Arecont's Bullet Cameras with IR LED Examined

Author: John Honovich, Published on Oct 10, 2010

Arecont Vision announced H.264 megapixel cameras in bullet style, outdoor rated IP66 form factors. These are the first bullet as well as embedded IR offerings from Arecont. The AV1325DN (1.3MP) and AV2825DN (1080p) MegaView models feature day/night performance and an integrated IR corrected megapixel lens. The cameras are also available as models AV1325IR and AV2825IR, which are equipped with an IR LED array for low-light operation.

The photo depicts the externally accessible adjustments for the integrated 4-10mm vari-focal lens. This is a purely mechanical enhancement. We have not tested the effectiveness of this particular feature.

Incidentally, the market has been catching on to a related trend of providing motorized zoom lenses with auto-focus and auto-iris. This allows total lens control remotely over IP networks. We've evaluated the Axis Q1755 in an earlier report. Sony and Sanyo, among other manufacturers, have similar offerings as well (none of these are bullet form factor):

A search on the camera finder tool for bullet, IP66, IP67 and IR Built-In yields results from Acti, Sony, and Vivotek. The new bullet cameras from Arecont Vision bear 48 IR LEDs and are purported to provide illumination out to a range of 25 meters. In contrast, the Vivotek IP7361 (MSRP $800) maintains 24 IR LEDs, the Sony SNCCH160 (MSRP $1248) has 21 IR LEDs, and the Sony SNCCH180 (MSRP $1748) possesses 27 IR LEDs. Sony specifications claim nighttime viewing out to 15 meters, while the Vivotek IP7361 datasheet specifies a 25 meter nighttime viewing distance. Our tests of Vivotek IP7361 IR capability showed an approximate 50 foot illumination distance. The two ACTi models are priced around $650 MSRP.

Given the new AV bullet cameras will support roughly 2x the number of physical LEDs as its competitors, it will be interesting to evaluate its comparative low-light performance. We have yet to confirm whether the LEDs can be powered over the camera's PoE connection. It would represent a considerable downside to the product if auxiliary power is required for LED functionality.

The series is scheduled to start production shipping at the end of the year (2010).

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