Shootout: 4K vs 1080p vs 720p Video

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jul 17, 2013

4K is the next big thing in video. While 1080p has become the 'standard' for HD, the next step is 4K, quadrupling resolution / pixel count from ~2MP to ~8MP. It is already showing up in TV sets as well as consumer cameras. Indeed, the first 4K surveillance camera was announced this spring, with many more announcements certain to follow this fall.

Can 4K really make a difference for surveillance? Or is Axis right that the 'megapixel race is over'?

We bought a GoPro Hero3 Black camera that delivers 4k resolution (indeed up to 12MP). What is especially interesting is that they use the same chip manufacturer (Ambarella) used by cameras from many well known manufacturers (like Avigilon, Bosch, Pelco, Hikvision, Honeywell, etc.).

We took the Hero 3 Black and put it to the test at FoV widths from 20' to 160' feet to understand 4K performance.

We tested at 12MP, 4K, 1080p and 720p to determine what actually quality difference each resolution / pixel count delivered.

** ** *** **** *** ***** ** *****. ***** ***** has ****** *** '********' *** **, *** **** **** ** 4K, *********** ********** / ***** ***** **** ~*** ** ~***. It ** ******* ******* ** ** ** **** ** **** as ******** *******. ******, ******** ** ************ ****** *** ********* **** ******, **** **** **** ************* ******* ** ****** **** ****.

*** ** ****** **** * ********** *** ************? ** ** Axis ***** **** *** '********* **** ** ****'?

** ****** ****** ***** ***** ********** ******** ** ********** (****** ** ** ****). **** ** especially *********** ** **** **** *** *** **** **** ************ (Ambarella) **** ** ******* **** **** **** ***** ************* (**** Avigilon, *****, *****, *********, *********, ***.).

** **** *** **** * ***** *** *** ** ** the **** ** *** ****** **** **' ** ***' **** to ********** ** ***********.

** ****** ** ****, **, ***** *** **** ** ********* what ******** ******* ********** **** ********** / ***** ***** *********.

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

Key ********

** ******* **** * ******** ********** ** ***** ******* ** each *** ***** ******, ****** **** ********* ********* *******:

  • ** ***' ****, ***** **** ****** **** ** *** ********* an ******* ** ********, ********** ****** **** *** ****** *********** ones **** *****.
  • ** **' ****, ****** ******** ******* ** **** **** ** whereas *** ***** ********** ** *** ***** ***** ******** ****
  • ** **' ****, ****** ******** **** ***** ***** **** ** while **** **** ******** ******** **** ***** *****. ********, ******* characters **** ******* *************** **** ** ****** *** **** *****.
  • ** **' ****, ** ******** ********** ** ****** ******** ******* but *** ******* ***** ** *** *** ***** **** ******* sharper *** ****** ** **** ** ** **** *****.

*** ********* ** **

** ***** ***** (** ** *** ****) ** ****** ** see *** **** ********* ******. **** ******** *******, ******* ****, long ********, ***. ******, *****, ****** ***** *** ****** ** get **** ****** *** ******* ***** *******. *******, ** ******* ranges (** *** *****), ****** ***** ***** ******* *** ** interest (**** * ****** ** *******'* **** ** *** ****** number ** * ****), ** ** ****** ** ** ********.

*** ***** ****

****** *** ******** ** ********** ** *****, ******* ** *** jump **** ******** ********** ** *********, ***** ****** ** ***** that *** ***** *********** *** ****** ** ** *******, ********** considering ** ******* **** **** ***** ***** ** ******* **** in *** ***** ** *** **** *-* *****. *** ***** performance ** ** ******* ******* ** ** **** **** ********** models ****** *********.

*** ***** ***** ***** *** ** */*.* ***** ** ***** high *** ************ ****** *********, ****** *** ***** ********** ********. Certainly, ************ ******* **** ******* ***** * ***** *** ** do *** **** *** ***.

