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Optical zoom security cameras are a great addition to a security system in the following three scenarios.

The first is where your installation position is too far from the area you need coverage, to get a detailed picture. Both manual and motorized varifocal cameras can provide the coverage you need, from further away, without hindering picture quality.

The second is when using scanning, tracking or touring presets with a PTZ camera. This is not covered in this article as we have a detailed PTZ guide here.

The third is where you spot something while monitoring the camera feeds and want to zoom in tight, without losing picture quality, to investigate.

Top 10 Optical Zoom Security Cameras

Top Pick
RLC-811A
Awards
  • Only camera listed with Integrated Alarm
  • Only camera listed with Full Color (via Spotlight)
  • Only camera listed with Integrated Spotlight
Data Type
IP
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Spotlight)
Optical Zoom Magnification
5x
Storage Options
microSDNVRFTP

Reolink RLC-811A Bullet Security Camera is our top pick for this category. This camera can record in 4K using an 8MP image sensor, and it delivers footage that looks very crisp.

This camera provides footage that is very detailed in itself but also comes with a 5x optical zoom. With this optical zoom, you can focus on one point and observe the details without losing the quality of your video.

Reolink RLC-811A Bullet Security Camera comes with a built-in spotlight that allows it to shoot in full color even at night. This camera is powered by a DC adapter or PoE. It can also store data on a microSD card, but also on an NVR or FTP Server

Pros
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, FTP
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
  • Integrated Spotlight
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Spotlight)
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Integrated Siren / Alarm
Cons
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • Cannot automatically pan
Runner Up
G4 Pro
Awards
  • Highest rated camera listed with IP67
Data Type
IP
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
PoE
Night Vision Type
Infrared
Optical Zoom Magnification
3x
Storage Options
NVR

Ubiquiti (UniFi) 4K bullet security camera is also a great optical zoom camera. However, it lacks certain features of the Reolink RLC-811A bullet security camera thus making it second place.

Ubiquiti (UniFi) 4K bullet security camera records footage in 4K using an 8MP image sensor. The footage that this camera provides is extremely crisp and detailed.

This camera can zoom up to three times. Unfortunately, this camera doesn’t have a motorized tilt functionality, but it has a motorized optical zoom lens.

Ubiquiti (UniFi) 4K bullet security camera lacks a lot of features such as not having a two-way audio system and no smart integrations.

Pros
  • Integrated Microphone
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Motorized Optical Zoom Lens
  • Power Options: PoE
  • High Resolution: 4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
  • Data Transmission: PoE
Cons
  • No inbuilt spotlight
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • No smart home integrations
  • No two-way audio feature
  • Cannot automatically pan
LNE9292B
Awards
  • Highest rated camera listed with Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
Data Type
IP
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
Optical Zoom Magnification
4x
Storage Options
NVR

Lorex 4K Turret Security Camera will provide you with detailed and crisp 4K footage. By using a low light sensor, this camera can record in full color even during the night.

This camera is wired, and it requires either a DC power adapter to function or a PoE. Storage options are limited, and it can use only NVR as storage.

However, even though it lacks some features such as smart home integrations, two-way audio, or an integrated siren, its optical zoom capabilities are very useful.

This camera can zoom in up to 4 times without losing the quality of the video. The optical lens mechanism and the zooming process are motorized.

Pros
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Motorized Optical Zoom Lens
  • Data Transmission: PoE
Cons
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No inbuilt spotlight
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • No two-way audio feature
  • No smart home integrations
  • Does not have an integrated siren
C800 Zoom
Awards
  • Highest rated camera listed with NAS support
  • Highest rated camera listed with True WDR
  • Highest rated camera listed with Face Detection
Data Type
IP
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
Optical Zoom Magnification
4x
Storage Options
microSDNVRNAS

Annke, C800 Zoom Bullet Security Camera, has a variety of options when it comes to storage. You can use the microSD to store your footage, an NVR, or you can use network-attached storage.

Since this camera can record Ultra HD videos both day and night, having a reliable storage option is an important aspect.

This camera doesn’t have a built-in spotlight, but it can record during the night using a low-light sensor. It can also record black and white footage using the common night-vision system, infrared.

The optical zoom magnification of this camera is 4x. This means that you can zoom in up to 4 times, and your footage will still look crisp.

