Avigilon HD Micro Dome Test

Author: Derek Ward, Published on Jul 08, 2015

The Avigilon HD Micro Dome is, by far, the company's lowest cost camera line.

Now, it is still significantly more expensive than many fixed focal MP cameras (e.g., Hikvision and Dahua), but the Micro Dome line is almost 50% less than Avigilon's next lowest cost line.

We bought one of them (the 1.0-H3M-DC1), shown below:

And put it to the test against the Axis M3004, the Dahua IPC-HD2100N and the Hikvision DS-2CD7164-E. We tested in full light, low light, dark and WDR scenes. Below is a preview of the dark scene.

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Comments (26)

Any chance you can post an AVE clip of the Micro Dome?

Michael,

I've included a video example (in .AVE format) of the Avigilon Microdome in low lux with our subject moving through the scene. In the video, we show ~0.9, ~0.6, ~0.3 and ~0.01 lux, as seen in our gif.

Additionally, I've included the video example in this comment, so please click here to download the ~63 MB video. Users can also download the standalone .AVE player here (~116 MB).

Awesome thanks!

The camera is "color only", IR would just ruin the design and is specifically suitable as an unobtrusive solution in well lit areas. Once you take that into account this camera is a good solution when it comes to applications where bulky cameras are no option. In all other situations we use the more versatile Avigilon (dome) products.

"The camera is "color only", IR would just ruin the design and is specifically suitable as an unobtrusive solution in well lit areas."

Here are 15 true mini domes with integrated IR.

"In all other situations we use the more versatile Avigilon (dome) products."

You can certainly do that but it is a competitive cost issue. The Avigilon full domes are good quality but relatively expensive for spots you just need a fixed focal IR camera (related Chinese IR Camera Dominance).

Nice test, but a test of low-cost cameras reaffirms the importance of knowing the application of the camera. We've deployed a number of MicroDomes in "well-lit" commercial applications where small size, and the labor saving ease of installation paid for itself. Personally, I like the original small form factor that is IP67 rated, and has a flat mounting surface. Using 3M "Dura-Loc" mushroom velcro, we install them directly onto the drop ceiling rails. Don't like the view? - Move them.

Andrew, so what do you do in areas that are not well-lit?

That's a loaded question, but to properly address that situation you need to understand the clients request to place a camera to cover a poorly lit area. All studies show that cameras are a poor deterent, and placing a camera where it can't be seen, or it can't see well is equally foolish. If the intent is deterent, adding light is the #1 thing to do to deter crime according to all statistics.

"What do you do in areas that are not well-lit?" is a loaded question. Wow.

"Placing a camera where it can't be seen, or it can't see well is equally foolish."

There are obviously alternatives that you surely know of, i.e., integrated IR, external IR, super low light cameras, etc.

So, assuming the user does not want to add lights or run lights in a certain area all night long, what do you do for cameras in areas that are not well-lit?

Sure, may I ask you hope to gain from having us place a camera in such a poorly lighted area?

Criminals frequently operate under the cover of darkness. So outside of requiring all your customers to add and run white light continuously everywhere, what cameras do you offer to handle this situation?

John,

My first comment stressed the importance of understanding the application, so humor me and play along with my role play. I understand that cameras, lighting, and the police can't be everywhere, so in the places around your building where lighting is poor, what are you hoping to gain?

I am not doing role play.

The bottom line is the Avigilon microdome is poor in low light and Avigilon does not have a competitive low-cost IR offering. These are facts. You can argue they are irrelevant or that you always add in white light but the rest of the industry can see these are material issues.

Maybe he read the question more personally. I'm not sure I'm all that interested in what he, or anyone else on the board, is doing in areas that aren't well lit..... ;-)

I'm not arguing, nor and am I defending the Avigilon MicroDome. You've done a nice test of a "low cost Avigilon camera in environments they were not necessarily intended, and compared it to other low cost cameras that where better suited for low light installations. Your results match what I've know about that camera from Day 1. Your tests, like many reaffirm the importance of understanding the application.

"compared it to other low-cost cameras that where better suited for low light installations."

No, we tested it against 3 other non-IR cameras (Axis, Dahua and Hikvision). Avigilon's simply did the worst in low light. It is what it is. You can keep drawing attention and complaining about it but it does not change that fact.

Avigilon can easily and should provide more lower cost options with improved quality and integrated IR.

