What's the difference between HD and Megapixel Cameras?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jan 29, 2009

While 2009 was the year of megapixel surveillance cameras, it was also the year where confusion between HD and megapixel cameras began. Historically, everyone who sold cameras with 1 million pixels or more called them megapixel cameras. However, in the last 6 months, a number of manufacturers have begun touting their new megapixel cameras as HD.

Indeed, Axis emphasizes HD, rather than megapixel in its marketing, causing many to ask what is the difference and which is better?

HD vs. Megapixel

HD is a type of megapixel camera.  All HD cameras are megapixel but not all megapixel cameras are HD.

While standard definition cameras (e.g., analog cameras and 4CIF IP cameras) have no more than 400,000 pixels, all megapixel cameras (including HD) have 1,000,000 or more pixels.

HD's Key Features Compared to Typical Megapixel

The key features of HD for video surveillance is:

  • Maximum HD resolution is 2.1MP, maximum megapixel resolution is 20MP or more with 5MP cameras are common from numerous vendors
  • HD video format is 1280 x 720 or 1920 x 1080 (megapixel cameras can offer many more formats)
  • HD aspect ratio is 16:9 (compared to 5:4 or 4:3 in other surveillance cameras)
  • HD frame rate is 30/25 (where megapixel cameras are often 3 - 15 frames)
  • HDTV has quality compliance standards (where megapixel simply specifies the number of pixels)
Which is Better?
 
This is not a clear cut case - it will depend on applications. Some applications really need more than 2.1MP (the maximum for HDTV today) and do not need high frame rates (those should choose non-HD megapixel cameras). Other applications will care more about high frame rate and maximum image quality (where HD cameras will be best).
 
However, since Axis has put its marketing efforts behind HDTV, expect HD's importance to increase significantly. Indeed, I see this as a cunning competitive move on Axis' part to generate perceived differentiation over incumbent megapixel providers such as Arecont Vision, IQinVision and Mobotix. It also leverages the consumer interest on HDTVs. This aspect may not improve security but it sure does increased perceived quality.

***** **** *** *** **** ** ********* ************ *******, ** was **** *** **** ***** ********* ******* ** *** ********* cameras *****. ************, ******** *** **** ******* **** * ******* pixels ** **** ****** **** ********* *******. *******, ** *** last * ******, * ****** ** ************* **** ***** ******* their *** ********* ******* ** **.

******, **** ********** **, ****** **** ********* ** *** *********, causing **** ** *** **** ** *** ********** *** ***** is ******?

HD **. *********

** ** * **** ** ********* ******.  *** ** ******* are ********* *** *** *** ********* ******* *** **.

***** ******** ********** ******* (*.*., ****** ******* *** **** ** cameras) **** ** **** **** ***,*** ******, *** ********* ******* (including **) **** *,***,*** ** **** ******.

HD's *** ******** ******** ** ******* *********

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

  • ******* ** ********** ** *.***, ******* ********* ********** ** **** or **** **** *** ******* *** ****** **** ******** *******
  • ** ***** ****** ** **** * *** ** **** * 1080 (********* ******* *** ***** **** **** *******)
  • ** ****** ***** ** **:* (******** ** *:* ** *:* in ***** ************ *******)
  • ** ***** **** ** **/** (***** ********* ******* *** ***** 3 - ** ******)
  • **** *** ******* ********** ********* (***** ********* ****** ********* *** number ** ******)
Which ** ******?
 
**** ** *** * ***** *** **** - ** **** depend ** ************. **** ************ ****** **** **** **** *.*** (the ******* *** **** *****) *** ** *** **** **** frame ***** (***** ****** ****** ***-** ********* *******). ***** ************ will **** **** ***** **** ***** **** *** ******* ***** quality (***** ** ******* **** ** ****).
 
*******, ***** **** *** *** *** ********* ******* **********, ****** **'* ********** ** ******** *************. ******, * *** this ** * ******* *********** **** ** ****' **** ** generate ********* *************** **** ********* ********* ********* **** ********* ******,********************. ** **** ********* *** ******** ******** ** *****. **** aspect *** *** ******* ******** *** ** **** **** ********* perceived *******.

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

Aspect *****

*** **** ************ ************, *** **:* ****** ***** ** ** cameras **** ** **** ********* ** *** *:* ****** ** traditional ********* *******. 

** ************, *** ********* **** ** **** *** ***** **** you **** ** *** ****. *** ****** ** **** ****** and ******** *** **** ** **** *** **** *** ** anywhere ****** * **** ****.

*******, **** **** *** **** *** **** ** *** * HDTV ******. *** ********, ** *** *** * *** ****** (2048 * ****), **** *** ****** *** *** *** **** the **** ********* ****** ***** *** ********** ** * ***** HDTV ******. ************, **** ****** *** ** **** ** **** expensive **** * ***** **** ******.

Frame ****

**** ************ *** **** **** ** ****** ** ****, ***** is ***** ******* *** *** *******. ***** * *** ** attention **** ** ***** ** '**** ***** ****', *** ******* is ************ ************ **** ************* **** *** ***** ****** *** second *** **** ********** ** *****.

** *** ***** ****, ***** **** ** ******* ************ (**** casinos ** ***** ********) ***** ************ *****. * ** ***** per ****** ****** ******** ** ***** ***** ** ************; * 30 ***** *** ****** ****** ***** ** ************. ** **** camera **** *** ** **. **** ** ************* ***** **** fast **** ********* *** *** **** **** **** * **********.

