Image quality

Advanced camera settings

All digital images are made up of small picture elements, called pixels. A pixel is the smallest individual component of an image, and each has a specific color and intensity. The total amount of pixels in an image is referred to as the resolution. A resolution of 1920x1080 means there are 1920 columns and 1080 rows (2 073 600 pixels total) of pixels making up the image. Another term for this specific resolution is 2 megapixels, as there are roughly 2 million pixels in the image.

Figure 4: A pixel is a point in the image with a specific color and intensity.

At a higher resolution, the camera can capture finer details in the scene, but since the value of each pixel needs to be stored and transferred in a video stream, the bandwidth requirement also increases. Depending on your operational requirements, you should adjust the resolution to provide sufficient image detail without exceeding your available bandwidth.

Visible light is composed of a wavelength spectrum where different wavelengths are perceived as different colors. Sunlight covers almost this entire spectrum and is generally considered to be white. Other light sources may have a bias toward higher or lower wavelengths in the emitted light, causing the whites to be slightly red-tinted or blue-tinted. When reflected by objects, this tint will transfer to the image, causing an unnatural appearance.

The wavelength bias of a light source is called its color temperature and is measured in degrees Kelvin. If the camera knows the color temperature of the incoming light, it can adjust the image to keep white objects white – a function called white balancing. Many cameras try to automatically determine the color temperature and then set the white balance. You can also set the white balance to a fixed color temperature depending on the light fixtures in the scene, for example fluorescent lamps or tungsten bulbs. 

Figure 5: If your image is unnaturally blue, check your white balance settings! 

Image enhancements