Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek

By Ethan Ace and Rob Kilpatrick, Published Jun 19, 2019, 09:47am EDT

Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently released but who is the best and worst?

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To see who stands out, we bought and tested 10 repositionable models from 7 manufacturers:

The video below provides a quick overview of the models and manufacturers included:

Cameras were ranked across 10 criteria:

  • Field of view options: Repositionable multi-imager models varied greatly in how closely imagers may be positioned, whether they can be panned or rotated to corridor mode, and how easily they may be moved.
  • Zoom range: Some tested models include fixed lenses while others include motorized varifocal options with big differences in focal length range.
  • Size / weight differences: Cameras ranged from under four pounds to over 15, with sizes ranging from low profile and small diameter to over 12" wide.
  • Daytime details: Cameras were tested at ~300 lux at distances ranging from 20' to 80' to see how well lit scene performance differed.
  • Night details: Cameras were tested in a very dark <0.1 lux scene to show differences between IR cameras and non-IR models.
  • Low light detail: Low light color performance was tested at multiple ranges at ~2 lux to see how details differ.
  • WDR performance: All models tested included true WDR performance, tested to see how each handles strong backlight and darker areas of the scene.
  • Bandwidth efficiency: Smart codec bandwidth was tested in day and night scenes using H.264 and H.265, included in most cameras, to see how bitrates compare.
  • Video analytics / VMD performance: Cameras' on board analytics and VMD performance varied drastically, from highly accurate to easily triggered by everyday nuisances like foliage, shadows, or animals.
  • Pricing comparison: Pricing ranged from a low of ~$900 USD to almost $3,000, with higher price not necessarily equaling higher performance/more features.

Plus we examine additional factors which did not impact rankings but are key information for decision-makers, including:

  • VMS H.265/H.264 streaming and configuration support
  • VMS video analytic/VMD event support
  • Number of VMS licenses required
  • Country of origin

And we declare winners for best value, worst value, best low light, best positioning, and best analytics.

Executive *******

******* ** *********** ** resolution, ********** ** **********, and ***** ********, ** is ********* ** **** a ****** "******". *******, some ******* ******* ********* best ** ******* *****.

  • **** *****:*** ***** ******* ** models ** ~$*,*** *** and *****, *** **** P3717-PLE ***** *** *** its ******** ***********, *** profile ****, *** ***** analytics *********** (****), ***** the ********* **** ****** model *** * *** performer ** **** ****** with ** ** *** offered * **** **** range *** ****** ********** at ***** ******** **** others.
  • **** *** *****/** ***********:*** ********* **** ****** and **** ******** ** Multisensor ******* *** **** low *****/**** *********** *** to ***** ****** ********** and ******** ********** **.
  • **** *** ***********:*** **** *****-*** ******* more ******* *** *** setup **** ***** ******, with ******* **** ** be ****** ******* ********, as **** ** ****** in ***** (* ******* not ******** ** *** other ***** ******), ***** with ********* ****** *** corridor **** *******.
  • **** *********:*** ******** ** ***********'*****-******** *********(******** ** *** ********) outperformed *** ***** ****** tested, **** ******* ****** performance ** ***** ***** rejection, ***** ****** ******* on *******, *******, ******, or ***** ******** *******, or ****** ********** ** people ** ********.
  • ***** *****:** ****** $*,*** *** street *****, *** ********* WV-X8570N ****** *** ******* value, ******** *** ** evenly *** ****** *** offering *** ******** *********** its **** **** **********, but **** ** **** due ** *** **** of ********** ** *** with ****** ** ****** plus ***** ***** ****.

***** ****** **** ********** rankings ** **** ********:

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Imager *********** / ******

******* ****** ******* ** how ******* ******* *** be **********, ******* **** can ** ****** ** rotated ** ******** ****, and *** ****** **** may ** *****, **** Axis ******** *** **** options.

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*** **** *****-*** *** clear ********** **** ***** cameras ** ****** *********** and ****** *** *** key *******:

  • ******* ******/*** ** *****:*** *****-*** ****** ******* to ** "*******"/******* ** place, ******** ******** ** wider ****** **** ******* repositionable ****** *****, ********** useful *** ****** *** or ***** ******* ** the **** ******* *********. No ***** ***** ****** included **** *******.
  • ******* *** ** ***** close ********:************, *** *****'* ******* could ** ****** **** closely **** **** ***** models ******.

