4K Outdoor Security Cameras: A Complete Guide to Be a Smart Buyer

4K outdoor security cameras, also called 8MP (2160p) outdoor security cameras, deliver a high resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, which is 4 times the resolution of 1080p security cameras.

Getting a best 4K outdoor security camera system requires thorough planning and careful selection. So today we’ll walk you through the all-round aspects about 4K outdoor IP cameras, including how to choose a 4K outdoor camera, where to place it, how to protect it from vandalism and a ton of other things.

In our prior post, we’ve also covered what 4K outdoor & indoor security cameras are and why you should choose them. If you are interested to learn more about 4K PoE or wireless outdoor security cameras, please let us know by leaving your comment below.

4K Outdoor Security Cameras vs Indoor Security Cameras

4K outdoor security cameras, or 8MP outdoor security cameras, are designed to provide reliable surveillance in any kind of weather and varying light conditions.

So the 4K outdoor CCTV cameras are typically made of more durable materials (like metal), and come with fully-sealed waterproof designs to protect against vandalism and harsh weather conditions.

The 4K indoor security cameras, on the other hand, are generally not weatherproof and thus don’t apply to outdoor installations, though they share some similar features with 4K outdoor IP security cameras.

Note that 4K wired and wireless outdoor security cameras are not limited to exterior applications only – they can work both indoors & outdoors. Under certain indoor conditions, a 4K outdoor camera might be a better option for you.

For example, it is more recommended to use a UHD 4K/8MP outdoor security camera for the indoor warehouses where large doors are often open, as the outdoor dust and moisture can slip in through the open gate.

Aspects 4K Outdoor Security Cameras 4K Indoor Security Cameras
Resolution 3,840 x 2,160 3,840 x 2,160
Shape Bullet, dome or turret Bullet, dome or turret
Dimensions About 133 x 100mm or above About 103 × 95 × 117mm
Weight About 700g About 300g
Materials Metal (aluminum alloy) Plastics (PC-ABS)
IP Rating IP 66 or above Not weatherproof
Sealability Good Not fully-sealed
Applications Indoor & outdoor Indoor only (not recommended for outdoor)

What Types of 4K Outdoor Security Cameras Should You Buy

Before you set off to buy 8MP/4K outdoor security cameras, first you should figure out what type of cameras are most suitable for your application.

1. Do You Need 4K Outdoor Wireless Security Cameras or Wired Options

Not knowing whether to choose 4K outdoor wireless security cameras or wired ones? Here we’ve sum it up based on the pros and cons of wired & wireless IP cameras.

The PoE 4K outdoor cameras are more suitable when

  • It is easy for you to run wires or drill holes.
  • The monitoring place has weak WiFi signals and you need stable network signals.
  • You need to monitor several protection zones.

And the 4K outdoor wireless security cameras are a better option if

  • You don’t want to get into the trouble of running wires and drilling holes.
  • The monitoring place has strong WiFi signals.
  • You want a flexible and portable option so that you can move the camera around.

2. Do You Prefer Low-Profile 8MP Outdoor Security Cameras or Visible Ones

Visible 4K outdoor security cameras or 8MP outdoor IP cameras, like bullet-shaped ones, can absolutely serve as a useful deterrent against crime.

And you will ultimately get better views compared with hidden 4K outdoor IP cameras, which could be particularly beneficial when the recorded videos are needed as legal evidence.

But there are also good reasons why you need hidden 4K outdoor security cameras.

For example, low-profile 4K outdoor security camera systems offer covert surveillance and can capture the criminals without their notice.

And if you intend to install a 4K outdoor IP camera inside your home, an intrusive option won’t make your visitors feel uncomfortable about being watched.

The dome 4K outdoor security cameras or mini 8MP outdoor security cameras are all the handy options if you want an unnoticeable one.
Editor’s Note: Read this post to learn about the differences between visible security cameras and hidden ones.

3. What’s Your Monitoring Area of 4K Outdoor Security Cameras

The monitoring area will directly impact the lens selection of your 4K outdoor security cameras.

The 4K outdoor IP cameras with fixed lens have a relatively narrow field of view, so they are more ideal to monitor critical entrances, such as your front door, back door, etc.

If you want to cover wider areas with one single camera, the 4K outdoor cameras with motorized lens, such as 4K PTZ outdoor security cameras are more appropriate, especially for the back yard, shared driveway or other large-area locations.

4. Where Will the 4K Outdoor Cameras Save Footage

Basically the 4K outdoor security cameras with an SD card (slot) are designed to record motion detection events onboard.

One of the advantages is that the videos are private and kept safe from snooping on the Internet. You can watch live viewing or playback recordings on your smartphone when the Internet is available.

If you want a 4K outdoor home security camera for 24/7 recording or intend to install multiple 8MP outdoor security cameras, it is more recommended to buy an NVR to save the round-the-clock footage and manage several 4K outdoor cameras simultaneously.

No need to bother about the NVR storage space – most NVRs of 4K outdoor IP security cameras come with a large-capacity hard disk drive and some also allow you to add an external one as you want.

