Testing Avigilon's H.264 HD Camera

Author: Benros Emata, Published on Jul 12, 2011

Avigilon is one of the better known and respected recent entrants in the video surveillance market. While they have received significant praise for their quality and usability, historically they had two important constraints:

  • The company's cameras were only supported by Avigilon's own VMS. If you wanted to use their cameras, you had to migrate to their VMS.
  • Their cameras supported only JPEG2000. While JPEG2000 offers some important benefits, the bandwidth consumption is much higher than H.264, the de facto standard in today's IP camera market.

In the last year, Avigilon released a line of H.264 camera with support for ONVIF, addressing both issues. Now that you can use Avigilon cameras with 3rd party VMS systems, it does raise the question of how well Avigilon's quality matches up against other IP cameras used more commonly in 'open' VMS deployments.

To that end, we bought an Avigilon 1.0MP-HD-H264-B1 box camera and conducted a series of shootouts between Avigilon, Axis and Sony cameras in a variety of real world surveillance scenarios. In this report, we share our test findings.

Here are a few of the test scenes used including indoor, outdoor, day, night and WDR:

We analyzed each of the scenes to see how the Avigilon camera performed relative to the other cameras. We exported the simultaneous recordings and then digitally zoomed each camera to the same level to show differences. The sample comparison below from this test shows an example of the analysis (camera names/models revealed inside the Pro section):

We conducted our analysis across 10 scenes. They are:

  • Indoor Even Artificial Lighting (Moderately Wide FoV)
  • Indoor Even Artificial Lighting (Narrow FoV)
  • Indoor Low-Light (Default)
  • Indoor Low-Light (Normalized)
  • Outdoor Daytime Even Lighting (Wide FoV)
  • Outdoor Daytime Even Lighting (Moderately Wide FoV)
  • Outdoor Nighttime (Wide FoV)
  • Outdoor Nighttime (Moderately Wide FoV)
  • WDR Scene (Bright)
  • WDR Scene (Dark)

Additionally, we examined bandwidth differences across the cameras and scenes to see any tradeoffs in bandwidth vs quality.

******** ** *** ** *** ****** ***** *** ********* ****** entrants ** *** ***** ************ ******. ***** **** **** ******** significant ****** *** ***** ******* *** *********, ************ **** *** two ********* ***********:

  • *** *******'* ******* **** **** ********* ** ********'* *** ***. If *** ****** ** *** ***** *******, *** *** ** migrate ** ***** ***.
  • ***** ******* ********* ************. ***** ******** ****** **** ********* ********, *** ********* *********** is **** ****** **** *.***, *** ** ***** ******** ** today's ** ****** ******.

** *** **** ****, ******** ******** * **** ** *.*** camera **** ******* *** *****, ********** **** ******. *** **** you *** *** ******** ******* **** *** ***** *** *******, it **** ***** *** ******** ** *** **** ********'* ******* matches ** ******* ***** ** ******* **** **** ******** ** 'open' *** ***********.

** **** ***, ** ****** ** *********.***-**-****-***** ****** *** ********* * ****** ** ********* ******* ********, Axis *** **** ******* ** * ******* ** **** ***** surveillance *********. ** **** ******, ** ***** *** **** ********.

**** *** * *** ** *** **** ****** **** ********* indoor, *******, ***, ***** *** ***:

** ******** **** ** *** ****** ** *** *** *** Avigilon ****** ********* ******** ** *** ***** *******. ** ******** the ************ ********** *** **** ********* ****** **** ****** ** the **** ***** ** **** ***********. *** ****** ********** ***** from **** **** ***** ** ******* ** *** ******** (****** names/models ******** ****** *** *** *******):

** ********* *** ******** ****** ** ******. **** ***:

  • ****** **** ********** ******** (********** **** ***)
  • ****** **** ********** ******** (****** ***)
  • ****** ***-***** (*******)
  • ****** ***-***** (**********)
  • ******* ******* **** ******** (**** ***)
  • ******* ******* **** ******** (********** **** ***)
  • ******* ********* (**** ***)
  • ******* ********* (********** **** ***)
  • *** ***** (******)
  • *** ***** (****)

************, ** ******** ********* *********** ****** *** ******* *** ****** to *** *** ********* ** ********* ** *******.

