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Analog vs Digital Security Cameras

If you're looking into 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.

There is a range of information out there regarding what option is best, but the ultimate question is analog vs digital. So, what is best? We have put together the pros and cons of each kind of system to help you make a decision, however, if you have any further questions give Alltronic Security and Electrical a call on 07 3353 3248 and we would be more than happy to help you get the best security camera system.

Security Camera

What is a digital security camera?

A digital security camera, also known as an Internet Protocol (IP) camera, is a type of camera which receives data and sends it via the internet to a specified location. IP cameras are commonly used in surveillance and only require a local area network to function, not a local recording device.

What is an analog security camera?

An analog security camera, also known as a CCTV camera, is a standard definition, closed-circuit camera that allows someone to watch what is occurring on a monitor.

Security Camera

What's the difference between digital and analog security cameras?

The main difference between digital and analog security cameras is the way that a video signal is delivered. Analog security cameras change the format of the video signal into something that receivers such as TVs, VCRs and monitors can read. On the other hand, digital security cameras turn the signal into a digital form through the use of special equipment, turning it into a network device. This means the signal can be viewed through both the network and a web browser.


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Pros and cons of digital and analog security cameras

Both digital and analog security cameras have pros and cons when it comes to their systems - we have listed a few of the common points below.

Digital Security Cameras


Advantages of a digital camera include:

  • Much better picture quality in a higher resolution than analog, making it ideal for situations where facial recognition and identification is essential.
  • Much wider field of view, enabling 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.


Some disadvantages of digital cameras include:

  • Generally more expensive.
  • Higher bandwidth required than their analog counterparts.
Digital Security Camera

Analog Security Cameras


When it comes to analog cameras, the advantages include:

  • Lower price point than digital security cameras, making them generally more affordable.
  • Analog cameras are much easier to mix and match, especially if you have existing cameras that you would like to add too.
  • More than sufficient for remote monitoring only.
  • Analog cameras have a greater flexibility when it comes to design, so if you are looking for something a little different or unique, an analog system is more likely to have what you need.


The disadvantages of analog security cameras include:

  • Not suited for wide areas and long distances.
  • Analog cameras are generally quite basic, resulting in them missing some features which may be a necessity to your needs (e.g. digital zoom).
  • Wireless systems which include analog cameras can have interference issues.
  • Signals from analog cameras are not encrypted, meaning other people may be able to view the signal.

What about cost?

There are many factors which can influence the cost of installing either style in and around a building. 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 ie. If there is a large expansive area to be monitored or if small specific vision is needed.

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

Analog vs Digital Security Cameras - which is best for you?

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. 

Alltronic Security and Electrical are security camera specialists in the Brisbane area, so contact us on 07 3353 3248 and we would be more than happy to assist.



Wikipedia (IP Camera):

Wikipedia (Video Camera):

NJ Solutions (Analog vs. Digital Security Cameras): 

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