Pros
  • High Resolution: 4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
  • Great Image Clarity: True WDR
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • Data Transmission: PoE
Cons
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No integrated microphone
  • No two-way audio feature
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No inbuilt spotlight
IP8M-VT2879EW-AI
Awards
  • Only camera listed with Cloud support
Data Type
IP
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
Optical Zoom Magnification
5x
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASFTPCloud

When it comes to video quality, Amcrest 4K Turret Security Camera is one of the better picks. It can record in Ultra HD, or in other words, 4K, but it also uses the true WDR that will make your footage look amazing.

The optical zoom magnification of this camera is 5x, and this camera also comes with a variety of smart detection features. It has software that has person detection, vehicle detection, and face detection features.

Amcrest 4K Turret Security Camera comes with a variety of storage options. You can use the usual NVR system that PoE cameras usually use, or you can use microSD, FTP, Cloud, or NAS storage.

When it comes to video quality, Amcrest 4K Turret Security Camera is one of the better picks. It can record in Ultra HD, or in other words, 4K, but it also uses the true WDR that will make your footage look amazing.

The optical zoom magnification of this camera is 5x, and this camera also comes with a variety of smart detection features. It has software that has person detection, vehicle detection, and face detection features.

Amcrest 4K Turret Security Camera comes with a variety of storage options. You can use the usual NVR system that PoE cameras usually use, or you can use microSD, FTP, Cloud, or NAS storage.

Pros
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, NAS, FTP, Cloud
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Motorized Optical Zoom Lens
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • Great Image Clarity: True WDR
  • IP Rating: IP67
Cons
  • No smart home integrations
  • No inbuilt spotlight
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No two-way audio feature
MTZ4040
Awards
  • Only camera listed with Motorized Pan Feature
  • Only camera listed with Motorized Tilt Feature
  • Highest rated camera listed with Object Detection
Data Type
IP
Resolution
4MP: 2688x1520
Power Options
PoE
Optical Zoom Magnification
4x
Storage Options
NVRFTP

This camera can record footage in 2688x1520 using its 4MP image sensor. Even though this camera can’t record footage in 4K, it still has an adequate footage quality. To enhance the video quality, Montavue 4MP Dome Security Camera has the true WDR feature.

Unfortunately, this camera lacks security features such as an integrated siren and a built-in spotlight, and most importantly, it lacks the ability to record during the night. Even being able to record black and white footage during the night is better than no night-vision at all.

On the bright side, this camera can zoom in up to four times without hampering the quality of the video.

Pros
  • Storage Options: NVR, FTP
  • Motorized Pan Feature
  • High Resolution: 4MP: 2688x1520
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Face Detection, Object Detection
  • Motorized Optical Zoom Lens
  • Great Image Clarity: True WDR
Cons
  • No integrated microphone
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No two-way audio feature
  • No night vision support
  • No inbuilt spotlight
  • No smart home integrations
Data Type
IP
Resolution
2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
Power Options
PoE
Night Vision Type
Infrared
Optical Zoom Magnification
21x
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASFTP

Even though the video quality of this camera isn’t the best, you will be amazed by its magnifying capabilities. Axis 2MP Bullet Security Camera can record in the standard Full HD resolution.

However, when it comes to optical zoom magnification, this camera can zoom in up to 21 times. This incredible feature allows you to zoom in over long distances without losing video quality. On top of this, it also has person, vehicle, and object detection features.

Unfortunately, a major downside of this camera is its low IP rating. It’s not even rated as weather-resistant, which makes it unsuitable for the outdoors in a majority of places.

Axis 2MP Bullet Security Camera comes with multiple storage options that include microSD, NAS, NVR, and FTP.

Pros
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Vehicle Detection, Object Detection
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, NAS, FTP
  • Two Way Audio Functionality
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • Great Image Clarity: True WDR
Cons
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No integrated microphone
  • Relatively Low Resolution: 2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • No inbuilt spotlight
  • No smart home integrations
DH-IPC-HFW7442HN-ZFR
Awards
  • Only camera listed with People Counting
Data Type
IP
Resolution
4MP: 2688x1520
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
Optical Zoom Magnification
4x
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASFTP

Dahua 4MP Bullet Security Camera comes with a 4MP image sensor that can record in 2688x1520 resolution. This camera also comes with a true WDR feature which greatly improves the quality of the video. This camera has a 4x optical zoom.

