Avigilon H3 Bullet Cameras

By Ethan Ace, Published Dec 09, 2012, 12:00am EST

The integrated IR trend continues with megapixel manufacturer Avigilon announcing a new line of HD bullet cameras. This announcement comes after new product introductions by major manufacturers Axis and Panasonic, among others, earlier this year. In this note we look at this new line and how they compare to options from other major manufacturers.

[UPDATE: Test result released.]

Product Overview

Avigilon H3 BulletAvigilon's HD bullet line shares the following features:

  • 1MP, 2MP, 3MP, and 5MP resolutions available.
  • Two P-Iris lens options: 3-9mm and 9-22mm with remote focus and zoom.
  • Built-in "Adaptive" IR illumination, specified to 30m in 3-9mm version, and 60m in 9-22mm. 
  • WDR on all models except 5MP.
  • H.264 and MJPEG compression, maximum frame rate of 30 FPS in 1 and 2MP resolution, 20 FPS at 3MP, and 13 FPS at 5MP.

Pricing for the H3 bullet series starts at $795 USD MSRP for the 1MP 3-9mm version. MSRP for 9-22 lens models is $40 more. Based on current Avigilon product pricing, we estimate street pricing at approximately $675-725. 

Key Claims

The H3 bullet's Adaptive IR feature provides two main functions, neither of which are common among competitive cameras:

  • Adapts to zoom level: Since the cameras feature motorized zoom lenses, they are able to track lens position and adjust the width of IR illumination accordingly, to more closely match the FOV.
  • Adapts to scene: The camera is able to adjust IR intensity depending on what subjects are in the field of view. For example, as a subject moves toward the camera, IR strength is adjusted so as not to create hotspots, overexposing the image.

Additionally, Avigilon claims up to 60m IR range for the 9-22m models, which is the highest manufacturer specified integrated IR range we have yet seen.

Competitive Comparison

Avigilon's pricing is likely lower than competitive options. For example, the 1.3MP Arecont AV1125IR sells for about ~$750 online, but lacks remote focus and zoom, as well as adaptive IR. The Axis P3364-LVE, a 720p IR-integrated dome camera has an estimated street price of about $1000, based on MSRP. The P3364-LVE features remote focus and zoom, and adjusts IR width accordingly, but does not include scene adaptive IR. Finally, Axis has a lower cost option than Avigilon, the M11-L series. However, this is indoor only unlike the other ones cited which are all outdoor models.

Additionally, Avigilon's claimed 30m and 60m IR range is higher than most manufacturers in the industry. Arecont claims 25m, while Sony and Panasonic claim only 15m in their bullet cameras. If these specifications are accurate, Avigilon may have a substantial advantage in IR range. However, claimed IR ranges and actual can vary substantially so be careful in accepting without field validation.

[UPDATE: Test result released.]

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