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Color Night Vision Security Cameras: How They Work & Best Picks in 2024

Jenny Hu12/6/2023
Color Night Vision Security Cameras: How They Work & Best Picks

Night vision security cameras with full colour are one of the most common night vision surveillance cameras. Unlike black-and-white cameras, full-colour night vision security cameras provide true colour images and videos even in low lighting conditions, so you can easily identify details, such as faces and license plates.

Here are some things you should know about how full color night vision surveillance cameras work, how they compare to regular night vision security cameras, and more.

How Do Color Night Vision Security Cameras Work

Color night vision cameras use sensitive image sensors that are specifically designed to capture both visible light and near-infrared light.

The latest color night vision camera - ColorX series of cameras by Reolink are equipped with the 1/1.8'' sensor and F1.0 aperture. These will allow the sensor absorb much more light and capture color images or videos in low-lit locations.

However, the regular cameras would automatically switch to the black-and-white mode when the lighting conditions drop at night.

There are 3 main types of night vision security cameras on the market, they are infrared security cameras, colour night vision cameras and starlight cameras, we have a detailed article on it, click here for the ultimate guide to the different types of night vision security cameras.

Color Night Vision Security Cameras vs. Regular Night Vision Security Cameras

For most of you, good night vision of a security camera is perhaps why you buy it in the first place.

That begs the question…

Should you choose color night vision security cameras or regular ones?

After looking through the comparison between security cameras with color night vision and regular night vision cameras, you’ll naturally draw your conclusions.

Image quality:

The full-color images of colour night vision CCTV cameras feature better contrast effect in low-light places, so you can gain more visual details to easily identify potential suspects, vehicles or other objects compared with regular cameras.

To make you understand better about color night vision security cameras, you may watch the review videos of Reolink Argus 3 Pro.

Installation scenarios:

As noted above, the wireless outdoor color night vision security camera systems need minimal light to deliver color images at night.

If you intend to monitor areas that are illuminated with strong street lights or some other light source, the color night vision security cameras are absolutely the best options.

Or in case there is no ambient light at all, the infrared IP cameras with the 0 Lux rating, like Reolink RLC-810A, can also deliver high quality video in total darkness.

Price:

This is a myth you need to recognize - full color night vision security cameras don’t always cost more than the regular cameras.

For example, you can even buy the high quality ColorX night vision security camera [Reolink CX410] below $90.

And there are various money-saving tips you may employ to get a budget-friendly infrared color night vision camera.

Essentially, it all comes down to just being a smart buyer to select the most suitable and cost-effective security cameras with color night vision (introduced below).

Quick Tips To Manually Set Up Color Night Vision Recording

While many color night vision security cameras can automatically record color images or videos at night, some may require manual settings to do the trick.

Taking Reolink Argus 3 Pro security camera with color night vision for example, below are simple steps to manually set up color video recording at night on your smartphone (within 1 minute).

Step 1: Launch and open the app

Launch Reolink App on your mobile phone and click the security camera with color night vision you want to set up. Tap the image icon and you will see three options “Color”, “Black & White” and “Auto”.

Color Night Vision Security Camera App

Step 2: Choose the proper mode

Switch to the “Color” mode and the full color night vision security cameras will deliver true color images at night.

Similarly, you can also set up Reolink color night vision IP cameras on your PC in a breeze.

  1. Start Reolink Client on your PC and click the color night vision security camera you’d like to configurate.

  2. Click the “Image” under “Basic Settings”, and choose “Color” in the “Day/Night” column.

Full Color Night Vision Security Cameras Consider Factor: Terms

Set Up Security Camera Color Night Vision

Now you can expect to get full color images day and night from you color night vision CCTV cameras.

Yes, technical terms of color night vision security cameras are boring, dull and incomprehensible.

Yet, they are also helpful to tell whether the security cameras with color night vision present improved images and videos at night.

Here we’ve listed some important terms about CCTV wireless hidden color night vision security cameras you should check out before your purchase.

And don’t worry, though, we will explain them in a simplified manner, so that you can easily understand even if you’re a layman.

Resolution:

The higher resolution a color night vision video camera has, the better image quality it can present, and the more visible details you can get.

