CCTV & Security Camera Buyers Guide

CCTV & Security Camera Buyers Guide

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Our CCTV Buyers Guide is designed to assist end users, both residential and commercial, in the process of purchasing CCTV security cameras and systems. This article is a brief overview of the points discussed within the entire guide. To find out more about a section you’re interested in, click on the embedded link.

In this guide we will answer the following questions:

Here at Jim’s Security we have a wide range of CCTV packages starting at $1495 and offer professional installation of customer supplied CCTV systems from just $150 per camera. To find out more, visit our CCTV & Camera Systems page.

We are also readily available to help answer any questions or queries you may have about finding a security system tailored to the specific requirements of your home or business and lifestyle. Contact us on 131 546 or book a free onsite quote online.

Understanding CCTV and Security Camera Resolution & Megapixels

The sensor, also known as the imager, is an internal component of the camera that consists of a grid of pixels, known as photosites. These pixels capture intensity of light entering the camera in order to record information about what is being seen through the lens. Once recorded, this information is then transmitted to the camera’s processor. Typically, the more photosites a camera has on its imager, the higher resolution the camera’s footage will be. In most cases, a bigger sensor contains more photosites, and therefore is able to capture more information than a smaller one, resulting in higher resolution images.      Source: Prototypr.io Higher resolution video and images enable you to capture footage in greater detail and allow for enhanced zooming capabilities (after the recording has been made). High resolution cameras, such as Ultra HD cameras, are great for recording in large car parks, stadiums or crowded bars. However the trade off with high resolution (e.g. 8MP, 6MP cameras) is that the products are generally more expensive and the recordings take up more storage space. There are also implications for the quality of night vision, as the best low light cameras are often in the 4MP to 5MP range.  Our selection

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A Quick Guide to Security Camera Lens Types

Lens Types There are two main CCTV camera lens types: fixed lens (aka. monofocal lens) and varifocal lens (these include motorised lenses).  A CCTV security camera that has a fixed lens is permanently set, meaning that its angle of view, focal length and level of zoom cannot be changed. PTZ Cameras are an example of a popular camera form that include a varifocal, motorised lens. On the other hand, a CCTV camera with a varifocal lens will allow users to adjust the camera’s focal length, and consequently its field of view and level of zoom. This means that the lens can zoom in to capture a close view from a long distance (reducing the Field of View, but providing a clearer image of details such as licence plates, or perpetrators’ faces), or zoom out to capture a wide area (increasing the Field of View). Motorised vs Manual Zoom Lenses Most varifocal CCTV security cameras are equipped with motorised zoom lenses, however some varifocal cameras are manual. This means that they must be manually adjusted to change the camera’s focal length. Business Application:  For business applications, it is recommended that you opt for a motorised zoom lens if your budget allows. This lens

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Analogue vs IP CCTV Systems

The transmitter is the part of the camera that sends video to the recorder or viewer’s device by either converting it to Ethernet in IP cameras or into a HD-CVI analogue format in analogue cameras. In IP cameras transmission happens internally – these cameras only require a local area network to send information. Whereas, in analogue video surveillance systems, cameras need to be connected to a DVR with coaxial cable in order to transmit information. Image sourced from: Visual Verification Systems Inc. Comparing Analogue and IP Cameras IP Cameras Analogue Cameras latest/current technology seen as ‘traditional technology’ includes advanced analytics such as facial and licence plate  recognition limited access to advanced analytics, as many of these features are processed at the level of the camera (not possible with analogue cameras) sends signals over cable to be stored in  a NVR, or can work wirelessly sends video over cable to DVRs, or in  some cases can work wirelessly (wireless analogue cameras often have compromised resolution) use Cat5e cable Ethernet cables such as Cat5e are thinner and more flexible than coaxial cables, and can be easily run in tighter spaces PoE (Power over Ethernet) networking feature allows Cat5e cables to carry electrical

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Low Light Technology for CCTV and Security Cameras: Infrared and Starlight

