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.