Ubiquiti Aircam Bullet Test

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 19, 2011

Can a $100 HD network camera change the surveillance industry? We are about to find out as Ubiquiti, a company whose massive growth has disrupted the wireless network industry commences its attack on the video surveillance market.

What makes Ubiquiti really interesting is that its market approach fundamentally opposes all industry norms. An American company, they focus on making very low cost products without any real spending on sales, marketing or PR. They leverage forums and Internet 'word of mouth' to build their customer base. They already have a huge customer base in the wireless market. Despite selling primarily $100 radios, the company did a whooping ~$200 Million in revenue in the last year.

Ubiquiti's Surveillance Product Line

In the past few months, Ubiquiti has started to roll out their own IP cameras and VMS software. They are taking the same approach in surveillance as they did in wireless, releasing very low cost cameras and free VMS (for details, see our Ubiquiti surveillance  product line overview).

The Test

While the price is outstanding, we wanted to see how well Ubiquti's surveillance cameras really performed head to head against reputable incumbents. To do so, we did a series of shootouts between Ubiquiti's Aircam Bullet, an Axis SD camera (the M1011), an Axis HD camera (the M114) and an IQ 4 series 2MP camera. While all the cameras are color only entry level models, the competitive offerings represent higher quality professional options.

We did a series of tests:

  • Low Light Testing: At 1 lux, 2 lux and 6 lux to see differences in low light performance
  • Day Time Tests: At 16 lux and 250 lux to see differences in 'regular' indoor lighting scenes
  • Long Range Tests: At wide FoVs of 40 to 80 feet to see how much difference in image capturing occur in larger scenes

*** * $*** ** ******* ****** ****** *** ************ ********? We *** ***** ** **** *** **********, * ******* ************ ********* ********* *** ******** ******* ******** ********* *** ****** ** the ***** ************ ******.

**** ***** ******** ****** *********** ** **** *** ****** ******** fundamentally ******* *** ******** *****. ** ******** *******, **** ***** on ****** **** *** **** ******** ******* *** **** ******** on *****, ********* ** **. **** ******** ****** *** ******** 'word ** *****' ** ***** ***** ******** ****. **** ******* have * **** ******** **** ** *** ******** ******. ******* selling ********* $*** ******, *** ******* *** * ******** ~$*** Million ** ******* ** *** **** ****.

Ubiquiti's ************ ******* ****

** *** **** *** ******, ******** *** ******* ** **** out***** *** ** ******* *** *** ********. **** *** ****** *** **** ******** ** ************ ** they *** ** ********, ********* **** *** **** ******* *** free *** (*** *******, *** *********** ************  ******* **** ********).

The ****

***** *** ***** ** ***********, ** ****** ** *** *** well *******'* ************ ******* ****** ********* **** ** **** ******* reputable **********. ** ** **, ** *** * ****** ** shootouts ******* ********'* ****** ******, ** **** ** ****** (*** M1011), ** **** ** ****** (*** ****) *** ** ** 4 ****** *** ******. ***** *** *** ******* *** ***** only ***** ***** ******, *** *********** ********* ********* ****** ******* professional *******.

** *** * ****** ** *****:

  • *** ***** *******: ** * ***, * *** *** * lux ** *** *********** ** *** ***** ***********
  • *** **** *****: ** ** *** *** *** *** ** see *********** ** '*******' ****** ******** ******
  • **** ***** *****: ** **** **** ** ** ** ** feet ** *** *** **** ********** ** ***** ********* ***** in ****** ******

[***************]

