HD CCTV Camera Buying Guide

With so many different HD 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, simply go to the HD CCTV Camera section and use the filters to find the ideal camera.

Choose by Signal Type
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 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
Choose by Resolution:
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:
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. They 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 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:
Your choice of lens will depend on whether you want to Detect, Observe, Recognise or Identify objects and people with the camera.
      • 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.
Choose by Audio requirements:
Our cameras are available with built in a microphone or audio input (for connecting a microphone) for monitoring and recording audio from the area they are watching. Some cameras also have a built in speaker or audio output (for connecting a speaker). These cameras allow you to have 2 way audio communication with people by the camera remotely from a Windows PC, OSX PC, iOS or Android device.
      • 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:
The style of the camera you ultimately choose will be decided by the location and application.
      • 180°/360° Fisheye (Panoramic) - Fisheye cameras provide the ability to view very large or wide areas with a single camera, and curcially without blind spots. A 180° 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° 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 CCTV Fisheye Cameras. If you require a Fisheye camera please see our Fisheye IP CCTV cameras.
      • 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, for example in a high end restaurant, or be hidden from view completely.
      • 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.
      • Dome (Turret/Eyeball) - The latest style of domes are called Turret or Eyeball, 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.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • 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:
Some applications will require special camera features to ensure that you capture the exact footage you require.
      • 120dB+ WDR - Cameras with a 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 then 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 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 such as a floodlight.
      • Active Deterrence - Active 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 Deterrence TIOC (White Light, Blue/Red Visual Alert & Audio Alert) - Active 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 have the camera sound it's built in siren, play a recorded message and flash a strobe light, alerting the driver that they cannot park.
          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. Number Plate Recording - As long as you choose the right lens angle 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.
        2. Number Plate Recognition - In addition to number plate recording we also offer number plate recognition, the difference is that using recognition number plates are recorded and converted in to a text so that they can be stored in a database, allowing you to search by numberplate, 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 Number Plate Recognition cameras.
        3. PIR Movement Sensor - The camera has 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 light that can be found on a night with clear skies. They can see clearly even when human eyes cannot.
    Choose by Location/Environment:
    Choose from the list below to select cameras best suited to the location where you are fitting your camera.
        • Indoor - All of our cameras can be used indoors.
        • Outdoor (Covered Areas) - Cameras best suited to mounting in covered outdoor locations. 
        • Outdoor (Exposed Areas) - Cameras best suited to mounting in areas that are very exposed to rain and snow.