Video surveillance cameras 101: Modern security camera applications

Video surveillance cameras 101: Modern security camera applications

dozens of box cameras pointed downward at two women from the side of a commercial building

dozens of box cameras pointed downward at two women from the side of a commercial building

To most people, cameras are a one-size-fits-all technology that still resembles the corner-mounted, red-light blinking box camera from 1970s heist movies. In reality, commercial surveillance has evolved at a tremendous rate even within the last decade. Crystal-clear digital images have replaced the grainy shots of yesteryear. Technology that used to be too expensive to be used in the average company has now become the default standard across the business world.

With this recent renaissance in camera technology, it’s easy for new business owners or those looking to upgrade their current surveillance system to get lost in the wealth of options available. At EPS Security, we work with our customers to develop a comprehensive and customizable security solution that provides the coverage they require to keep their businesses safe and efficient. Before you start working with us toward improving your surveillance camera setup, we’ve taken the time to gather the more essential details of commercial security cameras to catch you up on just how far cameras have come—and to help you make the right decision for your business.


High-performance cameras for your high-performance workplace

The sheer number of cameras available on the market can be overwhelming to someone looking at purchasing a new camera system or adding to their existing one, but for the most part, around 90% of EPS customer requests fall in one of four distinct categories: dome, bullet, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ), and multi-sensor cameras.

Dome Style IP Camera:


axis dome camera

Dome cameras are named for their appearance. They tend to be more labor-intensive to install, but with their round shape, lower profile, and clean aesthetic, they are often considered the most visually appealing camera option. Dome cameras shine in ceiling-mounted locations to guarantee high visibility of a wide area. Given their design, it is very difficult to determine which way the lens faces, making it difficult for anyone to fool or avoid them. These cameras are often used indoors and are among the most popular cameras installed in commercial settings.

Bullet Style IP Cameras:

axis bullet camera

Also commonly called “lipstick cameras,” bullet security cameras rival domes as the most popular camera that EPS installs. Both types of cameras are similar regarding their lenses and capabilities, but the bullet’s different shape offers different versatility regarding camera placement. Unlike domes, bullets are easy to adjust without needing to move the mount or bring out the drill. They’re excellent at covering areas such as hallways, doors, and stairways. They’re also one of the easiest types of cameras to spot, which can act as an excellent deterrent against burglary—or even increase employee productivity. However, their high visibility also leaves them more susceptible to vandalism and the elements.

“PTZ” Style IP Dome Cameras:

axis ptz cameraPTZ cameras are named for their abilities to pan (move left to right), tilt (move up and down), and zoom in on special areas of interest. Their point of focus can be adjusted—either manually, with a joystick, or using an autotracking function to follow faces as they enter the camera’s view. They’re highly adaptable to most commercial environments and allow for superior flexibility in viewing range, which is why they’re often used to cover large outside areas, including work yards and parking lots. Even with the ability to program PTZs to move by themselves (patrol), these cameras perform best when operated by an actual person.

Multi-sensor Style IP Camera:

axis multi sensor cameraGrowing rapidly in popularity, multi-sensor cameras use multiple sensors (essentially, multiple lenses) to provide complete coverage of an area. Multi-sensor cameras often appear similar in appearance to dome cameras but provide improved functionality. Most come with adjustable magnetic lenses, meaning the views can be changed to provide a complete 360-degree view of any room, all from one camera.

Schools are a perfect application for multi-sensor cameras. Many school buildings are utilizing multi-sensor cameras at intersections of hallways. Where it used to take four cameras to fully cover an intersection, it takes a single multi-sensor camera to provide the same coverage—providing the visibility of four separate cameras but at the installation and licensing rate of one. You can even mount a four-sensor camera in a corner, point three of the lenses around the room, and point one straight down at the floor to eliminate any kind of blind spots. Multi-sensor cameras can provide the same visibility as multiple fixed cameras, an incredible cost-saving technology for EPS customers.

Specific cameras for specific scenarios

While the bulk of the cameras we provide fall within the aforementioned four categories, EPS Security also installs and services cameras made for more niche scenarios to provide complete coverage for our customers. Some more specialized situations include:

  • Height strip cameras are tiny pinhole cameras that are perfect for capturing video discreetly. Hidden in the jamb of a door, height strip cameras are used to capture a picture of a suspect’s face (which they’re usually trying to obscure) as they leave the premise—without them ever knowing. These are often used in convenience stores or gas stations, as they are prone to snatch and grab robberies.
  • Telescopic cameras are specially-built pieces of hardware that can focus across vast distances—in some cases, as far as 7 miles (yes, you read that right). These cameras are perfect for getting images from great heights and are often installed at airports to observe the landing fields below.
  • Fish-eye cameras can cover a 360-degree field of vision without any blind spots by utilizing wide-angle panoramic views. They’re perfect for covering traffic intersections, parking garages, or above a line of cashiers at a bank or movie theater.
  • Explosion-proof cameras won’t resist a fiery explosion, but “explosion-proof” does mean the camera electronics are air-tight and concealed from the environment. In areas with combustible fumes, such as paint rooms, manufacturing facilities, or other areas, electricity may spark, but these cameras won’t.
  • ATM cameras are often frill-free box cameras but sized to fit the limited space of an ATM. They’re not as novel as some of the other options, but they provide complete coverage of the ATM, which is important to both the bank’s customers and the bank itself.

The EPS Advantage

Whether your security needs call for dome and bullet cameras or one of our more specialized solutions, picking the best camera system for your business comes down to understanding your needs. EPS Security has been working on comprehensive security systems since 1955, so it’s safe to say we have experience in excess. When you choose EPS Security, our Security Consultants and Engineers listen to your requests and will personally survey your location to see how EPS can best realize your vision—by providing you with eyes wherever you need them. It’s the benefit of being a locally-owned company: we’re just down the street, so meeting with you to create your customized security solution isn’t just our pleasure—it’s the EPS Advantage.

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