Basler's New CMOS MP Box Cameras (BIP2) Examined

By John Honovich, Published on Dec 06, 2010

In Fall of 2010 Basler announced its next generation 'BIP2' IP cameras [link no longer available]. A significant change will be the introduction of 3 CMOS based megapixel boxes - prior to BIP2 only CCD based cameras were available. The lower cost CMOS chips will result in pricing levels more competitive within the broader megapixel camera market.

Note that the new generation continues production of CCD cameras, but they will be positioned more as a premium offering, positioned to provide superior image quality and low-light performance. However, our test of Basler's CCD cameras indicated no clear low-light performance advantages.

The three new CMOS based IP cameras are projected for commercial shipping in Q1 of 2011. Each resolution will be available in day/night or color-only:

  • BIP2-1280 - 720p, 30fps H.264 (MSRP color - $669/ day/night - $769)
  • BIP2-1920 - 1080p, 30fps H.264 (MSRP color - $779/ day/night - $879)
  • BIP2-2500 - 5MP (2560x1920), 7fps H.264 (MSRP color - $899/ day/night - $999)

A significant improvement in full-resolution H.264 frame-rates has been achieved in the new cameras. Prior equivalents such as the BIP-1300c (1.3MP) could only reach 7fps using H.264, and the BIP-1600c-dn (2MP) provided only 4fps at H.264.

The new release will also increase the company's highest resolution IP camera from 2MP to 5MP, with the BIP2-2500c/-dn model. Our camera finder indicates 5MP/H.264 box cameras are currently a market rarity with only 5 models at an average online price of $1300. The BIP2-2500c-dn with a projected online price of $850 (MSRP $999) will be well positioned to compete in higher megapixel use cases.

Basler's previous megapixel CCD cameras were not cost competitive with offerings, such as those from Arecont, ACTi, Sony and Vivotek. For example the day/night BIP-1600c-dn (2MP) sells online for roughly $1100 (MSRP $1200), whereas day/night 2MP/1080p cameras from Vivotek, Sony, and Arecont fall in around $600 to $650 online. Basler's CMOS day/night 2MP/1080p camera, on the other hand, is projected to be priced in around $700 online, closing the price gap considerably. (Note that Basler's IP cameras do not include lenses). Compare to Vivotek IP8161 (online $600), Arecont AV2105DN - (online $650 but lens not included) and Sony SNC-CH220 (online $650).

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