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High Resolution Security Camera: 2024 Full Guide

High Resolution Security Camera

As security becomes increasingly important, high-resolution security cameras have become essential tools. Reolink, a leading company in the industry, is at the forefront of UHD (Ultra High Definition) technology, offering outstanding performance to enhance your viewing experience. These advanced surveillance devices capture clear and detailed images, making them indispensable for homeowners, businesses, and security professionals.

In the following sections, we will delve deep into the features, applications, and benefits of high-resolution security cameras, which are revolutionizing the security industry. We will explore the potential of these cameras and how they provide enhanced safety and protection.

Note: You can read Reolink camera review if you are interested in other high resolution security cameras.

Common High Resolution Security Cameras

When you’re shopping for your new security camera, there are three common resolutions to choose from—2K, 4K and 12MP. Each of these offers a different image quality and the potential for either more or less visible details:

2K resolution security cameras:

Image Quality: These cameras produce a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, which results in a clear video, but the lowest image detail of the three options.

Ideal for: Residential and small businesses that need a balance of price, video quality, and convenient storage requirements. Image quality isn’t as important as accessibility and cost efficiency.

4K resolution security cameras:

Image Quality: Producing a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, 4K cameras deliver sharp, clear video footage allowing viewers to spot more details than 2K.

Ideal for: Larger spaces where capturing finer details is more crucial. This includes commercial spaces, large properties, and other areas where tighter security is vital. The superior image quality enables easier identification of subjects.

12MP security cameras:

Image Quality: With a resolution of 4512 x 2512 pixels, 12MP cameras produce high-quality images that showcase exceptional clarity and detail. The increased pixel count ensures sharper and more vibrant video footage, allowing viewers to perceive even the tiniest nuances in the recorded scenes.

Ideal for: Super large retail spaces, financial institutions, and crowded public areas are in extreme need of higher resolution cameras for detailed surveillance. Their improved image quality by 12MP cameras facilitate enhanced analysis and identification of crucial details, guaranteeing precise capture of every significant event.

Comparison of 2K, 4K and 12MP Security Cameras

Resolution Pixels Applications Video Quality Image Clarity Storage Requirements Price Range
2K 2560 x 1440 Small to medium-sized areas Good Good 5-40MB/m $50 -$300.
4K 3840 x 2160 Large areas, critical monitoring Very Good Very Good 10-75MB/m $100 - $300
12MP 4512 x 2512 Large retail spaces, financial institutions, and crowded public Excellent Excellent 22.5MB-80MB/m $90-$500

Benefits Of High Resolution Security Cameras

High resolution security cameras offer many benefits that make them invaluable tools for effective surveillance and security. These benefits are:

Capture more details:

A higher resolution produces clear and detailed images so you can see critical details like facial features, clothing, and license plate numbers from a distance. This information is especially important when trying to identify individuals or vehicles that may be part of a crime or engaged in suspicious activity.

Save your family memories:

High resolution security cameras may be intended for surveillance, but they’re also a great way to save those precious family memories. On top of keeping an eye on your children, elderly family members, and pets to ensure their safety when you’re not home, security cameras can capture candid moments you otherwise wouldn’t be able to save.

Better optical zoom functionality:

Most of high resolution security cameras offer optical zoom functionality. With more pixels, these cameras can zoom in on specific areas or objects while maintaining clear and sharp image quality. This feature is useful for capturing fine details, such as facial features even from a distance.

Most Reolink high resolution cameras support optical zoom.

Color night vision:

Many high resolution cameras include advanced night vision capabilities like color night vision. High resolution integrated with spotlight makes it easier for your camera to capture clear and detailed images even in low-light or complete darkness.

night vision

Buying High Resolution Security Cameras: Things You Really Need To Consider

When you’re shopping for high resolution security cameras, there are a few factors that you should consider:

Using scenarios:

The first factor to consider when buying high-resolution security cameras is to evaluate your specific usage scenarios.

  • Power: High-resolution cameras require a significant amount of power to utilize their advanced features and efficiently process video footage. Evaluate power source options such as Power over Ethernet (PoE), direct electrical connection, or even solar power, depending on the availability and feasibility in your installation area.

  • Internet: Internet connectivity is crucial for the optimal performance of high-resolution security cameras. The stability and reliability of your network directly impact the quality of video streaming, remote access, and overall functionality of your surveillance system. Evaluate internet connectivity options such as WiFi or Power over Ethernet (PoE) to determine the most suitable solution for your specific scenario.

  • Audio: Consider the audio capabilities of high-resolution security cameras to enhance their functionality. Look for cameras that offer two-way audio communication, ensuring you can both listen to and speak with individuals in the monitored area.


