Understand what the camera is for. Bigger Mega Pixel’s is not always better.

When you install a camera, the most likely mistake will be expecting too much from it.

Cameras have improved dramatically with their light performance, resolution and back light compensation. However they still have limitations that are often ignored until after you have had an incident and cant identify anyone.

The requirement of the camera needs to be determined before the location, camera type, images per second and angle of view are even thought about. Do you want to overview an area to see if anyone is in it, identify a thief, check that staff members are doing their job correctly or watch cash transactions?
Depending on which of these you are wanting will then determine the most of the other questions.

If I want to ID someone I don’t know, I need their head to occupy at least 88 pixels tall. This can then be used to calculate the camera resolution, the scene width and the recording resolution. This can be done with maths or a few years experience. Please refer to the page on video surveillance for ID quality for more specific information.

Many installers believe just putting a bigger Mega Pixel camera in will fix everything. Unfortunately not. Many Mega Pixel cameras do not have good light performance so this needs to be considered in the application if using it at night. The amount of storage required for a 3 or 5 Mega Pixel camera is considerable and may increase you recorder costs. The frame rate of many Mega Pixel cameras at full resolution are low and may not give you enough images per second to get the best angle of the face.
Often a Standard Definition camera (4CIF) in the right location will out perform the Mega Pixel camera.

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