How to choose a long-range outdoor video camera?

How to choose a long-range outdoor video camera?

Long-range outdoor video equipment selection requires a particular approach. At a minimum, you need to pay attention to four factors: the quality of the resulting image, the ability to work in limited lighting conditions, the video zoom range, and signal transmission distance over long distances. Let’s talk in more detail.

Differences between outdoor and indoor cameras

An outdoor video camera, in contrast to a camera for indoor premises, must meet the requirements of work in extreme weather conditions:    

  • extreme temperature changes;
  • heavy rainfall, high humidity, fog, icing;
  • wind gusts, including in the conditions of hurricanes and tornadoes.

In addition, the likelihood of human interference in the operation of the street surveillance system must be taken into account. You may need anti-vandal equipment.

What should you look for when choosing outdoor equipment?

To fully solve the problems of outdoor video monitoring, we recommend paying attention to the following factors when choosing equipment:

  • image quality;
  • the presence of a zoom lens;
  • visibility in low light and/or dark conditions;
  • signal transmission distance.

Read on for a detailed description of each factor below.

Image quality

To install an outdoor surveillance system, you must select the HD standard. In recent years, 4-5 megapixel resolutions and 4K video resolutions have become the technological norm. Accordingly, the higher the resolution, the more detailed the video will be.

At the same time, it is necessary to consider the specific objectives of the observation: is a detailed survey critical (for example, a license number plate recognition system)? Perhaps, is the purpose of video monitoring to observe large distances and large objects? If so, you will find a lot of helpful information in this article in our blog.

Zoom lenses

To expand your viewing area without sacrificing image quality outdoors, you need to use an optical zoom lens. Varifocal lenses are easy to use and allow you to zoom in / out the video surveillance area.

The best option is a video camera with an optical zoom, which magnifies the image by four times.

It is advisable to consider the need to pan and tilt the camera. These options are used to cover broad areas and areas of interest.

Visibility in low light and dark conditions

With all their advantages, modern cameras cannot deliver high-quality image transmission in outdoor conditions without proper lighting. If the observation is carried out in places far from buildings and artificial light sources, it becomes necessary to use the IR lens illumination.

This option is of decisive importance when night video surveillance is required. A lot of helpful information on this topic is in the article “Wireless night vision surveillance cameras.

Signal transmission range

The benefits of high-quality video are lost when the following difficulties arise:

  • fast data transfer to viewing devices;
  • data transmission without loss of quality;
  • video archive storage.

To avoid these problems, experts recommend using a long-range camera with long-range Wi-Fi and cloud storage. This solution will save you from the hassle and financial costs when pulling cables over long distances, organizing a data bank, and keeping a high-quality signal.

If a Wi-Fi network is not available, you can consider the possibility of data transfer based on 4G. The user does not need wires and does not have to worry about the range of the Wi-Fi signal.


An outdoor video camera, by definition, must meet some requirements: be protected from environmental influences, be resistant to mechanical stress. Suppose the user needs video control of long distances and radii. In that case, you need to pay attention to the signal transmission potential, the presence of IR illumination, the possibility of the video zoom range, and, as a result, the image quality.

Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

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