The cost of a high-resolution security camera can vary greatly depending on the brand and its features. It’s important to determine your budget so you know what price range to look for. For example, if you were shopping for a Reolink security camera, you’d consider these options:

  • The 2K security camera is typically priced between $50 and $100. At this range, you may find RLC-510WA is a good choice.

  • The 4K security camera is typically priced between $100 and $200. At this range, you may find RLC-811A is a deserving option.

  • The Reolink 12MP resolution security cameras like the RLC-1212A or RLC-1224A only cost around $90. They are the most cost-effective security cameras.


The detailed video of high resolution cameras requires a lot of data to produce, so you’ll need a sufficient amount of bandwidth through your Internet provider to transmit and store the video feed. Inadequate bandwidth will result in pixelation, lag, and frame drops.

Bandwidth for Liveview and FTP Uploading:

Whether using “Clear” or “Fluent” mode, the bandwidth will equal the bitrate set for the specified mode.

  • Clear mode: Maximum bitrate equals 8129 kbps.

  • Fluent mode: Maximum bitrate is 512 kbps.

  • Stream mode: You determine the maximum bitrate.

Bandwidth for 2.4G/5G WiFi:

Although the wireless signal’s frequency (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) may impact the signal consistency and strength, it does not impact bandwidth. So what’s the difference between the two frequencies?

  • Available Channels:
    2.4GHz WiFi has fewer available channels compared to 5GHz WiFi. This can lead to more congestion and interference, especially in densely populated areas or locations with many WiFi devices.
    5GHz WiFi offers more available channels, which allows for less interference and congestion, making it suitable for high-density environments.
  • Speed:
    5GHz WiFi generally offers faster data transfer speeds compared to 2.4GHz WiFi. This is because 5GHz has more bandwidth available for data transmission.
    2.4GHz WiFi can be slower, especially in crowded areas with multiple devices competing for limited bandwidth.
  • Range:
    2.4GHz WiFi typically has better range and penetration capabilities through walls and obstacles compared to 5GHz WiFi.
    5GHz WiFi has a shorter range but can deliver higher speeds over shorter distances.

Most wireless Reolink high resolution security cameras support dual-band WiFi, while PoE cameras don't support.

Encoding format and local storage:

High-resolution security cameras demand considerable storage capacity. H.265 surpasses H.264 in compression efficiency and file size reduction, which is crucial for these high-capacity needs. This improved performance relies on enhanced chips and algorithms, especially in high-resolution security cameras' processors and image processing. Thanks to H.265, security systems can efficiently handle and store massive volumes of video data while maintaining visual quality. Notably, most Reolink cameras employ this H.265 encoding technology.

Moreover, due to the significant storage needs of high-resolution security cameras, we recommend choosing a storage solution with ample capacity. Video recording involves storing both the main stream and sub-streams locally. You can estimate the required storage capacity with a straightforward calculation. Let's use an example for clarity.

Consider the Reolink RLC-1212a, a 12MP camera, which offers a default bitrate of 8192Kbps for the main stream and 768Kbps for the sub-stream.

From these specs, we can calculate the memory usage per minute:

  • Main stream: (8192kbps x 60 seconds) / 8 bits = 60 MB per minute
  • Sub-stream: (768Kbps x 60 seconds) / 8 bits = 5.625 MB per minute

Combined, these streams consume 65.625 MB per minute.

Given that the main stream and sub-stream are saved concurrently, we can estimate the total duration that can be stored on local storage.

For a battery-powered security camera with a 128GB SD card, the math is: 128 x 1024MB / 65.625 MB x 60 minutes, resulting in roughly 33.27 hours.

For a Network Video Recorder (NVR) with a 2TB hard drive, the calculation is: 2,000 x 1024MB / 65.625 MB x 60 minutes, yielding approximately 516.92 hours.

In light of these numbers, we suggest that for extended recording of high-resolution video, it's ideal to use a Power over Ethernet (PoE) camera linked to an NVR. If you're using a standalone SD card camera, we advise selecting a high-capacity SD card, such as a 128GB or 256GB model.

Top Recommendations for High Resolution Security Cameras

There is a lot to think about when shopping for a high resolution security camera. Let’s simplify your choices a bit more with these three top recommendations for home and outdoor surveillance:

Reolink’s E1 Outdoor Pro is a 4K UHD security camera intended for outdoor use. This offers 3X optical zoom and a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) function for crystal clear and detailed footage of your personal space.

The E1 Outdoor Pro also utilizes the latest WiFi 6 technology resulting in a more reliable and seamless connection between the camera and your network.

Reolink E1 Outdoor Pro

4K WiFi PTZ Camera with Auto-Tracking

4K 8MP Super HD, Smart Person/Vehicle Alerts, 355° Pan & 50° Tilt & 3X Optical Zoom, Auto Tracking, Color Night Vision.