** *********** ***** ****** and ******* ** ****** in **** *****:

************, ** ***** **** models **** ********* ** accurately ****** **** ******. Most ******* *** ********* WV-X8570N, ***** **** * "clicking" **** **********, *** more ********* ** ******, as *** ****** **** easily ******* **** **** positioned *** ***** *** be ****** ******* "******", making ******* ********** *********.

Corridor **** *******

*** ******** ** ****** support ******** ****, ***** allows *** ****** ******** of ****/****** **** *** exception ** *** ******** H4 *********** *** ********* WV-X8570N, ***** ***** *-**** adjustment *** ***-***** ******, but *** **/***° ********, shown ****:

Size / ******

*** **** *** ****** of ***** ****** ****** tested ****** ******, **** Vivotek *** **** *** smallest *** ********* *** Hanwha's ***-****** *** *******.

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*** **** *** ******* models **** ********* *******, with ******* ******** ******* diameter *** ****** *** Axis ***** *** ***** profile. *** ****** **** is *** ******* ****** in *** ****, ****** 13" **** *** ****** than ****, ***** *** Panasonic *** ******* ** diameter, *** **** ****, similar ** **** ** many ****.

**** ********** ***** *** two ******** ******* ** the **** ******** ** the ******* ** **** the ******* ******** ** size.

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**** ******* ** *** Avigilon ** ***********, ***** is ** *** *** heaviest ****** ******, **** 15 ****** ********* *** IR *********** ****, ***** the **** ******** *** just **** ** ****** (Hikvision/Hanwha ****).

***** ******/******* ****** *** require **** **** *** care ** ******* *** may ** **** ** preferred ** ********* **** aesthetic ********.

Imaging ***********: ******* ******* ****** ** ****** ***********

****** *** *****, ****** resolution ******* ******** ****** details ** **** *** scenes.

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*** **** ********* *** Avigilon ****** ******** ******* facial *** **** ******* to */**** ****** ** twice *** ********. **** Hikvision, *******, *** ****** options **** ******** ******** details **** *-**** *******.

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Imaging ***********: *** ***** ***** (~* ***)

*** ***** ***** *********** varied ********, ********* ** distance ** ******, *** Axis, *****, *********, *** Vivotek ******* ********* ****** than ******.

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** *** ***** (~* lux) ****** ** ***** mode, ***** *********** ********** higher ********** ****** ** close ***** ** **** introduce **** ******* *****, producing ******* ******.

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*******, ** ****** ******, the ********* *** ** 32 *** ** ** models ********* *** ****** of ******* *****, **** Panasonic **** *** ******* 20MP ****** ********* *** clearest ******. *******, *** Avigilon **** ******** **** more ******* ***** **** other ******, ********** ***** at *** ******.

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Imaging ***********: ****/********** ** (

*** ******* ************** ** performance ***** * *** was ********** **, **** six ****** ***** **, easily ************* *** **** which ** ***.

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** *** *** ********** IR ****** ** *** tests, *** ********* ****** 20MP *** ******** ** Multisensor **** ****** ********* best, **** ***** ******* and **** ******* ** dark ****** (The **** *****-*** ******** the ******* ****** ** models ******, ****** *** subject *** ***** ************ at ***** *****.

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**** *** *** **** non-IR ****** ****** ******** usable ****** ** ******** at PNM-9000VQ *** ***-******, ********* WV-X8570N, ******* ******-****), **** only ****** ********* ** the **** ********** **** chart ** **** *****.

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Imaging ***********: ***

**** ******* ********* ********* in *** *****, **** subject ******* ******* **** strong ********* ** **** as ****** ***** ** wide ******* ******, **** three *** **********, **** and ***.

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*****, *** ******* ******-**** produced ******** ******* ******* in **** ***** **** other ******* ******, **** more **** ********. ** contrast, *** ********* **-****** was ********** *** ** both *****, **** ******* details **** ********* ** discern.

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Dahua **** *** **** *** ******

*******, ***** *****'* **** WDR *********** ** ******* to **** ***** ******* tested, **** *** ***** imager ** *** ***** Multi-flex ** **** ***, with ****** ***** ******* / "****" ***, **** a ******* ********** ** performance, ***** ***** **** our***** ************** ** *****-****** Camera ****.

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Camera **** ***/***** ********* ***********

** *** ***** ** multiple ****** *** ******* scenes, ***** **** ***** differences ** ***** ********* and *** *********** (***** analytics **** *** *********), ranging **** ****** ******** (******** *********) ** ******** ** practically *** ***** ***** change ** *** ***** (********* *********, *********, ******* ***).

