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How to Improve Blurry CCTV Footage

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CCTV cameras do a tremendous job at identifying faces and catching intruders. These small security devices can be installed in your parking lot, outside your business’ entrance or your home’s front door, on the street, or just about anywhere. Most of us know why these cameras are used and how useful they are to the  security of any commercial or residential property. However, there are times when the photos captured by CCTV are not very clear.

Sometimes, the footage becomes blurry and there’s no way to know that until you check the footage on your computer. There are many reasons why your CCTV footage may not offer clarity. Mostly, blurriness results from issues with shutter speed, light, sensors, and the weather. Dust can accumulate on the camera’s screen because of  poor weather.

If you are struggling to resolve your blurry CCTV  footage, give the below advice a try! 

Check the Resolution

The resolution of any camera is measured horizontal and vertical pixel dimensions. The higher the number of pixels, the better the resolution and therefore the higher-quality and clearer the images the camera will capture. For CCTV cameras that are installed outdoors, you’re best off with a resolution of around 2000 pixels or more to offer the best picture quality. This will give you a clear picture that should enable facial recognition. For indoor cameras, you should be ok with 1080 resolution. 

Improve the Lighting

Blurry photos and unclear images are most common at night. And considering the number of crimes that occur after dark, it’s important that your CCTV camera captures clear images at night. 

Images are often blurry in these cases because of insufficient lighting, which is why you should invest in high-quality lighting to improve the picture quality. Street lights do not always provide enough light. It can be worthwhile to invest in strong ambient lighting, or an LED light installed directly on the camera.

Better ambient lighting can have additional benefits for security. Bright lighting can deter crime from occurring in the first place, as well as keeping occupants safe.

Try Infrared Lighting

If you are installing CCTV cameras in areas where you want to monitor intruders  unobtrusively, infrared lighting can be a good alternative to LED or ambient lighting. Infrared lighting deliver adequate light to capture clear images, but the reflection is not visible. So, you can rest easy knowing that the intruders passing by your cameras will not know they are being monitored.

Adjust the Aperture

Rather than a completely unclear image, you may find that your CCTV footage is generally blurry except for one object that has been captured clearly. This doesn’t imply any problem with the camera. Rather, it indicates that your aperture setting is incorrect. The aperture is the setting that allows you to focus on one object while the rest of the view is blurry. When you take a photo with a regular camera or on your phone, you get the option to set the aperture in order to adjust the focus however you like. 

According to, incorrect focus can commonly be the cause of blurry CCTV footage. You can adjust the quality of the image by adjusting the depth of the field and the lens aperture. Keep the lens aperture low to ensure that the entire scene is in focus. In most cases, a blurry photo is the result of improper lens adjustment and this is most important for varifocal security cameras. All you need to do is adjust the depth and focus, and you should get a clear view!

Clean the Camera

Sometimes, rough weather can lead to dirt and dust accumulating on your CCTV cameras which can lead to blurriness and poor picture quality. If you are getting blurry photos on your CCTV footage, this might be because of dirt, dust, or spiderwebs on the camera lens. Check this by wiping the camera with a clean cloth.  Make sure you use gentle cleaning detergents and a soft cloth to give the camera a good clean without damaging it. Never use any harsh chemicals or rough cleaning tools, as these can harm the camera lens.

Try a Video Editing Tool

This method comes in handy for blurry photos or videos with zero clarity. These tools cannot improve the picture quality, but they can add a sense of clarity to your photos. There are plenty of free video editing tools that can make the photos look clearer.

Final Thoughts

CCTV picture quality also depends on the type of camera and CCTV system you have, as well as whether you are using wireless cameras. For a wireless camera, you need to install the router as close to the CCTV system as possible. Try the above tips, and if you’re still having issues, it may be time to consult an expert!