To obtain the desired high quality images and videos, select the high resolution night vision security cameras (at least 1080p) as your first choice.

Color Night Vision Image

Long range:

It indicates how far the color night vision security cameras can see in ambient lighting.

As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to choose long range color night vision security camera systems to see further, meaning you’ll have a better shot to capture the suspects or objects at a distance.

Large aperture:

ColorX night vision technology has F1.0 super aperture, which allows more light to enter the lens, resulting in brighter and clearer images. It helps the security cameras capture and reproduce accurate colors in low light environments.

3D DNR:

This is a kind of noise reduction technology to reduce image noise in both static and moving images, allowing you to get clearer images and more accurate details.

Wide dynamic range:

The color night vision surveillance cameras with WDR (wide dynamic range) technology can balance light for improved images and videos. So they are most ideal for the high-contrast lighting locations.

IR cut filter:

The infrared cut filter is designed to ensure that the color night vision cameras provide true color reproduction, so that you can obtain high quality images and videos day and night.

Filed of view:

The larger the field of view is, the wider areas your outdoor wireless color night vision security camera can cover.

In other words, if you need to monitor large areas with one single camera, then the full color night vision security cameras with wide field of view would be your best bet.

Sum up: All the technical terms above normally can be found in the product specifications.

Or if you’re unsure whether the color night vision IP cameras have these features, you may directly consult the sellers to figure it out.

Other Practical Factors To Consider

Watch video samples of security cameras with color night vision

Subjective promotion ads vs. objective user video samples, which would you trust?

The latter, I bet.

After all, not all outdoor color night vision security camera systems are created equal. Compared with what the seller claims, user video samples are far more reliable for you to judge the camera performance.

Reolink seems to resonate with you on this very matter.

And that’s also one of the original purposes of its Reolink Captures Program, where you can enjoy the interesting color night vision IP camera videos uploaded by real users and check out the camera video quality at the same time.

This video program has been receiving favorable responses from the users worldwide. And here is a video sample of the color night vision security camera Reolink Argus 3 Pro for your reference.

Read color night vision camera reviews

As with the user video samples, the media reviews of security cameras with color night vision are also credible to distinguish the camera performance.

Generally, the third-party media reviews are the testing results for weeks and even months, so they are trust-worthy and can offer you professional insights into the full color night vision security cameras with pros and cons.

Now let’s look at color night vision security camera reviews of Reolink Argus 3 Pro by the top tier media ZDNet.

“I have been impressed with Reolink's range of security cameras each time one crosses my desk. And the Reolink Argus 3 Pro security camera is a very nice, upgraded addition to the line-up.”

Where To Place Color Night Vision Security Cameras

A useful thing to ask: “Where would I install the color night vision security cameras?”

This question can lead you to decide on which type of color night vision CCTV cameras you should buy, indoor or outdoor?

Indoors:

For the indoor infrared security cameras with color night vision, note that never place the cameras behind glass and windows, which may lead to washed-out and blurry images. (Read this to learn the fixes.)

And if you place the color night vision security cameras in your kids’ room, they might be scared of the red glow at night.

Blocking the red circle of your color night vision security system with tape, obviously, would make you see nothing at night and defeat your purpose to buy it in the first place.

A feasible method is to get an IR light that can be placed anywhere in the room and turn off the IR light on the color night vision cameras.

Outdoors:

The outdoor color night vision security cameras should be at least IP 65 weatherproof to brave all the elements and extreme cold or heat. (Also check out the security cameras that can survive cold weather.)

It’s more favorable if the wireless outdoor color night vision security camera systems are packed with protective housing or skins.

For one thing, the color night vision rainproof security cameras can be protected from man-made vandalism and natural disasters.

For another, they can easily blend into the environment and serve as CCTV wireless hidden color night vision security cameras.

Here we’ve picked up three best color night vision security cameras based on the above standards.

Reolink Argus 3 Pro earns its place as the best overall color night vision security camera on the market with the combination of great image quality at night and its design.

This full color night vision security camera tops our list with the 2K 4MP super HD resolution stretching up to 33 feet in the darkness.

