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5 Tips From A Contractor: How to Get The Right Construction Camera for Every Jobsite

Every construction project manager understands that keeping a watchful eye on their jobsite is essential for progress monitoring, safety, and documentation. Selecting the right construction camera can significantly impact the ability to make informed decisions.

When Tim Scott, owner of Oklahoma-based contractor T. Scott Construction, first started documenting his projects over ten years ago, he tried several construction camera solutions from different manufacturers and learned what was necessary and the most useful. 

By understanding his diverse needs for each of his construction projects, Scott was able to consider factors such as resolution, field of view, and speed of deployment and installation when choosing a camera for each jobsite. "We've used EarthCam for basically ten years for various types of projects," Scott said. "We've built everything from Greek housing to even our own office building and used EarthCam to watch and monitor progress."

1. Not every jobsite needs a pan-tilt-zoom camera

Fixed cameras, such as Work Zone Cam, are ideal for capturing a specific field of view, providing consistent high resolution images of a specific area within a job site. They offer simplicity, reliability, and outstanding time-lapse. "Work Zone Cam has a really good view of the job site and is lightweight and easy to install," said Scott. "It's nice for some of our smaller projects where it just takes a snapshot every few minutes in lieu of a constant feed. We used it for our own headquarters." 

Pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, like EarthCam's ConstructionCam 4K, offer dynamic control over the surveillance area, allowing operators to pan, tilt, and zoom to focus on specific points of interest in real-time. This flexibility enables comprehensive coverage of the site with a constant live-feed of the project. "Our larger projects, we like to have constant feed because we can see in real-time what's going on," Scott stated. "ConstructionCam 4K has been very helpful." 

ConstructionCam 4K

2. Make sure your cameras serve clients & subcontractors too

Live-streaming video and edge-video recording are a must-have when contractors need to retain simultaneous records of all their jobsites remotely. "Some of the projects we do are out of town," Scott explained. "It's easy to have some eyes in the sky and see what's going on in real-time on project sites." Scott needs to provide subcontractors and owners with real-time access, enhancing situational awareness and decision-making.

"We do a lot of projects for committees," he added. "We can share links to those clients and they can access our EarthCam's to view the project and to also use the timeline feature and go forward and backwards, take snapshots, or send it others involved with the project." 

"We've used other camera brands before and we found that EarthCam just fits us better," stated Scott. "We've used three different types of EarthCam cameras on our projects and have been very happy with all the products."

3. Use solar power - start documentation before AC power is available

Contractors need to consider power options depending on their project environment. Whether connected to AC power for continuous, reliable operation or utilizing solar power for sustainable, off-grid setups, EarthCam's cameras provide the flexibility to meet diverse construction locations. "Work Zone Cam is easy to connect with solar," said Scott. "It doesn't take much power which is a nice benefit when you're in an area where temporary power may not be ready to set up the cameras before we start, so that requires solar and it's lightweight and easy to install." 

Work Zone Cam

Time-lapse is another powerful project documentation tool. EarthCam is able to create visually stunning time-lapse videos that showcase the evolution of construction over time. Utilizing advanced camera systems with AI automates the recording and sharing of transformative moments. EarthCam's time-lapse video technology makes them a trusted choice to share the passage of time in a visually epic way. 

4. Reduce liability with weather data and recordings

Being based in Oklahoma City, Scott is no stranger to ever-changing weather on jobsites. Whether it's rain, snow, wind, or lightning, after a weather event, an accurate record of weather impacts can help address potential liability issues and even support force majeure or insurance claims. Camera solutions with comprehensive weather dashboards helps both preparation for future weather events and documentation afterwards. "We use EarthCam for tracking data," Scott remarked. "It's nice to have that data recorded not just through field reports, but also through visual documentation using EarthCam." EarthCam pushes comprehensive weather advisories with imagery via email or SMS, alerting project management to weather risks in seconds.


5. Pick a solution that auto-connects to your Project Management Software

One other factor that should be considered when choosing a construction camera is level of integration with popular project management platforms. Through the industry's deepest software integrations, EarthCam ensures real-time synchronization of project data, timelines, and progress.  "We've used it (EarthCam's Autodesk integration) primarily for taking snapshots and sending out either an RFI to an architect or a question to a subcontractor of something we've spotted on the jobsite," said Scott. These integrations speed up and simplify communication among team members, and ultimately contribute to timely project completion. 

Lastly, experienced project managers will choose a camera solution that provides immediate customer support and timely onsite maintenance for their cameras. EarthCam's support team is available around the clock, ensuring prompt resolution to concerns.  "We've found that EarthCam just fits us better in regards to customer service," proclaimed Scott. "They're quick to help us out when we have questions."