From small businesses to large commercial facilities, a high-performing surveillance system is crucial to protecting your assets and providing important business data. Cameras are the foundation of any surveillance system, and for the highest functionality it’s important to provide as much camera coverage as possible. However, this doesn’t necessarily require a higher camera count. Fast-advancing technology is quickly changing how security professionals look at camera density with high-resolution megapixel cameras.
When looking at the camera density requirements of your installation, it’s important to consider the value of each individual camera and the performance it delivers. Also ask whether these cameras need to have enough resolution to recognize faces and intricate details such as license plates and the numbers on shipping crates, and/or observe customer activity. Standard definition cameras provide about 300,000 pixels per camera, while megapixel cameras currently provide at least 1.3 million pixels per camera. Multi-sensor cameras, which are made up of several imaging sensors, can provide even more pixels, with total values currently up to about 16 million pixels. Megapixel cameras can cover a far greater distance while also delivering higher performance and more capability, requiring lower camera density.
Megapixel cameras provide higher Pixels Per Foot (PPF) to support stronger identification and evidentiary needs, and can cover a larger field of view than standard cameras at lower resolutions. They also can provide more functionality while remaining reliable watchmen. Megapixel cameras come in a multitude of form factors to cover a wide variety of surveillance needs. A megapixel camera with the ability to maintain resolution and coverage while zooming into a specific area—both in live and recorded video—can carry a heavier burden than multiple standard definition cameras. Three or four megapixel cameras might be all that’s needed to cover a parking lot that would otherwise require ten standard-resolution cameras.
Megapixel cameras can also deliver higher operational performance than standard cameras. For example, advances in low light performance and wide dynamic range allow cameras to capture detailed images even in difficult lighting conditions. Models such as Dahua’s Starlight cameras can capture color images down to .005 lux, providing clear images without the IR illuminators.
A system with many standard cameras will incur more installation and maintenance costs than one covered by fewer, higher-performing cameras. You’ll need more manpower and time to install the greater number of cameras and wiring runs to connect all of the cameras to the network. Maintenance costs also need to be considered, as a denser system comes with a higher probability of issues on each camera, requiring costly downtime as the issues are dealt with and repaired. A lower-density system covered by megapixel cameras is more cost-effective to install and maintain over the lifespan of your system.
To achieve the cost benefits of lower camera density on your surveillance system, you need more powerful cameras that can deliver the coverage and picture quality you need. Megapixel cameras, with their higher resolution and performance, allow you to cover a larger area with fewer cameras, and lower installation and maintenance costs. With lower camera density and higher performance, your system becomes simpler and more cost-effective to use and to maintain.