4K security camera systems, also called 8MP (2160p) security camera systems, have arrived as a bench-marking advance in the world of CCTV systems, promising to deliver the maximum clarity and details ever.

Whether you are new to the 4K IP security camera systems or hesitate about buying a 4K surveillance camera system, we’ve rounded up all you should know about the 4K ultra HD security camera systems to help you gain fresh insights and choose the best ones.

Note: In order that readers searching for 8MP/2160p security camera systems can also find this article for their guidance, in some contexts the 8MP/2160p security camera systems are used to substitute 4K security camera systems.

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What Are 4K Security Camera Systems

4K security camera systems, or 8MP (2160p) security camera systems, refer to the security systems with high performance image sensors that can capture videos at 3840 x 2160 pixels. And that’s four times the 1920 x 1080 pixels found in 1080p full HD security systems.

Beyond the technical details, this means the images recorded by 4K home security camera systems will be incredibly clear with great details. You can also zoom in on distant objects without reducing image quality.

4K (8MP) IP security camera systems are normally sold with several 4K security IP cameras (at least 2) and a 4K NVR/DVR with densities of 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and 128 channels.

Some 64 and 128 channel 4K NVRs even possess the hard drives with hot-swap ability, which allow you to replace video storage without experiencing any downtime. Such 4K NVR systems are especially suitable for your business security projects.

When it comes to the 4K video surveillance systems for your home or property security, it is wider of you to choose the proper number of channels and cameras based on your needs and budget.

High Resolution Image Sensor: “Eye” of 4K Security Camera Systems

For 4K security camera systems, the image sensors that capture the light hitting the camera lens and turn it into electrical signals, are the main factors affecting their video quality.

The image sensors are classified by the number of megapixels and their resolution will determine the maximum resolution of your security systems.

So a “real” 4K surveillance camera system should have at least 8-megapixel images sensor to deliver 2160p images and videos.

And some superior 8MP security camera systems (4K security systems) are even packed with image sensors of high sensitivity, low noise, and high dynamic range to achieve optimal performance in low-light conditions and high-contrast scenes.

8MP Security Camera Systems vs 1080p Security Systems vs 720p Security Systems

At an aspect ratio of 16:9, 4K security camera systems offer 4 times the resolution of 1080p security systems and 9 times of 720p security systems.

Since more pixels mean clearer pictures and more details, 8MP (3840 x 2160 pixels) security camera systems are the clear winners in the image quality and details compared with 1080p/720p security systems.

And 4K IP security camera systems are especially perfect for detailed, wide-area monitoring. You may utilize them for a full range of indoor and outdoor applications, such as your vacation home, driveway, parking lots, barns, warehouses, etc.

So what is 4K in megapixels? Now check out the differences between 4K security systems and 1080p/720p security camera systems from the chart below.

Format Image Size in Pixels Aspect Ratio
720p/1MP 1280 x 720 16:9
1080p/2MP 1920 x 1080 16:9
3MP 2048 x 1536 4:3
4MP 2688 x 1520 16:9
5MP 2592 x 1944 4:3
2160p/8MP 3840 x 2160 16:9

4K vs 1440p vs 1080p vs 720p

Are 4K Security Camera Systems Actually Any Good

So what do 4K security camera systems actually mean to you? Let’s explore the benefits of 8MP (4K) security camera systems you can expect to enjoy.

1. 8MP Security Camera Systems Deliver Crisper and Detailed Images

The TOP 1 benefit of 8MP security camera systems, without doubt, is the sharper and clearer images with more details.

And that is mainly credited to the high performance image sensors of 4K IP security camera systems, which can capture clear and high-visibility images in moonlit environment or over-exposure areas. So you can have a better chance to obtain useful evidence such as distinct human face features, license plate numbers, clothing colors, etc.

2. 4K Security Camera Systems Retain Details After Zooming In

4K (8MP) security camera systems are packed with better zoom function due to greater amount of pixels compared with conventional security systems, which allows you to zoom in further while maintaining crisp details.

For example, if a 4K CCTV system captures the vandals destroying your garden decorations, say, 20 meters away, you can zoom in to identify their facial features and get useful clues.

3. 4K Surveillance Camera Systems Cover Wider Areas at Minimal Cost

Since a 4K security IP camera can effectively monitor larger areas with wider angle lens (learn how to choose security camera lenses) and therefore eliminate security camera blind spots, you can select a 4K security camera system with less number of cameras to save the cost without compromising your security needs.