Even without a spotlight, Dahua 4MP Bullet Security Camera can record in full color using its low light tech. And it can also record in the standard black-and-white using infrared sensors.

A significant feature that this camera possesses is the two-way audio system.

To store data, Dahua 4MP Bullet Security Camera can use a variety of options. You can use microSD, NVR, NAS, or an FTP server to store your data. For data transmission, this camera uses an ethernet cable.

Pros
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • High Resolution: 4MP: 2688x1520
  • Two Way Audio Functionality
  • Motorized Optical Zoom Lens
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
Cons
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No integrated microphone
  • No smart home integrations
  • No inbuilt spotlight
Data Type
IP
Resolution
2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
Optical Zoom Magnification
2.5x
Storage Options
microSDNVR

GeoVision 2MP Security Camera can be considered an overpriced camera. The main reason for this is that GeoVision 2MP Security Cam is outclassed by a lot of cheaper security cameras. Its video quality is relatively low since it can record only in Full HD, and its zoom capabilities stop at 2.5x times.

It has desirable features such as a night vision support or a two-way audio functionality. Its relatively low video quality is enhanced by the true WDR feature, which improves the clarity of the video.

GeoVision 2MP Security Camera has a smart vehicle detection feature, which can be very useful if you are looking for a camera that will be placed near your garage, for example.

Pros
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Vehicle Detection
  • Great Image Clarity: True WDR
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • Motorized Optical Zoom Lens
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • IP Rating: IP67
Cons
  • No integrated microphone
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No inbuilt spotlight
  • Relatively Low Resolution: 2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
  • No smart home integrations
  • No motorized tilt functionality
Data Type
IP
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
Optical Zoom Magnification
4x
Storage Options
microSDNVRFTP

AvertX 4K Dome Security Camera will satisfy your security requirements by providing you with crisp and detailed footage and powerful optical zoom.

This camera has a 4x optical zoom that will get the job done in most cases. The video quality AvertX 4K Dome Security Camera is adequate. It can record in 4K, and it has the true WDR feature, which improves the overall quality of the footage in dimly lit areas. On top of this, AvertX 4K Dome Security Camera also has a full-color night-vision.

AvertX 4K Dome Security Camera has an IP rating of 67, making it a great choice if you are looking for an outdoor optical zoom security camera.

Pros
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • Two Way Audio Functionality
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, FTP
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Vehicle Detection
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
  • Data Transmission: PoE
Cons
  • No integrated microphone
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No inbuilt spotlight
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • No smart home integrations

Decision Factors when Choosing an Optical Zoom Security Cameras

Video Quality

The most apparent specification that you should have in mind when purchasing a security camera is, of course, video quality. Optical zoom cameras are usually used in situations where you need to record something at a great distance, and even with the best magnifying capabilities, you won’t be able to get the best footage without a camera that has a high resolution.

Night Vision

Most break-ins happen during the night, and having a camera that can record good footage during the night is very helpful. Even having a camera that has an infrared sensor can be of great help. However, infrared sensors can only record black and white footage, but this is much better than having no night-vision capabilities at all. Full-color night vision feature is a beneficial one. 

Storage

Having a camera that can record high-resolution video won’t mean anything if you don’t have enough storage. It’s very important that the security camera has multiple storage options such as NAS, Cloud, or microSD. The majority of optical zoom security cameras support NVR, and some of them only have this option. Be careful when choosing your security camera, as it can require you to purchase additional devices such as an NVR. 

Optical Zoom Capabilities

The most important feature of an optical zoom security camera is its optical zoom capabilities. You should choose the security camera with the optical zoom magnification according to the environment in which you plan to set it up. If you plan on putting the camera in close quarters or in your backyard, you wouldn’t require an optical zoom higher than 5x.

Conclusion

Optical zoom security cameras have a variety of uses, and they can be a significant upgrade for your security.

Depending on the environment you want to cover using the security camera, you should choose by having in mind the essential features of these cameras, such as video quality, movement detection, and, most importantly, optical zoom magnification.

However, the best choice is always the camera that pairs the best video quality with the most suitable optical zoom for your circumstances.

Do you agree with our top picks for the best optical zoom security cameras? Let us know in the comments.

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