John,

I am not complaining, as you accurately pointed out in the evaluation of the "Avigilon MicroDome camera Test" it does poorly in low light conditions, and it's strength is the ease of installation. It also lacks Audio Input, that makes it a poor choice for areas where audio is allowed, "Interrogation rooms"

When using this low cost camera in an identification requirement situation, we use MJPEG at 3 IPS and with minimal compression, and it produces some of the best images I've seen is a camera costing under $300.


Avigilon makes no clams that this camea has WDR or IR so like Andrew said you aren't showing us anything we don't already know. When a customer has an area with 24/7 lighting and wants a inconspicuous camera this camera works very well. That being said we have lots of locations where this camera works well and we have locations were it does not. In those locations we pick the correct camera for that location.

Also you are always quick to dismiss all the advatanges of using Avigilon's cameras with ACC. Your tests involve using Avigilon's camera with Exacq which intentionally removed code to break support for Avigilon's camera. Based off your tests I don't think you see any value of Avigilon's end to end solution.

"Avigilon makes no clams that this camea has WDR or IR so like Andrew said you aren't showing us anything we don't already know."

You and Andrew are ~.02% of our membership. Many of the 99.98% who are not Avigilon fanbois, and who have never seen this camera would like to know.

Not only that, these are basic tests we do on all sorts of cameras.

Your 'broken support' reference is about motion detection, which was not a factor in our evaluation.

You guys can complain all you want. It does not change the core truth - Avigilon has a structural competitive deficiency when it comes to low cost and fixed focal IR cameras. They should simply fix this.

So what persentage of Avigilon cameras are sold and connected to 3rd party VMS platforms?

Indeed Avigilon falls short when it comes to entry-level pricing, but I do not recall Dahua and Hikvision (or any other Chinese supplier) have a support dept, that is bending over backwards to help out in case of questions and/or problems. This service (still) is at no charge.

Louis, I do not know what Hikvision does in the Netherlands, but in North America, Hikvision has a large sales and support organization. That has been a big part, along with the low pricing, that has Hikvision gaining so many dealers, see: Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing Ground

Darn, I keep forgetting that Exacq has yet to explain, and has not been held accountable for adding code that intentionally breaks support for Avigilon H.264 cameras. They proudly advertise themselves as an "OPEN" vms with support for over 1900 IP cameras.They've demonstrated they WILL disable support for manufacturer that threatens their business. Watch out low cost camera makers, you might be next.

Exacq...intentionally breaks support for Avigilon H.264 cameras.

Are you saying that if the test was re-done in ACC the results would be better?

Maybe IPVM would want consider it just to lay it to rest...

Do you think it would it be fair just to re-do the Avigilon dome with ACC, or should the other cameras be retested too, in case they do better (or worse)?

Generally speaking, it's going to improve all of them or none of them due to Avigilon's Image Enhancement. But the differences are not going to be huge practical gains here. I honestly do not get why more VMSes don't add those adjustments. ACC and Network Optix (if I remember correctly) are the only ones I see who support them.

Arguments can be made that it'll integrate better with Avigilon (VMD, pixel search, dual streaming, whatever), but it's not going to go from being terrible in even moderatly low light to awesome.

Also, for the record, yes Exacq broke Avigilon VMD integration. But they were never officially supported, either. Let's not conflate "we're going to stop supporting this feature on cameras which aren't actually officially supported" with "we're going to stop supporting your cameras because you're a competitor."

It's been my experience when you evaluate something, you highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the item and I beleive you did a fair and reasonable job of doing so. However, comparing strengths against weaknesses isn't reasonable. IE Formula 1 cars go around corners very fast, Indy Cars go 230Mph in the straights - which car is best?

To further educate others on the Microdome, let me add the Avigilon MicroDome comes in several packages, including an outdoor rated housing, consumes 4 watts, has a fixed focal length of 2.8mm / F2.0 with an 86 degree HFOV, and the aspect ratio is 16 x 9 netting a 48 degree vertical View.

Attached below are the results of our own testing some time ago of the MicroDome as a outdoor camera placed at the entry of an automated carwash, where the business needs to capture the overall condition of the vehichle before and after it passed through the wash tunnel. The ZIP file contains the exported JPEG images, and an AVI video export from Avigilon VMS...

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/41060228/microdome.zip

You have no Shame calling your customers names, customers that might actually have an interest in helping others grow their business, or better understand a product.

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