11 Cameras and No Protection

While working at a Centre Link office today I noticed that of the 11 cameras in the public foyer, not one was of any use.

So I thought I would test their security alertness and in view of everyone I took some photos of what they were covering. After taking several photos of the cameras and spot monitors, entrances etc., a staff member questioned me.

I explained that there surveillance was terrible and I was going to blog about it. She asked how I could tell it was bad so I explained that all the cameras were set to a wide angle shot of around 70 degrees and that you could not use these for anything more than an overview surveillance image. This would be fine if they had a good quality ID image at the only entry exit door. Unfortunately the entry camera was off set to the side so even if it was a good ID shot, you would have to enter an the right angle to get the face and it was quite a high ceiling so would not see under a cap.


Take a look at these images and tell me what you think. I believe they are too wide, lacking contrast and mounted too high.

Given the open floor plan, there is no objects restricting camera placement.

You can see me on the spot monitor below taking the photo. The camera was only 5 metres from me and the result is this.








In the interview rooms, there were additional cameras that are covering a small area of around 3 x 3 metres so they should be giving reasonable results.




There are 3 cameras looking across the front entrance in this picture. Far left, mid left and mid right. Can you pick which is the dummy camera? None look at the entry door either.






Comments please on what you would do if asked to install a camera system that you know wont work.



Leave a comment
  1. Tina April 17, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Hi, great post. Would you like to be a guest blogger on my site? I get asked to lipread stuff like this all the time. Even when people have their backs to the camera …! Most cctv cameras are placed too high for lipreading, and the quality is often too poor. Lots of issues here!

    • Tim Norton April 17, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      Hi Tina,

      Thanks for stopping by.
      Now lipreading from CCTV is a new one to me. I know your company is in the hearing impaired sector so this is an interesting requirement.
      I would love to work with you on some recommendations for image quality requirements.