Companies rely on different types of surveillance cameras for various reasons, such as reading a license plate or recognizing a face. Megapixel cameras have become a reliable option for businesses that need quality, high-resolution images to help protect their employees and assets. But high resolution isn’t their only attractive feature. Megapixel cameras also offer a greater return on investment (ROI) than other types of cameras.
Superior Value of Megapixel Cameras
Megapixel cameras provide superior performance and imaging capabilities versus legacy analog technology and standard-definition IP cameras. Megapixel cameras are also field-proven to deliver the most cost-effective video surveillance solutions. To understand the real value of megapixel cameras, it’s important to evaluate the total system cost versus the price of a single camera.
Analog and standard-definition IP cameras may be priced less than megapixel cameras on a per-camera basis, but they deliver much less value when total system costs are evaluated. Analog and standard IP cameras also do not provide the same ROI that megapixel cameras can.
Purchasing Results, Not Cameras
When end-user customers buy cameras, they are purchasing certain capabilities and functionality to solve a specific problem. And they want to achieve their goals in a cost-effective way. Some customers need video that delivers facial recognition or license plate identification; others want to capture numbers from shipping crates. For others, they want their cameras to show activity in retail stores, banks, company or government facilities, or at ports, borders or airports.
Megapixel cameras do a far better job of capturing more information than standard-resolution cameras. That superior performance translates into ROI in several ways. Based on “pixels per meter”—a standard measurement for the number of pixels required to depict one meter of a scene for a specific application—more pixels translate into a larger viewing area. For example, it could require 10 standard-resolution cameras to cover a single parking lot. The same coverage can be delivered using three or four megapixel cameras (or even one megapixel panoramic camera), depending on the application requirements.
The reduced number of cameras leads to lower installation and maintenance costs. The ability to digitally zoom into live scenes and record video while maintaining high resolution and wide area coverage also helps eliminate the need for mechanical pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) devices. Capturing a detailed, wide-angle view without needing a live operator to follow real-time events will help you reduce operating costs.
A true advantage of megapixel cameras is their ability to provide more resolution than analog or IP VGA cameras. Based on estimated pricing and the number of pixels as a quantitative resolution measure, it’s clear that megapixel cameras provide more resolution for the money. The following analysis shows how multi-megapixel cameras are the most cost-effective imaging solution.
The VGA-resolution cameras provide 1,536 pixels per U.S. dollar, compared to 1080p cameras at 5,891 pixels per dollar and 10MP cameras at 18,438 pixels per dollar. At 10MP resolutions, multi-megapixel cameras are 10 times more cost effective than VGA cameras. Understanding resolution makes it simple to evaluate which camera (or how many cameras) will provide the most value for a given application. “Pixels per meter” specifies how many pixels are needed to effectively view a certain area.
System Cost vs. Camera Cost
It’s important to evaluate the total cost of installing a surveillance system versus the price of a single component. Megapixel cameras can decrease absolute costs aside from offering lower resolution per dollar. They reduce installation by using fewer cameras, eliminate mechanical PTZ devices, and decrease costs for operations and support. Using fewer cameras to effectively cover the same area also translates into infrastructure cost savings for cables, mounts, housings and more. This makes it easy to realize an improved ROI.
A Smart Business Decision
There are many reasons why businesses should consider multi-megapixel cameras over analog and VGA IP versions. They may cost more up front, but megapixel cameras are ultimately the more cost-effective solution. They can help companies lower costs for installation, support, operations and infrastructure. They also provide more coverage with fewer cameras compared to their standard-resolution counterparts. And when it comes to picture quality, megapixel cameras offer the highest resolution. This makes them a wise business decision for companies that rely on images for safety, asset protection, and more.
The opinions expressed in this piece are solely Arecont Vision's. They do not necessarily represent WESCO’s views.