Avigilon 29MP Camera Examined

By John Honovich, Published 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 heels of a number of related announcements in the "super megapixel" space - including Arecont's 20MP domeDallmeier's up to 51 MP Panomera camera and ipConfigure's Gigapixel solution. In this note, we examine the new Avigilon camera and contrast it to other "super megapixel" cameras.

Let's start with a review of the key details for Avigilon's 29 MP camera.

  • If you are familiar with Avigilon's current 16MP offering, the 29MP is fundamentally quite similiar. Both are part of their HD Professional Camera Series [link no longer available] and have many similar properties.
  • They are SLR cameras featuring 35 mm sensors.
  • Two models are available for each resolution - a color only and b&w only models.
  • Lens options - Wide options available, both varifocal and fixed focal across wide range.
  • Frame rate: The new 29MP maximum frame rate is 2fps while the 16MP frame rate is 3fps. Basically, resolution has nearly been doubled but frame rate has been cut by a third.
  • CODEC: JPEG2000. No H.264 support.
  • Bandwidth: At default quality and 2fps, the 29MP camera consumes about 20-25 Mb/s.
  • 3rd Party Support: None. Avigilon's VMS only.
  • Pricing is not finalized but it is expected to be in the same range as existing offerings in the HD Professional Camera Series (approximately $10,000).

This is Avigilon's biggest increase in resolution since they introduced the 16MP line in 2007 [link no longer available]. The 16MP offering will remain and become essentially the mid tier in this series.

Analysis

In 2007, Avigilon's 16MP was fairly unique. There was nothing real close to it in the surveillance industry (maybe Lumenera but they've faded badly). Today, the situation is more complex with a number of 'super megapixel' camera options.

How Avigilon's 29MP compares to common options:

  • Multiple 5MP cameras: A number of 5MP cameras at $1,000 to $1,500 each could be installed. Depending on installation costs, total price would likely be similar to the Avigilon 29MP. On the plus side for multiple 5MP cameras is higher frame rate and lower bandwidth consumption (via H.264) plus aiming at speific areas of interest.  The downside would be having to set up more cameras. That noted, for most applications, multiple smaller resolution cameras looks to be more sensible.
  • Arecont 20MP dome: Arecont's 20MP SurroundView camera has an MSRP just less than $3,000. On the plus side, the camera is significantly cheaper and has broad 3rd party support. The downside is that the lens focal length is fixed so the target viewing area must be relatively close to the camera's positioning.
  • Dallmeier Panomera: Dallmeier's up to 51MP camera has an projected price of $50,000. It uses arrays of megapixel cameras to provide details at different depths. Like Avigilon, the camera is proprietary. One would really need testing to determine differences in visual quality.

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