12MP **. ** ***********

** *** ** ***** ***********, **** *** ** *** ****** close ** ****** *** **** (**** ********** ****** **. ****). However, ** ****** **** ** **** ********** ***** *** *** reasons:

  • **, *****, *** **** ****** **** ******** **** ******, ** slight ****** *** ******** ********* *** *****. **** ****** **** captured ** **** **** *** ******.
  • *** ***** ******* ***** ** **** *** ********* ******* ***** from *** ******. ****** *** ** ***** ****** ** **** were *** ** "****", ***** *** ****** ***********, * ****** of * *** ****** ** ****** *** **** ** ***** edge ** *** *****.

160' ***** ** ****

*****, ** ***** **** ** ********* **** ***' ********** ***** of ****. 

** **** ***** *** ****** **** * ** ** ** resolution *********. **** *** ** *********** *** **** ** ******* some *******, **** ** ******** *** **** *****, ** **** as ***** *-* ** *** *****. **** * ** *********** readable ** *****, ****** *** **********, *** ******* ** *** subject *** ******* *********** ** **** ********** *** *****.

80' ***** ** ****

****, **  ******* *** ***** ** *** ***** ** **** by ****, ** **'.

** **** *****, *** *********** *** ******* ****/** *** ***** is **** **********. ******* ** *** ******* *** ****** ** see, *** *** ***** *** ** **** ** ** ***** line * ** ** **********, ***** **** ***** *-* *** be **** *** ** *****.

40' ***** ** ****

****, ** ******* ******* *** *** ** **'.


 ** **** *****, *** ******** ** ****/** *** ******** ******** to *****. ******* ** *** ***** *** ** **** **** to **** */** ** *** ** *****, ***** **** ***** 4/5 *** ** **** ** *****. *******, ******* ** *** subject *** ****** ******* **** ** ****.

20' ***** ** **** 

*******, ***** **** * **' ***:

** * ***** ** **** **** ******, **** *** **** camera ******** **** ****** ** *** *******, **** ******* ** the **** ***** ******* **** ** **** */*, ****** ****/** likely ******** *** **** **** ******. 

Low ***** ***********

** ****** *** ***** ** * ~* *** ***** ** gauge *** ***** ***********, ** **** *****. *******, ******* ****** not ******** **** * **** **** ** ** ************ *******, as *** **** * **** * ******** ****** *** **.* lens, **** ** ***** ********** ****** *** ***** ***********.

Test ********* 

*** **** ****, ** **** ****** **** * ***** *******. ****** * ******** ****** ******** *** "********* ******" ************, it ********** ****** **** ***** **** ******** ************ *******. ***** on *** ****** *** ** *******:

 

Comments (23)

** ** ** *********** **** * ***** *** ** ****** 8.3MP (** ****)? **** **** ***** ** * ***** *** of ****** *.**** (**** *********** ****)?

***'* ****** **** **'* **:*. ****, *** ****** ***** ** remember *.**** ** *.***? ***'* ** ****** ** ******** *** reference?

*'* *** **** ** ****** *** ** *** ** *** the ***** ** */* ****, ** *'* ******* ***** *** weather ***** ** ***** **** **%. * ** ****** ** probably * ****** *********** ** *** ***** *******.

**'* *** **** * ***** *** ** ********** *********. ****, 1080p *** ** *** ****** **** *** ** ******** ** defined ** *** *****. ******* ** **** ***** *** *** many ****** ***** ***. ** *** ** ******** ********* ** resolution (** ****** ******* *********), *********, ************ *** ******* ***** surveillance **** ***** **** *** ******** ********* *******.

*** *****,

*** ** ****** ********* ***? * ****'* ***** **** **** out *** ** **** ****'* *** *** ** ** ****** is **** ** **** **** *******?

*** **** **** ****** ** ******. **** ** **** **** low ***** *********** ** ******* ** ***** ****. **** *** another ** ****** *** ********** ************ (******** *** ******* ******) with ****** ****** **** ***** ***** ****** *** ***** ***********. A ****** **** ***** **** **** ** *** ******* *** in *** *******.