[***************]

Key ******** *** ***************

*** ********* *** *** ******** **** *** ******** ****:

  • ***** ********* ******** ********** *** ******** *.***-**-****-** ******** ***** ********* on *** ** ******** ****** **** *** *****.
  • *** *****: * ********** ** */*** ******* ******** **** *** *** Avigilon *.*** ******* ** ********'* ****** ***** ****** **** *********** supporting ****** ******* ********. [******: *** ******** ****** *** ******** to ** ** */**. *******, *** ***** *********** ** ************* ******** ** ***** ** *******.]
  • ********* *********** *** ********* ** *** **** *** ***** ***** favorable ********, *** ****** ************ ***** ***-*****/********* **********.
  • ****-***** ************ *** ******** ******** ********** **** ***** ****** ** changed *** ** **** ********.
  • *******: *** ******** *.***-**-****-** ** **** $*** ** ****** ***** competitive ******** ** ***** ******* **** **** *******, *.*. **** P1344 (****** $***) *** **** ***** (****** $***). ****, *** integrated **** ** * ******* ******* **** ***** ****** * significant ***** ******* ** *********** *********.
  • ******** ***********:*** ******** *.***-**-****-** **** *** ***** **-***** ******* ** ********* unlike **** **********'* ******* *********. ***** ***** *** ************* **** infrequently, ************ **** ******* **** ****** **** **** ***** ** mind.
  • *** ***********: *********** **** * *** ***** *** (******, ***********) *** ONVIF ******** ******** ***** ************ (**** **** *******, **** ****, and *********/********). *********** **** ********'* ******* ****** ******** ****** ** advanced ****** **************

** ***** ** ***** ******** ** ********* *** *********:

  • ***** *** ********** *** *****, ********* ***** *********** ******* *********** and *** *********** ** ** ********** ****, *** ******** *.*** box ****** ** ***** ********* *********** ******* *** ****** ** camera ****** *** *********** **** *** ***** *** *******. *******, Avigilon ******* ******** ************ *** *********** ****** ****** *****, **** more ** **** ***** ** ****** *************. **** *** ** a *** ******** ** ******** ********* ** **** ******** ** the ***********.
  • *** ***-***** ************, ******** ****** ********** ******** ** * **********'* camera ******** * ****** ******* *****.
  • ****** ******* **** ** ***-***** ************, ********** **** ******** ************ in *** ***** ******* ********.
  • **** ***** ** *** *******, *** *** ****** ***** ** improve ***** *********/*******
  • ********* *** *** *** ******* **** ******** ** **** ****** network/storage ***********
  • ** ******** ** ********* ** *** ***** *** *** *****, do * **** ****** ********** ** *** ************* *** ************ of **** ***** *********** *******.

Physical ********

** **** ***** ** ******* * ******** ******** ** *** Avigilon *.*** ******. ** ******** ** *** ****** **** ****. A *** ******* ******** **** ** ******** ** *** **** along **** **** ******** ******** ********, **** ** ** */* jack, */* ******** *****, *** ********* ***** *****.

Administration *** *************

** **** ***** ** ***** ************* *** ************* *** *** Avigilon ******'* *** *********. *** ***** **** ** ****** **** into ******* ********** (*.*. *******, ***** *** *******, ****** *********, system ***.). *** **** ******* ** *** ****** ** ****** to ******* ******** ****** ** * ***-**** ***** ** ****** basis. ** ***** *** ************* ***** **** ** ********/**** ******** and ***********/********* ********. * *** ********** ** * ******* ******** length ** */*** **** ***** ***-*****/********* *********** ***********.

Indoor **** *** (***)

** **** ********, ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** *********** *** ********** ******** *** ** ****** *********** (~200 ***).

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

**** *** ********* ** *** *****, *** ******* ******* ******* for **************. *** ***** ******** *** ******* ***** ** *******, clarity *** *********. ***** *** ***** *** ******** *.*** ******* second **** ********** ******** **** ****** *** ******* ******* **** the *****.

Indoor **** *** (****)

** **** ********, ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** *********** *** ********** ******** *** ** ****** *********** (~200 ***).

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

******** *********** **** *** ****** ** ****** ** **** ******** FoV. ***** *** ***** ******** *** **** ******* ***** ** detail *** ***** *******. *** ******** *.*** ******* * *** over-saturated, *** *********** ******** **** ****** *** ******* *******. ****** for *** *****, ******** ****** ** ************** *** ********* ****** the *****.

