Since the arrival of 4K cameras, there has been debates on whether or not they are worth using for the average home or store owner. They do have a higher resolution, but is this resolution enough to justify the higher cost? Let’s discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of using 4K CCTV cameras.
What Does 4K Mean?
Image resolution is measured in pixels. Pixels are essentially little blocks that make up an image. The more pixels that an image has, the more detailed and clear it will look. Less pixels will cause each pixel to be blown up bigger in order to cover the span of the image. This will make images appear rather blocky, like something out of Minecraft. To get the total amount of pixels, you would multiply the number of pixels on the height by the number of pixels on the width. 4K CCTV cameras will record images that have 8 million pixels, or 8 megapixels (MP). The terms 4K and 8MP are used interchangeably because the 8MP will refer to the total pixel amount while 4K refers to the image having 4,000 pixels horizontally.
Are 4K CCTV Cameras Better?
4K CCTV cameras get a lot of attention because they offer higher resolutions. For security cameras, having a good resolution is extremely important for capturing incidents. If someone had burglarized your house, you would want to have a detailed record of events and a clear picture of the criminal to aid the investigation. If the footage is too blurry to see anything, then it’ll be worthless and your investment on the security system would have gone to waste.
4K CCTV cameras will even still have clear images when they have been zoomed in. The issue with lower resolution cameras is that the images will appear more blurry the more times you zoom in. 4K cameras are so detailed that using 2x digital zoom will produce images that are still 2x more clear than 2MP cameras.
Another benefit of using 4K CCTV cameras is that they will typically have a wider field of view which means that you will be able to see more of an area with a single camera. So even though a single camera will cost you more than a lower resolution camera, you may end up saving money by not having to buy as many of them.
A common disadvantage that gets brought up whenever the topic of 4K CCTV cameras is discussed is that they will require more storage and bandwidth. Like we explained earlier, higher resolutions will have a higher number of pixels which translates into containing more data. 4K cameras require more storage and bandwidth compared to lower resolution cameras because there’s more data that needs to be stored and transmitted.
However, these issues can be minimized by using H.265. H.265 is a CCTV codec that works to compress video file sizes to reduce the necessary storage and bandwidth. H.265 is currently the most advanced codec on the market and many 4K cameras utilize it to lessen the strain on bandwidth and save storage capacity. Storage and bandwidth are definitely factors that you should take into consideration when choosing a security camera, but most 4K CCTV cameras will not completely exhaust your system like how they’re thought to do.