Let’s Talk 4K Cameras

The popularity of 4K has been steadily growing due to large marketing efforts from major TV brands, cell phone manufacturers and surveillance companies. 4k is widely recognized by consumers to offer higher resolution, color and contrast and the demand for higher quality video has grown within the surveillance market.  

4K surveillance cameras do come with an additional cost, need more storage, use more bandwidth and do have other issues. We will discuss and explain the new trends in 4K security cameras and what Ultra HD and 8 Megapixel have to do with 4K.

Let’s begin with 4K network IP cameras, and learn what 4K is, how it works and why you would use 4K security cameras.

We will tackle these subjects:

  • What is a 4K Security Camera?

  • 4K security cameras, how do they work?

  • Why you should consider 4K Security IP Cameras?

  • 1080p, 2K vs 4K Security Cameras

  • Top Things to Consider when looking for the Best 4K Security Cameras

  • Where should you install 8MP security cameras?

  • 4K Security Cameras Top Concerns

  • The time for 8MP Security Cameras is now

  • 4K Security Cameras Alternative Solutions

What is a 4K Security Camera?

4K surveillance cameras offer high resolution 3840*2160 with over 8 million pixels, the 8 million pixels is why a 4K camera is also considered or called an 8MP security camera. You will also see 4K cameras referenced as 2160p cameras, ultra HD CCTV cameras or 4K UHD security cameras.

The millions of pixels are measured horizontally and vertically and the 4K reference refers to those containing roughly 4K (3840) horizontal pixels.

There are typically two resolution standards when speaking about 4K: 3840*2160 and 4096*2160. Most 4K cameras used within the security industry, when people talk about 4K IP cameras, 8MP security cameras, ultra HD CCTV cameras, or 2160p cameras, they are talking about the ones with 3840*2160 resolution.

What are the advantages of 4K?

4K network IP security cameras tend to offer you more detail and clearer video images because of the higher pixel count.

Some of these examples may be clearer license plates from passing and parked cars, clearer facial recognition, the ability to observe small details on clothing and objects that may help identify people when an event occurs.

4k simply offers a more detailed image that allows for better visibility. Many 4K cameras also offer motozoom lenses to offer a closer field of view and also offer built-in microphone to stream and record audio with your video recording.

4K security cameras, how do they work?

Consumers will always directly compare 4K security cameras to 4K televisions, tablets, and photographic cameras. Marketing for these 4k products has made consumers more aware of 4K and they expect 4K to provide better performance and detail.

4k cameras use special image sensors. A typical image sensor inside a 4K security camera is larger in size than smaller resolution cameras and offer improved low-light sensitivity which allows for the 8MP high resolution. Coupled with advanced video codecs (10- or 12-bit), and Ultra H.265, 4K CCTV cameras can truly offer high-quality video images.

It’s important to note that many 4K cameras being sold are not actual 4K cameras, always refer to the product specifications to ensure the cameras you are purchasing offer image resolutions of 8MP (3840*2160).

Why you should consider 4K Security IP Cameras?

Surveillance 8MP (4K) cameras offer a lot of benefits and distinct advantages:

8MP 4K HD Security Cameras offer more details and clearer video.

When compared to standard resolution cameras like 720P (1MP) cameras, 4K resolution cameras boasts over eight times the resolution and clarity and offer over four times that of 1080p (2MP) cameras, and twice as much as 1440p cameras

At 8MP and with a good lens adjustment you can expect to see clearer video security camera video from 65 -100 ft away, such as license plates, facial features, and written words.

Digital zoom allows for more detail when using 4K 8MP Security Cameras.

Similar to mobile phones that offer pinch-to-zoom, 4K IP cameras allow you to you zoom in digitally to get closer to an object or person. This can be performed during live viewing as well as during playback.

8MP cameras provide as much as 2x the image size as a typical 1080p camera even after zooming 2X, this allows for better clarity while zooming in.

Motozoom Example

You also have the option of using motorized optical zoom lenses to zoom into objects, this offers the best quality as the lens adjusts the distance and field of view for a perfect image without the digital distortion that typically occurs when overusing digital zoom.

