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If you’re planning to install some security cameras to supervise the outdoors of your residence, it’s important to know which type of power you’re going to use. There are many options out there and you can go from wireless security cameras, to PoE cameras or wire-free surveillance cameras.
You can’t really tell by their names which kind of power they’re using, so let’s get you through the basics of some of the most popular options out there.
- The wireless/Wi-Fi Security Cameras
If you’re wondering if wireless security cameras are using power cord or not, the answer is a bit tricky. It depends a lot on the type of wireless security camera you’re using and we can talk about three power options when it comes to these types of security cameras. This makes them divide in three main categories and we’re going to take a closer look to each one of them.
- Wire-free cameras that are battery operated
This type of wire-free security cameras are in fact the real wire-free solution, as opposed the ones that need to be plugged in. these cameras don’t need any cables for video or audio transmission, nor for the power supply.
As a matter of fact, you can actually tell by their name that they operate on batteries and need no nearby power source.
When you’re installing this type of security cameras, your main concern should be about the battery life. You may find battery-powered cameras that only run when they detect motion and this means energy saving. You don’t need to worry about the power outage either as they typically keep you informed about the used power through a specific software. Let’s not forget that you may also extend the camera’s battery life, lowering your energy costs.
This type of security camera is great for the indoor use as well and you need to look for the more rugged, weatherproof models for the outdoor use. They are great as they give a wide viewing angle and may be placed wherever you need. You don’t need any cords, installation nor to pay monthly a fee. In addition, that’s great for your monthly spending.
- Plugged in Wireless security cameras
Wireless feature typically means that the video transmission is wireless from the camera to the receiver, either it’s a DVR, NVR, or a monitor. You still need though a cable for power and you need to plug it into an electrical outlet, just like any other camera.
If you’re planning to use this kind of security cameras, you need to take under consideration the distance between your wireless security camera and its power source.
The plugged in security cameras are great for the outdoor use since the cable connection lowers the risk for them being stolen. In most cases, you install these cameras pretty high also and the direct electric power transmission makes your life easier as you don’t need to change any batteries any now and then.
- The Solar powered Wire-Free Security IP cameras
The solar powered security cameras imply a little more effort than other types and they may require a little bit more money investment in the beginning. You do need a solar panel for collecting the energy, but also a solar charger controller to minimize risk for overcharging. Overcharging may damage the battery bank, for instance.
You also need to buy rechargeable batteries to store the solar energy and some cables for connection.
Luckily for us, we may find many wireless security cameras that take solar power as an optional solution, for 24/7 surveillance.
They may not be the most popular choice at the moment, but they do represent a good investment to make for your residence.
The solar-powered security cameras are a great choice when you can’t install a traditional wired power source due to the location, for instance. Construction sites and parking lots are a great example for that.
- The PoE Wired Security Cameras
Don’t get into thinking that the wired security cameras aren’t as good as the wireless ones. If you chose the right type of wired security camera for your residence, the risk for spending a lot of money for the extra cabling isn’t that high.
PoE (Power over Ethernet) is a great technology that allows network cables to also carry electrical power. You only need to wire up the network and you don’t even need to find an electrical outlet for power delivery.
The PoE security cameras typically need common Cat5 or Cat6 cables and are easy to install even by the beginners.
You don’t need to hire a qualified electrician either which is why this type of security cameras is more and more popular. You don’t have to install the cameras near the power source either and you shouldn’t concern about the overload/under power that you typically have when using an electrical cable.
Another great thing about this type of cameras is that you may have multi camera supply. As a matter of fact, a PoE switch may accommodate more than 8 PoE security cameras with just one cable connection. You wouldn’t be able to do this when using the plugged in security cameras.
There are more than one or two solutions for you to try and you only need to check your wallet and your need before committing to one.
