IP Camera Costs Comparison and Trends 2010 - 2014

By Ethan Ace, Published Jun 25, 2014, 12:00am EDT

Over the past 4 years, the average price of 100+ IP cameras surveyed has decreased ~25%, at an annual decline of ~5%.

In this report, we break down pricing / cost trends for:

  • 720p models
  • 1080p models
  • Integrated IR cameras
  • 'True' WDR cameras

Manufacturers in this survey include:

  • Arecont Vision
  • Avigilon
  • Axis
  • Bosch
  • Dahua
  • Hikvision
  • Panasonic
  • Pelco
  • Samsung
  • Sony

The study focused on dome cameras, as they are the most common used form factor in surveillance.

The overall average price of IP cameras surveyed has dropped from about $835 to $630 USD, a decrease of ~24%. This is consistent with the average price integrators report charging.

Here are the key reasons for this decrease:

Low cost Models Increase

In 2010, few manufacturers had any sort of truly "budget" line, and prices over $400 were considered low cost. Now, most major manufacturers offer a line of camera priced around $300, with some as low as $150-160.

Back in 2010, only a few manufacturers had $300 (or lower) domes, such as ACTi and Vivotek. Now, their lowest cost models are $200 or less.

Dahua, Samsung, Hikvision Push

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These three companies have expanded aggressively with overall lower cost pricing for featuresets similar to more widely used manufacturers, such as Samsung's Wisenet III line, Hikvision's 864 WDR camera, and Dahua's HD2100N minidome.

Equivalent Pricing Decrease

Finally, the majority of manufacturers offer equivalent models today for prices less than their 2010 counterparts. In some cases these models include advanced features such as super low light performance or true WDR for lower prices, as well.

Chinese Direct - Excluded Here But Notable

Back in 2010, it was nearly impossible for regular consumers / users to get IP cameras direct from China. Now, it is commonplace, with spam emails offering sub $50 IP cameras regularly. Since their overall support / warranty / quality limitations are notable, we do not see them as a major competitor but certainly some will be attracted. See: Testing $29 ONVIF IR IP Chinese Camera

Non-IP HD - The Big Drop

Non-IP HD has fallen far deeper than IP and is poised to have a significant impact.

In 2010, there was a limited amount of HD-SDI / HDcctv cameras available and pricing ranged from ~$500 for no-name offerings to $1,000+ for Speco. It was not competitive with IP camera pricing nor product availability.

Now, in 2014, the 'next generation' of non IP is radically less expensive. As our Dahua HD-CVI test and Q-See AnalogHD kit test show, non-IP HD cameras at $50 or less from major brands with support are becoming commonplace.

In the next 3 years, we believe these will put increasing price pressure on the IP camera market as low to mid scale applications increasingly switch for the price savings.

For 720p/1MP

Average cost of a 720p/1.3 MP indoor camera was in 2010 ~$612 USD. Today, this has dropped by about 27% to $445. This is due to manufacturer equivalent model pricing decreasing in most manufacturers. Lower cost compact domes have also been introduced, with manufacturers such as Dahua and Hikvision offering models for under $200. 

For 1080p/2MP

1080p/2MP cameras were far less common in 2010, and much higher priced. Average cost has dropped from $1,072 USD to $590 for indoor non-vandal models, a significant decrease of nearly 45%. 


Panasonic and Sony were among the only manufacturers offering true WDR models in 2010, and only in higher end models, with an average price around $1,160. Now, all manufacturers surveyed offer true WDR models, with the average price significantly lower, ~$675, about a 42% decrease.

Note: we only count manufacturers as WDR if they use multiple exposures. 'Electronic' WDR is excluded as fake / ineffective. Background: WDR Tutorial

For Integrated IR

Integrated IR was offered in only about 10% of models in 2010. Now, about 30% of models surveyed offer it, with all manufacturers in this list producing models with built in IR. Average price has also notably decreased, from ~$950 to ~$705 (~26%).

Integrated IR pricing varies significantly though, with many of the absolutely lowest cost cameras including it (for $150 or less) as well as some of the most expensive ones. For integrated IR, the key differences are distance covered and auto adjustment of IR.


Axis's lowest cost 1MP domes have decreased in price from $450-500 (M3204 and M3014) to ~$270 in the M3004-V.

P series pricing has decreased, as well. In 2010, the indoor, non-vandal P3304 sold for $630. The current indoor non-vandal model, the P3354, sells for $560, while now including improved Lightfinder low light performance.

Finally, Axis had no dome models above 720p/1MP in 2010, and now offer models up to 5MP.

In ~2012, Axis made a strong move to expand their low cost offerings. There has been little subsequent movement in the past 2 years as new Axis product releases have focused on the high end of the market.


Avigilon's lowest priced current domes (excluding the MicroDome) are about 10% more expensive than past models. Their original JPEG2000 dome line was all IP66-rated, with no indoor only models as they offer today. 

Pricing on a 1.3MP JPEG2000 dome was $590 in 2010. Current 720p/1MP model pricing ranges from ~$650 for an indoor only dome to ~$870 for an outdoor model with built in IR, both notable increases over past pricing.

The same is true of 2MP/1080p models. The past JPEG2000 model sold for ~$700, while current indoor pricing is $790, and outdoor IR models far higher at $1010.


In 2010, Dahua was nearly unknown in most of the world, with very few sales under their own brand. Now, they have increasing presence, both under their own name and via OEMs such as Q-See and IC Realtime. Partly this is thanks to their pricing, some of the lowest in the industry. 


Hikvision was only modestly better known than Dahua in 2010, with low prices compared to major competitors, but cameras generally considered to be underperforming and unreliable. In 2014, however, Hikvision's performance and reliability have both improved, and pricing has remained generally low compared to competitive models.


Though known for being on the high end of even major manufacturer pricing, Sony has added WDR to their E series, a feature previously only found in their most expensive cameras. In 2010, the 720p SNC-DH140 had a price of $932, versus only $520 today for the current SNC-EM600 model. 1080p WDR pricing has decreased from significantly as well, from $1200 to $700 (SNC-DH240 vs. SNC-VM630).

Outdoor integrated IR camera pricing has dropped, as well. The SNC-EM602R (720p) and SNC-EM632R (1080p) outdoor integrated IR domes sell for approximately $740 and $900 today, versus $1100 and $1350 for the SNC-DH180 and SNC-DH280 in 2010.

Note that all of Sony's outdoor models, then and now, included built-in IR.

2014 Pricing

Sorted by lowest to highest price:

2010 Pricing

Sorted by lowest to highest price:

Readers may also download this data in MS Excel format (~70 KB).


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