Security Camera Buyer’s Guide

Getting the most out of Security Cameras

Most buyers do not know what to look for when buying security cameras and end up purchasing cameras that do not meet their expectations.


There are many options that you can choose from depending on your specific needs and be guaranteed good value for your money.

One of the most crucial aspects of a camera that you should consider is its

resolution in wich is measured by TV Lines TVL.

Resolution determines the clarity of the camera and it ranges from a low of 380tvl to a high of about 800tvl.


Resolution may be the make the difference in capturing decisive moments.

This means that higher image quality is essential in capturing moments for future reference.

Most of our Competitors & Popular franchised security camera stores are well known but they are also known to sell low quality cameras at exaggerated prices.

When looking to buy a quality security camera, it is also important to consider whether the TV lines are for instance,
a 700tvl CMOS or a 400tvl Sony.

Pay attention to what brand Board the camera has because it also makes a big difference the board looks as

pictured bellow & the brand of the chipset is usually written (see bellow image)


Another aspect to consider is your geographical location and its common video formats.
In North America, South America, Taiwan, Japan among other locations, the National Television System Committee (NTSC) is commonly used.

Some good quality DVR’s will have a switch on the back of the DVR letting you switch from Pal to NTSC


Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia use the Phase Alternating Line (Pal). The Sequential Coluleur a Memoire (SECAM) can also be found in Africa and Russia.

For the NTSC analog video, it is made up of 480 horizontal interlaced lines.

Each line is horizontally placed on top of the other.

The resolution of a security camera is determined by the number of Television Lines that can be seen in a monochrome picture.

Vertical lines can be counted horizontally to determine their number.

The more the lines the higher the resolution.
Security camera video displays they are ordinarily displayed at a ratio of four by three.
This is the ratio of the width to the length of the display unit.

Horizontal resolution is equivalent to the amount of measured vertical lines.

When you are able to see 75% of the picture, this is actually a measurement of the visible details.

This means that three units in terms of vertical lines are Lines Variation in resolution of different security cameras

Different manufacturers make different security cameras with a wide range of resolutions and specifications.

Different camera resolutions have different purposes and varied price.


For instance, a typical CCTV has a low resolution of around 380 Television Lines while a high resolution CCTV could have more than 450 Television Lines.

The quality of a security camera can be measured using Television lines as opposed to the scanning Lines used in broadcast television Systems.

Analog video resolutions are different from digital video resolutions.
Analog videos have Television Lines in terms of resolution as compared to digital ones. Digital videos also vary in the three to four ratio display aspect.


The difference between an analog camera and a digital camera is that a digital camera has a Charge Coupled Device

(CDC) that allows capturing of images in a digital format. Pixels are commonly used to refer to resolutions in digital pictures.

For instance, a resolution of 352 by 240 or 704 by 480 pixels are common.

The pixels in the CCD sensor are separate from the resolution in the display of the camera.

The resolution in the display of the camera is determined by the ability of the sensor to produce more pixels.

Clarity of the picture increases with the number of pixels produced.

For example, for a camera that produces images with a resolution of 640 by 480, then, it would have to have around 307,200 pixels.

There is a misconception among many security camera buyers that the CCD megapixel count translates to the resolution of the camera which is not the case.

This only shows the capability and potential resolution that the camera can give while used with other high quality accessories such as high resolution monitors and processors.

Common digital signal include; 352 by 240, 704 by 240 704 by 480 pixels among others.


Analog signals include 330, 380, 480, 570, 600, 700tvls and higher
what determines picture quality of security camera?
Whether you are using a digital or an analog signal, it is important to know how to determine the clarity and quality of your final picture.
It is also important to know that the two will give different results. The final picture quality can only be as good as the lowest quality accessory that you use in your system.

It is therefore advisable that all components, from camera, display units, recorders and all other equipment be of the highest quality possible to get optimum quality.

Compatibility of components in the security system is essential. Different components of the whole system should complement each other to give you the best picture quality.

Do not use a high resolution camera with a low Television Line monitor.

The images will only be as good as the poor quality monitor.

If a 570 Television Line monitor were to be used on a 330 Television line monitor to display camera images, then the images can only be viewed with a 330 Television Lines resolution quality.


Another aspect is that you may have a good camera, a good display unit but a substandard recorder. Your picture quality too can only be as good as your recorder allows. It should match in compatibility with the camera and monitor.

Remember the purpose of your system and the ability of components to complement each other.
How crucial is the resolution of a security camera?

When buying components for your system, you are obviously looking for a camera that will suit your needs and give you good value for your money.

The resolution of your images is particularly crucial when determining the video output that is going to be produced.

To ensure you get the best resolution, go through every component carefully and ensure it meets what you are looking for and do not forget the compatibility aspect.


This will save you the regrets and dissatisfaction of your purchase in the future.
It is advisable to take a little time and debate all aspects before making the crucial and final purchase.

Carry out a little research and fact finding to make sure you comfortably understand everything beforehand.

Consult an expert to guide you through your purchase.

This will make sure that you don’t just have expensive equipment that don’t really work the way you would want them to.

Evaluate your home or business needs and take advantage all the benefits that a good security camera can guarantee you

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