- By: Sarah Matchett
- Tags: cameras, Canada, security camera systems, security cameras, security systems, toronto
- Category: Security Cameras
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Have you ever had to deal with the rough experience of a home invasion, burglary, or another such security breach?
It is such a violation it will be hard to ignore the possibility the culprits could be out there continuing with their reign of terror. At least by investing in a security camera system to monitor your property, you can significantly reduce the chances of this ever happening to you again.
Home security cameras, also known as CCTV systems, help you monitor what’s happening within and outside your home in real-time and even remotely, so you can feel safe in your home. In many instances, they successfully deter intruders, too.
Today we will review our top picks for the best security cameras on the Canadian market. We have leveraged our security camera installation experience in Southern Ontario to guide you through the best features to look out for and help you decide on the right security camera system for your situation.
Later on in the article, we will guide you through the best features to look for in a security camera system and discuss what the law says about installing one on your property.
First, we review our top picks for the best security cameras for indoor, outdoor, and indoor/outdoor applications.
Best Security Camera Systems for Residential and Small Business Applications
At Jay360, we have been a preferred installer for some of the best security camera manufacturers in the world. Because of our experience, we have a pretty good idea of what makes a good security/surveillance camera experience.
To us, the quality of a surveillance camera system isn’t limited to its build quality and the technology that powers. It also includes support for both local and cloud storage as well as the quality of technical support.
After much research and feedback from our clients, we have settled on Vivotek as our preferred supplier of the security camera systems for both residential properties and small to medium-sized businesses.
Here are our picks for best security cameras from Vivotek, which are chosen for their suitability for specific applications:
Vivotek FE9180-H 360° Fisheye Network Camera – Best Indoor Security Camera
The best indoor security cameras allow you to keep an eye on what’s happening within your home and to connect with your family and pets when you are away.
The Vivotek FE9180-H 360° Fisheye Network Camera is an all-in-one solution for indoor surveillance. At only 94mm wide, the camera has a compact design that ensures surround monitoring without attracting too much attention.
With its 360 degree, fisheye lens, which gives it the widest possible field of view when mounted to the ceiling, the camera captures every piece of action happening within a room. When you mount it to the wall, the camera offers a maximum 180 degrees of detailed video monitoring.
What we like about the Vivotek FE9180-H 360° Fisheye Network Camera
- 5-Megapixel resolution sensor produces detailed, HD quality pictures,
- Night vision produces pictures of high clarity even in pitch darkness,
- Built-in speaker for audio monitoring,
- Runs on the Smart Stream III technology that optimizes bandwidth efficiency,
- Can effortlessly zoom in and focus on a region of interest for undistracted monitoring,
- VIVOCloud App and portal allows for 24/7 surveillance,
- Compact, smart design that adapts it perfectly for both commercial and residential applications.
Vivotek MS9390-HV Multi-Sensor Panoramic – Best Outdoor Security Camera
Compared to indoor cameras, outdoor cameras must have a tougher build quality to handle the elements. An outdoor camera that isn’t weather-resistant won’t last very long.
The outdoor security camera field is a congested one, with many good options. But the Vivotek MS9390-HV Panoramic delivers on so many fronts, offering such advanced surveillance capabilities it is our top pick in the outdoor category.
With a 50 degree vertical field of view, the camera stitches together pictures from its two lenses into a 180 degree image of up to 8 megapixels. This allows you to use one camera to cover a 20m wide storefront you would otherwise need three cameras for. The big benefit is the reduced number of cables you have to run, which brings down labour and installation costs.
Part of the panoramic range that includes the single-lens CC9381-HV with a 120-degree vertical field of view and 15m IR illuminator, and the MS9321-EHV with 4 lenses, a 20 megapixel stitched image and a 30m IR illuminator.
Why we like the Vivotek MS9390-HV Panoramic
We like the Vivotek MS9390-HV over the two other members of Vivotek’s Panoramic family for its compact size. The camera isn’t so imposing that it would unsettle visitors to your home or place of business. It is a good option where installation space is limited.
Here are the IP camera’s other features and benefits:
- A hardy, weatherproof design, with a sunshield on top that ensures years of reliable security monitoring,
- Produces very clean images with little blurring of fast-moving traffic,
- Automatically switches to night mode, with above average color rendition,
- A digital image zoom brings images closer without sacrificing resolution,
- 3-year Trend Micro cyber security IoT SW license hard-coded to the chipset maximizes cyber-attack protection,
- Configurable video cropping that saves bandwidth,
- Camera tampering detection, which alerts you to attempts to disable the camera,
- Motion triggered alarm alerts you to intrusion when camera is used on private property,
- An SD card slot offers the option of local storage on top of the standard cloud option.