Infrared Cameras Infrared light is light that we cannot see ourselves but rather feel as heat. As the prefix ‘infra’ means after, the term ‘infrared‘ refers to the idea that we cannot see light with a wavelength ‘after’ (or longer) than that of the colour red. IR cameras use this invisible light to ‘see’ and are often referred to as ‘night vision’ cameras. However, this is a common misconception as most IR CCTV cameras have inbuilt infrared technology, allowing footage to be captured during the day and at night. Example of infrared camera footage In low-light, these cameras operate using built-in IR LEDs, which emit infrared light. This ‘invisible light’ is then reflected by objects and collected by the camera lens. As such, the number of built in IR LEDS in a CCTV camera influences the camera’s night vision range, and will also impact the resolution of your footage. Many CCTV cameras contain up to 24 LEDs. When light is available the camera will usually give you a coloured picture, however, as it gets darker the IR will switch on and the camera will begin to record in black and white using the light generated by the IR. IR technology

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Wired, Wire-Free and Wireless CCTV Systems & Security Cameras: What’s the Difference?

Wired Cameras Wired cameras are hard wired to a DVR or NVR recorder to store and view the security footage. They are wired using coaxial (analogue) or Cat 6 (digital) to the recording device. Analogue will often require a separate cable to provide power to each camera,  digital cameras receive power via Cat 6 (ethernet) cable.  The NVR/DVR also needs to be wired to your router or modem to provide an internet connection for remote viewing. We strongly recommend hard wired CCTV for our customers as wireless and wire-free are less reliable due to battery life and wireless data transfer limitations. Wire-free These cameras are battery powered, meaning that they are 100% cable free. Wire-free cameras are relatively cheap, however are often less effective than their wired counterparts due to poorer video-quality. The batteries of a wire-free camera will also need to be replaced regularly. In general products in this category are DIY and not professional grade security. Image sourced from: Arlo Wireless cameras Despite their misleading title, these cameras still need a power cord. However, they require less cabling than your traditional wired camera. Once again products in this category are generally DIY. Image sourced from: Arlo Here at

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Security Camera Form Factors: Bullet, Dome, Turret, PTZ

Bullet Cameras Bullet cameras, named for their iconic shape, have a distinctive appearance that is highly recognisable to intruders. These cameras are renowned for acting as an effective visual deterrent. Strengths Weaknesses Highly visible, provides surveillance which is obvious to intruders (acting as a visual deterrent) Generally, have longer range than domes Outer casing protects against harsh weather and factors such as glare and rain Easier to knock out of position than a dome camera Ideal for: Monitoring the exterior of your business Protecting the perimeter of your property, especially if you have a large driveway or backyard Installation on hard to reach places (so it can’t be knocked out of place) Installing on walls or eaves Focusing on entry and exit points Dome Cameras Dome cameras are cameras encased in an ‘outer dome’, protecting the camera from tampering and vandalism. The main benefit of this camera form is that it is difficult to determine where the camera is pointing. Strengths Weaknesses Discreet, not immediately apparent to intruders Dome casing makes it difficult to see which direction the camera is pointing Able to monitor wide angles Allows you to view multiple directions with one camera Can be mounted vertically or

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What are CCTV Video Analytics?

Some high end NVRs often offer inbuilt ‘smart analytics’. These analytics analyse two key components of security footage: motion and pattern, and convert this information into data. Some CCTV cameras may also have their own inbuilt analytics. Brands like Hikvision, Dahua and Swann Security all have cameras in their range that offer this feature. Video analytics have a wide range of applications in a business setting. For example, they can be used to count the number of customers entering and leaving a business on a given day, to evaluate the demographic profile of customers or even look at their customers’ path patterns and dwell time within a store, and the list goes on. Dahua calls this technology IVS (intelligent video systems). In addition to providing businesses with useful data, CCTV video analytics also have a wide range of security features, for example: facial and number plate recognition (to keep past offenders out of your business) tripwire camera tampering detection alarm activation perimeter protection motion tracking deep learning algorithms (allowing AI to ‘learn’ and understand the environment, and quickly respond to changes e.g. alerting authorities) Image of Dahua IVS tripwire activation  Video analytics reduces the cost and time of outsourcing the collection of

