4K Security Camera vs 1080P Video Comparison

When it comes to security cameras, there are many different factors to choose the best one for you. Between innovative features, hardware components, and the ecosystem you use at home, there’s no shortage of cameras that can be a perfect fit. Resolution is a major differentiating factor, but what kind of image quality do you need? We will explain the difference between 4K and 1080p security cameras.

As with digital cameras, just because one camera has a higher megapixel count does not automatically mean that the camera is better. These numbers have different positions in which they prevail. So let’s dive in and see which camera resolution is right for your particular circumstances.

Define decisions


Resolution numbers are determined by the size of the image recorded by the camera. For example, 1080p means that the image that the camera can capture can be 1080 pixels high and 1920 pixels tall. Usually, cameras need at least a 2MP sensor to capture 1080p. When you hear someone mention high resolution, it usually means 1080p or higher, although it may also refer to 720p.

In comparison, 4K resolution is four times larger or higher than 1080p. A 4K image is equivalent to an image with a height of 2160 pixels paired with a width of 3840 pixels. Your camera should have at least an 8MP sensor to get this level of detail.


There are certainly different parts of taking a photo or video to consider when discussing resolution. First, let’s talk about monitoring coverage. Resolution does not determine the field of view, but a 4K camera will show more detail in the image than a 1080p camera.

This field of view difference actually comes into play depending on the location you want to cover. At longer distances, such as a parking lot, a 4K camera can show faces more clearly. Inside the home or somewhere at a shorter distance, 1080p can photograph faces.

Second, 4K captures much more details and information than 1080p. These details can be easily seen in the storage sizes of the videos. Five 4K cameras will require much more storage space than five 1080p cameras. Hard drives are usually not the most expensive thing to consider when setting up your system, but storage requirements are something to consider.

Also, with that much detail, you can see more in the frame. You can zoom in even further in 4K without the image becoming unviewable. To capture letters or other small details in a recording, 4K is your best bet.

Another thing to consider is the hardware needed to run 4K security cameras on 1080p cameras. These resource needs come to your screen, too. While you don’t necessarily need a 4K screen to view the extra detail in a 4K camera, you’ll miss out on most of the benefits. It would be better to have a 4K capable TV or monitor when your system is equipped with 4K cameras. Fortunately, 4K TVs are not very expensive nowadays, although screens are still somewhat expensive. You may also need more than one monitor depending on the size of your security system.

To refer to additional data captured by 4K cameras, details can be affected by higher resolution sensors. Light, the main ingredient in taking a good photo, can affect recordings even more. Because 4K captures more data, it can capture more light, which can be harmful in an image. The bright light that shines on 4K cameras can blow up the image. On the opposite end, low light may be sharper at 4K resolution than at 1080p.


The next and perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing between a high-resolution or low-resolution camera system is the cost associated with each. Per camera, a 4K camera will cost more than a 1080p camera. This difference in price is due to devices with higher power.

This price discrepancy is due to a location that needs security. A home that requires only one camera in the backyard will be less expensive when paired with a system of 1080p versus 4K cameras.

Is 4K worth it?

Higher resolution is often better, but it depends on cost and other factors. Of course, looking only at the numbers on the page, no matter the budget, 4K is absolutely better than 1080p at capturing information and data. Better image quality means better security, but some security is better than no security at all. If you’re on a tight budget, 1080p is enough – but if you allow it, consider investing in 4K cameras.


Is 4K Camera Better Than 1080P?

Speaking strictly of specs, 4K is objectively better than 1080p. It captures more information and allows a wider field of view.

Are 4K Security Cameras Worth It?

4K cameras are well worth the upgrade and price if you have the means to use their features. For example, if you only need surveillance for an apartment house, there may be no need to pay extra fees for 4K cameras.

Is 1080p enough for a security camera?

1080P resolution is enough for a security camera depending on your surveillance needs. However, upgrading your choice of camera will be more beneficial if you are trying to secure a larger space or a small business.

Will 4K cameras work with 1080p DVR?

Yes, a 4K camera will work with 1080p DVR, but you will lose the benefits of the upgraded resolution.

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