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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 Warrior 4.0 - 26BF4



    The Warrior 4.0 - 26BF4 - 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 @ 25 FPS: 2560 x 1440

    Detect: 150 ft
    Recognize: 75 ft
    Identify: 50 ft


    Processing Power and Compression: Not All 4MP Cameras are Created Equal


    Indoor/Outdoor

    weatherproof

    IP67
    Full protection from dust, rain, snow, dew, frost, and sprinklers.

    You can even submerge it for a few minutes.


    Temp

    temperature rating

    Temperature rated from -31°F to 140 °F

    Humidity rated between 10 and 95%.


    Lens

    fixed lens

    Fixed: 3.6mm
    80.8° of coverage (horizontal)

    Digital Zoom Only

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom


    Day/Night

    night footage

    Infrared night vision up to 100 FT

    Color video possible until 0.02 lux

    How to get the best footage at night


    Special

    special features

    True Wide Dynamic Range (120dB)

    Seeing in shadows: Understanding WDR



  2. The Deputy 4.0 - 26DF4



    The Deputy 4.0 - 26DF4 - 4MP (2x1080P) Fixed Wide Angle Lens Turret Dome Camera

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

    $199.00


    Resolution

    4MP UHD Quality

    4MP @ 25 FPS: 2560 x 1440

    Detect: 115 ft
    Recognize: 50 ft
    Identify: 35 ft


    Processing Power and Compression: Not All 4MP Cameras are Created Equal


    Indoor/Outdoor

    weatherproof

    IP67
    Full protection from dust, rain, snow, dew, frost, and sprinklers.

    You can even submerge it for a few minutes.


    Temp

    temperature rating

    Temperature rated from -31°F to 140 °F

    Humidity rated between 10 and 95%.


    Lens

    fixed lens

    Fixed: 2.8mm
    101° of coverage

    Digital Zoom Only

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom


    Day/Night

    night footage

    Infrared night vision up to 100 FT

    Color video possible until 0.02 lux

    How to get the best footage at night


    Special

    special features

    True Wide Dynamic Range (120dB)

    Seeing in shadows: Understanding WDR



  3. The Viking 4.0 - 26BV4



    The Viking 4.0 - 26BV4 - 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 @ 25 FPS: 2560 x 1440

    Detect: up to 175 ft
    Recognize: up to 125 ft
    Identify: up to 75 ft


    Processing Power and Compression: Not All 4MP Cameras are Created Equal


    Weather

    weatherproof

    IP67
    Full protection from dust, rain, snow, dew, frost, and sprinklers.

    You can even submerge it for a few minutes.


    Temp

    temperature rating

    Temperature rated from -31°F to 140 °F

    Humidity rated between 10 and 95%.


    Lens

    varifocal lens

    Motorized Varifocal: 2.8 - 12mm
    91° - 27° of coverage

    Digital Zoom and Optical Zoom

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom


    Day/Night

    night footage

    Infrared night vision up to 100 FT

    Color video possible until 0.02 lux

    How to get the best footage at night


    Special

    special features

    Alarm Input and Output

    Audio Input and Output

    Micro-SD Card Slot

    True WDR (up to 120 dB)

    Seeing in shadows: Understanding WDR



  4. The Sheriff 4.0 - 26DF4-IK10



    The Sheriff 4.0 - 26DF4-IK10 - 4MP (2x1080P) Vandal Proof Fixed Wide Angle Lens IK10 Dome Camera

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

    $225.00


    Resolution

    4MP UHD Quality

    4MP @ 25 FPS: 2560 x 1440

    Detect: 115 ft
    Recognize: 50 ft
    Identify: 35 ft


    Processing Power and Compression: Not All 4MP Cameras are Created Equal


    Weather

    weatherproof

    IP67
    Full protection from dust, rain, snow, dew, frost, and sprinklers.

    You can even submerge it for a few minutes.


    Temp

    temperature rating

    Temperature rated from -31°F to 140 °F

    Humidity rated between 10 and 95%.


    Lens

    fixed lens

    Fixed: 4mm
    101° of coverage

    Digital Zoom Only

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom


    Day/Night

    night footage

    Infrared night vision up to 100 FT

    Color video possible until 0.02 lux

    How to get the best footage at night


    Special

    special features

    IK10 (highest possible rating) Physical Damage Protection

    True Wide Dynamic Range (120dB)

    Seeing in shadows: Understanding WDR



  5. The Detective 4.0 - 26DV4



    The Detective 4.0 - 26DV4 - 4MP (2x1080P) Multi-Purpose Lens Turret 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 @ 25 FPS: 2560 x 1440

    Detect: up to 175 ft
    Recognize: up to 125 ft
    Identify: up to 75 ft


    Processing Power and Compression: Not All 4MP Cameras are Created Equal


    Weather

    weatherproof

    IP67
    Full protection from dust, rain, snow, dew, frost, and sprinklers.

    You can even submerge it for a few minutes.


    Temp

    temperature rating

    Temperature rated from -31°F to 140 °F

    Humidity rated between 10 and 95%.


    Lens

    varifocal lens

    Motorized Varifocal: 2.7 - 12mm
    91° - 27° of coverage

    Digital Zoom and Optical Zoom

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom


    Day/Night

    night footage

    Infrared night vision up to 100 FT

    Color video possible until 0.02 lux

    How to get the best footage at night



  6. The Informant 4.0 - 26DF4-A



    The Informant 4.0 - 26DF4-A - 4MP (2x1080P) Fixed Wide Angle Lens Mini Dome Camera with Audio Microphone

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

    $350.00


    Resolution

    4MP UHD Quality

    4MP @ 25 FPS: 2560 x 1440

    Detect: 115 ft
    Recognize: 50 ft
    Identify: 35 ft


    Processing Power and Compression: Not All 4MP Cameras are Created Equal


    Weather

    weatherproof

    IP66
    Full protection from dust, rain, snow, dew, frost, and sprinklers.

    You can even wash them off with a hose.


    Temp

    temperature rating

    Temperature rated from -31°F to 140 °F

    Humidity rated between 10 and 95%.


    Lens

    fixed lens

    Fixed: 2.8mm
    101° of coverage

    Digital Zoom Only

    Learn about the 4 types of Zoom


    Day/Night

    night footage

    Infrared night vision up to 50 FT

    Color video possible until 0.02 lux

    How to get the best footage at night


    Special

    special features

    Integrated Microphone

    True Wide Dynamic Range (120dB)

    Seeing in shadows: Understanding WDR


6 Item(s)

per page

Set Descending Direction