Security Camera Resolution 1536p vs 1080p: Which is Better?

The debate over Resolution often takes center stage in high-quality surveillance cameras, with the choice between 1536p and 1080p camera resolutions being a common point of contention.

As technology advances, consumers face an array of options, therefore, more clarity and detail in surveillance footage.

In this discussion, we compare two specific security camera resolutions to determine which offers superior performance in meeting the demands of modern security needs.

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Comparing 1536p & 1080p

When comparing 1536p and 1080p resolutions in security cameras, the primary distinction lies in the detail captured in security camera footage. 1536p, also known as 3MP (megapixels), offers a higher resolution than the standard 1080p, resulting in sharper and overexposed images.

With 1536p security camera resolution, users can expect high-quality images and clearer identification of objects, faces, and other critical details. This makes it particularly advantageous in scenarios requiring precise image clarity, such as monitoring large areas or identifying intruders.

On the other hand, 1080p security camera resolution may lack the same level of detail and sharpness as its higher-resolution counterpart while still delivering respectable quality. However, it remains a popular choice for general surveillance needs due to its affordability and compatibility with various devices and systems.

Quick Table of Comparison

Aspect1536p Resolution1080p Resolution
Image Size2048 x 1536 pixels1920 x 1080 pixels
Image QualityHigherGood
Detail and ClarityEnhancedAdequate
Storage SpaceLargerSmaller
Bandwidth RequirementHigherLower
CompatibilityLimitedWidely Supported
Low Light PerformanceBetterGood
Viewing DistanceLongerShorter
Overall PerformanceSuperiorGood
Suitability for Large AreasExcellentGood

Its Components

Image Quality

Surveillance cameras record in a certain resolution, usually measured in megapixels (MP), but can be converted to their pixel dimensions. Wireless cameras are generally limited to 1.3MP, or 1280 x 1024 pixels, sometimes shortened to lower resolution.

This might sound high, but the actual image quality of home security cameras is not good enough for digital zoom and enhancement because they produce washed-out images.

Even high-definition feeds—1920 x 1080p—can’t generally be enhanced enough to make out details like faces or license plates. 2048 x 1536p resolution, or 3MP, is the minimum needed to relay specifics with digital zoom.

A high-resolution security camera can be used depending on how much detail you like. The best Resolution for most home security cameras is 4K resolution – 3840 x 2160p or about 8MP. It has better image quality and smoother video footage.

Digital Zoom

So why do you need a higher resolution for digital zoom? Because digital zoom magnifies a portion of the image or video, you’re limiting your security camera resolution to the size of that section.

The higher the base resolution of your surveillance cameras, the further you can zoom in before the image quality becomes pixelated. The same cropped section of the image contains more pixels, enabling you to make out more details and greater video quality.

Optical Zoom

While digital zoom reduces the effective resolution of security cameras, HD cameras with optical zoom don’t lose quality when they zoom in. Instead of altering the resolution window, optical zoom changes the focal length of the camera’s lenses to tighten the field of view.

The only downside of optical zoom is that it can only be used in real time—once the outdoor security cameras start recording footage, you obviously can’t use the camera’s lens to zoom in.

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Angle & Field of View

One challenge most security cameras can’t solve is filling blind spots—at least, not unless you install another one. To ensure full coverage with most surveillance cameras, you need something with a wider field of view.

High-resolution security cameras with wide angles are equipped with specially designed lenses to provide an overview of an area rather than a tight detail perspective. However, this large field of view of the security camera comes at the cost of distortion. Straight lines appear curved through a wide-angle lens, with blurry images.

Security cameras with higher resolutions can come with a wide-angle lens, and some optical zoom cameras can zoom out far enough to become wide-angle lenses. Most wide-angle and high-resolution CCTV cameras are security domes, so potential troublemakers can’t tell which way they’re pointing.

Fisheye Lenses

Fisheye lenses provide the widest angles—some even offer a 360-degree picture. The catch is the massive distortion necessary to project the entirety of a room onto a comparatively small screen.

This can be solved with a de-warping program on the highest-resolution security camera or in your video management software.

The dewarping can affect the image resolution in strange ways, but fisheye CCTV cameras aren’t designed to collect details. They’re meant to provide a general overview for a breadth of surveillance, not depth.

Panoramic & Multi-lens Cameras

Other high-definition CCTV cameras capture images with a field of view by adding more lenses facing in different directions. These systems stitch together multiple feeds to create a panoramic view instead of dewarping the image.

Even if one lens is damaged, they can still provide most of the picture in video footage. However, they can be more expensive than traditional domes.

How Do the High-Resolution Security Cameras Affect Image Quality?

The higher resolution of 1536p results in clear and sharp images compared to 1080p.

This can be particularly advantageous for surveillance applications where identifying fine details, such as facial recognition or license plate capture, is crucial.

While higher resolution is more expensive, you get a lot more out of your security cameras when they can make out the details of an image.

But there’s also a point at which you’re paying for a resolution you don’t need – you probably don’t need 14MP security camera resolution to make out license plates and faces.

Also read: Comparing 4K and 1080p security cameras.


Are there any drawbacks or limitations to using 1536p security camera resolution cameras over 1080p?

While 1536p security camera resolution offers superior image quality, they may require more storage capacity and bandwidth due to larger file sizes.

Additionally, they are more expensive than 1080p IP security cameras, which can impact budget considerations.

Is 1536p security camera resolution significantly better than 1080p for surveillance purposes?

Yes, 1536p camera resolution provides significantly higher image clarity and detail than 1080p, making it a preferred choice for surveillance purposes where precise identification and analysis are essential.

However, the increased security camera resolution comes with higher storage and bandwidth requirements and higher costs for camera equipment.

Choosing Your Security Cameras

Whether you choose a security camera with high zoom capability, multiple high-resolution cameras, a wide-angle lens, an IP camera, or a panoramic camera, getting the highest resolution can ensure your surveillance system meets your needs. It will have high-quality video, and the Resolution will not affect image quality.

Professionals plan the best security camera networks, typically through a consultation that details blind spots and ways to maximize coverage.

While 1536p camera resolution offers superior detail and clarity, particularly beneficial for critical surveillance tasks, it may come at a higher cost and require more significant bandwidth and storage capacity. On the other hand, 1080p camera resolution provides a cost-effective solution that satisfies the needs of many surveillance applications while still delivering respectable image quality.

Ultimately, the decision should consider factors such as budget constraints, the importance of image detail, and the specific environment in which the cameras will operate.

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