This article helps readers understand the key considerations for choosing between a digital and analog surveillance camera. Contact us at Jay 360 for help in choosing the right security camera model to help secure your home or business. Though digital wins out in terms of features and total cost of ownership, analog is still a contender when considering its lower initial costs which make them accessible for homes and businesses. This article is most suited in the context of residential and small business contexts.
Check out this quick video on a showdown between analog and IP (digital) surveillance cameras.
Comparison Summary of IP versus Analog Cameras
Here is a quick comparison of the key feature categories and where either digital or analog cameras are able to excel:
Differences Between IP (Digital) and Analog Cameras
A great article from Cable Organizer provides us with a number of key differences between IP and Analog cameras. Here is a summary; the full article can be found here.
Picture Quality: IP cameras offer better picture quality when recording videos. This impacts being able to identify faces during a review of surveillance footage.
Video Analytics: With IP cameras, the ability to utilize event tracking to enable detection of sudden motion within a monitored area can allow for quick alerts. This allows owners to avoid the tedious process of reviewing lengthy surveillance videos.
Flexibility and Scalability: IP cameras are more scalable and less demanding in terms of manual effort. Multiple digital cameras are able to feed into one network recorder to simplify configurations rather than having to deal with individual cables for each analog camera. A power over ethernet cable can even transmit video data as well as power the camera, providing for even greater ease of setup.
Security: One drawback to digital cameras is related to their strength in connectivity. Depending on the security design, some cameras may be vulnerable to cyber attacks, thereby exposing your premise to unauthorized viewing. See here for coverage on this topic from a previous post.
Aside from the bells and whistles of the major types of surveillance cameras, understanding the total cost of ownership is important in assessing the financial investment required. In a white paper provided by Axis, total ownership is defined as hard (i.e. initial purchase of equipment, set up costs, one-time costs, etc.) and soft costs (i.e. maintenance, repairs, etc.). A cost analysis was conducted based on setups of 14, 25, and 40 cameras of both digital and analog setups. Below are the comparative cost savings, which favour the IP cameras as far as the total cost of ownership. The cost savings metrics below are relative to for each tier of the benchmark, that is, when comparing the ownership of 14 digital cameras and 14 analog cameras the savings are 11% with digital.
- 14 Cameras: 11% savings
- 25 Cameras: 13% savings
- 40 Cameras: 16% savings
For details on the analysis conducted along with the cost savings for each variety of camera deployment and maintenance, see here. For those who are more concerned with upfront costs, analog cameras are clearly the better choice for upfront cost savings.
Ease of Installation
Typically IP Cameras are easier to install than their analog counterparts since they require less cabling. Digital cameras require a separate line back to the DVR (see section on DVR vs NVR). Users should be wary that if existing internet networks are not able to handle the added load of an IP camera, additional upgrades will be required. It is best to test using various tools that create synthetic traffic to help you determine how many cameras you can add before needing an upgrade.
Being armed with some of the key determinants and statistics regarding the differences between models will also help customers make the best choice for their property, along with customer reviews. To get things going here is a list of top surveillance camera brands to help you get up to speed.
Top Models for Analog Cameras
Analog cameras were first on the market and for those looking to get equipped with them, here are samples from well-reviewed models available from different e-commerce sites.
- LaView LV-CBA3213 HD 1.3 MP Sensor 1000 TVL Analog Infrared Day/Night Outdoor Surveillance Camera (White) – This camera provides top tier picture quality with versatile usage in a variety of settings.
- JOOAN Analog Camera Bullet Surveillance Camera with Night Vision – JOOAN offers weatherproofing and can withstand tough climates outside. It works nicely indoors also.
- GW Security Manual Zoom SONY CMOS Analog Camera – This camera provides flexible zooming functionality and can be connected easily to a TV.
Top Models for Digital Cameras
Based on PC World magazine’s reviews, here are top picks for digital surveillance cameras. They offer a balance on economy and functionality.
- Icontrol Networks Piper Nv – With a wide range of features along with strong picture quality, Piper offers integrated alerting with text.
- Canary All-In-One Home Security Device – This camera is a comprehensive recording device that serves also as a hub for automated alerting and premise security intrusion detection.
- Nest Cam – Nest Cam can be remotely controlled anywhere, focused on home surveillance by offering motion detection, and two-way talk features.
Consumers are to be advised to keep an eye on prices of security cameras, as digital offerings continue to decrease in cost as the market is becoming more and more dominated by IP.
Jay 360 Knows Which is Best for Your Surveillance System
There are many more factors to consider when designing and installing a surveillance system. Jay 360 continues to help clients ensure their premise security, looking at all the different angles to provide you with peace of mind and comfort. You can rely on the knowledge and experience of Jay 360 to provide you with the best home security solutions. Digital or analog, we have you covered. We will recommend only the security products that meet your specific needs and budget.
Call on Jay360 to help you to plan the ideal security camera system to suit you and your needs, all at the very best value.
Read more from the Ultimate Guide to Surveillance Cameras:
This series helps you choose and setup the best camera system for your next surveillance project: offering insights and direction to those wishing to secure their home and small business premises.
- Chapter 1 – Overview major manufacturers of surveillance cameras
- Chapter 2 – How to choose the best security camera model for your project
- Chapter 3 – What is the best analog surveillance cameras vs digital surveillance cameras
- Chapter 4 – Where to place surveillance cameras for the most security
- Chapter 5- The different types of security cameras
- Chapter 6 – How much do surveillance cameras cost?
- The Ultimate Guide to Surveillance Cameras – Overview
More coming soon:
- The ultimate guide to surveillance cameras – Overview