4k UltraHD CCTV cameras? Next expensive fad or worthy upgrade?

Camera manufacturers continue to push forward with rapid technology advancement. Image clarity is core to CCTV cameras and 4k (or UltraHD) is the next step forward.

4k

What is 4k? In simple terms 4K offers a substantial jump in the resolution (number of pixels). 4 times the resolution of HDTV 1080p, that last industry standard. This is best illustrated with a diagram comparing a range of resolutions.

4K-relative-sizes

What are the benefits?  4K provides larger and richer video provides a tremendous advantage in detail capture with crisp, vivid images even when zoomed in digitally. This is particularly important when using video analytics capability to track people, capturing facial characteristics and recognize numbers.

What are the downsides? Cost. These cameras are top if the range items and as such have a price to match. Also they produce significantly larger amounts of video and thus could overwhelm your network and storage systems.

Is 4K a game changer? Yes and No. The vast majority of CCTV users, would see little benefit of moving to 4k as a straight upgrade of their existing camera systems. Today the vast majority of CCTV users have yet to move to the 1080p standard using IPCams. This is better upgrade path for a straight upgrade giving the best balance between visual quality and cost. But there are ways to use 4k in a way that is a game changer. 4k in 360 degree cameras is a significant step forward as it results in less cameras being required. Simply but, you can replace 4 or 5 standard CCTV cameras with a single 4k 360 degree camera. You save by having less devices and less installation costs.

360degree_security

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