** ********* ** ******* ** ****** **?

*****, *** ** ** ****'* ** ***** ***** ******** ** to****@*****. ** **'* *** **/***** *** *** ***** ***** ****'* 4K/15fps.

******, ****.

**** ******* ** ***** *********** *** *******. *******, ** **** other ****** *******, *** ***** ** * ******** *******, *** an ********** ***** ************ ******. ** ** ******** ** **** a ***** **** ** *** ***** ** ******, ***** *** announced ** *** ******* **** ****? **** ***** **** ** more ******** ********* ** *** ****** ** ** ***.

**** ****, ** *** *** ** * ***** ** ****** will **** **! ;)

** ***** **** ***** ********. **** ***** **** *** ********* release **** *** ***** ** ****** *** **** ****** **** to ***** ****. **'** **** **** **** **** **** **** Bosch *** ****** *** *** ** ******* ** *******.

**** **** *** **** ** ********** *** *********** **********. **** said, ******** ********, ** **** *****, **** ** ** ******* indicators ** **** ********** ************ **** * **** ** *** later.

**** ** **** ****. ** ***** **** *** *** ********* barriers **** **** ****** *** ** ************ ******. *. ** lens; *. ** ****** **** ***** ***** ****; *. ** real-time *********** **** ********* ******** ****** (****?); ** ******* ***** 6G-SDI ** ** ** ******** *** *****?

**** ** ********** ****** **** ** *** ****** ** *** end ** **** ****?

** *********** ********, **'* **** *** ** ** *** ** before ** ***** ***** *** ******* ** *******, *** ***** performance, *** ***** ****/**** ******** **** *** ******* ******* ******.

*** ****** ***, ** ***** ** ** ******, ****** *** you ***** *** **** **** *** ****** *** **** ** the ***** ** ***** ** *** *** *** *** *******, that'll **** *** ********** ******* ** *** **, ** * wrong?

*********, *** ***, "** ***** ** ** ******, ****** *** you ***** *** **** **** *** ****** *** **** ** the ***** ** ***** ** *** *** *** *** *******, that'll **** *** ********** ******* ** *** **"

* ** *** **** ** * ** ************* *** *********. You **** ** ** ********* ****? ********* ****? ***** **** far **** **** *** ******? *** **** *******?

** *** *** *******, **'* ** ***** ** *******.

*** **** *, * ***'* ******* ** ******* *** ***** to *******/*.********** ****. ** *** **** ** **** **** ***** ***** with *.*** **** **** '*******' ** ******* ** *****. ** course, ***** ** ****/*.*** ***** ** ****** *** ** **** 1080p ***** *** ****** ***** *****.

****,

***** *** *** ********** ** ******* *******,

* **** *** **** ******* ** *** **** **** *** camera, *** ** ********* ****.

***** *.*** *** ****, ** **** ** ****** *** ***** H.264 **********, ******* *****'* *.*** ******** *** **** ******** ****** than ***** *.***, *** ***** ****** ****** ******** *** ******** encoding **********,

** ***** *.***? * ***** ******* ** ***** *.*** *** most ** *** ***** **** ***** **** ** *********** ** security ******** (**** *** ***** ***********) , * ******* ***** is ****** ***** *** ****** *** ** ** ***(******** *** traffic ******, ***** **** **** ***, ** *** ** ** used).

"* **** *** **** ******* ** *** **** **** *** camera, *** ** ********* ****."

****'* **** ** *** ****. ** **** ** ****** *** subject ******* **** **** *** ****** *** **** ********* ******* in. *** *******, *** *** ***' **** *** *** ******* really *** **** *** ****** *** ** ****** ** ** see **** ******* ***** ** *********.

* ** *** ***** ** **** ** ** *** ******* of *****. **** ****** **** ** ** *** **** ***** / ***** ** **** *** ** ********** **** *******. **** is *** ****** ** ** ** *****. *** ********, **** is *** ********* ** *** ******* ** **** / ** even ****** ** *** ** *** ****** (~**** ** ~****). Ultimately, **** ******* ** *** ****** ** ****** *** ********** of *** *****. *'* ***** ** ******* ** **** ** storage *** ** ** ***** (********** **** *****).

