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Viseum Criticises Megapixel Performance

Viseum : 13 August, 2012  (Technical Article)
Are megapixel cameras the best choice? According to Viseum, this is a myth they are keen to dispel
Viseum Criticises Megapixel Performance
Viseum UK has produced some research dispelling the myth that megapixel is best. In fact, Viseum’s research shows that ten 180 degree megapixel cameras would be required to cover the same area as just one constantly monitored PTZ camera installation. This news is likely to send shivers down the spine of the megapixel marketers, and quite right too, according to Viseum’s virtuoso, Stuart Thompson.

“Typical industry overselling of ‘leading’ megapixel cameras has left people assuming more megapixels means more coverage, but sadly this is a total myth, and in my opinion a mis-sale. The coverage of all types of megapixel camera in low light is reduced because light passing through the camera deteriorates due to the limited pixel size and images reduce further in quality when pixels are merged in a vain attempt to compensate for this failure,” said Stuart. “They are perfect for cheap consumer digital cameras but the loss in quality 247/365 is unacceptable when it comes to CCTV surveillance. For example, when such CCTV schemes actually captures a crime (either in real-time or post incident), it makes headline news; but with well managed constantly monitored PTZ camera installations, the ability to capture evidence is standard.”

Forgoing the coverage and low light issues, the ability to present the right amount of video data, at the right time, to the right people, will always be prohibitive for megapixel cameras due to the extended time required to search for events, coupled with extreme storage and transmission bandwidth requirements. “The great megapixel myth has been finally exposed in the public mind, and now the security industry is waking up to the fact, too,” added Stuart Thompson.

As with prosumer and consumer digital cameras, just upping the megapixel count is not enough. This on its own does not necessarily give you better quality images and more coverage. No one is falling for this giant elephant in the room any more, according to Stuart: “You need the practicalities of latest optics to utilise the readily available low transmission bandwidth and data storage capacity, to deliver a viable system that actually gives you useable evidence to secure convictions,” he added.

“The fact is megapixel cameras are rarely ever used effectively for large open spaces,” adds Stuart. “The simple reason being you need a prohibitive number of units, with extreme bandwidth and storage capacity to make it viable. To cover a typical sized public car park for example, you would need 40 megapixel cameras to do the same job as just four constantly monitored PTZ camera installations,” he says. The other selling point for megapixel cameras has been the argument that PTZ cameras are rarely ever manned, and that because “megapixel cameras cover everywhere” we should no longer need to rely on the CCTV operator.

Viseum UK has introduced a well proven solution to this, and in doing so makes PTZ camera installations and CCTV operators significantly more productive than ever before. The Intelligent Moving Camera (Viseum IMC) is the next generation CCTV technology. It is not only a constantly monitored PTZ camera installation. With its built-in intelligence it controls and monitors the PTZ camera completely automatically, if the CCTV operator is busy doing something else. It does this by making decisions based on what surveillance instructions the CCTV operator has given it, and has the added bonus of being able to watch and record all around itself at the same time with extra camera views.

The Viseum IMC is often known as a virtual gigapixel camera and is attracting global interest by transforming the security landscape and delivering the sort of cutting edge performance that leading megapixel cameras simply cannot.
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