IMS Research predicts more emphasis on lens technology for 2012

Wellingborough, Northamptonshire

HD and megapixel resolution security cameras have been the main trend in video surveillance recently, and seemingly the more pixels the better. The Arecont Vision and Avigilon ranges include a 20 megapixel camera, Dallmeier released a 200 megapixel camera and Ipconfigure upped the ante with the launch of the world's first security focused gigapixel (technically a 2 gigapixel) wide area surveillance camera.
This trend plays to the common misconception that more megapixels/more resolution equates to better image quality. However, video quality is dependent on factors other than the number of megapixels on the sensor, such as the lens and image processing. So, will manufacturers continue the trend to push higher numbers of megapixel/gigapixels in 2012?

In fact, IMS Research forecasts that by 2015, more than 70% of all network camera shipments will be megapixel resolution. Furthermore, there is a general consensus amongst the industry that HD resolution is “enough” resolution for most security applications.

Whilst some manufacturers are unlikely to desist from releasing higher megapixel cameras, for example Dallmeier have plans to up their 200 megapixel camera to 600 megapixels, IMS Research believes that for the vast majority of manufacturers, there will be a renewed focus on image quality in 2012.

This all stems back to the issue of requirement. For most general purpose video surveillance applications, there is a limit to the amount of image detail required; typically the ability to distinguish facial features and clearly identify a license plate is sufficient. With the exception of wide area surveillance (e.g. borders, stadia, etc.) the utility of higher than HD resolution is often negligible. To date, the market opportunity for “high” megapixel cameras remains relatively niche.

With an ever increasing number of HD resolution security cameras being releasing on the market, manufacturers will need to further develop their points of differentiation/USPs. Likely advancements will be in well-established areas of need, such as low light capability and wide dynamic range. However, we will also see increasing adoption of P-Iris lens technology and advances in live video enhancement.

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