Megapixel Camera Cheatsheet

By John Honovich, Published on May 12, 2010

Determining how wide a field a view a megapixel camera can be tricky. Thankfully, IQinvision recently releaed a 'cheatsheet' to simplify solving this problem. 

[Update: the PDF has been removed. Use this Calculator as a substitute or review our megapixel tests.]

Both are good but I especially like the one page pdf. Print it out and keep it by your desk.

Even if you have never used a megapixel camera, this sheet is a good thing. You may not have used one but you certainly are going to do in the future. This sheet is a quick and easy to gauge how megapixel cameras will work in different applications.

Traditional

With analog cameras, the decision was a lot simpler:

  • 1 fixed camera
  • Multiple fixed cameras
  • PTZ

You would select a PTZ when the area became too big - parking lots, lobbies, courtyards, etc. Everything else, select fixed cameras to cover key chokepoints.

You never needed to be concerned about resolution. It was one resolution fits all so you made do with what you had.

The Megapixel Future

With megapixel cameras, you suddenly have a new selection problem. Do you choose a 1, 2, 3 or 5 megapixel? (Certain vendors already have 11 and 16 megapixel so expect even that to become more widespread).

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

For those of you who learned from Charlie Pierce, you will remember personal identification (object 1/10 the field of view) and action identification (object 1/20th the field of view). These identification levels map nicely to IQinvision's General Surveillance and Forensic Detail. (sidenote: Actually, I would prefer the use of Charlie's term - they are clearer and have the benefit of a generation of techs knowing them)

You can then use the IQinvision chart to determine which cameras and how many cameras you need to get either. You can also see what you would need to move from simply getting action identification to getting personal identification (something that was not practical historically).

Finally, if you factor in the price differentials in cameras you can start building an ROI case of moving from action to personal identification.

Related Reports

Camera Calculator V3.1 Release Improves User Experience on Oct 17, 2019
IPVM has released a new version of our Camera Calculator, V3.1, with...
FaceFirst Problems And Layoff on Oct 01, 2020
FaceFirst, a US company and one of the oldest ongoing facial recognition...
Milestone XProtect 2019 R3 'Centralized Search' Tested on Oct 30, 2019
Milestone has had problems over the last few years releasing significant new...
Clinton Public View Monitor (PVM) Mask Detection Tested on Jul 09, 2020
Face mask detection, or more specifically not wearing one, is expanding...
The Future of Metalens For Video Surveillance Cameras - MIT / UMass / Immervision on Sep 25, 2020
Panoramic cameras using 'fisheye' lens have become commonplace in video...
FLIR Screen-EST Screening Software Tested on Jun 30, 2020
In our FLIR A Series Test, the cameras' biggest drawback was their lack of...
Dotty "Hot Or Not" Elevated Body Temperature App Tested on Jun 01, 2020
What if you could take an existing phone or tablet and transform it into...
Phone Camera Calculator Released on Mar 10, 2020
IPVM has released the first-ever Phone Calculator, video surveillance design...
IP Camera Browser Support: Who's Broken / Who Works on Dec 10, 2019
For many years, IP cameras depended on ActiveX control, whose security flaws...
Facial Recognition 101 on Mar 18, 2020
Facial recognition interest, use and fear is increasing. This guide aims to...
Security Sales Course January 2020 - Last Chance on Jan 02, 2020
Notice: This is the last chance to register for the course. This sales...
New Axis M30 Cameras Tested on Mar 26, 2020
Axis has released a new generation of, for them, relatively low cost M30...
2020 Video Surveillance Cameras State Of The Market on Jan 03, 2020
Each year, IPVM explains the main advances and changes for video surveillance...
Genetec Security Center 5.9 Release Examined on Feb 06, 2020
Genetec released the next major version of Security Center, less than a year...
Budget Covert Cameras Tested on Nov 26, 2019
Covert cameras under $100 are widely available online but are they any...

Recent Reports

Panasonic Presents i-PRO Cameras and Video Analytics on Oct 19, 2020
Panasonic presented its i-PRO X-Series cameras and AI video analytics at the...
Augmented Reality (AR) Cameras From Hikvision and Dahua Examined on Oct 19, 2020
Hikvision, Dahua, and other China companies are marketing augmented reality...
18 TB Video Surveillance Drives (WD and Seagate) on Oct 19, 2020
Both Seagate and Western Digital recently announced 18TB hard drives...
Watrix Gait Recognition Profile on Oct 16, 2020
Watrix is the world's only gait recognition surveillance provider IPVM has...
Intel Presents Edge-to-Cloud Ecosystem for Video Analytics on Oct 16, 2020
Intel presented its processors and software toolkit for computer vision at...
Best Manufacturer Technical Support 2020 on Oct 16, 2020
5 manufacturers stood out as providing the best technical support to ~200...
Microsoft Azure Presents Live Video Analytics on Oct 15, 2020
Microsoft Azure presented its Live Video Analytics offering at the September...
Worst Manufacturer Technical Support 2020 on Oct 15, 2020
4 manufacturers stood out as providing the worst technical support to ~200...
Clorox Announces, Then Pulls, Fever Camera on Oct 15, 2020
For almost one week, Clorox was marketing fever cameras. The booming...
Faulty Hikvision Fever Cam Setup at Mexico City Basilica and Cathedral on Oct 14, 2020
Donated Hikvision fever cameras (claiming screening of 1,800 people/min. with...
Directory of 209 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Oct 14, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers...
Avigilon UMD / UAD Tested on Oct 14, 2020
Avigilon's Unusual Activity Detection and Unusual Motion Detection claim to...
Longse Promoting Hikvision Partner Fullhan Chip Based Cameras on Oct 14, 2020
With Huawei HiSilicon production being shut down at TSMC, camera...
Meridian & Goodview (BEMS Relabeller) Temperature Screening Tested on Oct 13, 2020
A lot of temperature tablets look exactly alike and that is because they use...
Monitoring Alarm Systems From Home - Innovation or Danger? on Oct 13, 2020
Remote monitoring by alarm companies since COVID-19 is bringing cost savings...