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Outdoor Security Camera

An outdoor security camera is a common video surveillance product. Used to secure public spaces, business premises or private land and property, surveillance cameras are designed to prevent intrusions, theft and damage in enclosed areas or locations open to the public, as well as to improve the safety of people. Installing a camera outside your home allows you to monitor the surrounding area, protect the entry points leading to your home and prevent intruders from reaching your home.

Why install a security camera outdoors?

There are several reasons why you might want to install a surveillance camera outdoors. Firstly, you may want to protect possessions located outside: a business might want to protect equipment or goods, while a private individual might want to protect their car or tools. A surveillance camera positioned outside is also used to detect intrusions onto a property before vandals or burglars get inside the building. If you're a private individual, being alerted when unknown persons enter your garden allows you to react before they enter your home.
  • A surveillance camera can protect you from burglary
The main purpose of an outdoor surveillance camera is therefore to prevent burglaries. Figures from the French Ministry of the Interior are alarming, with 250,000 burglaries recorded every year in France, or one every 90 seconds. A security camera is an effective way to protect yourself from burglary, which is why more and more people are fitting a video surveillance device outside their home.
  • An outdoor camera deters intruders
An outdoor camera might be fitted as a deterrent: if there's an obvious and visible system outside the home, burglars might be concerned about being surprised or setting off a security alarm. Surveillance cameras can be fitted with a presence sensor and trigger an audible alarm if suspicious movement is detected. If installed outside discreetly, a camera can also be used to monitor everything that's happening around a property.
  • A surveillance camera allows you to react quickly
If your camera has a presence sensor you'll be alerted if there's an intrusion, either via a message on your phone or a notification in a dedicated app if you have a connected camera. Installing this kind of security camera outdoors therefore enables a home's occupants to react by calling the police or turning on an outdoor floodlight, causing the intruders to flee. If you decide to ask a security or surveillance company to install your outdoor camera, someone may also be sent to your property to check what's happening and sound the alarm if necessary.
  • Footage can be used to identify thieves
If unfortunately your video surveillance system isn't enough to deter intruders, a camera installed outside your home can nevertheless help to identify the burglars. Having video footage will enable the police to piece together how the burglary took place or even identify suspects later on. The video footage recorded by an outdoor surveillance camera can also be useful if your insurer asks you for proof when you report a break-in. Discover all our products

The different types of outdoor camera

There are many products on the video surveillance market, offering different levels of quality for multiple different uses. Some outdoor surveillance cameras are more designed for professional use, while others are for installing around the home.
  • Analogue or IP surveillance cameras, wired or wireless installation
You can choose from an analogue surveillance camera, which works with a recording device and requires a power cable, and an IP surveillance camera, which connects to the Wi-Fi network and allows you to remotely view the video footage via the internet. A wired camera connected by a cable to a recording device provides reliable transmission of footage without the risk of interference, while a wireless camera is easier to install. If you buy a wireless camera, you don't need to make any modifications to your home to install and conceal several metres of cable, and you can perform the installation yourself. The camera's recordings are transmitted by radio waves or Wi-Fi. You'll only need a power source, which you'll already have if you're replacing an existing outdoor light.
  • Surveillance camera and intercom
Surveillance cameras can also be used outside the home for an intercom. In this case the camera forms part of a complete system including a street panel outside the gate or front door and an indoor monitor to view the image and open the door or gate to visitors. If the camera is installed on an outdoor gate several metres from your home, the Wi-Fi or radio wave connection may not be enough to provide a stable image and there is a high risk of interference. In this case it's best to opt for standard wiring. You may need to use a professional to install, connect and conceal several metres of cable.
  • The benefits of an outdoor connected camera
The video surveillance market has come a long way since the first connected products became available. Connected security cameras offer many advantages over traditional cameras. A connected surveillance camera is connected to the internet via a Wi-Fi connection and can be remotely controlled via an app on any smartphone or tablet. You can view the footage in real time, re-watch a previously recorded video by going to the history, zoom in on the image, etc. This allows you to monitor what's going on around your home, whether you're inside your home or several miles away, all on your smartphone.
A connected camera also has a motion sensor and alerts you if there's an intrusion by sending a real-time notification. This allows you to take action, scare off an intruder or alert the police. Having a connected surveillance camera allows you to keep an eye on your garden, garage or path whenever you like and you'll be notified about any suspicious event.

