20 Types of Security Cameras Explained

You might be surprised to learn how many types of security cameras are available in today’s market. As technology continues to evolve, the market is full of various types of security cameras, each with its unique features and functionality.

Security cameras have become a vital part of home safety, providing homeowners with an extra layer of protection against potential intruders and ensuring peace of mind.

Understanding the differences between these camera types is essential for selecting the best solution based on your needs.

In this article, I delve into the world of security cameras by explaining 20 different types along with their typical features and functions. If you want to really dig into different types of cameras, make sure to check out our security camera comparisons and specific camera guides.

1. Bullet Cameras

Bullet cameras are compact, high-visibility cameras often equipped with weather-resistant features.

I start off this list with one of the most popular types; the bullet security camera. Aptly named for their cylindrical shape, bullet cameras are a popular choice for various surveillance needs due to their compact design and versatile features.

Bullet cameras are known for their high visibility to help deter criminals. They can be mounted on to walls or ceilings.

Additionally, many bullet security cameras come equipped with weather-resistant housings, ensuring that your surveillance remains effective regardless of the environmental conditions.

Overall, bullet cameras provide a reliable and straightforward solution for monitoring your property, deterring criminal activity, and ensuring peace of mind.

2. Turret Cameras

Turret security cameras, also known as mini dome or eyeball cameras, are an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor surveillance.

With their compact design, these cameras can be manually pivoted and rotated with ease, making installation a little easier.

They generally feature a robust, weather-resistant housing, making them ideal for monitoring the exterior of your home or business.

Additionally, their discreet design makes them less noticeable, allowing for better surveillance without attracting unwanted attention.

Turret cameras often come with advanced features such as night vision and motion detection, further enhancing the security and efficacy of your surveillance system.

3. Dome Cameras

Dome security cameras feature a distinctive semi-circular glass case that discreetly conceals the direction in which the lens is pointed.

This design not only offers an aesthetically pleasing and low-profile appearance but also provides an added layer of ambiguity, making it harder for potential intruders to avoid detection.

Check out this great video by IC Realtime that compares the first 3 types of cameras on this list:

These cameras are ideal for both indoor and outdoor applications, as they support flexible installation and provide clear, high-quality video surveillance regardless of the lens’s direction.

4. PTZ Cameras

PTZ security cameras, or pan-tilt-zoom cameras, offer a versatile surveillance solution by allowing the user to remotely control their movement and zoom capabilities.

These cameras can pan horizontally, tilt vertically, and zoom in on specific areas, providing wide coverage and detailed views of monitored spaces.

As a result, PTZ cameras are ideal for large areas like parking lots, warehouses, and retail stores, where monitoring multiple areas with a single camera is crucial.

The flexibility and enhanced control make PTZ cameras an efficient and smart choice for anyone seeking an adaptable and comprehensive security solution.

Related article: Best Wireless PT/PTZ Security Cameras (Indoor & Outdoor)

5. PT Cameras

Pan-Tilt (PT) security cameras offer flexible motion capabilities for monitoring expansive spaces.

These cameras lack the optical zoom function commonly found in their PTZ counterparts and are generally found in indoor settings with functions like pet or nanny cams.

Their pan, tilt nature enables precise positioning and comprehensive coverage of specific areas or targets, making PT cameras an ideal choice for homeowners and businesses seeking versatile surveillance options.

6. Cube Cameras

Cube security cameras, such as the Blink or Wyze cams, offer a compact design and versatile functionality for various home security needs.

These small, unobtrusive cameras can be easily mounted or placed on a shelf to discreetly monitor any area of your home.

With features like motion detection, high-resolution video capture, and wireless connectivity, cube cameras provide real-time alerts and clear footage of potential security threats.

Additionally, many models offer two-way audio communication and integration with smart home systems, allowing you to directly engage with whoever is in view and remotely control your security camera from your smartphone or device.

7. Floodlight Cameras

Floodlight security cameras offer a powerful combination of video surveillance and high-intensity lighting to keep your property safe.

