Avigilon PTZs Reviewed

By: Ethan Ace, Published on May 08, 2012

While Avigilon has touted how their multi-megapixel cameras can replace up to 95 conventional one as well as replace PTZs, they have now announced their own line of HD PTZ cameras [link no longer available]. As such, this is an interesting and somewhat surprising move. In this note, we examine these new camera features, pricing and how they compare to options from Sony, Axis, and Panasonic.

Overview

The Avigilon PTZ line [link no longer available] consists of two models, based on their latest H3 camera platform. These cameras have the following key features:

  • Outdoor, IP66-rated enclosure with heater and blower, 802.3at PoE compliant. Note that no indoor, non-pendant models are available, which may present mounting challenges or aesthetic issues in certain environments, where recessed ceiling-mount PTZs are preferred.
  • 1/2.8" image sensor, larger than many typical speeddomes, which often use 1/3" or 1/4" sensors. This may improve low-light performance.
  • 1MP or 2MP resolution, 30FPS max, H.264 and MJPEG encoding
  • 20x zoom range, 4.7-94mm. This minimum zoom range is fairly narrow, as many competitors offer minimum focal lengths in the 2-3mm range. For those in need of a wide FOV, this may be an issue. On the other hand, those needing farther zoom range may prefer this.
  • WDR specified, same as 3MP H3 fixed cameras (100dB)
  • ONVIF Version 2.1 support recommended but older versions such as ONVIF Version 1.02 may be used
  • Specially designed optically pure dome bubble for 2MP resolution, not an off-the-shelf component bubble

This image shows the HD PTZ camera, with wall mount:

Avigilon's PTZs will be available in August 2012. MSRP will be $3,495 and $3,995 for 1MP and 2MP, respectively.

Latency Reduction

Avigilon claims latency reduction for controlling PTZs:

  • They use a "priority mode that’s enabled when a user activates a PTZ camera that prioritizes transmission of that camera's video all the way through the various pipelines and stages."
  • As for speed, Avigilon says their "Testing has shown less than 0.25 seconds delay from image capture at the sensor to display on the monitor." If they can achieve 250 milliseconds, that would likely minimize PTZ control delays that are a common usability problem.
  • Avigilon says that the latency benefits will be available for 3rd party analog PTZs that connect to their encoders. This feature is built into their VMS software, starting in version 4.12

Third Party VMS Use

Third party VMS use is limited and likely will have reduced performance:

  • Avigilon recommends ONVIF Version 2.1 for PTZ control. However, most VMS systems only support 1.02 and may not support 2.1 for some time. Basic PTZ control may work in earlier ONVIF versions but given ONVIF's shaky reputation for advanced functionality, 3rd party users should carefully test with their VMS.
  • Avigilon requires custom extensions to ONVIF for some PTZ features, such as on-camera PTZ tours. Unless a third party VMS adds this, functionality will be limited.
  • The claimed latency benefits are dependent on using Avigilon's own VMS and will be possible with 3rd parties.

Market Impact

Avigilon's PTZ model's pricing is in line with competitive products. Based on MSRP and Avigilon dealer discount, we estimate street pricing will be around $3,300 for the 2MP version, slightly higher than competitors such as the Panasonic WV-SW396 [link no longer available] and Sony SNC-ER580, and moderately lower than the Axis Q6035-E (around $3,800 online). However, this release does not set any groundbreaking low price points, unlike Avigilon's H.264 encoders and, to a lesser extent, their 1MP and 2MP box cameras.

Avigilon users will appreciate these cameras' pricing and features, as they may now install an end-to-end Avigilon system, instead of turning to third-party PTZs. For users of other VMSs, however, the lack of additional features gained by integrating with ACC, and potential integration complications due to using ONVIF with custom extensions, make these cameras less attractive.

Considering all the above, we see this announcement as a tactical product release to expand Avigilon's target markets, such as gaming, municipal surveillance, critical infrastructure, and other high-end systems where PTZs are required.

Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Multi-Imagers Added to IPVM Camera Calculator on Jun 15, 2020
IPVM has added multi-imager cameras to the Camera Calculator, supporting this growing category of cameras offering 2 to 5 imagers with both fixed...
Camera Analytics Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 22, 2020
Analytics are hot again, thanks to a slew of AI-powered cameras, but whose analytics really work? And how do these new smart cameras compare to top...
Vivotek LPR Camera Tested on Apr 15, 2020
Vivotek has historically sold license plate capture cameras but not LPR. Now, they have released their own cameras with embedded LPR. How do they...
Tiandy Super Starlight Cameras Tested on Apr 30, 2020
Tiandy is taking aim at China competitors Dahua and Hikvision, with a new series of "super starlight" cameras, including white light illumination,...
IDIS Presents 12MP IR Panoramic Fisheye on May 26, 2020
IDIS presented its 12MP IR panoramic fisheye camera at the April 2020 IPVM New Products show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video from...
Motorola Solutions Speaks on Avigilon / Video Strategy on Feb 04, 2020
2 years ago Motorola Solutions acquired Avigilon for a billion dollars but what is Motorola's strategy for Avigilon plus Watchguard and Vigilant,...
Leica Launches LIDAR / Thermal / IP Camera on Mar 04, 2020
Swiss manufacturer Leica is launching what it calls a "real-time reality capture device" fusing LIDAR, thermal cameras, IP cameras and more. In...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the basics of cameras and features used in 2020. In this report, we...
New Axis M30 Cameras Tested on Mar 26, 2020
Axis has released a new generation of, for them, relatively low cost M30 series cameras, claiming to deliver "sharp video quality even in poor...
Sony Launches AI Camera Sensors on May 18, 2020
Weeks after exiting the branded video surveillance business, Sony is making a splash announcing "the first image sensors in the world to be...

Most Recent Industry Reports

ZeroEyes Presents Firearm Detection Video Analytics on Jul 09, 2020
ZeroEyes presented its Firearm detection Video Analytics system at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from ZeroEyes...
Directory of 162 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Jul 09, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers to help you see and research what options are available. There are...
Clinton Public View Monitor (PVM) Mask Detection Tested on Jul 09, 2020
Face mask detection, or more specifically not wearing one, is expanding amidst the pandemic. Clinton Electronics has added this capability to their...
These Florida Real Estate Agents Are Now Selling "SafeCheck USA" Temperature Detectors on Jul 09, 2020
The "Kakon Brothers", William and Nathan, are self-described "south Florida Power Agents specializing in Luxury Real Estate" who "have closed over...
Avigilon ACC Cloud Tested on Jul 08, 2020
Avigilon merged Blue and ACC, adding VSaaS features to its on-premise VMS, offering remote video and health monitoring that was previously limited...
Hikvision's India Dominance Faces Threat on Jul 08, 2020
While Hikvision has become a dominant video surveillance provider in India, recent tension between the governments of India and the PRC is...
The US Fight Over Facial Recognition Explained on Jul 08, 2020
The controversy around facial recognition has grown significantly in 2020, with Congress members and activists speaking out against it while video...
Sperry West / Alibaba Tablet Temperature Measurement Tested on Jul 07, 2020
In April, we ordered a ~$500 temperature tablet from Alibaba. We set it to the side while doing 18 other temperature screening tests but, after...
Facial Recognition: Weak Sales, Anti Regulation, No Favorite, Says Security Integrators on Jul 07, 2020
While facial recognition has gained greater prominence, a new IPVM study of security systems integrators shows weak sales, opposition to...