4K Security Cameras Buying Guide: Your Essential Tips Revealed

In 2023, 4K security cameras have become the first choice for high-quality surveillance. These cameras offer improved resolution, color, and contrast performance even in adverse conditions.

However, you may be concerned about the cost, storage, bandwidth, and other issues that come with 4K surveillance cameras. You may also be overwhelmed by the new trend and unsure where to start or what makes a security camera 4K.

In this article, we’ll provide a thorough discussion of 4K IP cameras, including where to buy reliable 8MP security cameras at an affordable price, answers to common 4K CCTV camera questions, and everything you need to know about 4K surveillance cameras.

We also cover buying guides for 4K security camera systems, 4K wireless security cameras, and 4K outdoor security cameras. Click to get helpful information.

What’s a 4K Security Camera

4K security cameras, also known as 8MP security cameras, 2160p security cameras, or ultra HD CCTV cameras, are gaining popularity due to their high resolution of 3840×2160 and over 8 million pixels.

An image is made up of thousands and millions of pixels both horizontally and vertically, and 4K surveillance cameras contain approximately 4K horizontal pixels. This means that 4K IP security cameras offer clearer details of objects than ever before.

For example, with a 4K security camera, you can clearly read license plates of passing or parked cars, easily identify T-shirt characters of any passerby on the street, and even see the facial features of burglars trying to break into your home.

With 4K CCTV cameras, you won’t miss any details, and if you have a 4K security camera with audio, you can even hear the sound from the burglars or postman.

Note that there are two resolution standards for 4K security cameras, 3840×2160 and 4096×2160, but in the security industry, 4K IP cameras, 8MP security cameras, ultra HD CCTV cameras, or 2160p cameras usually refer to those with 3840×2160 resolution.

How Does a 4K Security Camera Work

You may be curious about what makes a security camera 4K, a level of quality comparable to sophisticated TV and photographic equipment.

The answer lies in its specialized tiny sensor. A 4K security camera sensor is larger in size and has improved low-light sensitivity, enabling it to produce high-resolution images with over 8 million pixels. Together with its advanced video codec (10- or 12-bit), 4K CCTV cameras can capture true high-quality images, both technically and visually.

However, not all 4K sensors guarantee a true 4K IP camera. It’s always wise to check the image resolution (3840×2160) and ensure that you’re getting a genuine 8MP security camera.

Choose 4K Security IP Cameras? YES or NO

8MP (also known as 4K) security cameras offer distinct advantages in resolution:

1. 4K HD Security Camera Providing Clearer Images Than Ever Before

4K resolution cameras deliver over 8 times clearer images than 720p cameras, 4 times clearer videos than 1080p cameras, and twice as clear footage as 1440p cameras.

With 8MP security camera videos, you can clearly see objects up to 20 meters away, including details like the license plate numbers of moving cars on the other side of the street and people’s facial features.

2. 8MP Security Cameras Allow You to Zoom in for Details

Are you tired of blurry images when you zoom in with your security camera? Many people discredit digital zoom as a fake function because it can reduce image clarity.

However, this is not the case with 4K IP cameras. With 8MP security cameras, you can still obtain images that are twice as clear as those captured by 1080p cameras, even after 2X digital zoom.

So, if you value high image quality, invest in a 4K PTZ security camera.

3. 4K Security Cameras Offer Wider Field of View

Looking for a security camera with a wider field of view? Consider 4K CCTV cameras, which typically have a broader angle lens than their 1080p counterparts.

With a 4K IP security camera, you can cover more ground, such as the front door area and driveway or first-floor window, without the need for an additional camera. This makes 4K UHD security cameras a cost-effective option.

And for even greater coverage, opt for a 4K PTZ security camera with 360° endless rotation to expand your view.

4. 8MP Security Cameras Will Become Mainstream in No Time

Are you hesitant to invest in an 8MP security camera because 4K resolution cameras are not yet as popular as 1080p ones? Don’t be. 8MP cameras are sure to become mainstream at a faster pace than you might think.

If you choose an 8MP security camera, you’ll enjoy its added benefits day after day. In contrast, if you opt for a 1080p camera now, you’ll be counting down the days until it becomes outdated.

The market is already embracing 4K technology, with 4K TVs, digital cameras, and other devices becoming ubiquitous. New 4K home security cameras with audio, night vision, PoE capability, and sound are also emerging.

