how to make cctv camera footage clear

How to make CCTV camera footage clear? Sometimes your CCTV footage is blurry or too dark, and you would like to enhance its quality. 

You can adjust settings and clean your camera’s lenses before making it work to ensure the footage is clear. Complementing the environment with proper lighting is also vital.

There are plenty of methods to do everything we just said above. If you want to know which methods are the best, keep reading.

Why Make CCTV Camera Footage Clearer?

why make the cctv footage clearer

Before we delve into the best methods to improve your camera footage, we should be clear about why such a thing is so important.

Since CCTV serves the purpose of recording live footage and helping you keep the safety of your house, you will want the footage to be as clear as possible.

And that reason might serve a dual interest. First, your own.

As the owner of the CCTV camera, you want to be able to check footage anytime and recognize what’s going on.

Especially times when your CCTV camera catches something around your house. Could it be a wild animal? A thief? You probably want to know.

Further, having great quality footage is useful for when things get juridical. No one wants to go to court, but such a thing happens.

And when the judge decides that footage is needed, the clearer the image, the better. After all, this type of recording can serve as evidence.

How To Make CCTV Camera Footage Clear – Best Methods

how make footage clearer

How to enhance security camera footage? As already said in the intro paragraph, there is more than one way to approach the improvement of your CCTV camera footage.

Some methods will require you to use your hands and better understand your camera’s functioning. Others will require you to handle a bit of software.

Are you ready to make your camera footage clearer? Follow the methods below.

Method #1: Pay Attention To Camera Resolution

CCTV cameras come in various resolutions, with higher resolutions producing video with greater clarity.

The horizontal and vertical pixel dimensions determine any camera’s resolution.

pay attention to the resolution

The more pixels, the higher the resolution and, therefore, the better quality and clarity of the pictures captured by the camera. 

For the finest image quality, outdoor CCTV cameras should have a resolution of at least 2,000 pixels.

That will provide a clean image that should allow for face recognition. For interior cameras, 1080 resolution is enough.

If your camera has great resolution, but you don’t see that reflected on the footage, perhaps it is set wrong.

We will help you with that:

  1. Log into your security system
  2. Find “Configurations
  3. Click on the “video/audio” tab or anything similar
  4. Select the camera you want to tweak
  5. Select “resolution” or any option that lets you change it
  6. Choose the highest resolution supported

Save your settings, refresh the system, and you should see changes in your footage immediately. 

Method #2: Improve Lighting

Since many crimes happen at night, your CCTV should take clear pictures during that period.

But unfortunately, these situations often blur images because there isn’t enough light. 

improve the lightning
To improve the picture quality, you should spend money on good lighting. Unfortunately, not all streetlights give off enough light. 

It can be worth spending money on strong background lighting or having an LED light put right on the camera.

Better lighting can also help keep people safe in other ways.

For example, bright lighting can keep people safe and stop crime from happening in the first place.

Lighting Positioning Matters

Remember that horizontal lights cast shadows on people, and people with hoods and hats can have dark faces.

So you’ll need to put more lights at face height for proper coverage. That’s about 5 feet. 

The general rule for placing lights is to keep the light fixture out of the camera’s view. The best way to do this is to put lights higher than the camera. 

That lets light fill the camera’s view without shining directly into the camera. You can also buy light fixtures with cameras already built in.

The cameras should also be set up so that lighting for pedestrians and visitors isn’t in the way. These kinds of lights can cause bright spots that a camera can’t see. 

Note: Put lights where they are easy to reach for maintenance but not so easy to reach that someone messes with on purpose.

Method #3: Infrared Illuminators

use an infrared illuminators

Most security cameras need extra lighting to see clearly at night. For example, infrared light cameras can see small details 50–65 feet away.

Cameras that don’t use infrared light can only see things 20–30 feet away. 

Thus, use infrared illuminators to improve the night vision of your CCTV cameras.

To take advantage of this method, do the following:

  1. Make sure your camera’s lenses are IR-corrected.
  2. Install your security camera just like you normally would
  3. Place the IR illuminator as close to the camera as possible
  4. The IR beam must point in the same direction as the camera’s line of sight.
  5. Turn the system on and adjust the zoom to the WIDE position.

Following this method, your night footage should become clearer, helping you identify the source of any disturbance around your house.

Method #4: Aperture Adjustment

the aperture adjustment

You may find that most of your CCTV footage is blurry, but that one object is clear. Such a result doesn’t mean that the camera is broken.

Instead, it means that you have the wrong aperture setting. 

You can change the image quality by changing the lens aperture and the depth of field.

First, keep the lens aperture small to get the whole scene in focus. Then, just change the depth and focus, and you should be able to see clearly.

Depending on your camera model and security system, you can manually change the aperture or via software. 

If your camera has aperture buttons, you should check the manual and learn how to change the aperture.

Then, change it until you get the clearest image. 

When you can change the aperture through your surveillance software, you can tweak all your cameras easily:

  1. Log into the security system
  2. Find Cameras
  3. Look through each camera’s settings and find “opening” or “aperture.”
  4. Test each different configuration until you find the adequate one
Note: There is no right aperture, so we can't simply tell you how to set it up. That's because it depends on how your camera is positioned and the distance between it and the closest light source.

Method #5: Keep Lenses Clean

keep the cctv enses clean

None of the above will work if the camera’s lenses are dirty.

Dirt and dust can get on your CCTV cameras because of bad weather. That makes pictures blurry and makes it hard to see what’s happening. 

If the pictures on your CCTV footage are blurry, the cause can be dirt, dust, or spiderwebs on the camera lens. 

Wipe the camera with a clean cloth to see if this is true. Then, ensure you clean the camera with soft cleaning products and a soft cloth so you don’t damage it. 

Alert: Never use harsh chemicals or rough tools to clean the lens, as these can damage it.

What We Learned

How to make CCTV camera footage clear? Improving the quality of a CCTV camera is easy as long as it has a good resolution.

However, if its resolution is low, there is only so much you can do to improve the image. 

Tweaking lights and installing infrared illuminators are a big help in any situation.

Moreover, if the image is blurry, that might be due to the aperture not being correct.

Other times, you should check if the lenses are clean!

Nicole B