Samsung's IP Camera Line Overview

By Ethan Ace, Published Oct 04, 2011, 08:00pm EDT

The past few years have been strange for Samsung's security business. The long term partnership with GVI in the Americas was dissolved, with Samsung now building their own sales organization. Also, the multiple Samsung lines were merged. While Samsung's analog sales have remained strong, their IP line and market presence has been lacking. Recent changes aim to change that. In this note, we look at the offering and how competitive it might be.

Product Overview

The Samsung network camera line [link no longer available] consists of all the usual suspects: box cameras, indoor and outdoor minidomes, bullet cameras, PTZs, and encoders. Most of these form factors are available in VGA, 1.3MP, and 3MP versions. All current models are capable of dual-streaming H.264 and MJPEG, and adhere to current ONVIF specifications. The line is also integrated to a number of VMS providers [link no longer available], including Avigilon, Milestone, Genetec, and Exacq.

One interesting point about the Samsung encoder line: the SPE-400B and SPE-1600R is a blade and chassis style encoder rack, capable of up to sixteen channels. Most manufacturers outside of the majors (Axis, Sony, Pelco, Bosch) do not offer slot-based encoders. Bullet cameras with built-in IR are also not yet commonplace, with Sony being the only major offering them.

Box Camera Comparison

There are four models of box camera Samsung line, the 1080p/3MP SNB-7000, the 720p/1.3MP SNB-5000, the VGA SNB-3000, and the 1.3MP SNZ-5200 with 20x zoom lens.

Samsung's 720p/1.3MP SNB-5000 prices out against competitors as follows:

  • Samsung SNB-5000: ~$530 online, no lens included
  • Arecont AV1115DN: ~$380 online, no lens included
  • Axis P1344: ~$650, including a 3-8mm CS-mount lens
  • Panasonic WV-SP306: ~$560, no lens included
  • Sony SNC-CH120: ~$550, including 2.8-8mm CS-mount lens
  • Sony SNC-CH140: ~$800, including a 2.8-8mm CS-mount lens

This places the Samsung camera around the same price point as Axis and Panasonic, above Sony's CH120, and well over Arecont.

Dome Camera Comparison

Samsung's line of domes is similar to the box camera line, containing 3MP/1080p, 1.3MP/720p, and VGA models in indoor and outdoor vandal-resistant models. For purposes of comparison, we will compare the outdoor 1.3MP model, the SNV-5080. Pricing for this model shakes out as follows:

In this case, Samsung has a respectable $175+ advantage over their closest competitor in price, the Arecont AV3155DN, and more against others. It should be noted that the Axis P33 series features motorized zoom lenses on all cameras, and the Sony DH160 is equipped with built-in IR illuminators. Sony's current line has no outdoor cameras without IR. As such, these aren't 100% direct comparisons. 

Conclusions

Samsung's pricing is in line with major competitors, less competitive on box but more competitive on domes. That noted, Samsung's line is 'me-too' with little novel technical nor feature differentiation. As such, we do not see a great motivation to switch. On the other hand, Samsung is a prominent brand and will certainly gain attention even if the products turn out to be just average.

We plan to test Samsung's IP cameras this fall at which time we can offer a better opinion on overall performance and comparative image quality.

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