A fuzzy security camera image is a common problem with many systems. This can be caused by several factors, including the type of camera used, the quality of the camera lens, and even external factors such as Infrared (IR) glare.
In this post, I will cover some of the most common causes and how to correct them to get crisp and clear footage.
1. Dome Cover is Faded, Causing a Fuzzy Image
One common problem with the security camera is the dome cover becoming discolored or blurry. To fix this issue, you can use these steps:
- Clean the dome cover with a wet cloth (so you don’t scratch it)
- Take a dry cloth and use it to dry the wet cloth
- Apply some mild dish soap to the wet cloth
- Wet one end of your dry cloth in water and squeeze it out. Sprinkle some salt on the dampened part of the clean cloth. Then take your soapy side of the clean cloth and rub it all over the dome cover in circular motions. You’ll be able to see what parts are dirty or have spots better this way.
- Rub until you feel completely clean, and rinse off with water.
There are several other ways to prevent the camera from getting blurry. The first and most popular way is to replace the light dome cover with a new one.
2. The Lens of the Camera is Dirty
The first thing to do is to clean the camera lens. The lens is the key component of a security camera and enables it to capture clear images. To clean the lens, you can use a lint-free cloth, canned air, or compressed air (be careful with the latter).
Fuzzy security camera footage is not just a nuisance. It can seriously hinder investigating crimes and crime scenes or finding a person of interest. This is because the video footage cannot be used for anything substantial without some enhancement.
Cleaning your camera lens is one way to fix this issue that will improve the quality of the video images captured by your security camera.
The following steps will help you clean your camera lens:
- Turn off the power to the camera, unplug it if possible, and make sure it is not in use.
- Remove the screws at the bottom of the housing (or use an Allen key if there are two screws) (1)
- Gently remove any dust on top of the lens with compressed air.
3. The Extension Cable Run Maybe Excessively Long
Extension cables can easily cause blurry pictures on security cameras. If an extension cable is too long, the video signal from the DVR will begin to weaken and become blurry. To prevent this from happening, ensure your cables are not more than 50 feet in length.
- Use a higher quality cable: Use a higher quality cable with a larger gauge and better shielding to reduce the amount of signal loss over the long cable run.
- Use a signal amplifier: Install a signal amplifier in the middle of the cable run to boost the signal and reduce the impact of signal loss over the long cable run.
- Use Power over Ethernet (PoE): If your security camera supports PoE, you can use a PoE injector or switch to power the camera and transmit the video signal over a single cable, reducing the impact of cable length on image quality.
- Shorten the cable run: If possible, shorten the cable run by relocating the camera or the recorder closer to each other.
4. Automatic Focusing is Enabled With a Varifocal Zoom Lens
The Varifocal zoom, or “zoom in and out” feature of security cameras, cannot focus automatically. This problem is solved by adjusting the lens manually.
If you are experiencing this issue, please follow the steps below:
- Adjust the lens manually.
- Restart your device
- Restart your camera app.
If the camera is moving too much, the image will be blurred. This is because varifocal zooms are unable to focus automatically. To fix this issue, you should hold down the power button to turn off the camera for a few seconds, then move it slowly while pressing the power button again.
5. Your Camera’s Resolution is Poor (Not Good Image Quality)
If the camera is displaying low-resolution footage, then there is a chance that it might be due to the wrong resolution settings. Fixing a security camera with a bad resolution is an easy process.
The first step is to check the resolution settings on your recording device. If you want to fix this issue, try these step by steps:
- Make sure your device’s camera and video settings are set correctly.
- Check the frame rate of your camera and make sure it is at least 15fps.
- Try changing the video size of your camera to 1920x1080p.
Your camera must be fixed or replaced if that does not solve the problem.
6. The Image Resolution of Your Monitor is Low
This issue can be resolved in two ways. The first way is to change the resolution on your monitor or TV. Suppose you’ve connected the security cam to a monitor with one input. In that case, you can usually change the resolution on the monitor by going to your computer’s settings and changing it there. (2)
The image resolution of monitors is typically measured in pixels per inch or PPI. Here’s how you can change the resolution of your monitor to high.
- Click on the Start button in the bottom left corner of your screen.
- Type “Control Panel” into the search bar and click “Control Panel” in the list that pops up. (3)
- Click on “Display.” It may be located under Hardware and Sound if you use Windows 10.
- Click “Adjust Resolution.” This will open a window where you can adjust the display settings for your computer.
- Select 1920 x 1080 (Full HD).
Suppose you’ve connected the camera to a TV. In that case, it may be easier and more efficient to change the resolution on your television – either through your remote control or your TV’s menu – instead of changing it through your computer.
The second way is if neither of those options works, then you may need to replace your Security Camera’s SD card with a higher-quality SD card that has a higher resolution.
7. The WiFi Signal is Either Too Weak or Unstable (For WiFi Cams)
A weak WiFi signal can be frustrating. The first thing to do is to check if the wireless router is in range. If it is not, you should move the wireless router as close as possible to the WiFi camera. However, if this does not help you and there are no other obstructions, you should consider increasing the available wireless channels. This might be a solution to your problem!
Here are some tips to help fix this problem:
- Check that your WiFi camera is not too far away from your router. The optimal distance is usually within 8 ft.
- If you have an extender, plug it in and see if it increases the WiFi signal strength.
- Look for other wireless networks and switch to these networks to free up bandwidth for your WiFi cam.
- Make sure that there are no obstructions between the camera and router which could create interference with signals, such as walls or phone lines.
8. Damaged CCTV Camera Lens
Some security cams lose clarity because the lens has been damaged or misaligned. These problems can be fixed with the help of a professional.
If you don’t want to get a professional on-site and would prefer to do it yourself, you can:
- Obtain a replacement lens: Contact your camera manufacturer or a CCTV repair specialist to obtain a replacement lens that is compatible with your camera.
- Disassemble the camera: Carefully disassemble the camera to access the lens. Refer to the manual or online resources for instructions specific to your camera model.
- Replace the lens: Remove the damaged lens and replace it with the new one, ensuring that it is securely attached.
- Reassemble the camera: Reassemble the camera and test the image quality to ensure that the lens replacement has solved the problem.
9. Burn Out Induced by the Sun
The Sun impacts security cams, and its glare may make it difficult to identify and see anything.
- Adjust your camera lens: You can adjust the lens on your security camera to reduce or eliminate any glare caused by sunlight. This will also make it easier to see what is happening in front of your camera.
- Change to a solar-friendly (UV-protected) dome: You can choose a solar-friendly (UV-protected) dome for your security camera that is set up outside or near an area with a lot of sunlight available all day long, even at night.
- Use IR LEDs: Adopting IR LEDs can fix blurry security cameras because they are functional in low-light conditions and are not sensitive to sun-induced burnout.
10. Infrared (IR) Glare
Infrared glare (IR glare) is a prevalent problem with night vision security cameras. This happens when the front of a security camera is too close to a wall or eaves.
- Turn on a light outdoors.
- Turn off the night vision feature.
- Invest in an infrared illumination light.
- Consider purchasing an outdoor surveillance camera.
There is a large range of issues that can cause problems with a security camera being fuzzy; if you didn’t find anything that helped you on the list, you have to keep in mind there will be a time when any electronic component has hit its end of the line time, and you need to replace it.
(1) Allen key – https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/a4114/how-to-use-an-allen-wrench/
(2) TV – https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/tv.htm
(3) Control Panel – https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/where-is-control-panel-aef7065f-a9ec-1ba9-8cab-79b2b83bdda5
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