Surveillance Camera Statistics - Megapixel

Author: John Honovich, Published on Sep 25, 2010

In this report, we analyze trends, features and pricing for megapixel cameras. We achieved this by using our Camera Finder to query 40 different criteria for approximately 200 megapixel models. We encourage you to use the Camera Finder so you can run your own reports and better understand product tradeoffs and trends.

Table of Contents

The list below items each chart/statistic we have analyzed:

  1. Cameras per CODEC (Percentage)
  2. Form Factor Type (Percentage)
  3. Average Price (MSRP vs. Online)
  4. Cameras per PSU Type (Percentage)
  5. Cameras per Resolution (Percentage)
  6. Cameras per FPS Support (Percentage)
  7. Average Warranty Period per Manufacture
  8. Sensor Type (Imager Size)
  9. Sensor Type (CMOS vs CCD)
  10. Cameras (Auto vs. Manual Iris) (Percentage)
  11. Multi-stream Support
  12. SNMP Support
  13. Audio Support (Percentage)
  14. On-board Storage (Percentage)
  15. Digital Cropping
  16. Average Operating Temperature (Max vs. Min)
  17. Average Illumination (D/N vs. Non-D/N)
  18. Average MSRP per Resolution (MJPEG)
  19. Average MSRP per Resolution (H.264)
  20. Average Price per Manufacturer (MSRP vs. Online)
  21. Average MSRP per Form Factor

The first 3 statistics are shared below in the public section. The remainder are available inside the Pro section.

1. Cameras Per CODEC (Percentage)

In the chart below, we compare camera support for the three 'mainstream' surveillance CODECS - H.264, MJPEG and MPEG-4. Not surprisingly, the most broadly supported CODEC is MJPEG. However, just a few years ago, most megapixel cameras only supported MJPEG. H.264 support has grown rapidly with nearly 2/3rds of cameras now supporting H.264. This statistic actually underscores how far H.264 support has expanded as a few suppliers offer overlapping MJPEG only and H.264/MJPEG lines.

2. Form Factor Type (Percentage)

In the chart below, we examine form factor options for megapixel cameras. What most stands out is that there are more dome camera models today that box. This shows both the maturation of the megapixel market (a few years ago, box significantly exceeded dome) and end user's desire for dome cameras.

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Average Price (MSRP vs Online)

In this chart, we compare MSRP vs online pricing for all megapixel models. While the average MSRP is about $1250, the average online price is a little under $1,000. Inside the Pro section, we examine pricing in-depth looking at trends by resolution, form factor, manufacturer and more to show some of the more powerful and interesting breakdowns.

Percentage Cameras Per Power Supply Type

The chart below shows both the dominance of PoE Support and the decline of low voltage power options. Not even half of megapixel cameras now offer low voltage AC support. HPoE represents an extremely small fraction of cameras and is usually only needed/offered for PTZs.

Percent Cameras Per Maximum Resolution Level

While HD resolutions (720p/1080p) get a lot of marketing hype, 1.3MP and 3MP cameras still dominate in total numbers offered. On the other hand, vendors only started releasing HD options in the last 2 years so this may shift in the next few years.

It may be surprising that there are more 3MP than 2MP. However, Mobotix skews the results as they standardize on 3MP but offer no 2MP options.

Finally, note how few options for 5MP cameras currently exist. Less than 10% of MP cameras are 5 megapixel.

Percent Cameras Frames Per Second Support

While many people are concerned about low frame rates for megapixel cameras, almost 1/3rd support 30fps and almost 2/3rds are at least 15fps. The bulk of cameras with under 15fps streaming are found in the 3MP and up category.

Average Warranty Period Per Manufacturer

Megapixel manufacturers offer a range of warranties from 1 -3 years. The lowest across the board is Arecont Vision with 1 year for all cameras. Many manufacturers offer 3 year warranty. Some manufacturers offer 3 years for their 'professional' lines and 1 year for their 'consumer' offerings (e.g., Panasonic and Axis).

Percent Cameras Per Sensor Type (Imager Size)

1/3" sensors dominate the imager size used in megapixel camears. Less than 30% of cameras use larger size lenses. No megapixel cameras in our group used over 1/2" imagers.

Larger imager sizes deliver larger pixel sizes. Larger pixels absorb more light and may produce a higher quality image.

Percent Sensor Type (CMOS vs CCD)

CMOS sensors dominate over CCD. Less than 8% of megapixel cameras use CCD sensors. In our tests of 4 CCD offerings, only 1 camera produce superior low light results. As such, we do not clearly see quality benefits from CCD offerings.