Key ********

**** *** ***** ** *******, **** *** *** **** ******* findings:

  • *** *****- ** ********** ******** ********, *** ******** ****** *** ************* worse *** ***** *********** **** *** **** *****, ******* ***** to *** ** * ****** *** ******** ** *** **** M1011. *******, ******** **** *** *** ******* * **** ******* mode (*** ******* ** */****) ***** ***** ** ********* ** other ******* ****** ** *** **** ** ****** ****.
  • **** *****- ** ** - ** **** **** ***, *** ******** Aircam ********* ******** **** ******* **** *** **** **** **** but *** **** ******* **** *** ** **** *****
  • ****** *****- ** ***** ** **** **** ***, ******** ****** ******** the **** ******* ** *** **** **** ****. *******'* ********* of *******'* **** ***** *** ****** ******* *** ******** ** Axis's *** ********* ** *** *******'* ******** ***** *** *****.
  • *********** - ** *********** ** ******** **** *** ******** ********, ******** or ******** ****. ***** *** *** *** ****** ****** * variety ** *** ******** ** ******** **** ***** ****** **** ActiveX ********.
  • *** ***** *********** - ***** **** *** **** *** ** ****** *** ***** VMS *********** *** *****. **** **** **********, ************* **** ** done *** *** ******** *** *******.
  • ******* ******* - *** ******** ****** *** * ****** ***** ** ******** - *** ****, ** ****** **** ****** *********, ** *****, no *******, *********** ***** **** ******** *** * ***** ***** lens.

*** ** ***, *** ******** ****** ****** ** * ***** camera *** ********** ******* ** *** **** *** *****. ***** that **** ** ********'* ***** **** ******, ** ** ***** impressive. **** *** **** ******* **** *** ********* *** ********* buggy, **** ** *** ** *** **** *********** ********.

** *** ***** ****, *** ******** ****** ** ****** *** board ******* ******** ** *** **** ***** ***** ** ****** though *** **** **** ** **** **** ** *** ***** (~$100 ** ~$***) [**** *** **** ***** *** * ********* lens ***** *** ****** ****** **** ***. *******, **** ******* the **** *****, * ***** ***** ******, *** ***** ******** is ***** **].

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

*** $***, ***** ******* *** **** *********** *** ****** ** video ******* ** **** *** *****, **** **** *** ******** Aircam ****** ****** **********. **** **** **** * ********* ****** in *** *********** - (*) ********'* *** **** *** **** lacks *** ***** ******* *** ** ****** ***** ** (*) integrate *** **** ** * *** ***** *** *** ********* the ****** ******* *** *** *******.

*** ***** ******* ** * ***** ***** ***** * ** 9 ******* ******, * ******** ***** ******** ** *** **** price *********** ** *********** ** ***** *** **** ***. *** pricing ** ***** *** ****** *********** ** *** *****/******** ** can ** ****. ****, *** ***** ******* **** ******* ** better **** *** ******** **** ** ** / ********** ****** camera.

**** ****** ** ******* *** * *********** *** ************ ** cameras *** ** ** *** ***** *** **** **** ** class ***** *******. ******** ** ******** ** ******* * ************ line ** ** ******* ** ****. ** **** ** *********** to *** *** **** ***** **** ******* **** **** ******.

Competitive ******

** ***** ********'* **** **** **** *** **** ********* ****** on *** ****** ************ ******, ************ ****, ********* *** *******. Ubiquiti's ******* *** ******* ****** ** *** **** ***** ******, have ******* ***** ******* *** *** *******.

**** ** ******** ******* ***********, ***** *** **** ************ ** Arecont ****** *** ** ** *** *** ******** ****** **** of ** ****** ** ******* ** ******* ************** ***** *****-********* cameras. *******, **** ****, ** ** ***** **** ******** *** overtake ******* ** *** *** **** ***** ** ****** ** the ******. 

Physical ******** ******

*** ***** ***** ***** ** *** ******'* ******** ********. *** two **** ********* ** *** ********* ** *** *** *** standard ******** ****** *** *** *********** ****** *** **** ******** the ****.

*** ***** ********* ******** / ************ ****** ** *** *********** for * *** ******** ***** **** ******** ********. ******** ******** one **** *** ** ***** **** **** * ****** *** injector ********* *********** ** ** ******* **** ***** *****. *******, of ******, *** *** *** **** *** ******** ******** **** a ******* *** ******. ****: ** * ********* ********, ******** *** ********** ** ****** ********** *** ***** $**. **** ********** **** to **** **** ***** *****.

