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2K Security Cameras are not 2x1080P - Misleading Marketing Claims

0.89% more is not "double the resolution"


Recently we came across this absolutely terrible, mathematically-impossible, marketing claim.

What is 2K?

2K is half as wide as 4K - which is the new standard for Ultra High Definition TVs, and, like 4K, it can refer to a few different resolution combinations that have a common theme.

Both 2K and 4K are using the roman numeral K as short hand for 1000, which then means that 2K refers to any number of resolutions that are approximately 2000 pixels wide and 4K refers to a bunch of resolutions that are approximately 4000 pixels wide.

1080P TV is 1920 by 1080 pixels. So, a 2K TV could be 2000 x 1080 - only 80 pixels in length more than a 1080P TV.

Using its most strict definition of 2000 pixels exactly, 2K is only 0.89% wider than 1080p.

2K vs 4K vs 1080P - a Visual Representation

Here's a visual from CNET showing the area difference between a 1080P, 2K, and 4K screen:

It is absolutely obvious from this image that 2K is NOT twice the resolution of 1080P.

What is 4K?

4K is twice as wide as 1080P and twice as tall. This means that the area is 4 times as large. In other words, if all the pixels were exactly the same size, you can fit 4 1080P TV's in the space of a single 4K TV, as shown in this image.

Resolution vs Pixels

Most people refer to 4K TVs having four times the resolution of a 1080P, but a more technically correct way of phrasing this would be that 4K has 4x the number of pixels as 1080P. We say "most" here because our language hasn't really caught up with technology and this is really a common colloquial way that we talk about a TV's resolution.

The problem is the word "resolution" can mean "density of pixels in an area" or total pixels.

Consider the way that we talk about printers, for example. DPI (Dots per inch) is a measurement of pixel density - not total number of pixels - and is the normal way of talking about printer quality. We often say that a 300 DPI printer is "twice" as good as a 600 DPI printer, but a 600 DPI printer has 4 times the pixels of a 300 DPI printer because DPI measures both the horizontal and vertical density.

Our language with TVs doesn't typically use DPI and instead people usually talk about total pixels. Talking about resolution this way is normal for televisions and cameras, but can be very confusing for people who are more used to printers. So it is better practice to include the total pixels or total image quality when talking about camera quality, which is why we always display the total number of pixels and image dimensions on all our cameras models.

An 8MP camera records in 4K because "MP" stands for "mega" pixels. Mega is latin for "million." So, an 8MP camera is recording 8 million pixels - just like 4K.

How many megapixels is 1080P?

If 8MP is 4x 1080P, what's double the resolution of 1080P?

*editors note: despite having a 4 million pixel sensor, 4MP cameras record approximately 3.7 million pixel so that it can fit correctly on a monitor. This is a strange qwirk on how images are displayed on screens, but it is industry standard.

Back to the original claim:

What could this company do to make this "double the resolution" claim true?

If they were selling 4MP cameras as double the number of pixels as 1080P, they would be much closer to correct and within industry standards for communication. There's no way that a 3MP camera with 3 Million pixels is two times the resolution of a 1080P camera with 2 Million pixels. That's just nonsense, and deserves our "Shortchange!" badge.

Here's some 4MP cameras that really are twice the resolution of 1080P

Looking for a complete 4MP system? In the menu at the top of the site, there's a link that says "systems" and then shows systems by the number of cameras, in each of those pages there are two different 4MP systems. So, if you want a 4MP 4 camera system, look for the "systems" link at the top of the page, click on "4 Camera Systems" and then scroll down - two of the three systems on that page will be in 4MP resolution.

6 Item(s)

per page

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  1. The Guardian Pro 4.0 41240 - 4MP (2x1080P) 3 Axis Fixed Lens Dome Camera



    The Guardian Pro 4.0 41240 - 4MP (2x1080P) 3 Axis Fixed Lens Dome Camera

    In stock.
    Usually ships the same business day if ordered before 2PM EST.

    $199.00


    Resolution

    4MP UHD Quality

    4MP @ 20 FPS
    2560 x 1440
    Compression: Not All 1080P Cameras are Created Equal


    Weather

    weatherproof

    Rated IP66 - full protection from dust, rain, and sprinklers. You can even wash them off with a hose.


    Temp

    temperature rating

    Temperature rated from -22°F to 140 °F at below 90% humidity.


    Lens

    fixed lens

    Fixed: 4mm
    75° of coverage


    IR

    infrared

    Infrared night vision up to 100 FT
    Good for Low Light: 0.01 Lux Rating


    Special

    special features

    Wide Dynamic Range

    Vandal Proof Housing

    Digital Zoom Only

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom



  2. The Wasp Pro 4.0 43240 - 4MP (2x1080P) Fixed Lens Mini Bullet Camera



    The Wasp Pro 4.0 43240 - 4MP (2x1080P) Fixed Lens Mini Bullet Camera

    In stock.
    Usually ships the same business day if ordered before 2PM EST.

