The Risk of Skewed IP Camera Comparisons

By: John Honovich, Published on Oct 11, 2009

One of the most misleading and common problems in evaluating IP cameras is drawing comparisons to less functional alternatives. This results in the evaluator saying that the IP camera is just as good or as inexpensive as the alternative.

Take 2 examples:

IP Cube vs Analog Box

Siemens recently claimed that, "a number of reputable manufacturers have now started to supply IP cameras specifically designed for entry-level applications. These cost no more than a low-end analogue camera." From the context of the article, it is clear that Siemens is comparing IP cube cameras to analog box cameras with CS mount lenses.

Comparing cube cameras to box cameras is a bad comparison. In our testing and use, IP cube cameras almost always produce far poorer image quality than analog box cameras. Moreover, since cube cameras have fixed lenses, it is very difficult to optimize the field of view, usually resulting in compromised coverage.

That is not to say that IP cube cameras are bad. They are quite popular, especially in residential and SMB applications because of the combination of low cost and remote monitoring without a DVR. However, it's grossly misleading to compare the two. If an IP to analog "apples to apples" comparison is made, it should be IP boxed camera to analog boxed camera. IP may be "better" but it's still significantly more money.

Entry Level IP PTZ vs Speeddomes

A second example comes from the Editor of SIW who earlier this year praised Cisco's WVC200 PTZ camera, saying, "this camera is largely the same as we're seeing with the 'professional grade' cameras." This for a camera with no optical PTZ, only a 2x digital zoom, a 1/5" CMOS sensor, minimum illumination of 2 lux at F2.0 (simply horrible) and a pan range of only 134 degrees.

As those specifications show this camera is poor for a consumer class PTZ and not even close to a professional 'speeddome.'

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hikvision Colorvu Camera Tested on Jun 24, 2019
Hikvision says their new ColorVu line captures "vivid chromatic images in darkness", with unconventional white light illuminations whereas most...
China Subway Facial Recognition System Examined on Jun 24, 2019
A China city of 6+ million people has installed facial recognition-enabled gates in subways, allowing commuters to enter stations by simply showing...
HID Mobile Tested on Jun 21, 2019
HID Global is one of the largest access brands, but their mobile access has had challenges. Indeed, the company has already restructured their...
Genetec Beats Milestone For IHS #1 on Jun 21, 2019
For years, Milestone has touted that they are the #1 VMS. Now, Genetec has beaten them in IHS rankings. But what is this? Even other manufacturers...
Risk of Amazon Alexa Guard: No Battery Or Cell Backup on Jun 20, 2019
Amazon positions its Alexa Guard Service as a "smart home security system" and says it can help you "keep your home safe". However, the...
Exacq Remote Cloud Access Tested on Jun 20, 2019
Remote cloud access has been missing from most VMSes (including Exacq and Milestone). Now, Exacq, after releasing Cloud Drive Storage earlier in...
Briefcam Buys Frost Award* on Jun 20, 2019
Frost 'awards' are well-known and widely disrespected. Now Briefcam is touting their win. The way it has worked for many years is that Frost...
IFSEC 2019 Show Report on Jun 19, 2019
The UK's largest trade show, IFSEC, is underway and IPVM has been examining what is new and happening at the show. Inside, we cover: Huawei...
Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact