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.

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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:

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