Choosing the right form factor

Date: 11-Apr-2019



Choosing the right form factor



With an ever-growing variety of different CCTV products available on the market today, consumers are spoilt for choice. But this option abundance can be overwhelming to the average user when trying to determine what the best product is for them.

To assist in narrowing down the options, this week we outline the different form factors on the market at present, and their suitability to certain applications.






The fixed dome is the most common form factor in the industry today. Its high vandal protection and aesthetically pleasing design makes it the most versatile choice. The fixed dome suits both residential and business sites for indoor and outdoor applications.





Turret Dome


The turret camera has gained popularity recently due to its compact design and affordability. It has inbuilt infrared lighting and recent models include varifocal lenses. The turret camera offers superior night time images over a fixed dome as it does not suffer from IR bleeding (commonly seen with dome cameras). Turrets suit residential and small business sites.




Mini Dome



The mini dome is a small form factor dome designed to be as minimally obtrusive as possible. The flat design makes it suitable for elevators and public transport vehicles, such as buses, trains, and trams. With such a compact frame, the mini dome only comes in a fixed lens with limited infrared functionality.



Pan Tilt Zoom Dome




The PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) dome, as it's name suggests, has the ability to Pan (left & right), Tilt (up & down) and Zoom (in & out). The motor is designed to move the camera 24 hours a day. Due to its high level of functionality, it is one of the most expensive form factors. PTZs are commonly used for patrolling large open outdoor areas and tracking suspicious subjects.





Multi-Sensor Dome


Another camera gaining traction in the market is the Multi-Sensor Dome. It utilises multiple lenses to offer a 360-degree view of a scene. They are generally expensive but offer cost savings in running cable for sites with limited infrastructure to install multiple cameras. With multiple lenses, software is required to stitch the pictures together to get a full image.







Similarly to the Multi-Sensor Dome, the Fisheye camera also offers a 360-degree view of a scene. However, the nature of the lens means it does not offer an accurate proportional image. It thus requires backend software to "de-warp" the image. This camera is suited for indoor applications in the center of a room to cover all blind spots.







The Bullet camera is one of the most common form factors deployed today. With its ability to house a longer lens (up to 94mm), it offers more zoom capabilities than a Fixed Dome. Most thermal cameras come in a bullet form for detecting temperature changes in subject matters hundreds of meters away. Its design comes with a weather shield cover for glare reduction, and its high-visibility makes it a great deterrent for intruders.



Full Body


The Full Body camera is the least common form factor available on the market today. It is slowly being phased out by the Bullet camera's 'all-in-one' design. The Full Body modular design allows the user to choose a lens and housing from different manufacturers. A limitation is that they are not vandal resistant or weatherproof without a housing and cannot have in built infrared illuminators. That said, Full Body cameras typically produce the best picture with no compromises.






One of the more niche form factors, the Pinhole camera is designed to blend in with the environment. It is discreet by design, offering a fixed wide lens view. Picture quality typically suffers due to a small camera sensor. It is suitable for ATM machines, public transport vehicles or covert scenes.