IP Camera Statistics 2011

Author: John Honovich, Published 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 for approximately 550 IP camera models. We encourage you to use the Camera Finder so you can run your own reports and better understand product tradeoffs and trends.

This is the sequel and complement to our Megapixel Camera Statistics Report. Where the Megapixel report focused on high definition cameras, this report covers all IP cameras - both SD and megapixel.

Table of Contents

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

  1. Cameras per Resolution (Percentage)
  2. CODEC Support (Percentage)
  3. Form Factor Type (Percentage)
  4. Average Price Fixed IP SD Cameras (Online)
  5. Average Price Fixed IP 720p/1.3 MP Cameras (Online)
  6. Cameras with PoE Support (Percentage)
  7. Indoor vs. Outdoor (Percentage)
  8. Outdoor IP Rating (Percentage)
  9. IR Built-in (Percentage)
  10. Day/Night Support (Percentage)
  11. Interchangeable Lens (Percentage)
  12. Sensor Type (Percentage)
  13. Average Lux Rating per Resolution
  14. Audio Support-type Breakdown (Percentage)
  15. Audio Support (Percentage)
  16. On-board Storage Support (Percentage)
  17. PTZs per Pan Range (Percentage)
  18. PTZs per Tilt Range (Percentage)
  19. Indoor vs. Outdoor (Percentage)
  20. Average Online Price (Cube Cameras)
  21. Average Online Price (Box Cameras)
  22. Average Online Price (Dome Cameras)

The first 2 statistics and corresponding analysis are shared below in the public section. The other 20 are available inside the Pro section.

Cameras per Resolution (Percentage)

Here's how IP cameras breakdown by maximum resolution supported:

Notice three important trends in the breakdown by resolution:

  • The majority of IP cameras offered are now megapixel (54.1%). This is somewhat amazing as megapixel was a distinct minority just two years ago. With new camera releases being overwhelmingly megapixel (e.g., Sony released only HD in its new generation), the shift happened very quickly. No doubt this trend will continue. While megapixel does not yet represent a majority of IP camera sales, this will follow in the next few years.
  • Relative shortage of 3MP and up cameras. There are 2.5 models of 1 and 2 MP cameras for every 1 model of 3MP or higher cameras. This shows a gap in the market.
  • SVGA expanding as an alternative to SD. There are now 30 SVGA models, up from basically none a few years ago. SVGA provides modestly better resolution than VGA (i.e., SVGA = 800 x 600 where VGA = 640 x 480 or 25% more horizontal pixels). A few manufacturers are now standardizing their SD offerings on SVGA including Axis, Pelco and Vivotek.

CODEC Support (Percentage)

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Take a look at how support for the 3 most common CODECs break down:

With all the attention on H.264, it may be surprising that more IP cameras support MPEG-4 than H.264. However, this reflects many of these cameras being released a few years ago. Older cameras tend to support MPEG-4 rather than H.264.

If you look at megapixel cameras, which are generally newer, you see a much different trend. Over 60% of megapixel cameras support H.264 while only about 20% support MPEG-4.

The percentage of support for H.264 will continue to rise as new releases standardize on it and older models are discontinued.

Form Factor Type (Percentage)

In the graph below, notice how domes are the largest segment of products offered:

Average Online Pricing Per Fixed SD IP Camera

Notice in the graph below that quite a number of SD IP cameras are now available at $400 or less. The median is approximately $450. The number of SD IP cameras over $1,000 may be a modest surprise but those are almost all specialized cameras with integrated long range IR, video analytics or optical zoom. The exception are 2 SD IP cameras from Cisco which are absolutely uncompetitive on cost.

Note: this is fixed cameras only. Obviously PTZ pricing is higher.

Average Online Pricing Per Fixed 720p/1.3MP IP Camera

Here is the same breakdown for the graph above but for 720p / 1.3 MP cameras. First thing that jumps at you is 0 cameras under $200 while there were 19 SD IP cameras in that price range.

Secondly the distribution of pricing is much tighter with 2/3rd of the cameras have an online price between $400 and $800.

Cameras with PoE Support (Percentage)

Not surprising, cameras with PoE support dominate. Indeed, the clear new trend is for entry level cameras to only support PoE (which is a reversal from just a few years ago where entry level cameras rarely supported PoE).

Indoor vs. Outdoor (Percentage)

Most IP cameras are designed for indoor use. While almost any indoor camera can be mounted into an exterior housing, less than 1/3 of IP cameras are ready made for outdoor use. Breaking it down by form factor type, nearly half of dome cameras are outdoor rated while less than 15% of box cameras are outdoor rated.

