Commercial Security: Dome vs. Bullet Security Cameras

When it comes to the security of your business, there’s no better investment than CCTV security cameras. They’re cost-effective and serve dual roles as both deterrents and a way to capture evidence in case of break-ins. CCTV cameras help protect your assets, data, and intellectual property.

Dome and bullet security cameras are two main types of cameras available in the market. Learning about them and comparing dome cameras vs. bullet cameras can help you make the right choice for your premises and needs.

If you’re wondering whether you should get a dome or bullet camera, this article provides a comparison guide on the similarities and differences between dome cameras and bullet cameras to help you make the best choice.

You’ll learn the pros and cons of each type and examples of scenarios where these types of security cameras are best suited.

What is a Dome Camera?

The dome security camera is named after its dome shape structure. It’s squat and small and designed to withstand all elements both outside and inside. Dome security cameras feature a sleek design, with a transparent protective dome covering the camera’s components.

Dome cameras are relatively discreet and easily blend in with your business profile. They specialize in a wide field of view, giving you a longer range and better overview of a large area with minimal adjustment. They’re usually equipped with lenses that deliver a variable focal length to allow you to adjust the camera to desirable distances.

Turret cameras are an evolution of dome cameras, but unlike dome cameras with a glass housing, turret cameras have the lens and infrared LED sensors housed separately. The lack of a protective glass dome makes turret cameras free of glare effects, resulting in better low-light or night vision performance.

However, it has less vandal proofing and impact resistance. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a dome camera?

Pros of Dome Cameras

  • Thanks to their discreet design, you can easily integrate them into any setting discreetly.
  • The low profile and inconspicuous design make dome cameras vandal-proof.
  • The camera lens is protected from physical damage, guaranteeing high durability for the long term.
  • It provides a broader field of view, and you can cover longer ranges or areas with fewer cameras.
  • It covers wide angles with 360-degree rotation capabilities that make it difficult for people to tell which direction the camera is pointing.
  • Dome cameras are usually equipped with night vision capabilities with integrated Infrared LEDs, while others feature motion sensors and pan-tilt-zoom camera features like PTZ dome cameras. (PTZ Cameras Definition – Also known as the speed dome camera, it’s designed for 180 degrees of tilt and 360 degrees of pan coverage)
  • You can employ them in indoor and outdoor areas where people don’t anticipate surveillance cameras including your home, parking lots, garage, backyard, or front door.

Cons of Dome Cameras

  • It can be challenging to reposition dome cameras once you’ve installed them. The main difference between dome cameras and bullet cameras is dome cameras cannot pan from left to right. They’re usually static in practice despite their capabilities to capture wide angles. You may need to remount the hardware to change the field of view.
  • Dome cameras can quickly accumulate dust and get dirty, requiring more regular maintenance. The glass dome can easily get smeared by fingerprints, requiring more cleaning.
  • Some models may feature IR performance issues and if you forget to tighten the protective glass during installation moisture can get in.

Where Dome Cameras are Best Suited

Dome cameras are best suited in areas where people may not expect a video surveillance system or surveillance camera. Its low-key profile and minimal design make the dome camera a subtle but effective surveillance solution for places like churches, retail stores, front doors, parking lots, crossroads, or your backyard.

These types of cameras provide a maximized viewing area that lets you cover larger areas. The protective housing hides where the camera is pointing, making it ideal for retail settings like shopping malls to deter shoplifting.

Dome cameras can be mounted on eaves, ceilings, or walls, and they’re adjustable to suit a variety of settings. They blend well with your surroundings and provide you with a less intrusive security system where you can use a single camera over large areas.

What is a Bullet Camera?

Bullet cameras are named after their distinct long cylindrical shape. It resembles a bullet shell and some even name them lipstick cameras. They’re suitable for indoor and outdoor uses and feature a small lip on the tip of the lens that protects against any glare and other weather elements.

Studies show that these camera types act as an effective visible deterrent that makes your business or establishment less desirable to thieves and other criminals. The elongated design and unique shape of bullet CCTV cameras allow them to accommodate a more telescopic zoom lens style.

Such a lens enables the bullet camera to achieve excellent image qualities even when you zoom in to the max when situated far from the area of interest. Bullet CCTV cameras act like a pair of binoculars, and they’re often used to view subjects like people or license plates from far away.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a bullet camera?

Pros of Bullet Cameras

They feature easy installation and usually feature a mounting handle that can readjust to monitor different angles. You can mount them on walls for outdoor uses.

