So you are hunting for a security camera with incredibly high-quality images?

4K security cameras have become the first choice today with their extraordinary performance in images.

Wait, you are still worried about the high cost, storage, bandwidth and other issues of 4K security cameras? Or you just get overwhelmed by the new trend and don’t know where to start?

No worries. Today let’s have a thorough discussion about the 4K security cameras, and you’ll find all you care about here in minutes. (We also cover a buying guide for 4K security camera systems. Check it to get helpful information.)

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Just leave a comment below if there are more you are interested to know about 4K IP cameras.

What’s a 4K Security Camera

You know, an image is made up of thousands and millions of pixels horizontally and vertically. And the 4K security cameras refer to those containing about 4000 horizontal pixels.

To be exact, 4K security cameras are those gaining a high resolution of 3840*2160 with over 8.3 megapixels. And that’s why the 4K IP cameras get additional names – 8MP security cameras and ultra HD security cameras.

What does that mean to you?

4K IP cameras offer you clearer details of objects than ever before. For example, you can easily identify the T-shirt characters of any passerby on the street, the plate number of the suspicious car that is leaving fast to get out of your view, the pot plant on the front yard of your neighbors’ house across the street, let alone the thieves or burglars who are approaching and trying to break into your home.

That’s to say, you will not lose a single message as long as it is captured by 4K CCTV cameras.

Note: You might have noticed that there are two resolution standards when you Google 4K: 3840*2160 and 4096*2160. And some editors hold the view that 4K and ultra HD are totally different things. While, in the security industry, when people talk about 4K or 8MP or ultra HD cameras, they talk about one thing: the security cameras with 3840*2160 resolution.

How Does a 4K Security Camera Work

You may wonder how a security camera could realize 4K quality image comparable to a sophisticated TV and the photographic equipment.

Actually, that’s all about its specialized tiny sensor. A 4K security camera sensor is larger in size with improved low-light sensitivity which enables it to bring 8MP high resolution. Together with its advanced video codec (10- or 12-bit), 4K security cameras have realized true high-quality images, in both technical and visual sense.

However, a 4K sensor doesn’t guarantee 4K images. It’s always wise to check the image resolution (3840*2160) and make sure you get a real 4K or 8MP security camera.

Why Should You Choose 8MP Security Cameras

With such a big leap ahead in the security camera resolution, you could do a lot of awesome things that only 4K (that is 8MP) security cameras could offer.

#1. 4K Security Cameras Provide Clearer Images than Ever

Have you ever used security cameras or watched some video footage samples before? If your answer is YES, then it’s easy to imagine what high-quality images you will get:

Over 8 times clearer images than your former 720p cameras, 4 times clearer videos than the 1080p cameras, and twice clearer footages than the 1440p cameras.

720p/1080p/1440p/4K Image Quality Comparison

That’s to say, anything you might have trouble identifying with even 4MP security cameras will be clear with no question in 8MP security camera videos, including the plate number of moving cars on the other side of the street and the people’s facial details.

#2. 8MP Security Cameras Enable Digital Zoom for Every Detail

Some people criticize the digital zoom as a fake function since the more times you zoom in, the more blurry the images will become.

Well, this is not so true with 8MP security cameras. After all, 8MP video security cameras could still provide twice clearer images than the 1080p cameras after 2X zooming in, which is far from enough to recognize everything you want.

#3. 4K Security Cameras Offer Wider Field of View

As a matter of fact, the selection of lens is primarily based on how much resolution the sensor could produce. Grounded that, the 4K security cameras will certainly enjoy a wider field of view than 2K or other lower resolution cameras.

That means you could cover more areas with a single 4K IP camera, like the front door area along with the driveway or the first-floor window. That being said, you’ve actually saved the money for another security camera otherwise, which makes the 4K security camera a cost-effective option.

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

You might hesitate considering that 8MP cameras are still not very popular as the lower resolution cameras like 1080p ones, but they will to be sure. And they will finally be the mainstream in the security industry at a pace faster than you think.

If you get a 1080p security camera today, you will be counting days for them to become outdated; while if you get an 8MP camera, you will be enjoying its added values day after day. With the 4K TV, cameras and 4K things everywhere, the market is ready for 4K security cameras already.

* Also check out other benefits of megapixel IP cameras that 4K security cameras could bring in a surpassing way.

What’s the Difference Between 4K, 2K and 1080p IP Cameras

Still couldn’t make the final decision between 4K cameras and the lower resolution ones after learning all their benefits? Does the 4K camera come as overkill for home security compared with 2K and 1080p cameras – what’s the difference between them on earth? Is the 8MP camera really worth the investment?

