Bullet vs. Dome Camera: An In-depth Comparison

Dome vs Bullet camera comparison

Dome vs Bullet camera comparison

Security is of the utmost importance in this day and age. Not only are we monitoring our technology and Internet use, but also our bank accounts and our credit.

This is important to maintain our safety, but we shouldn’t neglect security in our homes either.

With the idea of a smart home in full effect, there are more options than ever before. Security cameras are gaining popularity everywhere as a means of keeping a watchful eye on your home.

Should you invest in a security camera? If so, what kind? There are two primary options for you to choose from – bullet and dome cameras.

We know that this can be a tough decision, so we are going to break it down for you in this informative guide. Let us take a look at bullet vs dome cameras so you’re completely aware of the choice that will be best for you.

Qualities at a Glance

Bullet Security Cameras

The first type of camera we will discuss is of the bullet variety, which is a type of camera that is elongated and usually rather thin.

They are typically attached to a wall or other surface and pointed in a specific direction.

They have gained a lot of popularity among businesses and homeowners for use in protecting their belongings.

One of the main advantages of bullet cameras is that they come in many different varieties, such as wired and wireless.

The wireless option is excellent because you can take it with you anywhere to set it up. On the other hand, the wired option is perfectly suitable for use on a wall or other surface where the camera will remain for some time.

A typical dome camera

We also enjoyed that bullet security cameras come in many different waterproof or water resistant varieties. Some of them can even be used underwater to depths of up to 100 feet!

Another considerable advantage of this type of security monitoring device is its ability to capture footage in low light conditions.

With the infrared sensors that come built into most bullet cameras, you will have no problem capturing images in the dimmest of lights.

Depending on where you will be placing the camera, you may be interested in a long range option.

Bullet cameras can capture long-range images and wide field of vision options, and that is why they are used for securing vast areas such as backyards or parking lots.

There are a few disadvantages to bullet cameras. For instance, they cannot be placed near a reflective surface because of the infrared capabilities. This may cause a glare, which can disrupt the camera lens and cause distortion.

Another drawback is the fact that you can only use the camera in one specific direction. It does not allow for multidirectional use, so if someone adjusts the camera, then they can be out of its field of view.

Popular bullet camera brands include Swann, Lorex and Night Owl.


  • They offer high-quality images in low light conditions.
  • They can be placed on a wall outside.
  • This type can be used in an area where you need a large field of view.


  • The cameras are often not able to be used for multidirectional purposes since they do not have an auto rotate feature.
  • It can be challenging to use them near reflective surfaces.
  • They are not quite as discreet as other options.

Dome Security Cameras

The next type of camera that we will be discussing is the dome security camera, which is usually shaped like a round dome that can be attached directly to a ceiling or wall.

They get their name from their housing, which can protect it from most elements.

The dome security cameras are usually very discreet (the actual camera is often hidden), and it can be difficult to tell which direction they are facing.

There are many advantages to dome security cameras, which we will cover below.

One of the main benefits of this type, similar to the bullet designed cameras, is the varied options that you have when deciding to buy one.

There are many different price ranges and designs, some of which include infrared, motion, night vision, and thermal sensors.

Dome cameras also come standard with a wide angle field of view. This means that you have a sort of fisheye lens view of the area that you are trying to surveil.

This is an excellent feature for allowing views of large land areas. They can become panoramic cameras, which can widen the field of view to 180 or 360 degrees.

These security devices are also capable of withstanding most attempts to tamper with them.

Their dome design does not allow a potential burglar to move the direction of the lens. They are relatively tamper proof, which is the best option if you plan to place it within reach of a potential vandal.

They are also discreet and low profile systems. This allows them to go virtually unnoticed to potential intruders. They are much less noticeable at first glance and allow for discreet surveillance.

If you don’t want people passing by to notice that they are being watched immediately, then this is a distinct advantage.

The low profile design is great for mounting on ceilings, and they also come in an inconspicuous white color to blend into walls.

One of the more simple reasons that people choose to buy dome systems is simply because of their more aesthetic appeal. This makes them suitable for indoor use in homes where you don’t want to disrupt the decor of your home.

These cameras also come with the ability to monitor activity during the day or the night. They are equipped with infrared lights that allow for easy viewing in low light or nighttime conditions.


  • They are discreet and low profile.
  • This system offers a broad, fisheye field of view.
  • The direction that the lens is facing can’t be easily detected.


  • Dome cameras are not as suitable for extended range use.
  • The installation is slightly more complicated than other options.

Head-to-Head Comparison

Comparing dome vs bullet cameras

As you can tell from the feature guide above, both cameras have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

There are many factors to consider when attempting to set up a security system.

Let’s take a look at a few bullet camera vs dome camera specifics. These are different areas where each type excels and how to choose which one to purchase.

Ease of Installation

Installation of a dome camera

Many different types of people want to install security systems; it could be a homeowner with little knowledge of technical installation, and it could also be a professional security installation team.

Either way, there will be a difference in the level of difficulty that you will want to endure while installing security devices.

First and foremost, the installation of these camera systems can be tricky, but the advantage in this category is the bullet security camera models.

The dome type is not necessarily hard to install, but it must be placed on a ceiling rather than on a wall.

The reason that bullet cameras have an advantage is because of the ease at which you can place them on a wall, ceiling, or practically any surface.

Dome systems have to be installed on a ceiling only, which limits their placement.

Repositioning is also effortless with bullet systems. Instead of having to take down the whole assembly, you can adjust the camera in the desired direction, meaning that you can have different viewpoints from day to day if you so chose.

If you needed to remove the security device for whatever reason, the bullet type offers ease and simplicity.

Its straightforward mounting bracket design allows for less residual damage upon removal from any surface.


Dome camera mounted outside front door

One of the most critical factors in this comparison is the location that you would like to place the security camera. This is a big decision when it comes to preparing to install any security monitor.

The security camera will capture footage regardless of location, but the particular characteristics of each type allow for better-suited placements. Do you want to place it outside or inside?

There are two clear winners in this category.

If you would like to place it outside, then the choice is the bullet camera. The features of these camera types are better suited for outdoor use than their dome counterparts.

For one, the bullet models are much more visible, which can be an immediate deterrent to potential threats. The bullet design is also waterproof and can stand up to many different elements.

One important thing to consider when purchasing is the IP rating. This determines how waterproof the device is. It is ideal that outdoor accessories have an IP rating of greater than 66.

They can also be easily maneuvered to monitor multiple different areas at different times. This allows for a full range of viewing on a night to night basis. This will keep unwanted visitors unsure of the position.

Bullet camera looking in large property

The bullet design also has a much longer range than the other models. They are capable of capturing far away objects and still maintain the picture quality, making it ideal for viewing a large backyard or a large parking lot.

As opposed to the bullet design, the dome design is much better suited for indoor use because of its low profile and inconspicuous design. It makes it easier to conceal so that it won’t be so distracting.

They are often small and sleek, so having them in your home or office is better for aesthetic appeal.

They are also compact, and they fit easily into smaller spaces, which is great when you’re securing small rooms. You can install them into corners and confined areas such as elevators hallways.

While the bullet types have a long-range view, the dome design has a full, fisheye field of view. This makes it perfect for indoor contained areas, for it allows you to view from side to side to capture the whole image.

Image Quality

Example image quality from dome camera

Example from Reolink PTZ Security Camera

The amount of light in a given area may also determine the type of security system you should be installing. For this category, both of the designs that we have been discussing are perfectly suitable for the amount of light where it will be placed.

Both designs have plenty of infrared sensors and technology to be used in low light conditions. They are capable of using built-in LED lights that allow the standard lens to be used during the day. At night, if the system detects low light, it will illuminate utilizing the built-in LED lights.


The next question is, do you want people to see the system which you have in place? This question is referring to the visibility of the device, and in this category, both systems are good choices, but for different reasons.

If you want people to be able to see the system to act as a deterrent, then the obvious choice is the bullet design system. It can be placed on a wall and pointed directly at the location which you want to surveil.

It will be sticking out and therefore, highly visible. This may deter a potential threat from coming any closer for fear of being discovered.

If you would like the system to be covert, then the choice is the dome system. This design allows for it to be hidden where people passing in front of the camera may not even know it is there. It can also be placed in small spaces and can blend in with the color of the decor.


This next category involves the aesthetics of the camera. It is related to the visibility as well in that you may or may not want a camera visible in your home.

The aesthetics of the system has more to do with where and how you want it placed. Either camera will be suitable for aesthetics depending on your preference.


It is difficult to come to a verdict here in a dome vs bullet camera style, so we awarded both the bullet and dome design systems. Simply put, both systems have relatively indestructible designs.

Both of them can be used in all weather conditions. As previously mentioned, the central rating to look for here is the IP or waterproof level rating. An excellent rainproof IP rating is usually 66 or higher.

Our Picks For The Best Bullet Security Cameras

Nest Security Camera (Best bullet camera)View on Amazon


Our top pick for the ultimate bullet camera is the Nest Cam Security Camera. Nest has been the staple in automated smart home equipment for quite some time now.

We enjoyed the fantastic functionality of this system. It captures live 1080p video feeds as well as sends notifications to your smartphone.

It features a 130-meter wide view and detects motion and sound. This is truly the top of the line product from Nest.

Swann SWPRO-Bullet CameraView on Amazon


Our top budget pick in this section is the Swann SWPRO-1080MSB PIR Motion Camera. It features 1080p video feed with a 102-meter wide field of view.

It also offers plenty of infrared sensors to detect large objects at night. This is a feature-packed camera without the expensive price tag.

Our Picks For The Best Dome Security Cameras

Reolink PTZ Security Camera (Our best dome camera for outdoors)View on Amazon


Our number one choice in this section is the RLC-423 PTZ. It is packed with a 5MP lens and a 190 feet field of view.

It is certified water resistant with an IP rating of 66. It also comes with a 360-degree pan and four times optical zoom.

Our budget choice in this section is the RLC-422 Dome. This one comes with a vandal proof rating of IK10, which means that you can be sure no one will be able to tamper with your system.

Reolink 5MP IP PoE Camera (Our lease expensive dome camera)

View on Amazon


Final Verdict

We have covered many features and devices within this guide.

When it comes down to choosing the right one for you, you need to be aware of placement, visibility, range, location, and any other top ticket items that matter to you the most.

Two cameras together

When choosing a security camera system, you can be sure that you will find the right device for you. If you plan to build an extensive security system, then you can use both types of devices.

Just follow our bullet camera vs dome camera guide for which type should go where, because those small details make or break the system.

Be careful and you will be up and running in no time!

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