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** *** *****, **** Avigilon ******* ******** ***** alerts **** ****** ******* which ********* ***** ****** analytics, **** ** ******* brush, *******, *******, *** light *******. ****, *****, and **** ****** ******' intrusion ********* *** ******* on *** ** **** of ***** ******* ***/** missed ********** ** ******.

*** *******, **** ****** models ******* ** ******* brush, **** ** *** distant ***** ** *** corner ** *** *** below.

Hanwha-False-Analytic-Alarm-On-Moving-Foliage

************, *** ***** *****-**** 4x2 ** ********** ****** people ** ****** ****** detected ******** (~**' ******** / ~** ***).

Dahua-Multi-Flex-Missed-Detection-In-Well-Lit-Scene

*******, *** ********* ******'* intrusion ********* ********* ***** of *** ******** ****** tested, ******** ** ***** changes, *******, *** ******* noise, ***** *****.

Hikvision-False-Analytic-Alarm-On-Shadows-_-Noise

*******, *** ******** ****** outperformed ***** ***** ******** only ***, *** ********* WV-X8570N, *** ******* ******-****, which ******* ** ****** any ****** ****** ** the *****, ********* ***** flashing ******** ****** ** switches/computers.

VMD-False-Alerts-On-Small-Flashing-Activity-Lights

Bandwidth **********

** ******* ******, **** the **** *****-*** *** not ******* *.*** *********.

******** ****** ******, **** Vivotek, ********, *********, *** Hikvision's ****** **** ***** the **** ********* *********** their ****** **********. *** Dahua *****-****'* ******** **** high ******** ** ***** 8MP ******, **** ********* bitrates **** * **/*, with **** ****** ****** and *** **** *****-*** also ****.

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*******, **** **** ******* the ********* *** ******* models ******** ********** **, and *** *** ******* usable ****** ** ******** in **** ******. *** did *** ****** *** camera ******, *** **** of ***** ****** ************* at *****.

Basic *** ***********: *.*** *********/*************

*.*** ********* *** ************* worked ** ****** ***** combination, **** *** **********:

  • *** ******* ******-**** *** not ******* ** ******** Control ******, ********** ** codec ** ********.
  • ********* ** ********** * "Restricted" ****** ** ******* and ******** ********** ********* in ***** ** *******. In *** *****, **** with **** ********* ** place, **** *** ***** channel ** *** ****** was *********.

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H.265 *** ******* ******

*.*** *** **** ********* on ****** *** ******* models, ***** ********** ** all ***** ****** ****** Avigilon, ***** ********* ******** only *** *** *******' H.265 *******. ********, *****, Hikvision, *** ********* ***** imagers' *.*** ********** ** three ***** ****, **** Exacq *** **** *** to ******* *.*** **** all *******.

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Camera **** ****** ********* *******

****** **** *** ******* was ***** *** **** cameras, **** ****** **** Avigilon, ****, *****, *** Hanwha ****** ********** ** all ***** ******. ******* integrated ** *** ***** except ********, ***** ***** not *******, ***** ********* and ********* ********** ****** to ***** ***** ****, with ***** ***** ********** all *******, ** **** Milestone.

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Number ** ******** ********

****** *** ********* ******* required **** * ****** license *** *** **** channels ** *** ***** except ********, ***** ******** 4 ******** *** *** cameras *** ***** ***. Other ******' ******* ******, though **** ***** *** Hikvision ******** **** ******** in ****** *** *****.

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Pricing **********

************** *****-****** ****** ******* varied ******, **** ~$*** USD *** *********'* *** PanoVu ***** ** ****** $3,000 *** *** ********* 32MP **-******, **** ******* around ~$*,***.

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******* *** *** ******* vary ***** ** *** specific ********, **** **** of *** ***** ********* models ********* ********** ** and ********* ****** (*********, Dahua, ****), ***** **** of *** **** ********* models *** *** ******* IR (****** ***-******) *** used ***** ****** (********* WV-X8570N).

