Arktan 21MP Camera Upcoming Release Examined

By: John Honovich, Published on Feb 01, 2011

A new entrant to the megapixel video surveillance market  plans to offer a 21MP, 180 degree camera. This update reviews key features, pricing and positioning.

[UPDATE 2013: The company's website is gone and the company appears to be out of business.]

The company, Arktan Systems, plans to provide 4 wide angle surveillance products including a 3.2MP / 360 degree unit, a 1.6MP / 180 degree unit, the most novel is the 21 MP / 1.4 MP 180 degree unit.

The 1.6MP and 3.2MP cameras are currently released. The 21MP is scheduled for release in April 2011 [Note: the original version of this note last year projected July 2010, that shifted back to October 2010 and now it is scheduled for ISC West 2011].

All cameras have a circular form factor with row or rows of imagers on one half of the unit. An image below shows the 21MP day/night unit.

The top row of the unit has (5) 5MP color imagers. The bottom row has (5) VGA color imagers. During day mode, the video stream will have a maximum resolution of 8620 x 2432 (21MP) with a maximum frame rate of 1 fps using MJPEG. Arktan reports a bit-rate of 16Mb/s with these settings. During night mode, the VGA color video stream will have a maximum resolution of 2560 x 640 at 10 fps using MJPEG.

The output of the video will always be synchronized and stitched together as one very wide image (approximately 16 x 4.5 aspect ratio). The video will not require dewarping and does not require a specialized SDK to display in 3rd party systems. Arktan will support PSIA for 3rd party VMS interoperability.

The unit has fixed focal length lenses. For exposure control to optimize lighting input across the imagers, Arktan will offer 4 user selectable options including averaging across all imagers and allowing each imager to adjust exposure independently.

The 21MP D/N camera is projected to have an MSRP of $2,495. A 21MP day version only (without the second row of b&w imagers) has a $1,995 MSRP.

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The cameras support PSIA as their main integration with VMS systems. Arktan is working on additional direct integrations.

Competitive Comparisons

Currently available products that Arktan can be compared to include ArecontVision's AV8185 and Avigilon's panoramic cameras. Both cameras offer 8MP, 180 degree coverage and are specified at 6-7 fps. The ArecontVision unit offers H.264 encoding while the Avigilon supports JPEG2000. The Arecont AV8185 has an on-line price of approximately $1,750.

Until we test the product we cannot offer a strong opinion. We do think the price will be attractive but the low frame rate at max resolution (1fps) will be a significant practical limitation.

[Update 2012: We have not heard from or about the company in more than a year - bad sign.]

[UPDATE 2013: The company's website is gone and the company appears to be out of business.]

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