When the HDD storage of your 4K outdoor security camera system is full, the older videos will be automatically overwritten by new ones.

Some sellers of 4K outdoor cameras might also offer IP camera cloud storage for your option, so that you can access the recordings from anywhere on your mobile device.
Note: Both 4K outdoor security cameras with memory card and 8MP outdoor security cameras with an NVR can work without router network. But the Internet connection is required if you want to receive instant alerts or watch live feed.

What Are the Must-Have Features of 4K Outdoor Security Cameras

4K outdoor security cameras should at least have the following features for optimal performance, so that they can withstand the changeable exterior conditions.

1. Wired & Wireless 4K Outdoor Security Cameras with High-Performance Image Sensors

The No.1 reason you choose 4K outdoor security cameras is definitely due to the clearest ever image quality and smallest ever details.

To ensure that you get TRULY 8MP outdoor IP cameras, remember to examine the megapixel of the image sensors (should be 8 megapixels or above) since it will determine the maximum resolution of your 4K exterior IP security cameras.

And when you read the specifications of 4K outdoor camera image sensors, you’ll notice the numbers such as 1/2″, 1/3″, 2/3″, 1/4″, which is used to measure the image sensor size.

The smaller the number is, the narrower your wired and wireless 4K outdoor security cameras will see. For example, an 8MP outdoor camera with 1/2″ image sensor will yield a wider field of view compared with a 4K outdoor camera with 1/3″ image sensor.

2. 8MP Outdoor IP Cameras with Waterproof & Vandal-proof Design

A high quality 4K outdoor security camera should brave against the wind, dust, rain, snow, moisture and any other severe elements. So check out these factors when choosing an 8MP (2160p) outdoor security camera:

  • Is the 4K outdoor ultra HD security camera rated IP 66 or above?
  • Does the 4K waterproof outdoor security camera come with a solid anti-corrosive metal housing that allows for durability?
  • What’s the working temperature range of 4K outside security IP cameras? Can they handle the heat and cold temperature extremes in your location?

Also Read: Click here to find out more options if you need a weather-resistant security camera.

3. 4K Outdoor Security Camera Systems with Great Night vision

Before you choose a 4K outdoor security camera with night vision, it is important to test the light conditions in the monitoring zone.

The infrared 4K outdoor security camera systems with a 0.0 Lux rating, would be your best option for places with no light in the evening, such as the long driveway without streetlights near home. They can capture small details such as human faces and license plate numbers in complete darkness.

Now the high-end 4K outdoor IP cameras with night vision are also capable to deliver usable videos in a wide range of lighting conditions, thanks to the light filtering technology such as IR filters.

Capturing color pictures at night is also no longer a fancy — some best 4K outdoor security cameras can produce real colors of objects with ambient light just as the starlight cameras.

4. 4K Outdoor Cameras with H.265 Video Compression

4K outdoor security cameras feature four times the resolution of 1080p security cameras, so theoretically speaking, this means that more bandwidth and storage space is needed.

But that’s not exactly the case with 4K outdoor security camera systems, due to the H.265 video compression that adopts advanced techniques to improve the bit-stream and promote the coding quality.

So you can expect to stream high-quality videos of 4K outdoor CCTV security cameras even in a congested network and save recordings with minimal-capacity file sizes.

5. 4K Outdoor IP Cameras with Motion Detection and Easy Live Viewing

As noted above, the 4K outdoor security cameras with H.265 video coding can ensure fluent and high quality remote viewing at a lower bandwidth.

After you receive the motion detection alerts from 8MP outdoor security IP cameras, you can view from anywhere via the free cellphone App or computer Client and miss no single details.

Through the customized and free 4K outdoor IP camera software, such as Zosi Smart App, you can also conveniently enable or disable motion detection and adjust motion detection zone and sensitivity as you wish.

6. 4K Outdoor Security Cameras with Easy Installation

You certainly don’t want to spend extra money hiring someone to install your 4K outdoor security cameras, and that’s why it matters to choose an easy-to-install 4K outdoor camera.

One shortcut to tell whether the 4K ultra HD outdoor security cameras are simple to set up and use is to read the users’ reviews for your reference.

Also, check the 4K outdoor IP camera package in the product page to see if it covers all the necessary installation accessories you need, so that you don’t need to shell out extra money for the installation tools.

Quick Tips to Choose Best 4K Outdoor Security Cameras

Knowing what types and features of 4K outdoor security cameras you need is not enough to land yourself on the right one.

Take away these following quick tips to help you find the best 4K outdoor security cameras with the least efforts.