*** ***** *********** **** ****** ** * *********** *****. ** will ** *********** ** ***. ** ************* *** ******, **** will *********** ****** ** ********** ** ******* ** ******** ****. But ***'* ***!

** *** **********, **** ***** ******* **%-**% *********** ****** ********* to *.***, ** *** *** **% ** *******. ************, **** is ******** *** ** ****** ** *** ****** *** ****. The *********** ********** ***** ** * ******* ******* ** **** HEVC ******** **** **** ** ***** ********* *** **** ** delivered ****. * ***** *.*** ***'* ** ******** ** **** in *** *** ***** ** ***** ****, *** ***** ** be **** ******* ** *** ** *******?

*** *** ***** ***********, ** *** ******, ** **** **** sensors **** ****** ***** ****, *.*., **** *** *** (*''). There *** **** **** ***** ********* ****** ******* **** ********** we ***** ******. ** ** ***** ******.

****, * ** *** **** ** ***** **** ** ****** processing ***** ** ******* ******** **** ** * ** ******. I ****** ***** *** **** ** **** ** **** *********** on ***** **.

** *** ****** *******, *** ****** *** ********** ************ ******* bigger **** */*". ** *** *******, **** *** *****, ***** is * ****** ******* ******* **. * ***** ********** ** is * **** ****** ******** **** ****** *******. ** *** or ****** **** *** * ******* ** ********* ** **** integrated **?

* ***** ** ******* **** **** *** **** *********** ** their **** ***. *** **** ********, **** *** ***********, ******** the ******** ******* *** ********** *** ***********. ** * ******** encoder ***** ** ******** ** * ******* ********. ******** * dont **** *** ******* ** ***** **** *******, * ***** believe *** ***** ** *********.

*** ****** ** */* ****** ** ****** **** ** ******* surveillance ******, *** *** ** *** ** ****** *** (*********** Transport ******) ***********. ** **** **** ** ***** *** ******* camera **** */*'' *** ********** **** ** *** *** ******. As *** ****, **** *** *** *****, *** ***** ** around $****. *** *** ****** ** **** ********* ******* ****.

* ***'* *** *** ******* ***** ** ********** ** **** 4K ******. *******, ** ****** ***** *** *** *** ********* problems. ** **** ************ ************, ***** *********** ***** ** *******. In ********, ***** ** ****** ** * "***** **" ****-*** product, **** **** ***** ****** **** ****** ***** ******* *********, not **** *** ***** ****, *** **** ***** ***** *******. This ***** **** *** ** ****** ****** ******* *********.

*****, ***** **** ****** ** * *****. **** ***** *** fine **** ***** *** *****. ** ***** **** ** **** between * $**** ** ****** **** ********** ** *** * $2000+ *** **** * **** ****** ******, *** ***** ***** optimization, ***., **** *** ***** ** **** *** **** *********, integrated ** *** (********** ***** ******* *** **** ********* *** with ***** ******* **** ******* ** */* ** **** *** lux ******).

* ** **** ***** *** ***** **** *** ** ****. Beyond *****, *** ***** **** ** **** ***** **** *** it ******* (**** ** **, **, **) *** *** **** streams (**** * ** *, *, ***.). **'** ****** *** a ******* *** **** ******* ** ******* *.*** ******* ***** streams *** ***** **** ** *******.

