Axis vs Avigilon vs FLIR vs Hikvision vs Samsung Camera Pricing

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 03, 2016

The 'race to the bottom' is a big issue, with average prices dropping sharply over the past few years. But who is racing the hardest? And how do manufacturers compare?

To find out, we compared cameras from Avigilon, Axis, FLIR, Hikvision, and Samsung, across seven categories:

  • Entry level dome cameras
  • Entry level bullet cameras
  • Entry level PTZ speeddomes
  • High end box cameras
  • High end outdoor dome cameras
  • High end bullet cameras
  • High end PTZ speeddomes

We used our industry leading Camera Finder, BestMatch and Camera Comparison tools to analyze these results. 

Inside, we break down the results.

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  • **** *** *** **********

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******, ** ***** **** *** *******.

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****** ********* ** ****** ****** ** *** ****** **** ***** manufacturer, **** *** ************ ***** **** ********* *** ********** ******* categories.

********* ****** **** *** ****** ***** ********* ** ****** *** categories, ****** *** **** *** *****, ***** ******* *** ******** lower. ************, *********'* **** *** *** ****** *** *** ***** expensive ** *** */*" ***** ****** ****** ** **** **********.

**** *** ****** ******* ** **** ** ***** **********, **** **** one ******** (***** ***** ****) ** ***** **** **** *** most ********* ** ****** ****. 

**** ** ***** *************: ** *** ***** ** ****** **** to ***** ********* *** ******* **** **** ***** ** ********** used ***/** *** ****** ********* **** *** ****** *********. **** free ** **** *********** ** *** ********.

Entry ***** **** *******

**** *** *** ******** *** ***** ***** **** ******:

  • ****/*.***:*** ****** ******** **** **** ** *.***
  • ***** ****:*** ****** **** ***** ****** ****.
  • ****** ****:*** ****** **** ****** ****
  • ********** ** ********, *** ********:**** *** **** ****** ******** ********** ** (**** *** ****** cost *****).
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**** ***** ***** *** ***** ******** ** ***** ***** *****, from $** ** $***. 

*** *** **** ****** ********** ** ***** ***** **** *******:

 

Entry ***** ****** *******

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**** ****** ***** *** ***** ****** ******* ****** *** ******* in **** *******, **** $** ** **** $***.

*** *** **** ****** ********** ** ***** ***** ****** *******

Entry ***** ***** *****

**** *** *** ******** ** **** ** ****** ***** ***** speeddomes:

  • ****/*.***:**** **** **** *** ***** * ****/*.*** *****, **** ***** lowest **** *** ***** *****.
  • *** ******** ********:** ******** ****** ******* ******** ******** **** ** ***** ** IR (***** ** **** **** *** ******, *****) ** ***.
  • **** ***** ******:**** ****** **** ****** ***** ****** ******, ** *** *-**** range ** *******, ********* *** **** ***** ** ******** *****. The **** ***** *** **** * *** *****, **** * 5-60mm ****.

****** ** ***** ***** ***** ***** ****** **** **** *********** than ***** ********, **** *** $*** *** $*** **** *** Hikvision ****** ** ****** $*,*** *** *** ******* ***-****.

*** *** **** ****** ********** ** ***** ***** **********

High *** **** *******

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  • **** ***:*** ****** ******* **** *****-******** ***.
  • ********** **:********** ** *** *********. **** **** *** *** ******* ** in *** *** ***** **** (**** *** **** ********* ** this **********)
  • ****/**** *****:*** ****** **** **** ***** ** ****** *** ******* *** and **** ****** *********.
  • ********* ********: ****** *** ******** *** *********, *** ******* *** **** ******* analytics, **** ** ******* ********, ********* *********, ***., ****** **** ****** *** *****, ******* *** ****** *************, *** ** ********* ********* ** tested ** ***** ** ****** **** **** ******** *****.

