Avigilon First to Demo 7K Cameras

By John Honovich, Published on Apr 06, 2015

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.

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Comments (38)

If I were to guess, I'd say that Avigilon is just getting out in front of all terms that can be used for comparison because that's how executives and other non-technical people usually determine value.

Because executives are using 'K' as a measure of value for security cameras now or?

I'm seeing it as a smart blanket strategy. Whatever unit you are using, whether it be megapixels, HD-style (720p / 1080i / 1080p), or "K", Avigilon always has a higher level of capability.

So an executive talks to two potential providers. One goes in and says "and we can even give you 4K quality just like you're seeing in home theater", and the next says "we can give you 7K, which you've probably never even seen before".

"Avigilon always has a higher level of capability."

Sure, but can't they do that even better with megapixel?

Oh, your vendor has an 8MP camera? How quaint.... We have a 30MP one.

That sounds more impressive to me, on an immediate gut feel / response.

You're not wrong that it's a more impressive comparison - since reducing it to MP gives you the chance to say "nearly 4 times the competition".

I think they just want to know that even an unattended prospect can read the specs and know that their product will win the contest, and to do that, you have to define your product in the terms that the competitor uses.

I agree. They may be thinking everyone will release or announce forthcoming 4K cameras at ISC and this slight change in nomenclature will help them one-up everyone. There will undoubtedly be quite a few people at the show who do not realize 4K=8MP and 7K=30MP... they're just hearing buzzwords. For those people this may be effective if "3K" in additional resolution is worth an extra 7K in dollars.

"They may be thinking everyone will release or announce forthcoming 4K cameras at ISC and this slight change in nomenclature will help them one-up everyone."

Could be, though I am not sure why you want to step down to that.

4K is not hot and vendors are struggling to drum up interest (e.g., Security Sales Forecast 2015).

I still feel 30MP sounds a lot more impressive than 4K or 7K....

the reason 4k is not flying of the shelves is becouse their performance is rubbish, the Sensor and Lens are not keeping up with the clarity they SHOULD be capable of.

the reason the Avigilon is SO good is they go with a decent sensor and decent lens, the reason they are NOT selling is they are asking your left kidney for them, which is 1, a bad sales move and 2, why Hikvision need to duplicate it for 1/10th the cost.

Michael, declarations like 'amazing' and 'rubbish' are subjective, unquantified, and therefore unhelpful.

Which 4K cameras do you believe are 'rubbish' and on what dimensions of performance are they 'rubbish' and how 'rubbish' quantifiably have you found them compared to other cameras?

Compared to say a $100 Hikvision 3mp, your present 4k that were reviewed here:

http://ipvm.com/report/axis_4k_tested $1k

and here:

http://ipvm.com/report/bosch_4k_tested $1.5k

why would you spend 10x more? it's not 10x better, the Hik's work with most hardware/software not this crap about choppy frames or "we only work with this software"

Maybe when Onvif/Xprotect supports H265 we'll see the market open up to those who are not the premium players.

Even 'theoretically' an 8.3MP camera is not going to be 10x 'better' than a 3MP camera, so you are setting a false expectation.

Btw, here is a low cost 4K if that is what you want - Dahua vs Bosch and Axis 4K Cameras

I agree that it's not going to be 10x better, but it's the price point that folks are going to be looking at, and at this point it makes no sense, the Axis has a nice lens, the Dahua your stuck with 70 degrees unless you buy another lens (there goes the $$$)

when Hik makes one with a 90 degree lens (in THEORY you have the additional detail, why not make use of it for a wider area) still, the low light is so bad on anything recent... would love to see a comparison of whatever top of the line Avigilon with a Large sensor + great Lens to see how it stacks up.

Love that the Dahua is actually a 12mp native, gimmie 12mp@15fps over 4k anyday

"top of the line Avigilon with a Large sensor + great Lens to see how it stacks up."

But a great EF lens with an reasonably low F number by itself is more than an Axis 4K camera, no? :)

when Hik makes one with a 90 degree lens (in THEORY you have the additional detail, why not make use of it for a wider area)

Because you are farther away?

No idea on the framerate yet?

2 (SPF) seconds per frame?

H.264 has a max. bit rate that makes it hard to imagine that the framerate can be anything but doggy.

And when the framerate drops the interframe efficiency typically drops as well.

One thing that comes to mind with these _K cameras: are they going to be 16:9, like 4K or 8K (actual standard resolutions), or will they still be 4:3? Might not matter to many, but especially in very wide areas, it would seem that taller fields of view are more useful.

