Guide to Buying Security Cameras Online

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Guide to Buying Security Cameras Online

There is nothing more important than keeping a home or business safe. The average homeowner is no longer limited to just buying a guard dog for security. Security cameras are a great tool for protecting family and property. Placing a camera on a property could help deter criminals from trespassing or breaking and entering, it also could capture any illegal activity and lead to more efficient prosecution. With the increase in technology, security cameras have become more accessible and affordable for the average homeowner. Cameras also have advanced features, such as motion detection and infrared technology. As such, there are a multitude of sophisticated features available to the buyer at different price ranges.

Security cameras are available for purchase through a number of online electronics retailers, as well as the online auction website, eBay. There are various factors to consider before buying any security cameras online, such as considering which areas need security, where cameras should be placed, the availability of lighting, the purpose of the camera, which features are necessary, whether the images are meant to be viewed or recorded, and the appropriate format for recording purposes.

Security Camera Location

Before purchasing a security camera, buyers should consider which areas of a home, business, or property they wish to be surveyed. Does the camera cover an outdoor or indoor area? Once the areas have been established, the next step is determining the number of cameras required. The cameras should be properly installed while taking into consideration outdoor lighting, weather, and purpose. Consider whether the cameras should be visible or hidden from outsiders. Visible cameras may serve as a deterrent to criminals, but they also may be subject to theft or vandalism. Those looking to take a clandestine approach may capture activity with hidden cameras. Hidden security cameras are less likely to be stolen or vandalised, therefore, their repair costs may be lower.

Security Camera Lighting

The buyer should consider the availability of lighting. Lighting for cameras in outside areas may be installed. The security cameras are unable to properly capture areas that are too dark. Cameras are available to capture footage in both colour and black-and-white. Think about lighting and the quality of film needed. Colour cameras are ideal when there is adequate lighting, although black-and-white cameras are more optimal in low-light situations. Colour cameras and those that switch to black-and-white in poor lighting are more expensive. LUX is the measurement of light intensity. The camera’s LUX rating is an indication of the camera’s ability to film in the dark. The lower the LUX rating, the better the camera’s ability to work in low-light areas.

Wired vs. Wireless Security Cameras

Cameras also vary by their power source. Some cameras require an external power source or an outlet to run, while others are wireless. Cameras that require an outside power source need to be placed relatively close to a power outlet. Wired security cameras may be purchased with night vision capabilities and lack the frequency interferences prevalent in wireless cameras. In contrast, wireless cameras require batteries and their maintenance includes battery replacement. Wireless security cameras can be hidden and moved around more easily. Many cameras have dual capability.

Types of Security Cameras

Buyers should search for the type of security camera by its intended use. For instance, the type of camera should be properly suited for outdoors or indoors. There are many types of security cameras, and the following lists a few of the more popular cameras.

Infrared Cameras

Infrared cameras are night vision cameras that are capable of capturing images in total darkness. Infrared cameras function using infrared LED lighting installed in the lens of the camera. The camera is able to capture images in the absence of regular lighting.

Box Cameras

Box cameras are very common cameras that can be used for most applications. They can use a wide variety of different lenses depending upon their target area. They are not typically weatherproof but can be placed in a type of housing for protection from the elements.

Dome Cameras

Dome cameras are one of the most popular types of security cameras used frequently in shops. These cameras have a dome-like covering that make it difficult for onlookers to discern where the camera is pointing. These cameras are available as fixed cameras and pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) cameras.

Bullet Cameras

Bullet cameras, as the name suggests, have a thin, cylindrical shape. These cameras are usually designed for use indoors but may used outdoors when weatherproof. They are not designed for PTZ, but capture film in a fixed area.

Fixed Lenses and Field of View

Most security cameras come with a 3.6 mm lens that gives approximately a 72-degree field of view. This chart shows other popular lens sizes and the field of view they provide.


Field of View

2.8 mm

97 degrees

3.6 mm

72 degrees

8 mm

44 degrees

12 mm

24 degrees

50 mm

5.3 degrees

Buyers can reference this chart if they are curious about how the fixed lens size correlates with the field of view. Some cameras come with a varifocal lens, which is capable of focusing on different distances.

Security Camera Features

When purchasing security cameras, consider the various features available. Indoor cameras do not require protection from the elements like those placed outdoors. Outdoor security cameras should be weatherproof or placed in weatherproof camera housing. Many cameras have motion detection technology that allows them to record movement as it is detected. Motion sensors are often connected to lights to help capture images in the dark. Another feature that is critical to the camera’s capture quality is resolution. Resolution is the number of pixels per frame. The higher the resolution, the better the quality of film that is captured. Keep in mind that a higher resolution camera may allow for better identification of those caught on film. There are even high-definition, or HD security cameras, that are capable of excellent detail. Other features available include pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities.

Security Camera Recording

Some cameras are meant strictly for viewing, while others are meant to record and monitor. Images may be viewed on one or several monitors. There is even software available that allows the user to view images on a computer from anywhere. If looking for long-term monitoring, decide which format the security camera should record the video. Video can be recorded onto cassette tapes, DVDs, or a computer.

Security Camera Laws

Check the applicable laws to ensure that security cameras are not infringing on any neighbour’s privacy rights. For legal reasons, most security cameras do not come with audio recording capabilities. Security camera laws vary depending upon location and local governments.

Security Camera Budget

A budget is an important consideration when making any big purchase. Fortunately, the increase in technology has made security cameras more affordable than ever. Cameras come with a variety of different features and price tags. Regardless, there are a plethora of security cameras available for purchase online at price ranges for everyone. Be sure to factor installation costs and maintenance costs into the budget.

How to Buy Security Cameras on eBay

Now that you have decided on the type of security camera and features that are right for you, it is time to start shopping online. eBay offers thousands of options when it comes to purchasing security cameras online. You can begin your search for your security cameras on any eBay page. Using the search box, enter keywords as broad or specific as your search for security cameras requires. To receive the most results, simply enter “security cameras” into the search box on any page. From here, you are able to choose different options to narrow your results. Browse through the results before deciding which security cameras you want to purchase. If you already know the type of security camera for which you are looking, you can be more specific with your keyword search. For example, type in "weatherproof wireless security camera" if that is what you are looking to purchase.


There are many different factors to take into account when buying security cameras online. The buyer needs to consider the area and location of the proposed security camera system, the available lighting, the purpose of the camera, the intended power source, and recording preferences of the camera. All of these factors are relevant to determine which type and features of security camera are relevant to the buyer. Security cameras can serve a variety of different purposes, such as to deter criminals, to capture criminal activity, or to simply provide peace of mind. It is important that the buyer researches the different security camera features to determine which one would best meet their needs.

Whether the buyer is looking for a security camera system for their home, property, or business, sophisticated technology is available at any price range. There is nothing more important than safety and security. eBay offers a huge selection of security cameras in various types and features.

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