Arecont 20MP Camera Examined

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 05, 2011

Arecont Vision has announced a 20MP camera. This would be the highest resolution production surveillance camera in the world. While there are some interesting capabilities, a number of important limitations should be kept in mind.

UPDATE: We know have full test results of the Arecont 20MP camera.

This 20MP camera will be a combination of 4 imagers in a single housing. Each imager will be 5MP providing a total of 20MP (4 x 5MP). This is the same architecture and format for their existing 8MP camera lineup, called the SurroundVideo series (contrast to our overview of the 8MP D/N series announced at ASIS 2010). Instead of using 2MP imagers, Arecont Vision will use 5MP ones.

Arecont is marketing this as replacing 65 conventional cameras. On the one hand, this uses basic pixel math common by manufacturers (e.g., a single 4CIF camera provides ~300,000 pixels, about 65 of them would be needed to match the 20MP of the Arecont). On the other hand, it is dangerously misleading, especially since lighting variances (like bright light and low light) often dramatically decrease the usefulness of the extra pixels. We've tested and examined this extensively - most recently in our recommendations for specifying surveillance image quality.

At night, the 20MP camera will essentially become a 5MP camera. Arecont will provide a binning mode of 1.25 MP per imager (1.25MP x 4 imagers = 5MP). Binning 'bins' multiple pixels together and treats a group of pixels like a single pixel. The upside is that the binned pixels capture more light. The downside is that there are effectively less pixels. This will help reduce some of the common problems of megapixel cameras being very dark at night (see our Analog vs MP camera test results as an example). Users should make sure this works appropriately as Arecont claims this for their 10MP camera but it did not work in our 10MP test.

Finally, we anticipate that the effective image improvement of the new 20MP over the existing 8MP cameras will be modest. We base this on our comparative testing of many 2MP and 5MP cameras. While there is some visible improvements over wider FoVs, it is marginal and tends to dissapear under challenging lighting conditions. Despite this, the higher resolution will certainly consume significant more bandwidth and storage.

While the resolution is up 250%, we do not think this camera is anywhere near that much better than the existing 8MP camera. That said, we do find this line to be attractive in general as it provides 360 degree viewing without needing a special SDK to integrate with VMS systems. With Arecont's SurroundVideo cameras, VMS systems simply display them as 4 separate video feeds making integration simple. Only Avigilon has a similar product and Avigilon's version is JPEG200 only and can only be used with Avigilon's VMS. For more on panoramic / 360 options, see our Criteria for Selecting 360 / Panoramic Cameras.

UPDATE: In a customer update webinar on September 14th, Arecont released pricing for this series. The MSRP of the AV20XX5DN is $2,898, $500 more than the AV8XX5DN 8MP version. In this webinar, they once again repeated their claims of these cameras being "PTZ killers", and replacing up to 64 analog or VGA cameras and 16 1.3MP cameras. We find these claims to be ridiculous, as reviewed in our update debunking their claims.

5 reports cite this report:

Winners and Losers Fall 2011 on Sep 25, 2011
Now that the dust has settled from the new announcements of the last month, we can better understand the impact on the overall video surveillance...
New Surveillance Products Directory Fall 2011 on Sep 21, 2011
This report provides a summary of key announcements and news being made related to or around the ASIS 2011 show.For each product or change, where...
Avigilon 29MP Camera Examined on Sep 19, 2011
Avigilon has announced a 29MP camera, which becomes the highest resolution single imager surveillance camera on the market. Its launch comes on the...
New Surveillance Products Review June 2011 on Jun 14, 2011
In this report, we provide in depth coverage of new surveillance product releases announced in May and June 2011. Below are the products we are...
New Surveillance Products Spring 2011 Final on Apr 06, 2011
In this report, we provide a single source listing new video surveillance products announced in Spring 2011 and in conjunction with ISC West.For...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada on Jan 18, 2019
Open systems and interoperability have not only been big buzzwords over the past decade, but they have also become core features of video...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...
Pelco Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 11, 2019
Pelco had a significant favorability problem amongst integrators in our previous study (see 2016 Pelco results). Now, in the first edition of our...
NTP / Network Time Guide For Video Surveillance on Jan 10, 2019
Inaccurate time can lead to missing or inadmissible video, yet this topic is often overlooked, with cameras and servers left defaulted,...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial on Jan 08, 2019
H.265 support improved significantly in 2018, with H.265 camera/VMS compatibility increased compared to only a year ago, and most manufacturers...
IPVM Best New Products 2019 Opened - 70+ Entrants on Jan 07, 2019
The inaugural IPVM Best New Product Awards has been opened - the industry's first and only program where the awards are not pay-to-play and the...
CyberExtruder Face Recognition Profile on Jan 04, 2019
CyberExtruder offers 3D modeling face recognition software that they say provides quicker and more accurate matches than other 2D face recognition...
Axis Tailgate Detection Tested on Jan 04, 2019
Axis is aiming to tackle tailgating, one of access control's biggest issues, with the Tailgating Detector ACAP application. This camera app claims...

Most Recent Industry Reports

The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada on Jan 18, 2019
Open systems and interoperability have not only been big buzzwords over the past decade, but they have also become core features of video...
NYPD Refutes False SCMP Hikvision Story on Jan 18, 2019
The NYPD has refuted the SCMP Hikvision story, the Voice of America has reported. On January 11, 2018, the SCMP alleged that the NYPD was using...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Exacq Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 17, 2019
Exacq favorability amongst integrators has declined sharply, in new IPVM statistics, compared to 2017 IPVM statistics for Exacq. Now, over 5 since...
Testing Bandwidth Vs. Low Light on Jan 16, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance. Many calculate bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, but bit rates vary...
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
UK Fines Security Firms For Illegal Direct Marketing on Jan 16, 2019
Two UK security firms have paid over $200,000 in fines for illegally making hundreds of thousands of calls to people registered on a government...
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact