Why are Security Cameras Pixelated?

We’ve written recently about whether or how cameras can see license plates. While we’re on the subject, you may have wondered why so many security cameras are pixelated.

Security cameras are pixelated for a variety of reasons. The usual reasons being that they are designed for more low light or high contrast scenarios or people choose to go with a lower cost camera and recording device.

For example. If you’re like me, you may have seen footage on the news of someone breaking into a store or a car and their face looks like a nintendo game or the scrambled naughty channels from when I was in middle school. The answer is simple, yet complex.

Smart Phone Cameras Vs. Security Cameras

Smart phone cameras have gotten incredibly sharp and versatile of the last few years, with telephoto options, vivid colors and wide angle options. They incorporate multiple lenses now and are generally impressive for the small package they come in. The goals and build of security cameras however are surprisingly different. CCTV cameras aren’t trying to be small usually and they aim at something different. Versatility and low light conditions though IR technology. If someone walks up day or night, they are designed to get the best pic they can, no matter if there is a light shining into the censor or if someone is in all black. They are made to seek out detail even if the scene is high contrast or a subject is wearing all black at night, often using infrared technology.

There is often a wide angle shot to cover lots of area and then at a later date the file has to be zoomed in upon to find a face. This creates a digital zoom situation instead of an optical zoom. A smart phone can be pointed right at someone or something. Video security cameras often don’t have that luxury.

You Never Know You Need High Quality Until You Need It

In a lot of scenarios, it is more affordable to go with a lower quality camera as well, and people opt for the lower cost option. This can help deter criminals and hopefully not, but even identify if an employee or someone you know may be stealing from you. However, often times, when the footage is needed the owner is regretting the decision to cut costs on the camera quality.

Getting the Most Out of Your Cameras

The thing you can do to get the best quality is to have someone who knows what they are doing to help you establish a game plan. You may need a lower cost camera in a certain room or area and then a high quality camera in a different spot. You may have a camera that is used to deter crime just by it’s looks more than anything. Then another camera placed perfectly to get people’s faces as they come into your business. In some cases you can increase camera count to make up for the camera quality.

Possible Reasons Security Footage is Bad

The easiest thing to check is possibly the easiest answer. You may look to see if your lens is damaged or dirty. You can possibly get it repaired or replaced. Or if it is dirty, you can just clean it with a designated lens cleaner for glasses or a camera lens. The camera be over worked for the scene you have it in. The cable going to the camera may be too long. If you’re going wireless you may need to ensure you are not out of distance from the receiver or router. Last, you might check and see if your vari-focal lens is just out of focus. You can try zooming in or out or manually adjusting the focus yourself at the camera.

Security Camera Placement

A camera placed too far away is a common problem. Blind spots or cameras placed with intrusive objects in the way is common as well. Poor installation, execution or poor maintenance can also be deciding factors when it matters. If you have a lower quality camera and/or a bad lighting situation, and you want facial detail, you may want to get the camera closer to eye level. You may want to make sure it is in direct proximity to where someone would be standing or looking and make sure the camera is designed for all your lighting conditions.

For Best Camera Quality for the Best Price in Oklahoma, Contact Us. 405-605-0101

TIPS: Aiming Indoor Cameras Outside of Your Window

Video security has two approaches. There is the good way and the bad way.

If you already own your cameras and you are not planning on changing anything, you actually can point an indoor surveillance camera outside. The problem is quality. You will be susceptible to bad lighting and blind spots.

If the goal is to catch and/or steer a potential criminal away you may be putting the horse before the cart. A quick search or phone call to us can lead you to some pretty simple answers that are surprisingly in the same price range. We have cameras in store that you can look at in person that may be mounted outside.


More Benefits to Outdoor Cameras


Another thing that people may not always take into consideration is that there are cameras that do more than just record video. A nicely placed camera outside your door can be a clear message to a potential burglar that they have chosen the wrong place. The most effective thing a camera can do is prevent a crime from ever happening.


The Problem with Pointing Indoor Cameras Outside


The issues you may face could prove to be a deterrent when making this decision. A company like Security Options can do your doing your wiring for you. If you don’t have that it may be easier than running professional wiring and finding the right weather resistant camera for your house. However, anything at sunrise, sunset or night time is going to be an issue. Your infrared sensor LEDs will cause the video to record blown out when they refract on the window.


If You Do Choose to Keep Your Indoor Camera Pointed Outside

What to do if you want to keep your indoor cameras and point them outside

Time needed: 1 hour.

  1. Place your camera lens as close to the window as possible.


    This will help you avoid losing video quality because of the glass barrier.

    If you can’t afford to go with an outdoor camera at the current moment, there are a couple of things you may want to do. You can first place the lens as close to the window as possible. This will help you avoid losing video quality because of the glass barrier. Second, keep your window as clean as possible. Any smudges can cause significant visual blockage. Third, you are going to want to disable any IR or status lights so you get the least amount of video wash out.

  2. Keep your window as clean as you can.

    Any smudges can cause significant visual blockage.

  3. Disable any IR or status lights.

    Turning any lights coming off of your camera can help prevent wash out and avoid any glare that may effect your video.

  4. Get an outdoor motion light

    Having your outside lit up at night time will immensely help your video quality when it comes time to review.

In Conclusion

I would recommend just getting a similarly prices outdoor camera. If you can’t at this time, follow all the tips and tricks to get your shots right so you don’t miss the action.

I would recommend just getting a similarly prices outdoor camera. If you can’t at this time, follow all the tips and tricks to get your shots right so you don’t miss the action.

You need to add a widget, row, or prebuilt layout before you’ll see anything here. 🙂

How to Pause Your Skybell Notifications

Step 1. Open your Alarm.com app. Click the three white lines to see your settings. 

Step 2. Click on “Doorbell Camera”

Step 3. Click the gear icon to see your settings. 

Step 4. Click “Recording Schedules” to pause or resume your recordings. 

Step 5. Click the status button on “doorbell call” and “doorbell motion” to temporarily turn it off.

Step 6. Click the save checkmark.  

You are done! Don’t forget to follow the same steps to turn it back on when you are ready.