The main strength of bullet cameras is long-distance viewing, allowing the camera to see clearly at farther distances and longer ranges. Unlike dome cameras with a wide-angle view, bullet cameras feature a narrow viewing angle to see clearly.

They’re enclosed in a weatherproof casing that shields them against dirt and dust. With correct installation, bullet cameras can last a long while.

They’re evident and easy to spot, thanks to their recognisable shape. Therefore, they work well where you want people to know they’re being monitored and deter criminal activity.

Easy to reposition with high manoeuvrability. They can pan from right to left to give you a better view of the subject of interest, and you can achieve this remotely or manually, depending on the model.

Cons of Bullet Cameras

They’re more susceptible to bird nests, spider webs, and other animal disturbances.

They’re highly susceptible to tampering and vandalism due to their conspicuous design and shape. With no protective cover for the camera inside, bullet cameras can be altered easily or repositioned to point in a different direction than where the crime is occurring.

They’re not suited for locations with significant movement like parking areas. Their narrow field of view also leaves room for blind spots that can allow criminals to slip under surveillance.

7 Differences between Dome Cameras and Bullet Cameras

Installation Process

The installation process between dome vs bullet security cameras features some minor differences. Dome cameras are generally more challenging to install because you’ll have to remount them to change the field of view.

With bullet cameras, you get a mounting handle for easy installation. In addition, you can easily reposition bullet cameras if the area you want to view is within its range.

You can easily install bullet cameras on the side of the wall, but dome cameras must be installed on an eave or ceiling, making it more challenging. Dome cameras also require careful installation to avoid potential vibrations from equipment like air conditioners.


There are major differences in the design of both cameras. The design of dome cameras is circular, and it conceals the direction the camera is facing.
Vandal-proof dome cameras are spherical with a hardened shell that minimizes vibration and wind-load damage. PTZ cameras can also feature hard shell domes that protect and obscure it.

Bullet surveillance cameras are long and cylindrical. Since they’re primarily for outdoor use, they feature a protective casing that shields them from natural elements.

Camera Range

The view range is usually influenced by the type of lens used. Thanks to their unique structure in terms of shape and size, you can easily fit large lenses into bullet cameras and enhance video quality. You can add extra features like a more robust or larger lens, making them suitable for surveillance over long distances.

You can place a bullet camera on the side of a building and make it clear to those observing from a distance that entry points are being watched. Dome cameras have a more expansive field of view but a limited range. Bullet cameras have a narrower field of view and retain image quality when zoomed in further to provide long-range capabilities.


Both cameras usually maintain a fixed position, whether a bullet or dome camera. However, you can easily reposition a bullet camera in different positions thanks to its versatility. A dome camera needs you to eject it from the ceiling to reposition it manually.


There are subtle differences in cost between dome vs bullet cameras, and it’s easily negligible. However, bullet cameras tend to be more cost-efficient since they have fewer parts like the camera and the mount. Dome cameras are often sold with extra features like housing or things like extra parts.


Dome cameras have a better aesthetic appeal than bullet cameras, thanks to their low profile. For this reason, they can easily camouflage in most settings and become effectively invisible. This is a huge selling point of dome cameras which makes them invaluable in catching criminals unawares while maintaining an elegant futuristic feel.


High durability is one of the similar features of dome or bullet cameras. However, vandal-proof dome cameras tend to last longer in the actual camera outdoor or indoor use. Such proofing properties help protect the camera for longer.

Which is Best for Your CCTV needs? Dome or Bullet Camera?

Whether you choose a dome or bullet CCTV camera, you’ll find various benefits and disadvantages. You’ll find different camera devices in the market, and to ensure you choose the right camera for your needs, you need to consider where and how the video cameras will be used and deployed.

Do you need a single camera or multiple security camera systems?
Will you be monitoring a single space or different areas?
What’s your property type, and what angle of view do you need?
Do you want to monitor shorter distances or great distances?

Such questions will help you make an informed decision and decide which is the better choice before making a final decision. Generally, bullet cameras are an ideal choice for overt use cases where you want people to see and know they’re being monitored. They’re an excellent choice for high crime areas, industrial settings, or traffic lights.

Dome cameras are a better option for covert surveillance in settings like shopping malls or restaurants, where you may want to monitor customers. Both dome or bullet cameras are usually IP cameras that allow you to access video footage from anywhere through the internet.

Ultimately, the right decision will depend on the most appropriate type of surveillance camera for your business or premises.