Member Discussion

How To Determine If A Camera Is Truly ONVIF Conformant

I was looking at a spec on a camera that was noted as ONVIF compliant. I went to the ONVIF site and could not find it. Assuming I am not overlooking it and it is not on there, what is the next step in determining if it truly is compliant?


Step 1, is to check the ONVIF Profile Directory. These are the current conformant products.

Step 2, is to check the ONVIF Archived Directory. These are legacy products. See: ONVIF Archives 1000+ Products

If the camera is not listed in either, it is by definition not conformant. If it is only listed in Archive, it is legacy conformant but risky to work with current ONVIF products.

What is the camera you are looking for?

If the camera is not listed in either,would you ask the manufacture to submit or resubmit?

Yes, and send them a link to: ONVIF Launches Enforcement Campaign

Hi Chris.

first, from the formal point of view, there are no onvif conformant camers - there are conformant cameras+firmware.

second - in fact, manufacturers are not selling cameras with exactly the same firmware that pass onvif conformancy.

third - simular platforms have simular firmwares

and last but most important - onvif conformancy does not mean that device is really interoperable.

so i suggest to ask you searching engine for other user feedback about similar, if you are not trusting camera vendor documentation.

br, Alex

"second - in fact, manufacturers are not selling cameras with exactly the same firmware that pass onvif conformancy."

I hope you mean that it is possible that manufacturers are selling firmware that is different than the version that passed ONVIF conformancy. That is possible.

It does not mean that they are definitely selling it with different firmware.

Of course, if you are really concerned with firmware, you can check the conformance document. For example, the Axis Q1615 (see doc) has been tested with the same firmware that it is being sold with.

Secondly, just because a new version of firmware has been released does not mean that ONVIF conformance is going to break or change in any way. It's certainly possible but it is not probable.

yes, that is my point: Firmware is slightly different so in fact camera has the same level of conformancy, but from the formal point of view it is not conformant at all.

and you now, manufacturers of second line are not bothering themselves with certifying all pieces in their product line, but just shere the same firmware with minor change in configuration script.

and, btw, if there are no one product of this manufacturer in conformancy list - this look like a cheat

Alex - great input. We are rolling out a new line of cameras and the only way to know for sure (best guess) is to test the cameras with popular vms platforms to see how they behave. Chip sets and firmware revs also dictate how a camera performs so this is pandora's box. ONVIF is "not" a real fully baked standard like 802.11 is in the networking arena. ONVIF is more of a guidline (correct me if i am wrong) so buyer beware in most cases.


Thanks Dennis,

it look like a popular compare ONVIf vs 802.11 or USB :)

Please keep in mind that ONVIF is:

  • only 6 years old
  • all specs (even that they are referencing to another specs in most critical places) are about 1000 pages
  • test specs are awfully bigger (5000-10000 pages, i have not count them all)
  • typical camera are facing 500-700 tests (and recent test tool contains about 1000 tests)

mateur standards have test tools with about 10000 tests (and it's better not to think about amount of documentation they have).

and ONVIF is not a standard in a way like h.264 is a standard, as it does not strictly define behavior of at least one side (as h.264 define for decoder), so at least for now ONVIF suffers from segmentation (developers have different model in mind). ONVIF plugfests are doing a great job in defining common grownd for different vendors.

so, as for bueers, they can relay on camera feature list (list of supported and tested features) - this is figuring what somebody can expect from camera. at the same time, ONVIF conformance tool is doing only syntetic tests that has no connection with real usage (and explicitly no test about quality of service). so, VMS manufacturers are providing their own compatibility testers, and some camera manufacturers have combo boxes in their web interfaces (like work with ONVIF test tool / work with Genetec / work with "put your favorite VMS here").