***** ** *** ********* *********** *****:

** ********* ** ******* *** ****** ******** ******. *** ******** operates **** ***** *** ****** ********* ***, ** **** ********** simple *****. *** **** ******* ******* ********* ********* ********* ******, as ****.

Indoor ***-***** (*******)

** **** ********, ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** '****' **** *********** ** ******** (~*.* ***). *** cameras *** *** ** ******* ********. **** **** *** ***** is ***** ****.

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

** **** ****** ***-***** (~*.* ***) ***********, *** ******** ** essentially '*******-***'. **** *** **** *****, *** ******** ******** * default *** ******* ** */***; *** *** ***** ******* ** deliver ****** **** **** ********* *******. *** ********** ****** ***** qualities ******** ** *** *** **** ******* ** ** ******** given ***** ******* */** *** ********.

***** ** *** ********* *********** *****:

*** ******** ********* ****** ** ~*.*****. ****** * *** ******* length ** **** */***, *** ***-***** ******* ************ ****/*****. ******* this ******* ** ******** ******** ************ *** ******* ******* ******** little ** ** ******* *** * ************ **** *********. ** contrast *** ***** ******** * **** ***** ** ******* ** a *** '****' ** *********.

Indoor ***-***** (**********)

** **** ********, ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** '****' **** *********** ** ******** (~*.* ***). ******* have **** ********** ** * */*** ******* *****. **** **** the ***** ** ***** ****.

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

**** *** ******* *** ** * */*** *** ********, **** cameras **** **** *********** '*******-***', *** ****** ******* ** ********* as * ******. **** *** ******** *** **** ***** ******** have *** ******* ****-*************, *** ** ******** ***** ******* *********** exist ******* *** ******** '*******' *** **** '**********' ********.

***** ** *** ********* *********** *****:

** ****** ** *** **** ********* *********** ** *** ******** camera, ** ** ******** **** *******. *******, *********** *** **** cameras ** * */*** ******* ******* ** * **** ******** loss ** *******, ** *** **** ******* *** *** ****** 'blacked-out'.

Outdoor ******* (***)

** **** ******** ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** *********** *** ******* *** ***** *** ** ****** distributed (~**,*** ** **,*** ***).

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

*** ******** ***** *** *** ***** ** **** ************ *********** FoV, ******** ** ******* * **** ****** ** ****** *******. In ********** *** *****, *****, *** ***** ****** *** **** crisp **** **** ** *** ********. **** ** ************** *** slightly ****** ** *** ******** ****** *** *****, *****, *** M1114.

Outdoor ******* (****)

** **** ******** ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** *********** *** ******* *** ***** *** ** ****** distributed (~**,*** ** **,*** ***).

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

*** ******** ******** *** **** ******* ***** ******* ***** *** field. ******, ********* *** ******* *** ************ ****** ** ********** to *** ***** *** *****. *** ***** ***** ***** *** the ******** ** *** ****** ***** **** ********* ********, ***** to *** ******-*** ** **** ******* *****.

***** ** *** ********* *********** *****:

****** *** *****, ********** *** ** ********** ******, ** ******** in **** ****** ***-******* ***********. ******, ** *** *****, ************ are **** ******** ****** **** *** '****** ****-***' ********, ********** a ****** ******** ** ********** (*.*. **** ******, ******** *******, vegetation ***.) ** **** ******* *****.

Outdoor ********* (***)

** **** ******** ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** *********** *** ********** ****** (~*.* ** ** ***).

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

** *** ******* *** ********, *** **** ******* ******* ** advantage ** ***-***** ** ********* ****. *** **** ***** ******** provides *** ******** ******* *******, *** ** ***** ******** ** color (******, *********** ** ******** ***** *** **********). *** ******** with * ******* ** */*** *** ******* ** ************ *****, despite * *** *** ****** ***-***** *********** (~* ** ** lux).

Outdoor ********* (****)

** **** ******** ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene ** *********** *** ********** ****** (~*.* ** ** ***).

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

****** **** *** *****, *****, *** ***** *** ******* ********** utility **** *** ******** **** ** **** ******** ***. ******, while **** ****** ******* ****** * ******* ******* * ******* plate, ** *** ******** **'* *** ***** **** *** ******* is *******.