8MP IP security cameras offer a wider field of view

4K IP cameras have a wider field of view than 2MP 1080p cameras and offer larger a larger aspect ratio and more resolution.

A single 4K camera can typically cover more area which means fewer cameras. You may be able to cover larger space such as a reception area, lobby and cash registers with one 4K camera as opposed to using several 2MP 1080p cameras to cover the same space. This lowers the cost of the 4K cameras since you can manage the spaces with fewer cameras.

Future proof technology makes more sense.

8MP 4K is becoming more common and replacing many older 1080p cameras. It’s always better to purchase technology that will provide the longest lifespan, and 4K will soon be the standard for most cameras installed.

With 4K becoming mainstream in devices we use daily such as TV’s, digital cameras, monitors and tablets it only makes sense to follow the trend when considering 4K security cameras for your home or business. Keep in mind that viewing 4K cameras in their native resolution means you need a 4K monitor and with most consumer devices being sold today at 4K it only makes sense to use 4k moving forward.

1080p, 2K vs 4K Security Cameras

We know it’s difficult to make a decision and choose the right security camera. Choosing between ultra HD CCTV cameras, 2MP and 1MP still pose questions.

Are 4K security cameras far superior to 2MP cameras? Is 4K overkill for typical surveillance needs? Are 8MP cameras really worth your investment?

Let’s tackle some of these questions. Most installers use 2MP or 4MP security cameras for their typical generic installations. These cameras typically record generic views and do not offer much high detail or high resolution unless they are used to focus on key areas using tighter lenses. 4K offers higher levels of detail without the need for zooming in using a varifocal lens

Here is a simple breakdown of the resolution sizes and pixels for typical cameras.

The reason most people install security cameras is that they want to be able to record events and incidents that occur on their property. These incidents need to offer the most detail so one can accurately pinpoint an individual or prosecute if there is an event or a crime. 4K cameras help to offer high definition video that provides more detail than standard cameras, therefore make the most sense to use for your security needs.

You may still have doubts based on cost, bandwidth, and storage related issues and we will discuss this further in just a moment. Let’s have a look at the following steps to help determine if 8MP 4K is right for you.

Top Things to Consider when looking for the Best 4K Security Cameras:

There is no doubt that having 4K ultra HD IP cameras are great, but you need to make sure to do your due diligence when installing or purchasing 4K cameras. There are certain things to look for when purchasing true 4K or 8MP security cameras and this typically begins with the camera type, such as dome, bullet, wireless, PoE, Pan Tilt, and zoom, infrared or built-in audio.

We suggest that you check the following when considering 8MP 4K cameras to make sure you’re getting a true 4K camera.

#1. 8MP Surveillance Camera Resolution

This may sound a little dumb, but make sure the cameras you are looking at truly offer 4K video resolution.

Many people sell cameras that claim to be 4K and use 4K in their marketing but actually provide 1080p. Always make sure that the camera menu displays its resolution settings to confirm 4K resolution (3840*2160).

#2. Codec & Compression for 4K Surveillance Cameras

Advanced 4K security cameras will always feature advanced High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), also known as H.265. Our Signature cameras offer Ultra H.265 to maintain low file sizes without losing their clear and detailed 4K image.

Using H.265 compression basically allows you to record and stream at 4K 8 megapixel video but use up half the storage space and use less bandwidth on your network, it gives you the best of both worlds.

#3. Security Camera Lens

Many 4K cameras sold in the market offer poor performance and do not deliver high-quality video and this is often times due to the quality of the lens rather than the resolution of the camera sensor.

Some products are sold with plastic lenses that simply do not provide clarity or performance. It’s imperative to make sure that high-quality optics are used when purchasing a 4K camera. Our Signature 4K cameras offer the best quality glass and aspherical lenses to ensure you get the best possible image from our cameras.

Also, consider the focal length when determining what 4K IP camera you are choosing. Wide-angle lenses offer a wider area so you see more coverage but offer less detail at further distances. If you need a camera that captures more detail such as a license plate or a specific object, then a lens with a longer focal length will make more sense. A camera with a varifocal lens specifically pointing to the object of interest would offer the best results.  

