Main things to compare in a surveillance system
With modern TVs, everyone knows about 1080p and 4K. With security cameras, there is a much wider range of resolutions! A quick crash course in reading megapixels (MP): 1MP=720p 2MP=1080p 8MP=4K. Security cameras are not limited to just this list, including everything in between and even higher than 4K resolution. What is higher resolution good for? The farther a target is, the higher the resolution is needed to get a better picture. Having a 4K camera in a room 15ft wide is overkill, when a 1MP or 2MP camera is more than enough to see subjects with clarity.
Nightvison components consist of range and fill.
RANGE [the distance at which the infrared can effectively view a target] Do you need to see a target at your front door, 10ft away, or cars parked on the street, 75ft away? It's essential to be mindful of what the purpose of each camera is and how to cover your targets after the sun goes down.
FILL [how the infrared acts within the viewing area] Most nightvision cameras have many IR LEDs surrounding the lens and shine a spotlight towards the middle of the viewing frame. More recent technology, matrix IR, spreads the IR light to fill the viewing frame completely.
The lens of each camera can either be more zoomed in or zoomed out. With variable focus lenses, you have more flexibility on what to focus on. When dealing with fixed lens cameras, knowing the focal length of the lens makes a huge difference! The rule of thumb: the lower the length, the wider the angle. For standard cameras, we usually use 2.8mm wide angle lenses.
2.8mm = approx 85°-90 degrees [Sentinel standard]
3.6mm = approx 75°-85 degrees [Industry standard]
4mm = approx 70°-75 degrees
12mm = approx 25°-35 degrees
How long do you plan on using your cameras? Regardless of what climate or weather throws at the cameras, they need to keep working. The best method we've found in determining a high quality system is to just look at the standard warranty offered!
1 year warranty - Entry level/DIY systems
2 year warranty - Professional DIY systems/Most installers
3 year warranty - Sentinel Systems