In this way, you can also reduce the camera installation time and efforts with a 4K/8MP security system at hand.

4. 8MP Security Camera Systems Are Easy to Expand

After you buy an 8MP security camera system and find blind spots that required monitoring, you can enjoy the convenience to add more security cameras compatible with 4K security IP camera DVR/NVR based on your needs and budget.

5. 4K IP Security Camera Systems Allow for Customized Recording Modes

Another benefit of 4K security camera systems is that you have flexible recording modes to choose: 24/7 continuous recording, motion detection recording and scheduled recording.

If you are worried that 24/7 recording might eat up too much bandwidth or take up much storage space, you may switch the recording modes of 8MP (2160p) security camera systems to motion recording or scheduled recording.

6. 4K CCTV Systems Work with and Without Internet

No doubt that you can get the most of 4K security camera systems when there is Internet – instant alerts, remote viewing on your phone, video playback and more.

And they can also work without Internet!

Power the 4K IP security camera systems, and the security cameras and NVR will communicate with each other to record videos 24/7 without Internet connection. Please note all security systems need to connect to the router network if you want to receive real-time alerts or watch live viewing on your phone (learn the security camera functions with & without network).

7. 8MP Security Camera Systems Offer Multiple Resolution Options

8MP security camera systems don’t mean you are limited to the 8MP images and videos only! They can also produce 6MP/5MP/1080p/720p images and videos.

If you have limited bandwidth or storage space, you can watch live viewing and save videos recorded by 4K security camera systems in lower resolution. And the same applies to your TV or your monitor which is not 4K standard (explained in the following part.)

8. 4K Home Security Camera Systems Feature Massive Hard Disk Drives

The best 4K IP camera systems often include large security certified hard drives to store recorded footage. When you need to be away for weeks, the 4K IP security camera systems can offer uninterrupted security footage as if you were actually there.

What to Consider When Selecting 8MP Security Camera Systems

Shelling out your hard-earned money on a 4K (8MP) security camera system can be an important decision. To help you settle on the best 4K security camera systems, here we’ve listed some important factors you need to consider before your purchase.

1. What Is the Video Compression Format of 8MP Security Camera Systems

While 8MP security camera systems offer 4 times the resolution of 1080p security systems, another undeniable fact is that the high resolution videos take up more bandwidth and storage space.

To solve this problem, some 4K security camera systems have adopted the high efficiency video coding (HEVC), also known as H.265 video comprehension format, to keep file sizes low without losing the 4K video quality.

You can find the video code format in the product specifications and exclude those 4K IP security camera systems for sale without H.265 video comprehension.

2. How Is the Night Vision of 4K IP Security Camera Systems

The 4K security camera system night vision can be affected by multiple factors. Lux ratings and night vision range are the basic specifications you need to check out.

The smaller Lux number is, the better a 4K surveillance camera system can capture videos at night. (0.0 Lux represents the security system can work in total darkness.)

The longer night vision range of 4K video surveillance systems is, the further you can see at night and you are also more likely to capture criminal activities.

Some quality 4K (8MP) IP security camera systems are even featured with full-color night vision (ambient lighting is needed). In total darkness conditions, the images will automatically switch to black and white to ensure maximum quality night vision.

An easier and more reliable way to examine the 4K security system night vision is to read customer reviews in the product page (you can also watch night vision videos submitted by the real users). Or you may refer to the professional reviews written by the reputable tech media.

3. Can You Easily Watch Live Viewing of 4K Security Camera Systems

Yes, many 4K (8MP) security camera systems are advertised to allow for easy remote viewing anytime and anywhere as you wish.

But how?

Are you provided with a free App or Client to access the 4K ultra HD security camera systems on your phone or computer? And how many 4K security cameras can you manage at the same time?

Though there are multiple ways to watch the IP camera remote viewing, the easiest way to go is via the sellers’ customized free App and Client, which would be upgraded regularly to release new features and improve some old issues.

Besides watching live viewing of 8MP security camera systems, you can also customize motion detection zones and sensitivity, schedule your recording and manage multiple cameras simultaneously on the App and Client.

Watch Live Feed on Phone

4. Are 8MP Security Camera Systems Easy to Install

Installing 8MP security camera systems is supposed to be as easy as possible to save you time and labor. Ask yourself these questions during the selection process.