#4. Viewing Angle for 4K IP Security Camera

Most 4K cameras offer a wider range view, but it’s important to check the specified viewing angle of the 4K camera to make sure you will have the desired coverage. As an example, you may want to install the 4K camera on the corner of your home and capture your front yard, driveway and front door entrance. This would typically mean you need a wide angle view.

Most 4K video security cameras offer a wide view of 100°- 114.8° horizontally.

#5. Adverse conditions and camera performance for 4K Security Cameras

Certain conditions will affect camera video. Though a 4K IP camera may provide excellent video you may find that the camera underperforms when certain conditions occur throughout the day or night.

One prime example of this may be when you have a bright light and a shaded area in the same field of view. Many cameras cannot adjust properly and the video may be washed out or too bright which does not allow for details to be observed.

Signature cameras offer WDR to fix this issue. WDR also was known as Wide Dynamic Range, helps to balance light coming into image sensors and the digital signal processor (DSP). A 4K Ip camera with WDR capability will either perform these adjustments digitally using DWDR or use two image sensors called (CCD) Charge Coupled Device to capture one scene multiple times and then combine those captured images to optimize overall video and image quality.

#6. Frames per second and video fluency when using 8MP Surveillance Camera

Frames per second (FPS) is an important aspect of any 4K camera purchase. The higher the frames per second you have on a camera the more fluid the live video and recording will be. Many 4K cameras being sold offer 5 FPS which makes the video choppy and lose frames, so you will see a person or object appear in a scene and then miss several steps or frames while viewing or playing back video. Always ask for cameras that support 15-30 FPS when purchasing 4K security cameras.

#7. Night Vision 8MP Security Cameras

4K security cameras offer vibrant image quality during the day as you could see. A clear image with vivid color and fantastic performance even in shaded and well-lit areas.

Night video is very different. 4K, 2160p, and 5MP cameras have more to deal with in total darkness, like noise problems and light balance.

4K cameras often use 3D DNR technology to provide the best possible distance and night viewing. 4K cameras also offer infrared black and white viewing for the best performance at night. The cameras will automatically switch from color to black and white at night to provide better coverage and visibility.

There is also the option of having color at night by using Starlight technology. Here is an example of our 4K camera with black and white turned off at night. In order to have proper Starlight technology, the camera must have a Starlight image sensor. Many cameras can stay in color mode and produce a decent image but a true Starlight camera will outperform cameras of this type.

#8. USA based support

Purchasing a 4K camera is just the first step, having an installer that understands 4K cameras and its settings will make the process much easier. Eclipse Security dealers understand surveillance and are certified in Eclipse products so you don’t have to worry about the small details.

Eclipse has been in business since 1998, that’s over 20 years of surveillance experience. You can purchase our products knowing full well you’re dealing with a reputable company.

#9. Warranty on 8MP Security Cameras

Warranty can play a big part when it’s actually needed. Eclipse offers a 3-year manufacturers warranty on its products.  Eclipse products are only sold and distributed by CCTV Outlet, Inc in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.

#10. 4K Security Cameras Compatibility Issues

There’s nothing worse than purchasing a 4K CCTV camera and having compatibility issues.

Eclipse Security offers best in class IP security cameras that offer ONVIF support and work with most any reputable IP network video recorder or software on the market. Many 4K cameras sold on the market have older ONVIF software or do not support ONVIF at all, this means the cameras will not work directly with other recorder or software.

Eclipse Security cameras work with many 3rd party VMS manufacturers to ensure our products work perfectly with their products.

Where should you install 8MP security cameras?

You can install 4K surveillance cameras anywhere, but choosing the right location is crucial to receiving the best possible coverage. Our 4K security cameras offer built-in POE so you only need to run one wire from the Network Video Recorder to the 4K security camera which makes the installation virtually plug and play.

Here are some suggestions on where to install your 4K ultra HD IP cameras.

#1. Install 4K Outdoor Security Cameras at the Front Door

Most residential break-ins occur directly at the front door. Installing a 4K security camera at your front door will help decrease the chances of a burglar actually entering your home. Some 4K camera models offer built-in audio and support push notifications when motion is detected so you are informed immediately as someone approaches your front door.

