The megapixel boom

In recent years as the shift towards IP technology has become more commonplace, camera vendors appear to be attempting to differentiate themselves from the rest of the market by offering better image resolution.

During last week’s ASIS conference in Orlando, I had the chance to stop by the Avigilon booth to check out the company’s new 29-megapixel camera.

According to Keith Marett, the company’s director of marketing and communications, Avigilon has offered a 16-megapixel camera model for the last three years that has sold well, but he said the company didn’t want to stand pat with its current technology.

For many surveillance applications, some argue that any camera over 1.3 megapixels is overkill, however, the difference in having a camera capable of providing a higher resolution image is that it gives the user greater coverage.

"We really wanted to bring a camera to the market that would allow end-users to cover more areas with fewer cameras," he explained.

For example, Marett said that Avigilon was recently involved in the installation of a surveillance system at a 50,000-seat stadium in Canada in which 14 of its 16-megapixel cameras were used to cover the entire facility. With the new 29-megapixel model, Marett says they would have been able to reduce the number of cameras needed to just 10. "One 29-megapixel camera replaces 95 conventional cameras," Marett said.

Marett said that any application where a large area needs to be covered, such as outdoor campuses, malls and ports, would be ideal for the new camera.

Avigilon isn’t the only company getting in on the megapixel boom. Earlier this year at ISC West, Arecont Vision, which has been a leader in the market when it comes to megapixel imaging technology, unveiled the newest version of its SurroundVideo camera, which offers 20-megapixel resolution. The company announced at ASIS 2011 that the camera, which can be used to replace up to 65 conventional cameras, will be shipping in the near future.

German camera manufacturer Dallmeier is also now offering its new Panomera multi-sensor camera system that can produce up to 51 megapixels of resolution. The system was recently used at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium to keep watch over a visit from Pope Benedict XVI.