While VGA resolution cameras continue to dominate the market, megapixel surveillance has been quickly gaining ground. Though megapixel cameras cost more than lower-resolution cameras and require more storage for the higher-resolution video, in specific situations it makes more sense to invest in megapixel technology.

There are three important criteria to consider:
1) Do you need crystal clear detail for identification purposes – such as in a retail store, casino or bank?
2) Do you need to cover long distances – such as a long hallway in a school or office complex?
3) Do you have to cover a large expanse with few places to install a camera – such as a parking lot?

Not so long ago, your choices were limited because megapixel cameras could only operate at low frame rates and performed poorly in low-light environments. But with the advent of HDTV network cameras, where color fidelity and frame rate are guaranteed, HD/megapixel has become a versatile alternative to VGA cameras. If used with efficient H.264 video compression to avoid excessive storage demands, one and two megapixel cameras (HDTV 720p and 1080p) could very well become the standard resolution in the not-so-distant future.