Avigilon H4 5MP and 4K Cameras Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Apr 25, 2016

Avigilon has released their H4 HD line, with promised improvements including their most sensitive low light camera (the 5.0L-), analytics on all models, and a new, less expensive, 4K/8MP model.

We bought the 4K and 5P H4 IR domes to see how they compare to others from Axis, Bosch, Hikvision, and more, seen here during test setup:

Inside, we examine performance in low light and full light image, bandwidth comparisons, and more.

******** *** ******** ***** ** ** ****, **** ******** ************ including ***** **** ********* *** ***** ****** (*** *.**-), ********* on *** ******, *** * ***, **** *********, **/*** *****.

** ****** *** ** *** ** ** ** ***** ** see *** **** ******* ** ****** **** ****, *****, *********, and ****, **** **** ****** **** *****:

******, ** ******* *********** ** *** ***** *** **** ***** image, ********* ***********, *** ****.

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

*******

********'* ** ** *** *** ** ***** *** **** ***** performers ** *** ***** *** **** ***** ****** ******** ** competitive ******, *** ****** ************* ** ******** ****** **** ******* models.

*******, ******* ****** *** ******** **** *********** ** **/*** ******* we **** ******, **** ****** **** ** *********'* ** *** the ***** *** ********* ********** ****** ** **** ******. ************, the ** ** ******'* ******** **** ***** *** ******* ** 4K ******* ** **** ******, ****** **** **** **** *** Panasonic's ** ******.

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

*** ** *** *** *** ********** ** ******** *** ** end *******, *******:

  • ***** ** ***** *********, ***** ********* **** **** ******** ******* Center, **** **** ***** ******* ** **** ********* *** *** ******** ** *** ****** ** ****** ****. Note, ** **** *** ****** *** ** *******' ********* ** this ******, *** **** ** ** * ****** ****.
  • ******** ******* ********* **** *** **** ****** **** ***** *************, with ****** *** ************* ******** *** *** ***, ******* ** needing ** *** *** ******'* *** *********, ***** ******* ************ time.

*******

*** ******** ** ** *** ** ********* ****** ***** ** ~$1,200-1,300 ***. **** ** ********** ****** **** ****, **** *******************'*** ******* *****, ***** **** *** $***-*** ******. *******, ** is ***** **** ** ** ****** ********************, **** ** ***** **** *** $*,***+

*** *** ******** ** *** ** ******* ** *** **** comparison ****:

*** *** ** ***** *** ** ********* ****** ***** ** about $***-*,*** ***. **** ** ******* ** *********** *** ** models, **** ** ********** ***-*****. *******, *** ***** ***** *** ****** **** ********** ** and **** ****** **** ****** **** ******, **** ** ************************** ***** (~$*** ******). ***** ****** ******* ******** ****** *** due ** ***** **:* *** ********** **. ******** *** ******' 4:3 ***, **** **. ****, **** **** ** *** **** features (********* ****/*****, ** ***** *********, ***.).

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

Key ********

**** *** *** *** ******** **** *** **** ** *** Avigilon ** *****:

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

*** ******** ** ** ****** ******** ********** ****** ** ****** FOVs **** **** ***********, **** ** *** **** *****-* (** IR),Panasonic **** *** ***** **-**** (** *****).

** ***** **** (**’+) *** ** ****** ******, ******* *** similar ** ***** ** ** ******, **** ** ***** ****, though *** ********** *** ***-** **** *****-*.

** **** *****, *** ******** ** ** ******** ***** ******* than *** ********* **-******* ** *** ******, **** ******* ******** on *** ******* *** **** *****.

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

*** ******** ** *** ********* ****** **** *** ******** ********** H3 *** ****** ** *** *****, **** ****** ********* ** detail *** ******** ******:

*** ** **** *****, ******* **** ********* *** ** *** higher *** ******** ** *** *** *****.

*********

*** ******** ** ** *** ************* ****** ******** ** **** light *** *** ***** ******** ** **** *** *********'* ** models.

*** *** **'* ******** **** ********** ****** **** *** ***** 5MP ****** ** **** ******, ****** ***** **** ********'* ******** H3 *** *****.

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

********'* **** ***** ****, *** ** *** ** ****, ****** without ****** ** *** *****. **** ******* ******* ********* *** increases *********** *** *-***** ******** **** *** ***** ** ***** to ****** *********. **** **** **** ** ********* **** **** smart ******, ***** ******** *********, *** *** ** ******** ** cases ***** * ******** ********* ** ********.

