The Ultimate Guide to CCTV and Video Monitoring

Ensuring that a commercial property is secured is essential to the success of the business as it gives peace of mind that all investments are secured, and that the business can continue to successfully operate. A popular way that business owners are looking to secure their business is using CCTV.

CCTV and video monitoring security products are one of the most common ways to secure a business and are favourite for both commercial and residential customers. Find out all about CCTV cameras below and how to choose the best one for your business.


What is CCTV?

An abbreviation for Closed-Circuit Television, CCTV is a video monitoring system that records images internally and externally and can help to deter would be intruders to burglarise a property or cause damage.


What Types of CCTV Cameras Are There?

When thinking about CCTV cameras we think of the standard ‘bullet’ CCTV camera and although this type is still popular there are newer and more advanced versions that hold different benefits. There are different cameras for all the different types of commercial and domestic situations, often the different types are chosen when the situation calls for it.


Bullet camera installed on the wall

1.    Bullet Camera

Designed to capture the visual of a specific targeted area, ‘bullet’ cameras are usually placed outside to focus on a particular weak point or entrance. These cameras can be identified by their longer cylindrical design and are most often used in smaller commercial premises due to their range, size, and cost.


Advantages of the Bullet Camera

  • Longer range of view.
  • Easily spotted and act as a visual deterrent.
  • Easy installation can be installed to any vertical or horizontal surface.
  • Can be easily repositioned to change the targeted area.
  • Is cost effective and a good option on a limited budget.

Disadvantages of the Bullet Camera

  • Depending on the position of the camera, it can be easily tampered with.
  • Only views a targeted area so there is the potential that the camera might not capture the required visual evidence.


2.    Dome Camera

Covering a larger area for surveillance, these cameras are so named for their domed appearance fitting to a building’s ceilings or eaves. These cameras boast a wider-angle lens therefore covering a larger field of view for optimum surveillance coverage.

Often used in larger commercial spaces such as restaurants and large office buildings where more sustainable areas need to be covered, this camera offers a lower chance of missing the action and capturing any required visuals.

Advantages of the Dome Camera

  • Wider range of view.
  • Compact design and minimum space consumption.
  • Rotates 360o so cameras can turn dependant on the need.
  • Weatherproof and designed to stand against direct sunlight and rain.
  • Better for covert surveillance as less intrusive than other camera types

Disadvantages of the Dome Camera

  • Limited range
  • The dome needs regular cleaning


3.    C-Mount Camera

A specialised camera designed to reach further ranges of visual monitoring. Most CCTV cameras have a range of 35-40 ft depending on different type however C-mount cameras have a range of over 40 ft. They are like bullet cameras in design but more streamlined and offered detachable lenses to be switched around.

Advantages of C-Mount Cameras

  • Higher range of visibility.
  • Design acts as a visual deterrent.

Disadvantages of the C-Mount Camera

  • Weatherproofing does not suit adverse weather conditions.


Tilt, turn and pan camera

1.    Pan Tilt & Zoom (PTZ) Camera

What sets this camera apart from other types is the ability for the camera to tilt, pan and zoom at the touch of a button, making this the ideal choice for those properties that have a member of staff monitoring the live video feed.

Advantages of Pan Tilt & Zoom Cameras

  • Optical Zoom allows you to zoom in on suspicious activity
  • 360o field of vision.
  • Can react to live situations

Disadvantages of the Pan Tilt & Zoom Cameras

  • Expensive investment
  • Needs to be monitored for optimisation and full application of benefits


2.    Day and Night Camera

Designed to work efficiently no matter the lighting or the weather, these cameras have been dubbed ‘day and night’ cameras as through the extra sensitive imaging chips a clear image can be seen no matter what time of day.


Advantages of Day and Night Cameras

  • Can record in colour or black and white
  • Can record clearly in a wide range of different lighting situations, regardless of direct sunlight, glare, or poor lighting.


Disadvantages of the Day and Night Cameras

  • Expensive investment
  • Fixed position to a specific area.


3.    Infrared and Night Vision Camera

Using infrared technology, these cameras can see clearly in the dead of night when it is pitch black. These cameras are a very similar shape to those of the bullet camera and can be placed easily in a multitude of locations.


Advantages of Infrared and Night Vision Cameras

  • Clear recording in the darkest of lighting.
  • Records in black and white at night and colour in the day.
  • Easy install and monitoring
  • Visual deterrent


Disadvantages of the Infrared and Night Vision Cameras

  • Expensive investment
  • Fixed position to a specific area.


4.    Wireless Cameras

Wireless cameras offer a sleeker look to security and offer property owners a more seamless visual monitoring system. Without the hassle of unsightly wires, these cameras minimise installation time and can be placed almost anywhere.


Advantages of Wireless Cameras

  • Streamlined and more discreet.
  • Easy installation.
  • Acts a deterrent.
  • No wires reduce the possibility of tampering.
  • Connects to smart devices using the internet.


Disadvantages of Wireless Cameras

  • Requires stable internet connection.
  • Battery will need to be replaced over time.


Dome camera installed outside

The Benefits of CCTV

Installing CCTV cameras come with a wide range of benefits which will hold value for every type of commercial property and business owner.


·         Crime Deterrent and Detection

Having the peace of mind that you leave the property secure is a valuable aspect for every business owner. Installing CCTV cameras act as a deterrent for any ill-wishers as it increases the potential that they will get caught thus making your property a less attractive target.

