Avigilon 7K Ad - Fair Or Foul?

Here's the ad:

On the positive side, parking lots are one of the best common use cases for higher resolution in general, since they tend to be large areas and the extra pixels often make a material difference for objects further away from the camera.

The problem here is the "crystal clear wide shots' AND 'license plates at the same time'.

Not being able to do this is a reflection of the reality of modern technology and the common dimensions of parking lot.

Here's an example of an Avigilon 7K calculated in a fairly common size parking lot:

The camera covers ~20% of the parking lot at a ppf level that might get license plates. The other issue is getting the car's plate to line up with the camera, which is compounded when a single camera tries to cover a large area.

7K certainly has greater PPF potential than 4K for similar objectives. Here is what 4K looks like:

However, either way, viewing "an entire parking lot with crystal clear wide shots and see individual license plates at the same time" is not really realistic.

As an alternative, Avigilon would be safer with generic puffery like "Avigilon is the leader in parking lot surveillance coverage for capturing wide views and license plates" or "Avigilon is the best at parking lot coverage and license plate capture."

What do you think?


However, either way, viewing "an entire parking lot with crystal clear wide shots and see individual license plates at the same time" is not really realistic.

Yes, not realistic if they mean you are likely to get any plate in the camera's FOV. But, to be fair they don't say that, (although they may be happy with you assuming that). Firstly a lot of parking lots are the size you show (1000 spaces?) but a lot are smaller. I would imagine many businesses having lots of 50 cars or less, like the FOV area you show.

The question of veracity then becomes not whether parking lots with 1000 spaces commonly exist, but only if ones with 50 spaces commonly exist. And in those cases it might be nice to have to only have one camera for both.

Secondly, many parking lots have natural or intended choke points, exit lanes and so forth, so in those cases the statement wouldn't be in error, as you would be able to do both even in a large lot.

FWIW, here's Sony's claim for their 4K camera, a camera that has a little over 1/3 the resolution of the Avigilon:

Higher resolution also means more accuracy. In the normal security application, there are usually two types of demands. One is to have a situational awareness and the other is detailed monitoring of specific areas of an image, especially for post-incident analysis. With 4K, it will be possible to achieve both at the same time, so the camera will be able to capture the important moment.

4K technology offers heightened situational awareness through greater image detail, for shopping malls, intersections or parking garages. Because of the exceptional detail provided by 4K technology, security professionals can increase wide area surveillance yet still capture, magnify and examine the smallest parts of a scene. This makes 4K cameras ideal for critical security applications like city surveillance, transportation, and parking lots.

"not realistic if they mean you are likely to get any plate in the camera's FOV. But, to be fair they don't say that"

If they don't mean that, then what value does the claim have.

They said:

"View an entire parking lot with crystal clear wide shots and see individual license plates at the same time"

If what they mean is:

"View an entire parking lot with crystal clear wide shots and see (SOME) individual license plates at the same time"

This is equally true of 4K or 1080p cameras.

"I would imagine many businesses having lots of 50 cars or less, like the FOV area you show."

Then perhaps they should clarify because there are also parking lots far larger. Are they really intending for a~$10,000 camera to cover a parking of 50 cars or less? Either way, make that clear.

Relative to Sony, Avigilon's claims are more granular as they mention a specific application (parking lots), and a specific detail (individual license plates).

Relative to Sony, Avigilon's claims are more granular as they mention a specific application (parking lots), and a specific detail (individual license plates).

Here's a better quote:

4K technology gives security users the ability to capture content at four times the resolution of Full HD (1080p). With the exceptional detail provided by 4K technology, security professionals can expand their wide area surveillance and still capture, magnify and examine the smallest parts of a scene like a face or a car license plate number – all with a single camera. The SNC-VM772R camera combines these benefits with enhanced visibility, reduced total system costs and flexible and easy installation.

My only issue is with the use of the qualifying phrase 'at the same time'.

Even if you have the resolution to capture license plates at the back of a parking lot, I doubt that they can be 'seen' on a normal security monitor without zooming - if you are viewing those 'crystal clear wide shots'.

IMO, simply substituting the word 'capture' for 'see' eliminates the problem.

Tom Cook from Samsung Techwin seems hopeful that the full parking area view and detail license plates can be accomplished with 4K:

Eventual adoption [of 4K] will be outdoor parking lots, as replacements of PTZs for long range detail views and large coverage. Most end user try this with 2MP, and 3MP and find they are not adequate to support the full parking areas from where the cameras are mounted and to see detail license plates when necessary from the same camera views. The cost of this system is about 25 percent higher, but if it resolves the issue the end user will migrate quickly to this technology.

btw, this is not being posted in defense of Avigilon, or in contridicton of the OP, if it's wrong it's wrong. It is interesting that many manufacturers make more or less similar statements about getting license plates and overview from the same camera views.

