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Colour Night Vision vs. Infrared CCTV Cameras

Ever questioned whether the stylish security camera mounted on the house next door can be seen even in the dark? Or maybe you're thinking about installing CCTV in your own house but you're lost in a maze of jargon like "IR LEDs" and "colour night vision"?

The security market in New Zealand is growing, with a forecast value of US$27.9 million in 2024. The country's rising crime rates are directly responsible for the spike in demand for advanced monitoring equipment. 

This emphasises how urgently strong security measures are needed as residents' awareness and worry for the safety of their homes and communities rise. However, it can be challenging to choose the best CCTV choice because there are so many to choose from.

This blog aims to supply you with the facts you need to make a well-informed choice about the type of CCTV cameras that best suit your needs.

Colour Night Vision CCTV Cameras

Colour Night Vision CCTV Cameras

CCTV cameras with colour night vision have advanced sensors and technologies that enable them to take full-colour pictures at night or in low light. These cameras use specialised image sensors that can improve colour reproduction and magnify available light to produce crisp, colourful footage even in dimly lit areas.


  • Full -Colour Footage

Even on the darkest nights, enjoy amazing clarity with full-colour, high-resolution visuals. Modern colour cctv cameras offer unparalleled visibility in all lighting circumstances, bringing every detail to life.

  • Improved Low-Light Performance

Bid farewell to blurry, unrecognisable video. These cameras can produce clear, minimally distorted and noise-filled photos in low-light conditions. You can be confident that every shot accurately captures the spirit of the scenario.

  • Enhanced Deterrence

Use the indisputable presence of a night vision camera turn the tables on prospective invaders. This device is an effective deterrent since it records clear film in real-time, eliminating any possibility of confusion or doubt. Protect your property with assurance, supported by unquestionable proof of any questionable conduct.


  • Higher Cost

Because of their advanced technology, which includes specialised lenses and high-resolution sensors, colour night vision cameras are more expensive. Their increased cost is partly a result of limited market availability and extra features.

  • Limited Range

Compared to cctv infrared cameras, colour night vision cameras may not function as well in total darkness, even though they perform well in low light. Their colour accuracy is dependent on additional extraneous lighting and their range may be restricted by environmental obstructions and lighting requirements.

Infrared CCTV Cameras

Infrared CCTV Cameras

Black-and-white video can be recorded by infrared CCTV cameras in low light or at night using infrared technology. These cameras are equipped with infrared LEDs, which illuminate the surrounding area without producing visible light by emitting invisible infrared light. They are perfect for places with inadequate lighting or at night since they enable surveillance in total darkness.


  • Night Vision Capabilities

CCTV cameras with infrared technology are well known for their ability to record crisp images even in total darkness, providing 24-hour surveillance. Infrared security cameras are very useful in low-light and no-light situations because they employ infrared radiation to illuminate the scene, as opposed to standard cameras that rely on visible light. 

  • Covert Surveillance

The excellent ability of infrared CCTV cameras to conduct hidden surveillance is one of their main features. These cameras' infrared LEDs produce light that is invisible to the human eye, ensuring that surveillance activities are discreet and don't draw the attention of possible attackers. This stealth capability is especially useful in settings where maintaining confidentiality is essential to the effectiveness of surveillance operations.

  • Extended Range

Many infrared cameras have extended infrared illumination ranges, allowing for surveillance of larger areas even in low-light conditions. The ability to monitor wide outside areas and secure properties against trespassing and incursions are just two of the surveillance applications that infrared CCTV systems may be used for, thanks to their extended range feature.

Also read: Night Vision Security Cameras for New Zealand's Darker Months


  • Black-and-White Footage

The majority of video recorded by infrared cameras is in black and white, which may lack the vibrancy and detail of colour photos. Although surveillance information can still be obtained from this grayscale photography, it might not have the same depth and visual richness as colour photographs. 

This constraint can be especially apparent when it becomes difficult to distinguish between objects with comparable grayscale features or when colour signals are necessary for accurate identification.

  • Potential for Overexposure

Overexposure problems can arise for infrared cameras, particularly when powerful light sources like headlights, floodlights, or direct sunlight are present. In certain circumstances, the amount of light may overwhelm the camera's sensors, causing overexposed portions to appear in the photos that are taken.

The camera's ability to record crisp, useful footage may be limited by this overexposure, which can also distort the surrounding areas, a loss of information, and a decrease in image quality.

  • Limited Night Time Colour Reproduction  

Even though some infrared cameras have a colour mode that they can use at night with added lighting, their ability to reproduce nighttime colour would not be as good as that of dedicated colour night vision cameras. 

To mimic colour imaging, infrared cameras usually use filters or processing processes; nonetheless, the colour reproduction that results may not have the vibrancy, precision, and integrity of genuine colour footage

Which One is Better?

Choosing between colour night vision and infrared CCTV cameras ultimately depends on your specific security needs and preferences. Infrared CCTV cameras and colour night vision have different pros and cons. 

Colour night vision cameras are perfect for situations where colour accuracy is essential since they produce crisp, detailed images in vivid colours. On the other hand, infrared cameras can keep track of an area in total darkness and are useful in low-light situations or at night. This means that they can provide continuous surveillance. 

The best choice will ultimately depend on your personal preferences, financial constraints, and the special qualities of your home. When making your choice, take into account factors like the lighting, the required image quality, and the cost.


We hope that this blog has helped clarify the differences between infrared and colour night vision CCTV cameras so you can choose the right security camera system for your security needs. 

You may choose the sort of camera that best suits your needs and gives your property the amount of protection you desire by assessing the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Are you ready to advance in your security strategy? Get in touch with us right now at 0800 425 576  to find out more and schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable security experts.

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