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Bandwidth and Storage When it Comes to CCTV

Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be transferred from one point in a network to another (e.g. from a camera to a NVR or DVR) per second. While Storage is the capture of this data on your NVR/DVR, usually measured in TB (Terabytes). One TB is equal to 1,000,000 Megabytes (about 500 hours of SD Video). Planning the bandwidth and Storage requirements of CCTV cameras is as important as where the cameras are placed. This is because the network is limited by the amount of traffic it can carry and store – as such a system that does not have an adequate amount of bandwidth will take more time and have more issues when sending through footage. Running out of bandwidth on your network will pose connectivity issues (video may freeze and drop out), and have a negative impact on the footage’s resolution and overall quality – potentially inhibiting the recording of critical incidents. The amount of bandwidth needed for a CCTV camera directly relates to the camera’s video quality. Generally, the higher the quality, the higher the bandwidth and need for storage space. Factors that influence bandwidth are:  image resolution (MP) frame rate (30 frames per

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There will be no surprises with the Dahua Intercom System!

Want to take the guesswork out of guests? Well, you can with the Dahua Intercom System. If you feel frustrated when guests show up unannounced you are not alone. Honestly, it can be irritating when guests ‘’just drop in.’’ It always seems to be when you’re either busy or want to be left alone.   There can also be sinister door-to-door scammers who are casing your house to gather important information to help them break in. No matter who the un-invited guest is, you will be happy to know that there is a way to take the guesswork out of the guests.   A Video Intercom System will not only eliminate those ‘awkward’ encounters but will also help deter potential criminal activity.   At Jim’s Security our team of experts will be able to install the best video intercom system to suit your property and budget. In fact, only recently Troy and Michael from Jim’s Antennas and Security South Morang and Wollert, installed a Dahua Intercom System for a customer. The intercom system has two indoor stations, as well as mobile phone access. It also has a magnetic lock on the front gate, which can be opened by either station

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Protect Your Property from the Beginning: Security Pre-Wiring for Townhouses

Are you currently building your dream home or are you managing the construction site of one? If you have answered yes then our next question is, is it protected from potential vandalism or robbery? Unfortunately, there has been an increase in theft amongst construction sites and private properties, due to the unprecedented rise in price for some building materials. The reason is due to the pandemic causing major delays in shipping and the rise in freight costs. On Current Affair recently, Braven Group Services’ Director Craig Pages-Oliver, who provides security for building sites, told them that ‘’we’ve seen a big increase, 60 per cent increase in the theft of building material.’’ What’s even more shocking is that some fellow tradies are the thieves themselves! “Especially in a new estate where there’s lots of builds, they’ll just go to another site and take a door frame or take a lintel or take an extra piece of timber,” Mr Pages-Oliver told A Current Affair. At Jim’s Security our team of licensed experts offer a complete range of security products for both residential and commercial applications and supply several professional brands such as Bosch, Dahua and Hikvision. Your security expert will complete a

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Monitor Your Home and Business through the Dahua App

Are you considering installing a security system for your home or business? If you are unsure if whether you need one or feel that it may be ‘over the top’ – don’t. See, with crime rates increasing in Australia, particularly since the Pandemic, now more than ever is the time to purchase a security system. But if you are still unsure if you need one, below are just some of the benefits: Deterrent to Crime: It is common knowledge that properties that have security systems are less likely to be broken into, preventing robbery, home invasion and danger to you and your loved ones. Not only does it prevent crime to your property, but it also helps make your neighbourhood safer. Protects your Valuables: If you have family heirlooms, or possessions that are precious to you and have a high dollar value, then we recommend installing a security system that will discourage criminals from ‘casing your property’. However, if your house is targeted the advantage of having cameras is that you can hand them over to the police, which can be used as evidence in court. Monitor your property remotely: Whether you decide to install a home security system for

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4MP vs 6MP vs 8MP. What do I need?

