8MP Panoramic Cameras Released
Avigilon will be releasing 180 and 360 degree cameras with 8 MP resolution [link no longer available] in January 2010. The cameras contain (4) imagers in a single physical housing - a dome. The 180 degree version [link no longer available] has (4) imagers mounted on a row while the 360 degree version [link no longer available] has imagers mounted on each side of a square.
Some key details include:
- Maximum image rate is 7 ips. The total camera generates 28ips but this divided across 4 imagers.
- This is a color camera only. The imagers do not have a mechanical cut filter. As such, use in low light or no light scenarios may be problematic.
- The height of the unit is 4.7 inches - the same as Avigilon's single imager domes (e.g., see the 2MP dome [link no longer available]).
- The camera only requires 1 NVR license which saves users the fee for 3 licenses (compared to 4 separate camera bodies for 4 imagers).
- Like all Avigilon's cameras, the resolution is JPEG2000 (no H.264) and the cameras are only supported on Avigilon's VMS software [link no longer available].
- While Avigilon declined to share pricing publicly, they stated that it is "priced competitively compared to other multiple-sensor wide angle cameras available on the market."
The closest comparison is Arecont Vision's 81xx and 83xx series - specifically the H.264 AV8185 and AV8365 as well as MJPEG (8180/8360) versions.
Compared to Arecont:
- The Avigilon has a shorter/small dome (height: Avigilon - 4.7" vs Arecont 6.4" and diameter: Avigilon - 5.9" vs Arecont - 7.2")
- Both are color cameras only
- Arecont is specified at 22 fps while Avigilon is specified at 28 fps (across all 4 imagers). However, this specification requires testing to prove actual field performance.
- Arecont offers an H.264 option, Avigilon only JPEG200.
- Many NVRs support the Arecont panoramic cameras though some charge 1 licenses and others 4. Only Avigilon supports their panoramic cameras.
This product segment looks to be a growing market as multiple sensor cameras can significantly reduce the cost of covering large areas.
[Update 2012: Avigilon still has no H.264 panoramic models.]