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Benson Systems receive numerous calls every week from representatives of various companies, Home Owner Associations (HOA’s), and businesses regarding their desire to install security camera systems. Since most of the

representatives that call have the same questions we have compiled this information to assist you in the decision making process.

There are many things to consider when contemplating security cameras for your company or other entity and remember that the security camera professionals of Benson Systems can answer all of your questions.


Arizona Office: 480-892-8688 New Mexico Office: 505-916-3001

As you start your search for security cameras you will see security cameras that cost $99 and security cameras that cost $3500. In addition, all camera manufacturers will state their cameras produce the best picture quality under any circumstance. The truth is, just like everything else in life, ‘you get what you pay for.’

For some people, the $99 camera will do the trick. For others, they will be greatly disappointed. Unfortunately, many people look at price alone and do not understand or consider all aspects of the job at hand or the different

technologies that are available.

If you are consideringprice alone remember that the manufacturers of cheap security cameras build their cameras with inexpensive components and processors - they have to, there is no other way to offer cameras at such a cheap price. The imaging mechanisms inside the cameras are very poor quality and with this in mind the pictures your cheap cameras capture will be poor. In addition, low end cameras cannot perform well in harsh conditions like we have here in the Southwest.

We use cameras that are manufactured by well known companies such as Axis, Mobotix, Clinton Electronics, Bosch, Speco, Panasonic, and Honeywell just to name a few. We never suggest using low end cameras because we know our customers will not be happy with the end result.

The least expensive type of security cameras are analog cameras. Analog cameras have been the workhorse of the security camera industry for more than 30 years, and they are here to stay.

There are many different styles of analog cameras from an interior or exterior dome style, to bullet style cameras to box style security cameras.

Camera manufacturers may tout that they useSONY image processors to manufacture their cameras and indeed they may. Sony makes most of the image processors on the market today and most camera manufacturers use the Sony image processors. (Think Intel and AMD in the computer processing world.)

However, in the manufacturing process, Sony will have processors that come off the manufacturing line that are not up to the Sony standards. Like most manufacturers, Sony has several categories of their imaging processors - ranging from a processor that is rated as ‘excellent’ all the way down to a processor Sony knows will fail within weeks. The processors that are not up to Sony standards will be sold to the manufacturers of cheap cameras.



(Internet Protocol) cameras are a newer technology for cameras (although in reality IP cameras have been around for 15 years.) IP cameras are an all-digital camera meaning that the digital information can be sent across the Internet over a high-speed connection to a designated computer, or the video can be stored in the cloud for the safest storage possible or stored on site in a dedicated video server.

IP cameras make a lot of sense when companies need more than 16 cameras on a building, or the company has multiple sites all around the world and they want to store the video at one location using one software platform. IP cameras are usually 30-40% more expensive than analog camera systems, but are a more flexible solution when a company wants to utilize an existing gigabit network.

IP cameras require software that can be purchased from the camera manufacturer or 3rd party solutions, which are usually a better choice because multiple camera types can be integrated across a 3rd party software solution, where the software that comes from most IP camera manufacturers allow only their line of IP cameras to be utilized. If you plan to store the video data onsite, a stand-alone PC and most likely a video server with many terabytes of storage capacity will be needed.

The newest type of security cameras are megapixel cameras. Megapixel cameras take large formatted pictures of an area and you can digitally zoom, and pan around the captured picture to get the optimum camera views.

There are many different megapixel camera manufacturers on the market including Axis security cameras, Mobotix, Panasonic and a few others. When it comes to megapixel cameras the software that comes from the manufacturer of the cameras will be the best choice – unless you use a very well-known brand of 3rd party software – such as

Milestone video software.

Less expensive cameras will have fixed, or non-adjustable, lenses. With fixed lens cameras there are no way to move your focal point in or out of a particular area. A fixed lens camera provides a ‘plug and play’ type of camera.

Benson Systems suggests and installs cameras that have variable focus lenses, so the right focal point can be obtained.

There are many variables to choose from for security camera lenses. Benson Systems can help you choose the correct lens.



Arizona Office: 480-892-8688 New Mexico Office: 505-916-3001

Cameras need to be installed in protective housings. Remember, cameras are mini computers. In fact, good quality cameras are manufactured using many of the same elements as our personal computers. Like our PCs, cameras must be protected from dust, dirt, very high temperatures, very low temperatures and water, vandalism and theft. Environmental housings help to protect the cameras from all elements and offer the cameras an increased life span.

Well, we have a lot of really bright people who work with us.

Combined, we have several hundreds of years experience in security camera, card access and security systems of all types, building automation systems, electrical, plumbing and HVAC and IT needs. Benson Systems has been in business for more than 25 years and we have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call us today at the numbers below.

You may also be interested in our next report on DVR’s, NVR’s and other recording devices. Be looking for it in the very near future,

IR images are good to about 50’ from the camera. However, an IR image will always be a black and white image (not color) and it will have a red or green hue to the image. You will be able to tell there is a ‘body’ where the camera is looking, but you’ll never be able to see who the person is or details about the person - other than body type.

In hot weather (like we have here in the Southwest summers), the night time ambient air temperature is too hot for IR cameras to be of much use - because the air temperature is too close to the temperature of the human body.

As opposed to considering IR cameras the security camera experts at Benson Systems suggest you install additional lighting in the areas that are dark around your property and you’ll be much happier with the results. In a word, leave the IR cameras to the guys at CSI Miami. Your pocket book will thank you and we won’t have to tell you ‘I told you so.’

Color cameras need substantial light to be able to see. Once the sun goes down and if you do not have a camera that can compensatevery well for inadequate lighting, your images will be dark, if not non-existent. However, no matter how good the camera is all cameras need adequate lighting to be able to see in dark situations.

Some cameras have low light processors and can see in low light situations. Infrared cameras can see in very dark conditions, but if you want great pictures at night, you’ll need adequate lighting.


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