Camera resolution refers to the total number of pixels that make up an image. The higher the resolution, the higher the definition and clearer the image .There are many things to consider when selecting camera resolution. Distance of the target from the camera, recorder storage capacity and performance at night are some of the factors that influence the ideal camera resolution for your home or business. Your primary consideration should be identifying what you’re trying to cover, and in how much detail. For instance, a business installing cameras to monitor thoroughfares in a warehouse will have a different resolution requirement than a business wanting surveillance coverage over their cash tills. To get further advice on choosing the right CCTV system for your home or business, check out Jim’s Security technician Michael  discuss some of the different camera options available, and how they may suit your needs and how they may suit your needs. Or, as always, to get in touch with your local Jim’s Security Expert to receive your free, no obligations quote call 131 456 or book here .

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Why You Should Consider Upgrading Your Home Security System in 2023

According to the most recent ABS report, nearly 1 in 10 households experienced one or more household crimes in the 2020-21 period. These reported ‘household crimes’ include anything from break-ins and attempted break-ins to property damage and motor vehicle theft[1]. Many Australian’s fall into the trap of being too complacent when it comes to securing their home and contents. New technologies constantly being released not only do more to secure your premises than outdated security systems, but can also provide a more user-friendly and convenient solution at a price point more cost effective than ever before. Here are three reasons why you should consider upgrading your security system in 2023. 1. Do more to deter criminal activity While your old security alarms and cameras may still be working – if you haven’t upgraded them, or at least had them serviced in the last decade or so, you’re doing yourself a big disservice. From alarm sensors no longer performing to outdoor cameras providing unreliable &/or low resolution footage – there are many ways in which outdated security systems can compromise your home security. New technologies are constantly being released that – in addition to improving features, functionalities and usability – increase

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What type of Security System is Best?

The type of security system that is best depends on several factors, such as the size of your property, the level of security you need, your budget, and your personal preferences. Here are some of the most common types of security systems: CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) systems: These systems use cameras to capture footage of a property and are typically monitored by the owner or a security company. Burglar alarm systems: These systems can detect intruders and alert the owner or a security company. They can also be connected to a monitoring center for added security. Smart home security systems: These systems integrate multiple security features, such as cameras, motion detectors, and door/window sensors, into a single, easy-to-use platform that can be monitored and controlled through a smartphone app. Access control systems: These systems control who has access to a property by using keypads, card readers, or biometric sensors. The best type of security system also depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here are a few options you might consider: Home Security Systems: These are designed to protect your home and family. They often include door and window sensors, motion detectors, and a control panel that communicates with monitoring services

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What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Security System?

Before buying a security system, there are several important factors to consider: Purpose:  Determine the purpose of the security system, whether it’s to secure your home, business, or property. Budget:  Consider the cost of the security system, as well as ongoing costs for monitoring and maintenance. Equipment:  Research the type of equipment available, such as cameras, sensors, and alarm systems. Make sure the equipment you choose meets                             your needs and fits within your budget. Monitoring:  Consider the type of monitoring you want, whether it’s self-monitoring, professional monitoring, or a combination of both. Installation:  Think about whether you want a DIY installation or professional installation. Keep in mind that professional installation may be more                               expensive but can also provide a higher level of security and peace of mind. Integration:  If you already have smart home devices, make sure the security system you choose is compatible with your existing technology. Reputation:  Research the company’s reputation and look for customer reviews to ensure that you are getting a high-quality product and customer         

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Is Security System Worth Paying For?

