Best camera option for security guard work?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by TheHeadShotNinja, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. TheHeadShotNinja

    TheHeadShotNinja TPF Noob!

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    So I am soon starting a job as a security guard and I am looking for a good camera to use to document various things such as suspicious characters, license plates, "evidence", etc.. (This may seem ridicules to some but trust me where I will be working it will be invaluable)
    I have a budget of about $300(would prefer to spend less, could possibly spend more)
    I need a camera that is Fast(fast to power on, fast to take photos, fast to focus), Tough, have either a high megapixel count or fast zoom,(not necessarily long zoom) Portable,(a portion of my job involves biking) and decent in low light.
    I would also prefer that it be also decent for photography or cinematography as those are hobbies of mine and I wouldn't mind this being a dual investment. (This is a plus not a must)
    Really to be honest A triple investment would be even better, is there any good camera phones you guys know of that would fit this criteria?
    Also to note I WILL NOT be using this as a body cam.


     
  2. orf

    orf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's quite a demanding spec maybe for 300. I reckon buy used; hopefully someone can suggest something specific.
     
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  3. TheHeadShotNinja

    TheHeadShotNinja TPF Noob!

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    I know but like I said I could spend more if necessary especially if I can use it for either of my hobbies as well.
     
  4. orf

    orf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm not speaking from direct experience, but the recent Panasonics are supposed to be very good for video. Not sure how quick the AF is, particularly in low light.
     
  5. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If it’s necessary for the job then your employer should be providing it. Security guard jobs don’t pay enough to be spending hundreds of your own dollars on non-essential equipment. If you break it at work and you paid for it, is your employer going to reimburse you? Doubtful.

    Just use your smartphone. The built in camera is more than adequate. Any of the big name smartphones released in the last few years will do the trick, but none of them are under $300.
     
  6. TheHeadShotNinja

    TheHeadShotNinja TPF Noob!

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    It is not "necessary" for my job (Which FYI pays well enough) however, I still consider it a worth while investment. And I asked for advice on what camera to get not commentary on my employer, personal financial decisions, or whether or not i'm going to break my camera on or off work.

    As for your recommendation, what do you mean by more than adequate? And, seriously "Any big name smartphone" I seriously doubt an I phone X would suit my use in any way.
     
  7. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well the iPhone X has the best camera money can buy in a smartphone right now.

    So if you want a phone and a camera combined as you mentioned that’s the best you’re going to do. I own tens of thousands of dollars in camera gear and yet I’m still blown away with the photo quality my iPhone 8 Plus puts out on a regular basis. I take more photos with it than I do with my D500, D810, go pro, and drone combined.

    You want to use the camera to document things like license plates, suspicious conditions, etc. Doing so requires a camera that can capture an image that’s clear enough to be distinguishable and that’s about it. It doesn’t have to be completely Noise free or of the absolute highest image quality because you aren’t printing them in large sizes or anything else that’s really quality intensive. So yes, any smartphone on the market would more than suffice for that purpose.

    I work as a paramedic and often use my phone camera to document damage to vehicles at car accidents and other similar conditions. It does just fine for that purpose because I’m simply attaching the photos to a chart or forwarding them on to an ER doc... I’m not making large prints with them or anything quality intensive much like you wouldn’t be with the photos taken while performing your job.

    Carrying a dedicated camera in addition to a smartphone would be redundant in this role in my opinion. You’re carrying an extra item with no real benefit for doing so.
     
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  8. TheHeadShotNinja

    TheHeadShotNinja TPF Noob!

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    I do agree with your statements, and thank you for your advice. I Think you misunderstand what I want out of this camera though. I am not looking for Image quality or beauty, I am looking for usability. I am looking for tactility and durability Something I find lacking in iphones. Also, many of the pictures I take will be from a reasonable distance away and I am looking for something that I can close that gap with either by zooming or cropping, things that,(from my understanding) phones do not do very well.
     
  9. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'd think maybe a point and shoot with optical zoom if you want to be able to zoom in quick to document something (although I'm not familiar with the sort of work you do). That type camera might be a more convenient size to carry on the job.

    You might go to a store where you could look at cameras of various brands; I imagine major brands should all be decent and it might be a matter of personal preference, see if you like the feel of a camera handling it as you would to use it.

    I think they run about $400 and maybe you'd find some good sales this time of year.
     
  10. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The big zoom point and shoot and bridge cameras are getting better with their start up and shutter lag. A bridge camera looks like a DSLR but does not have interchangeable lenses. Many of the new point and shoot and bridge cameras have lenses that optically zoom way more than any lens for a DSLR.

    A Nikon Coolpix B500 is under your budget (on sale now for $260 from Nikon). Has a 40x optical zoom lens. That if compared to a 35mm camera would be 22mm to 900mm. And digital zoom another 4x givng you up to 3,600mm final (but also reduced clarity). Will do a 7 shot burst for fast action. Uses inexpensive SD cards. Has a rear screen that moves for easier use when camera is held at extreme angles. And it fits your budget.
     
  11. Fstop-

    Fstop- TPF Noob!

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    I would say a point and shoot with 40x zoom, I would be small enough to carry and do a decent job in documenting stuff.

    Personally I would just go to the store and play with a bunch of them and see what seems to work well and feel comfortable. Sometimes when you know what model you want you can get a deal online.
     
  12. Ryanac23

    Ryanac23 TPF Noob!

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