Analog vs digital security cameras

The pros and cons

If you're installing a new security camera system, or upgrading or updating an older system, you will need to decide whether to install analog or digital security cameras.

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Digital security cameras (IP cameras)

Digital is the future of security camera systems for many reasons.

  • It provides much better picture quality in a higher resolution than analog. Which makes it ideal for situations where facial recognition and identification is essential.
  • Digital provides a much wider field of view. This enables a single IP camera to capture vision from the area covered by several analog style cameras.
  • The use of video analytics - Allowing you to be able to search for events in the footage digitally rather than watching hours and hours of recordings.
  • Less cabling - an IP system allows a single cable (Cat 5 + PoE switch) to be used to feed vision from multiple cameras to the recording device
  • Using future-proof Cat 5 cables allows for power and signal to be combined in a single cable
  • The recording device or NVR (network video recorder) used for a digital system can handle more cameras than an old style recorder
  • Easily connect with your security system via the internet to monitor via your off-site PC, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Use digital zoom while recording to get a closer look.
  • Recorded images can be adjusted or manipulated for clearer details or identification purposes.
  • Digital cameras are more compatible with a wireless system as they are less susceptible to interference and can have a built-in encryption for a secure network.

Cost comparison

There are many factors which can influence the cost of installing either style. Speak to your security system specialist for advice on which style will be right for your home and surveillance requirements.

An analog system is usually cheaper per camera to purchase, however, one digital camera can cover the same area as several analog cameras.The setup and surveillance area requirements for your property will also dictate how many cameras you will need. If there is a large expansive area to be monitored or if small specific vision is needed.

Digital systems require less wiring using Cat 5 cables, which may equate to fewer installation hours depending on your property.

Get specialist advice

Choosing the right system for the specific security surveillance needs of your property can be tricky. Considering variations like budget, integrating any existing system components, as well as the bandwidth in your area need to be made on a case by case basis which is why we recommend you consult a professional security installation company to ensure you get the best system for your home.

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