#2. Front and Backyard coverage with 8MP Home Security Cameras

Some Eclipse 4K security cameras offer wide-angle views that are perfect for monitoring your front and back yards. Since 4K cameras offer more coverage than typical 1080p cameras you can use one camera to monitor these areas without needed to install several cameras for the same coverage.

#3. 2nd story homes or vaulted ceilings are great for 4K CCTV cameras.

4k security cameras offer long-range lens options with longer infrared distances that are perfect for high installations both outdoor and indoor. The longer lens options allow you to zoom in to objects and get a closer field of view and the long range IR will ensure that you get the best image possible even in total darkness.

#4. 8MP Security Camera Systems for commercial and industrial use.

4K security camera systems are the perfect solution for businesses and industrial use. The high-definition video is perfect for those locations looking for detailed crisp images that help them thwart crime. Eclipse Signature 4K products are perfect for public locations like supermarkets, airports, retail and city projects.

Eclipse Signature cameras offer a wide range of analytics to help business and commercial properties get the most out of the video recordings.

4K Security Cameras Top Concerns

Since 4K is relatively a newer technology to surveillance cameras its common to have concerns about 8MP or 2160p security cameras. Some of these concerns may include bandwidth or storage problems, compatibility issues, or even the cost.

Most of these concerns are valid but let’s go over these concerns to better understand each one of them.

#1. Higher Price with 4K CCTV cameras

4K will naturally have a higher price than normal 1080p, 3MP and 4MP type cameras.

Eclipse Signature 4K products are actually very affordable and competitive in price when compared to other models with less resolution. If you consider that Signature 4K cameras offer more coverage per camera you actually can save money by using fewer cameras per installation to cover the same areas.

#2. 4K Security Camera WiFi or LAN Bandwidth Consumption

LAN or WiFi bandwidth will always be a concern when transmitting large 4K surveillance video but with high-efficiency video codecs (HEVC), namely ultra H.265 codec adopted by Eclipse Signature 4K security cameras,  we can eliminate these concerns by cutting the files sizes by more than half without degrading the 8MP video quality.

#3. 4K surveillance uses more storage space

Much like bandwidth concerns, storing large video files in 4K formats can be worrisome. Signature 4K cameras use ultra H.265 codec which can save you as much as half the storage space. Using our advanced compression technology you do not need to worry about buying several hard drives to accommodate the needs storage space which in turn saves you hundreds of dollars.

#4. Compatibility concerns with 8MP Surveillance Cameras

4K security IP cameras will typically use Network Video Recorders (NVRS) for recording and storage. You can also use 3rd party VMS software to record video. The NVR or VMS software must support 4K and you need to make sure that the recording device you choose states that it supports 4K. If you are using 4K security cameras to upgrade your system it’s imperative to make sure you check your existing recorder specifications to make sure it fully supports 4K, otherwise you may need to upgrade your NVR.

Eclipse Signature 4K security camera NVRs offer large capacity storage options to accommodate for months of 4k recording. Our Signature NVRS will overwrite video once it becomes full so you always have video stored on your device for a certain period of time. Eclipse offers video recorders that can accommodate 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 cameras so you can continue to grow your 4K systems as needed.

You also have the option of recording video on the camera directly using their built-in SD slot but your storage time will be limited. We also offer free CMS software that allows you to use your PC as a recording device to offset recorder costs.

The time for 8MP Security Cameras is now

Consumers devices are already providing 4K for most of our business and home products and Eclipse 4K cameras are no different.

4K is slowly replacing older HD 1080p cameras as the go-to standard for surveillance and these products integrate perfectly with our home 4K televisions, tablets and mobile phones that support 4K streaming.

Installing 4K security cameras only ensures that your security will provide the very best in resolution and clarity for years to come and you will not have to worry about upgrading your system next year.

You also have the option of recording video on the camera directly using their built-in SD slot but your storage time will be limited. We also offer free CMS software that allows you to use your PC as a recording device to offset recorder costs.

4K Security Cameras Alternative Solutions

If you still feel like 4K is not for you after our brief analysis and 4K security camera review, Eclipse Signature does offer alternative solutions that you may wish to look into.

Eclipse offers IP surveillance products in various resolutions and form factors to meet any demand or need, including WiFi wireless cameras and smart home devices.