5mp vs 8mp Security Camera: Which one should you use?

5mp vs 8mp Security Camera

If you have been searching for a security camera, you must have noticed the words 5MP and 8MP in the specifications of the best security cameras. If you are new to the world of security cameras, you may not understand what those words mean.

MP stands for megapixel. Megapixel is the measurement of the resolution of a security camera. The higher the megapixel count (5MP, 8 MP), the better the resolution of the security camera. With each increase in MP (5MP to 8MP), is an increase of 1 million pixels.

A security camera works to let you see what is happening in your home, property, or business. These events are recorded in real-time. To see recorded events, you will need a security camera with good image quality.

You may also like: How Many Megapixels Do I Need for a Security Camera?

When high-quality is not good enough – you will need to have security cameras with high resolution.

High resolution is today a must-have feature for every good-quality security camera. How do you measure a good-quality resolution?

Speaking about security cameras and resolution is similar to speaking about television sets and resolution. Resolution is a means to measure the size of the produced video. Low-resolution videos produce smaller images while HD or high-definition videos produce larger images. In short, the larger the image, the higher the quality and resolution produced.

Security camera resolution is measured in pixels (width and height of an image). The most popular home security cameras include:

  • 2 megapixel (1080p)
  • 4 megapixel (1440p)
  • 8 megapixel (4K/2160p)

5mp vs 8mp Security Camera

Comparison Chart

 5 MP8 MP
 1920p4K / 2160p
DescriptionSuper HD or Quad HD4K (Ultra HD)
Image Size2560×19203840*2160
Pixels per Images5,017,6008,294,400
Aspect Ratio4:316:9
Pixel Density           5 Million8 million
Frame Rate

(frames per second)

20fps30fps
Field of View81 degrees102 degrees

 

Should you go for a 5mp or 8mp? It all depends on what image quality you want to see. A higher resolution is always better, but you also need to take into consideration other components of the security camera.

Image Quality

Generally speaking, a 2160p / 4K (8mp security camera can record Ultra-HD videos. It is better than the 1920p (5mp) or Super HD or Quad HD.

4K (8mp) or Ultra-HD offers the sharpest resolution. It has almost twice as many pixels as the 5mp or Super HD or Quad HD.

Image source: flickr.com

A 5mp security camera has a super high-definition offering 5-megapixel (5,017,600 pixels) images with 2560*1920 resolution. Every additional pixel will improve the image clarity of the security camera. An 8mp security camera, therefore, produces clearer images at 8- megapixels.

Resolution

Resolution for security cameras has increased over the last years. With 2160p resolution, 8mp security cameras offer clearer human face and plate number recognition details than a 5mp with 1920p.

Field of View

Megapixel security cameras usually come with wide-angle lenses. An 8mp security camera, though, allows you to see more of an area because it has a field of view of 102 degrees compared to the lower 81 degrees of a 5mp security camera.

Frame Rates

Frame rate refers to the number of individual images your security camera can produce every second. Higher frame rates mean you will get smoother videos minus the blurry images. With a higher frame rate, you will better recognize an intruder’s face and vehicle plate numbers.

At 30 frames per second, 4k/8mp security cameras produce the best video performances. A 5mp security camera with 30 frames per second also produces good video performance but is a no match to an 8mp camera.

Bandwidth & Storage Consumption

A security camera with a higher resolution produces better image quality, but it also requires more bandwidth and storage.

In short, an increase in the resolution of the security camera will correspondingly have an increase in the required hard drive storage space to retain video recordings. As resolution increases, there will be a decrease in the number of hours of video that can be stored in the hard drive.

Most 5mp and 8mp security cameras come with the standard H.264 video. This means that both 5mp and 8mp security cameras fall under the same compression standard. However, an 8mp security camera, because of its higher resolution, needs more bandwidth and storage space.

Application

Both 5mp and 8mp security cameras can be installed outdoors for clear human faces and plate number recognition. They can also be mounted in high positions for rich details of far-away objects.

An 8mp security camera, though, produces clearer image quality, all in.

Cost

Most high-definition security camera brands, either 5mp or 8mp are highly affordable. You do not have to spend so much to get the best high-resolution security cameras in the market.

Nevertheless, because of higher specifications, an 8mp security camera will cost more than a 5mp security camera. Of the brand and model of the security camera play a big role in costs, so do the included features.

Summary

A security camera in your home gives you peace of mind. It is always best to go for the security camera with a higher image resolution. If you need to only see basic movements you can save on bandwidths with a security camera with a lower resolution.

A 5mp security camera is described as having Super HD resolution while an 8mp is described as having Ultra-resolution. Comparing the terms “super” and “ultra”, one can make a conclusion that an 8mp security camera produces clearer images and videos than a 5mp security camera.

The 8mp security camera wins in all areas over the 5mp camera. It should be noted, though, an 8mp camera requires more bandwidth to operate and more storage space for recorded videos.

In most situations, the recorded videos of 5mp and 8mp security cameras can be transmitted in high-resolution to your smartphone, PC, tablet, monitor, and TV. The destination of the recorded videos should, however, support the video formats.

If you, however, have an unstable network in your home, even an 8mp security camera can transmit videos with lower resolution. 

Further Reading: Home Security Camera: Everything You Need to Know to Make a Smart Decision

Conclusion

It all boils down to resolution or image clarity. The higher the resolution of the security camera, the better the quality of the image produced. The details are more vivid, too. So, it is easy to say that a 4K/8mp security camera delivers clearer and sharper images than a 5mp security camera.   

References:

  1. Flora Luo, “5MP Security Cameras: All You Need to Know”, ReoLink, September 30, 2020
  2. 4MP or 8MP: What Camera Resolution Means for You”, Zion Security, May 29, 2019
James Core
I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right home security products.

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