**** ******** **** *** ****** ** *** **** ******* **** eye *****?

***, *** ******** **** *** ****** ****** **** ***' ** 20', ****** ** ********** ***** ** *** ****** *****.

***** **** **** ***** ** **** ***** ******** **? ** I ******* *********?

***, ***'** *****, * ** *****. ***, ***** *** *** FoV.

*****, **** ** *** ********(*) **** *** ******?

***, **'* * ***** ***** **** ** *****'* ** *********** to ***/********.

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

Lighthouse Deep Learning Camera Tested on Dec 07, 2017
A Silicon Valley startup, Lighthouse, with a Stanford PhD CTO, has released a deep learning AI camera with 3D sensors for just $300. The company...
Top Recommended Home Video Surveillance Systems By Integrators on Dec 01, 2017
Friends regularly ask security integrators for their recommendations for video surveillance systems, trying to tap into the expertise of their...
Favorite Surveillance Monitors Statistics on Nov 29, 2017
What monitors are most commonly used for video surveillance? Are they more typically consumer or professional? Are there specific brands that...
Amazon Cloud Cam Is Poor (Tested) on Nov 17, 2017
Retail behemoth Amazon has entered the surveillance market with the Amazon Cloud Cam, the eyes of its just-announced Amazon Key delivery...
Honeywell Crowdfunding Bombs on Nov 08, 2017
100,000+ employees and $40,000,000,000 in annual revenue. That's Honeywell. ~200 backers and ~$67,000 in funding in a week. That's Honeywell...
Assa Abloy Acquires August on Oct 25, 2017
The mega access control manufacturer, Assa Abbloy, has acquired one of the most well funded access control startups, smart lock...
Avigilon H4 IR Mini Dome Camera Tested on Oct 24, 2017
Avigilon has released their successor to the aging Micro Dome, the H4 Mini Dome, claiming easy install, a patent-pending surface/recessed...
Axis 'Sold Out' P3707-PVE Multi-Imager Tested on Oct 18, 2017
Axis faced significant product shortages over the summer. Perhaps the most notorious and significantly sold out model was the Axis P3707-PE 8MP...
Geovision GV-EDR2100 Tested Vs Hikvision on Oct 16, 2017
A number of ADI's top selling IP cameras are, at least surprisingly to us, from Geovision. We recently bought and tested the Geovision EDR2100...
Hanwha 20MP Multi-Imager Tested (PNM-9081VQ) on Oct 09, 2017
Hanwhwa has introduced the latest in their multi-imager camera line, the PNM-9081VQ, a Wisenet 5 20MP model with four repositionable 5MP camera...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference Review on Dec 08, 2017
Investment bank Imperial Capital holds an annual Security Investor Conference where 60+ companies present, including this year: IPVM bought a...
Integrator GPS Vehicle Tracking Statistics and Success Examined on Dec 08, 2017
GPS vehicle tracking is a growing but somewhat controversial topic. On the plus side, tracking may increases productivity by providing greater...
Hikvision NA Biggest Sale of 2017 on Dec 07, 2017
Hikvision North America has been relatively disciplined the past 5 months, reducing the number of sales and the breadth of what is on sale. No...
Security Integrator IT Expertise Statistics on Dec 07, 2017
20 years ago, putting physical security systems on IP networks was just emerging. Today, almost every system is networked in some way, IP cameras...
Lighthouse Deep Learning Camera Tested on Dec 07, 2017
A Silicon Valley startup, Lighthouse, with a Stanford PhD CTO, has released a deep learning AI camera with 3D sensors for just $300. The company...
Access Control Course Winter 2018 on Dec 07, 2017
Learn more below about the Winter 2018 IPVM Access Control Course. Register here. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in...
Broken Hikvision App Exposes Hypocrisy on Dec 06, 2017
While Hikvision talks about a commitment to cybersecurity, their broken app and their insecure 'solution' exposes not only their engineering...
'Catastrophic Problem' For Videofied App on Dec 06, 2017
Less than 2 months after closing their DIY division DragonFly, Videofied has been hit with a problem the company calls 'catastrophic'. Now the...
ASIS Dumps 'ASIS' For Show on Dec 06, 2017
After 60+ years, ASIS is dumping its eponymous show name and replacing it with 'GSX'. This is a classic marketing mistake. For a show struggling...
Risks Of Managing End User Passwords (Statistics) on Dec 05, 2017
Integrators know admin passwords for nearly all end-user systems, according to IPVM statistics. But how do they manage them? How do they ensure...

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