How to Get The Best Pictures Out Of Your Old CCTV

On the TV series CSI, they can zoom into things and read newspapers at 300 yards. It's not reality; it's a Hollywood fantasy, and you just can't do it.

"I've met quite a few customers who think you can!"

When their system doesn't do it they think they've bought the wrong CCTV camera, but it's because they believe what they see on TV.

You have to design your system correctly in the first place. We talk about pixels on target, lens size and aperture, focal length and other magical things. If you are technical it is fine; if you're not technical, it's all just gobbledegook!

The default setting for any CCTV camera is wide angle and many installers leave it set to this, not understanding what the customer wishes to achieve. So you'll end up with the detail you may wish to analyse spread over a wide area, which means 'interesting' detail areas are too small.

"A small image area has low definition!"

So the CCTV camera must be zoomed in on the area of the picture you're most interested in. The view at either side, above and below often doesn't matter. This way, you get a far higher detail in the area you want to see most.

So maximise the detail on each CCTV camera's area of view, and don't just set it to wide angle as you're throwing away the detail you need to identify people, to read number plates, or whatever else you need.

We have found in our workshop, even with the same manufacturer, you can take two or three different cameras, and when you look at the test chart to see how clearly their lenses perform, there are major differences from one model to another.

"And that's from a good quality manufacturer!"

Can you imagine how much picture detail will be lost from a cheap camera? We thoroughly test all of the CCTV cameras we recommend and install for our customers so you can be sure you will always get the best possible image quality.

If you're wondering why you can't see the detail from your CCTV cameras then do give us a call on 0845 287 3622 or send us an email and let's see how we can help you.

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