* Check out other benefits of megapixel IP cameras, as 4K surveillance cameras are poised to surpass them all.

4K Security Camera vs 1080p vs 2K Camera

Are you still struggling to decide between ultra HD CCTV cameras and 1080p cameras, despite learning about all the benefits?

It’s a tough call. Should you invest in 4K Ultra HD IP cameras, or are they overkill for home security? And is an 8MP camera worth the investment?

Generally, 2MP/4MP security cameras are suitable for general-purpose video surveillance, but if you need to make out fine details, such as license plates from a distance, then a 4K security camera is the way to go.

Check out the chart below for a comprehensive comparison of their differences and the incomparable advantages of 4K resolution cameras.

Camera types Resolution Name by vertical pixels Name by horizontal pixels Pixels
Analog security cameras 640*480 480p security cameras 0.4 MP
HD security cameras 1280*720 720p security cameras 0.9MP
Full HD security cameras 1920*1080 1080p security cameras 2K security cameras 2MP
Super HD security cameras 2560*1440 1440p security cameras 2K security cameras 4MP
Ultra HD security cameras 3840*2160 2160p security cameras 4K security cameras 8MP

 

When it comes to your safety, clarity is of the utmost importance in a security camera. That’s why I highly recommend choosing a 4K camera for your security needs.

Are you hesitating because of the higher cost, bandwidth and storage issues, or possible compatibility problems?

Don’t worry, these issues can be easily resolved. I’ll provide a full explanation shortly so that you can confidently select a true 8MP security camera. Alternatively, you may want to check out the resolution center first.

Best 4K Security Cameras: Top Things to Consider

4K Ultra HD IP cameras are fantastic, but it’s crucial to ensure that you’re getting a true 4K or 8MP security camera, whether you’re seeking a dome, bullet, wireless, PoE, PTZ, night vision, or audio-enabled model.

Here are a few things to check to avoid being duped by marketers:

1. 8MP Security Camera Resolution

When it comes to 4K IP security camera resolution, it might seem like a no-brainer. After all, isn’t it 4K, as advertised?

Unfortunately, some security cameras may tout their 4K sensors to grab your attention, only to provide you with grainy 1080p video images. Be sure to check the resolution (3840*2160) to ensure that you’re getting a genuine 4K Ultra HD security camera.

2. 4K Surveillance Camera Codec

A high-quality 4K security camera will come equipped with advanced High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), also known as H.265. This technology keeps file sizes low while preserving the crisp image quality of 4K video.

Essentially, it allows the 4K camera to deliver 8MP high-quality videos without putting undue strain on your home network. Additionally, it saves storage space by half, which is of exceptional importance for 4K security camera systems.

3. 2160p Security Camera Lens

Attention: not all 8MP security camera sensors deliver high-quality video. In some cases, the video quality of 4K CCTV cameras is limited by the quality of the lens rather than the resolution of the sensor.

A genuine 4K surveillance camera is equipped with high-quality lenses that can capture more in the frame with greater clarity. The focal length of the 4K IP camera lens is also relevant, with wide-angle lenses being more suitable for covering distant areas. If your priority is to record car license plates, a lens with a longer focal length, specifically pointed towards the road or driveway, is more appropriate.

Check out this post for more insights on selecting the right security camera lens.

4. 4K IP Security Camera Viewing Angle

Although a 4K security camera offers a wider range of view, it’s still important to check its viewing angle to ensure that the 4K IP CCTV camera covers your desired monitoring area, such as the front door, driveway, porch, or garage.

Typically, a 4K video security camera offers around 100° of horizontal coverage. If you need to cover more areas, such as with 360° endless monitoring, consider a 4K HD security camera with PTZ function.

For more information about selecting wide-angle IP security cameras, check out this post.

5. 4K Security Camera Performances in Adverse Conditions

It’s important to note that not all 4K IP security cameras can truly provide high-quality images, especially in adverse conditions.

For instance, you may have noticed that some 8MP or 2160p security cameras capture images where one part is extremely dark while another is so bright that details are obscured.

Comparison of pictures with and without WDR

To address this issue, consider getting WDR security cameras. Learn more about WDR and its benefits here.

6. 8MP Surveillance Camera Video Fluency

Have you encountered the abbreviation FPS on a product page or forum while researching 4K IP security cameras? If so, you may be wondering what 4K security camera 30FPS means.

Pay attention, as FPS (frames per second) has a significant impact on video fluency.