What is more appealing is that, it is a rechargeable battery-powered security camera and offers the add-on solar panel, so you don’t need to worry about the batteries dead when you need the camera most.

Night Vision Specs:

  • Resolution: 2K 4MP super HD
  • Night Vision Range: 33 feet
  • Field of View: 122° wide viewing angle
  • 3D DNR: yes
  • Wide Dynamic Range: yes
  • IR Cut Filter: yes

Watch the video below to check out the video captured by Reolink Argus 3 Pro.

Reolink Argus 3 Pro

2K 100% Wire-Free Spotlight Camera

2K 4MP Super HD, Battery/Solar Powered, Person/Vehicle Detection, 5/2.4 GHz Dual-Band WiFi, Color Night Vision, Two-Way Audio.

Reolink CX410 is a 2K PoE ColorX night vision security camera. Its F1.0 aperture provides four times more light than the F2.0 aperture, resulting in brighter images. Its 1/1.8" sensor allows CX410 to catch greater color detail. And its 3000K adjustable warm light makes the light more natural and reduces light pollution. All in all, this camera offers real color night in the lowest light.

Besides, this security camera transmits both power and data through a single Ethernet cable, reducing installation complexity and time.

Reolink CX410

2K PoE ColorX Night Vision Camera

2K 4MP; F1.0 Super Aperture; ColorX True Full Color Night Vision; 3000K Adjustable Warm Light; Advanced 1/1.8'' Sensor; 2-Way Audio.

Note: Reolink is unveiling a new camera called the CX810 in 2024. It's a 4K version with improved colorX technology compared to the CX410. Check out this new product on Reolink's 2024 CES online booth. If you're inerested in cutting-edge security cameras, you can also find info on other new Reolink products at the 2024 CES event.

This color night vision security camera Reolink Go Plus is where affordability meets reliability.

Its 2K 4MP super high resolution, 33 feet night vision range, and 115° wide viewing angle are just a few reasons it snags the best value color night vision IP camera (also shares the other night vision specs as Reolink Argus 3 Pro).

What’s unique about this full color night vision security camera is that it can work perfectly without WiFi network and power. So you can monitor your barns, farms, shed, construction sites, vacation homes, boats, hotels, etc. on your cell phones at night.

Watch the video below to check out the image quality of this cellular security camera (shared by a real user of Reolink ).

Reolink Go Plus

Smart Wireless 4G Battery Camera

Rechargeable Battery/Solar Powered, Person/Vehicle Detection, 2K 4MP Super HD, Two-Way Audio, High-Quality Night Vision, Live View Anytime.

Your Color Night Vision Security Cameras Not Working? Try These Methods

It could be multiple reasons responsible for your color night vision security camera not working. Use the following practical tips to help troubleshoot the problem.

  • Make sure your security cameras with color night are installed in places with external light sources nearby, as they require minimum illumination to work properly.
  • Check the power supply and WiFi connection of the color night vision cameras carefully.
  • Ensure that the full color night vision security camera and its image sensors are not obstructed, otherwise the obstructions can prevent adequate ambient light from reaching the image sensors.
  • Examine your color night vision IP camera lens to see if there is any dirt, dust, spider webs, etc. Clean the camera lens with a soft microfiber cloth.
  • Update your color night vision CCTV cameras to the latest firmware and also download the newest software.
  • If the above tricks still don’t work, you may contact the camera sellers for technical support.

Conclusion

Color night vision security cameras offer significant advantages in capturing true color images and videos even in low-light conditions. They provide enhanced clarity and detail, enabling easy identification of important features such as faces and license plates.

Compared to regular night vision cameras that typically provide black-and-white images, color night vision cameras provide a more realistic and comprehensive surveillance experience. Understanding how these cameras work and their capabilities can assist in making informed decisions when choosing the right night vision security camera for your needs.

Still have any questions about the color night vision security cameras? We’ve always been here to welcome all your ideas, questions or anything you’d like to share!

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Jenny is an editor from Reolink. Her posts are helpful for homeowners, undergraduates, small business owners, and pretty much anyone who needs security tips for a worry-free world. If you want to say hi, you can email her at jenny#reolink.com (replace # with @) to connect!