Megapixel Security Camera Review

This is a brief Megapixel Security Camera Review that is intended to point out some of the key points both positive and negative for megapixel cameras.

Not long ago digital cameras hit the market. As time passed every manufacturer seemed to push to keep adding higher and higher pixels to the overall count. It has created a real controversy in the world of photography. There is great debate about how much resolution all those megapixels really add compared to using standard film. We are not going address that debate here but simply want to point that out.

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In the world of video security there has been a move to take analog cameras and add network cards to them to make them network or IP cameras. Very quickly the move has been to start to increase the available megapixel resolution. Today you have megapixel security cameras ranging from 1.3mp up to 16mp. Megapixel cameras represent a very key and growing sector in the video security industry.

There are basically two reasons that you would want to use a megapixel camera.

The first reason is that you can replace several standard resolution cameras with one megapixel camera. This is accomplished with a wide angle lens using the higher resolution. This results in a lower cost because of fewer cameras and less infrastructure to support those cameras. A standard resolution IP camera may run $400 to $600 currently and decent megapixel cameras are running in the $600 to $800 and up range.

The second reason is that you are increasing resolution and theoretically should be able to increase the loss prevention because of it. With higher resolution you should be able to capture greater details that will allow for more accurate and effective prosecutions.

Those two reasons are both very significant reasons to look at megapixel cameras as a part of an overall solution. It is important to note that using megapixel cameras is a small part of an overall solution. Most multi-camera applications today may only call for one or two megapixel cameras while the rest will be standard resolution.

Another nice feature about megapixel cameras is the ability to zoom in and out on images without losing image quality. There are some limitations on this depending on various factors such as resolution, lens type and lighting conditions. With that type of ability a megapixel camera may be able to replace more expensive mechanical PTZ cameras in some situations. Along with this is the ability to add 360 degree lenses to the cameras. This allows you to be able to view and entire room with one camera.

While those are very good reasons to use this technology there are some downside issues and other factors to be concerned about.

One of which is low light performance. The sensor size of security cameras is limited so when more and more pixels are added to the same sensor size it creates a problem of poor performance in low light. Using megapixel cameras in low light greatly reduces the cameras effective resolution. Using standard resolution infrared cameras may still be a better option.

Another challenge is with the available camera housings. Most megapixel cameras are box cameras or there are limited outdoor enclosures available which limits the applications where they can be used.

Additionally there is the challenge of bandwidth and storage of the video data. Megapixel cameras create large file sizes so careful consideration needs to be made on its effect of the attached systems. This can be a difficult to figure out since every manufacture seems to use a different compression algorithm for their cameras. It is best to go to the individual manufacturer and ask for assistance for calculating bandwidth and storage for megapixel cameras. The number of frames per second (FPS) also play into the calculation of bandwidth and storage. Megapixel cameras will typically provide 3 to 12 fps as opposed to 30 fps in standard resolution cameras. This really is not a big factor though since even in analog systems it is common to only record at 3 to 7 fps.

Finally there is the factor of available software and hardware systems that support managing megapixel cameras. Currently this market is fairly limited but is growing dramatically all the time. Key decisions will need to be made on how well the data can be viewed, stored and retrieved in an effective manor.

We hope this brief overview has been informative and helpful. If you have any feedback or additional points you will like to add we would welcome your comments. Please click the contact us link and send us a message.

Please go to Megapixel Security Camera Differences to learn more.

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