Cameras are a security baseline; they’re an expected part of your safety controls, and so you may not think that much about them. It may seem like enough to know that you have them, and that they’re working.
However, the market for security cameras has evolved considerably in the last few years. There are a wide range of cameras and surveillance systems on the market. According to a recent report, the video surveillance market, valued at $19.12 billion in 2018, is projected to reach $33.60 billion by 2026, growing at a rate of 6.8%.
With all the choices available, it’s important to do more than simply replace older cameras with the same old model. If you want your cameras to serve your needs, you should put thought into who your supplier will be, and if their cameras work well for your site and system.
Choosing a camera: a checklist
When choosing a supplier, I like to turn through a checklist of all the things that go into that purchasing decision. A list like the sample below helps you take as many factors as possible into consideration when making your decision.
Installation expense: Will the installation be included, will you install the system yourself, or do you need an outside party to install it?
Pricing: What’s in your budget? Can you come up with options that meet your needs at a low, medium and high price point?
What features do you need? Cameras offer many features now that simply were not available in the past. Look at several different features before deciding whether you need facial recognition, motion detection, or other features.
How many cameras do you need? Are you replacing cameras, or are you purchasing a whole system?
Analog or digital? Some clients still use analog cameras. Are you planning to keep analog cameras, do you need digital cameras, or are you working with a hybrid system?
What type of storage do you need? It’s important to know how long you need to keep your footage. Sometimes security regulations may mandate a certain amount of storage, so check the regulations that govern your company before you make a purchasing decision. Do you want or need high quality storage kept for a long time, or is compressed footage ok? Where are you storing it? Locally or in the cloud?
What sort of customizations do you need? Are there items you require that might not be included with a standard camera?
Where will the cameras be installed? An indoor camera doesn’t have to hold up to the weather conditions an outdoor camera will be exposed to.
And here is an extra consideration for all of you that have gotten this far.
How quickly and easily can you export the video or images for investigative purposes? When something does happen, you will need to be able to share your video with internal investigators, insurance, law enforcement, etc. You will want to evaluate the suppliers system to identify how complex this process will be.
With so much variety available, a camera is no longer just a camera. In fact choosing one can be overwhelming. If you’re in the middle of a search for your next security camera, and you need an overview of security cameras and how they relate to your site’s security, contact Circadian Risk today.