Configuration *** **********

*** ***** ***** ***** *** ***** ******** ** *** ****** and *** *** ** ********'* *** ********* ***.

***** ********* *** ** ****** *** ***** ** *** ****, as ** ** ******** ** ** *** **** ********** ** Ubiquiti's *******, * *** ****** *** ***** ******:

  • ********** *** ********* *** *** ****** *** *****. *** ************ is ***** ****** (***** ** ** ****** ****+ ** *** any ********* *******).
  • ********* **** *** ******* *** *** ******* *** * ***** Flash **************.
  • ****** ********* ** ********* ** ****** ****, ************ *** **** of ****** **** ********* (******** ******* ****** **** ****** ********* will ** ***** ** *** ******).
  • *********'* **** ********** *** ***** ****** ********* * *** ****.
  • *********'* ************* ******* **** *** ***** ******* **** *********** *********, playback *** ** ***** ****** ******

** ********** *** ****** **** *********** ***** ** **** ********** (with *** ********* ******* ****** -****://***.***.*.*:***/****/******). ** *****:

  • ***** ********* **** *** ***** *** ** ********** ********. 
  • ** ************* ** *** ****** (***** ****, **********, ***.) ** possible.
  • **** ********** ********* *** ******** ***** ***** **** *** ******* server **** ****** ********* *** *** ******** ****** **** *** support ****** **** ******.
  • ********* ** *** ********'* ****** *** * ******* ****** **** time *** *** ***** ** ******* **** **** ********* *** direct ******* ** ***** (********** ************** ** * ******* *** *********** ******* **** *****).

Low ***** *******

*** ******** ****** *** ************ ** *** ***** ******* ** normalized, **** ******* ***** *****. **** ** ** ** * lux:

*** ******** ***** ** **** *** *****. *** *********** ********** would ** **** **** *********** ** ** ******* *** **** and ** ******* ** ** ** ***** ******* **** ******* speed (****** **** ***** ******** *********** ** ****** ****).

***, ***'* **** ** * ***:

*** *** ****** ******* ******* *** *** ******** *********** *** remains *** ****.

*** **** *** *** ******* **** * ***:

** *** * *** ******* *****, ** **** *** ** Axis ******** ***** ** ******* *** ***** ***** ** *** 4 *******.

Indoor ******* *******

***, ***'* ******* **** **** *****, **** **** ** ** lux:

***, *** ******** *** **** ***** ** **** ******* ***** of *******. *** ********* ****** ****** ***** ***:

  • *** ********** ** *** *******'* **** *** ****** **** ** more ********** ******** ** *** ******** **** *** **** *****.
  • *** ***** ** *** *******'* ***** ** **** ********** ******** on *** **** ***** **** *** ********. *** ******* ** weaing * **** **** ***** *** *** ******* ***** ** appear *****.

*** ** **** ** *** *** ***** ***** ** *** equivalent ***** ***** ** ** ******:

*** **** ******* ******* **** **** *** ******** ********* * more ********* ***** ** *** *******'* ****** **** *** **** with * ********* ******* ** *** *******'* ***** *****.

Longer ***** *******

*******, ** ****** *** ****** ****** *** ***** ***** ** views. *** ***** ** **** ** **** *** **** *** SD **** ***** *** * ******** ******** *** **** ******** (because **** **** ***** ******).

** *** ***** *****, *** '***' ***** ** ************* **' wide ***. *** ********'* ***** ******* *** ***** ** *** HD **** *** ************* ***** *** ** ****. *******, *** 2MP ** ******* ******** **** ******* **** *** ******.

