Video Security Systems: Cameras and lenses
Basic CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) cameras are not very expensive. Since hardware costs are fairly low it is worth spending a little extra on a better system performance. Brand name cameras can be found between $100 to $350, and are often a better investment than a no-name camera. Prices vary according to features as well larger formats, higher resolution, and better sensitivity all drive prices up.
Hidden cameras, concealed in everyday objects like clocks, smoke detectors and calculators run $250 to $500. PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras are far more expensive, running $1,500 to $5,000 for one camera and the controller. If you do not have an operator to run a PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) camera, it is rarely worth the expense.
Remember that in most cases you are purchasing a camera without a lens, so there is more to spend before you get a workable system. Lens prices vary widely. Fixed focal length lenses can go for $100 to $350 depending on size and whether they have a manual or auto iris; automatic zoom lenses can be between $850 and $3,000.
Video Security Systems: Recording devices and peripherals
This is another area where your needs will determine how much you spend. DVR’s (Digital Video Recorder) generally start at $800 to $1500 and get more expensive with the more memory and inputs you add. If you are on a tight budget and willing to invest in fading technology, good time-lapse VCRs designed for security use start at $350 to $400 and go up to $600 or more.
Housings can cost from $25 to $250, depending on the degree of protection they provide.
CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors can go for $125 to $550 and flat panels range from $300 to over $5000. Both are heavily dependent on screen size.