Do Megapixel Cameras Provide Better Image Quality?

Author: John Honovich, Published on May 19, 2009

Pixels get all the attention but image details are what is really important to video surveillance users. The more image details, the more cases that can be solved and the fewer cameras that need to be deployed to obtain that evidence.

More pixels do not guarantee more image details. And megapixel does not ensure mega details.

This is obvious when cameras have either no light (e.g., night-time darkness) or too much light (e.g., looking at the sun). In those situations, it's hard to get any image, much less an extremely detailed one.

As I conduct megapixel camera tests, it is becoming increaseingly clear that pixel count cannot be accepted as is. It's better to think of the pixel count as the pixel potential or the maximum image detail that a megapixel camera can provide. However, some cameras and many common scenarios will provide significantly lower image detail than expected by the stated pixel count.

For instance, I am seeing that high resolutions and lower resolutions deliver the same visible image details. Conceptually, this should not happen -- a 2MP image should provide much greater image details than a 1.3MP or .5MP image - but it does.

****** *** *** *** ********* *** ***** ******* *** **** is ****** ********* ** ***** ************ *****. *** **** ***** details, *** **** ***** **** *** ** ****** *** *** fewer ******* **** **** ** ** ******** ** ****** **** evidence.

**** ****** ** *** ********* **** ***** *******. *** ********* does *** ****** **** *******.

**** ** ******* **** ******* **** ****** ** ***** (*.*., night-time ********) ** *** **** ***** (*.*., ******* ** *** sun). ** ***** **********, **'* **** ** *** *** *****, much **** ** ********* ******** ***.

** * ******* ********* ****** *****, ** ** ******** ************* clear **** ***** ***** ****** ** ******** ** **. **'* better ** ***** ** *** ***** ***** ** *** ***** potential ** *** ******* ***** ****** **** * ********* ****** can *******. *******, **** ******* *** **** ****** ********* **** provide ************* ***** ***** ****** **** ******** ** *** ****** pixel *****.

*** ********, * ** ****** **** **** *********** *** ***** resolutions ******* *** **** ******* ***** *******. ************, **** ****** not ****** -- * *** ***** ****** ******* **** ******* image ******* **** * *.*** ** .*** ***** - *** it ****.

[***************]

Screencast ********** **********

** *** * ****** ********** *****, * ****** ** ******** and *********** *** ******* * **** ** **** ***** ***********. This ****** **** *** ********* *** ******* **** *** ****** sample ****** ******** ** *** ******* *******.

Why **** ** *********

** ********* ******* ******* **** ***** ****** **** ***** ****** resolution, **** ******* * ***** ** ****:

  • ******* *** **** ******** ***** ** **** *** ******** ** a *********** ***** ***** **** ** *** *** ** ********, making ** ****** **** ******** ******** ** *** ********.
  • ** ******* **** ***** *********** ******* ** *********. *** *******, if *** ********* ***** ****** ** *** **** ** *** x *** ** ** ** ** **** * ****, **** users *** ********** ******** ***** ********* *** ** ***** *****.

Sample ***** **********

*** *** ****** ** **** **** **** **** ********** **** a *** ****** *** ********:********* ********** ********** ****** ******. **** ****** ******** ****** **** * ************* ** * different ********* ** * ********* ********** ****** ****.

****: **** ****** ** ** ******* *** ******* *******. ** such, * *** *** ******** *** ******** *************. ** ******* feedback *** ******* ** ****, * **** ******* **** ******* and ******* ** ******** *************.

Lessons *******

* *** ***************:

  • ** ******* ***** ********* ****** *********** *** ********* **** *** use ** '******' ******** **********. *** ****** ***** ****** ******** may **** *************.
  • *** ********* ******* *** *** ******* *****, *** *** ** able ** ***** *** *** **********, **** *********/******* *** *** give ** *** ***** *******/******** **********.

