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

A Marketing Home Run For Knightscope - Man Attacks Robot on Apr 27, 2017
We criticize Knightscope regularly - their lack of revenue, their trying to fool mom 'n pop investors, their associating themselves with a clueless...
Beware The "Hit List" Ranking on Apr 21, 2017
The hit list. Kirschenbaum's recent newsletter complained about a 'hit list', bemoaning how a company took aim at ADT. Alas, that's the Google...
Failing at Marketing, "ALL HIKVISION PRODUCTS" On Sale on Apr 18, 2017
The ballerinas are out. The price cuts are back. Hikvision is struggling to build a premium brand (i.e., 'The Art of Video Surveillance') so...
Nvidia Deep Learning Developer Kit Examined on Apr 17, 2017
Can building a deep learning video analytics application be as easy as the typical VMS installation? Maybe not quite, but Nvidia is aiming to make...
A New Low For Knightscope - Just $3! on Apr 13, 2017
Take a look: Did you think, even for a fraction of a second, "$3 per share, could be a good deal"? If so, you should not invest in anything....
The Sleaziest Booth Of ISC West - Rapid Response on Apr 10, 2017
The use of 'booth babes' is way down overall, but one company, Rapid Response, continues to treat ISC West like it is an HBO brothel documentary...
Best and Worst - ISC West 2017 Show Report on Apr 10, 2017
IPVM went to Las Vegas, examining what vendors are showcasing and what is new. Attendance was up, according to the show, and was certainly well...
How HiSilicon Wasted $200,000 At ISC West on Apr 03, 2017
Huawei owned HiSilicon is a hidden key component of many of the cheapest cameras on the market. For the second year in a row, HiSilicon has wasted...
Hikvision Aims For #1 Brand In 2020 on Apr 03, 2017
Hikvision's Chairman and Communist Party Secretary told Xi Jingping his gift for the Communist Party's 100th anniversary in 2020 will be to make...
$10,000 Free VMS Licenses For New Dealers IPConfigure on Mar 29, 2017
Another gimmick or a real deal? The company that brought 'Unlimited' Enterprise VMS License for Just $32,000 and a cannon to ISC West are back with...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon Discontinuing Rialto Analytics Line on Apr 27, 2017
Avigilon is informing dealers/partners that the legacy VideoIQ Rialto products have been discontinued, recommending the newer ACC ES Analytics...
A Marketing Home Run For Knightscope - Man Attacks Robot on Apr 27, 2017
We criticize Knightscope regularly - their lack of revenue, their trying to fool mom 'n pop investors, their associating themselves with a clueless...
The World's First Fashion IP Camera From Amazon on Apr 27, 2017
Some analytics cameras can tell you if a person is jumping a fence, or loitering in a secure area, but none of them can tell you if the person...
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...
Hikvision EZVIZ Amazon Scam Revealed on Apr 26, 2017
Hikvision is violating US Federal Trade Commission guidelines and Amazon rules with a "Honest" Review Program scheme that provides gift cards to...
Anixter CEO Admits Price Deflation and Non-Exclusive Integrator Sales on Apr 26, 2017
Anixter's CEO has admitted to (1) price deflation impacting IP camera sales and (2) not always being 'exclusive' with security integrators. In...
Xandem Next Gen Intrusion Tested on Apr 26, 2017
Xandem's "full coverage motion tracking technology" is unlike any intrusion technology we have seen. We bought their new system and tested it...
Tri-Ed Favorability Results on Apr 25, 2017
Tri-Ed, owned by Anixter, far outranked Anixter, the lowest ranked company in our distributor favorability series. Still, Anixter's ownership did...
Eagle Eye Exec On Mountain Of Servers - VSaaS Growth Analysis on Apr 25, 2017
Eagle Eye VP of Operations, Hans Kahler, posted a picture of himself sitting on top of a shipment of new servers, as a testament to the companies...
Chinese 'Attacking Us From Every Direction', Says US FBI on Apr 25, 2017
"Chinese eating our lunch. Attacking us from every direction" said the US FBI's Deputy Director Andrew McCabe at the ASIS 2017 CSO Summit. .@FBI...

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