At IFSEC this week in Birmingham, England, Arecont Vision took high resolution a little bit higher with an 8 megapixel camera. To put that in perspective, it's approximately the same resolution needed to take a photo of high enough quality to put on the cover of a glossy consumer magazine.
Arecont's camera, the AV8360 uses that resolution with a 360-degree view, such that surveillance operators can get a panoramic view out of one camera, something highly applicable for outdoor areas like parking lots or perimeter fencing, and even applicable indoors if mounted in the center of a large hall.
According to Arecont, the camera's resolution is more than 20 times the resolution of a top-quality analog camera, and it does this by using four 2-megapixel image sensors (in a way, this is four cameras in one), and can transmit both zoomed and full-field views at the same time. The video can be recorded at full frame rate (if you can handle the bandwidth -- this is, after all, an IP camera).
The move to higher and higher resolution cameras reflects an overall trend as sensor prices drop and as manufacturers find the ability to create cameras that give PTZ features without any moving parts, further "solidifying" a solid state device. The functionality of wide-view, panoramic and 360-degree cameras from the likes of Arecont, IPIX, Covi and others, has also been found useful as surveillance and security operators seek to get the "big picture" of what's going on in a scene and gain the minute details at the same time.