Bosch's New HD Camera Line Examined

By John Honovich, Published Feb 05, 2011, 07:00pm EST

In this note, we examine Bosch's new HD camera lineup [link no longer available]. One of the last major vendors to release their own H.264 HD camera lineup, the initial entry consists of 6 offerings: 2 box cameras, 2 domes and 2 PTZs.

From a specification standpoint, perhaps the most interesting aspect is the HD PTZs which support 1080p and a maximum zoom of 20x. 

Two HD PTZs are offered:

  • AutoDome Junior [link no longer available]: 10x Optical Zoom, 1080p, IP54 Housing (designed for indoor use); MSRP: $3809; video analytics (IVA) optional - $159 extra
  • AutoDome 800 [link no longer available]: 20x Optical Zoom (4.7 to 94 mm), 1080p, IP66 (outdoor); MSRP: $5114 includes video analytics (IVA) standard

The Bosch 800 is the highest resolution, longest optical zoom camera on the market now (it is the first 1080p PTZ over 10x optical zoom and the only PTZ over 18x optical - see list of MP PTZ cameras). The closest competitor is the Pelco Spectra HD (1.3MP, 18x optical zoom) camera. We project the Bosch 800 to have roughly the same online price as the Pelco Spectra HD (approximately $3,300).

The combination of higher resolution and longer optical zoom may allow the Bosch 800 to see about 50% further than other high end megapixel PTZs. Note: we base this on specification, not testing. Specifically, the Bosch 800 maximum focal length is approximately 9mm longer than Axis and Pelco's 18x PTZs (94 vs ~85) and the Bosch's horizontal resolution is 640 pixels greater (at 1920 x 1080 vs ~1280 for the others).

In addition to the PTZ are 4 fixed cameras in 2 product families:

  • Flexidome [link no longer available] and Dinion box [link no longer available] camera include CCDs, WDR and a mechanical cut filter with optional video analytics
  • SMB dome [link no longer available] and box [link no longer available] camera with a CMOS imager, no WDR and color only

Both series have a maximum resolution of 720p, support audio, on-board storage and ONVIF. Neither series supports Auto Back Focus.

Both SMB HD cameras will have an MSRP around $1100. By contrast, the higher end Dinion HD box camera will have an MSRP of $1210 and the Dinion HD domes approximately $1,500.

The two most notable absences from the lineup are entry level cameras (i.e., no $200 or $300 cube cameras) and no cameras with resolution higher than 1080 (i.e., 3MP, 5MP, etc.).

Previously, Bosch had a very limited megapixel camera lineup, OEMed from Arecont Vision and consisting of MJPEG only cameras. All of these are being discontinued (i.e., NWC-0700, NWC-0800, NWC-0900) except for the Extreme CCTV Integrated IR megapixel camera - the EX85 [link no longer available].

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