5 Tips to Select a Security Camera For Your Business
Posted by Aaron S. on July 17, 2019 in Retail Focus

Protecting their business is a worry that many small business owners must address.  One of the most popular tools available today is a camera system. In the past, the costs associated with this tool had been a barrier to its implementation. The good news is that recent improvements in technology have really driven the prices down. But buyer beware—the adage of “you get what you pay for” often holds true. Yes, you can purchase a camera system for a few hundred dollars, but if the image quality is poor or the system isn't reliable, is it really a good deal?


Don’t worry—there is hope. If you properly evaluate your specific needs and conduct research to understand the limitations associated with each product, you can still get an affordable camera system that will do the job. Selecting the right camera system is a complicated decision. To simplify things, let's separate this decision into two main choices: the camera and the recording system. Both decisions are equally important and impact the overall effectiveness of the system. For the purposes of this discussion, we are going to focus on the cameras themselves.


Below are some factors to consider when selecting a security camera.


  • Do you buy digital or analog? Digital cameras are the newest technology and work similarly to a minicomputer. Analog cameras have been around for a long time and use a traditional video signal. Both camera types have pros and cons that need to be compared to your specific needs and restrictions. Keep in mind that digital and analog cameras do not work together, so once you decide on a type, all cameras on that system need to be the same type. As you can imagine, the analog system is generally the lower-priced option.
  • Evaluate the size of the area you want to record. If you are looking to cover a small area, one stationary camera should work fine. If you have a larger area, you may need multiple cameras. In some cases, you may want to think about using a pan/tilt/zoom style camera instead. This type of camera is more expensive, but it can cover a much larger area.
  • Decide if your camera is going to be used inside or outside. Outdoor cameras typically cost more as they need to be waterproof. You will also need to think about lighting when placing a camera. IR LED lights are used to help cameras see in low light. The more IR LED lights on the camera, the better it can see in these conditions, but the more expensive it becomes.
  • Does your camera need to be wireless? As you would expect, a wireless camera is easier to install and gives you more versatility with placement. This convenience is great, but it comes at a significantly higher price point and normally requires a wireless network. It should also be noted that most wireless cameras still require a power cord that needs to be plugged into an outlet. True wireless cameras are available, but then you create the additional challenge of managing a battery power supply that will require ongoing recharging or replacement.
  • How important is image quality? Camera resolution is one of the major factors that determines how clear the image will be. The higher the resolution, the clearer the image and the more expensive the camera. Make sure the image quality matches the amount of detail you need to see (like license plates or people’s faces). Television shows make it seem like all you need to do is zoom in on an image and you will be able to see everything. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work that way. Zooming in on a low-resolution image will only get you a closer look at a blurry image.  


This does not cover every factor to consider when selecting a security camera, but it does give you a great place to start. Knowing exactly what you want out of your camera system goes a long way in determining what you need to purchase. There are good affordable camera options on the market today. You just need to do some research and find one that fits your needs.

Aaron S. is our Retail guru
Aaron joined Acuity in 2017 as our Retail Specialist—bringing with him almost 30 years of experience in a broad range of retail. He started his career stocking shelves in the seasonal department at a local retailer. A few years later, Aaron transitioned to a gas station/convenience store, where he worked second shift while getting his degree in organizational communications from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. It was during this time he made the move to the loss prevention and safety aspect of retail. Over the next 25 years, he worked in various retail segments, including video games, cosmetics/skincare, hardware/appliances, pharmacy/grocery, and clothing. Aaron held several positions during this time, including District Loss Prevention Manager, Regional Loss Prevention Manager, Regional Compliance Auditor, and National Manager of Loss Prevention and Operations. Outside work, Aaron likes to spend time with his wife (who has also worked in retail for over 20 years) and their twin teenage boys. They enjoy being outdoors on the water, fishing, and camping. As the Retail Specialist, Aaron’s goal is to enhance the partnership between retailers and Acuity by showing retailers that an insurance company can be a supportive resource and that Acuity truly understands their industry.

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Posted By: Aaron S. on August 14, 2019 in Retail Focus
The customer experience continues to be a focus for retailers, large and small. Personalization, great product offerings, competitive pricing, and convenience all play their part. Unfortunately, one of the most critical aspects of the customer experience doesn’t even come into play until you have already worked hard to win over your customers and they have decided to make a purchase.