When it comes to the world of security cameras and CCTV systems, you’ve probably read a lot about 4MP cameras, 4K cameras, and HD cameras, but what does it all mean? Is a 4MP security camera the same as a 4K security camera? What’s the difference between 4MP and 4K? In this article we will explain all these technical terms.
What does 4MP mean?
Basically, a 4MP (MP short for megapixel) image is composed of roughly 4 million pixels. The most common 4MP resolution is 2560 pixels wide by 1440 pixels high, so 4MP is 2560 x 1440 or 3,686,400 total pixels. 4MP cameras offer a higher video quality than 1080p resolution security cameras, allowing you to get a crisper image of intruders or other security situations.
What does 4K mean?
4K images have a horizontal resolution of about 4000 pixels and a width resolution of 2160 for an incredible 8,294,400 total pixels. If you wanted to put it in the same language as the 4MP camera, 4K cameras feature a resolution equal to 8MP, making it twice as “good” as the 4MP in terms of resolution and number of pixels. So, 4K is 3840 x 2160 or 8,294,400 total pixels, which is a little more than 4x the size of 1080P and 2x of 4MP . 4K is twice as wide as 1080P and twice as tall. This means that the area is 4 times as large. In other words, if all the pixels were exactly the same size, you can fit 4 1080P TV’s in the space of a single 4K TV.
What is 1080p?
1080p is equivalent to about 2MP, featuring 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high. The “p” in 1080p refers to the number of pixels high the image is. In terms of resolution, 4MP is twice as good as 1080p and 4K is four times as good as 1080p.
Which of these resolutions is HD? And what is UHD?
While 720p (1280×720 pixels) is pretty much obsolete, it is still technically high definition (HD). However, 1080p is known as “full HD”. Ultra HD, or UHD, typically refers to 4K resolution, though there is also 8K UHD. The chart below contains all the resolutions used mostly in CCTV field.
Which one to use: 4MP or 4K?
Obviously 4K security cameras offer more resolution, are crispier and more clear than the 4MP cameras. 4K cameras are twice the resolution of 4MP cameras. There are other factors that make the image quality better such as: the lens size, the type and quality of sensor, the IR lights, the manufacturer etc, however most of the time a 4K camera will have a superior picture when compared with a 4MP security camera. The chart below gives you a better idea how these resolutions work on a CCTV system: 720P (1MP), 1080p(2MP), 4MP, 4K (8MP).
It is important to note that 4K capture requires increased processing power and storage on a security camera recorder to encode and store video. However, with the latest H.265+ encoding offered by 4K surveillance cameras that works in conjunction with 4K NVR products, you can expect to save up to 70% of the storage requirement versus using H.264.