These cameras are designed with built-in LED lights that illuminate large areas when motion is detected, effectively deterring potential intruders.

As a versatile solution, floodlight cameras provide sharp video footage during the day and enhanced night vision capabilities in low-light conditions.

The adjustable floodlight settings allow you to customize the brightness and coverage area to suit your specific security needs.

Overall, floodlight cameras deliver an efficient and reliable option for monitoring your home or business, ensuring a well-lit environment and improved visibility.

8. Video Doorbells

A video doorbell is a security camera specifically designed for your front door, providing a wide-angle view to capture footage of visitors, deliveries, or potential intruders.

This camera typically has a two-way audio communication system, allowing you to talk with guests through a smartphone app even when you’re not at home.

Most video doorbells come equipped with infrared night vision, motion detection, and weather-resistant features to ensure reliable performance and safety around the clock.

By offering real-time video streaming, alerts, and easy remote access, video doorbells make it simple to monitor your entryway and enhance the security of your home.

9. Fisheye Cameras

Fisheye security cameras, known for their ultra-wide-angle lens, capture a 180-degree field of view in a distinctive circular format.

This makes them ideal for monitoring large open spaces, such as warehouses, parking lots, or retail stores, while significantly reducing the number of cameras required for full coverage.

With advanced dewarping technology, the fisheye camera’s footage can be converted into a more traditional rectangle format, making it easier to view and analyze.

Additionally, the fisheye camera’s unique design aids in discreet surveillance, as it can be easily mounted on ceilings or walls and blend into its surroundings.

10. Spotlight Cameras

Spotlight security cameras, as the name suggests, are designed with an integrated bright LED spotlight to illuminate the area under surveillance.

While not as bright as floodlights, these cameras provide enhanced visibility during the night and deter potential intruders by casting a bright light on them when motion is detected.

As a result, not only do they capture high-quality footage even in low-light conditions, but they also actively contribute to the safety of your property.

Spotlight cameras often come with additional features such as two-way audio, customizable motion detection zones, and remote access via a smartphone app, ensuring you stay connected and informed about your home’s security at all times.

Related article: Best Outdoor Spotlight Security Cameras

11. Freestanding Cameras

Freestanding security cameras are typically designed for indoor use, offering users a versatile and easily adjustable choice for monitoring their homes or businesses.

These cameras stand independently, requiring no additional mounting hardware, making installation and repositioning a breeze.

With a wide range of features available, including motion detection, night vision, and two-way audio, freestanding cameras provide convenience and functionality for any security-conscious homeowner or entrepreneur.

12. LPR Cameras

License Plate Recognition (LPR) cameras are specifically designed to capture and identify vehicle license plates efficiently.

These cameras utilize advanced software algorithms to analyze the captured images, providing clear and accurate plate information even in varying lighting conditions or speeds of passing vehicles.

Often used in residential communities, parking lots, and business premises, LPR cameras enhance security measures by keeping track of vehicles entering and exiting the area, allowing for a proactive approach in deterring theft or unlawful activity.

Additionally, the data collected can be easily accessed and filtered for further analysis, making it a practical security solution for various environments.

13. Positioning Cameras

In the realm of security cameras, positioning camera systems are top-tier options for monitoring expansive areas.

As an enhanced version of PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras, these feature rapid panning and tilting, coupled with serious optical zoom capabilities.

The integration of artificial intelligence enables them to detect and track objects such as people, vehicles, and various artifacts within the environment.

In addition, these cameras are equipped with powerful IR LEDs or starlight sensors and True Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), allowing them to recognize objects almost half a mile away.

14. Multi-Sensor Panoramic Cameras

Multi-sensor panoramic security cameras provide a comprehensive view of your property, capturing images from multiple angles simultaneously.

These advanced cameras typically consist of 2-4 individual sensors that work cohesively to cover a wider area, reducing blind spots.

With their seamless panoramic visual coverage, these cameras distort images less and ensure that crucial details are sharp and clear.

Additionally, these cameras offer effective monitoring with low-light performance, making them ideal for safeguarding both indoor and outdoor spaces.

