Mini/Micro Dome Cameras
As the name implies, mini/micro dome cameras are smaller versions of the dome camera. Some are only 40 mm (1.5 inches) in height, making them great for covering smaller areas where a regular dome would stand out like an elevator or public transportation.
While a benefit to discrete placement in closer quarters, this small size also means they only have fixed focal length lenses, limiting their visual range. Additionally, there are few infrared options for night/low light applications, and they are less robust for extreme weather situations.
Known by many names, including the eyeball or flat-faced camera, this design is similar to dome cameras. The lens and sensor mechanism is in a ball housing that fits into a socket base, lacking a covering dome.
This design makes the installation and moving of the camera easier than a regular dome. The infrared does not suffer from the dome-created bounce-back, making it more efficient. While the design addresses some shortcomings of the dome design, it is still best suited for wide-angle viewing. Its domeless design makes it susceptible to vandalism and dust.
Also known as a speed camera, a PTZ camera is a dome camera with internal motors that can move the camera horizontally 360 degrees(pan) and vertically 180 degrees(tilt). The lens can be focused on objects near or far(zoom).
The abilities of the PTZ camera make it a great choice for large areas. PTZ cameras can cover any possible dead zones a regular dome camera’s field of view may have or for the active surveillance of moving targets. The capabilities of PTZ cameras make them highly desirable, but they do have drawbacks. Besides the standard dome camera shortcomings, they are also costly, especially when coupled with surveillance software that can exploit their many features. In some circumstances, it is more cost-efficient to use multiple fixed dome cameras in an area to get the required coverage than to use a PTZ.