Megapixel cameras foster hope for much higher quality surveillance video but how much more and in what conditions? In this report, we answer these questions in depth based on extensive testing.
The most aggressive marketing claims suggest a single megapixel camera is equals 95 CCTV cameras. Does that mean you could literally replace 95 CCTV cameras? If not 95, is it 25 or 16 or 4, etc.?
A 'Magic Number'
The megapixel vendors are now advocating a 'magic number' of 40 pixels per foot. They claim that if your Field of View provides 40 pixels per foot (e.g., a 1920 x 1080 camera covering a 48 foot wide FoV), then you can see facial details and license plates clearly.
Some vendors qualify their number by saying it is a 'minimum' but then fail to offer any further disclosure or explanation. This is as helpful as the government coming to your house and telling you owe a minimum of $1,000 in taxes.
Over a 3 week period, we went out and tested these assumptions using a variety of cameras, resolutions and Field of Views. The video below overviews how we approached our tests:
Our test results show that achieving high quality surveillance is much more complicated than the magic numbers nor multipliers being advocated today. While megapixel surveillance can significantly improve surveillance coverage, many issues and nuances exist that must be properly appreciated when designing and deploying systems. We examine these in depth in the PRO section.