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CCTV Camera Types, Features, Uses, Price & Best Picks

Flora Luo5/30/2022
CCTV Camera Types, Features, Uses, Price & Best Picks

CCTV camera types evolve very fast to meet your every possible security need in all situations:

No WiFi, No power, No cable, front door, backyard, garden, garage, driveway, you name it.

But at the same time, you may get lost in the endless types of CCTV camera.

We all know the importance to select the right CCTV camera type for the right application and location.

So what’s the best security camera type for home security? Which one should I choose to watch my pets, the livestock or the nanny? What’s best type of security camera for outdoors and indoors?

Today, let’s look into 6 major CCTV camera types, their specifications, uses and prices, and find the best one for you among different security camera types!

Note: The above CCTV camera types only touch the IP camera world and leave out the old analog cameras, given that everyone favors IP cameras today for their affordable prices, features and easy setup. IP cameras mainly use security camera wire types of Cat5 or Cat6, or even NO wires at all.

Almost all CCTV camera types from top security camera brands are capable of HD recording (1080p, 4MP or 5MP), remote access, IR night vision, motion detection and sending push notifications via phone.

And some of them, like Reolink, don’t force you into the cloud storage for extra fees.

Let's get started with this video that introduces several types of security cameras.

WAIT! Check out these Special Deals before you leave:

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Battery Powered Cameras

I put this wireless CCTV camera type top of the list simply because if you don’t know it, you will lose big.

Actually, this security camera type is catching more attention over the recent years for big reasons:

Its setup is no-brainer.

The battery powered innovative design just sets us free from the wring labor! There will be no wire for power, and no wire for data transmission. After putting in all the batteries, the camera is ready to work.

And you don’t need to worry about its battery life. Typically, the battery could last for 4 to 6 months per charge. Or if you want to save the trouble of recharging, a solar panel comes as a handy solution for many battery CCTV camera types to get non-stop power.

And the battery powered security camera type is highly portable!

Think about it. You can place and move the security camera wherever you like, from the baby’s room to the living room or outside your home. So you can always have security wherever you need it most.

Note: The battery powered CCTV camera type is designed for motion detection only and is not capable of 24/7 recording, in order to save its battery life. That’s to say, it will wake up and start to record in a second if anything happens. So when you check the recordings, you’ll only find the event that matters.

Another great design of this CCTV camera type is that they usually come with PIR motion sensor, which is more sensitive to human or animal movements and reduces natural false alarms.

CCTV camera sensor types How does it work
Software motion sensor Compare images and counting the number of different pixels
PIR motion sensor Compare the previous temperature with the new state
Best Pick
Reolink Argus 2

Battery Powered CCTV Camera Features:

  • 100% wire-free, highly portable
  • Weatherproof, ideal for outdoor use
  • 1080p resolution (best in battery cameras)
  • Starlight night vision, clearest night images ever
  • 130° wide viewing angle
  • Long battery life (4-6 months per charge)
  • Works with Reolink solar panel
Get the battery powered CCTV price

4G LTE CCTV Camera with No WiFi

Are you bothered by the WiFi and power limitations for remote area monitoring?

Then you must take a look at the latest CCTV camera type, the 4G CCTV camera.

4G LTE security camera, also called cellular camera, runs on 4G data with a built-in SIM card instead of the router network to work.

That’s to say, so long as you have a SIM card and open a data plan for this CCTV camera type, it can work anywhere you want, like in the RVs, in your vacation home, in the boat, or even in the wild – simply anywhere.

This type of security camera is also ideal for home, especially if you want to save the home bandwidth.

Best Pick 2
Reolink Go

4G LTE Security Camera Features:

  • 4G LTE mobile camera, no WiFi needed
  • 100% wire-free, no cable needed
  • Weatherproof, ideal for outdoors
  • 1080p resolution (highest in battery cameras)
  • Starlight night vision, clearest night images ever
  • Long battery life (4-6 months per charge)
  • Works with Reolink solar panel
Take a look

PTZ Security Cameras

PTZ security camera is one of the most popular CCTV camera types for home security.

So what are PTZ security cameras? What’s the benefit of this security camera type?

Simply put, PTZ security cameras, also called speed dome cameras, allow you to control the camera pan, tilt and zoom functions remotely via certain surveillance software, like the free Reolink client.

That’s to say, a PTZ camera has a much larger field of view with typically 90° tilt and 360° pan, and can see far-away objects clearly by zooming in, like the plate number 40 feet away.

And the PTZ function makes this CCTV camera type ideal for outdoors for full coverage of the backyard, the front door, the garden, the garage, the driveway, etc. You are also free to place it at high positions, like the 3rd floor patio, since you can always zoom in for details.

Attention: Some security camera types advertise themselves with "manually pan" function. That’s a cheat. You’ll need to adjust it by hand. Real PTZ IP cameras can be set to pan back and forth on a timer.

And PTZ cameras are usually larger (5 inches long) and a little bit higher priced than other types since they come with more features. And a quality PTZ camera price starts from about $200.

