Types of Security Cameras

February 12th, 2021

There are many different types of security cameras available on the market today. There are bullet security cameras, infrared cameras, dome cameras, PTZ cameras, hidden cameras, IP cameras, weatherproof rated outdoor cameras, vandal-proof cameras, zoom cameras, Varifocal cameras, fixed box cameras & variations of each. With so many different types of cameras, it may be confusing to make the right choice. When it comes time to purchase the correct camera, let us guide you with your decision.

Wireless Cameras-There are different ways to set up wireless cameras. Depending on the location and size of the camera system will determine which wireless setup is best for your application.

One way is for a wireless camera to connect to your DVR through a transmitter & a receiver. The transmitter connects to the wireless cameras & the receiver connects to the DVR. Most surveillance cameras run on 2.4ghz frequency. A cordless phone if on the same frequency can cause a disturbance with the output of video for wireless cameras. Wireless internet as well can cause a disturbance. It all depends on the location of the cameras in relation to the wireless telephone & the router for your internet. The amount of metal in the walls can also cause interference with the output of the video.

Wireless cameras are more expensive than wired cameras but are cheaper to install because no wires have to be run. Depending on the distance between the wireless camera & the DVR, you may not get the best picture with a wireless camera.

Bullet Cameras- Are smaller than regular surveillance cameras. Bullet cameras are typically used for indoor applications because they do not have IR LED’s. Therefore, they do not show the best picture at night.

Infrared cameras- These cameras have IR LED's. At night the cameras LED's activate and allow the lends to seeing an image at night. Most of the IR LED cameras light up red, there are some cameras that have black ir's so it's not visible at night.

Dome Cameras- These cameras are dome-shaped & are used for indoor/outdoor applications. Dome cameras can have IR LED's & can have a varifocal or a fixed lens. 

PTZ Cameras- PTZ stands for pan, tilt, zoom. These cameras are able to moved remotely live on the internet, from the DVR itself, or a PTZ Controller. A PTZ Controller looks similar to an old joystick. These cameras have the ability to be set to scan a specific area. These cameras are useful for large areas, especially when you have someone constantly monitoring the camera. If the guard sees something they can quickly zoom in on the target.

Hidden Cameras- A hidden camera is a small board camera inside of a household item. Such as a clock radio or an iPod dock. Some hidden cameras can have DVR’s inside of them, and others must be plugged into a DVR or VCR to record. 

IP Cameras- Ip cameras do not connect to a DVR, they connect directly to a switch or a router. IP cameras typically start at 1.3 megapixels and can go upwards of 8 megapixels. These types of cameras offer high resolution, advanced video analytics, intelligence, and much more. IP cameras can have a POE feature. 

Weatherproof Rated Cameras- There are surveillance cameras that say they are weatherproof, then there are surveillance cameras that have a weatherproof rating. A good weatherproof rating is IP65 & IP66. If it says IP66 in the information about the camera, then you know you are getting a high-quality weatherproof rating. The camera is of higher weatherproof quality when it has an IP rating, instead of buying a camera that just says weatherproof.

Vandal Proof Cameras- These cameras are made to take abuse. Vandal-proof Cameras are made from strong materials and can withstand damage that a normal surveillance camera can not. These are ideal for outdoor locations where you do not have control over. Ex. A busy street, a dangerous area, bad weather areas. The cameras are placed inside of a vandal-proof housing to keep the camera safe. Most of these are dome cameras or bullet cameras inside a larger housing. The IK rating determines the level of vandal protection. IK ratings are based on the IEC 62262 international standard, used to label the level of protection of a camera or housing itself. Two types of tests are made: the first is where a certain weight is dropped directly on the camera or housing and the second is where it is hit with a certain weight directly to the camera or housing.

Vari-focal Cameras- These cameras have the ability to manually zoom from the back or front of the camera itself. If your camera has a 2.8-12mm lens on it then you can start at a wide-angle with 2.8 mm if you want to see an entire room or parking lot scenario. When you have a 2.8mm lens you will have approximately a 75-85% field of view. You will get more area in the picture but it will seem as if you are seeing everything from a further distance. If you have it set to 12mm then something 25 ft away would seem very close, you will get a smaller angle of vision but you will have greater image detail in your picture.

Box Cameras- These cameras are typically in the shape of a box and look like traditional security cameras. They are highly customizable, with the ability to add different colored or different material of bracket. The most analog lens will fit onto a standard box camera. You can add a 2.8-12mm lens, 5-50mm lens, or whatever mm lens you need for your application. Swapping a lens on an indoor box camera that is not in an enclosure only takes about 1 minute.