** * ** *******, * *** ***** *** ** ******* assessing *** ********* *** **** ***** *******/******* **** ********* ******* provide. ****** ***** **** ******** *** ***************.
Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports on Bandwidth

48MP 180 Camera (Digital Watchdog) Test on May 10, 2017
Camera resolution continues to advance, with Digital Watchdog offering the MegaPIX PANO 48MP 180° camera, the highest resolution mainstream camera...
Last Day - IP Networking Course May 2017 on Apr 26, 2017
Today is the last day to register for the May IP Networking Course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video...
Hanwha Lowest Cost WiseNet X Camera (XND-6010) Tested on Apr 13, 2017
IPVM bought and tested the lowest-cost WiseNet X model, the indoor 2MP fixed focal XND-6010 dome, continuing our testing of Hanwha's new WiseNet X...
Pelco Surevision 3 Tested on Apr 12, 2017
Pelco has released generation 3 of its Surevision cameras, claiming improved performance in both super low light and WDR performance. We bought...
TVI 4.0 Doubles HD Analog Bandwidth on Mar 05, 2017
HD analog's move up market continues. Starting a few years ago at just 720p, HD analog is now poised for 4K and beyond. Techpoint, the company...
Arecont Vision MicroDome Duo Tested on Feb 14, 2017
Arecont Vision is back with another multi-head camera, this time thinking smaller with the MicroDome Duo, a two-imager model, with the tagline...
Camera Course Winter 2017 on Feb 02, 2017
Learn video surveillance and get certified. IPVM provides live online classes, recorded videos, personal help, cutting edge education and...
Arecont Lowest Favorability Results on Jan 25, 2017
Given Arecont is 3 time defending integrator choice for worst camera manufacturer, it should be little surprise they had the lowest score in the...
Avigilon Pro 4K Camera Tested on Jan 03, 2017
Avigilon is best known for their large sensor, high megapixel cameras. But with new offerings from Sony and soon Axis, the questions is how well...
IP Networking 2017 Book Released on Jan 02, 2017
The new IP Networking Book 2017 is a 197 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security systems. The...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon New COO James Henderson Profile on May 23, 2017
It has been nearly 2 years since the infamous Bryan Schmode 'resigned' as Avigilon COO. Now, Avigilon once again has a COO, promoting James...
Aura's 'Invisible Ripple' Next Gen Intrusion Detection Tested on May 22, 2017
Aura Home is a startup intrusion detection system, but it claims new, high-tech sensing that monitors the 'invisible ripples' movement creates,...
Pelco Shutting Down Clovis Line, Laying Off 200 on May 22, 2017
Pelco's Clovis facility once turned out some of the industry's most popular products. Now, the facility is mostly building "obsolete" equipment,...
IP Camera - 15 Year Shootout on May 22, 2017
How far have IP cameras come? We bought and tested 4 cameras across the past 15 years to understand how much and where performance has...
Remote Video Monitoring Providers Directory on May 19, 2017
Remote video monitoring can help integrators generate RMR plus end users lower their security costs and/or improve response to critical...
Axis Criticizes OEMs: "When You Buy An Axis Camera, An Axis Camera Is What You Get!" on May 19, 2017
When you buy a Honeywell camera, you likely get a Hikvision, Dahua or some other company's product. The same goes for easily 100 different...
Hackable 125kHz Access Control Migration Guide on May 19, 2017
Despite being one of the most popular credentials, 125 kHz credentials are easily copied and insecure as we showed in our test results, video...
Forget The Backdoor, "ALL HIKVISION PRODUCTS" On Sale on May 18, 2017
Less than 2 weeks after the Hikvision Backdoor was confirmed, Hikvision has launched a sale "ON ALL HIKVISION PRODUCTS". In this note, we examine...
Amazon Techs Installing IP Cameras Tested on May 18, 2017
In 2015, Amazon started offering video surveillance installation. Now, Amazon has made it a lot easier, with automatic add-on options and...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact