Testing HD PTZ Camera (IndigoVision 11000)

By: Benros Emata, Published on Jun 14, 2010

Popular opinion contends that high definition (HD) will eliminate pan tilt zoom cameras (PTZs). However, what then, is the value of combining the two and providing HD PTZ cameras?

In this test, we examine a PTZ with HD resolution (IV11500) from IndigoVision integrated with their Compact NVR. Just like Indigovision's HD fixed camera [link no longer available] (refer to our review of the IndigoVision HD fixed camera), the HD PTZ has a fixed resolution of 1280x720, 30fps framerate, and H.264 codec support.  

We found interesting benefits and, in general, see value of upgrading standard definition PTZs to high definition PTZs.

Inside the review, we examine key considerations such as:

  • Joystick control and responsiveness of the PTZ
  • Level of detail of the HD PTZ versus a leading SD PTZ
  • Maximum range (distance) of an HD PTZ versus SD PTZ cameras
  • Bandwidth consumption of the PTZ at rest and in motion
  • The HD PTZ is scheduled for General Availability at the end of July 2010. There is no webpage on IndigoVision's website describing the product. In the physical overview section below, we review the key features/aspects.

    Price

    The MSRP of the HD PTZ camera will be $3,344 for standard recording (720p, 15fps recording max) and $4,009 for enhanced recording (30fps recording max). The camera is designed for outdoor use. The mount is sold separately.

    Key Findings

    On a technical level, we found:

    • Control of the camera was very smooth with virtually no visible delay in controlling the camera.
    • With the use of the serial IndigoVision keyboard, the PTZ had the smooth control of analog PTZs (a positive point).
    • The image quality and detail was strong - in line with IndigoVision's own HD camera and other HD cameras we have tested.
    • Bandwidth consumption was fairly modest even when the camera was being controlled - an average of 6Mb/s during the day with motion and 3.5 Mb/s at night with motion (720p with H.264 codec).
    • Compared to a Canon VB-C60, an SD camera that provides a 40x optical zoom, the Indigovisions' widest FoV is slightly narrower and the furthest distance visble is slightly smaller. However, it is fairly close, with the higher resolution offsetting much of the longer zoom of the SD camera.

    At its MSRP of about $3,500, the IndigoVision is relatively affordable and not much more than outdoor SD IP PTZ cameras. Given its relatively low bandwidth requirements and smooth control, it is an attractive offering.

    Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
    Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

    The most serious limitation is the requirement of using IndigoVision's VMS. For deployments using only a few PTZs, this camera may not alone justify choosing end to end IndigoVision. However, for deployments with a high percentage of PTZ cameras, this could be an attractive and motivating option.

    Physical Overview

    The following screencast examines the physical form factor of the IndigoVision HD PTZ camera.

    Key points include:

    • Camera has resolution of  1280x720
    • 1/3" CMOS sensor
    • 10x optical zoom + 12x digital
    • 5.1mm to 51mm range lens
    • Carabineer affixes to mount as a safety wire
    • Be aware of the weathered seal, it may cause challenges when closing the housing if not properly seated
    • Camera requires a high power POE injector or switch for power
    • As an alternative, a 24V AC/DC power supply may be connected to the AUX port

    Image Quality Analysis

    We examine the image quality of the IndigoVision HD PTZ camera by exporting two video samples: One taken during a daytime outdoor scene, and the other during at night. 

    Download the sample video clips. The screencast below will reduce resolution/frame rate so if you want to see the 'native' quality, you should download the sample video clips.

    The results of our tests are explained in the following screencast.

    Key points include:

    • In the outdoor daytime clip, a lot of visible detail can be seen on the captured image from the HD PTZ
    • Good performance in dealing with variations in light within a scene
    • Minimal amount of noise artifacts in the outdoor nighttime scene
    • Viewing nighttime clip, video motion was smooth (running at default 25fps)
    • At night, auto focus took longer to set during PTZ movement

    Bandwidth & Framerate Examined

    In the following screencast, we used video quality analysis software, Elecard StreamEye v3.1, to examine and verify the stream properties of the two exported test clips.

    Key points include:

    • For the daytime and nighttime clips, confirmed the captured resolution of 1280x720 and framerate at 25fps
    • Daytime clip average bitrate was 5.8Mbps
    • Daytime clip scale measured approx. 100Kbytes, i-frames approx. 1Mbps, p-frames approx. 250kbps
    • By default, IndigoVision HD PTZ i-frame setting is set to 1 frame every 4 seconds
    • Confirmed that bandwidth consumption raised when PTZ panned and zoomed
    • Nighttime clip average bitrate was 3.5Mbps
    • Nighttime clip scale measured under 50Kbytes
    • Relative to the daytime clip, less details are being shown at night; therefore, less bandwidth is being consumed
    • Another factor contributing to low bandwidth at night is the lack of camera noise artifacts in the image

    HD PTZ vs. SD PTZ

    We posed the question, "How does an SD PTZ with a larger optical zoom and wider focal range compare to an HD PTZ with less optical zoom and focal range but higher resolution"? 

    To put this question to the test, we contrasted the IndigoVision HD PTZ with the Canon VB-C60 SD PTZ camera (Reference our test on the Canon VB-C60) . Both cameras were placed side by side and a common reference point was established in both images. We zoomed both cameras at their widest point, then zoomed in at the most telephoto point and noted our observations.

