When searching for security cameras to buy you may be confused by all of the jargon or details involved with camera resolution. There are three important resolutions to consider when looking for surveillance cameras:

  • 1080P Full HD
  • 2K 4MP QHD
  • 4K 8MP UltraHD

In the past 1080P cameras were the most popular security camera in the industry. With the advent of new technology, higher resolution cameras like 2K and 4K are becoming more affordable.

Learn the difference between 2K and 4K cameras, and the benefits of upgrading from 1080P security cameras or purchasing a new system below.

2K 4MP HD Security Cameras

2K HD Security cameras provide a high resolution picture of 2560x1440 utilizing a 4 megapixel (MP) image sensor. They offer a large improvement over the previous generations of 720P and 1080P recording. Notable differences are increased clarity of faces up to a distance of 40ft away, and significantly increased digital zoom due to more pixel density. 2K cameras generally offer a wider angle of view due to the larger video resolution when compared to 1080P.

Why choose 2K security cameras vs 4K security cameras?

  1. You feel that 40 ft of facial detail is enough from the mounting location of the camera.
  2. You are budget-minded and want higher quality than 1080P but don’t want to break the bank right away.
  3. You want an upgrade path in the future if the 4MP quality cameras do not meet your expectations. You can always move the 4MP camera to a different location and put up a 4K camera in its place.

Often we see small businesses and home users utilizing 2K 4MP IP cameras for their properties, for both inside and outside surveillance.

Facial detail comparison of 8MP and 4MP camera sensors

4K 8MP Security Cameras

4K security cameras are the highest quality cameras in the industry. A 4K security camera has an 8MP image sensor that is double that of 2K 4MP, allowing video capture that is twice the resolution. With the increase in video resolution it produces a video that is 3840x2160 pixels that is also a substantial improvement over 1920x1080 pixels provided by 1080P.

Don’t be fooled by cheap cameras on Amazon or other CCTV companies that use inexpensive 4K sensors. Although the cameras may produce a 4K picture, the video quality will suffer because of poor quality sensors, and camera internals that sacrifice camera reliability and longevity. Cameras sold by CCTV Camera World never compromise for lower quality.

When comparing 4K to 2K resolution you can expect to see a face all the way up to 70ft away using digital zoom. The high pixel density in a 4K resolution picture creates vivid and crisp video while live viewing or playing back recorded video. During the day, with digital zoom you can zoom-in on stationary license plates, or faces of potential intruders and avoid the pixelation found with lesser quality cameras.

It is important to note that 4K capture requires increased processing power and storage on a security camera recorder to encode and store video. However, with the latest H.265+ encoding offered by our 4K surveillance cameras that works in conjunction with our 4K NVR products, you can expect to save up to 70% of the storage requirement versus using H.264.

Why choose a 4K security camera versus a 2K security camera?

  1. You need the highest quality in the industry to protect your home, or business.
  2. You are looking to "future proof" your security camera system installation and not have to worry about future upgrades.
  3. You have the available budget for high quality cameras and a powerful recorder with enough storage.

For more information and tutorial video, we suggest reading our buying guide titled how to choose security cameras.

Ray graduated from NYU with a degree in Chemistry and Computer Science. He strongly believes in a buying process that involves customer education and involvement. His vision to make the security camera buying process transparent began with video samples we make of our cameras. We continue to work under Ray's leadership to provide expert, ethical, and expedient support to our customers.

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