Best Pick
Reolink RLC-423

PTZ Security Camera Features:

  • PoE (power over Ethernet), easy to use
  • 90° pan, 360° tilt, and 4X optical zoom
  • Industry-leading 5MP resolution
  • Up to 190ft long range infrared night vision
  • IP66 waterproof rating for outdoor use
  • Motion detection or 24/7 recording
Get the PTZ IP camera price

Bullet CCTV Cameras

Bullet security cameras are the most common CCTV camera type that you can normally see on the street, the supermarket, and the neighborhood. They get the name for their rifle bullet shape, and are also known as lipstick cameras. The CCTV camera bullet type usually has a strong point for certain spaces, with a viewing angle of about 80° horizontally and 40° vertically. And they are not able to pan or tilt unless you adjust it yourself. Generally, the bullet CCTV camera type is small, which could be 2.5 to 3 inches long decided by the CCTV camera lens types. So they are easier to hide and are less noticeable if you place it properly. For example, the bullet cameras with fixed lens are usually smaller than those with zoom lens.

CCTV camera lens types Meaning Size Camera Model
Fixed lens Has a fixed focal length, angle of view, and level of zoom 2.5 inches Reolink RLC-410
Varifocal lens Has a variable focal length and you can adjust it as you need 3 inches Reolink RLC-511

The bullet type of security camera is ideal to be used both outdoors and indoors, and mounted on the walls or ceilings. Additionally, the camera usually has strong water-proof aluminum housing, and all the components are well protected inside for the bullet shape. So there’s no afraid of harsh weather.

Best Pick
Reolink RLC-410

Bullet Security Camera Features:

  • PoE (power over Ethernet), easy to use
  • Audio enabled to collect sound
  • 4MP resolution, twice clearer than 1080p
  • IP66 waterproof with aluminum cover
  • Motion detection or 24/7 recording
  • Free Reolink software for live view
Get the bullet camera price

Dome IP Cameras

Dome IP camera, as the name suggests, is a type of CCTV camera with a dome cover. The biggest advantage of this CCTV camera type is that dome cameras are rather deceptive on where they are looking at. You can never tell by looking at it in distance. However, the dome security camera type does have a fixed viewing angle like 100° just as the bullet cameras, instead of offering you a panoramic and distorted view.

Best Pick
Reolink RLC-522

Dome Security Camera Features:

  • Only one Cat5/6 Ethernet cable needed
  • 3X optical zoom with zoom lens
  • 5MP resolution, much clearer than 1080p
  • Up to 100ft excellent IR night vision
  • Motion detection or 24/7 recording
  • Free Reolink software for live view
Get the dome camera price

Wireless Security Cameras

This CCTV camera type is somewhat misleading to be called “wireless”. Actually, the wireless CCTV camera type only sends data wirelessly and it still needs a cable for power supply, which sets it apart from the truly wire-free CCTV camera types. However, this type of security camera is still easy to hook up with only one power cable to deal with compared with the traditional analog cameras.

Types of security camera connections (IP cameras) Meaning Camera models
Wireless cameras Wireless for data transmission, needs power cable E1 Pro
Hardwired cameras Ethernet wire for both power and data RLC-410
Wire-free cameras No wire needed for power and data Argus 2

For the wireless CCTV camera type, it’s important to make sure that the installation place has a stable WiFi connection. Generally, the WiFi signal could travel as far as 240 feet in open areas and 60 feet indoors with 2 walls in between. If you are not sure about whether the wireless CCTV camera type will work in a certain location, a good idea is to check it with your smartphone.

Best Pick
Reolink E1 Pro

Wireless Security Camera Features:

  • Wireless data transmission
  • Dual-band WiFi for a stronger signal
  • 4MP resolution, much clearer than 1080p
  • Advanced encryption for 100% safe transmission
  • Motion detection or 24/7 recording
  • Free Reolink software for live view
Get the dome camera price

CCTV Camera Types, Which One to Choose

There is no winner of the different CCTV camera types. And the best security camera is all about your application and location.

Security Camera Types

Here is a security camera type comparison to review all the essentials above, which may help you make a quick decision.

Cameras Cable types Lens Advantages Uses
PTZ camera Cat5/6 or power cable Fixed/zoom Pan, tilt & zoom Outdoor open areas & higher locations
Wireless cameras Power cable Fixed/zoom Only one cable, easy to install Indoor & outdoors
Bullet camera Cat5/6 or power cable Fixed/zoom Smaller, easy to hide Indoors & Outdoors
Dome camera Cat5/6 or power cable Fixed/zoom Deceptive viewing angle Indoors & Outdoors
Battery camera No cable Fixed Portable, easy to install Indoors & Outdoors
4G camera No cable Fixed Portable, No WiFi Remote shed, wild, dock, boat, RV, etc.

If you are still confused about the various security camera types for homes, the security camera cable types, or certain security camera type and use, you may check the solution finder or simply leave a comment down below and get quick professional answers!


All Comments Are Welcome

Flora is an editor with a deep passion for smart home gadgets and loves the idea of worry-free life. She smiles a lot, enjoys hearty food, movies, traveling, and her latest obsession is cooking. You can share your ideas with her in the comment section.