    Key points include:

    • The Canon VB-C60, with a minimum focal length of 3.4mm, had a wider field of view, compared to the IndigoVision PTZ, with a minimum focal length of 5mm
    • IndigoVision PTZ had a higher detail of images than the Canon
    • The Canon, with a maximum focal length of 136mm, could zoom in closer, compared to the IndigoVision PTZ, with a maximum focal length of 50mm
    • Although the Canon had a better overall distance, it was a modest difference compared to the higher resolution image of the IndigoVision
    • If max distance is a priority, the 40x, 136mm focal length of the Canon will see farther than the IndigoVision at 10x, 50mm focal length, but the difference is minimal

    PTZ Keyboard Functionality

    In our tests, we controlled the IndigoVision PTZ using their PTZ keyboard accessory.  We connected the keyboard via a DB-9 serial connection to our PC, and associated it with IndigoVision Control Center. In the following screencast, we overview the various functions of the keyboard.

    Key points include:

    • The keyboard does not support the programming of Presets, Sequences, or Guard Tours
    • To pan the camera, move the joystick left/right; To tilt, move the joystick up /down
    • Twist the stick clockwise to zoom in, twist counter clockwise to zoom out
    • To select a camera, use the keypad to press the camera number, then press the camera icon
    • To change the video layout, enter the number of columns, then enter the number of rows, then press the A3 button
    • To select an active monitor, select the monitor number, then press the monitor icon
    • The first five presets may be accessed via the five numbered keys on the bottom of the keypad

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Bosch Budget 3000i Cameras Tested on Dec 05, 2019
Bosch has long had a hole in its lineup for, as it describes, "competitively-priced cameras". Now, Bosch has released its 3000i series cameras...
China Uyghur Analytic Projects Require Intel And NVIDIA, Intel Condemns, NVIDIA Silent on Dec 02, 2019
At least 8 PRC China police projects require NVIDIA and Intel chips to power their Uyghur-detecting analytics, according to procurement documents...
Directory of Access Reader Manufacturers on Nov 27, 2019
Credential Readers are one of the most visible and noticeable parts of access systems, but installers often stick with only the brand they always...
Top 2020 Trend - AI Analytics on Nov 22, 2019
170+ Integrators answered: What do you think will be the top industry trend in 2020? Why? For the 4th year in a row, AI/video analytics was...
Axis "Best Of The Best" 4K Camera Tested (Q1798-LE) on Nov 21, 2019
Axis has released their "best of the best" Q1798-LE bullet camera, touting "4K without compromise" with a large Micro 4/3" image sensor, custom...
Wireless / WiFi Access Lock Guide on Nov 12, 2019
For some access openings, running wires can add thousands in cost, and wireless alternatives that avoid it becomes appealing. But using wireless...
The Access Control Codes Guide: IBC, NFPA 72, 80 & 101 on Nov 07, 2019
For access, there is one basic maxim: Life safety above all else. But how do you know if all applicable codes are being followed? While the...
Access Control Door Controllers Guide on Oct 22, 2019
Door controllers are at the center of physical access control systems connecting software, readers, and locks. Despite being buried inside...
Pelco Sarix Pro3 Camera Tested on Oct 16, 2019
Pelco has released their Sarix Professional Series 3 cameras, claiming "more security detail in challenging scenes with excellent low light and...
Altronix Claims Tango 'Eliminates Electricians' on Oct 15, 2019
Power supply provider Altronix claims its new Tango power supply 'eliminates the need for an electrician, dedicated conduit and wire runs'. In...

Most Recent Industry Reports

ADT CEO Not Worried About DIY: "2 Discrete Markets" on Dec 13, 2019
ADT's CEO is not worried about DIY, characterizing DIY and ADT's DIFY as "2 discrete markets" at the Imperial Capital Security Investor's...
Hikvision CEO Alleged Illegal Activities Investigated on Dec 13, 2019
Hikvision's CEO Hu Yangzhong is under investigation for suspected illegal activities, according to the PRC's securities regulator. This has become...
Video Surveillance 101 Course Opened on Dec 12, 2019
IPVM is adding a Video Surveillance 101 course, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the most important terms,...
Verkada Notification Outage on Dec 12, 2019
Verkada is suffering an event notification outage and analytic search failures. Inside, we examine what the issues are, what Verkada told IPVM...
Hikvision DS 2nd Gen Intercom Tested on Dec 12, 2019
With its newest IP intercom, Hikvision proclaims users can 'get full control over an entrance' regardless of where it is installed, home or office...
Honeywell 30 Series Cameras Tested Vs Dahua and Hikvision on Dec 11, 2019
Honeywell has infamously OEMed Dahua and Hikvision for years, but now they have introduced an NDAA-compliant line, the 30 Series, claiming "lower...
"Good Market, Bad Business Models" - Residential Security on Dec 11, 2019
Industry banker John Mack, at his company's annual event, took aim squarely at the problems in the residential security...
IP Camera Browser Support: Who's Broken / Who Works on Dec 10, 2019
For many years, IP cameras depended on ActiveX control, whose security flaws have been known for more than a decade. The good news is that this is...
Acquisitions - Winners and Losers on Dec 10, 2019
Most major manufacturers have been acquired over the last decade. But which have been good deals or not? In this report, we analyze the...
IP Camera Installability Shootout 2019 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Dec 09, 2019
What are the best and worst cameras to install? Which manufacturers make it the hardest or easiest to install their cameras? We tested 35 total...