Generally speaking, a 4K security camera with 30FPS or 20FPS can record fluent video. If possible, consider requesting a video demo from the manufacturer or searching for 8MP test video footage from other users on YouTube to assess video fluency.

7. 8MP Security Cameras Night Vision

While 4K security cameras offer brilliant image quality during the daytime, with clear images, vivid colors, and great performance even in glare, this is not enough. Night vision is an entirely different matter. 4K or 2160p cameras have more to contend with in low light conditions, such as noise problems and balancing brightness.

Some 4K night vision security cameras use 3D DNR technology to achieve the best long-range night vision. Don’t forget to check the night vision video during your research, after admiring the excellent 8MP daytime images.

For superior night vision, consider starlight cameras.

Note that while some 4K night vision cameras claim to offer color night vision, it may not work as expected, as ambient light is required for color night vision. In total darkness, these cameras will still switch to black and white night vision.

8. 4K CCTV Camera Support

A perfect camera is only as good as its responsive support team. I’ve seen many 4K CCTV camera users spend considerable time and effort troubleshooting their 4K IP security camera problems in forums.

Instead, why not choose a 4K surveillance camera manufacturer with a reliable support team from the outset? Some camera producers, such as ZOSI, promise one-on-one support to guide you through installation and assist with any issues that may arise.

Additionally, if you have time, consider reading 4K security camera reviews to learn what real users like and dislike about 8MP security cameras.

9. 8MP Security Camera Warranty Time

Warranty is an important but often overlooked consideration, especially when purchasing from retailers or camera agents. A one-year warranty provides added value to the 8MP security camera.

Some people unknowingly purchase brand new security cameras from agents, only to find that the warranty time has already been halved. The safest course of action is to buy 8MP cameras directly from the manufacturer on official website to ensure the full warranty period.

10. 4K Security Camera Compatibility Issues

To avoid compatibility issues, ask yourself the following two questions when selecting a 4K CCTV camera:

  1. Is the 4K IP CCTV camera compatible with innovative apps, such as ZOSI App, to utilize its full range of functions?
  2. Will it have to be used with third-party software that provides limited access to camera features?

C182 - 4K POE Surveillance Cameras Security Monitor Systems

  • 4K Ultra HD
  • Smart Person/Vehicle Detection
  • Customize Detection Zone
  • Starlight Night Vision
  • 24/7 Video & Audio Recording
  • Access Remotely & Flexibly
  • Two Way Audio

Where to Place 8MP Security Cameras for the Best Use

You can place 4K home security cameras anywhere you want to monitor, whether indoors or outdoors. PoE 4K security cameras with plug-and-play installation are particularly convenient.

However, if you have a limited budget and want to significantly improve your home security, consider placing 4K ultra HD IP cameras in the following areas first.

1. Put 4K Outdoor Security Cameras in the Front Door

Did you know that 34% of burglars choose to break into homes through the front door, more than any other entryway?

For this reason, 4K outdoor security cameras with sound are an excellent choice for front door surveillance. They can record events clearly and collect audio messages from visitors or delivery personnel, providing a comprehensive view of activity around your home.

2. Use 8MP Home Security Cameras to Monitor Your Yard or Garden

For yard or garden monitoring, a single 8MP security camera with a wide angle of view can cover the entire area, providing a spectacular view and capturing details at the same time. Whether you need to monitor the front yard, back yard, or garden, an 8MP security camera provides comprehensive coverage.

3. Put 4K Webcams on Second Floor or High Ceilings of Your Home

When installing bullet or dome 4K security cameras in high places that are out of reach of burglars or easy to run wires, such as on the second floor or under the ceiling and eaves, consider a 4K surveillance camera that allows you to zoom in and clearly see faraway objects. By placing 4K webcams at elevated locations, you can effectively monitor the surrounding area and deter potential intruders.

4. Use 8MP Security Camera System as Airport/Supermarket/Tourist Sits Cam

As industry-leading products with little to complain about aside from their relatively high cost, 4K security camera systems have long been used in public places such as airports, supermarkets, and tourist sites.

With more affordable pricing, 4K home security cameras are now widely used for home security as well.

For additional ideas on how to plan, choose, position, and protect 4K outdoor security cameras, check out this guide.

Top 4 Concerns for 4K Security Cameras

As a cautious buyer, you may have concerns about 8MP or 2160p security cameras, such as storage and bandwidth problems, compatibility issues, and, most importantly, cost – as noted by 4K CCTV camera users of brands like Samsung, Sony, Bosch, Hikvision, and others.