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*** *** **** ****** ********** ** **** *** **** *******

 

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**** *** *** ******** **** *** **** *** *******, **** similar ** **** *** *****:

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*** *** **** ****** ********** ** **** *** ****** *******

 

High *** *** *******

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  • ***** ****** *********: ****,*********, ***************** ***** ~*/*" ***** ****** ******, ***** ******** **** ***.
  • **** *** ********: **** *** ** ******** ** *** ******.
  • **** *****:**** ****** **** ** *****, ***** ******** ******** ** ********** motorized **** ****.

**** **** **** **** *** ***** *** ******, ** ** not ******** ****.

****** ** *** ******* ****** **** $*** (********) ** * whopping $*,*** (****).

*** *** **** ****** ********** ** **** *** *** *******

 

High *** ***** *****

******** **** *** **** *** ***** **** ******:

  • ***** **********:*** ****** **** *****.
  • ********** ** *********: ****, *********, *** ******* ******* ********** ** ** ***** **** end *** ******. ******** *** **** ** *** ***** ****.
  • **** *** ********:*** *** ******** ** *** ****** *** ****.

****** ** **** *** ***** ***** ****** **** $*,*** *** (FLIR, *****) ** $*,*** (**** *** *******).

*** *** **** ****** ********** ** **** *** **********

Comments (30)

Would like to see Bosch products in this comparison.

For those commenting, please disclose if you are an employee, rep or distributor of the products you are asking for. If you are one, suggest specific models that you think matches up to the segments we have analyzed.

Would like to see Bosch products in this comparison.

Why, to make Axis look better? ;)

What did you base your pricing on? I ask because certain companies vary their pricing based upon the integrator's sales volume, and the size of the job. For example, you list a price for the Axis Q6115E that is far below the price I am able to get it, from my wholesale distributor. Knowing how and where you obtained your pricing is extremely important, particularly in a price comparison study such as this.

Or to get the total picture: where in the value chain does these prices apply? Is this the level that an end user pays or is this distributer to integrator?
Is this the net level (all discounts included) or is this the published price list level?

Pricing was based on a survey of dealer pricing taken from multiple sources. We think it represents an average dealer price.

Of course, as you allude to, pricing will vary depending on volume, partner status, what discounts Hikvision or others are running that day/week, and how aggressive the manufacturer is in winning a deal. So no pricing comparison can ever fully accommodate all scenarios but we think this generally reflects tradeoffs in pricing across manufacturers.

As for the Axis Q6115E, which we listed at $2,550, as an example, on sale for $2587 online here, and selling for under $2,700 at multiple online stores. If it's far below your price, you may want to check with others.

John very nice work on this. The only correction would be the low end 720p PTZ. SAMSUNG SNP-5300 is Nla. The correct model comparison to use should be the newer SNP-5321

Thanks! We'll take a look.

Nice job! One remark on some of the compared products:

"Fixed lens: Fixed lens models were selected if available, and were used for FLIR, Hikvision, and Samsung. Avigilon and Axis models used motorized zoom lenses, as no fixed lens options are offered."

As a distributor of the majority (except Samsung) of the above mentioned products, I would say that this is not an entirely fair comparison. These products cannot be compared on camera pricing.

5, thanks for the feedback.

To clarify, you were asking about the entry level bullets. In this case, the products listed for Axis and Avigilon are the most "entry level" they offer. So a user looking to stay in the same manufacturer's line but find the lowest cost model possible is going to have these options.

If you prefer, you can contrast the entry level bullets of Hikvision and FLIR to Axis and Avigilon's entry level dome offerings, which are closer in price but still far higher than what Hik or FLIR has in dome or bullets.

Where was the Avigilon pricing obtained from let alone the other MFG's as well? A better way to approach this would have been to post MSRP pricing for the cameras because as what was mentioned here a number of the integrators can not purchase some of these models for these prices.

Listing dealer or high volume prices on here takes $$ off the table of integrators who could be given push back by potential customers. If a dealer can not purchase for the price you list here then there is no way he could price compete with the one who can if a customer can see what a specific model could be purchased for.

It's an unfair posting to all integrators IMHO as it could create potential contention. Just saying....

"A better way to approach this would have been to post MSRP pricing"

Disagree on this.