VIVOTEK’s FE9381-EHV Fisheye Fixed Dome – Best Home Security Camera System for Both Indoors and Outdoors
The Vivotek FE9381-EHV Fisheye Fixed Dome is our pick for the best security camera for indoor and outdoor use. The camera spots a smart, elegant design and robust, weatherproof build that makes it a good fit for both indoor and outdoor use.
The benefit is you won’t need to shop for two different cameras to build a system with both indoor and outdoor cameras, which is what you may need to do to plug all the security holes on your property.
The Vivotek FE9381-EHV features a detailed 5-Megapixel CMOS sensor that produces images of superb clarity. Thanks to the camera’s smart combination of H.265 compression and VIVOTEK’s proprietary Smart Stream III technologies, it reduces both bandwidth and storage consumption by as much as 90% while maintaining the highest image quality.
Employing a fisheye lens that guarantees a 180° panoramic view when wall-mounted or the incredible 360° surround view when mounted to a ceiling, the camera produces detailed video with zero blind spots.
The camera gives you such wide coverage that it can be used for a wide variety of applications, from open residential backyards, shopping malls, offices, living rooms, retail stores, to airports.
Why we like the Vivotek FE9381-EHV Fisheye Fixed Dome
- A removable IR-cut Filter guarantees seamless day and night operation,
- WDR Pro technology produces unmatched visibility in high contrast environments,
- A 5-Megapixel CMOS Sensor produces high speed image capturing ability and enhanced sensitivity,
- Vandal-proof IK10-rated design, which assures you of fail-safe operation even with attempted tampering,
- Weather-proof IP66-rated housing, ensures the camera withstands the harshest conditions, including dust, humidity, and temperature fluctuations,
- Hardy build and stable mounting mechanism that promises long and reliable service as well as stable and reliable video capture in all environments.
Why We Trust Vivotek for The Best CCTV Systems.
Vivotek offers one of the broadest lines of IP security cameras in the market, serving both the small/mid-sized business and consumer markets. The company is highly regarded for its inexpensive but high-quality IP security cameras.
Depending on the size of the property you want to monitor, Vivotek offers a wide range, including both outdoor and indoor security cameras, with so many options that you can build a single-brand security system that is tailored to your exact needs.
What we have reviewed here are just a couple of options from Vivotek’s expansive selection of IP security cameras. There are a lot of other capable security cameras from the company’s many ranges.
Jay360’s security camera experts will be happy to walk you through the whole range to find options that best suit your needs. Since you are here, here is a brief guide on choosing the best security cameras for both residential and commercial applications:
How To Choose The Best Security Camera
Unsurprisingly, your choice of security camera will be affected by your budget, especially considering the sheer breadth of options and security camera features available.
While some of the features may be nice-to-have but not essential, there are some you cannot skimp on. To adequately monitor your property for intrusion, your home security camera system should have the following minimum features:
- Motion sensing, which alerts you to suspicious movements on your property and helps optimize video storage space by only recording when movement is detected. Audio sensing would be a nice add-on too,
- Good Video quality because your security cameras are only as useful as the quality of the video footage they stream. Opt for HD quality video or resolutions of at least 780p,
- A wide field of view, which determines how much you can see from each camera at a given time. Remember, though, a camera with a narrower field of view may produce more detailed pictures,
- Power source, which affects your camera placement options. Wire-free, battery-powered cameras that do not require you to run power cables significantly expand your camera positioning possibilities,
- Footage storage, because a security camera system that can’t record makes it hard to prosecute intruders because in the event of a theft or break-in. Your choices are split between local and cloud storage, though cloud storage is increasingly more appealing.
Are Security Camera Systems Legal in Ontario?
Canadian law allows the installation of security cameras on your property as long as the intention is to protect your family and assets. The purpose of regulation is to prevent needless invasion of people’s privacy.
City bylaws across Ontario differ on where they draw the line between security property monitoring and surveillance, specifically on where your security cameras can aim.
As a guide, where there is a reasonable expectation for privacy, you should not film people without their consent.
While the city of Hamilton bans pointing security cameras at the street, there are currently no bylaws that explicitly outlaw it in Toronto, which has raised privacy concerns.
We have covered bylaws that regulate security camera usage in Ontario quite extensively here and here. The information and privacy commissioner for the province of Ontario has also published guidelines for the use of video surveillance. All this is useful reading to avoid ending up in the dock for violating someone’s privacy.