When you are in the market to have a surveillance system installed, knowing which cameras you need can be quite perplexing. When you talk to dealers, they tend to throw security industry buzz words around like confetti, PTZ this, Megapixel that, bullets, domes, DVR, Wah wah woh wah wah, Varifocal! Why is Charlie Brown’s teacher selling me security cameras? If you are one of the uninitiated, you most likely feel the same way. So in an effort to help you gain some understanding about surveillance cameras, we are starting a series of articles called Surveillance Cameras for Beginners. So let’s get started. Please feel free to comment or ask questions; any experts reading this, please feel free to share your wisdom with us. We’ll start off with Questions to ask yourself before you start shopping for surveillance cameras: 1)Application: What is the intended purpose of your surveillance system? *Recording and Storing video, Monitoring one room or multiple rooms, Monitoring Entry doors or all access points 2)Indoor or Outdoor: Will your cameras be used indoors or outdoors? *If outdoors, cameras need housing and enclosures to protect them from environmental conditions, such heat, cold, humidity, glare, rain, and snow. 3)Fixed Lens or Zoom Lens: Do you need to be able to zoom in and out of a scene? 4)Fixed Mount or PTZ (Point-Tilt-Zoom): How important is it for you to be able to move the camera up, down, or side to side? 5)Real-time or Later Viewing: Do you want to be able to view video images as they happen or is storing images for later preferable? 6)Resolution: Do you just need an overall view or do you need to see details? This will help determine whether you should go Analog or Megapixel. 7)Local Viewing or Remote Viewing: Do you want to be able to monitor your cameras from anywhere? Asking yourself these questions before you start shopping around for surveillance cameras will help get you thinking about what you really want and need in a surveillance system. Check back with us for Pt.2 of the Surveillance Cameras for Beginners series.