A Camera’s Purpose

What is the overall goal of having security cameras? Video Surveillance of areas to monitor activity. This can be with video clips or 24/7 local storage of everything. But have you ever recorded an act and just not had enough details to get what you want out of the video? Then you may need to be more specific about each camera’s recording ability and purpose.

There are four different levels of purpose available for each camera, called pixels on target or pixels per foot to achieve each respective
video surveillance goal.

Level 1 – Detection

Detection Camera Quality
Detection Quality Level

The first level and most basic level of a security camera is to detect. Detection notifies and records any level of activity, person, dog or car in the cameras view point. Pixels required are 4-8 during the day and 8-16 during the night with IR. But the pixels and quality are too low for most purposes.

Level 2 – Observation

Observe Camera Quality Pixels
Observe Quality Level

Level two of observation is for when you want to be able to see what is occurring between subjects and objects. For example, the person is searching through the garbage in the back. Minimum pixels per foot required are 18 during the day and 36 during the night with IR. But you can’t get the details of the person with Observation.

Level 3 – Recognition

Recognize Camera Quality Pixels
Recognize Quality Level

Recognition provides the details of the subject. For example, white male with brown hair in a black jacket searching through the dumpster. Minimum pixels on target are 36 during the day and 72 during the night with IR.

Level 4 – Identification

Identify Camera Quality Pixels
Identify Quality Level

Identification provides sufficient clarity for facial recognition. For example, during a break in the camera can collect the subjects facial details to submit to the police. This is the highest level of quality available for each camera. Required pixels on target at 75 during the day and 150 during the night with IR.


To achieve each respected level of recording quality varies with the camera selected and the coverage area. This includes lens, height, distance, pixels and more. We have advance planning software to calculate the cameras compared to their location to test in advance to achieve the required level of video surveillance at each location.

If you would like a technical consultation about what about your security cameras purpose and video surveillance goals please:

Call Lars at 541.600.4812
Email lars@locksmitheugeneoregon.com
Or schedule a Free Onsite Video Surveillance Consultation

Click here to generate an online estimate for a Video Surveillance System.

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