Camera Camera Everywhere – How to Decide What to Buy


A business owner once wanted to buy a surveillance camera system for his facility. He thought of buying a package from the local wholesale store (Costco?) but decided to first check the reviews. He found that all the available systems were ranked:
19% *****
26% ****
43% ***
7% **
5% *

Is this information enough to make a decision?

Heck NO. 

Checking reviews is a good start but there’s more to it. Not knowing the perspective of the review writer, a decision solely based or reviews would be erroneous. Since everyone has a different need, a purchase based on reviews may not satisfy certain specific needs. 

Realizing this, the business owner next turned to Google. A search for “Surveillance Cameras” on Google produced more than 200 million results. Needless to say that this business owner didn’t know how to sift through the Google results and get anywhere with his decision. This information overload triggered more confusion rather than lead to a rational decision. This is quite intimidating to say the least. 

If you can relate to this business owner’s plight, you are not alone. This blog was conceived to make the camera selection a simpler process. It will help resolve some confusion and provide an understanding that will assist in the decision making process. Please Read on.

When looking for a surveillance camera system, the foremost question one needs to ask and answer is: 


Once you answer the above question, the next question is – what type of cameras should you be looking for? 

But wait, first answer which of the three broad categories you may fit into:

1)  You already own a surveillance camera system but are not satisfied with the performance.
2)  You are looking for a surveillance camera system.
3)  Both of the above. You have an existing system and you want to augment it OR you want a new system for a new location.

After this, other related questions, that become important later on, would follow:

1)  How much storage capacity would I need for the data? 
2)  Would I need to upgrade my Internet connection?
3)  Who will do the installation and maintenance of the system?
4)  Who will manage and operate the system? How will I know what I want to know from what the cameras capture?

In today’s day and age, camera systems have become a necessity like the basic appliances in a home. This has opened the market to a large number of vendors selling systems with varying rage of specifications, quality and cost. The specifications and costs vary over a very wide spectrum. From dumb cameras (literally and figuratively) which do nothing but capture/store images and have no sound/audio, to extremely smart ones which can readily communicate with the owner about the alerts they are set to provide.

One crucial technical feature associated with surveillance cameras is “Video Analytics”. As a potential buyer, it is strongly suggested that you check out this capability of the system you are considering to buy. This is where you get the real value.

Apart from all other specifications of the cameras, another very important aspect to keep in mind is the level of cyber security of the camera. Depending on the criticality of the application or the facility, this can vary significantly. Cheap cameras can be very vulnerable to hacking. More discussion on the consequences of hacking of surveillance cameras will be covered in another separate blog on cyber security on this forum, as it is a subject in itself.

When selecting a surveillance camera system, it is crucial to strike a balance between budget and specifications. You can’t sacrifice one for the other. Furthermore, surveillance cameras have become extremely ubiquitous, posing serious questions about personal privacy rights and making entities like ACLU busier. But with their increasingly proven utility value, their necessity is also become quite undeniable.

How many cameras would you need? This is a simple question but the answer may not be that simple. If you miscalculate on either side, you could either leave gaps or spend too much money. Seeking help from an experienced consultant can help decide the optimum number of cameras, instead of making assumptions. Such advice is available at a very low or even no cost, and can help the budget by possibly reducing the number of cameras required.

Over the past decade and a half, Camera technology has advanced at lightning speed. From the ubiquitous black domes on walls & ceilings to the menacing cylinders & boxed ones on poles to virtually invisible buttons – you are being tracked practically when you step out of your house. The camera on your neighbor’s house is the first one to see you!

Below is an interesting chronology of camera evolution:

Some of the significant aspects of the evolution are:

  • Progressively increased image resolution
  • Ease of installing – screwdriver technology
  • Advancements in camera technology, better images, compact size, ease of adding cameras
  • Increased storage and options of storage
  • Increased competition, lower costs     
  • Ease of accessibility
  • Compatibility with third party systems, brand agnostic
  • Range of available features – PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom), 2-Way communication, night vision, thermal imaging
  • Ability to communicate independently to transmit data at the speed of light

If you are not knowledgeable about the cameras, hopefully this blog will give you a few nuggets. For any questions that remain unanswered after reading this blog, feel free to post your questions here. We assure you that you will get good meaningful answers. 

On the other hand, if you are reasonably knowledgeable about cameras and know what you want, great! We’d welcome you to become a contributor to this blog. Feel free to respond to questions as and when they may be posted.

Summing up, surveillance cameras have made a striking reality of the Orwellian fiction of mid-20th century. It is practically impossible these days to avoid being seen by a camera whether indoors or outdoors. The fact is, in today’s world, everyone needs a surveillance camera – either for home or for work!

Sattrix is a unique company that brings a total integrated solution to security concerns. We provide our customers real-time alerts, video analytics and monitoring when security is breached and immediate action must be taken. Prompt notifications and actions saves our customers lots of money and avoids them serious headaches. 

We, at SATTRIX offer a complimentary assessment of your existing camera surveillance system and make recommendations. We can suggest/implement upgrades to the existing systems to make them smart by enabling many features though use of advanced software. Since existing systems lack a lot of smartness, we can augment an existing system with video analytics, if it is not present and make them smart. We can also leverage any available video analytics feature to enhance its effectiveness, customized to your needs. 

If you have an existing surveillance system that is not meeting current security needs, don’t jump to replacing it. IT CAN BE UPGRADED A FRACTION OF THE COST.

Can we do a complimentary assessment of your system? Please feel free to connect with us here.

We invite your input to this article. Your honest feedback will help bring you articles of interest and value. Adios!

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