Reolink’s Argus PT Ultra offers 4K wireless outdoor security with pan and tilt function, advanced motion detection, and night vision for improved security day and night. See more of your outdoor area and improve your chances of catching incidents as they’re happening.

The wireless functionality of this camera provides flexibility in camera placement and eliminates the need for complicated wiring, simplifying the installation process.

Argus PT Ultra

4k 100% Wire-Free PT Camera

4K 8MP Ultra HD; 5GHz/2.4GHz WiFi; Rechargeable Battery & Solar Powered; 355° Pan & 140° Tilt; IP65 Certified Weatherproof; Clear Night Vision; 2-Way Audio; 122° Wide Viewing Angle.

The Reolink RLC-1212A is a top-notch 12MP security camera that combines high resolution with advanced AI technology. It accurately distinguishes humans and vehicles from other objects, reducing false alarms.

With a built-in spotlight and color night vision, it provides clear imaging in low-light conditions. Its sturdy build and easy installation make it an excellent choice for home or business security systems.

Reolink RLC-1212A

Intelligent 12MP PoE Camera with Powerful Spotlight

Smart Person/Vehicle Alerts; 12MP Ultra HD; Color Night Vision; Time Lapse; IP66 Certified Weatherproof; Two-Way Audio.

High Resolution Security Camera System Recommendation

If you want to monitor your property from different perspectives, the security camera system is a good choice. Along with our camera system recommendations, we’ve included a quick guide on starting your garden.

Reolink’s 1200B4-A comes equipped with 4 12MP UHD resolution cameras and an 8-channel NVR. It provides additional storage and effortless management of your surveillance footage. The cameras deliver crystal-clear images, intelligent motion alerts, and a wide viewing angle, ensuring comprehensive coverage.

With its plug-and-play system, installation is a breeze, and the weatherproof design guarantees reliable outdoor usage. Perfect for both home and business surveillance, the RLK8-1200B4-A offers a complete solution for all your security requirements.

Reolink RLK8-1200B4-A

12MP 8-Channel PoE Surveillance Kit with Spotlights

4 pcs 12MP Ultra HD Security Cameras; 2TB HDD 8-Channel NVR for 24/7 Recording; Person/Vehicle Detection; Color Night Vision; 24/7 Recording.

As you can see, Reolink provides a range of high-pixel security cameras designed to meet the needs of various scenarios. Their 12MP resolution cameras offer exceptional image quality, capturing clear and detailed footage for comprehensive surveillance. What sets Reolink cameras apart is their ability to integrate additional advanced features, enhancing their functionality and performance.

How to install your new high resolution security camera system

  1. Prepare for Installation: Find the perfect spot for your camera, ensuring you see everything you need to. Drill holes for power and data cables and use the provided template to create a spot for the mounting screws.

  2. Run cables to the camera’s intended location: Pass the cables through the drilled holes and hide them to prevent damage.

  3. Connect cables to the network video recorder (NVR): Run the cables to the NVR and securely connect them.

  4. Install the cameras: Mount the high resolution camera using the previously-drilled holes and connect all necessary cables. Adjust the camera for the best angle for your surveillance.

  5. Connect everything to the NVR: Once the camera is installed, run all cables into the associated ports on the NVR.


1. Is 12MP better than 4K?

In terms of resolution, 12MP is higher than 4K. 4K resolution refers to approximately 8.3 megapixels, while a 12MP camera captures images at 12 megapixels.

2. Can 4K security cameras capture license plates?

Generally, 4K security cameras are sharp enough to capture license plates. Distance, focal length, lighting, positioning, and so much more can affect the clarity of the image and can diminish your chances of reading a license plate.

3. Is Full HD better than 4K security cameras?

No. Compared to Full HD((1920 x 1080), 4K (3840 x 2160) generally offers superior image quality. With four times the number of pixels, 4K cameras can capture finer details and provide sharper images,


High resolution security cameras are a great investment to enhance your home and business security. The benefits that come with the advanced options make them a worthwhile addition to any home or outdoor space.

Reolink pioneers ultra-high-resolution security cameras, offering 12MP high resolution for clear footage. Their advanced night vision and WDR technology ensure clear recordings in any lighting condition, while weatherproof designs make them durable for outdoor use.

After reading through this guide, you will be able to make an informed decision when you’re buying the best high resolution security camera for your needs. If you have other questions or concerns about high resolution cameras, please contact our support.


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Yucy, as a proficient editor in Reolink, specializes in the field of home security. Her expertise lies in providing insightful information regarding the latest advancements in security systems, surveillance technologies, and safety measures. Comment and discuss with her!