What makes a Security Camera HD?
HD refers to cameras with a standardized resolution of 720p or 1080p. The numbers 720 and 1080 refer to the horizontal resolution. Therefore, 720p HD camera resolution provides images that are 1280 x 720 pixels (that adds up to 921,600 pixels, which means a 720p HD camera is not technically a megapixel camera), and 1080p HD cameras provide 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution or 2.1 megapixels. The HD video format also uses an aspect ratio of 16:9 (rather than 5:4 or 4:3), and the frame rate is standardized at 60, 50, 30, or 25 frames per second (the fps depends on your TV).
Security Camera Resolutions Explained
Since 720p & 1080p HD digital video cameras were introduced in the 2000s, much progress has been made at improving video resolution beyond the primitive 2.1 Megapixels. There is a multitude of resolutions that security cameras can record in, with some common options being 5 Megapixel (2560 x 1920), and 8 Megapixel/4K Ultra-HD (3840 x 2160).
Due to the increased video resolution, not only is the base video output more clear but so is a digital zoom. When you have a 4K video to work you, you can digitally “zoom-in” to that image up to 2x, and still, retain a full HD 1080p resolution. With a lower resolution camera, you would see a noticeable decrease in visual clarity by doing.
What is a Megapixel?
HD (High Definition) is a type of megapixel camera. All HD cameras are megapixels 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 vs IP Nightvision Comparison
Using actual footage of a crime in Lakewood New Jersey, Bob Murphy of Central Jersey Security Cameras compares the 2MP HD security camera with an 8MP IP Security Camera.
Pictured above is a megapixel/camera resolution comparison chart. With this chart, you can visually see the scale differences from 1MP-8MP cameras. The larger the resolution, the more data is stored in the video. This results in a sharper/clearer image.
Below is example footage of 2 Megapixel HD, 5 Megapixel, and 8 Megapixel 4K UHD security cameras:
2 Megapixel HD 1080p CCTV
5 Megapixel HD CCTV
8 Megapixel UHD 4K CCTV
The key features of digital video surveillance are:
- HD resolution starting at 2.1MP
- HD aspect ratio is 16:9 (compared to 5:4 or 4:3 in other surveillance cameras)
- HD frame rate is 30/25
- HDTV has quality compliance standards
- Supports true 1080P video resolution (uncompressed)
- Ability to leverage current coaxial infrastructure and place HD cameras onto them without changing the
- Fewer cameras to cover an area since the HD picture is 3 times larger than an analog camera
- Full live HD recording and viewing
- Can be viewed remotely via smartphone or computer
- Customizable video quality
Analog vs Digital CCTV Cameras
Many IP cameras are composed of video capture, video encoding, network transmission, and other components. Compared with analog cameras network cameras, in terms of clarity, 700 lines analog camera is the ultimate high-definition, but can’t be compared with the 1080P network cameras. Network cameras have high flexibility and high performance, and the network cameras can be transmitted just relying on the network, which is the biggest difference between them.
The difference between the quality of pixels: analog cameras use a CCD as the image sensor, is restricted in certain technical bottlenecks, analog cameras are now the highest 700TVL, that is, to achieve the effect of standard-definition D1. The IP camera with CMOS sensor main components can be done above megapixels picture, the current is one to ten megapixels, while most consumers feel the best “bang for the buck” is the three-megapixel camera quality and costwise. One of the main advantages of going with a higher megapixel camera is the enhancement of video at great distances. Most of the time a 3-megapixel camera would suffice for average distances.
Analog cameras are not given in the management software and custom intelligent analysis, such as the definition of its use function, because there is no single IP, also inconvenience to remote browsing.
The control device, such as PTZ, analog camera machine is simulated in wiring with an additional control line and the codec to control the ball rotation and zoom, but the IP cameras don’t need that, the network line can be used directly, saves a lot of man-hours and costs, especially in the larger project, the advantage of low cost of network cameras engineering is particularly prominent.
For these reasons, Analog CCTV cameras have become obsolete by the mid-2000s.
What is an IP Security Camera?
IP (Internet-Protocol) Security Cameras work differently than traditional HD CCTV cameras by connecting directly to the internet. IP security camera systems don’t require a local storage device, but rather a local area connection. The video data gets transferred by the data network or internet to a network storage device such as a server, NAS, or by storing onboard the camera. These cameras are wired via Cat5 or Cat6 internet cables that transmit the recording data to the network.
The key advantages of IP for video surveillance are:
• Supports high-resolution video resolution of 1080P (compressed) and higher
• Allows the ability to zoom in on live and recorded video with better clarity than HD cameras
• Use one camera to cover a greater area without losing quality
• Sometimes can use existing networking infrastructure to cut down on some wiring costs
• Fewer cameras needed due to extreme quality
Both HD & IP Cameras are capable of:
• Being viewed and reviewed remotely via smartphone or computer
• Customizable video quality based on needs and storage capacity
Our opinion and recommendations:
- We don’t recommend analog cameras at all since the price of HD cameras has come down so much, analog is older technology.
- In most settings the HD cameras will do a great job with an outstanding picture.
- IP cameras are used more in commercial or larger settings or for those who have a taste for the best of the best, sometimes it is not necessary though.
- On a scale of 1 to 10 “with analog being at 1”, we put HD cameras at an 8 and IP cameras at a 10.
- Not all HD / IP cameras are the same. This depends solely on the manufacturer, we are proud to sell exclusively Hikvision equipment who is the largest manufacturer in the world of CCTV equipment.