Please make sure to include links to references and appropriate context. For reference, here is the post that quote comes from.

And here is the question Cook was asked:

”What are the market sweet spots for UltraHD, 4K and other extremely high-definition products and what do you see as the future progression of deployment costs of those systems?"

As bad as the license plate reference is the wild PTZ replacement claim for "long range details view." Vendors really need to stop the PTZ replacement argument especially when claiming long range details view. It is an irresponsible practice that easily can lead to disappoint when operators try to digitally zoom out and realize how limited their effective range has become.

One major difference is that the Samsung quote is buried in a trade mag article whereas the Avigilon one is centered in a full page ad.

I think both are foul.

I'm guessing people either have a suburban or urban definition of parking lots. I had to remember Walmart to understand John's point. ;-)

In all seriousness, can any camera outmatch the Avigilon 7K in long range applications? I'd like to read IPVM tests on the topic as I find 4K cameras lacking.

Given the comparative price, you could buy ~5 Panasonic 12MP integrated IR cameras for the price of an Avigilon 7K. And the Panasonic 12MP tested very well against other 4K/12MP cameras.

Btw, the parking lot I picked is in the middle of one of the densest populated cities in the US.

The Panasonic 12mp is not a PTZ... "5 Panasonic 12MP integrated IR PTZs"

[Corrected - above, thanks]

Sometimes manufacturers come up with koolaid customers are all too eager to drink. Sometimes even the integrators/dealers drink, or more than happy to pass it on.

Who buys a car based solely upon an ad? Who sells products using vendor provided sales slicks? The term "test drive" and "kicking the tires" wasn't invented by the security industry. Being 1 week out from Cataract IOL surgery, I am seeing crystal clear now, but I can't find that definition in the dictionary.

"Who buys a car based solely upon an ad?"

There are truth in advertising laws. An advertiser cannot simply say untrue things and force consumers to spot the lie. Agree/disagree?

From YOUR website

"IPVM is the world's leading resource on video surveillance, providing news, reviews and test results on IP cameras, VMS, NVRs, VSaaS, video analytics and more."

leading resource?

in YOUR opinion

May its true may be its not

Words like "leading", in the legal sense, are puffery.

For example:

  • "Avigilon is awesome"
  • "Avigilon is the best"
  • "Avigilon is the greatest"
  • "Avigilon is the leader of video surveillance"

These are all perfectly fine statements for Avigilon to use in an ad, because they are clearly subjective statements.

However, a statement like:

"View an entire parking lot with crystal clear wide shots and see individual license plates at the same time"

That is a concrete, specific claim. To make it, it needs to be accurate.

This term is 100% accurate for my parking lot. "View an entire parking lot with crystal clear wide shots and see individual license plates at the same time" Besides, who among engineers parking lot coverage systems to read PARKED CAR license plates? Parked cars offer no threats.... It's the people walking among the cars, keying the sides, stealing catalytic converters, breaking into cars, molesting people that are the threat. the larger 4,5,7k cameras from whomever offer a lower cost, lower maintenance system.. Placing lower cost cameras nearer entry and exit choke points will get your plates, and having a continuous view of cars and people will net the best results. Not trying to identify people or plates from large scene views. That is the fundamental error in the ad that I differ with.

Like so?

coupled with one on the other end with a straight on view of cars entering the and exiting the lot. That is where you get the plate, and possible as they turn right after entering the lot, you get a side view from the drivers door of the person. (windshield are polarized, so no camera gets a frontal view of the driver. We have a number of clients where 99% of the drivers park facing the building. Plates are on the rear. Duh..

Than all Avigilon needs to do is qualify the size of the parking lot.

A 'reasonable' person would agree that parking lot sizes vary, some are your size with ~30 spots, but many have 300, others have more than a 1000. And in larger lots, the claim will not be meet.

A simple qualifier on size right before the word 'parking lot' would take minimal space, remove the misleading claim and make the advertisement accurate.

We have a number of 7K cameras covering some big lots, 500' x 500' all running MAX RES, MAX image Quality, the Best Canon Lens, and the security directors would all use the term "Crystal Clear" too.

"the security directors would all use the term "Crystal Clear" too."

Quoting myself from the beginning of the thread:

"The problem here is the "crystal clear wide shots' AND 'license plates at the same time'."

...windshield are polarized, so no camera gets a frontal view of the driver.

Polarizing filters can help a lot.

with a -1 f-stop low light penalty in most cases. You normally assume at some point, the perp will exit their car and enter a building choke point. Parking in a lot next to your next catalytic converter heist is a reality, and getting the plate, and a really good vehicle description, scratches, paint, defects, and driver race,sex, partial description is the hope. With at immediate relayed to PD, you'd be amazed at how fast a car can be found.

