Skip to main content

Trusted by 100,000+ organizations globally

An effective CCTV system provides essential protection for your business and your people. It alerts you to intrusions or incidents, reduces the risk of damage or theft and provides essential evidence for prosecuting criminals. 

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights the growing importance of security measures. Employment in the security industry is projected to grow 13.6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for the US economy as a whole. The Bureau also comments that improved video and sensor technology is driving demand for more security installations to prevent or deter crime.

The importance of security cameras is also highlighted by UK and US crime data from the College of Policing. The study found that crime decreased by 13 percent in places with CCTV cameras compared to those without.

While security professionals agree that a CCTV system is an essential form of protection, they point out that choosing the right business security camera system can make a significant difference to the level and effectiveness of security.

This guide covers two types of CCTV cameras – turret cameras and dome cameras. The guide describes each type of camera, explains their use and outlines how they differ in design, performance, use cases, installation and other important factors. 

What are turret cameras?

A turret camera features a 3‑axis ball and socket mount. This allows the camera to be rotated in different directions after installation to achieve optimum coverage.

Turret cameras do not have a protective enclosure, which means there is a risk of vandalism, interference or damage. For example, criminals can rotate the camera to avoid detection or damage it so that it can’t capture any images. 

However, turret cameras provide a visible deterrent, helping to reduce the risk of crime. According to the University of North Carolina’s Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, 60 percent of burglars reported that the presence of visible CCTV would encourage them to choose a different target. 

Advantages of turret cameras:

  • Camera can be rotated to improve coverage 

  • Supports both close-up and long-range monitoring

  • Visible presence to deter criminals 

  • Indoor or outdoor use

  • Excellent low-light capability

Disadvantages of turret cameras:

  • Less discreet than dome cameras 

  • No protective cover for outdoor applications 

  • Vulnerable to vandalism or criminal interference

What are dome cameras?

The dome camera houses the lens and other components within a clear dome-shaped enclosure. The dome shape helps the camera to blend inconspicuously with its surroundings.

The protection provided by the domed enclosure makes it difficult for criminals or vandals to damage the unit, move or cover the lens or interfere with the camera’s operation. The enclosure also protects the camera against dust, dirt or weather conditions when it’s used outdoors. 

These unobtrusive dome security cameras provide a customer-friendly’ type of security — customers and visitors don’t feel they are under surveillance.

Advantages of dome cameras:

  • Discreet appearance

  • Blends with architectural features where appearance is important 

  • Indoor or outdoor use 

  • Dome cover provides effective environmental protection 

  • Protection against vandalism and interference by criminals 

  • Low-light capability

Disadvantages of dome cameras:

  • Doesn’t provide a visible deterrent 

  • Camera is not adjustable – repositioning requires new installation 

  • Infra-red capability can be limited by bounceback’

Cameras to help you respond faster

  • Capture the bigger picture 

  • Improve visibility

  • Respond quickly

  • Act with certainty 

Main differences between turret and dome cameras

The main difference between turret and dome cameras is their shape. Dome cameras enclose the camera components within a protective housing, whereas a turret camera has a ball and socket mount, which allows the lens to be rotated in any direction without an enclosure. Additionally, dome cameras are more discreet than turret cameras. 

Let’s dive deeper into their main differences:


A dome camera is housed with a clear dome-shaped enclosure. The dome shape is more discreet than a turret camera and blends with surrounding architecture. Conversely, turret cameras resemble a sliced sphere. It features a flexible mount that allows 360-degree rotation of the lens to achieve optimum coverage. Additionally, they are more visible than dome cameras, which can act as a deterrent. 

Although both dome and turret cameras support night vision with infrared capability, turret cameras offer superior performance. Dome cameras are vulnerable to infrared bounce back, which can reduce image clarity.

Viewing angle

Dome cameras often incorporate wide-angle lenses, making it possible to capture a wider field of view with a single camera and minimize hardware costs. On the other hand, turret cameras fitted with optical zoom lenses can provide both close-up and long-distance coverage at high resolution. This makes them more flexible than dome cameras. 

Use cases

Turret cameras excel in versatility, with capabilities for both long-range and close-up monitoring, making them ideal for various settings like building perimeters or large outdoor areas. Conversely, dome cameras, with their wide-angle lenses, are suitable for monitoring high-traffic spaces or expansive areas.


Dome cameras can be installed on walls or ceilings, indoors or outdoors, with the option for recessed fitting for added discretion. Turret cameras can be installed indoors on walls or ceilings, as well as outdoors on walls or poles. They are attached via a rotatable ball and socket mount. 

Moving dome cameras to improve coverage requires re-installation. A turret camera can be easily rotated to the optimum position without relocating the camera. 


Dome cameras can blend in with architecture, making them suitable for locations where appearance is important. Their robust enclosure provides greater protection for CCTV systems used in outdoor areas subject to harsh weather or vandalism. 

In contrast, turret cameras do not have the same level of environmental protection. Criminals cannot easily interfere with an enclosed dome camera by changing viewing angles or damaging the camera. Turret cameras can be manipulated or damaged more easily. 


While initial equipment costs vary based on features and specifications, maintenance costs and installation complexities differ between turret and dome cameras. Dome cameras may require higher maintenance costs due to regular cleaning to maintain image clarity, particularly in outdoor settings. Turret cameras offer simpler installation processes, potentially reducing installation costs, especially in scenarios where repositioning or relocation is required. 

Turret camera or dome camera: Which is better?

Turret cameras and dome cameras have comparative advantages and disadvantages in different monitoring applications. Depending on surveillance requirements, you may need to select different CCTV camera types for specific areas of your business. 

To select the most suitable type of camera for your business, it’s essential to carry out a comprehensive physical security assessment and identify the features that are most important to maximizing coverage and protection for your property and your people. 

If you’re leaning towards turret cameras, you might also find our blog on Bullet vs Turret Cameras helpful. 

Additionally, consult with a professional security camera installer or integrator to get expert advice before finalizing your decision. 

Have questions? We can help

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