Likewise, should an ill-wisher still carry out any vandalism or burglary, when placed in the right position CCTV cameras can catch them in the act and increase the chances of them getting caught. CCTV cameras can be used in legal and crime procedures as evidence and therefore increase the chance of reimbursement of damage or investment loss.


·         Insurance Policy Advantages

As a business owner, it is a requirement that you hold some form of commercial insurance depending on your business type. However, investing in CCTV cameras can significantly help with any insurance policies as it can reduce premiums and offer a better coverage. Similarly, should a situation like a burglary happen when you must claim on any insurance policy having video and photographic evidence can help your claim and see that it goes through easier and with less hassle.


·         Management and Supervision

CCTV systems not only useful when you leave the property, they also help to ensure that the business is working efficiently and optimally. For example, in a retail shop, installing a CCTV camera at the back entrance where deliveries arrive will allow you to see when a lorry has pulled up and to go and receive the delivery.

There are many different reasons why having a view of the property or surroundings will help benefit the business in its every day running which will be completely dependent on the type of business.


·         Placing CCTV Cameras

When placing CCTV cameras, it is important that the placing is correct so that you can optimise the efficiency of them. Placing them in the right position could be the difference between capturing important details to use as evidence and the camera not having the wanted visual in frame.


Where to Place a CCTV Camera Outdoors

There are 3 important things to remember when placing an outdoor camera:

  1. Field of View
  2. Lighting
  3. Coverage


1.     Field of View

As identified in the different camera types, some cameras have wider fields of view then others, so it is always important to take this into consideration. Also, it is important to note that just because a camera has a 40 ft range, you don’t want to be focusing on a subject 40 ft away. Therefore, you must first consider what the purpose of this camera will be before considering placement.

For example, you have an entrance to a car park where you want to monitor the cars that come and go throughout this exit. The most optimal place to put this camera would be closer to the entrance to capture details about the individual cars rather than in the corner of the car park pointed towards the entrance.


2.     Lighting

Different camera types will record better in different lighting situations, but optimal lighting is always preferable. Consider which way your cameras face and the direction of the natural sunlight and any artificial lighting


3.     Coverage

To make security cameras the most effective they need to cover an effective area. Consider the places that are the most important for a camera to record and consider any blind spots that might occur. Consider what you want captured on the CCTV and what will be covered before you place the camera.


The Top 3 CCTV Brands for 2021

1.     Hikvision

Hikvision are a global security manufacturer, with top-of-the-line products offering a diverse selection to suit all customer needs, they are one of the best CCTV camera brands currently on the market. Alongside visual monitoring they offer products to create an entire security system both commercial and domestically.


Hikvision Products

From security cameras to alarm systems to thermal imaging products, Hikvision offer a wide range of products that will suit all commercial premises no matter the site or business type. Their expertise in the security sector makes them an attractive choice for any business owners who are looking for a complete security system or just a CCTV monitoring system. Another great benefit of Hikvision is that as a global organisation should your business be international or looking to expand outside of UK borders then you can ensure that all your properties are equipped with the same great system for easy central control.


Find out more about Hikvision.


2.    Swann

An Australian based global security company: Swann is among the most popular security systems in the world due to its vast product ranges and sophisticated security systems. Offering both a domestic and commercial service, Swann has a speciality for commercial products making available a customisable service to business owners that will suit all budgets, sizes, and needs.


Swann Products

Using the accompanying app, you can control all the Swann products from a single smart device ensuring that the system suits all your needs. Offering both wired and wireless products with visual resolutions from 1080p full HD to 4K ultra-HD, these products are top of the line and will ensure unmatched visual monitoring.

Find out more about Swann here.


3.    Lorex

A more budget friendly option but still offering high quality products, Lorex offers high class security products including 4K security cameras and visual monitoring systems.


Lorex Products

Lorex offers weatherproofing, vandal-resistant, 4K cameras that connect to a wider security system that can be customised to suit any property type and size and ensure that your property is secured. Lorex offer products for both commercial and domestic properties however their systems are better suited to either domestic homes or smaller commercial businesses.

Find out more about Lorex here


CCTV and Video Monitoring FAQs

This will be completely dependent on the size of your property, your needs and budget. We would always suggest placing a camera at the entrance of the property so that you can monitor people who come and go, alongside any parking space you might have on the property. When placing cameras, it is important to remember what you are looking to monitor and then place cameras with that need in mind.



For retail premises we recommend cameras placed at the entrance ways, the tills and at strategic points in the store to minimise blind spots.


Office Buildings

We always suggest placing cameras at the entrance of the building / office and within a reception area if there is one. This way you can monitor people that are coming and going.

Most CCTV cameras can record for a maximum of 90 days, however different models and brands will have different time periods.

Depending on the size of your property, your needs, and your budget we suggest that you consider the brands Hikvision, Swann and Lorex as they are the top CCTV brands.

Depending on the security system that you have, you can have your CCTV cameras recording on a rolling basis, however if you have motion sensors within your security system you can set the cameras to record when motion is detected.

Related Articles

For more business security advice why not read:

The Ultimate Guide to Business Security

The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Fire Alarms

The Ultimate Guide to Business Burglar Alarms


Find out more about security in the Ultimate Guide to Home Security.