IQinVision New Sentinel HD Examined

By John Honovich, Published Aug 20, 2011, 08:00pm EDT

In this update, we examine the latest release from megapixel camera manufacturer IQinVision, an update to their Sentinal series of pre-packaged outdoor cameras

Overview

The Sentinel series of cameras is a line of fixed megapixel cameras, supplied in a NEMA 4/IP66-rated housing for outdoor use. These cameras are available in resolutions ranging from 1.3 megapixel to 5 megapixel. The line is available with a variety of lens options, ranging from 5-50mm telephoto to 1.8-3mm wide angle.

The Sentinal line's most commonly cited benefit is ease of installation. First, it is an outdoor ready camera eliminating any need nor issues in manually installing an indoor camera in an outdoor enclosure. Secondly, the design of the camera allows the backbox to be hung prior to making connections, so the installer may use both hands to finish installation, without having to support the camera (see a visual overview of this setup). Some installers may find the Sentinel's 110 punchdown (similar to the back of a patch panel) termination easier than terminating an RJ45 modular plug. This is a matter of preference, however, and realized labor savings (perhaps a few minutes) comes down to the skills of the individual installer.

Comparison to Existing Line

This release essentially adds two new features to the line.

  • The entire line is now multi-stream capable, with either MJPEG or H.264 Main profile streams. Prior to this release, only the Sentinel 832 model was H.264 capable, with all other models streaming only MJPEG.
  • The addition of remote focus capability to the line. This allows users to initiate auto back focus with a one-touch capability, or to manually adjust focus remotely. The user is also capable of setting up a focus window, to direct the camera to focus on one portion of the field of view.

This release is essentially catch-up for IQinVision, as most major manufacturers have supported H.264 for the past year or more and many of the big camera manufacturers have added in remote focus and even remote zoom.

Competitive Offerings

There are few, if any, cameras which deliver the exact same features as the Sentinel seires. We know of no other IP cameras offering the option for 110 punchdown, for example. Axis has made steps to ease installation with their -E models, such as the P1346-E, which ship cameras with the proper housing and wall mount, along with an outdoor network cable. However, the Axis models still require more steps to installation than the Sentinel series. 

The new Sentinel series cameras are the same price as their existing counterparts and should be cost competitive in the premium side of the market. Comparing competitive outdoor megapixel cameras, the 5-megapixel Sentinal IQ855 can be found online for about $1,300. The Axis P1347-E can be found online for about $1,600. At the lower pixel counts, pricing is closer, with the IQ851 (1MP day/night) and the Axis P1344-E both selling for about $1,100 online.

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