Current Level of Megapixel AvailabilityBy: John Honovich, Published on Apr 25, 2009
It's become clear that 1.3 MP, H.264, 10 - 12 fps cameras are now everywhere. At SecuTech, basically every camera manufacturer, even the laggards had such cameras available.
Also, 2MP, H.264 cameras are destined to be widely available in 6 months or at latest by ISC West 2010. Already, at SecuTech, there were at least 8 manufacturers announcing 2MP H.264, in addition to the half dozen global companies that had previously announced last month at ISC West.
What's driving this is the ready availability of DSPs and reference designs. What will be interesting to see is what the next jump in resolution is after 2MP. It may take some time as the 3MP and up providers all seem to have developed their own ASICs or FPGAs.
The other important aspect to watch in the megapixel space is how manufacturers start optimizing low-light performance and WDR to improve the image quality of their 1.3 and 2MP cameras.
[Update 2012: Low light and WDR advances have been significant over the past 3 years, with MP matching low light performance and far surpassing WDR performance of analog cameras.]