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

VMS Export Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone on Sep 13, 2018
When crimes, accidents or problems occur, exporting video from one's video surveillance system is critical to proving incidents. But who does it...
Dahua Low-Cost 4MP Camera Tested (N44CL52) on Sep 10, 2018
4MP use continues to increase, especially in low-cost models, according to integrators in our 2018 Resolution Usage Statistics. We bought Dahua's...
Directory Of 110+ Video Management Software (VMS) Suppliers on Aug 30, 2018
This directory provides a list of Video Management Software providers to help you see and research what options are available. Listing...
Inputs/Outputs For Video Surveillance Guide on Aug 24, 2018
While many cameras have Input/Output (I/O) ports, few are actually used and most designers do not even consider them. However, a good understanding...
Luxriot VMS Profile on Aug 23, 2018
Luxriot is more popular than Hikvision and Milestone products according to ASMAG which was probably even surprising to Luxriot. The company has...
Synology Surveillance Station VMS Tested on Aug 22, 2018
With so many low-cost NVRs and enterprise VMSes, is there any place in the market for NAS-based VMSes? Recently, IPVM bought a Synology NAS for...
SNMP / Network Monitoring For Surveillance 2018 on Aug 21, 2018
Surveillance systems typically rely on the the VMS to report issues, but this most often just means knowing a camera is "down" with no warning or...
Video Analytics Integration Guide on Aug 16, 2018
Video analytics is hot again (at least conceptually) but integrating video analytics with VMSes can be challenging. This is especially significant...
ISS VMS / Video Analytics Company Profile on Aug 16, 2018
Who is ISS? In the past few months, they had one of the craziest ISC West promo items in years. Then, they hired industry veteran and ex-Dahua...
Cut Milestone Licensing Costs 80% By Using Hikvision and Dahua NVRs (Tested) on Aug 13, 2018
Enterprise VMS licensing can be quite expensive, with $200 or more per channel common, meaning a 100 camera system can cost $20,000 in VMS...

Most Recent Industry Reports

25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...
Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...
Chinese Government Praises Hikvision Following Xi Jinping on Sep 17, 2018
The Chinese government council responsible for managing China's state-owned companies praised Hikvision’s obedience to China’s authoritarian leader...
Amazon Ring Spotlight Cam Tested on Sep 17, 2018
Amazon's Ring has released their latest camera entry, the Spotlight Cam, which we bought and tested in our Consumer IP Camera Analytics...
European Mega Security Firm Verisure Pushing Security Fog on Sep 17, 2018
The European mega security firm Verisure (Securitas Direct), with a reported 2 million customers, is pushing security fog, as shown in this BBC...
IP Camera Cable Labeling Guide on Sep 14, 2018
Labeling cables can save a lot of money and headaches. While it is easy to overlook, taking time to label runs during installation significantly...
Favorite Intercom Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 14, 2018
Intercoms are certainly increasing in popularity, driven by the integration of video and IP networking. But who is the favorite? On the one side,...
Vivotek 4MP Camera Tested (FD8379-HV) on Sep 13, 2018
Next in our series of updated 4MP testing, we bought and tested Vivotek's FD8379-HV, and entry level 4MP model claiming "top-notch quality video in...
Ascent / MONI Faces Lender Lawsuit and Debt Crisis on Sep 13, 2018
ASCMA, aka Ascent, aka Brinks Home Security, aka MONI, aka Monitronics is being sued by a group of their lenders who allege: As of June 30,...

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