dome vs bullet cameras


Key takeaways

  • Dome cameras are discreet and vandal-resistant, making them suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
  • Bullet cameras are more visible and act as strong deterrents, ideal for long-range outdoor surveillance.
  • Dome vs. bullet security cameras differ in many ways, such as design, installation, durability, and use cases.
  • Combining dome and bullet cameras can provide comprehensive security coverage for a property.


Security camera systems are essential for enhancing safety and monitoring across all types of properties. With a wide range of options available, choosing the right camera can be challenging. Among the most popular types are dome vs. bullet cameras, each offering unique advantages.

So, in this post, we provide everything you need to know about dome and bullet security cameras. We’ll also explore each type, how they differ, and which model best suits your specific needs.

This guide covers:


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What is a dome camera?

A dome camera is a type of security camera characterized by its dome-shaped housing, which surrounds the camera in a transparent casing. Often equipped with infrared lights for night vision, dome cameras are designed to provide clear footage even in low-light conditions. Not to mention, the dome design is resistant to vandalism, making it difficult for someone to tamper with or redirect the camera.

Typically mounted on ceilings, dome cameras are discreet and less noticeable, allowing them to blend seamlessly into the environment. As a result, they’re ideal for monitoring open areas within your property. Moreover, their weather-resistant casing makes dome cameras suitable for outdoor use, providing reliable surveillance in various conditions.


What is a bullet camera?

A bullet camera is a type of security camera identifiable by its long, cylindrical shape, which resembles a bullet. Designed primarily for outdoor use, bullet security cameras are often mounted on walls or ceilings using a bracket for stable positioning.

Due to their prominent design, bullet cameras serve as a deterrent against intruders and criminal activity. However, their visibility also makes them more susceptible to vandalism. To mitigate this risk, it’s best to install bullet cameras out of reach.


Dome vs. bullet cameras

Here is a quick overview of dome vs. bullet cameras:


Feature Dome cameras Bullet cameras
Price Generally $90 to $200 per camera. Generally $90 to $200 per camera.
Design Discreet and easily blends into the environment. Prominent and visible to act as a deterrent.
Range Best for short distances across large areas. Great for long-range video recording.
Field of view Wide field of view for open areas. More narrower field of view to focus on specific areas.
Installation Best installed on horizontal surfaces. Can be installed vertically but requires accommodations. Can be installed in any orientation, but should be out of reach due to potential tampering.
Durability Highly resistant to vandalism and weatherproof. Less resistant to vandalism but is weatherproof.
Use cases Indoor or outdoor, retail, offices, lobbies Indoor or outdoor, perimeters, hallways, entryways


For a more detailed comparison, check out our breakdown of dome vs. bullet cameras below:



Generally, dome and bullet cameras will cost about the same. On average, you’ll spend anywhere from $90 to $200 per camera.

While the pride range is similar, dome security cameras may sometimes be more expensive due to their advanced features — 360° coverage and vandal resistance.

Of course, the price of your camera will vary depending on its features, such as night vision, resolution, and smart capabilities.



One of the most notable differences between dome and bullet cameras is their design. Dome cameras have a design that is best suited for blending into your property’s surroundings. This discrete design makes them excellent cameras for capturing activity while going unnoticed.

Meanwhile, bullet cameras have a more prominent design, making them effective at deterring criminal activity. Their cylindrical shape also enables them to provide focused, long-range surveillance, which is ideal for monitoring entrances, parking lots, and perimeters.



Based on each camera’s shape, you can guess that dome cameras are ideal for broad and short distances, whereas bullet cameras excel in long-range video recording.

So, dome cameras should be installed in open areas for the best experience — think lobbies, parking lots, and retail stores. On the other hand, bullet cameras provide you with the most value when pointed at entryways or exits, driveways, or even hallways.


Field of view

Dome cameras have a wide field of view, with some models providing 360° coverage. This feature allows them to monitor large areas effectively. Conversely, bullet cameras have a narrower field of view, so they can focus on specific areas, giving you detailed surveillance at long distances.



Dome cameras are more complex to install due to their typical ceiling mount. While dome security cameras are installed on vertical surfaces, this isn’t ideal. If you need to install dome cameras in easily reachable locations, that’s okay because they are designed to be vandal-resistant.

On the other hand, bullet cameras are generally easier to install. However, we recommend installing bullet cameras out of reach to prevent tampering because they are less resistant to vandalism. They can be mounted on walls or ceilings using brackets. The bullet design also allows for flexible positioning and easy adjustment, ensuring your camera’s field of view can quickly change if needed.



As we mentioned already, dome cameras are well-suited for all weather conditions thanks to their weatherproof casing. They are also highly resistant to vandalism, so they’re great for environments where tampering is a concern.