Outdoor IP Rating (Percentage)

By a landslide, IP66 is the most common Ingest Protection rating for IP cameras. Note: IP66 cameras are rated against powerful water jets while IP67 is rated against immersion in up to 1 meters of water [review IP Code overview].

IR Built-in (Percentage)

Obviously most IP cameras do not provide built-in IR. However, you may be surprised that over 60 IP cameras provide integrated IR with a broad cross section of manufacturers supporting. We do see this as a moderately growing trend. [Note this does not include the soon to be released IR series from Arecont].

Day/Night Support (Percentage)

A clear majority of IP cameras support 'true' day/night. We define this as providing a mechanical cut filter or offering dual imagers (the latter is quite rare).

Given the clear night time performance benefits that mechanical cut filters provide and the relatively low cost (about $50-$70 online price premium over color only cameras, it's understandable why users prefer day/night.

Note, in the day/night statistics, we counted any model that offer options for day/night and color as a day/night camera. We think this better captures manufacturer commitment to providing models with true day/night support.

Interchangeable Lens (Percentage)

Less than 40% of IP cameras support interchangeable lenses. This is primarily driven by PTZs (which never have interchangeable lenses) and dome cameras where less than 33% of the offerings support interchangeable lenses. By contrast, about 90% of box cameras support interchangeable lenses.

Sensor Type (Percentage)

While CMOS cameras are the overwhelming majority, nearly 30% of cameras are still CCD. We believe the proportion of CMOS is held up by older generation of cameras that are still being manufacturer. When the breakdown is done for more recent cameras, the support for CCD is far less.

Average Lux Rating per Resolution

This graph may be very confusing. Based on manufacturer's reported stats, 5MP cameras have the lowest lux rating on any resolution category. A big reason is that almost every 5MP camera supports day/night (i.e., a mechanical cut filter) while only about 50% of SD IP cameras support mechanical cut filters. A secondary reason is that lux ratings are totally at the discretion of the manufacturer.

Audio Support (Percentage)

Nearly 40% of IP cameras support some form of audio. This is quite high for a feature that is not commonly used. We are noticing a number of manufacturers adding new entry level series that offer no audio support (Axis M and Sony X are good examples).

Audio Support-type Breakdown (Percentage)

Within audio support, a clear majority provides full-duplex audio (simultaneously bi-directional communication). Users should make sure that the type of audio support matches their application's needs.

On-board Storage Support (Percentage)

Nearly 40% of IP cameras support on-board storage. This is quite impressive considering that for 90% of these cameras, on-board storage is essentially useless (almost no 3rd party VMS support). While Milestone and Genetec are increasing support and ONVIF 2.0 covers on-board storage, we are still quite a way from broad usability of on-board storage.

PTZs per Pan Range (Percentage)

When you consider PTZ, pan range is important as it impacts how the PTZ can be used by an operator. Almost 30% of PTZs support less than a 90 degree pan range. This is very narrow range designed more for looking around then doing real surveillance. By contrast, less than 20% of PTZs have full 360 degree, continuous pan. This is quite important if you are doing ongoing live monitoring of large areas (retail, casinos, public monitoring, etc.).

PTZs per Tilt Range

While less frequently cited than pan range, tilt range is also quite important. Specifically, if you want to easily be able to monitor large areas with a PTZ in the middle of the area (like on a lightpole), having 180+ degree pan range is important. Interestingly, no PTZs have tilt ranges between 135 and 180 degrees - a big gap.

Average Online Price (Cube Cameras)

In this graph, a significant disparity exists between SD cube cameras and 1.3 MP cube cameras. The price is almost twice as high. This primarily reflects a lack of new product development for megapixel cube cameras. There seems to be a real opportunity for vendors to release new products to close this.

Average Online Price (Box Cameras)

When you compare box camera pricing, the results are significantly different than for cubes. The average price for MP box cameras is essentially the same as SD box. At some level, this may not make sense - a MP camera clearly costs more than an SD camera. However, many manufacturers are getting much more aggressive in the pricing of their new product releases - which are overwhelmingly megapixel (both box and dome).

Average Online Price (Dome Cameras)

In our final price comparison, notice that the price premium of MP over SD domes is fairly modest (only about $75). The same trend is at work here, with many new MP dome cameras being released.

1 report cite this report:

ACTi to Discontinue Most SD IP Cameras on Dec 30, 2010
In an bold move, beginning January 1, 2011, ACTi is discontinuing production of most of its standard resolution IP cameras. ACTi emphasized that...

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