Outdoor Security Cameras Information



Outdoor security cameras are commonly used in CCTV Security Camera Systems for capturing images in many outdoor applications such as buildings, parking lots, alley ways, etc.

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There are a few factors to consider when looking at purchasing an outdoor camera.

  1. The weather resistance of the camera
  2. The vandal resistance of the camera
  3. The lighting conditions for the camera

Below you will find more detailed information on the points listed above.





1. The weather resistance of the camera

Weather resistance is measured in either NEMA ratings or IP ratings. NEMA ratings were developed by The National Electrical Manufacturers Association in the US. The IP Code (or International Protection Rating, sometimes also interpreted as Ingress Protection Rating) was developed in Europe. (Ingress means "enter in.")

There is not an exact correlation between the two standards so it would be hard to say that an IP rating is the same as a NEMA designation. IP ratings only consider protection against ingress of solid foreign objects and ingress of water. Some of the NEMA ratings also include protection against corrosion, etc. However, even though there are differences they are very similar ratings.

For example the ratings below would be very close in comparison:

IP Rating ------ NEMA Rating
IP54 ---- = ---- Type 4
IP65/66 - = ---- Type 4X

For most outdoor security camera enclosures you would typically see a Type 4 or Type 4X NEMA rating or an IP66 or IP68 rating.

Download this document for a detailed listing of Nema and IP ratings.

2. The vandal resistance of the camera

Vandal resistant domes are cameras that can be mounted outside that are able to withstand a certain level of damage and continue working. There is no standard available currently that would measure the vandal resistance of a camera. No camera is one hundred percent vandal proof. (Although there are camera housings available that are explosion proof.)

Avoiding problems with vandalism has to do with where you place the cameras as well. When placing them outdoors if it would be best to place them out of easy reach of any possible vandal. This is best because there is no good solution to someone with a can of spray paint.

3. The lighting conditions in the cameras field of view

Lighting conditions are very important to the selection of the camera. For scenes that will have some light from a building mounted light, parking lot light or street light, it would be best to have a Day/Night capable outdoor security camera. It takes 1.5 times more light to create a color image. A Day/Night camera will switch to black and white and will allow for infrared sensitivity. For very dark scenes an Infrared Camera can be used or anIntensifier Camera.

Click here to learn more about infrared use in security camera systems.

For more information on camera selection visit the Security Camera Information page.

Check out these other resources!

Find more information by visiting this outdoor security camera blog.

Go here for even more help choosing outdoor security cameras.

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