Testing Vivotek IP7161 - 2MP MPEG-4 Camera

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 03, 2009

Vivotek's new 2MP camera (the IP7161) expands low-cost product options in multi-megapixel cameras.

The IP7161's specification include support for MPEG-4 (but not H.264) and has a maximum frame rate of 10fps at 1600 x 1200. The test results show the camera's performance is solid across the board but not exceptional. However, with an online price under $500, it is extremely affordable and hundreds of dollars less than other cameras in its category.

The challenge for buyers will be to examine and determine whether the camera is good enough for your application, given the significant product cost savings it offers. For example, contrast this with the premium Axis Q1755 camera we reviewed recently.

For background on the product see Vivotek's Product Page on the IP7161 and its datasheet.

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  • Video ******* - I thought the video quality was solid but not as sharp as others that I have been testing. Additionally the low light images tended to be nosiy and less sharp than others. As I did not do a formal comparison test, I will limit my remarks here. You, of course, can download the actual video clips below.
  • Bandwidth - The camera uses MPEG-4 rather than H.264 so there is potential for increased storage and networking cost. However, in the tests, bandwidth consumption was fairly modest with 2Mb/s to 3.5Mb/s the average consumption for 1600 x 1200, 10fps. It's hard to make a definitive claim here because different vendor's H.264 implementations consume different bandwidth levels.
  • Frame **** - The frame rate is definitely no more than 10fps. With Vivotek's own internal tool, I measured 8-9 fps consistently. If you need more frames per second, this is certainly an issue. For general monitoring (as the video samples show), the frame rate was sufficient.
  • 3rd ***** *** ******* - VMS support is currently very limited. Exacq helped me by providing a beta version. Vivotek's cameras are widely supported so I view this as more of a short term issue than a permanent barrier. However, if you are going to use the camera, you should be sure that your VMS supports this model.

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