Avigilon First to Demo 7K Cameras

By John Honovich, Published Apr 06, 2015, 12:00am EDT

While many manufacturers are announcing and showing 4K cameras, Avigilon has declared it will be the first to demo 7K cameras.

In this note, we look at the positioning of 7K vs 4K and Avigilon's existing 29MP cameras.

In 2011, Avigilon launched 29MP cameras, jumping from their previous pixel count max of 16MP.

7K Showcase

Now, at ISC West 2015, Avigilon will "showcase the security industry’s first single-sensor 7K (30 megapixel) security camera". Like the H4 Pro cameras announced in 2014 (up to 16MP), the new 7K (30MP) and 6K (24MP) will support H.264 and only work with Avigilon's own VMS. For the past year, Avigilon kept the older 29MP JPEG2000 camera but the new 7K / 30MP will supplant it.

Avigilon has not disclosed when these cameras will actually ship.

We expect pricing to be in the same range as existing H4 / PRO cameras of $8,000 - $12,000 depending on lens selected and discounts.

Maximum Megapixels

Given the new camera only increases Avigilon's max resolution by 1MP, it appears the race / drive for pure pixel count is subsiding. Just a few years ago, Avigilon's marketing was heavily centered around maximum megapixels and the fallacious 95 camera replacement claim.

Now, Avigilon seems to becoming more conventional, with focus on low light quality, reducing storage costs, etc.

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Avigilon vs Competitors

Avigilon does retain its 'lead' in total pixels for single imager IP cameras. No rival has chosen to compete on pure pixel count, which appears to be a marketing mistake, given that many users still wrongly and simplistically equate more pixels with better quality.

On the other hand, 8MP / 12MP cameras are increasingly common, driven by mainstream 4K releases. And with those cameras generally retailing for ~$1,000, to get the ~3x increase in pixels for an Avigilon 7K will increase camera cost by ~10x. Though there are some associated savings (less VMS licenses, less cabling), 3 individual cameras can be positioned with the optimal angles and lenses for key areas.

7K vs 30MP

We question the marketing appeal of using the 'K' / 7K nomenclature.

One, most are not as familiar with 'K' than 'MP', e.g., 2K vs 2MP vs 1080p or 2.5K vs 5MP or 7K vs 30MP.

Secondly, the numeral is 'bigger' with the MP than with the K, so people are likely to assume that, e.g., 30MP is more than 7K.

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