Beware of the cheap and nasty! The chances are you've come to this site via a search engine that will have also steered you to various alternative sellers of calving camera systems. You may well have found that some of these alternatives are significantly cheaper. There's a reason for that. A quick search on Ebay will show you just how much cheap and nasty CCTV equipment is available. There are a couple of things to look out for when assessing and comparing CCTV cameras:
CMOS vs CCD cameras: Cmos cameras are cheap, sometimes astonishingly so. They are also nasty. The image quality is very poor. The colour rendition is rubbish and their performance in low light is useless. We only use CCD cameras. These are more expensive, and justifiably so.
Resolution: Camera resolution is expressed in TV lines. The higher the figure, the better the image. Bottom-end CCD cameras will have a typical resolution of 420TVL. Our CrystalVision cameras are 480TVL, which is adequate for calving and foaling. Our OmniSight cameras are 700TVL, and have a vari-focal lens which makes them ideal for security use. This means that outside the calving season, the cameras can be deployed for security around the farm. The higher resolution and the ability to adjust the lens to suit the application mean you have a much higher chance of obtaining clear facial and numberplate recognition.
Transmission range: The maximum legal transmitting power for CCTV in the UK is 10 milliwatts. Using little stub aerials, this will give you up to about 100m if you have a perfectly clear line of sight between transmitter and receiver. 2.4GHz transmissions are not good at penetrating walls and other obstructions, and this 100m can be greatly reduced by the walls of a house or a shed. Don't harbour unrealistic expectations. Using our long-range antennae, the line-of-sight range can be increased to about a mile, and the use of a decent antenna on the transmitter will help to punch the signal through any obstructions. Our OmniSight system uses a separate transmitter than can be placed some way away from the camera to achieve a clearer signal path. Mounting the transmitter outside the calving shed (especially if the shed is tin-clad) can make a huge difference to the image reaching the house.
The old addage that "you get what you pay for" is very pertinent in CCTV. And, of course, there's our 2-year guarantee...