Explore the difference between 8 megapixel and 4K CCTV

In this article, we will dive into the variations of image resolution. Image resolution refers to the level of detail held by an image. The higher the resolution, the better the image quality. In addition, the resolution allows us to quantify how close the lines within an image can be whilst remaining visibly clear. 

Commonly, when a business selects a CCTV camera system, they want lenses to capture fine details. Therefore, the police can identify the small details that can lead to an arrest. For example, the camera lens can focus on and highlight unique facial features and vehicle license plates. 

The initials ‘MP’ stand for megapixels, a unit of graphic resolution. One megapixel represents one million pixels; small squares of information combined to create an image. Similarly, ‘K’ refers to 1,000 so 4K is an image roughly 4,000 pixels wide. So, while some people believe that 8 megapixel and 4K cameras are equal, that is not entirely true.

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What is 4K CCTV?

Currently, 4K CCTV security cameras offer the highest resolution images on the market. 4K images contain pixel dimensions of around 4,096 x 2,160, a total of almost 9 million pixels. 

Therefore, 4K CCTV has almost 1 million more pixels than an 8MP camera, meaning it can retain crystal clear detail, even whilst zooming in. Also, they produce crisp images up to 4 times the resolution of standard HD (1080p).

Notably, 4K security systems can capture videos containing key details that could lead to a conviction.

These details could be hair colour, eye colour, clothing style or vehicle make and model.

Enhanced Image Processing

4K CCTV technology provides many different editing options when processing the image. For example, you can increase brightness or saturation without damaging or pixelating it. In addition, you may zoom further into an image, post-recording. 

Cameras of 4K quality are high end; therefore, they have better, more enhanced image processing options. Enhanced image processing creates a healthier relationship between your camera and its storage system, storing the image at optimum size and quality.

Wide Angle Footage

4K CCTV systems cover a broader image area than a traditional CCTV camera, allowing you to use fewer cameras to cover the same territory. Also, if intruders leave the immediate centre of the frame, the camera will still capture them on film. 

Therefore, although 4K security cameras are a substantial investment, they will pay back your business endlessly by offering secure protection for your employees and equipment. Also, as you will need less of them, you may pay more for cheaper cameras in larger quantities.

What is 8MP CCTV?

While often labelled as 4K CCTV cameras, 8MP IP cameras have slightly lower resolution abilities. 

However, the images and video files created are often smaller due to the lower quality. So, it will take less time to upload to external storage devices. In addition, the reduced quality and file size of the video will place less strain on local networks (both wired and wireless). 

Therefore, if you run multiple devices using one internet connection, the 8MP CCTV video surveillance system is a great choice.

Additionally, it is far less likely to interfere or weaken your connection as it doesn’t require the same level of detail as 4K.

Moving Objects

Also, as 4K security camera systems are so focused on showcasing the sharper details of the scene, it doesn’t perform too well when presented with fast-moving objects. It can sometimes blur out vital elements of moving vehicles such as colour, branding or number plates. 

An 8MP camera will be better suited to changing speeds in the environment. It is not trying to maintain ultra-high-quality images whilst record, so it can efficiently document the moving object.

Improved Remote Viewing 

The resolution of a megapixel security camera is ‘backward compatible’. Therefore, if its connection to the network weakens, it will automatically run at a lower resolution, e.g. 1080p or 720p.

Also, 8MP cameras offer excellent views during night time. You can expect the same high-quality detail, even in the dark.

This means you can easily identify potential criminals in the footage when remotely monitoring CCTV.

Which one is better?

At first sight, it seems like 4K CCTV should be everyone’s choice. However, as you have seen, there are some drawbacks to 4K cameras to be noted. For example, if you want to install CCTV along a busy road in front of your business entrance, it may be wiser to use the 8MP model to capture fast-moving vehicles.

Nevertheless, 4K CCTV has much more to work with regarding pixels. It can record finely detailed footage and can display it with equal quality. 

Ultimately, both 8 megapixel and 4K CCTV surveillance are excellent investments, capable of producing high-resolution images and video. They are sleek and easy to install. However, if you’re looking for a security system that will give your business the power of crystal clear footage to protect your employees 24/7, 4K CCTV will give you the edge.


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