However, these concerns are not as serious as you may think. There are some effective ways to overcome the “inconveniences” of 4K IP CCTV cameras.

1. 4K CCTV Cameras Come with Higher Price

It’s true that 4K surveillance cameras are priced twice as high as lower-level models.

If you have a tight budget for 4K IP security cameras or want to save money on them, it’s important to choose an affordable brand like ZOSI or take advantage of 4K security camera holiday sales.

In fact, 4K video security cameras are a more budget-friendly solution if you’re looking for a cost-effective option rather than the cheapest one. 8MP security cameras can cover more areas with a wider range of view, saving you money on additional cameras.

2. 4K Security Cameras Consume WiFi Bandwidth Greatly

WiFi bandwidth can be a problem when it comes to high-megapixel security cameras, especially 4K wireless security cameras.

However, there’s no need to worry. 4K security cameras adopt high-efficiency video coding (HEVC), namely H.265 codec, which reduces file sizes by half without sacrificing 8MP video quality. You can also calculate 4K WiFi security camera bandwidth using the steps outlined in this post.

Quality security cameras, such as those from ZOSI, offer camera resolution options to ensure that your network can handle the 4K security camera bandwidth, whether it’s busy or not.

3. 4K Home Security Systems Take up More Storage Space

Are you concerned about the storage space of 4K IP security cameras, particularly 4K CCTV systems? Don’t worry, the engineers behind 4K security cameras have taken this into account.

Cameras that shoot 4K adopt H.265 codec, which saves storage space by half. What you may have thought was insufficient storage will be adequate with this advanced compression technology. Additionally, 4K security camera DVRs typically provide larger storage space to meet your recording needs.

4. Compatibility Issues May Arise With 8MP Surveillance Cameras

Most 4K cameras and systems use NVRs (as opposed to 4K security camera DVRs; click here to learn about their differences) for video storage. Upgrading your NVR may be necessary if you want to use it for video storage.

Fortunately, 4K security camera NVRs typically have larger storage space, allowing you to record for months without rewriting and accommodate up to 64 cameras, leaving no blind monitoring spots.

If you prefer not to pay for an additional 4K security camera NVR, you can save your 8MP video footage to FTP without any subscription or monthly fee.

It’s High Time to Get an 8MP Security Camera

The era of 4K video security cameras is already here.

Like 1080p security cameras, which took time to replace analog security cameras and became increasingly popular in subsequent years, 8MP security cameras are now taking the place of 1080p cameras, whether you’ve noticed or not.

To enjoy all the benefits, get a 4K CCTV camera now.

Wondering where to buy the best budget or cheap 4K security cameras and systems in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and other countries? 

There are many ways to get and save on a 4K/2160p CCTV camera system, such as shopping online on Amazon, offline at Costco, or through security camera retailers.

Regardless of your chosen method, always remember to check the 4K IP CCTV camera’s warranty time, since you may experience a loss if you don’t purchase directly from the manufacturer.

For instance, you can now purchase a 4K security camera system from the ZOSI online official store with free shipping and protect your property with 4K ultra clarity day and night!

C225 - 4K POE Surveillance Cameras Security Monitor Systems

  • 4K Ultra HD
  • Smart Person/Vehicle Detection
  • Customize Detection Zone
  • Starlight Night Vision
  • 24/7 Video & Audio Recording
  • Access Remotely & Flexibly
  • Two Way Audio

Alternative Solutions of 4K Security Cameras

If, after analyzing and reading 4K security camera reviews, you’re still not ready to invest in a 4K camera for security, consider two alternative solutions.

If you want battery-powered security cameras with no wires at all, a 4K IP CCTV camera is not currently a feasible option, as the battery power will quickly drain when the camera produces 8MP quality images. Instead, consider getting a 3MP or 2MP/1080p camera, which is currently the best option for battery-powered security cameras.

4K POE Surveillance Cameras Security Monitor Systems

  • Smart Person/Vehicle Detection
  • Customize Detection Zone
  • 4K Starlight Night Vision
  • 24/7 Video & Audio Recording
  • Access Remotely & Flexibly
  • Two Way Audio

If you prefer traditional cameras like bullet or dome types, you’ll need at least 4MP or 5MP cameras. ZOSI cameras are a good option to consider, as they perform better than same-level competitors at a reasonable price.