What Our Customers Say

"I had the Alibi system installed several years ago. It has functioned flawlessly. The image quality is exellent both night and day and in all weather conditions. I particularly like the replay (which can be set at various speeds) and zoom functions of the system. Tech support from Crimefreeliving has been excellent. I have received quick responses to questions, and timely home visits — as when I changed IP carriers and my Alibi system needed to be reset. I have recommended Crimefreeliving to several friends."


"As a small business owner here in Chico we definitely saw the need for video surveillance. After expressing our needs and concerns Tim did an excellent job getting us set up with the set up with the appropriate equipment. He really took the time to address our concerns in a very friendly, professional and knowledgeable manner. I highly recommend Tim for all of your business and residential video surveillance needs."

Ron H., Owner/Auto Doctor

"I have to say I love having my security cameras at my home. Tim Truby did a wonderful job of installing the five cameras. He is very neat and cleaned everything up after the installation. He explained to me how to operate the monitor, my phone and IPad. However, I have had to call Tim because I'm not tech savvy and forget what he has told me. He usually just helps me over the phone and then all is well. I'm 80 years old and enjoy the comfort of knowing I have these security cameras."


"Tim Truby designed and installed a 32 camera system for us here at the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District. We had received several other quotes from security system vendors, but Tim’s quote was the least expensive. Tim also installed the system quickly and has always been available when we needed him. We are very happy with our security camera system and we can highly recommend Tim Truby for all of your surveillance system needs."

D. Weseman, Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District

Crime Free Living updated our old video system with a new 16 Channel HD Alibi Video Security System. The old system had been added onto by different installers which resulted in a cabling mess. There were cables that worked and cables that went nowhere. It was a mess. Tim sorted it all out and installed cameras that are very clear. He also installed a monitor for our cashiers to watch hidden areas, a monitor to watch the entry door, and a monitor that allows employees to watch the outside parking and gas pump area. All work was done on time and very professional! Will always recommend Tim and Crime Free Living.

S. AM PM Chico Arco Station

"I had Tim install an Alibi Video Security System at my residence and a couple business locations. The remote view option is invaluable to absentee owners or anyone who travels a lot. The clarity and quality of the cameras have allowed for viewing employee theft. The evidence provided from the HD video cameras was fantastic! Tim was professional and provided extra value from his law enforcement background."

J. Folsom Arco Station

"Tim, I want to thank you again for doing such a fantastic job on installing a wireless IP security camera system at our dream home. The extra time that you took to hide wires, and install a clean, professional system is much appreciated. I still can’t believe the clarity, quality, and ease of use of this new system. I wished that I would have met you before our original inferior system was installed by another company. Now, whether I am at home, or monitoring the system from around the world, I know that my home and family are safe and sound."

John M.

"In April of 2017, my husband and I made a phone call to Crime Free Living that turned out to be a smart and wise decision. Amazingly, in just a few hours, Tim installed four Dome Security Cameras, weatherproof enclosures, and hooked up into our home a 23" Full HD Widescreen Security Monitor. Even more than his professional expertise was the time spent with us in making sure that this system was working correctly and properly installed on our phones so that anywhere in our travels we can monitor our new home in Magalia."

Tieka and Don S.

"I have been using Crime Free Living for the last couple years ar work and at home and I really recommend this product. Tim is a very good service provider. If he can't figure it out, he's got good tech support with the system that he offers."

Gary D.

"I have known Tim for over 10 years. To date, Time with Crime Free Living has installed two separate surveillance systems for my company. With each system, Tim has listened to my needs and custom dsigned surveillance systems for my specific needs and within my budget. The equipment used is always state of the art, the workmanship is top notch, and Tim is the example of trustworthy. I would recommend him for any job."

Steve D., Down Range Indoor Training Center

images Certifications & Training

With 16 years of experience in law enforcement, Tim Truby, CEO, is fully certified in video surveillance and training.

  • Certified Advanced Crime Prevention Specialist
  • Academy Instructor Certification
  • California POST Certification in Specialized Surveillance Equipment
  • California POST Certification in Basic Crime Prevention
    • Advanced Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
    • Certified Alibi Security Dealer
    • Enhanced Risk and Threat Assessment (FEMA)
    • Incident Command System (100 & 200)
    • Certified Cognitech Video Forensic Investigator
    • Neighborhood Watch Toolkit Trainer
    • Computer Crimes/Investigations
    • Domestic Crisis for Crisis Negotiators