Whether or not it is worth paying for a security system is subjective and depends on individual needs and circumstances. For some people, a security system can provide peace of mind, added protection for their home and family, and can serve as a deterrent to potential intruders. In addition, some security systems can also monitor smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, provide remote control of lights and appliances, and offer the ability to see and speak with visitors at the door. On the other hand, a security system can also be an expense that is not necessary for everyone. Factors to consider include the cost of installation and monthly monitoring fees, the level of crime in the area, the type of property being secured, and the presence of other security measures (such as locks, lighting, and security cameras). Ultimately, it is important to weigh the potential benefits of a security system against the costs and make an informed decision based on your personal To find more about protecting your business with a security system, or to arrange your free onsite no obligation quote, call 131 546 or book here.

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What are the Different Types of Security Alarm?

There are various types of security alarms including: Burglar Alarms: These are the most common type of security alarms and are used to detect unauthorized entry into a property. Fire Alarms: Fire alarms are designed to detect the presence of fire and smoke and to alert building occupants and emergency services. Medical Alarms: These are specialized security alarms designed to provide emergency assistance to individuals with medical conditions. Carbon Monoxide Alarms: These alarms detect the presence of carbon monoxide gas, which is a toxic and odorless gas. Security alarms typically work by detecting specific triggers such as movement, smoke, or the opening of a door or window, and then activating a loud siren or other audible alert. Some security alarms also have the ability to notify the authorities or the owner of the property through a monitoring service. In general, security alarms are an important part of a comprehensive security system and can provide peace of mind and protection for individuals and their properties. To find more about protecting your business with a security system, or to arrange your free onsite no obligation quote, call 131 546 or book here.

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What are the Advantages of Security Alarms?

Security alarms have several advantages, including: Deterrent Effect:  The mere presence of a security alarm can deter potential burglars from attempting to break into a property. Early detection:  Security alarms can detect intrusions or fires quickly and raise an alarm, alerting both the homeowner and the monitoring company. Rapid response:  With a monitored security system, the monitoring company can quickly notify the police or fire department in case of an emergency.                               This can help ensure a rapid response and minimize damage. Peace of mind:  Having a security alarm provides peace of mind, knowing that your home or business is protected against intrusions and fires. Insurance discounts:  Many insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners who have installed security systems, as they are less likely to                                                  experience losses. Remote monitoring:  With advances in technology, many security systems now offer remote monitoring, allowing homeowners to control and monitor                                   

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Beyond Price – Know the difference between cheap and cost-effective security installations

Whilst cost is always going to be a primary consideration for all customers, it shouldn’t be the only consideration. As with most things, the cheapest option is very rarely the best option. Having been in the industry for many years, our Jim’s Security experts have been employed to fix up many cheap-installations-gone-wrong, which ultimately end up costing the customer much more than they’d initially bargained for. We’ve constructed the below list of questions you should ask yourself, and your installer, to ensure you’re going to receive a high quality, reliable security solution that will actually protect your premises. Is your installer licensed? Check to ensure your installer holds the appropriate licenses and insurances to complete security installation work. The licensing process includes police checks and fingerprint registration, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your installation is being completed by a verified professional. Requirements vary from state to state, but generally businesses will require a Master Licence or Registration, and individual installers will require a personal installer licence. Is your installer supplying legitimate hardware? Ensure your installer is using legitimate, reputable hardware. There are many grey market and knock-off products that can be sourced online at a fraction

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Want hard-wired CCTV Installation but have no roof cavity access? CCTV with external conduit

Don’t settle for wireless cameras to protect your property. There are several advantages of installing hard-wired CCTV cameras to secure your premises, including: Overall, hard-wired CCTV cameras offer a reliable and effective security solution for monitoring your house, making them an excellent investment for homeowners who prioritize safety and security. Our Brisbane team recently completed CCTV installation on a large, newly built double storey residence with very limited access to roof cavity. See the finished result in the video below. The customer was over the moon with the outcome! Contact Jim’s Security today for advice on how to protect your property.

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More to explore

Inception Alarm

This Inception Alarm and access control was recently installed by the team at Jim’s Security in Adelaide CBD. The building owners were recommended to look

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