4K Video Cameras: Security’s Next Big Thing?

By John Krumme, CPP

Whether you are a bleeding edge, leading edge or a wait-and-see kind of person, one of last year’s hot new technologies — the 4K security camera — is moving beyond the buzz and into the realm of applications to seriously consider.

Already a fixture in the consumer electronics market, 4K makes sense for security settings as well, offering four times the pixels of a regular 1080p high-def camera, a robust 30 frames per second, and providing better quality and crispness in the images it captures.

Like any specialty camera, the 4K works best in certain scenarios — airports, parking structures, train stations, casinos or similar areas with lots of movement where the user wants to identify objects over a wider area and viewed from a greater distance, whether it’s a license plate or a deck of cards.

Additionally, the 4K camera performs best when outfitted properly, meaning it’s important to have the right lens to achieve maximum return as well as a monitor that is capable of viewing 4K images.

Several manufacturers have brought 4K cameras to market, and more are getting on board all the time. Word on the street is that the cameras are currently being used sporadically, mostly in conjunction with other high-definition cameras, but as the technology matures and prices fall, 4K will become more accessible. Even now, at its premium price, the return on investment based on its improved feature set can offset that somewhat.

In the meantime, it behooves everyone in the industry to become acquainted with 4K technology. Familiarity with ultra high-definition for home use makes the likelihood of acceptance of this technology for security applications much more realistic. If it works in your living room and you like it, why not transition to it for business situations as well?

And even if it isn’t suited for every environment, there are plenty of places where 4K could become the camera of choice. So if you didn’t get your fill of 4K cameras at the recent ISC West show, take some time to check out its features and benefits as it’s importance may grow in the future.