windows PC, connected to the camera either locally or across the internet.
          • 2 Way Audio (from OSX PC) - You can have a 2 way audio conversation with people near the camera, from an OSX PC, connected to the camera either locally or across the internet.
          • 2 Way Audio (from iOS device) - You can have a 2 way audio conversation with people near the camera, from an iOS device, connected to the camera either locally or across the internet.
          • 2 Way Audio (from Android device) - You can have a 2 way audio conversation with people near the camera, from an Android device, connected to the camera either locally or across the internet.

      Choose by Style click for more info
      The style of the camera you choose will be decided by the location and application.
          • Bullet - Bullet cameras provide the greatest visual deterrent and are best suited to applications where you want to make it very clear that an area is under the protection of CCTV.
          • Discreet/Covert - Our discreet and covert cameras are designed for applications where you require the cameras to blend in to their surroundings (discreet), for example in a high end restaurant, or to be hidden (covert) from view completely.
          • Dome (Eyeball/Turret) - The latest style of domes are Eyeball or Turret style, unlike traditional domes they do not hide which direction/area they are watching. This makes them a good visual deterrent but in a compact form factor.
          • Dome (Traditional) - Traditional domes are very popular for applications that require a discreet camera and where it should not be obvious which direction/ area they are watching. For these reasons they are perfect for restaurants, shops, offices and similar premises.
          • Panoramic Fisheye - Panoramic Fisheye cameras provide the ability to view very large or wide areas with a single camera, and crucially without blind spots. A 180° panoramic camera is ideal for mounting on a vertical surface, and will provide complete coverage of the area directly in front of it, from edge to edge. 360° panoramic cameras are designed for vertical or horizontal surface mounting, for example on a ceiling. They provide complete coverage of the area in front of them without any blindspots. We do not stock HD/Analogue CCTV Panoramic Fisheye Cameras. If you require a Panoramic Fisheye camera please see our IP CCTV Panoramic Fisheye Camera range.
          • PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) - Pan Tilt Zoom cameras have a motorised auto focus lens that provides wide angle, standard and telephoto angles from the same camera. They also have a Pan Tilt motor, which allows the camera to be panned and tilted remotely.
          • Speed Domes - Speed Domes offer the same features as Pan Tilt Zoom cameras. A motorised auto focus lens that provides wide angle, standard and telephoto angles and a built in Pan Tilt motor for high speed panning and tilting. However they offer a more discreet design when compared to Pan Tilt Zoom cameras.
          • Vandal Resistant - Vandal resistant cameras provide additional resistance against vandalism when compared to non-vandal resistant cameras.
          • Zoom Cameras - Zoom cameras have a motorised auto focus lens that provides wide angle, standard and telephoto angles from the same camera.

      Choose by Special Features click for more info
      Some applications will require special camera features to ensure that you capture the exact footage you require.
          • 120dB+ WDR - Cameras with a WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) of 120dB or above are designed for use in areas where the camera will be viewing foreground objects that have bright background, such as looking at people coming through a glass entrance or foyer on a sunny day.
          • 24 hour Colour View (White LED) - White LED cameras incorporate discreet White LEDs which come on at night and illuminate an area so that the camera can see in colour. The White LEDs are visible but have a lower brightness than floodlights for example, this is because the camera incorporates a high sensitivity imaging sensor which requires very little light to provide a colour image. These cameras are a good alternative to IR cameras as they will provide colour images at night, providing additional information such as colours of vehicles or clothes. The White LEDs could also replace the need for a separate light source on a property, such as a floodlight.
          • Active Deterrent (Deterrence) - Active Deterrent (Deterrence) cameras go one step further than standard cameras by proactively responding to what they see. They will detect movement using an integrated PIR detector. Once detected they can turn on or flash a white light, sound a siren or play a recorded message. The camera can also alert you via an APP or Email.
          • Active Deterrent (Deterrence) TIOC (White Light, Blue/Red  Light Visual Alert & Audio Alert) - Active Deterrent (Deterrence) Three in One Cameras (TIOC) work in tandem with AI DVRs. Together they detect movement using AI to detect breaches of perimeters, humans and vehicles. Once detected they can turn on or flash a white light, turn on blue and red strobe lights, sound a siren and play a recorded message. The camera can also alert you via an APP or Email. There are many applications that this technology can be used for, here are some examples below:
              1. Vehicle Detection - for example you could detect vehicles entering a No Parking area. If a vehicle enters this area, the camera will sound it's built in siren, play a recorded message and flash a strobe light, alerting the driver that they cannot park in this area.
              2. Human Detection - for example you could have the camera detect intruders entering your driveway or garden. If they do enter, the camera can alert you on your Smartphone/tablet and also sound it's built in siren, play a recorded message and flash a strobe light, scaring the intruder away.
              3. Perimeter Detection - for example you can draw a perimeter around a pond and have the camera alert you on your Smartphone/tablet if anyone crosses this perimeter. At the same time it can sound it's built in siren, play a recorded message and flash a strobe light, warning the person to stay away from the potentially dangerous area.
            1. License (Number) Plate Recording - As long as you choose the right lens angle (use this 3rd party Lens Calculator to select the correct lens) and make sure the number plate fills 25% of the area being watched you should be able to record the vehicle number plate clearly during the day or in good lighting using any of our cameras. However for recording at night, especially if the vehicle will have its headlights on we recommend using Starlight cameras and ensuring the number plate fills at least 50% of the screen, additionally you will need to be flexible with the mounting location of the camera, so you are not looking directly at the vehicle's headlights.
            2. License (Number) Plate Recognition - In addition to number plate recording we also offer number plate recognition cameras. These cameras are specially designed to read number plates day or night. Using character recognition, number plates are recorded and converted in to text so that they can be stored in a database, allowing you to search by number plate, open and close access control equipment according to number plate and raise alerts according to number plate. If you require number plate recognition please see our IP CCTV LPR (Licence Plate Recognition) Cameras section
            3. PIR Movement Sensor - These cameras have a PIR sensor that will detect movement. PIR sensors are less prone to false alarms than Motion Detection, as they will ignore minor movements of trees etc...
            4. Smart IR - Standard IR cameras will have fixed brightness on their IR LEDs, this can result in over exposure of people and objects close to the camera. Cameras with Smart IR will adjust the brightness of the IR LEDs so that people and objects are not over exposed when they are directly in front of the camera.
            5. Starlight - Starlight cameras use special imaging sensors to provide clear images without any additional lighting. All they require is the ambient star light that can be found on a night with clear skies. They can see clearly even when human eyes cannot.

        Choose by Location/Environment click for more info
        Our cameras are available with different levels of protection against the environment.
            • Indoor - All of our cameras can be used indoors.
            • Outdoor (Covered Areas) - These cameras are best suited to mounting in covered outdoor locations.
            • Outdoor (Exposed Areas) - These cameras are best suited to mounting in areas that are very exposed to rain and snow.