The biggest factor that affects customer decision on buying cameras, besides the prices is resolution. So a common question we get when we help clients with cameras they need is, what resolution do you suggest I need for that spot, that location and so on.
Security camera technology have evolved a lot in the past 5 years. Five years ago the highest camera resolution to be found at a reasonable price in the industry would be 700TVL Sony CCD chipset, however, nowadays 4k resolution, upto 12 megapixel are available and not that expensive. They would definitely be higher than 2 megapixel cameras, but still reasonable priced and affordable to a lot of customers. But do they actually need 4k, 12 megapixel resolution security cameras? Most likely not.
Having higher resolution camera is costly, not only the cameras per say, but also the cost of managing and handling those cameras. So having security cameras with resolution of 12 megapixel 4K, would require special network video recorders that are capable of handling so much video resolution. In addition, do to large video resolution quality, that implies the Hard drive space required to record for a month period would require 6x times the size needed when using 2 Megapixel resolution cameras. That would mean your would have to increase your cost 6x more the cost of storage. Those NVRs become costly, making it a less feasible as an overall solution than initially expected.
NVRs that are advertised to support 4K security camera resolutions, are deceiving, because majority of them would support one or two channels to be 4k, others channels must be set at lower resolution. Most people do not read the specification of NVRs, or do not understand those specs, and thats how our company helps, explaining to them what exactly are they getting and what they are expected to see. Not only number of channels that support 4k resolution, but also how many frame rates is the nvr capable of recording with 4k resolution.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with shopping for the best, but that comes with a higher price tag. We always suggest a balance between what you feel like you need and what you actually need. 2M sales engineers will ask customers detail questions on the projects, to be able to offer a feasible solution, that would make customer satisfied, and requirements met. Majority of the time, our design currently suggests one or two cameras to be 4k resolution, capable of covering the most critical spots at locations to be secured, and other spots would be covered by good quality 2 megapixel resolution cameras.
The most popular resolution currently in the market are 2 Megapixel security cameras. 2 Megapixel security cameras are available in IP technology or Analog. The second most popular resolution now are the 4 megapixel resolution, which are currently only available in IP technology. Next year it is expected to see more of the 3MP resolution of analog cameras in the market. The problem with analog HD 3mp technology is lack of DVR availability that support such resolution.
Is it a good idea to purchase 960p, or 720p or 1.3 megapixel resolutions cameras? Not really, because those resolutions are guaranteed to be obsolete by the end of the 2016. The prices of 2 Megapixel cameras are now very close to 1.3 megapixel resolution cameras. So why go for less, when you can get better quality for same buck.