What is an Open Dome Turret Camera?

Published on September 7, 2018 by Matt Garnham in Blog Posts on Security Cameras

What is an Open Dome Turret Camera?

An open dome turret camera is a security camera that is dome shaped but without a dome glass covering. The camera is still IP66 rated so can be used both inside and outside. These cameras are typically installed on ceilings, however can be fitted to a wall depending on the angle of view required.

These cameras don’t have any rain protection so you do need to think carefully on the camera position. Security camera installers love this particular style of camera as it can be used both inside or outside. The common colors that the camera body comes in is white or black.

This style of camera is one of the most popular as it is more compact than bullet security cameras but still offers the same quality of camera image.

Where does it get it’s Name From?

Orange Security CamerasOriginally dome security cameras had a glass or plexiglass dome covering the internal workings of a camera. We now call these vandal dome cameras. When on board infra red illumination became commonplace, this glass dome cover caused more issues that it solved. Some people also call these eyeball cameras.

This is when Open Dome Turret Cameras were born. It was hard to make the IR light not reflect off the inside of the dome. When this reflection happens, it distorts the night time images. These days there is a smart solution to this problem with traditional vandal dome cameras so it’s not such a big deal, however open dome turret cameras are one of the most popular camera body styles we sell.

Advantages of Orange Security Open Dome Turret Cameras

  • Great for use both inside and outside
  • Easy installation
  • Orange Security’s Easy-Lock system makes installation a breeze
  • We have an optional cable management base that gives additional space behind the camera to make the camera connections
  • Varifocal lens option (2.8-12mm) allows identification at up to 50ft
  • Easy varifocal lens adjustment with small flat head screwdriver
  • Great IR illumination capabilities for night time images

Disadvantages of Open Dome Turret Cameras

  • If you need to identify beyond 50ft, this style of camera is not suitable – you need a bullet camera as there is the greater space inside for a longer lens
  • Slightly less vandal resistant than the full vandal dome cameras

Different Types of Open Dome Turret Cameras

Ok – you have decided you want an open dome turret camera. Now you need to work out which one you need! There are 2 main things to think about when selecting which is best for you. First, do you want infra red illumination? Second – do you want a fixed or a varifocal zoom lens?

IR Illumination

We are confident that the majority of our customers will require infra red illumination. This IR lighting allows the camera to see in pitch black total darkness. For this reason, all the open dome turret security cameras we stock come with on board IR LEDs. These cameras can also be used inside with all the lighting off.

If you have a specific requirement of an open dome turret camera without IR lighting, we do have the option of turning this off for a customer. It is not a common requirement, but our tech support guys are more than happy to help make this happen for you. We only recommend doing this when the camera is used in very specific ways.

Fixed Lens vs Varifocal Lens

When buying a security camera, this is about the most important decision you are going to make. It is one of the most common questions we are asked by customers before they purchase a security camera system.

Orange Security Cameras Orange Security Open Dome Turret Camera
Open Dome Turret Camera with a Fixed Lens Open Dome Turret Camera with a Varifocal Lens

You will notice from the photos above that the ones with the fixed lens are smaller than the cameras with a varifocal lens. This allows the larger lenses that are required in the open dome turret cameras with the varifocal lenses.

With a varifocal zoom lens you can adjust the zoom and focus of the camera allowing you to zoom the camera in and out. This gives you great flexibility as to where you can position the camera. As you adjust the zoom lens and zoom in, the identification distance from the camera increases.

Most customers do purchase our cameras with varifocal lenses. If the budget doesn’t stretch to these, the fixed lens camera are still a great option. The lens is the only difference – the important internal electronics of the cameras are the same. You will still achieve the fantastic HD images you have come to expect from us here at Orange Security.

The table below should help you decide which lens is best used. I have also put the links to each product so you can check them out.

Type Fixed Lenses Varifocal Lenses
Lens Focal Length 3.6mm 8mm 2.8-12mm
Lens Angle of View 94° 42° 103° – 30°
Max Identification Distance up to 20 feet up to 40 feet up to 50 feet
Product Link Open Dome Turret Camera with 3.6mm Fixed Lens Open Dome Turret Camera with 8mm Fixed Lens Open Dome Turret Camera with 2.8-12mm Varifocal Lens

Mounting

Orange Security - Open Dome Turret Camera Mounting BracketThe mounting system on both the fixed lens and the varifocal lens cameras is the same – the varifocal one is just larger!

Our Easy-Lock system makes it easier to get the camera pointing where you need it to and then locking it in place. Some of the open dome turret cameras that are sold by our competitors almost require 3 hands to install – often what happens is the installer compromises on the exact direction the camera points.

All you need to set up our cameras is a hex key (provided with each camera).

Varifocal Lens Adjustment

Orange Security CamerasWith our open dome turret cameras with varifocal zoom lens adjustment, the adjustment is really simple. All you need is a small flat blade screwdriver.

Use the screwdriver and make adjustments to the zoom and focus. I always recommend people make multiple smaller adjustments swapping between zoom and focus instead of one big movement. This makes it easier to see what is going on.

Keep watching the image as you make these adjustments until you are happy with the image.

Once you are done, don’t forget to put in the small rubber bungs that are provided with each camera – this helps keep the camera fully weatherproof.

Different Parts of an Open Dome Turret Camera

This graphic below shows the different parts that make up an open dome turret camera. The camera shown here is our Open Dome Turret Camera with 2.8-12mm Lens – one of our best sellers!

  1. Orange Security Open Dome Camera PartsThis is the camera lens. The options here are either a fixed or varifocal zoom lens
  2. This is the Infra Red LED illumination array. This is what allows the camera to see outside in total darkness or inside when the lights are off. We use next-generation LEDs in all our open dome turret cameras
  3. This cameras has our varifocal zoom lens. The zoom and focus of the lens is adjusted with the 2 adjusters marked here. To make these adjustments you will need a small flathead screwdriver – like one from a watchmaker’s set
  4. This is the body of the camera. The camera lens and all the electronics are held within this. It is spherical or ball shaped
  5. This is the Easy-Lock system tab. This locks everything in place keeping the camera directed where you need it to look. This tab is locked in place with the provided hex key
  6. This is the mounting plate for the camera. When installing the camera, this is the first part that is fitted to the mounting surface
  7. This is the retaining collar. It holds everything in place and is locked down with the Easy-Lock tab (number 5 on the diagram)

Different Camera Body Color

We supply all our open dome turret cameras with a choice of 2 camera body colors. They both operate in exactly the same way – there is no advantage to either!

Orange Security Open Dome Turret Camera Orange Security Cameras
Open Dome Turret Camera in Black Open Dome Turret Camera in White

Summary

Hopefully this article gives you a quick run down of what an open dome turret camera is. As you will see, it is a very flexible camera and one of the most popular body styles that we stock here at Orange Security. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Otherwise, check out our comprehensive range of open dome turret cameras.


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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