People who look for wide-angle security cameras or CCTV cameras with a wide field of view are in the hope of using one or two cameras to cover large areas, like a front door, parking lot, or detached garage.

Today we offer some helpful tips to choose best wide-angle security cameras for outdoor and indoor use.

How to Choose Wide-Angle Security Cameras

Security cameras that are capable of capturing up to 80 degrees field of view (FOV) are commonly regarded as wide-angle security cameras. Super wide-angle security cameras could cover up to 180 degrees or higher.

Ultra wide-angle surveillance cameras (CCTV or IP) could boast 360 degrees.

The angle of IP or CCTV cameras or the field of view largely depends on the security cameras focal length of the lens and the size of the image sensor.

Focal Length (mm) Diagonal (°) Vertical (°) Horizontal (°)
0 180.0 180.0 180.0
2 169.4 161.1 166.9
12 122.0 90.0 111.1
14 114.2 81.2 102.7
16 107.1 73.9 95.1
20 94.5 61.9 82.4
24 84.1 53.1 73.7
35 63.4 37.8 54.4

Meanwhile, the size of the image sensor and type of image sensor also plays a role in security camera field of view, for example, a 1/3″ image sensor produces wider viewing angle than that of 1/4″ sensor image sensor.

For example, a surveillance camera with 1/3″ CMOS sensor and the 4.0mm focal length like Reolink RLC-410 is capable of capturing 80 degrees field of view horizontally, shown below.

This wide-angle CCTV camera is adequate to monitor front porch, entryway, hallway, side of the door, alley, side door, driveway, and relatively small areas.

Wide-angle IP cameras with 2mm focal length, in general, cover 166.9 degrees wide areas, like fisheye cameras (panoramic video cameras) with 180/360 degrees wide angle.

Wide-angle surveillance cameras like PTZ IP camera are commonly seen in large areas like a crossroad, warehouses, parking lots, stadiums, museums, concert halls and etc.

Wide-Angle Security Cameras – What You Don't Know

Like many other surveillance cameras, a wide-angle IP or CCTV camera has its flaws and benefits, and it always takes a little of effort to fully understand them.

1. Wide-Angle Security Cameras: Pros & Cons

It's true that having a wide-angle security camera helps cover large areas at once, which not only reduces needs to install multiple cameras at one spot but also cuts down installation, maintenance and troubles.

However, among super wide-angle security cameras (IP or CCTV) especially, fisheye or 360 degrees wide-angle cameras, image distortion is a common problem.

Fisheye Cameras Monitors Parking Lot
Meanwhile, super wide-angle outdoor cameras could sacrifice some details to get wider viewing angles, which makes it harder to identify faces or other small details.

2. Fixed Lens VS Varifocal Lens Security Cameras

Varifocal lens security cameras can adjust the focal length, the angle of view and level of zoom while fixed lens security cameras instead can't do those.

Therefore, wide-angle surveillance cameras (CCTV or IP) with varifocal lens do better to zoom out to cover large areas and zoom in to capture small details, for example, this wide-angle outdoor security camera RLC-423.

Varifocal Security Camera System

3. Wide-Angle Security Camera VS Long-Range Security Camera

There is a strong correlation between security cameras’ focal length and viewing range, which is in turn directly linked to the viewing angle of CCTV surveillance cameras.

The longer the camera's focal lens is, the longer distance it could cover, and vice verse.

Simply put, wide-angle IP cameras are more suitable to monitor objects of shorter distance. For example, IP cameras with 4mm focal length & 1/3″ CMOS sensor (80 degrees viewing angle) like RLC-420 are better to monitor areas within 26 feet radius.

Of course, with optical zooming capability, users could zoom in to see small details without compromising video quality.

4. Viewing Angle & Camera Resolution

Interestingly, there is a parameter called PPF (pixels per foot) that has a huge impact on how well your outdoor IP cameras can clearly identify faces or plate numbers.

It's calculated by camera's resolution dividing its field of view. And for proper identification of facial and license plate recognition, the minimum measurement should be no less than 40 PPF.

In such sense, the higher resolution your wide-angle IP/CCTV outdoor cameras get, the better identification you could get.

High Resolution Security Camera

Best IP/CCTV Wide-Angle Security Cameras (Systems) Recommendations

Let's find out some of the most popular wide-angle security cameras available on the market.

Wide-Angle Outdoor Security Cameras – Reolink Argus 2

Wide-angle wireless security camera Reolink Argus 2 is one of the most popular battery-powered wireless outdoor security cameras on the market.

Thanks to the 1/2.8″ CMOS sensor, Reolink Argus 2 boasts 130-degree ultra-wide viewing angle and 1080p HD video, making it perfect for front door, backyard, parking areas monitoring.

With built-in siren alarm, microphone & speaker (2-way audio), Reolink Argus 2 could also act as great front door intercom, video doorbell, and front door camera.

It's convenient to run a wide-angle WiFi camera outdoor for monitoring your driveway, front porch, detached garage etc. However, make sure your WiFi security camera is well within your WiFi network coverage and make sure your wide-angle wireless camera is mounted with a secure mount.

Wide-Angle PoE Security Camera – Reolink RLC-423

Reolink PoE security camera RLC-423 is the best-valued wide-angle outdoor security cameras available on the market with a stunning 95 degrees wide field of view and 4x optical zoom capability.

Better yet, it also gets high-speed 360° horizontal pan and 90° vertical tilt, allowing it to cover super-wide areas without blind spots or dead areas left and patrol wide areas non-stop.

Surprisingly, wide-angle IP camera Reolink RLC-423 even packs some nice punches. It supports up to 190 ft IR night vision and is compatible with 3rd party software like Synology, QNAP, Blue Iris.

This wide-angle IP surveillance video camera could be better used to monitor backyard, driveway, parking areas and anywhere you desire to monitor.

Just like one professional reviewer put it, "This is the first affordable PTZ IP camera that I can recommend without any reservations".

Wide-Angle Indoor Security Cameras – Reolink E1

This wide-angle WiFi security camera with audio – Reolink E1 is capable of capturing a wider viewing angle with 355° horizontal and 50° vertical rotation.

Reolink E1

Affordable and Smart Wireless PT Home Camera

355° Pan and 50° Tilt to Help Get a Full View of Your Home. 3MP Super HD; Two-Way Audio; Easy Setup with 2.4 GHz WiFi. Works with Google Assistant.

This amazing wide-angle security camera is not only designed for baby monitoring and pet monitoring but also makes a perfect option for the elderly watch.

More importantly, the wide-angle wireless monitor can easily cover large areas right on the apps.

Wide-angle CCTV security camera Reolink RLC-511 is also popular with homeowners and business owners to cover large outdoor areas. It's packed with a wide-angle lens with viewing angle up to 100˚, higher than average outdoor PoE cameras.

And it also comes with 4x optical zoom capability, which enables users to zoom in to see more small details, for example, faces of strangers in the front door, plate number of unknown vehicles and other small details.

Reolink RLC-511

5MP PoE 4X Optical Zoom Security Camera

5-Megapixel Super HD; 4X Optical Zoom; Outdoor/Indoor Protection; 100ft Infrared Night Vision; Built-in Micro SD Card Slot.


There are many benefits of installing wide-angle security cameras including monitoring larger areas of interest with one camera and reducing troubles in setup and maintenance.

However, if without consideration of the resolution, the potential pitfall of such wide-angle surveillance camera is that image quality will be compromised substantially.



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