***** ** *** ********* *********** *****:

* ****** **** ********* *********** ** ******** ** *** ******** camera (*.******). ********, *** ***** ******* ** *** ******* ** the ***, ** ** ******** ************ *****. *** ***** */** (P1344 *** *****) ******* *** **** * **** ********* ********* profile *** **** ****** ** ********** ****** *******, ** ****.

WDR ***** (******)

** **** ******** ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene's *** ********* ** ******** ** * ~**** *** ****** area *** * ~*** *** ******** '****' ****. *** ******* is ********** ** *** ****** ****.

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

******* **** ** *** ******* *** **** ** ******* ******* within *** ****-*** ****** ** *** *****, ** ** ** competely ******-***. *******, *** ******** ******* ** ******* *** **** level ** ******* ****** ***** *** ***** ** **** **** challenging *** *****. ** ***** ******* ** ** ************ *** much **** ******** *** ******** **** ** ***** **** ************** is ***** ****** ********.

WDR ***** (****)

** **** ******** ******* *** ********* ****** **** * ***** subject ~**** ***, ************* ** * **** ** ~****. *** scene's *** ********* ** ******** ** * ~**** *** ****** area *** * ~*** *** ******** '****' ****. *** ******* is ********** ** *** '****' ****.

***** ** *** ********* ******** (******** **** ***** ****):

***** ** ** ***** '******' **** *** ** ******** ** this ********. *** ******* ******* ****** **** *** ******* ******* and *********. ************** ** *** ****** ********, *** *********** ** subject *****, ****-*****, ******, *** ********** *** ******** ****** *** board.

***** ** *** ********* *********** *****:

*************, **********, ** *******, *** **** ***** **** *** ****** 'Indoor ****-***' ********. **** **** *** ******** ********* ********** ***** images ** * ********** **** ** ********* ***** **** ********* difficult *** ********.

Motion ********

*** ******** ****** *** * ********** ***** ********* ******* ******** lengths ******* **** */***. **** ********** **** *** **** ****** well ** ******** ***-*****/********* ***********. ** * ******, *******, **** of ****** **** ** *********** **********. ** ***** *** ****** side-effect **** ** ***-***** ************ ** ********* ****/*****, *** ********* spikes.

Bandwidth ********

******* ********* ** *****

** ****** **** ********* ******** (****** ****-***, ******* *******, *** WDR *****) *** ******** ****** ********* ******* ********* ************ ** the ***** *** */* ******* ****** (***** *** *****). *******, in ***-*****/********* ****** *** ******** ****** ** ********** ************ ****** than *** */**, ******* '** *****' ******** *******.

******* ******* ** ******

** *.** **** *** ********'* ******* ******* ********* ** ******** higher **** *** ***** *** */**. ** ********** ** *** ~500% ****** **** ***** *** ~***% ****** **** *****. ******** to *****-**** ***** ** *** ~**% ******. *** ****** *** Avigilon's ********* ****** ** *** ***-*****/********* *********.

***********

**** *** *** **** (*) ******* **** ** *********** **** the ******** ***:

  • ******** *.***-**-****-**(**** $***) -**** */*; */*.*" ****; **.*; *.*/*.** *** (*****/**)
  • **** *****(****** $***) - **** */*; */*" ****; **.* ******** ; 0.05 *** (**)
  • **** *****(****** $***) - **** */*; */*" ****; **.* *******; *.* Lux (*****)
  • **** *****(****** $***) - **** */*; */*" ****; ; *.* *** (BW)

**** ** *** **** (*) ******* **** ************** ******** ** an *********** *** ****** **** (*) *** *********. *** ******* were *** ** ***** ******** ****** *******, ****** ****** *** low-light *****. ****** ***-***** ***** */* ******* **** '******' **** B/W ** ****** *********** ** **********. ***********, ******* **** ********** to */*** ******* ***** *** *** ** *** *****. *** camera ****** **** ******** ** * ******* **** ***** (~** degrees) *** ********/******** ** ***** - *** ********* - ******* resolutions.

