Motorized Zoom Security Cameras

Digital Zoom vs Optical Zoom

Every security camera has digital zoom available when used with our security DVR recorders, and is actually useful in HD security cameras with resolutions of 1080P and higher. We say practically useful because when video of low resolution cameras is magnified, it gets pixilated and is of no use in discerning detail like faces or license plates at a distance. As concerns digital zoom, the rule of thumb is: the higher the resolution of the camera, the better the quality of the digital zoom. 1080P, 3MP, 4MP, and 4K resolution security footage has varying degrees of digital zoom available, with 4K being the most detailed.

Optical Zoom refers to the camera optics providing the zoom as opposed to digital zoom provided by software on the camera or DVR to"magnify the picture." Optical zoom provides the best quality of zoom as it is like using a pair of binoculars to see farther away. With optical zoom cameras, the lens inside the camera actually needs to move to provide zoom. While digital zoom can be done after video has been recorded, optical zoom needs to be executed or set in live video at the actual moment the incident of interest happens.

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