First, I agree that there are inherent challenges in comparing pricing given varying discount levels, promotions, etc.

But MSRP would make it far more skewed. Take Axis, their discounts off MSRP among the lowest. But other manufacturers offer huge discounts off of MSRP. Listing MSRP would make Axis look much better, unfairly so.

If there are specific comparisons you believe are incorrect, please say that. For example, the price for model X seems low but model Y seems high. We can certainly discuss specific points.

I can certainly see your point.

But getting back to what the potential customer sees. If I can purchase product x for 40% or more off MSRP it makes me all the more competitive if a customer sees that the MSRP is much higher than what I can sell it for. If a customer sees a price value there it certainly makes a sale all the much easier.

In my opinion it's not about who looks better in this case. So what if AXIS provides the least discount in the industry it will reflect that when pricing out a job and a customer sees that there purchase price is at or higher than MSRP but if they go with company B they could get a product for much low than MSRP for a comparable product.

Putting MSRP at least puts all integrators in the same position...the MSRP is the same no matter who the integrator is. There is no contention and let the manufacturer deal with the pricing with the integrator on a one to one basis. We all know discounts from AXIS are not all that great but some things are better off not shared.

"We all know discounts from AXIS are not all that great"

You and I know that. A lot of members know that but certainly not everyone.

If we went with MSRP, we would have situations where Axis and lower cost competitors have the same MSRP. Then what do we do, keep telling people, yes the MSRPs are the same but Axis is much higher. We are trying to avoid that confusion.

"If I can purchase product x for 40% or more off MSRP it makes me all the more competitive if a customer sees that the MSRP is much higher than what I can sell it for."

And that worked great a decade ago but not now when actual prices are so easy to come by on the Internet. Let me use Sony as an example because they show MSRP on their website. Taking the first model on the page (the 631), it has an MSRP of $498. Ten seconds later, Google shopping lets anyone know that the 'real' price for that Sony model is ~$300. The Internet has killed the 'MSRP', we are just reflecting that.

We'll just agree to disagree.

Who cares if two MFG's have the same MSRP. At least that MSRP is the same for every integrator that pays for the IPVM service and see's this post. We know about price manipulation, we know that the internet has ruined all fairness to the industry. But I am more interested in seeing what each MFG tells everyone there MSRP is and maybe I could sit on the sidelines snickering to myself about how low I could buy model x for.

Don't post pricing found online or even mention what is found but instead get the pricing directly from the MFG and make them accountable to what they say the MSRP is for the specific product. That way you get it from the horse and it's more meaningful that way.

"But MSRP would make it far more skewed."

I disagree with you on this John.

Not everyone on this forum is a dealer with access to that kind of pricing.

I know from my experience that your Avigilon pricing is far too low.
Maybe because I'm in Aus, but even if I just just convert your price of $410 to Aussie which = $572, that doesn't even come close to being able to purchase it from the only distributor in Aus.
I no longer sell Avigilon products but that camera would retail in Aus for around $1100 ex GST

I think you should just use MSRP and/or online prices (but disclaim where you find those online prices) and leave dealer pricing out of it.

OR to appease everyone, you could put a pricing range in, or have multiple charts showing avg dealer price, avg online price, MSRP price etc...

Ashley, as discussed regularly here, unfortunately, Australian video surveillance users tend to pay far more than Americans for almost all equipment (not restricted to Avigilon). This analysis is done in US dollars for the US market. Also, as noted, in general, discounts depends on the dealer discount level one has.

The goal here is to show pattern in price differentials between manufacturers to see how much gap exists across them, not to show ranges for dealer pricing vs online pricing vs MSRP pricing, etc.

"The goal here is to show pattern in price differentials between manufacturers to see how much gap exists across them"

For who ? Dealers or customers ?

"users tend to pay far more than Americans for almost all equipment"
I am well aware, I pay the Aussie tax every day.

My point was more that you are representing a pricing point that is not achievable to everyone.

I think you need to come up with a standard way of showing pricing that all of IPVM readers are happy with.
I vote for just using MSRP.

Yes I know MSRP is generally just a made up number, but its up to the customer or dealer to get a better deal on what they pay.