Parking in a lot next to your next catalytic converter heist is a reality...

"Parked cars offer no threats."

I knew somebody would spot this, yes a parked car can blow-up... but we got the make, model, description, plate, driver info at the lot choke point. No camera can determine what parked car is a threat...

Or perhaps a little better coverage from almost any angle with 85px/ft on multiple drive entries, and a number of cameras providing partial overlapping views of every parking space.

lot coverage

Really! - Must every advertisement now include the details and definitions of every word used the the ad. My 1MP camera sees 100% of the license plate letters on every car in my parking lot is a wide view... "For use in my new ad, the term "parking lot" is defined as four standard size parking spaces in two rows separated by a two lane drive. Also for use in this ad, the term license plate is defined as that issued by the DMV.....

Who sells products using vendor provided sales slicks? The term "test drive" and "kicking the tires" wasn't invented by the security industry.

<Quoting a disappointed buyer>

They claimed to have the desired features. There was no opportunity to try before you buy, but hey, they wouldn't just lie to your face, would they?

Even their tech support swore these features worked, until asked to do a remote extract themselves. Then they failed.

How many of your SMB customers wring out the feature set before you install it? Before they are under contract with you?

How many trust your representations?

if this is directed to me, "How many trust your representations?" the answer is 100% - The business plan in 1986 was "Make customers happy, charge accordingly, and never charge if you're learning." we have clients that date back to 1986 that have grown larger on our representations. Over the years, I've written some big checks to protect my clients interests. software solutions that didn't work, stuff that didn't meet our own expectations for our own business reasons.. We've swapped out things that sucked. Not 1 customer is all these years ATE a crappy product. Just be fair to both parties, and you can't do either if you're always switching brand loyalty, cutting corners and always trying to be the low bidder... Not one customer would ever tell you they want you to go out of business next week or year. I am very grateful to every client, and truly put my clients interests first.

@JH

Would you say clip was recorded by Axis 4K camera?

I saw that ad this afternoon and was dumbfounded on multiple levels. I criticized them yesterday for the Axis Kid Interviews video and could not believe this is even stranger.

No, I do no think it was from Axis' 4K PTZ and, if so, it is absolutely deceptive. Let me ask Axis for confirmation and I'll put up a new discussion on that. Thanks.

Axis confirms their camera was not used in the commercial.

Our response posted: Axis: Take Down This Deceptive Commercial

Not very often between us

but now I have to say :)

+1

Merry Christmas 3....

The same to you and everybody else on IPVM

I'm actually starting to tear up. :)

You should...

I have pretty good idea who is UD1

I will call you later to confirm :)

I will call you later to confirm.

Ok, but fyi, my phone blocks undisclosed calls.

I was also dumbfounded. First, the video I am sure is not recorded by the 4k camera. Second, they are advocating having a creep operator of a PTZ following young girls to check them out...
Hats off to Axis for a great 1 Up..

Can the use of consumer buzzwords like "###p" and "#k" just stop already when it comes to surveillance cameras? I feel like these manufacturers think I'm a moron unable to comprehend MEANINGFUL resolution figures like "##MP" and "#### x ###".

/mini-rant

I completely agree. For years, during training, I used air quotes for p and k resolutions. I hate it. Many cameras exceed the p or k resolution, so you are selling yourself (and your products) short by using the buzz word du jour. Just call it what it is... For example, many 4k cameras are 9 or 12 megapixels. 4k is 8 megapixels. When Full HD cameras came out, we had a 3 Mp camera, but all anyone wanted to hear was full hd, which is 2mp. We could crop the image to give you 1080p, but you were not using the full resolution of the camera you paid for. I think it is silly. /Thanks for letting me rant as well...

Panasonic is also trying to get in on the 4K, 1 camera for wide and identify faces and license plates.

In fact, they guarantee your safety with just a single camera to monitor large spaces...

http://security.panasonic.com/pss/security/index.html

"guarantee your safety and security"

Thanks, that's one of the craziest claims I've ever seen a manufacturer make. It's like they want to be sued. I am going to do a separate post on that.

Here is the poster-boy parking lot for Avigilon: 65 spaces. The furthest cars are right at the edge of legibility, so this is a good example of what you get with a 29MP Avigilon camera.

Full-res link here.

Geuterbruck has a app that goes with their claims. Avigilon used to have a similar one for the picture above, but I can't find it anymore.

IPVM, please buy Avigilon 7 K camera and test to see if ad's are fair or foul. In this manner your statements will have a foundation. Also your camera calculator app is a long way to perfection, I can't use it for planing a real security surveillance system, is just " learning tool"! I like your site and many topics are really good but are some topics very unprofessional without technical foundation. Just my to cents ...

