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To protect your business against theft or damage, you need a security solution that can reduce the risk of intrusion or incidents. A CCTV system provides effective surveillance, as well as vital evidence in the event of criminal activity. In fact, crime decreased by 13% in places with CCTV compared to those without, according to a study of crime data by the College of Policing.

Installing CCTV cameras in businesses is important when burglary increased nationally by 1.3% according to the FBI’s 2022 Crime in the Nation Report. Moreover, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth of 13.6% in security industry employment from 2019 to 2029.

Security is essential, but to maximize the effectiveness of your commercial CCTV system, you need to select the right type of camera for the specific surveillance needs of your business. This article reviews the design, performance, use cases, installation, environmental protection and costs of two important types of CCTV cameras — turret vs bullet cameras. 

By understanding the differences between turret and bullet cameras, you can make an informed decision on the right security solution for your business. 

What are turret cameras?

A turret camera resembles a sliced sphere and features a flexible mount that allows a 360-degree rotation of the lens. This is made possible since the camera incorporates a 3‑axis ball and socket mount, ensuring that after installation, the camera can cover a wide range of viewing angles, providing optimal coverage in different types of spaces. 

They excel in both indoor and outdoor settings, offering high-definition imagery across distances with optional optical zoom lenses. Despite being less conspicuous than bullet cameras, turret cameras serve as a robust choice for security. They provide superior low-light performance with larger sensors and wider apertures, and their strong construction grants them a higher IP rating to withstand environmental challenges. However, their design does not include a protective enclosure, which may leave them open to tampering or vandalism. 

Advantages and disadvantages of turret cameras


  • Camera can be rotated to improve coverage 

  • Flexible monitoring capability

  • Supports both close-up and long-range monitoring

  • Visible presence to deter criminals 

  • Indoor and outdoor use

  • Excellent low-light capabilities


  • Less noticeable as a deterrent than bullet cameras 

  • No protective enclosure for outdoor applications 

  • Exposed to vandalism or criminal interference

What are bullet cameras?

Bullet security cameras are easy to recognize due to their cylindrical shape. This recognizable design serves as a powerful deterrent to criminals. According to a University of North Carolina’s Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology survey, 60% of burglars stated that they would choose another target if they found an alarm in an establishment they intended to burglarize. 

These cameras excel in long-distance surveillance, capturing high-quality images across large areas, enhanced by their optical zoom capabilities. Designed for both indoor and outdoor use, bullet cameras are built to withstand tough conditions. They’re also easy to set up and adjust, but their visible lenses might attract tampering.

Advantages and disadvantages of bullet cameras


  • Highly visible deterrent 

  • Excellent long-range, high-resolution capability

  • Sufficient night vision capabilities 

  • Suitable for indoor or outdoor applications 

  • Easy to install, adjust and move


  • Less suitable for discreet applications 

  • Prone to vandalism or other interference

  • Lower environmental protection compared to turret cameras

Meet your unique security needs

  • Wide range of advanced bullet cameras

  • Long-range perimeter protection

  • Vandal-resistant cameras with IK10 rating

  • Easily integrate video and access control

Main differences between turret and bullet cameras

Selecting the right security solution requires understanding the main differences between both these types of cameras. The key differences between turret and bullet cameras include several considerations, such as design, viewing angles, CCTV installation requirements, environmental durability, and costs. 

Let’s explore each of these differences further:


Bullet vs turret cameras have distinctive differences in design. Bullet cameras have a familiar cylindrical shape and are widely recognized as security cameras, while turret cameras resemble a sliced sphere and feature a flexible mount that allows a 360-degree rotation of the lens. 

Because bullet cameras are easily recognizable as security devices, they can help deter criminals, while turret cameras are less noticeable as security devices and can make them less of a crime deterrent. However, turret-style cameras can blend more easily with their surroundings, which makes them more suitable for indoor applications that require discreet monitoring. 

Viewing angle

When it comes to viewing angles, bullet cameras provide high-definition video to capture clear images of objects, such as vehicle registration plates or suspects’ faces. As bullet cameras have a fixed viewing angle, they would need to be adjusted to cover more areas. Turret cameras, on the other hand, feature a flexible mount that allows 360-degree rotation of the lens to achieve optimal coverage. Both bullet and turret cameras can be fitted with optical zoom lenses to provide coverage of objects at various distances in large open spaces. 


Bullet cameras are generally easier to install due to their adjustable mechanical hinge that can be mounted on walls or ceilings. Turret cameras, however, offer more flexibility post-installation with their 360-degree rotation capability, allowing for comprehensive mounting coverage, like walls, ceilings, or poles, without the need for repositioning to get a better viewing angle.


While both camera types lack protective enclosures, their construction is robust enough to withstand harsh weather and potential vandalism. Turret cameras typically have a higher IP rating than bullet cameras, and are more durable than bullet cameras. Additionally, depending on their location, turret-style cameras are less conspicuous and are more likely to evade vandalism attempts. 


The cost of the initial equipment for both cameras is based on their features and any added-on capabilities. The infrastructure costs for turret and bullet cameras are similar, including the need for a power supply and a wired or wireless connection to recording devices. 

However, bullet cameras tend to have lower installation costs. Maintenance costs depend on the camera’s location and the environmental condition, but both camera types need their lenses cleaned regularly.

Choosing turret camera vs bullet camera

Turret cameras and bullet cameras have many similarities in terms of their performance, costs and applications. However, for particular monitoring needs, one type may have the advantage. 

It’s essential to carry out a site security assessment and identify the features that are most important to the specific monitoring tasks needed to protect your business. Factors that should be taken into consideration are viewing angles, use cases, environmental considerations and installation requirements, as well as costs. 

Have questions? We can help

Our video security experts can help you implement the right security system for your business.