Physical ********

*** ** ** ***** *** ******* ** **** *** ************ to ***** ******* **** ******, **** ******* ********, *** *** additions *** ******** *****:

  • *** **** *** ******** ******:*** ** ***** ******* * ***** *** **** ***** ****** connection ** * **** ****** *** *****/******. **** ** **** in **** *********** ******, **** ** ****'* ***-******, ****** ** not ******.
  • ********* ****** ******:***** *** ****** *** ****** ****** **** *** **** ******* by ********* ***** ******. **** ****** *** ****** ****** ** be ******** ** **** ** *******, ** ******** ** *** future, ******* ****** ** ********* *** ****** *******. **** ** also ***** ** **** *********** ******, **** ** **** */* domes.

** ****** *** ******** ************ ** *** ****** ** **** video:

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

*** *** **** ****, ************* ** *** ******** ** *** interface ** ******* ** *** **, **** **** ****** *******:

  • ***** ******* ******** **** **** ******* **** *** *****, **** day/night, ********, ***, *** ** ******** ** *** *** **********/********/********* on *** *****.
  • **** **** ******* *** ***** ** *** ******* * **** in ******** ** **** *** ********.
  • **** ***** **** *** **** ***** ** ***** ********.

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

IR ************ ***********

** ***** ** *** ******** ** ****** ** ********* ** a ********** ***** ***, **** ******* **** **** ******* ** IR ***** *****, **** ** *** **** **** (***), ********* DS-2CD4585-IZH (***), ** ********* **** (***). ** *** *****, ** found **** **** ** ** ******* ********, **** ******* ******* details ****** ***, **** ***** ** *** ******* ****** *** parking *** **** *** ***** (~**') *** ********** *** ******:

** *** *****, *** *** ******** ** ******* *** ** slightly ******** *** *** ** *****, **** *** ******* ******** clearly ******* ***** ** ****** *** ******* ****** (********* ** the *****), ****** ** ~***'.

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

**** ******** ******* ******* ******** **, ***** **** ********* **** of **** *** ********* **** ******. **** ** ***** ** the ********* *****, **** *** ** ****** ** **** *** camera ** *** **** ********* (*********) **** *****. *** ****** is **** ****** *** ** *** ****** ***, **** *** second *** ** **** ********* ** *** *** ***** *** dimming *** ******* ******* ***.

Low ***** ***********

** ****** *** ** ******* *** *********** ** ** **** field/parking *** ** *** *** **** *********, ***** * **** angle ** **** (~**°):

**

** **** ~***' ********/~** ***, **** ** *** ******* ******* usable ****** ** *** ******* ** **** *****. **** **** this ******** ** ****** *** ** ***** ** *** ******* tested.

****** ** *** ******, **** *** ******, ******* *******, **** performance ******* ** ** ******** ****** **** *** ********* **-******

*******, ******* ** *** *******, ***** *** ** ****, *** Avigilon ** ******** *** **** ******* ** *** ******* *** test ***** **********, **** *** ********* **** ******* *** *** chart ********.

***

*** ******** *** ******** ************ ********'* ******** ********** ** *** model ** *** *****, **** *********** ****** ** ***** ********** IR ****** **** **** *** *********, **** ***** ** ~** PPF/60' *****.

** ****** *****, ******* ********* *** ******, **** *** **** chart ******* ** **** * *** *** ******* ******* ***********.

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

********* ** ***** **** ** *****, **** ** ***, *** Avigilon ** *** ******** *** **** ******* ** *** **** chart:

** **** *****, ~**' **** *** ******, ***** *** ** higher, *** *** ***** ******* *** ********* ****** ******, ****** it ** ************ ** ***** ****** *** ** **** ************ of *** ******* *** ********** *** **** *****.

Full ***** ***********

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

***** * **** **** ***** ** **** (~***'), *** ******** 4K ****** ******** ******* ** *** ******* ******* ** *** other ** ******* ******, **** ******** **** ***** ********** **** Axis *** *****, **** ** ***** **** *** *** *****. The **** ***** ** **** *********** ** *** ********* ****, which ******* ***** *** ***** *** ****** *****.

**** *** *******, **** *** **** ****** (~** **. ~**), details ********* ** ********, ****, *** ***** *** ***** *******, and ********* **** ***** ******** **** ****** *******.

*** **. ***/*****

******* ** *** *** ******** ** **** *****, ** ******** moderately ***** ** ****** *****/***** *** **** *** ***** ***, with ******* ******** ** *** ******* *** **** *****, ****** provides ******** ****** ******* ******* **** *** ** ***.

*******, ** ~**' ********, ***** *** ** ******* (~** ** the ** ***), *** ******* ******** ** *** *** ** provides ******* ******** ** *** *******, ***** ******* ***** ******* than *** ***** *** ***** (***** **** *** ******** ****** PPF *** ** *** **:* *** ********** **. *:*).

Bandwidth **********

** ****** ********* ** *** ****** ***** ** *** *** the ******** ** ******* ******* ** ******.

** **** *****, *** ******** ** **'* ******* ******* *** higher **** *** **** *** ********* *******, ********** ** *** light, ******* ** ~** **/*.