You will have no hesitation if you have any idea how far other cameras leg behind. A chart below shows all their differences and the incomparable advantages of 4K security cameras in image quality.

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

4K security cameras are over 4 times clearer than 1080p cameras – jump from 2MP to 8MP, as I mentioned. Check the video below to gain more insights into the differences between them.

Actually, with the image quality being the most important features for a security camera to keep you safe, I don’t see the reason why you should choose the lower resolution camera when higher ones are available.

Is it for the higher cost, bandwidth and storage problems, or the possible compatibility issues?

Actually, they could be easy to deal with. I’ll give a full explanation later and you’ll surely find a right way to get out of all these troubles. Now you may follow my steps to the essential steps in selecting a true 8MP camera or check the resolution center first.

8 Simple Steps to Pick out the Best 4K Security Camera

4K cameras are awesome, but selecting a true 4K security camera could be painful with various types on the market like the wireless, PTZ, night vision and audio enabled 4K security cameras. Follow the below steps to make sure you are not getting into the cheat of marketers.

#1. Check the Camera Resolution of 8MP IP Cameras

It seems to be a no-brainer to check the camera resolution.

Yet some security cameras might highlight their 4K sensors to get your attention, but actually you will only get 1080p grainy video images from them. So do remember to check its resolution (3840*2160) to make sure you get a true 4K security camera.

#2. Check the Viewing Angle of 2160p Network Cameras

While a 4K security camera will provide a wider range of view, you still need to check its viewing angle to see whether the 4K IP CCTV could cover your desired monitoring area, like the front door, driveway, porch or garage.

Usually, the horizontal field of view of a 4K security camera could go around 100°. To cover more areas, say 360° endless monitoring, you might choose the 4K HD security camera with PTZ function.

For more information about the selection of wide angle IP security cameras, check this post.

#3. Check the 4K Camera Performances in Various Conditions

Not all cameras reaching the high resolution of an 8MP security camera could truly provide high-quality images, especially in adverse conditions.

For example, you might have seen part of an image taken by some 8MP or 2160p security cameras is extremely dark but another part is so bright that you can’t see any detail.

An easy way to fix the problem is to get WDR security cameras (learn what WDR is here).

WDR Comparison

#4. Check the Video Fluency of 8MP Surveillance Cameras

You might have come across the abbreviation FPS in the product page or in the forum when people talk about the 4K security cameras. What does that mean?

Pay attention. The FPS (frames per second) has much to do with the video fluency.

Generally speaking, the FPS needs to be at least 20 to make a fluent video recording. If it’s possible, you’d better ask for a video demo from the manufacturer or search for some 8MP test video footage from other users on the YouTube to have a check.

#5. Check the Night Vision of 4K Webcams

The 4K security camera has brilliant image quality in the daytime as you could see and imagine: clear images, vivid color and great performance even in the glare.

But that’s far from enough since the night vision is totally a different thing. The 4K or 2160p cameras have more to deal with in the darkness, including the noise problems and the balance of bright.

Some security cameras like Reolink cameras use 3D DNR technology to achieve the best night vision. Don’t forget to check the night vision video also during your research after wowing at the excellent 8MP daytime images.

If the super night vision is what you want, you may also take a look at the starlight cameras.

#6. Check Whether the 8MP Camera Support Is Responsive

A perfect camera will lose its edges without a responsive support team. I’ve seen quite a lot 4K camera users asking for help in the forum and use all the zigzagging ways to fix their 4K security camera problems – a lot of time and energy wasted.

So why not choose a 4K camera manufacturer with a responsive support team in the first place? Some cameras producers including Reolink promises one-on-one support to give you worry-free purchase.

#7. Read Reviews of 4K Surveillance Systems

4K security camera reviews, including the video reviews and the blog, could be more useful than the product page sometimes.

If you are not in a rush, it’s highly advised to Google search your desired 4K/2160p security camera model, you’ll know what you are going to deal with when you get the camera and might find out something you’ve missed out before.

#8. Check the Warranty Time of 8MP Security Cameras

The warranty is always an easy-to-forget but important point, especially when you are purchasing from some retailers or camera agents. A long time warranty like two years warranty will surely add more value to the 4K security camera itself.

There are always people buying brand new security cameras from agents without noticing that the warranty time has already been eaten out by half. The safest way is to purchase 8MP cameras directly from the manufacturer on the Amazon or their official website.