"My point was more that you are representing a pricing point that is not achievable to everyone."

We have members in 100+ countries so, for sure, nothing that we do is going to be achievable by everyone.

"Yes I know MSRP is generally just a made up number, but its up to the customer or dealer to get a better deal on what they pay."

Agreed. The point of this report was not to 'get a deal' but to see the relative price spacing between major vendors. Our approach is better in accomplishing that than using MSRP, which is, as you note, 'a made up number'.

Great format for a comparison report and well done. Rinse, wash and repeat with the next 5 brands...;)

From an objective point of view, I think it might be more fair to the integrators point if the entry level pricing were provided - if I started carrying any of these brands, there is a standard discount level for new partners that I would get - that might make it apples to apples without making anyone look bad from having to quote a camera at a higher price than IPVM is telling them it should be costing them.

On another note, I would be much more interested in knowing the TCO with storage variable included. For example, 1080p 30fps for 30 days of storage is going to significantly bring down the overall cost of Axis with Zipstream and tremendously increase the cost of others that appear "cheap" on the front end. So there is a lot more to price than just the cost off the shelf.

Working for a major VMS company, I see this time and time again, once a customer settles on a camera manufacturer, they never go back to see what the storage calcs are on the other cameras that they didn't select - and I stand back in amazement. The bottom line figure is the number to look at in most cases to determine the real cost of a camera.

When I buy a car, I look at the 5 -7 year ownership cost. That's why I chose the Tesla model S over the Infiniti Q60 - it's cheaper!

"I would be much more interested in knowing the TCO with storage variable included. For example, 1080p 30fps for 30 days of storage is going to significantly bring down the overall cost of Axis with Zipstream and tremendously increase the cost of others that appear "cheap" on the front end."

The majority of the Axis cameras in this comparison do not support Zipstream. Here's the list of (minority) Axis cameras that support Zipstream.

That said, I do think Zipstream is Axis best new technology in years and one of the most meaningful ones in the past few ones. As Axis release more Zipstream cameras, it should make a difference. That said, the other question is how far behind are Axis' competitors in releasing their own smart codecs (Hikvision already has H.264+, Panasonic is releasing their own Smart Coding technology, etc.).

John very helpful comparison. What about Avigilon`s HDSM 2.0 ?Does it do a good job on the reducing the bandwidth and storage use?

Hi Johan,

While you base your Best and Worst rankings on the results of a survey, the price ranking is based on your own research. You could do the same survey to find out the average purchasing price for a given camera model.

Anyway, working at Axis I do know that using MSRP would benefit the price positioning of Axis products but as already mentioned, the actual price for a dealer / integrator is very difficult to set. I would recommend to stick to MSRP as the only official price reference and quite homogeneous across the world (exchange rates and taxes apart). Any other price you may show here is simply especulative and subject to a selection of source not clearly justified.

Every integrator, professional purchaser knows well that he will not pay the MSRP and of course the applied discount will depend on many factors. In other words, MSRP is about price, actual dealer discount is about margin for the channel, and you already discussed about that in a previous report.

Prices are so much interesting for the one who has to pay them. Therefore MSRP is the interesting price for the end user while the price that concerns to the installer is the actual price he will pay when buying that product, that's really a much more difficult figure to set, not as simply as visiting an on-line shop.

Alberto,

Axis is the highest priced manufacturer in this survey, unless we use MSRP to make Axis competitors look unfairly worse. Please stop. Thanks.

John

Survey?

We surveyed / analyzed a number of sellers.

Since you are an Axis employee, help us out. Where can we buy Axis products that is anywhere near the price of FLIR Digimerge, Hikvision or Samsung cameras?

I think the answer is that it's not possible but I am happy to have you make a suggestion.

John,

sorry for misspelling your name, my comment was obviously for you as IPVM responsible.

Why not just include the MSRP as a supplemental data point alongside the estimated dealer cost, while still using cost to rank?

It certainly has some informational value as well.

No, and again, the point of this study is to look at what people are actually paying, not what hypothetical numbers are used.

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