  • Focus on the Ultra HD 4K outdoor security camera systems of reputable brands.
  • Read customers reviews (both positive and negative) and watch the videos submitted by real users.
  • Pay attention to check if the 4K outdoor camera seller offers regular software & firmware updates.
  • Are there any hidden fees associated with the 4K outdoor security cameras, such as the monthly subscription fees?
  • Can you install the 4K outdoor security cameras on your own or do you need to hire an installer?
  • Will you receive instant and free technical support (1-to-1 is more preferable) when you meet any problems with your 4K outdoor IP cameras?
  • Do the sellers of 4K outdoor wireless security cameras have sound return and warranty policy, like 30-day no-question-asked money-back guarantee?
  • Find an 8MP outdoor security camera for the future (3rd-party compatible), so that it can work with other smart things you may add in the future.

How to Expand 4K Outdoor Security Cameras

One 4K outdoor security camera fails to meet your needs and want more storage space for multiple 8MP outdoor IP cameras?

The easiest solution is to buy a 4K outdoor security camera system that includes multiple 4K outdoor IP cameras and a 4K NVR for video storage.

Or you can also purchase a separate 4K NVR to manage the 4K outdoor cameras you already have. In order to avoid possible compatibility issues, it is best to buy a 4K NVR of the same brand as your 4K outdoor security cameras.

Although the 4K outdoor security camera systems are weatherproof, the 4K NVRs are NOT — this means you can only place the NVRs indoors (check out the recommended placement locations to protect your NVRs).

And if you are hesitating about whether to choose a 4K outdoor wireless security camera system or a wired one, refer to the second part about camera types and learn the differences between 4K wireless outdoor security cameras and wired cameras.

Where to Place 4K Outdoor Cameras

Placing 8MP/4K outdoor security cameras in the right places can get double the results. So here we’ve rounded up some useful methods from the experience of 4K outdoor camera users.

  • Talk with your family and discuss about the vulnerable places of your home/business.
  • Are there some obscured or hidden entrances, which would be the preferred access points by the burglars?
  • Have you or your neighbors ever had any burglary cases earlier? And where did the burglars break in?
  • Where can the 4K outdoor security camera systems get enough light if the cameras cannot work in pitch black darkness?
  • Avoid installing a 4K outdoor IP camera in heavy-traffic areas to avoid false alarms.
  • Don’t place the 4K outdoor security cameras behind glass or windows as it will lead to blurry images and videos.
  • Make sure your 4K outdoor wireless security camera is away from metal poles as the metal could be highly conductive in times of power spike.

And most users choose to install their 4K home outdoor video cameras in the following locations:

  • Front doors
  • Back doors
  • Garage doors
  • Backyard
  • Off street windows
  • Driveway

The picture below shows the most common point of entry into a burglarized home.

Of course, you can also employ the 8MP/4K outdoor security cameras for more applications, such as the entrances of your restaurant, barn, hotel, construction sites, large vacant property, etc.

Please share with us where you are going to position your 4K outdoor IP cameras, and we will add to the list above to kindly remind other readers of the key installation locations.

How to Protect 4K Outdoor Security Cameras from Vandalism & Thefts

Indeed, your 4K outdoor security camera should be enough a deterrent – according to the crime statistics, homes with security systems are up to 300% less likely to be broken into.

And if you live in a low crime-rate neighborhood, the chances of camera vandalism and theft will also be greatly reduced.

Having that said, here we have collected some practical and inexpensive methods to protect your 4K outdoor cameras.

The low-profile wired and wireless 4K outdoor security cameras, such as dome 8MP outdoor security cameras, are generally less likely to be noticed and tampered with (learn more feasible ways ).

If you have bought a visible 4K outdoor security camera system, hide the cameras in covert locations or place them beyond easy reach.

Even if the burglars try to tamper with your 4K outdoor security camera, the cameras with vandal-proof design and protective designs will reduce the damage to the minimal and protect the lens from being destroyed.

You can also buy protective skins for your 4K outdoor IP cameras to help them blend into the environment, and mount them securely outside so that they don’t get stolen/vandalized easily.

So Should You Buy a 4K Outdoor Security Camera Now (Alternatives Included)

A 4K outdoor security camera may set you back a couple hundred dollars. But in view of its clear images, great details, wider coverage and better zoom function, the 4K outdoor IP cameras stand out by a wide margin.

And while you find a solution that meets your needs today, don’t forget to inspect whether it will meet your future needs – 8MP/4K outdoor cameras are the options that won’t be updated in the years to come.

With the 4K outdoor IP camera price becoming much affordable and a wide range of options to choose from, 8MP security cameras have been pretty prevailing these days.

So if you are now considering buying outdoor security cameras for long-time usage or replacing your old ones, 4K outdoor security camera systems are the options of the best value for your money and can save you the cost to upgrade later (click here to learn how to choose the best ones).

Zosi, for instance, has launched its first cutting-edge 4K outdoor security camera system Zosi # at an affordable price of $569.99. This plug and play 8MP system kit comes with four 4K outdoor security cameras and it is ideal to brave all the elements.

Find alternatives here: In case you want to solar power your 4K outdoor security cameras, read this post to learn the specific preparations and procedures. 

And if you want a complete wire free security camera for outdoor use, the battery powered outdoor security cameras would be your best options.

Watch the footage of a rechargeable battery operated outdoor IP camera — Zosi # submitted by its real user.