Bullet cameras are weatherproof, too, but they are less resistant to vandalism. Unlike its dome counterparts, the bullet’s design makes it easier to tamper or damage. Nonetheless, bullet cameras are suitable for indoor or outdoor use when installed in the right location.


Use cases

Due to their discreet design and wide-angle coverage, dome cameras are ideal for various indoor environments. They blend seamlessly into properties where aesthetics matter. In addition, their vandal-resistant housing makes them suitable for high-traffic areas with a higher risk of tampering.

Some examples of where you should use dome security cameras include:

  • Retail stores
  • Offices
  • Hotels
  • Event spaces
  • Lobbies
  • Restaurants
  • Schools and colleges
  • Hospitals

On the other hand, bullet cameras excel in targeted, long-range surveillance, making them ideal for outdoor use. Their prominent design acts as a strong deterrent to potential intruders. You’ll find bullet cameras are commonly installed in areas such as building perimeters, parking lots, driveways, and entryways. Nonetheless, they may also be used indoors where appropriate.

Bullet cameras can be installed in many places indoors or outdoors, such as:

  • Entryways and exits
  • Hallways
  • Garages and driveways
  • Perimeters
  • Loading docks
  • Construction sites
  • Warehouses
  • Sports facilities


Learn how to unlock new opportunities with ButterflyMX:


Pros and cons of dome vs. bullet cameras

When comparing dome vs. bullet cameras, it’s important to understand their advantages and drawbacks. That way, you can make a more informed decision when selecting the right solution for your needs.


Dome security cameras


  • Discreet design allows them to blend into the aesthetic of your property.
  • Vandal-resistant, making them perfect for high-traffic areas.
  • Wide-angle coverage ideal for monitoring large, open spaces.
  • Durable for interior and exterior use with weatherproof design.


  • Video coverage range is not very long.
  • Best installed on ceilings or horizontal surfaces rather than vertical.


Bullet security cameras


  • Highly visible design acts as a potential deterrent for intruders.
  • Can be installed on horizontal or vertical surfaces with ease.
  • Excellent for long-range video surveillance.
  • Weather-resistant, so they are perfect for indoor or outdoor use.


  • More susceptible to vandalism and tampering due to their bullet shape.
  • Prominent design may not be suitable for all settings.


Which is better, dome or bullet security cameras?

Neither camera is inherently better than the other. Instead, the decision should be based on your property’s particular security needs and circumstances.

In terms of functionality, both commercial security cameras can offer high-resolution video quality, night vision capabilities, and weatherproofing. The choice between them ultimately depends on the specific requirements of the surveillance project, whether discretion, visibility, or specific mounting options are prioritized.

Ultimately, your choice of camera will likely come down to both dome and bullet cameras, as they complement each other when implemented across your property. By strategically placing dome cameras indoors and bullet cameras outdoors, you achieve comprehensive coverage that addresses different security needs across your property. As such, this balanced approach leverages the strengths of each camera to enhance security and give you peace of mind.


Pair your security cameras with ButterflyMX

For a truly comprehensive security solution at your property, install dome and bullet cameras alongside ButterflyMX’s Access Control. This approach ensures robust surveillance coverage, enhanced entry management, and improved overall security, providing peace of mind and protection for your premises.

Most importantly, ButterflyMX enables property-wide access from a single platform that you can access via the mobile app or desktop. Manage access to your front door, gate, elevators, garage, offices, and more with the ButterflyMX ecosystem.

Make property access simple using ButterflyMX products:

  • Video Intercoms
  • Access Control
  • Vehicle Access Control
  • Package Rooms
  • Smart Locks
  • Elevator Controls
  • Front Desk Stations
  • Self-Guided Tours


Dome and bullet security camera FAQs


Can dome cameras be mounted vertically?

Yes, dome cameras may be mounted vertically with the right mounting equipment. Speak to the camera’s manufacturer or a security installer to learn more about your dome security camera’s mounting options.


How far can dome cameras see?

Dome cameras typically have a range of vision spanning from 100 to 200 feet, varying on the specific model and its features.


What is the angle covered by dome cameras?

Dome cameras generally cover a wide-angle view that ranges from 70° to 360.° This wide coverage allows you to monitor a broad area without needing to pan or tilt the camera frequently.


Do dome security cameras record sound?

Yes, some dome security camera models have the ability to record sound using a built-in microphone. However, not all dome cameras are equipped with this feature.


Can bullet cameras pan?

No, bullet cameras do not have the ability to pan. Once installed, these cameras provide fixed coverage over a specific area. If you need to monitor a different area, you’ll need to physically adjust the camera’s position accordingly.


pair your security cameras with ButterflyMX Access Control

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Bryson Hile

I love learning about new technologies, especially within the real estate market. I currently reside in Fishers, Indiana.

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