Once you installed your security camera, you may think it’s enough for you to identify possible intruders. Reality check! Sometimes it’s not enough and you may have to enhance your security camera footage simply because the intruder was too far from your camera or he was using some methods to blur the image.
Video enhancement may help you better understand what you have been recording on video, but it’s too tricky to see because the camera may have shaking, or because the distance was too far or simply because it was too dark. We do hear all those stories about how CCTV camera helped FBI capture some villains, right.
We do need to enhance the security camera footage for many reasons and one is the lack of proper maintenance. It may also be because you didn’t install or position it right.
Pay attention to these tips
There are some ways to enhance your security camera footage, but you can try what fits your needs and your budget the best. No matter which one is your final choice, you do need to keep in mind what you have to focus on when enhancing your security camera footage.
1. Computer Software
Sometimes you simply need to pay the extra buck in order to get the best out of your video footage. You may try a professional forensic software program like Adobe Premiere Pro and Clear ID. Adobe Photo Shop is another good method to try when you’re determined to enhance images exported from your security footage. The main thing to keep in mind is that you may export frames as still images to identify some strange activity, but also some various video elements.
2. Original Video
No matter which way you want to go with your security footage, always start with the original video recording. Even if you plan to export an AVI file so that the local police helps you, it’s best to always keep a backup on thumb drive for insurance. When you end up with only a copy on DVD and not the original, it’s better to load the DVD copy on your video, straight into your computer for later on video enhancement.
3. Color Correction
This should have been the first thing to mention. Before you start any enhancement on your video recording, it’s best to perform a color correction process. This is a must especially if your video recording is dark and you did the recording at night. Stay on the safe side though and don’t add too much brightness.
If you’re planning to enlarge a part of your recorded video, you may definitely apply after you reviewed it on a large video monitor. The larger the playback monitor, the better you get to see events in the video. You may not even need to enlarge your video recording anymore. Just to give you a hint, security experts would use 27” video monitors.
You do need to check your video recording equipment as well. Sometimes the poor video recording is to blame so no matter how much you want to enhance it, there’s nothing much you can do about it. Simply because the video recording is too poor to begin with.
6. JPG Compression
It’s important how you manage minimizing or eliminating the JPG compression. When you’re scanning some images, you want to save them as TIF files or anything that has a loose less format. Go for the JPG only if you can set Quality to Maximum. If you’re using a digital camera, you may adjust the image quality. If it’s possible for you, set the quality to Maximum or set compression to Minimum.
You may have noticed by now how a grainy image doesn’t focus as well as a nice, smooth clean image. If you already have an image, there aren’t many solutions for your to remove grain or noise.
When you have a negative, it’s possible for you to reduce the noise by developing the print once again, using a more performant equipment. When your image has some dust on it, you simply wipe the dust off.
It’s great if you can use a program with focusing strength that are identified automatically for the Image Source setting. You may actually restore the digital camera images using a higher strength, unlike the conventional camera. Digital camera pixel values are simply more precise. Once a conventional camera image is captured on a negative, developed into a print and scanned in the end, the pixel value’s precision is already degraded. In the case of a digital camera though, you get from an image to a CCD, whereas with the conventional camera image gets through two more chemical processes that add grain and inaccuracy at the same time.
More useful tips
Enhancing your video security isn’t easy and it combines both science and some skills. There are many things to keep in mind and one of them is to use various filtering so that you get different results.
It’s also a great idea to always start with the largest file size and structure as close to your original digital video recording.
Even though you may be thinking about getting a video enhancement software, it’s not a bad idea to download a trial version first. This way you get to see if it’s fine by you to use that specific software. You may get to the conclusion it’s not the best choice for you and end up by getting some help from a video expert for enhancing the security camera footage.
You want to recover the most detail from an image so this is why you always want to begin with the best image that you have. A digital camera may suffer from low resolution, whereas a conventional (film (camera lacks the accuracy. The worst part about the security camera is that they lack both, which is why enhancing the recording is essential in some situations.
