Emerging Video Technologies – Megapixel Cameras Pt3

Taken from the ‘Emerging Video Surveillance Guide 2010′ from http://ipvideomarket.info/

Megapixel cameras

Potential Benefits: The 2 most fundamental benefits are (1) reducing the number of cameras deployed and (2) increasing the quality of the video, leading to greater identification of suspects / incidents.

Both benefits derive from the significantly higher resolution of megapixel cameras (compared to all analogue cameras and standard definition IP cameras)

Beyond the increased resolution, as megapixel is a subset of IP cameras, the benefits and risks of megapixel cameras inherits those from IP Cameras.

  • End User Risks:
    The 2 biggest risks are (1) over-hyped claims to increased video quality and (2) storage utilisation.
    Often, resellers/distributors will claim that megapixel cameras provide 4, 16 or even 81 times greater resolution.
    While this is ‘technically’ correct when comparing specified pixel count, this is generally not achievable because of 3 practical factors:

    (1) Multiple cameras can be placed in different locations while the megapixel camera’s greater resolution only covers a single area (since it is still a single physical camera!)

    (2) Looking at pixel counts (e.g. 0.3MP for standard definition vs. 5MP) is fundamentally misleading. Most megapixel camera provide only modest increases in visible quality – especially over 1MP

    (3) In low light conditions, the effective visible resolution drops dramatically – to the point where a megapixel image usually provides no greater visible details than a standard definition camera. Additionally, megapixel cameras generally require significantly more storage. At some level, this is simply a matter of paying the additional cost of storage. However, the additional storage needed may be so great that a dedicated storage cluster may need to be used

  • Installer Risks:
    Over-selling the quality of megapixel cameras is the most signicant risk. It is likely that the sale of  megapixel cameras will be based on either reducing the total number of camerasor one capturing specific details (e.g. people’s faces or car licence plates). Installers should be careful about testing actual camera performance including low light abilities, as applicable

What do you think??!

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