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To keep the sharpest eye on your property, you might need a security camera with 4K resolution.
When talking about camera resolution, a lot of terms get thrown around. 1080p. 2K. 4K. If you’re a layperson, it’s pretty easy to get confused.
To understand 4K, though, you need to understand resolution. Resolution refers to the amount of detail a camera can capture, which is measured in pixels. Very simply put, the more pixels there are, the more detail. Remember your first camera phone, which recorded things in potato quality? Those had 640 x 480 resolution. A 4K camera, on the other hand, records in 3,840 x 2160. Orders of magnitude better, right?
Now keep in mind that 4K has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years, and some manufacturers are a little less than rigorous when they’re applying the term to their products. For some, 4K literally means 4K. For others, it just means “really good video quality.” If you want to make sure you’re getting the advertised resolution, dig into the product specs and find out.
Lorex is one of our favorite security camera manufacturers for a reason. Their devices are affordable, easy to install and use, and offer users some of the best protections available in the industry. Not to mention, the 4K resolution of some models will ensure you’re seeing everything in the finest detail possible.
Highly customizable to each user’s individual needs, the Lorex security camera system really does offer a little bit of everything. Long-lasting batteries and rugged construction mean these cameras will stand up to tough conditions, and with top-of-the-line features, technology, and resolution, your security system will be cutting edge.
While not every model offers 4K resolution, Lorex’s higher-end models do, but all of their cameras offer exceptionally clear pictures, both day and night. When we put Lorex’s cameras to the test, we found that the system ran well, it was relatively easy to set up, and its management apps were easy to navigate.
The listen-in audio functionality was clear, and while we did notice some minor buffering in our live feed from time to time, that’s to be expected from a wireless camera with such a high resolution. Overall, I was happy with Lorex’s performance.
There is more info on this in our analysis of the complete Lorex system, but another thing worth mentioning is that the system is designed in such a way that there are no contracts, no monthly subscription fees, and no high monthly bills for storage.
If you want 4K resolution, keep an eye out for these Lorex cameras:
These feature-rich wireless cameras are a breeze to set up and use. If you’re new to the world of home security and want something that’s easy to manage, Arlo’s a good option.
Another great option for folks looking to keep a watchful eye on their properties, Arlo manufactures a wide variety of solid wireless security cameras that are motion-activated and back up to the cloud. They’re relatively affordable, record in full-color night vision, and capture a 160-degree field of vision with up to 4K resolution. Simply put, if something happens, you’re not going to miss it with the Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless Security Camera.
When I reviewed Arlo, I was immediately impressed by the quality of the products as well as how easy they were to install. In about 30 minutes, everything was all set up and recording away. Now I will say that when I was recording in high definition, I did notice a few issues with delay, but nothing that would ever be a major problem.
Although Arlo’s smart home integration options are a little lacking, if you’re looking for solid security cameras, they’re a good bet.
It’s also worth noting that if you’re going to be recording in 4K, you’ll have to pay a little extra to store the data, which is understandable. We have more information in our Arlo system review, but the bottom line is that it’ll cost $2.99 per month per camera or $9.99 per month for an unlimited number of your devices. Not a huge expense, but it’s something to consider in your overall home security budget.
Google is known for its great tech products, and the Nest security cameras are no different. Coupling exceptional picture quality with some interesting tech tools like facial recognition software, these cameras will offer something for most consumers.
One of the more well-known names in the security camera space, Google Nest has cameras that are up for almost any challenge.
Since you’re most interested in resolution, let’s start there. While these cameras are technically only 1080p, some of their cameras do have 4K sensors. Without getting too deep into the weeds on what that means, the long and short of it is that while it’s not true 4K, you’re still recording with enough detail that you’d never know the difference. I certainly couldn’t tell when I put Google Nest to the test.
On top of that, the Nest line offers users some interesting perks like facial recognition software to help you identify and interact with guests — both welcome and unwelcome. One drawback, though, is that many of the devices need to be hardwired, so if you’re not comfortable working with electricity, you’ll likely want to call in the pros.
Another drawback is the price. Some of the higher-end models can get pretty pricey, so if you’re working with a budget, you might be able to stretch your dollar better elsewhere. You can read more on that in my guide to the Google Nest line of products.
With that understood, if you’re interested in Nest cameras with 4K resolution, the IQ line is what you’ll want to look at.
Currently, 1080p is the industry standard for consumer-grade home security cameras, although more and more manufacturers are putting out devices that can record in 4K.
The real question is, do you need it? The truth is, in the day-to-day, you probably won’t be able to tell a huge difference between the two. You’re going to be looking at your security cameras through a computer screen or a phone, so all of that extra detail you’re recording is unlikely to be noticeable.
Now, where it will pay off is if that detail is needed by investigators. Let’s say your home is broken into and your 4K security camera captures the car speeding off. A few fleeting frames of the video have captured the license plate of the thief. You probably won’t be able to read it on your phone, but law enforcement sure will when they blow up that 4K image to the size of a poster.
So here’s the final word. In your regular dealings with your security cameras, it’s not going to matter much if you’re recording in 1080p or 4K — until it does.
When it comes to protecting your home, you don’t want to cut any corners. While resolution shouldn’t be the determining factor in which system you ultimately go with, it should definitely be a consideration. You want to make sure you’re recording in high enough detail to capture anything relevant to an investigation, which might be 4K.
If you’re not sold on these three camera systems, though, don’t fear. I’ve put many of these to the test, and I’ve compiled a list of the best security cameras for 2023. Head over there and see if you like something better.
What is 4K resolution?
4K resolution refers to an image that was recorded by a device capable of capturing 3,840 x 2160 pixels. It’s a step above 1080p, the “gold standard” resolution in home security cameras.
Can you tell the difference between 1080p and 4K?
Most people can’t tell the difference between a 1080p image and a 4K image. When a 4K image is blown up, though, the extra detail is evident.
Which companies make 4K security cameras?
Most security camera manufacturers use the industry standard of 1080p, but there are some, like Lorex, Arlo, and Google Nest, that are branching into 4K.
Do I need a 4K security camera?
Some folks might consider 4K to be overkill when it comes to security cameras, but if you’re trying to cover a large area or record with detail at night, 4K is the best option.
Are 4K security cameras expensive?
4K security cameras are slightly more expensive than their 1080p counterparts.