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The Difference Between Dome and Bullet Cameras




Picking a security or surveillance camera can provide you with so many options that you’re not quite sure what to make of them all. With variations in video quality, weather protections, night vision, storage options, and much much more, you wouldn’t be faulted for not knowing where to start when deciding on what camera to buy. Among the myriad features available, selecting the style of camera between dome and bullet may not always be an obvious choice.

Dome and bullet cameras are the two most popular aesthetics for surveillance or security cameras. They seem strikingly different from their outward appearance, but mostly function the same with different components visible externally. Bullet cameras have an elongated shape while dome cameras are covered with a glass or clear plastic dome.

Deciding on which type of camera you go with may not make much difference to you, but it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each. This may ultimately mean the difference between meeting your needs or falling short. Let’s take a look at what makes them tick.

What is the difference between a dome camera and a bullet camera?

Dome and bullet cameras are the two most common housing options for modern security cameras. If you are struggling to choose between the two different designs, then you needn't worry too much as they both support the same hardware and systems and generally have the same features, such as 24/7 day and night surveillance, wide angle viewing, and pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ). The main differences that may affect your installation choices are in the details regarding placement, mounting, security, and maintenance.

Dome Security Cameras

Dome security cameras are a versatile and visually subtle option for your surveillance. The housing is dome shaped as the name suggests and is usually placed on ceilings or under eaves as they need a horizontal surface to be mounted on. They are extremely durable with vandal-resistant housing and can withstand all the elements both internally and externally.

Most dome camera options will include smart-infrared night vision surveillance, high resolution images, and wide dynamic angle imaging to cover a wide range of areas. As with all modern options, you can view your CCTV coverage or footage remotely via TV, computer, smart phone, or tablet.

One particular challenge you may encounter with a dome security camera is that when it’s placed outside, the field of view is limited since it’s usually positioned against a wall unless you install it on poles with more of a 360 degree view. The glass also needs to be checked regularly for fingerprints and dust that may affect the clarity of your footage.

Bullet Security Cameras

As with dome cameras, most bullet cameras will offer LEDs that allow the camera to see well in the dark or in low light situations; it can be used on the interior or exterior and can withstand harsh weather conditions or extreme temperatures. Bullet cameras are known for their longer range rather than their wide angle field of view capabilities and they can be mounted on any wall, making them a great option for external monitoring.

Because of their external components, they are more susceptible to bird’s nests and spiderwebs, and they can be adjusted or vandalised more easily by criminals who can point the camera away from the area of interest.

Is a Dome or a Bullet Camera Better?

The best camera for you depends on what you need your CCTV for, what your coverage needs are and how and where you will mount it. Check out the space and the surface where you need to place your CCTV camera. 

If you need a wide angle 360 degree monitoring and it can be placed on a horizontal surface such as a ceiling then a dome camera is likely to be best. If you need long distance monitoring on a specific area and it will be mounted on a wall or vertical surface then it is likely best to purchase a bullet camera.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Bullet and Dome Cameras?

Bullet Camera Advantages

  • Weatherproof
  • Infrared LEDs
  • Long distance vision
  • Wall mounted
  • Remote monitoring
  • High resolution imaging
  • Wireless options available 
  • Deterrent to criminals
  • Easily repositioned
  • Easy installation

Bullet Camera Disadvantages

  • Easily altered by criminals
  • Attracts spiderwebs and birds nests
  • Susceptible to vandalism
  • No 360 degree viewing
  • More obvious
  • Not as durable with consistent exposure to harsh elements

Dome Camera Advantages

  • Up to 360 degree vision
  • Discreet
  • Remote monitoring
  • Infrared LEDs
  • Ceiling mounted
  • High resolution imaging
  • Durable
  • Long lasting 
  • Vandal proof
  • Weatherproof

Dome Camera Disadvantages

  • Limited mounting options
  • More difficult installation
  • View might be blocked
  • Dust and fingerprints
  • Less zoom capabilities
  • Might not act as a deterrent


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