How to choose an outdoor surveillance camera

There are multiple different types of surveillance cameras available at all kinds of prices. Below are a few pointers to help you make a choice based on your needs and get the best value for money.
  • A camera with night vision
Night vision is essential for an outdoor surveillance camera in order to record quality footage during the day or at night. The camera can be fitted with LED infrared vision to ensure that the footage taken is clear at night. Because most burglaries take place under cover of darkness, most surveillance cameras feature a night vision system. This means that even when it's dark, the video footage is still clear and individuals can be identified, even though the infrared vision lights up the scene discreetly. It's best to get LED lights that have enough range to light up several metres (as far as the gate for example if the surveillance camera is installed outside the home).
  • A camera that has a floodlight
Because infrared vision isn't always enough to light up the outside sufficiently at night, it's best to choose an outdoor camera that has a powerful floodlight for use at night. You can set it to turn on if suspicious motion is detected or use it at night to surprise intruders. If you have a connected surveillance camera you can even turn on the floodlight using an app, wherever you are, to light up the area at night. A floodlight can also be useful if the conditions require additional lighting (when it's cloudy or at dusk).
  • A camera that takes good-quality footage
One of the reasons a video surveillance camera is used is to be able to identify individuals. This is why it's essential to choose a security camera that has a latest-generation CCD or CMOS sensor to ensure you get good-quality full HD footage. Be careful when choosing the image resolution and definition. The definition, stated in megapixels, indicates the format of the image and therefore the quality of the recording that you'll achieve with your camera.
  • A wide-angle camera for maximum vision
There's nothing worse than only having a partial view of what's happening around your property due to a limited viewing angle. Choose a surveillance camera that has a panoramic field of view or at least a wide viewing angle. This will give you a good overview of the situation. You can also choose a motorised camera, which allows you to cover a wider angle thanks to its rotating movement.
  • A camera featuring a motion sensor
If a video surveillance camera has a motion detection system, it can trigger an audible alarm if there's an intrusion on your property. This enhances your security system by surprising any intruders. Cameras with motion detection also only take footage if the sensor detects any suspicious movement. This saves you from unnecessarily shooting footage and means that recording only starts if something actually happens. This saves on your video storage space and makes your saved videos faster to browse!
  • A smart and targeted camera
Sophisticated outdoor surveillance cameras don't just detect any motion in their range. They can also recognise the type of intrusion - an animal, vehicle or person - so that you get specific information in your smartphone notification. This means you won't be bothered if it's just a cat passing by or if someone is coming up your path to deliver a package. Another interesting feature that some cameras offer is the ability to set up the detection zones in order to eliminate public or heavily used areas.
  • A sturdy camera
Because an outdoor camera is continually exposed to the elements, choose a video surveillance camera that is resistant to bad weather and dust. Covers are available to waterproof your camera. Also bear in mind that if a burglar spots your camera they'll want to disable it to avoid being identified in the footage. It's therefore best to get an outdoor camera that's sturdy or has a vandal-resistant dome. This dome prevents the product from being easily damaged.
  • Value for money
Surveillance cameras are available at all kinds of prices, from a few dozen to several hundred euros. The price depends on the technology used, the image quality, the camera's options and accessories (zoom, alarm, etc.), whether or not it is motorised, etc. If you choose a wired installation, also bear in mind that you'll need to add the cost of installing the product you purchase.
For the best video surveillance product at the right price, carefully assess your needs: how vulnerable your property is, how often you're away, the value of the possessions you want to protect, whether it's for business or personal use, the layout of your home and its surroundings, etc. There's an outdoor video surveillance camera for every type of scenario. Lastly, bear in mind that when it comes to security, saving money at all costs isn't necessarily the right choice, and opting for a more expensive security camera might be the price to pay for more peace of mind.

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