It’s also true that it’s a headache figuring out what exactly you need from security camera resolution. Speaking of which, what even is camera resolution?
What Is a Good Resolution for a Camera?
The right security camera for you doesn’t mean the highest resolution security camera. Finding the best resolution for you balances budget, quality, and the intended use for your security camera.
Best Outdoor Security Camera Resolution
Outdoor security cameras capture a greater variety of things throughout the day than indoor cameras.
Significant lighting and environmental changes are to be expected, so outdoor cameras benefit from resolutions upwards of 720p. This displays greater detail.
|Best Outdoor Security Camera Resolution|
|1280 x 720||720p – the lower threshold of HD, useful for distant/weak Wi-Fi. Images appear crisp and sharp, but may not be detailed enough at a distance from subjects.|
|1920 x 1080||1080p – the most used and supported HD standard. Great image quality for outdoor surveillance.|
|2560 x 1440||1440p/QHD – also often referred to as 2K. Sharp, detailed images perfect for outdoors.|
Best Indoor Security Camera Resolution
Indoor security cameras tend to be closer to the Wi-Fi router, meaning a stronger connection is established.
This should provide higher quality. However, with consistent indoor lighting, there’s less reason for super sharp indoor security camera resolutions.
|Best Indoor Security Camera Resolution|
|426 x 240||240p – the widescreen low definition television resolution. The minimum for solid indoor security, suitable for weak internet connections.|
|704 x 480||480p – lower definition, not considered HD. Images are clear with adequate indoor lighting.|
|1280 x 720||720p – the lower threshold of HD. Images appear crisp and sharp.|
|1920 x 1080||1080p – the most used and supported HD standard. Great image quality for indoors surveillance.|
Why Are Security Cameras So Blurry? Image Quality, in a Nutshell
‘Image quality’ is defined primarily by two things: resolution and frames per second (FPS). So a ‘blurry security camera’ is typically caused by low security camera resolution and low FPS.
What are they, and how do they impact the quality of footage?
|What is it?||Number of pixels displayed on screen.||Number of individual frames captured via the camera per second.|
|How does it affect image quality?||A higher pixel rate creates a more detailed image.|
A low pixel rate lacks detail and looks messy.
|A high frame rate creates a smoother video.|
A low frame rate looks jagged and choppy.
The combination of a high resolution and a high frame rate creates a sharp and smooth image.
In the event of a theft or other crime, the footage is more reliable evidence if it is detailed and smooth.
Check out the camera resolution chart below for a list of the most commonly supported resolutions.
|426 x 240||240p – the widescreen low definition television resolution.|
|704 x 480||480p – lower definition, not considered HD.|
|1280 x 720||720p – the lower threshold of HD.|
|1280 x 960||960p – an uncommon resolution, but the specific HD standard for Sony.|
|1600 x 1200||2 Megapixel.|
|1920 x 1080||1080p High Definition – remains the most used and supported HD standard.|
|3840 x 2160||8 Megapixel – known as 4K (coax).|
|4000 x 3000||12 Megapixel – 4K (IP), the highest resolution currently supported by mainstream IP cameras. Expensive, extremely large file sizes, and not necessary for security.|
Is 1080p good enough for a security camera?
1080p HD is an ideal resolution for a security camera, providing clear and sharp images that capture the detail needed.
Is 4K better than 5 MP?
4K is better than 5 MP because it is significantly higher resolution.
5 MP is 5 megapixels, while 4K is 12 megapixels (double the resolution of standard 1080p HD).
However, 4K is impractical for most home security cameras unless the wireless network the device is connected to is exceedingly good. Such high quality takes a toll on internet speeds.
Built-in IR is also vital for 4K cameras, or else night time recording produces an unstable image.
What’s a megapixel? How many megapixels is a security camera?
A megapixel is just over one million pixels.
The number of megapixels in a security camera depends entirely on the model. Most IP cameras support up to 1080p (roughly 2 megapixels), which is perfect for surveillance.
Is 720p good for a security camera?
720p is a good resolution for indoor security cameras because it enables the camera to capture detail without burdening wireless routers. 720p cameras are also inexpensive.
If the camera is going to be placed at some distance from its object, like outside, a higher resolution might be preferable (at least 1080p).
What is the highest resolution security camera available?
At present, 4K is the highest resolution supported by security cameras. There are both IP and coaxial (wired) cameras that support 4K.
Security camera resolution isn’t everything when it comes to good security. Budget, audio, zoom capability, lighting, and other factors need to be considered when deciding on what’s right for you.
A higher resolution means greater detail, and therefore more clarity, while a higher frame rate allows you to monitor the movements of your object more accurately.
But high security camera resolution punishes the average Wi-Fi router, so playing around with the quality settings to find a happy medium is necessary for most users.