Green Line Systems

Understanding Security Cameras With Optical Zoom

Posted by Gregory DeRouanna on Apr 2, 2019

Optically zoomed security camera footage

“How much optical zoom do I need in a security camera? Is 5X optical zoom okay?” These are some of the questions that most customers ask when  choosing a security camera for their business or property surveillance needs.

Security cameras with an optical zoom can close in on their frame to see key details at longer distances, and can also maintain focus as their focal length changes. Unlike digital zoom, this doesn’t compromise the quality of the image.

How Optical Zoom Works

Optical zoom is achieved by the actual adjustment of camera optics, such as moving or rotating different lenses inside the security cameras. Think of it as looking through a pair of binoculars. If you’re buying a security camera with X3, X4, X5, or higher optical zoom, that number represents the exact amount of magnification that the security camera zoom lens is capable of performing. The higher the security camera optical zoom, the better.

What is Digital Zoom?

Digital zoom expands the size of pixels in a digital image, making it appear bigger. At some point, you’ll actually be able to see the pixelation, making the image look “blocky”. It’s far better to optically zoom into an area of observation first for the highest quality footage. You can always apply a digital zoom at a later point if you’d like.

Types of Optical Zoom Security Cameras

  • Manual Optical Zoom - These security cameras have to be adjusted manually to achieve the desired zoom level and viewing angle before you set them up to start recording. Once installed, and you need to re-adjust the zoom, you’ll have to remove the camera housing to adjust the varifocal lens inside the camera. This can be a huge inconvenience, especially if you have installed the cameras in places like high walls or ceilings. This option is no longer viable in most cases.
  • IP Security Cameras with Motorized Zoom - With these security cameras, you can simply zoom in and out with the on-screen self-monitoring controls on your security camera client PC software or mobile app. The motorized camera lens helps maintain focus when the focal length changes.
  • Security Cameras with Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) - PTZ security cameras are the ultimate option when it comes to optical zoom security cameras. These cameras offer all-around surveillance and protection for your home, business, or other property with excellent zooming capabilities at different angles. Some of these PTZ cameras can offer 90° tilt, 360° pan, and higher optical zoom. This means you can get as many details as you want when monitoring your property.

Shop Top-Selling Optical Zoom Security Cameras Now

Zoomed in security cameras

One of the biggest benefits of optical zoom security cameras is the fact that you won’t experience image quality degradation. Even at a long distance, you’ll still enjoy sharp images. While you can’t add optical zoom after a surveillance video is recorded, optical zoom security cameras are a great choice for many applications where capturing quality images and as much detail as possible is a top surveillance priority.

If you’re looking for  security camera systems with high-quality optical zoom lens for your business or home property surveillance, feel free to shop at CCTV Security Pros. Shop complete HD security camera systems online now or call us at 888.653.2288 to discuss your needs.