PoE *****

*** ***** *** ******* varied **** ***** ** during *** *** (****) to ****** ** ** night **** ** ** (Avigilon).

*** ****** ***** *** actual ************ ***** ** use, ******** ** *****, not **** ***** ******.

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Country ** ******

**** ****** ** ****** with *** ********* ******* of ******:

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Firmware ******** ****

*** ********* ******** ******** were **** ** **** test:

  • ******** ***-***-***-***: *.**.*.**
  • ******** ***-***-***-***: *.**.*.**
  • **** *****-***: *.**.*
  • ***** *****-**** *****: *.***
  • ****** ***-******: *.**
  • ****** ***-******: *.**.**
  • ********* **-**********-****: **.*.**
  • ********* **-**********-****: **.*.**
  • ********* **-******: *.**
  • ******* ******-****: *****

Comments (38)

****** *** *** ************* round **! 

*** *** ****** *** issues **** ********** / double ****** ** *** dome ******? **** *** extremely ********* ** ***** cams **** ** *** Arecont *************.

**

***** ** ***** *******  present "********" ****? **** is *** ********* ***** for *** *** *******...? In ******** ** ********** views?

**** ** **** ****** views. ********* ** ********* only **** ** ***** multi-imager ****** (***° ** 360°). ******* *** ******* of **** *** ***** repositionable ****** *** ** moved, *** ***** ** likely ** ** **** and ******* ** ***** cameras *** **********, **** don't ******.

*** ***** ****** *** the ** **** *** 32?   $*** **** > *.** *** ******, a ****** *******...  *** the * ******* ** adjustability?

*** *** ******* *** better ** *** ***** and *** **** ********* then ** *******. 

******, ***** ************, ******, target ********, *** *** I ******* ******?  *** cameras = $** **********.  I **** **** ****** types ** *******, *** I ** **** *** 32MP, *** **** *** intended ******* **** **** requires * ****, *** spend *** ***** $*** that ***** ** *** towards ******* ****** ************ somewhere ****?

*** *** ***** ** test *** *** **** multi-sensor (***-*****) *** **** ****? I ***** *** **** we're ******* ** *** them ** *** ** our ******** ****.

*** **** ***** ******* to ** ***** ******* hardware. **********, *** *** are **** *******, **** the *******, *******, *** imagers ********* ** ** the **** ** **** close:

*** ***** *** ***** length, **********, *** ****** are *********. 

***** ***** ** *********** in *********** ********* ** exact ********* ********* *** firmware *********** ***** ***** require *******, *** **'* likely *********** ** *******.

*** **** ***** ******* to ** ***** ******* hardware.

***?

******* ****** ** *** Sony *** ***** ****. According ** *** ***, Vivotek ***'* ********* ******** to **** *** **** camera. ******, **** *** Vivotek ****** ** ** using *** **** *****-***** manufacturer *** *** ******* and *****. **** *** Vivotek *** ****** ******** their ***** **** *** housing. **** ** *** using *** ******** ***** made ** *******.

* ***** **** ******** why *** ****** ****** isn't ********* ;) *** Sony ** ************* ***** and *** ******* ** 1572g. ** *** ******* is *** ******** **** it ***** ***** *** them ** **** ******* weights, *** *** *** see *****'* * ********** of ***.

******, **** *** ******* happen ** ** ***** the **** *****-***** ************ for *** ******* *** mount. **** *** ******* are ****** ******** ***** parts **** *** *******.

******* ****’** ******** *** same ****** (** ******* out ** *****) ** as ****:

*** ** ***** ****** they *** ***** * different ******, **** * slightly ****** *** *** the ******* */*.*” ** the **** */*.*”.

*** *** ********, ***** angle ** **** ** determined ** **** ****** size *** ***** ******, wouldn’t *** ***** ** views ****** ** ******** different ** ********* **** to ********* ******* ** the **** ****?

***** **** ****!   Multi-imagers *** ********* ******** our **** **** *****.  This **** ****** ******* with ** **** **** scientific ************ ******* ****, Avigilon, *** *********.  ** is ***** ** *** some **** ******* *** detailed *******.

***** ***********, ** *** have * *** ******* consumption ***** *** ***** ?

** ******** *** *** added ** *** ******:

*** ***** *** ******* varied **** ***** ** during *** *** (****) to ****** ** ** night **** ** ** (Avigilon).

*** ****** ***** *** actual ************ ***** ** use, ******** ** *****, not **** ***** ******.

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

*************, ***** ** * correlation ******* ***** *********** and ***** **** ***** quality, * ******** **:

5 Night Detail (0 1 Lux)

*********** **** *** ****** causality, ** ******, *** Axis *** ***-***** ****** came **** ***** ***** consumption ***** ******** *** Hikvision, *** *** *** much ******, *** **** higher ***** ***********.