Percent Cameras - Auto vs Manual Iris

Over 45% of cameras support auto-iris lenses. An active debate exists about the value of auto-iris with many arguing that it is not necessary for today's IP CMOS cameas. In our tests, we have not seen material benefits of auto over manual iris camears.

Percent Cameras - Multi-Streaming Offered

Multistreaming is widely supported with nearly 3/4 of megapixel cameras delivering this functionality. The key challenge when considering multi-streaming is its robustness. Specifically, how many video feeds can be simultaneously streamed with what compromises or loss in frame rate, resolution, etc.

SNMP Support Breakdown

Surprisingly, over half of all megapixel cameras support SNMP. Though not broadly utilized, SNMP can offer benefits from centralized network/system monitoring of surveillance systems.

Audio Support Breakdown (Including Type)

Slightly over half of megapixel cameras support audio. Users should be careful to check what type of audio support is offered. While full duplex (i.e., speak and listen simultaneously) is by far the most common, a distinct minority offer more limited audio communication.

On-Board Storage Breakdown

Nearly half of all megapixel cameras now support on-board storage. This represents impressive gains from a few years ago where on-board storage support was quite rare. On the other hand, the challenge now is finding integrated VMS support for the camera's on board storage.

Digital Cropping Breakdown

Digital cropping, the ability to select a custom stream size smaller than the ma resolution, remains a feature that a distinct minority of cameras support. This functionality's practically is further limited by inadequate VMS support.

Average Operating Temperature (Max and Min)

The average maximum operating temperature is just 50 C but the range of temperatures supported is narrow. The majority of megapixel cameras are rated at 50 C max with a small handful at 60 C and a larger, but sill minority, at 40 C.

The average minimum operating temperature is about -13 C. However, the range for minimum is much broader. While some manufacturer support minimums as low as -40 C, many only support a minimum of 0 C.

Average Illumination (D/N vs. Non-D/N)

Minimum illumination ratings for Day/Night cameras is about 3x lower than for non Day/Night cameras. Of course, users should be careful about these ratings as they are self-selected with radically different metrics.

In our testing experience, the difference between D/N and non D/N is highly significant. D/N cameras demonstrate at least 3x lower minimum illumination than their non D/N counterparts.]

Note: to be classified as D/N a camera must have a mechanical cut filter or dual color/B&W imagers.

Average Price Per Manufacturer (MSRP / Online)

The chart below demonstrates great variance in pricing and dealer discounts for megapixel offering. A few observations:

  • Pelco stands out both for its highest list price and steepest dealer discount.
  • The dealer discount variation is wide and obvious with Arecont, Panasonic, Pelco and Sony all offering significant discounts off list. By contrast, ACTi, Axis, Mobotix and Vivotek discounts are fairly minimal.
  • Mobotix is the most expensive. Part of this is attributed to a product mix with higher resolution cameras (most 3MP where many competitors are primarily 720p or 1.3MP). However, the cameras are generally more expensive as they focus on selling their elimination of VMS licenses, NVR servers, etc.
  • Not surprisingly, the two Taiwanese manufacturers, ACTi and Vivotek have the lowest averge price. Perhaps, somewhat surprisingly, Arecont Vision's average price is not as low as their reputation holds. However, Arecont's average price is skewed because of their higher resolution offerings (3, 5 ,8 ,10MP, etc.).

Average MSRP per Form Factor Type

Cube and bullet cameras are the least expensive form factor types. These camears usually are lower resolution and provide more basic functionality for consumer/SMB applications.

The most expensive form factor are dome cameras. Combine this with our earlier data point of domes now being the most commonly offered form factor, it is clear that dome cameras command a premium.

Average MSRP Per Resolution (MJPEG)

In the charts below, we break down the average price per resolution level. A few observations:

  • The HD resolution models are significantly more expensive than their non-HD but similar resolution 1.3MP and 2MP models. This is likely skewed by manufacturers of HD cameras offering more hardware features (such as audio and on-board storage) that may not be as commonly available on non-HD models).
  • 3MP cameras actually have a higher MSRP than 5MP ones. While this is counterintuitive, this number is skewed by the much more expensive Mobotix camera offerings.
  • The average 1.3MP camera costs more than 2MP. While this is counterintuitive, this is due to Sony and Mobotix offering a number of 1.3MP offerings but no 2MP offerings.

Average MSRP Per Resolution (H.264)

The last chart measures the same paramaters but tracking cameras supporting only H.264. This chart looks similar to the MJPEG one and reflects that the addition of H.264 is only increasing cost by an average of about $100 MSRP.

1 report cite this report:

IP Camera Statistics 2011 on Dec 11, 2010
In this report, we analyze trends, features and pricing for IP cameras. We achieved this by using our Camera Finder to query 40 different criteria...

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