*** ** ***'* ********* *********** *** ******* ** *** ***** 5MP ********* ** ****-*** ******, ***** *.* **/*, *** ***** than *** ******** ********** ** *** ***** (~*.* **/*). ** low *****, ******** **** ******** ***** **** *** ** ***, ~3.8 **/* **. *.*.

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

******** *** ********** "**** ***** ****" ** *** ** *******, which ****** ***** ** ****** *********, *******, *-***** ********, *** compression **** *** ****** ******* ** ******, *********** *********** ******** bitrates. ** *******, *** ****** ******** ** * ***, **** a ******** ******** ** *.

** *** *****, **** ***** **** ****** ******* ****** **** Avigilon's *** *** ** **** ** *****. ******* ***** **** vary ******, ********* ** ******** ******** ****, **** ****** **** framerates *** ********* ********** **** ********* **** ****/**** *-***** ******** settings, *** *******.

******** **** **** ***** **** **** **** **** ** ***** cameras/recorders, *** *** ****** ****.

Test **********

******* **** ****** ***** ******* ********, **** *** ********* ***********:

  • ******** *** *** ** */*** ***
  • ************ *** *** ** ** ******* ** ~**
  • ***** ****** **** **** ***** ***** ***** (***** ******* ****)

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

  • ******** *.**-***-***: *.*.*.**
  • ******** *.**-***-***: *.**.*.**
  • ******** *.*-***-***: *.**.*.**
  • **** *****-*: *.**.*.*
  • **** *****-***: *.**.*.*
  • ***** ***-*****: *.**
  • ***** **-****: *************
  • ********* **-**********-***: *.*.*
  • ********* **-*******: *.**

Comments (21)

Thank you for a very good review. Saved me the need to do it myself :)

Since Avigilon uses built in lenses what lenses were used for the rest of the cameras?

Do they come lenses or are they purchased separately?

All the cameras tested included lenses. Most of them were motorized focus/zoom, except the Bosch 5MP starlight, which is varifocal.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand something.

"All the cameras tested included lenses" - means that when you buy an Axis 4K (for example) you get a lens, and that you tested with the included.

"Most of them were motorized focus/zoom, except the Bosch 5MP starlight, which is varifocal" - if most of them were motorized zoom, doesn't it mean that they were varfocal?

The Axis 4K (and nearly every other camera here) includes an integrated zoom lens, not an interchangeable lens, like C/CS mount. The Bosch is CS mount, but the camera ships with that lens. It's not motorized.

Yes, motorized zoom is varifocal. But varifocal most often means that you're manually focusing it, instead of doing it via the camera web interface.

Thank you for the clarification.

Since it appears to me that the Bosch camera gave the best fight can you tell me the lens manufacturer for the 4K if it is known?

I wonder on your bit rate comparison, was the H3 3MP camera measured with WDR turned on? The H4 5MP lacks WDR, so it would be interesting to know.

That measurement actually was with WDR turned on. I'll make a note of that. All the cameras in the test which include WDR had WDR turned on, as it normally would be.

I should also specify that WDR was turned on during the day, and off at night if it did not turn off automatically. Just to be clear.

A little off-topic, but how does IPVM acquire the cameras used for testing? Are they all purchased outright, do you get them on a demo/loaner program from manufacturers, or donations from manufacturers? What do you guys do with your obsolete models?

We buy almost everything outright. We purchase online or through integrators, depending on the line and availability. A very very few we get on loan, and that's typically only if it's very expensive and we won't use it in the future. If it's very expensive and we plan to keep using it, we'll buy it.

As for what we do with older models...I have about 40 cameras staring me in the face from the shelves of my desk, another 5 sitting here waiting for testing, a stack of recorders about 3' tall to my left...and that's not even including John Scanlan's desk or the shelves or the closet. We have given away some.

We've been planning to get a lab setup together (see: Idea: Should IPVM Open An Online Lab?) but space planning and moving have been lower priority. Still aiming for the next couple of quarters.

It would be funny if you guys opened something like a library, but with cameras, recorders, switches, etc. One could "check out" an XYZ camera for 30 days for $x...Ill take a free "library card" for the idea.

1, that's the goal of the lab, at least virtually. Have lots of cameras and VMSes online so anyone can access and try out as needed.

This would be well worth the price of membership. If IPVM kept a backup image of each VMS server or VM and let everyone have admin rights (to the VMS) to fully test them out that would be incredibly useful. I would, however, count on someone breaking it every few days... hence the backups.

The idea would be to use imaging software to quickly restore each server before / after testing.

We have started this for our internal testing needs.