Video ******* - ********* **** ** *****

*** ****** **** ******** ** *** **** ***** **** ********* is *** ******** ****** ** ** ** *******. *** ********, I *** *** **** ** ****** ** ******** *** *** image ******* *** *********. ** ********, * *** *** ***** 1080p ** ****** ** **** *** ** ****** **** * webcam. ** ******, **'* **** ***** ***** *** **'* ********** to ****** **** *** *** ********* *** ****** ** ******* are ***** ** ******* *** **** *******.

****

** *** *** ***** ** ******* *** ***** ****** ** a *********** ******* ** *********** *** *******. **** **** ** $1495. *****'* ** ****** ** $****. ******** **** ** ** Arecont *** *.*** ***** ***** ** *** ******** *** **** than $*** *** ******** ***** ** ** ******* **** $****. Is * **% ******* ***** **?

Marketing ** ** ******* **** ** ****

***** ****' ****** ***** *** *** ******* ****** ** ****, the ******** ** ** ************ ******* ** ****** ********* **** to ****.  ****** ** **** ********* ***** *********, ******** ** going ** **** ***** ** **** *** ********, ****** ******* matching ** ******** ** ******** ********* ** *********/************.

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 Marketing

Hitachi Taking On Security Industry on Feb 09, 2017
Hitachi, bigger than Sony and Panasonic overall, with $89 billion USD 2016 total revenue, is expanding into the security industry. They are...
IPVM For PR / Marketing People on Jan 25, 2017
This post helps PR and Marketing people understand and productively work with IPVM (as much as possible given our independent, often critical,...
Sony Misleading Marketing Hides Cracked Backdoor on Jan 25, 2017
Sony is attempting to deemphasize the severity of the backdoor uncovered in Ipela cameras. Meanwhile, IPVM has verified that the root password for...
PR Firm Pleads Don't Scrap PR Spending on Jan 20, 2017
PR is not dying, warns pleads PR firm. Take 40+ year old industry PR firm LRG, who recently lamented the 'misconceptions' that: Traditional PR...
Dahua UnFavorability Results on Jan 19, 2017
Dahua, the mega-Chinese surveillance manufacturer not primarily owned by the Chinese government has been trying to break out of the shadow of...
ADI Battles Manufacturer Partners on Jan 11, 2017
ADI is battling their manufacturer partners, building up their own competitive house brand W-Box, while manufacturers still fund ADI's business...
Exacq 3 Co-Founders Exit on Jan 10, 2017
Exacq co-founders David Underwood and Daniel Rittman have exited the company. UPDATE: And a 3rd co-founder is now also leaving. In this note,...
How Axis Can Beat Hikvision on Jan 09, 2017
Hikvision has rocked the industry globally, bullying former video surveillance revenue leader Axis even in the Western world. What can Axis...
Dahua New Marketing Head Hired From Hanwha / Samsung on Jan 04, 2017
Dahua is bad at marketing. And they are finally taking a step to correct that, hiring Janet Fenner, who joins after 6+ years at Samsung / Hanwha...
Axis Launches A Blog on Dec 22, 2016
Is it 2007 or 2017? Because Axis Communications has just launched a blog. Are they 10 years too late or just right? In this post, we examine...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Uniview (UNV) IP Cameras Tested on Feb 22, 2017
"We're #3," in China says Uniview (UNV). While the company significantly trails Hikvision and Dahua in total sales, one notable difference is that...
Glass Doors and Access Control Tutorial on Feb 22, 2017
The biggest challenge for many access control systems are glass doors. Here's what happens when a maglock is improperly installed to an existing...
Exacq Favorability Results on Feb 22, 2017
For years, Exacq has been one of the most frequently favored VMSes in IPVM integrator statistics (e.g., see Favorite VMS Manufacturers...
The Hot RMR Company - Electric Guard Dog on Feb 22, 2017
The financiers at the Barnes Buchanan conference praised a company named 'Electric Guard Dog'. While the name sounds fairly low tech, the money and...
Hikvision Leads Multi-Manufacturer Sales Promo on Feb 21, 2017
Earlier this month, Hikvision launched new 'super value' kits, with 40% discounts, and now Hikvision is offering another promo, but this time they...
Washington DC MPD's Surveillance Equipment on Feb 21, 2017
The Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department's surveillance system was hacked in January 2017. Two immediate questions were: Whose...
Hikvision Ezviz Mini 360 Plus - $80 Autotracking Camera Tested on Feb 21, 2017
Autotracking, integrated IR, local storage, full HD, cloud access: $80. That is the claim of Hikvision EZVIZ's new Mini 360 Plus. But for this...
Lenel Improving Customer Support on Feb 21, 2017
Lenel has faced significant criticism recently (see Lenel Partners Angry, Lenel Does Not Care, Worst Access Control 2016, Lenel Favorability...
'Dirty': Hikvision Attacks Genetec on Feb 20, 2017
Hikvision is angry at the growing public awareness that Hikvision is owned by the Chinese government. They took aim at Genetec,...
Directory of Alarm Company Brokers on Feb 20, 2017
Selling an RMR based business, such as alarm company, can be highly profitable, with acquisition prices of 36 to 48x RMR (equivalent to 3 to 4x...

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