Ouch - Depending on the editorial mood, that might have been Radus' last post.

That really funny :)

Thanks

Radu, it's simple math when it comes to Avigilon's claim here.... unless Avigilon is claiming that they can capture license plates at radically lower PPFs than any other vendor (ergo why I choose 40ppf in the initial calculation).

So is Avigilon claiming they can 'see individual license plates' at 20ppf? I'd be happy to hear that from Avigilon and we'd certainly test if they are claiming that type of groundbreaking breakthrough.

Net/net, whether Avigilon 7K is great or terrible, it is not going to 'see individual license plates' over a parking lot of any significant size given the fundamental limitations of ppf.

Radu, the technical facts are not in dispute here. No one is claiming that the 7K camera could actually deliver a full overview of a large parking lot (500+ spaces?) and also provide LPR of any license plate in the FOV.

The dispute is more subjective, what a using the unqualified term "parking lot" implies in terms of size, and the ethics surrounding that.

Also, the discussion has shown that several other manufacturers (Sony, Panasonic) engage in similar or worse claims with much lower resolution cameras and worse optics. So there's that as well.

Neither of these threads would be clarified by buying a 7k 10k camera and testing it. One would assume the performance could be moderately better perhaps than than 29MP shown above.

I'm not sure if this helps, and I apologize for having the edits, Every plate fully covered was easily read, and I've left a letter or two on some plates for reference, and placed the distances on a few cars... The single frame is from the Avigilon 7K with a degree field of view... (I think this was either the 35 or 40mm canon lens....) can confirm later, but you get the point. The cameras settings were the defaults. Image quality has 5 more increasing better settings.

The furthest identifiable letters are 43 @ about 285'

Is this Fair enough?

7K-45DHFOV-DEFAULTS

Distance and width is key. With a long enough lens and a narrow enough FoV, low resolution cameras can make out of license plates far away from the camera. There's no doubt than Avigilon 7K, in full light, can see much farther than everything, everything else equal.

However, let's look at the ppf math with Avigilon 7K, ~285' from camera and ~40ppf:

Still the clear majority of the parking lot is not covered.

The other issue is the ad explicitly claimed 'wide shots' and as you get narrower to see farther you lose one of the ad's key claims.

I could be reading this wrong but is that saying that there is 112 feet between the truck (first arrow) and the car (second arrow)?

No worries.

Below are the distances as taken from Google Earth. The frame posted is test footage, but not the actual height, location, camera, or lens for this installation.

Google-Earth

After seeing a real image does anyone want to change their vote?

I believe the ad was far more fair than not, and taking liberty with terms, where no terms or distances was given is what is unfair, and simply made for a fun discussion.

the ad is certainly on equal footing with

"IPVM is the world's leading resource on video surveillance."

Heading to Christmas Ball - Gotta Go..... The rum is awaiting my arrival.

"the ad is certainly on equal footing with
"IPVM is the world's leading resource on video surveillance."

and one more

"What's Unique About IPVM?
The most in-depth expert reviews on video surveillance."

"IPVM has the most in-depth coverage of all things Avigilon, with diverse opinions from around the world, that you're likely to find anywhere, anytime and at any price."

The problem here is the "crystal clear wide shots' AND 'license plates at the same time'.

Is not a real problem. You can see from the att picture is a real thing. Indeed you can see a wide shot and a license plate at the same time in live view or recorded footage. You just have to use Avigilon VMS and open a 4K (my case) camera in two or more cameo in a single view. The camera is placed behind a glass window and use an old 50mm Canon lens (not so "crystal clear" in my case).

How choose to place cameras in a design for a parking lot scenario is a reflection of a designer level of knowledge and experience.

In the left image, red boxes, are Avigilon's analytic way of detecting persons in FOV of camera.

Radu, what is the horizontal angle of view, in degrees, of that lens / camera?

Cool. Can you attach the full res image of the overview pic?

sample

Here is another "old" example

One camera few different views

done by 16 MP about 7 years ago

Here is a combined PPF / SCENE-WIDTH / HFOV Chart for the Avigilon 7K camera. My previous example was netting a 45 HFOV and at 275' we were getting about 18 PPF. Let's not forget, the Pro Series cameras uses Professional photography lenses, the sensor are large, the mounts are high precision, and results in a superior level of image clarity. 18PPF on the Pro vs. 18PPF on traditional security cameras isn't a fair comparison.

7K-all-angles

One must manage expectations with clients after they view demos and listen to claims that are subtly overreaching. We concentrate on PPF and also push for clients to use HD monitors. The monitors can make a huge difference in user experience.