  • Is “plug and play” a selling point of the 4K security camera system?
  • What about the 8MP (2160p) security camera system reviews? Do the system users feel it easy to install?
  • Will you be provided with free professional tech support to help you in the installation process?
  • Is it difficult to run wires of the 4K IP security camera systems? (Learn how to run security camera wires.)
  • Editor’s Note: Besides these factors above, you also need to decide whether you need a waterproof 4K home security camera system based on the location you are going to place it.

    4K Security Camera System Reviews

    When you search “2018 4K security camera system reviews” online, you might find little useful information available. And the leading cause lies in the limited number of 4K home security camera systems for sale now.

    But as more reputable brands, like Reolink, are joining in the 4K CCTV kit competition battle in succession now, it is just a matter of time for the 4K/8MP security camera systems to become prevailing in security field.

    And despite of the lack of professional 4K surveillance system reviews, you can also refer to the customer reviews of 4K security camera systems as an alternative to locate the best ones that meet your needs.

    “System was very easy to install especially with the POE cables that were included. The 4K 8MP IP cameras are crystal clear in the day and great at night.”

    –From 4K security system user reviews

    Is a 4K Monitor/TV Required for 4K Security Systems

    Technically speaking, it is recommended to use a 4K monitor/TV for your 4K security camera systems to avoid possible compatibility issues. And you can also obtain 2160p high resolution images to justify the cost the 4K/8MP IP security camera systems.

    But if your monitor or TV is unable to display 4K high resolution videos, you don’t necessarily need to purchase new 4K monitors or TVs. Some monitor or TVs might be able to display degraded lower resolution (like 1080p) videos.

    And we’ve heard 4K security camera system users even claiming the sub-stream 1080p videos are of better quality than those of ordinary 1080p security cameras. Please feel free to share your experience if you have tested this in your application.

    Fact Check: Other Questions You May Ask About 8MP Security Camera Systems

    Here we have collected some other hot questions about 8MP (4K) security camera systems, and please feel free to add yours in the comment below if you’ve got any problems.

    Q1: What if the 8MP security camera system NVR is full

    Normally a 4K (8MP) security camera system is packed with a pre-installed large-capacity hard disk drive to meet your storage needs.

    When the NVR storage of 4K IP security camera systems is full, the older footage will be automatically overwritten by new ones.

    And some 4K home security camera systems also allow you to add an external HHD to expand the storage space. It is best for you to keep a habit of exporting the important videos regularly and saving them to your computer.

    Q2: Can I replace the HDD with an external hard drive manually or add an external HDD

    Opening the 4K security camera systems and replacing the built-in HDD will void the warranty. You may manually back up your videos to an external HDD or your computer on a regular basis, say, once a month.

    And as noted above, many 4K (8MP) surveillance camera systems offer you the option to add an external HDD as you want. You may consult the system sellers before you add one.

    Q3: What’s the maximum recording time of 4K security camera systems in 24/7 recording mode

    It depends on the internal HDD storage space of 4K CCTV surveillance systems, the video compression, bitrate, etc. (Read this post to learn how to calculate the storage space.)

    Q4: Will 4K IP security camera systems use all our bandwidth and slow down our internet connection

    This might be one of the common concerns about 4K security camera systems. The fact is, your 4K home security camera systems won’t eat up your bandwidth unless you access the cameras for live viewing, or they send images or videos clips upon motion detection.

    Are 4K Security Camera Systems Worth Your Investment

    Currently, the 4K security camera system price varies from around $700 USD dollars to more than $3000 USD dollars with the different brands, the number of security system channels and cameras.

    4K (8MP) IP security camera systems are bound to be the new trend following 1080p security systems and will become more budget-friendly as more and more security camera sellers are catching up.

    If you are looking for a future-proof security camera system, the 8MP (2160p) security camera systems are definitely worth your investment and will justify the cost by the long-term applications.

    Now it is the perfect timing for you to buy 4K surveillance camera systems to be ahead of the curve. And you’ll enjoy the unparalleled benefits brought by 4K technology in surveillance systems.

    So are you 4K ready? Will you consider buying a 4K/8MP security camera system or replacing your home security systems with 4K CCTV systems? We are keen to know your thoughts and don’t hesitate to leave your comment below to share your ideas with us!

    • David Kaul

      Can u use lower resolution such as 4 MP cameras with 4k nvr?

      • Jenny Hu

        Hi David, thank you for reaching out. Yes, normally 4K NVRs are also compatible with lower resolution security cameras, like 4MP/5MP security cameras. But it is generally more recommended to use 4K security cameras with a 4K NVR, so that you can get the most of the 4K security camera system and obtain clearer images/videos. If you do have any other questions, plz feel free to let us know.