Two Major Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Camera System – Part 1

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Many times when looking at installation by other companies, I find two major issues with the camera system: the wrong camera is being used for the viewing application and the software chosen under-performs and is difficult to use. Both mistakes can easily be avoided simply by following some helpful tips when it comes to selecting your camera system. Today’s post will focus on mistake number one, using the wrong camera for the viewing application.

There are literally thousands of cameras on the market and prices can go from under a hundred to thousands of dollars. Does this mean the company selling a camera that costs thousands of dollars is a rip-off or simply that the camera performs differently? A good example I like to use is comparing cars. There are hundreds of different types of cars you can buy, some starting at under $10,000 dollars. Yet there are other cars that can sell for over one million dollars. Is the car for $10,000 the same as the car sold for one million dollars? They both have an engine, a transmission, steering wheel, and four wheels, yet the less expensive car many times will seat more people. So what makes one car worth far more than another? The answer is there are many things that make them different. Even though they both have an engine, they are different engines. The cars’ performance, ride, technology all go into the price of a car. You need to drive the car, sit behind the wheel and experience the car for yourself to truly know the difference.

The same holds true for cameras. Cameras all have different features such as wide dynamic, images per second, lines of resolution, and many more. The problem is how do you the consumer know what all these mean? Better yet, how do you know that one manufacturer’s wide dynamic feature is better than another, or any feature that they claim to have? In order to really know the difference between one camera and another you need to see the video. Having a live demonstration with the camera at your facility viewing the area that you want is a true test. Forget about all of the jargon and techno babble that salespeople throw around and simply say “show me”. Ask to see a live demonstration at your facility with the camera you are looking to buy. Take the camera for a “test drive” so that before you invest in a surveillance system you know exactly what you are going to get. Many camera systems cost as much as and many times more than a car, don’t you think it would be a wise choice to test drive the system before signing on the dotted line?