** **** *******, ** seems ** **** ***** to ** **** *** greater ***** *********** ******* for ******** ** ********, agree/disagree?

******** **** *** ***** analytics ******* *** ******** sucking ** * **** amount ** *****.  *** anyone ****** *** **** metal **** **** ** the **** ** *** housing?  **** ** ***** saw **** *** ***** thing **** **** *** "this **** *** ***".

* ******* ******** ********* impact ***** *********** ** well *** ****'* ***** by *** ******* ***** vs ****** ***, ** addition ** ****, ***** is * *** **** at ***** ** **** (20+ *****).

** *** ***'* *** the ** **** *** night ***** **** ** basically *** **** *** day **** ***. *** IR **** ** ********.

****, *** ****, **'* not * *********. ********'* IR **** ** ******** but * ******** ******** to *********** ** *** test *****. ****** ** consume ** ***** **** power **** **** * poor ******* ***** ** night.

***** ** ****'* * criticism **** ****'* ***** the ** ** ********.

**** *** ******** *********** run ********** ******? *** shown ** *******.

********** ****** **** *** run ** *** ******. Appearance ****** ******** ******** cameras **** ********* (** AI *********) ** **** the ******* *** ********* Search ** **** ** yes *** ** ** camera **** **** **** Apperence ******.

*** *** ****** ** what ******* ** *********** your ******* *** ********* on? ** ******** **** was *** ******** ******* of *** ******* ******? I **** ** ******* that ** **** **** and ******* ** ******* some *** ******* *** cameras **** *****-****** ******* and ***** *** *** only *****-****** ******* **** I **** *** **** take * *** ** power *****. **** ** beneficial ***** ** *** setup ** ***** *** cabling *********. 

***, *** ***** **** using ***** ******* **.**.*.****** and *** ******** *** the ******* ****** *** *****.

**** ****,

****, ******* ********** **** only **** ******** ****:
*) ****** ***** ******* 
***(!) 
*) *******/****** ****** ***** quality.

**'* **** ** **** such * ***** **** will ******* **** *** bitrate *** **** **** static ******* ******* *** would ** ******* ** dynamic ******. 

** ******* ****** ** apples, ***** *** ** bitrate **********/******* ********** *** always **** *******: *******, static ****** *****, ****** object *****. *********, ** might *** ****** **** be **********. 

**'* ******* *** *** Arecont *** ****** **** they ****'* **** ******** in * *****-****** ****** shoot-out.

** **** *** ** Arecont ******* **** ******** us * *** ****** was ******, *** ***** not ** *** ** time *** **** ********. We **** ** **** when ********* *** **'** update **** ***********.

*** **** *** ****** shots ***** **** ********* backgrounds *** ********* **** the ****** ** ********* angles? (***** *** * few **** ***** *********** above. ** **********, *'* referencing *** *** *********** Comparison.) ***'* **** ** these ********* *** ******* for ********* ******* ** light ** *** *****?

 

***** ***,

 

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

*** **** *** ****** of ******** ******** **** depending ** *** **** of ****** ** ***?

*** ******* **** ** the ******?

** *** ** ** with *** *** *** chooses ** ****** *****-******* devices. **** **** ******** anything **** *** *** address ** *** *** license. **** *******, ********* has **** **** *** some ****. ****** ******* a ******* *** ***** channel ** *******, *** will ****** * ****** license ***** *** ****** is ********** **********.

***** ***. ****, **** does * *** ********* Hikvision ************ ****?

** ***** *** ***** a **** **** ******* has ******* ** ** for *** **** ****! It ****** **** "*", below.

* ***'* *** *** Arecont *******?  ***

**'** **** ** ******* with ******* ********* * new ****** ** ******* which *** ******* *** release ***** **** ******. As **** ** **** are ********, ** **** to ****.

**'** **** ** ******* with ******* ********* * new ****** ** ******* which *** ******* *** release ***** **** ******. As **** ** **** are ********, ** **** to ****.

**** ***** ** ** excellent *********** *** ******* if **** *** ***** they **** ******* **** from *** **** ****** of *** ****.  * look ******* ** **** test.

**** ** ****!  * was ****-*** ******-**-***** **** my **** ** * have *** ******* *** trouble **** ***** *******.  Hopefully **** *** ****/**** to ***** *** **** of *******...

******* ******** ** *** paragraph *** *.*** ******* matches *** *******. *'* curious ***** ** *** text ** ******* ** correct. ***** **** ****, this ** ***** ******** presented ****. **** ** up, ****!

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