**** *** *** *** ******* ******** *** ******** ******** *** each ******:

  • ******** *.***-**-****-** - */*** ******* ********; ** *.*.*.*(****)
  • **** ***** - */** *** ******** */ ***; ** *.**
  • **** ***** - */** *** ******** */ ***; ** *.**.*
  • **** ***** - */*** *******; *** '****'; ***.**.**

**** *** *** **** (*) *** *********:

  • ****** **** ********** ******** - ~*** ***
  • ****** ***-***** - ~*.* ***
  • ******* **** ****** ******** - ~ **,*** ** **,*** ***
  • ******* ********* - ~*.* ** ~** ***
  • *** ***** - ~**** *** (****** ****) *** ~*** *** (dark ****)
Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Uniview Low-Cost Bullet PTZ Tested on Jun 21, 2017
Uniview is offering a HD zoom bullet camera, the IPC742SR9-PZ30-32G, with an integrated pan / tilt positioner, for the price of a low-cost...
VMS UI - Light vs Dark Preferences on Jun 16, 2017
Several VMS manufacturers have the ability to choose a user interface with either a light or dark color theme. 150+ integrators told us which they...
Axis 20MP Q1659 Camera Tested on Jun 13, 2017
Axis has joined the super high resolution camera trend with their Q1659, a 20MP model equipped with Canon's APS-C sensor. We tested the Q1659...
Camera Course Summer 2017 on Jun 08, 2017
Learn video surveillance and get certified. IPVM provides live online classes, recorded videos, personal help, cutting edge education and...
Milestone New "+" Claims To "Conquer The Mid-Market" on Jun 07, 2017
Milestone has declared they are going to "Conquer The Mid-Market" with new "+" releases. Will they? In this report, we examine Milestone's "+"...
Avigilon Announces New Lowest Cost Camera (Mini Domes) on Jun 06, 2017
Avigilon's first Micro Dome (see IPVM's test) is now 4 years old. Since that time, low-cost fixed focal Chinese manufacturer dome usage has...
Samsung SmartCam A1 Totally Wireless System on Jun 06, 2017
Hanwha is keeping the Samsung brand alive in consumer cameras with the SmartCam A1, a new offering combining an autotracking 1080p camera with base...
Manufacturer Revenue Directory on Jun 05, 2017
This report contains data on the revenue of 32 security manufacturers, trend analysis of whether they are gaining or losing ground and commentary...
Most Disrespected Manufacturer Competitors on Jun 01, 2017
Manufacturers told IPVM what competitor they most disrespected. There was one overwhelming selection that manufacturers felt was harming the...
Chinese Direct Disruptor Reolink Tested on May 31, 2017
Another Chinese disruptor, Reolink, is gaining attention. This one is selling direct from its own website, with fulfillment by Amazon. And a...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Uniview Low-Cost Bullet PTZ Tested on Jun 21, 2017
Uniview is offering a HD zoom bullet camera, the IPC742SR9-PZ30-32G, with an integrated pan / tilt positioner, for the price of a low-cost...
QSR Video Surveillance Best Practices on Jun 21, 2017
Fast food restaurants or QSRs (quick service restaurants), are frequent victims of crime and fraud. Because they are open late, deal with cash, and...
45 Drives 'Lowest Cost' Enterprise Storage Company Profile on Jun 21, 2017
45 Drives claims the "lowest cost per Hard Drive Slot in the industry." But who or what is '45 Drives'? What started as a product design to...
No Hack, Still Liable, Court Finds ADT on Jun 20, 2017
Recently, ADT has been in the news for a $16 million settlement for a cyber security vulnerability class action suit. One of the most important...
Resolver / PPM 2000 Incident Management Platform Profile on Jun 20, 2017
You might have seen the company whose employees wear hockey jerseys at trade shows and wondered "what do they do?" PPM 2000 has been active in...
Axis P3225 Mk II Tested Vs. Original on Jun 20, 2017
Axis has released a number of 'Mk II' versions of their cameras, which are the same fundamental camera but with specific improvements. We tested...
Directory of 40 IP Camera Manufacturer Discovery Tools on Jun 19, 2017
Locating the IP address of a DHCP client or factory defaulted device on a network is often a difficult task.  In another report, we discussed...
Dahua Demotes USA CEO on Jun 19, 2017
Dahua has demoted their USA CEO Tim Wang. Inside this note, we examine the move, Dahua's challenges and what lies ahead for the...
Avigilon Increases Prices In Canada, Europe and UK on Jun 19, 2017
While many video surveillance companies are racing to see who can cut prices the fastest, Avigilon is taking a contrary approach, actually raising...
VMS UI - Light vs Dark Preferences on Jun 16, 2017
Several VMS manufacturers have the ability to choose a user interface with either a light or dark color theme. 150+ integrators told us which they...

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