A multi-sensor panoramic security camera is a powerful and efficient solution for securing large areas or high-traffic spaces like parking lots, building perimeters, and commercial properties.

15. Corner Cameras

Corner security cameras are specifically designed to fit seamlessly into the corners of a room or space, such as elevators, providing comprehensive surveillance coverage with minimal blind spots.

Featuring a wide viewing angle, these compact cameras capture high-quality images even in confined spaces, ensuring the safety of occupants and deterring potential acts of vandalism or crime.

With their unobtrusive design and functionality, corner cameras have become an increasingly popular option for optimizing safety measures in both commercial and residential environments.

16. Thermal Cameras

A thermal camera, also known as a thermographic or infrared camera, offers a unique approach to security by detecting heat radiated from objects and people within its field of view.

What sets it apart from conventional cameras is its ability to operate effectively in pitch darkness, adverse weather, or obscured visibility situations, capturing images through fog, smoke, or even foliage.

These cameras translate heat signatures into visible images, offering a precise method of detecting intruders, fires, or any potential threats in real-time – both outdoors and indoors.

Often employed in high-security zones, critical infrastructure, and wildlife protection, thermal cameras have become an integral part of modern security systems due to their effectiveness and versatility.

17. Wall Light Cameras

The wall light security camera is an innovative combination of a standard outdoor wall light and a discreet video surveillance system.

This dual-function design not only provides energy-efficient illumination to your home exterior or yard space but also serves as a powerful monitoring tool.

Equipped with high-resolution sensors and night vision capabilities, the integrated camera captures clear footage in various light conditions while remaining unobtrusive.

Wall light security cameras can easily be connected to your smart home ecosystem, allowing you to seamlessly access live video feeds and receive instant notifications if any unusual activity is detected.

In addition to enhancing your home security, this versatile device adds a modern aesthetic touch to your property.

18. Wedge Cameras

Wedge security cameras, as the name suggests, have a wedge-shaped design which makes them visually unobtrusive and ideal for seamless mounting on walls or ceilings.

These compact cameras often come with features like wide-angle lenses, high-resolution video, infrared night vision capabilities, and weatherproof construction, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

By providing clear, detailed footage in various lighting and environmental conditions, wedge cameras are a popular choice among homeowners and businesses seeking discreet, yet effective, security surveillance solutions.

19. Hidden Cameras

Hidden cameras, also known as covert or spy cameras, are designed to blend seamlessly into their surroundings, going unnoticed in various environments.

These subtle devices come in an array of inconspicuous forms such as clocks, smoke detectors, and even everyday household objects.

Their discreet appearance enables homeowners and businesses to monitor activities without drawing attention to the camera’s presence.

Typically integrating with existing security systems, hidden cameras provide an extra layer of surveillance, capturing potential intruders or gathering crucial evidence in the event of illicit activities.

However, it is essential that users respect local laws and privacy concerns before installing these concealed devices.

20. Lightbulb Cameras

The Lightbulb Camera seamlessly combines security and everyday functionality by integrating a camera into an energy-efficient LED lightbulb.

This innovative design allows for discreet and convenient monitoring, making it an ideal addition to any home, office, or retail space.

Easily installed in a standard light socket, the lightbulb camera is often equipped with wide-angle lenses, high-resolution video capabilities, and motion detection sensors that send alerts to your connected device.

Additionally, it has infrared night vision to capture clear footage, even in low light conditions.

This versatile and unobtrusive camera provides an efficient solution for those looking to enhance their security without compromising on aesthetics or visibility.


In conclusion, understanding the various types of security cameras available is essential for choosing the best option to meet your needs.

Among the 20 types I’ve explored, each offers unique features and capabilities that cater to specific use-cases, both for indoor and outdoor security.

Key factors to consider when evaluating these cameras include image quality, range, field of view, night vision, connectivity, and durability.

By prioritizing your needs and staying well-informed on the latest advances in smart home security, you’ll be equipped to make an educated decision on which surveillance system best suits your requirements.

Ultimately, investing in the right security camera will provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home or business is protected and your valuables are secure.

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