Are more pixels better for CCTV cameras?

We recently conducted a very quick comparison between two megapixel CCTV cameras of the same make in a typical office environment.

The comparison: do megapixels count?

We compared a 1.3 megapixel camera to a 2.0 megapixel camera with the only difference the focal length of the camera lens. As demonstrated in the image below, the camera views are very similar.

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 The difference is detail

What separates a good CCTV camera from a poor one is the level of detail available in the recorded image. The differences are often only evident when cameras are compared in a live environment as we have done in this example.

The logical assumption will be that the 2.0 megapixel camera would be better because it has more pixels.

More pixels? The result.

In terms of detail, the image on the left is far better. The colour of the floor tiles is more accurately represented and the specks in the tiles are clear and well defined as are the grout lines. With the 2.0 megapixel camera, the tile colour is washed out and the specks are no longer visible.

The ceiling lights are well reflected in the image on the left, so well in fact the egg crate of the light fitting can also be clearly seen. In the image on the right, these reflections are far less clear and seem blurry in comparison.

In this instance, the 1.3 megapixel camera is a far better camera. It is also a more expensive camera which might surprise some people.

 Don’t assume bigger is better with security cameras

So more pixels is not necessarily better when it comes to CCTV cameras. Camera quality and lens selection will have a far bigger impact on the quality of the recorded image than just how many pixels there are.


About the author

Luke Percy-Dove

Luke is one of the most respected and highly regarded Security Advisers and Security Design Consultants in Australia and has been a trusted key player in the security industry for more than two decades, delivering security solutions for hundreds of businesses and organisations nationally.