*******, **** ** * **** ***** ********** ** ************* **' wide ***. **** *** ******** ******** ********** **** ******* ** the ******* **** *** ** ****. *******, ** ** ***** much ****** **** *** ** **** **** **** *** ******** narrower ***.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Milestone: "Easy Money Days Are Over" on Feb 17, 2017
Contrary to IPVM's criticisms, Milestone has reaffirmed that glory days remain. But they admit that they 'easy money days are over': Are the...
Directory of Alarm Panel Manufacturers on Feb 16, 2017
Alarm panels are the central controller of intrusion systems. The following is a list of manufacturers of alarm panels. This directory only covers...
Panasonic Favorability Results on Feb 16, 2017
Panasonic is one of the largest brands in the world and a long term provider of both video surveillance imagers and cameras. But, like all...
Hikvision Silicon Valley and Canada R&D Expansion on Feb 15, 2017
After massive growth in their sales team, Hikvision is now planning to add two new R&D centers in North America. In this report we examine...
Bosch/Genetec Video Cybersecurity Partnership Examined (CHAVE) on Feb 15, 2017
Surveillance products have been relatively weak when it comes to cyber security. Default passwords, open ports, and weak authentication mechanisms...
Customized Access Control Cans (Altronix Trove) on Feb 14, 2017
Access control installs typically require hanging at least two or three different enclosure cans, each holding individual parts.  Open wall space...
Arecont Vision MicroDome Duo Tested on Feb 14, 2017
Arecont Vision is back with another multi-head camera, this time thinking smaller with the MicroDome Duo, a two-imager model, with the tagline...
Avigilon New VMS Version ACC6 Examined on Feb 13, 2017
Almost 4 years after ACC5 was released, Avigilon is releasing the next major revision of their VMS, which includes their Appearance...
Hitachi Taking On Security Industry on Feb 09, 2017
Hitachi, bigger than Sony and Panasonic overall, with $89 billion USD 2016 total revenue, is expanding into the security industry. They are...
Milestone App - PSIM Lite (Alesys) on Feb 09, 2017
Milestone has many features in their VMS, but it is not a PSIM. Italian PSIM developer Alesys thinks sensor integrations and alarm management can...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Simplisafe is 'Blowing The Doors Off' on Feb 17, 2017
The company alarm dealers love to hate, Simplisafe, is 'blowing the doors off' according to Michael Barnes, one of the top financial advisors in...
Hikvision OEM DDNS Devices To 'Lose Remote Access' on Feb 17, 2017
The fallout of Hikvision's DDNS discontinuation is expanding, this time hitting OEM partner Supercircuits, who reports that on June 30th: The...
Milestone: "Easy Money Days Are Over" on Feb 17, 2017
Contrary to IPVM's criticisms, Milestone has reaffirmed that glory days remain. But they admit that they 'easy money days are over': Are the...
Directory of Alarm Panel Manufacturers on Feb 16, 2017
Alarm panels are the central controller of intrusion systems. The following is a list of manufacturers of alarm panels. This directory only covers...
Panasonic Favorability Results on Feb 16, 2017
Panasonic is one of the largest brands in the world and a long term provider of both video surveillance imagers and cameras. But, like all...
China Huawei Gives France Free City Surveillance on Feb 16, 2017
China is using its financial resources again, this time in France, just a month after the Chinese government funded a $100 million security /...
Hikvision Silicon Valley and Canada R&D Expansion on Feb 15, 2017
After massive growth in their sales team, Hikvision is now planning to add two new R&D centers in North America. In this report we examine...
Directory Of Wholesale Central Station Monitoring Providers on Feb 15, 2017
Wholesale central stations help smaller and local dealers providing monitoring to their customers. Dozens of options exist.  Below is the first...
Bosch/Genetec Video Cybersecurity Partnership Examined (CHAVE) on Feb 15, 2017
Surveillance products have been relatively weak when it comes to cyber security. Default passwords, open ports, and weak authentication mechanisms...
Security Alarm Industry Trends - Barnes on Feb 14, 2017
This is a review of key security alarm industry trends, taken from Michael Barnes' presentation at the 2017 Barnes Buchanan conference. Key trends...

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