    $199.00


    Resolution

    4MP UHD Quality

    4MP @ 20 FPS
    2560 x 1440
    Compression: Not All 1080P Cameras are Created Equal


    Weather

    weatherproof

    Rated IP66 - full protection from dust, rain, and sprinklers. You can even wash them off with a hose.


    Temp

    temperature rating

    Temperature rated from -22°F to 140 °F at below 90% humidity.


    Lens

    fixed lens

    Fixed: 4mm
    75° of coverage


    IR

    infrared

    Infrared night vision up to 100 FT
    Good for Low Light: 0.01 Lux Rating


    Special

    special features

    Wide Dynamic Range

    Vandal Proof Housing

    Digital Zoom Only

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom



  3. The Hornet Pro 4.0 44240 - 4MP (2x1080P) Multi-Purpose Adjustable Lens Bullet Camera



    The Hornet Pro 4.0 Motorized 44240 - 4MP (2x1080P) Multi-Purpose Lens Bullet Camera with Motorized Zoom and Focus

    In stock.
    Usually ships the same business day if ordered before 2PM EST.

    $399.00


    Resolution

    4MP UHD Quality

    4MP @ 20 FPS
    2560 x 1440
    Compression: Not All 1080P Cameras are Created Equal


    Weather

    weatherproof

    Rated IP66 - full protection from dust, rain, and sprinklers. You can even wash them off with a hose.


    Temp

    temperature rating

    Temperature rated from -22°F to 140 °F at below 95% humidity.


    Lens

    fixed lens

    Motorized Varifocal: 2.8 - 12mm
    98° - 30.5° of coverage


    IR

    infrared

    Infrared night vision up to 100 FT
    Good for Low Light: 0.01 Lux Rating and Wide Dynamic Range


    Special

    special features

    Motorized Zoom and Focus

    Vandal Proof Housing, Micro-SD Card Slot

    Digital Zoom and Optical Zoom

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom



  4. The Warden Pro 4.0 42240 - 4MP (2x1080P) Multi-Purpose Adjustable Zoom Lens Dome Camera



    The Warden Pro Motorized 4.0 42240 - 4MP (2x1080P) Multi-Purpose Adjustable Zoom Lens Dome Camera with Motorized Zoom and Focus

    In stock.
    Usually ships the same business day if ordered before 2PM EST.

    $399.00


    Resolution

    4MP UHD Quality

    4MP @ 20 FPS
    2560 x 1440
    Compression: Not All 1080P Cameras are Created Equal


    Weather

    weatherproof

    Rated IP66 - full protection from dust, rain, and sprinklers. You can even wash them off with a hose.


    Temp

    temperature rating

    Temperature rated from -22°F to 140 °F at below 95% humidity.


    Lens

    fixed lens

    Motorized Varifocal: 2.8 - 12mm
    98° - 30.5° of coverage


    IR

    infrared

    Infrared night vision up to 100 FT
    Good for Low Light: 0.01 Lux Rating and Wide Dynamic Range


    Special

    special features

    Motorized Zoom and Focus, IK10 Vandal Proof Housing, Micro-SD Card Slot

    Digital Zoom and Optical Zoom

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom



  5. The Marshall Pro 2.0 41420 - 1080P 2MP Fixed Wide Angle Turret Camera



    The Marshall Pro 4.0 41440 - 4MP Fixed Wide Angle Lens Dome Camera

    In stock.
    Usually ships the same business day if ordered before 2PM EST.

    $225.00


    Resolution

    4MP UHD Quality

    4MP @ 20 FPS
    2560 x 1440
    Compression: Not All 1080P Cameras are Created Equal


    Weather

    weatherproof

    Rated IP66 - full protection from dust, rain, and sprinklers. You can even wash them off with a hose.


    Temp

    temperature rating

    Temperature rated from -22°F to 140 °F at below 90% humidity.


    Lens

    fixed lens

    Fixed: 2.8mm
    98° of coverage


    IR

    infrared

    Infrared night vision up to 100 FT

    Made for Low Light: 0.01 Lux Rating


    Special

    special features

    Vandal Proof Housing
    Digital Zoom Only

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom



  6. The Mosquito Pro 4.0 - 4MP Fixed Lens Mini Dome Camera with Audio Microphone 41340



    The Mosquito Pro 4.0 - 4MP Fixed Lens Mini Dome Camera with Audio Microphone 41340

    In stock.
    Usually ships the same business day if ordered before 2PM EST.

    $349.00


    Resolution

    4MP UHD Quality

    4MP @ 20 FPS
    2560 x 1440
    Compression: Not All 1080P Cameras are Created Equal


    Weather

    weatherproof

    Rated IP66 - full protection from dust, rain, and sprinklers. You can even wash them off with a hose.


    Temp

    temperature rating

    Temperature rated from -22°F to 140 °F at below 95% humidity.


    Lens

    fixed lens

    Fixed: 2.8mm
    106° of coverage


    IR

    infrared

    Infrared night vision up to 30 FT
    Made for Low Light: 0.01 Lux Rating


    Special

    special features

    Built in Mic (no speaker), Micro-SD Card Slot, Vandal Resistant Housing
    Digital Zoom Only

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom


6 Item(s)

per page

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