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I just don't get it ....

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Cell phones have very nice cameras in them that take very clear pictures. TV news cameras take exceptional pictures. Even many of the "cheap" digital cameras they sell in Walmart take very good pictures.


The reason I mention this is because, while watching the news today, they reported on a bank robbery on our area. They showed the surveillance shot from the bank security system. Just like most security photos, the person is not very clear and can hardly be recognized.


Why is it, when the average Joe can take a video with his camera to post online and the images are crystal clear, surveillance cameras still take photos are basically unusable? 


Since the images from phones and those from low cost cameras from places like Walmart - it can't be because it would cost too much to get a clear image from a surveillance camera.


I just don't get it .....

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Me neither. (I don't get it.) My own camera, which is not a "cheap" one, takes exceptionally good photos. Even in "movie" mode, the picture is HD quality. But security cameras were meant to record long periods of inactivity, so they figure they don't need exceptionally high quality images. Whenever I see a blurry "screen grab" in a newspaper with a caption saying police are asking for the public's help in identifying "this person," I wonder why they don't just put better cameras in. That would save the police in a lot of "asking for the public's help."

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My guess is that you do not shoot HD films with your phone 24/7. Many surveillance cameras shoot 24/7 and hence the file produced needs to be compressed a lot. This affects the quality. Usually this is no problem. Most cameras just have a slightly deterring effect. The camera house might be enough to deter the most common crimes. Sometimes even a sign warning of camera surveillance is enough.

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Cell phones were designed to last 2-3 years at most, and many carriers will insist on a quick replacement cycle, so at any given time you'll always be using one of the most recent generations of technology. Plus, you're only recording one video stream, for minutes at a time, so storage isn't really a concern.


Banks don't have that luxury, they install a camera system once to last for decades, and they need enough storage space to store dozens of camera feeds for many months. They already have insurance to cover robberies, so their losses are not dependant on easily identifying a criminal, and insurance companies generally don't offer a greater discount based on the clarity of a security camera. If there's nothing to be gained by a $10,000 upgrade to the cameras and video storage systems, why bother?

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It's a conspiracy by Big Banking and the Police. They have high resolution cameras hidden and quickly catch the criminal but they post low resolution pictures so the less than intelligent criminals are not detered and think they have a chance to get away with it. It helps clean the shallow end of the gene pool and gives the police some leverage on potential informants. It involves the community and makes the cops look good. It's a win-win-win..



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  • 3 weeks later...
But the tech people can just zoom and enhance indefinitely anyway.
Especially the ones on TV crime shows. They can 'zoom and enhance' a reflection on a wine glass sitting across the road and get the number plate on a speeding car in the dark!

{still waiting for the 'Wiser'}

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