"Their on board analytics, which integrate only with Avigilon Control Center"

Given that it's built on the ONVIF Analytics Service Specification v 2.2.0, does IPVM know of any third party VMSs building support for these cameras? What are IPVM's thoughts on the current lack of support for what's proven to be a solid performer in the analytics camera space?

There are many ONVIF specification areas that aren't well implemented yet. Try to find good support for Profile G for example.

It's good that Avigilon is using ONVIF as much as possible, but I wouldn't assume that widespread support is just going to come naturally.

What is Milestone's incentive for example to add support for this? Engineering is mostly a zero-sum game, if they work on this, some other feature most likely gets delayed. How many customers are going to use Avigilon's analytic camera with Milestone instead of ACC? Enough to make it worthwhile to Milestone? Unlikely.

Hopefully more analytics products will adopt ONVIF Analytics Service, which then means VMS vendors can pick up support for many products by adding support, instead of just one or two brands.

It also would appear the Milestone (or any VMS) would have to add support not just for receiving and handling notifications, but also configuring rules as well. How would a customer with an Avigilon camera handle adjusting rules and such with another VMS? It seems like that VMS needs to do a lot of UI work, which may not translate to all other products (eg: other products will use different kinds of rules, or different names. How do you normalize this?), or Avigilon would need to have some kind of free configuration/test only VMS license so that customers could be assured they can handle the basic camera config functions.

Overall, I don't think it's all that surprising that other VMS's aren't rushing to add support for Avigilon analytics devices.

Great recap. One question, you do a bandwidth comparison which is very useful to me as I design wireless systems everyday and throughput is a main concern. Is there anywhere within your resources where you list maximum bandwidth usage per camera (realizing that spikes occur that would take the camera above said max)? For example you list 10 fps in your above comparison, would be good to know what the maximum throughput would be should the customer utilize full frame rate. Thanks.

@IPVM - is it possible to share what SoC Avigilon is using for 4K models? Amba S3?

The picture you posted of the setup shows the dome being left off of the cameras. Was the testing done without the glass? If so, doesn't that somewhat distort the results?

That picture was taken while we were setting up. We hadn't done final aiming and focusing yet. Testing was done with the domes on.

Testing was done with all domes / bubbles / glass on. The photo was of setup.

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

Testing Bandwidth Vs. Low Light on Jan 16, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance. Many calculate bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, but bit rates vary...
WDR Tutorial on Jan 11, 2019
Understanding wide dynamic range (WDR) is critical to capturing high quality images in demanding conditions. However, with no real standards, any...
Winter 2019 IP Networking Course on Jan 10, 2019
Today is the last day to register for the Winter 2019 IP Networking course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video...
Worst Products Tested In Past Year on Jan 09, 2019
IPVM has done over 100 tests in the past year. But which products performed the worst? Which ones should users be most aware of? In this report,...
Managed Video Services UL 827B Examined on Jan 09, 2019
Historically, UL listings for central stations have been important, with UL 827 having widespread support. However, few central stations have...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial on Jan 08, 2019
H.265 support improved significantly in 2018, with H.265 camera/VMS compatibility increased compared to only a year ago, and most manufacturers...
2019 Video Surveillance Cameras Overview on Jan 07, 2019
Each year, IPVM summarizes the main advances and changes for video surveillance cameras, based on our industry-leading testing and...
IPVM Best New Products 2019 Opened - 70+ Entrants on Jan 07, 2019
The inaugural IPVM Best New Product Awards has been opened - the industry's first and only program where the awards are not pay-to-play and the...
Axis Tailgate Detection Tested on Jan 04, 2019
Axis is aiming to tackle tailgating, one of access control's biggest issues, with the Tailgating Detector ACAP application. This camera app claims...
Surveillance Codec Guide on Jan 03, 2019
Codecs are core to surveillance, with names like H.264, H.265, and MJPEG commonly cited. How do they work? Why should you use them? What issues may...

Most Recent Industry Reports

The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada on Jan 18, 2019
Open systems and interoperability have not only been big buzzwords over the past decade, but they have also become core features of video...
NYPD Refutes False SCMP Hikvision Story on Jan 18, 2019
The NYPD has refuted the SCMP Hikvision story, the Voice of America has reported. On January 11, 2018, the SCMP alleged that the NYPD was using...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Exacq Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 17, 2019
Exacq favorability amongst integrators has declined sharply, in new IPVM statistics, compared to 2017 IPVM statistics for Exacq. Now, over 5 since...
Testing Bandwidth Vs. Low Light on Jan 16, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance. Many calculate bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, but bit rates vary...
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
UK Fines Security Firms For Illegal Direct Marketing on Jan 16, 2019
Two UK security firms have paid over $200,000 in fines for illegally making hundreds of thousands of calls to people registered on a government...
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...

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