Are Cameras Able to Record When They Are Turned Off? 2

Security cameras have become an integral part of most security systems that we see in our day to day lives. With them being so prevalent, it is totally justifiable to ask various questions you might have about CCTV cameras. One such question is if we can record with a CCTV camera when they are turned off.

One key thing that you need to know is that a disabled camera and a camera that is turned off is not the same thing. Broken cameras or cameras that had their wires cut down are not really the focus of this blog. This blog will cover what happens to the cameras when the power goes off like when there is an electricity outage.

You might be wondering if this is applicable to all CCTV cameras. The answer is no. Some CCTV cameras have internal batteries that they use to function but others do not. There is a combination of things that might happen in those scenarios and this article will cover a few of those scenarios.

The first and perhaps the most common one is having a camera that is wired and is connected to a power supply. What happens to cameras like those? If the power supply goes out, the cameras stop recording.

Sometimes there might be cameras that are wireless that is connected to the outlet directly and they upload the footage online for storage. But, if they do not have internal batteries, they will still fail to work when the power goes out.

There are cameras that run strictly on batteries. The issue with those kinds of cameras is that you would have to change the batteries very frequently and that might be an issue. These kinds of cameras are the ones that are able to record even when they are turned off.

The final scenario is having a camera that primarily uses an outlet for power but when the power goes off, it can use a battery so that it can continue to record footage.

Going over the setup

Regardless of which of the combinations from above you might have, the first thing you have to ensure is that you have set up a DVR or NVR storage for your camera. Then you need to make sure that they have enough storage to meet your recording demands. They are usually placed within the house to allow for ease of access.

If you do not want to use a physical DVR or NVR, you could consider uploading it to the cloud. They usually require a monthly payment depending on how much storage you require. If you somehow disconnect from the cloud during the recording procedure however, the footage will not be stored.

Some cameras these days do not require either of the security systems mentioned above. They come with internal storage that can hold a decent amount of recorded footage. So, these cameras are able to record when off as well. But because the internal storage is usually very small, they can only work like this for a short amount of time.

Similar to cameras that have replaceable batteries, these cameras have storages that can be replaced. You simply switch out your SD card when it is full and then swap in a new one for the recording process to continue seamlessly. Why would anyone want to use them over a DVR you ask? Because they make the process a lot more convenient and the cameras also record when they are off. That is truly a huge benefit.

These kinds of systems do have a flaw though. They need to be connected to a power source to be able to work. Whenever the power source is cut out, they stop working. An alternative way of using them would be to have replaceable and rechargeable batteries. The exact amount of storage required in your cameras will depend on a few things:

  • The frames per second (FPS) in which you record in
  • The resolution of the camera: typically, the higher the resolution, the better the image quality
  • The capacity of the SD card

What you need to know about SD cards

There are various types of SD cards out in the market and you will be glad to know that you do not need to be a SD card expert to be able to use these kinds of cameras. All you need to know is what kind of SD cards your cameras might be compatible with and then just get one that matches your storage demands. A good example would be a Samsung 64. They are class 4 or higher SD cards and are usually used for high definition or high-resolution recordings.


There definitely are cameras that do record when they are off. But you need to realize that not all cameras can do this and you must ask yourself if you really need a camera that is capable of doing such a thing. SD cameras are a great choice if you truly want a camera that works when off but a lot of people hate the fact that you need to constantly change the SD card.


  1. Hi actually in our hospital CCTV videos is last due to Power back ia not working so we changed it but last month ka photoghes ia not showing in back so can we get old record?

  2. Computer screen is off but cctv camera recording is on is possible???

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