When you want to obscure your identity, a good way is to blind the security camera. Keep in mind that this way you only hide your identity and not your presence as well. Someone who’s watching through the camera may tell that you’re there, but they can’t really pinpoint what you’re doing exactly.
There are many ways to blind a security camera and some use LED, whereas other may include covering up the lens of the camera.
1. Use Leds
When we talk about this method, we mean in fact several other methods that imply the use of LEDs.
· You may use a strong LED to shine directly into the security camera lens.
The brighter your flashlight, the better the chances for you to blind the camera. It’s best to use a small device that is very easy to store and carry around.
Keep in mind that you may use this method only in the dark, which means some trips at night or an enclosed space also.
· Always hold steady the LEDs and never drop the light beam away from the camera lens, as you don’t want to reveal your face.
Never shine the light onto your face. Practice a bit for a steady hand and make sure you’re always fast and accurate and using this method.
· Block your face with the LEDS.
When you know for sure where the camera is, shine the light straight into the lens. If you’re doing it right, you should create a lens flare so that it’s impossible for others to identify you. This isn’t quite the most subtle method as the sudden flash may alert an eagle-eyed guard. If the odds aren’t in your favor, you should at least use the bright light to obscure your face.
· Add infrared LEDs to your clothes.
If you want immediate results, use a string of bright lights to a hat or a headband. If you got the skills for it, take it to the next level and craft yourself a LED “mask” that obscures your face even better. You just need to make sure the lights are bright enough to hide your face, but not too bright…You don’t want it to blind you either!
2. Use Infrared Laser
You may also get some help from the infrared laser and here are some methods for you to try when in need:
· Point the infrared laser straight into the lens of the camera.
Some like this one better as it’s more subtle, but you do need to be highly accurate. The camera may catch your face the second your laser-point slips away from the lens. You should act fast and be prepared at all time so that nobody detects you.
We also like this method as you can use it at both day and night, even though it’s slightly more efficient in the dark.
We also like it, as you don’t need to use some special laser pointer. Any standard ones will do. Keep in mind though that the stronger the laser, the more impressive the blinding effect.
· Check for other cameras.
As you do need to focus when using this method, it means you may only blind one camera with one laser. The laser isn’t as obvious as LEDs or flashlights, but its performances are limited. If you need to blind more than one camera at once, you do need, as many lasers as there are security cameras. Therefore, you may not want to do it on your own…
· Keep in mind the shortcomings.
The camera is able to see you until you aim the laser in the right way. Anything coming between the laser and the camera is going to un-blind the camera. It’s a bit like walking blind-sided, as you can’t tall from your end of the camera if you’re aiming your laser in the right way.
Note to self: Never point the laser into your eye as you may blind yourself. It’s better to wear dark glasses for vision protection, but you’re not completely protected.
3. Cover the Camera Lens
You may get as creative as you want when it comes to this method and we’re only giving you some ideas.
· Use some tape
Get some duct tape, masking tape or anything else that is opaque. Be patient and cover up the completely recording area. Keep in mind to do it with your face hidden…you don’t want to be identified, remember.
· Smudge some jelly onto the lens
Either it’s Vaseline or petroleum jelly, or any other viscous substance, it doesn’t matter. You want the picture to come out blurry so any viscous substance will do. Use a sticky, yet easy to spread food substance. You may use some peanut butter, jam or even butter. You only need to remember to coat the whole surface of the lens.
Try not to leave any fingerprints on the camera, as visual detection isn’t the only way people may identify you…
· Cover up the whole camera
Take it to the next level and do it all the way by simply blocking the view of the security camera with a larger object. You may tape or tie a bag, a large piece of fabric over the lens. What counts is that you block the camera’s line of sight with a screen or board.
Long story short, you may also use a shirt or even a scarf to cover up the camera. Just make sure though that the piece of clothing that you’re leaving isn’t traced back to you…