Bullet vs Dome Cameras: Which Should You Choose?

Published on October 5, 2018 by Matt Garnham in Blog Posts on Security Cameras

What is the Difference Between Bullet and Open Dome Turret Cameras?

Bullet Cameras vs Open Dome Turret CamerasFor people new to security cameras, the difference between bullet and open dome turret cameras is not always clear. Hopefully this blog post will help explain the differences.

These two different types of security camera are the most popular styles of all cameras we stock.


The first and most obvious difference is of course the shape of the camera. These first 2 examples both have varifocal zoom lenses:

Bullet Camera with Varifocal Zoom Lens Open Dome Turret Camera with Varifocal Zoom Lens
Bullet Camera with Varifocal Zoom Lens Open Dome Turret Camera with Varifocal Zoom Lens

These next 2 examples both have fixed lenses:

Bullet Camera with Fixed Lens Open Dome Turret Camera with Fixed Lens
Bullet camera with fixed lens Open dome turret camera with fixed lens

Mounting Brackets

The brackets are one of the key differences between these 2 different types of security cameras.

Bullet Security Camera Bracket

Orange Security Bullet Camera Bracket ExampleThe bracket fitted to our bullet security cameras is hugely flexible. It has full 3 axis adjustment allowing it to be fitted to any vertical wall, horizontal ceiling or any angle in between.

The animated image to the right shows one of the 3 axis of adjustment. This is the tilt of the camera.

The mounting bracket can also allow the camera to pan left and right as well as rotating.

These 3 methods of adjustment allow the camera to be mounted to pretty much any surface. You can still adjust the camera to make the horizon level.

Open Dome Turret Security Camera Bracket

Open Dome Turret Camera Mounting BracketOur open dome turret security cameras is also a pretty flexible camera body style. Due to the way the retaining collar holds the ball, it can be angled to point in any direction too.

Our Easy-Lock system makes installation a breeze.

Fix the mounting plate to the surface first. Position the ball on the base with the retaining collar over the top. Point the camera in the desired direction and then lock in place with the Easy-Lock system.

Finally, tighten up the hex bolt with the hex key we include with each camera.

Don’t forget the 2 little rubber plugs we also provide for the zoom and focus adjuster holes. These fully seal the camera ensuring they stay water tight.


Both camera types are equally easy to install. You do not need to be an expert – in fact, most of our customers self-install their security camera systems.

If you need to install a security camera on a vertical wall, most people would select the bullet camera. If the camera will be within reach of people, it is a good idea to consider the other option. This is because it is potentially possible for the angle a bullet camera points to be changed with a stick of some sort.

If you need to install a security camera on a horizontal wall (such as a ceiling), most people would select the open dome turret camera. This hangs down from the ceiling as shown in the photo above.

Ultimately, the bullet camera has the greatest range of adjustment, however the difference between the two is minor.

Indoor vs Outdoor Use

Indoor and Outdoor UsageBoth types of security cameras are generally suitable for use either inside or out. Certainly all the bullet and open dome turret cameras that we sell here at Orange Security are rated IP66. This means they withstand outside weather conditions.

Bullet cameras are used outside more than they are inside, however there is no reason other than aesthetics.

Internal Electronics

This is one area of the comparison that is easy! Our bullet cameras and open dome turret cameras both have exactly the same internal electronics. Given the same circumstances, they both produce the same image output.

Other Dome Types

Vandal Dome Security CameraThere is another type of dome camera. This is called a Vandal Dome Security or Traditional Vandal Dome Camera.

This camera style is a physically stronger camera design. This is due to the camera being located behind an ultra strong, plexiglass dome.

The downsides of this type of camera is that the infra red LEDs do not work as well – this is because of the thickness of the plexiglass dome.

I will be writing a dedicated blog article on this type of camera in the future going into more depth.

Parts of a Bullet Camera

Parts of a Bullet Camera

  1. Camera Lens
  2. IR LEDs
  3. Zoom and Focus Adjusters
  4. Adjustable Cowling
  5. 3-way Adjustable Mounting Bracket

Parts of an Open Dome Turret Camera

Parts of an Open Dome Turret Camera

  1. Camera Lens
  2. IR LEDs
  3. Zoom and Focus Adjusters
  4. Body of the Security Camera
  5. Easy Lock System Tab
  6. Mounting Plate
  7. Retaining Collar

Parts of a Vandal Dome Camera

Parts of a Vandal Dome Camera

  1. IR LEDs
  2. Camera Lens
  3. Plexiglass Dome – Vandal Resistant
  4. Camera Body
  5. Mounting Bracket part of the Body


We have created some videos to help demonstrate how the different types of cameras work. Below are some links to them.

Videos about Bullet Security Cameras

Videos about Open Dome Turret Security Cameras


I have written detailed blog posts on the topic of both Bullet and Open Dome Cameras. Find links to them both below:

Ultimately, the two different types of cameras are pretty similar – a lot comes down to personal preference. If you have to position a camera within reach, I would recommend the Open Dome Turret Cameras. If you need an unusual mounting surface, our Bullet Cameras with the 3-axis, fully adjustable bracket is the one for you.

If you still need some help deciding exactly which particular security camera is best for your needs, my team will help – just reach out! We also can help with camera positioning requirements too.

about the author: Matt Garnham
Security Camera expert for many years. He is the founder and owner of Orange Security. Started life in the security industry in the UK. Relocated to Southern Florida and Orange Security was formed.

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