VMS by Segment: Small, Medium, Large Camera Counts

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 01, 2010

Frequently we are asked what is the best VMS for certain camera counts. For instance, if a project only needs 4 cameras, what are the most appropriate? Or if a system needs 50 cameras, etc.

We've tested over 20 VMS systems and conducted the world's most comprehensive VMS comparison.

In this report, we recommend best fit, by camera count, for each VMS system. It's a judgment call and some of these systems can work well across multiple segments so use it as a guide rather than a definitive placement. 

Using this as a starting point you should then consider other factors for your use case - third party system integration, usability, redundancy, video distribution, analytics, etc.

To ensure we understand the VMS, we only list VMS systems we have completed tests on. Each system includes a link to the full test report.

Micro (Less than 4 Cameras)

With very few cameras, customers usually choose very inexpensive or very easy. Here are a few options we have tested:

With a small number of cameras, analog cameras and DVR are often a better choice (cheaper and easier).

Small (Between 5 and 20 Cameras)

For small camera counts, limited feature sets at relatively low price points are common. Expect to pay about $50 - $100 per camera at this level.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Also, consider using NAS based NVRs that add VMS software on top of NAS appliance. These can be fairly inexpensive and provide built in storage redundancy.

Medium (Between 20 and 60 Cameras)

With more cameras, users generally want more features and broader 3rd party support. Expect to pay about $150 MSRP per camera at this level.

When distinguishing between medium and large systems, there's no magic number. It might be 60 cameras, it could be 100 or 150. A grey area exists and the cut off depends on specific advanced features you need.

Large (Over 60 Cameras)

Larger systems tend to need enterprise management and an array of advanced functionalities. Only a minority of VMS systems offer this (and of course at a significant premium). Expect to pay $250+ MSRP per camera at this level.


1 report cite this report:

Ocularis 2.0 Examined on Jul 10, 2011
This spring, OnSSI announced a new major product release, Ocularis 2.0. In this release, OnSSI not only changed product names but restructured...

Related Reports on VMS

Artificial Intelligence Robot Assistant (ACTi) on Feb 23, 2017
Has artificial intelligence come to the video surveillance industry? ACTi has released 'SARA' which it bills as an 'AI assistant that brings...
Cutting Costs 70% Using Milestone With HD Analog on Feb 23, 2017
HD analog and enterprise VMSes are often thought of as being on opposite sides of the spectrum, with HD analog best for small jobs due to its low...
Exacq Favorability Results on Feb 22, 2017
For years, Exacq has been one of the most frequently favored VMSes in IPVM integrator statistics (e.g., see Favorite VMS Manufacturers...
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...
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...
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

Hikvision Pyronix Releases 'Huge' New Panel on Feb 27, 2017
Hikvision's 2016 acquisition Pyronix has been touting their 'huge' new large system panel. Indeed, the new Euro 280 claims features that are better...
Bosch Favorability Results on Feb 27, 2017
Bosch is one of the most well known brands in the industry and they have combined recently with Sony in video surveillance. But how has Bosch...
ADT CEO: My Daughters Better At Installs Than Most 20 Year Techs on Feb 27, 2017
Times have changed. At the Barnes Buchanan conference, ADT's CEO Tim Whall made an interesting and, surely to some, controversial observation....
Avigilon Favorability Results on Feb 27, 2017
One of the fastest growing companies has turned into one of the rockiest, as cooling growth, management turnover and a roller coaster stock price...
Honeywell Sues Alarm.com For Violating Anti-Trust Laws on Feb 24, 2017
Is Alarm.com about to dominate the smart home software market? That is what Honeywell alleges in its new lawsuit, first reported by...
Axis: "Everything is IP" - False on Feb 24, 2017
Axis is congratulating itself, with executive Fredrick Nilsson declaring: "Now the conversion is all done and everything is IP and analog is...
Advertising Like Avigilon at the ISC West Airport on Feb 24, 2017
Avigilon has grabbed a lot of attention over the last few years advertising at the Las Vegas airport when attendees fly in. But how does that...
Artificial Intelligence Robot Assistant (ACTi) on Feb 23, 2017
Has artificial intelligence come to the video surveillance industry? ACTi has released 'SARA' which it bills as an 'AI assistant that brings...
Cutting Costs 70% Using Milestone With HD Analog on Feb 23, 2017
HD analog and enterprise VMSes are often thought of as being on opposite sides of the spectrum, with HD analog best for small jobs due to its low...
Dahua 4K HD Analog Cameras Announced on Feb 23, 2017
HD analog has been gaining popularity (even if Axis hopes otherwise). Last year, HD analog's max resolution doubled from 1080p to 4MP (see our 4MP...

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