One of the most common issues regarding security cameras is having blurry footage. This is when the output of the camera turns hazy/cloudy and it can render the device completely ineffective. There are a couple of factors that can affect the image quality of your security cameras and knowing what those are can help you rectify the problem immediately. Here are 5 reasons why your security camera is blurry.
The lens might be out of focus
If you own a security camera with a varifocal lens and you’re encountering blurry footage, chances are the camera’s lens may be out of focus. You’ll find that varifocal cameras have small screws to adjust the focus of the lens. When focusing a camera, it’s a good idea to have someone check on the monitor while you adjusting it to let you know when the lens is in focus.
Another way is to view the cameras on your smartphone (if applicable). Security cameras with autofocus should have no problems focusing their lenses automatically. However, in the off-chance that the lens is out of focus, then a simple adjustment through your smartphone’s app or through the DVR/NVR by going to the PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) and hitting the focus button should fix the issue.
Some security cameras have fixed-focus lenses, though they’re becoming less common in today’s world. These devices cannot be adjusted which means you have to set it at the right distance for it to stay in focus.
The lens is dirty
While security cameras are built to be robust, that doesn’t mean they’re completely immune to the elements. Dirt and dust buildup can eventually lead to blurry footage, especially during the rainy season when the camera gets dirty and wet.
If you’re seeing foreign particles stuck on the videos, then you may want to check your camera’s lens and give it a good cleaning. You want to use microfibre cloth when wiping the lens so as to avoid scratching it altogether. Just spray the lens with water, give it a quick wipe, then you’re good to go.
There are instances where the security camera is installed too high for you to reach with a ladder. This can make cleaning the lens difficult, but there is a solution to this. Grab a broomstick or extension pole, wrap the microfibre cloth around the end with a rubber band, and use that to remove the dirt that’s stuck on the lens.
You’ll find that cleaning your security camera’s lens to be part of periodic maintenance to ensure the video quality is always clear and sharp. Do this at least once every four months to avoid excessive dust and dirt buildup on the camera lens.
The image sensor may be defective
Sometimes a hardware problem is a reason for that frustratingly blurry video quality. If you keep turning the focus screws and the output is still blurry, then it’s likely that the image sensor itself is defective. Check if your device is still under warranty and have it replaced as soon as possible. There’s little you can do about a hardware defect other than to have it fixed or replaced.
You’re using a low-resolution security camera
Low-resolution cameras can seem blurry when compared to high definition cameras. Resolution refers to the amount of detail a camera can capture and the higher the number, the more detailed the videos are. Modern security cameras today consists of 2MP (1080p), 4MP (1440p), 5MP (1920p) and 8MP (4K/2160p). If the resolution of your camera is lower than these numbers, then you may want to consider upgrading to a better device with higher resolution.
The best way to know if you have low-resolution cameras is to find the model number of the camera or digital video recorder (DVR). This can usually be found underneath the device. Do a quick Google search to check the specifications of your camera.
The video connectors might be loose
This problem only applies to analog security cameras. Sometimes a loose video connector can cause a double image and create blurry or fuzzy footage. This is because analog cameras use BNC connectors to connect the cable to the camera or to the DVR (Digital Video Recorder). BNC connectors can be twisted or crimped which can loosen if done incorrectly.
Most of the time the connector that plugs into the DVR is loose because of the way the wires are bent behind the DVR sometimes pulls the wire out of the connector. First, grab the connector and move it around to see if the video image clears up. In most cases, this will do the trick in fixing blurry image from analog security cameras.
Dealing with blurry footage can be quite frustrating as you always want your security camera to stay in focus. By addressing these common problems, you can get crystal clear footage out of your security camera and ensure you’re capturing the most important details 24/7.