What Causes Ghost Images on Security Cameras

Security cameras are an essential tool for monitoring and ensuring safety in various settings, from homes and businesses to public spaces. However, one of the most common issues that can arise with security camera footage is the appearance of ghost images. These ghostly after-images can obscure important details, leading to legal issues, a poor user experience, and potential maintenance costs. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll delve into the causes of ghost images on security cameras and explore effective solutions to prevent and eliminate this visual artifact.

What are Ghost Images?

Ghost images, also known as ghosting or image burn-in, are faded or transparent remnants of a previously displayed image that persist on the screen even after the scene has changed. These ghostly after-images can occur on various types of monitors, including CRT (cathode ray tube) and LCD (liquid crystal display) screens.

In the context of security cameras, ghost images can manifest as faded or transparent remnants of fast-moving objects, such as vehicles or people, overlaid on the current camera footage. This phenomenon can obscure crucial details, making it difficult to effectively monitor and analyze surveillance footage.

How Do You Prevent Ghosting on CCTV Cameras?

Preventing ghosting on security cameras involves addressing several potential causes. Here are some common factors that can contribute to ghost images and strategies to mitigate them:

Lens flares

Lens flares occur when bright light sources, such as the sun or strong artificial lighting, hit the camera lens at a specific angle, causing a ghostly image or flare to appear on the footage. To prevent lens flares, consider using a lens hood or adjusting the camera position to avoid direct exposure to bright light sources.

Dirty lenses

Accumulated dust, dirt, or smudges on the camera lens can cause ghosting or hazy images. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the camera lenses are crucial to ensure clear and crisp footage.

Shutter speed

Insufficient shutter speed can cause fast-moving objects to appear as ghostly trails or blurred images on the footage. Increasing the shutter speed can help capture sharper images of moving objects, reducing the likelihood of ghosting.

Camera settings

Improper camera settings, such as exposure, white balance, or night vision settings, can contribute to ghosting or other visual artifacts. Ensure that your camera settings are optimized for the specific lighting conditions and environment.

A lack of lighting

Inadequate lighting can lead to poor image quality and increased noise, which can contribute to ghosting or other visual artifacts. Ensure that your surveillance area is well-lit, or consider using infrared (IR) illuminators for low-light conditions.

Video compression

Many surveillance systems employ video compression techniques to reduce the file size and storage requirements of the recorded footage. However, high compression ratios or lower-quality codecs can introduce visual artifacts, including ghosting or blurring, especially in areas with fast-moving objects.

How to Scare Away Your CCTV Ghost

How to Scare Away Your CCTV Ghost

To effectively combat ghost images on your security cameras, a multifaceted approach is necessary. Here are some strategies you can implement:

Adjust night vision IR:

If you’re experiencing ghosting or blurring during low-light conditions, adjusting the night vision infrared (IR) settings on your camera can help improve image quality. Consult your camera’s user manual or seek assistance from the manufacturer’s support team to optimize these settings.

Use a lens hood:

Installing a lens hood on your security camera can help reduce the risk of lens flares and ghosting caused by direct exposure to bright light sources. Lens hoods effectively block stray light from entering the lens, resulting in clearer and more accurate footage.

Increase shutter speed:

As mentioned earlier, increasing the shutter speed can help capture sharper images of fast-moving objects, reducing the likelihood of ghosting or blurring. Consult your camera’s settings or seek guidance from the manufacturer to determine the optimal shutter speed for your surveillance system.

Lower compression:

While video compression is necessary to manage storage requirements, excessively high compression ratios or lower-quality codecs can introduce visual artifacts, including ghosting. Consider adjusting your compression settings to strike a balance between file size and image quality, or explore alternative codecs that offer better compression with fewer visual artifacts.

Upgrade monitor:

If you’re experiencing ghosting or burn-in issues on your security camera monitor, upgrading to a newer, higher-quality monitor can help alleviate the problem. LCD monitors are generally less prone to burn-in compared to older CRT monitors, which can suffer from screen burn-in when displaying a static image for an extended period.

Check connections:

Ensure that all cables and connections between your security cameras, recording devices, and monitors are securely connected and in good condition. Faulty or loose connections can introduce interference or signal degradation, contributing to visual artifacts like ghosting.

Clean the lens:

Regularly cleaning the camera lens can help eliminate dust, dirt, or smudges that can cause ghosting or hazy images. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures and use appropriate lens cleaning solutions and microfiber cloths.

Update firmware:

Camera manufacturers often release firmware updates that can address various issues, including ghosting or other visual artifacts. Keep your security camera firmware up to date by regularly checking for and installing the latest updates from the manufacturer.


How do I stop my camera from ghosting?

Prevent camera ghosting by adjusting lighting, cleaning lenses, and optimizing settings;

What causes double image on CCTV cameras?

double images in CCTV are often due to reflections or lens issues;

How can I improve my CCTV image quality?

Improve CCTV image quality by ensuring proper installation, maintaining equipment, and upgrading system components as needed.


Ghost images on security cameras can be a frustrating and potentially costly issue, obscuring crucial details and compromising the effectiveness of your surveillance system. By understanding the underlying causes of ghosting and implementing the strategies outlined in this blog post, you can take proactive steps to prevent and eliminate this visual artifact.

Remember, regular maintenance, optimizing camera settings, adjusting compression levels, and upgrading hardware, when necessary, can go a long way in ensuring clear and reliable security camera footage. Stay vigilant, and don’t let ghostly after-images haunt your surveillance system.

Leave a Comment