Finding a way to add 1M more pixels into a camera when existing 29MP camera aren't exactly flying off the shelves just seems like a tradeshow stunt.

Avigilon likely is emphasizing the benefits here of H.264, better low light and higher frame rates.

I don't see any implicit or explicit reference to increased frame rates anywhere in the literature. As I mentioned earlier h.264 is limited to a max bit rate, so I am not sure how much faster it can really get...

"As I mentioned earlier h.264 is limited to a max bit rate"

And what is this specific max bitrate? Citation please.

It's limited by which profile and level is used. Wikipedia has a good chart of this.

Most manufacturers in 2015 are high profile, even on low cost gear, and I see Level 4, at least, usually 4.1 or 4.2. I'm not sure I've seen anyone at Level 5. So a theoretical max limit of 62.5 Mb/s. Honestly, anything much more than that and you should probably be on a GbE link, anyway.

"a theoretical max limit of 62.5 Mb/s"

At 30MP, I think you could get 10fps within 62.5Mb/s (compare to 4K bandwidth numbers).

I don't know what processing power the Avigilon camera has to handle the frame rate but it does not seem to me that bandwidth is the core limit.

The h.264 spec limitation that applies here is technically is resolution, not bandwidth per se.

In any event, as suggested by Itmar's response below, they are probably bending the H.264 spec to their needs, so they are not hampered in any case.

Btw, the max resolution of h.265 is 8192x4320, 8K, not much breathing room even then.

The 16MP H.264 has a max bitrate of 36000kbs the 30mp will probably be a reduced framerate and a similar max bitrate of 36000kbs HDSM2.0 is novel and proprietary and will not work with ONVIF as it splits the image out into mulitple images/sections with various quality for transmission depending on what portion of the image the client is viewing

Most manufacturers in 2015 are high profile, even on low cost gear, and I see Level 4, at least, usually 4.1 or 4.2. I'm not sure I've seen anyone at Level 5. So a theoretical max limit of 62.5 Mb/s.

Except for the fact that then you are limited by the max. frame size (4th column in your chart), which, even for Level 5.2, is 9,437,184 pixels or ~4096x2304.

Maybe their existing h.264 16MP cameras are not ONVIF compliant? I don't see it on the spec sheet.

The pro line is not onvif and is closed to other nvrs. We have tested with several others and none work.

*depending on lux levels ...


I would like to request a test of the Avigilon H4 PRO series cameras.

Any way you can do it?

B, if you or anyone is interested in leasing us one for a month or two, we'd be happy to do it. If interested, contact me directly.

I really do not think they were the first to introduce a camera with that pixel count...

Have you seen Spark cameras? 36MP with single camera, Spark is a manufacturer from Italy and I just met them in a security show in Dubai


Thanks for sharing! We had not seen Spark before. For those interested, here is Spark's website / camera page. Ethan is going to reach out to them to learn more. One confusing thing with their website is that says up to 36MP but then under highlights it says 12MP CMOS.


Indeed, I saw that info too.. maybe we have to clear that out.. but at least what I´ve seen from the trade show in Dubai, the image is really impressive... they are a new manufacturer though

Eric, did they claim to be showing a 36 MP model in Dubai?

Sony has a 36 MP CMOS sensor (@4 FPS), so it's possible...

Maybe it's a quad 4K panoramic... :)

Also, they claim ONVIF compliance yet Spark is not listed as ONVIF member.

What's next, one camera in orbit with enough pixels to cover the entire planet? When does the "pixel envy" stop?

a higher amount of Megapixels only matters if the Imager/Lens allows you to see benefit of it...

there are 10mp cam's out there that don't look as good as 3mp, the 30mp Avigilon looks amazing becouse it's a full frame sensor and full size Lens, simple as that.

I'd love to see a 4k cam (real 4k, 4000/2160res) built by Hik with a 1 or 2 inch sensor, nice lens (make it compatible with some widely available DSLR Lens) and actually enjoy the quality without the off the planet price tag (so something like $3-600)

there are 10mp cam's out there that don't look as good as 3mp, the 30mp Avigilon looks amazing because it's a full frame sensor and full size Lens, simple as that.

Where/When did you see it?

it'll be the same stuff as the existing 29 or 26mp, becouse they've done more MP the right way, yes, I'm making a Judgement sight unseen.

Avigilon is showing the 7K camera. A few interesting things.

They are marketing it as 7K / 30MP, which makes sense and avoids the inevitable questions - what does 7K mean?

They are demoing the 7K camera on (4) 4K monitors to make the point that it so so much more than 4K.

However, as their own video shows, the frame rate is very low (looks to be ~3fps):

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