Where to Place 8MP Security Cameras for the Best Use

4K security cameras could be put in anywhere you want to monitor. Well, with its unique advantages, there are some places you might consider first to make the best use of it and get the highest level of overall security.

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

Do you know that 34% of burglars will choose to break in from the front door, which is higher than any other secret entrances? 4K home security cameras, with its 8MP high definition to record the suspicious plate number and human face clearly, will be the best choice to guard your front door.

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

With a wide angle of view, a single 8MP security camera could cover the whole area of your front yard, back yard or your garden, and provides you spectacular view at the same time.

#3. Put 4K Webcams on the Second Floor and High Ceiling

If you want to install the security cameras in high places that are out of the burglars reach or easy to run wires, like in the second floor or under the ceiling and eaves, you will need a 4K security camera which allows you to zoom in to see the faraway objects clearly.

#4. Use 8MP IP Security System Cameras as Airport/Supermarket/Tourist Sits

4K security cameras, as the industry-leading products with no other issues to complain but relatively high cost, has already been widely used in the business where security is of vital importance, like the airport, supermarket, tourist sites, etc.

Concerns You May Have for 4K Security Cameras

As a cautious buyer, you might have more concerns about the 8MP or 2160p security cameras, like the storage and bandwidth problems, compatibility issues, and most importantly, the cost – as 4K security camera users of Samsung, Bosch, Hikvision and other brands often talked about.

Actually, they are not that serious than you think, and there are some good ways you can try to get over all these “inconvenience”.

#1. 4K CCTV Cameras Come with Higher Price

It’s true that 4K surveillance cameras will be priced about twice higher than the lower level ones. Yet if you choose the right brand like Reolink or grasp the holiday sale opportunities, you will save big with high quality guaranteed.

And the 4K security cameras will be a better choice if you are looking for a cost-effective solution instead of a dirt cheap one: The 8MP high definition cameras could cover more areas with a wider range of view, which saves your extra money in getting other low-resolution cameras otherwise.

For more ways to save your money when buying a 4K security camera or system, click here.

#2. 8MP CCTV Cameras Consume Your Bandwidth Greatly

Bandwidth is always a problem when it comes to high megapixel security cameras like 4K network cameras, but there are effective ways to avoid that. Actually, you might have done that already if you’ve got 4MP or 5MP security cameras before: The switch-between-different-modes trick.

8MP security cameras will also offer choices like clear and fluent mode to make sure the video transmission will not take up too much of your bandwidth, and record and save in 8MP high-quality images at the same time.

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

Worry about the insufficient storage space of the 4K IP security cameras, especially the 4K CCTV systems? Worry not. How could the 4K security cameras engineers miss that out?

The 4K security cameras will adopt H.265 compression mode. So what you might though as insufficient will become adequate with the advanced compression technology. And the 4K security camera NVR will provide larger storage space than the common types.

#4. 8MP Surveillance Cameras Might Have Compatibility Issues

Most 4K security cameras and systems will use 4K NVR for video storage. So you might have to upgrade your NVR altogether if you want to use it for video storage.

But that will come at no extra cost if you will upgrade it anyway when the 4K security cameras become a mainstream in the market. And you could always choose to save your 8MP video footages on FTP or other places.

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

The era for 4K IP security cameras is already here.

Just like the 1080p security cameras, which took time to replace the analog security cameras and enjoy great popularity in successive years, 8MP security cameras are now taking the place of 1080p cameras, whether you have noticed or not.

So get a 4K IP CCTV NOW to enjoy all the benefits.

Where to buy 4K security systems and cameras in US, UK, Australia, Canada and other countries?

There are a lot of ways you can get a 4K/2160p CCTV camera system now because of their increasing popularity, like shop online in Amazon or offline in Costco or from security camera retailers.

You may choose whichever way that is most convenient to you, but always remember to check the 4K security cameras warranty time, since you might stand a loss on that if you are not getting it directly from the manufacturer.

Alternative Camera Solutions with Great Images

After all the analysis, if you are still not ready to get the 8MP security cameras for now, here are two alternative solutions you may try.

If you want the battery-powered security cameras with no wires at all, 4K would be a daydream and 1080p is the best you can get currently, since the battery power will drain very quickly when the camera produces 8MP quality images.

If you want traditional cameras like the bullet or dome types, you’ll need at least 4MP or 5MP cameras. You may want to take a look at the Reolink cameras which performs better than the same level competitors with good price.