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IFSEC IP Security Round-up

This week, we spent most of our time at IFSEC, a large security exhibition taking place annually in Birmingham (UK). It was great to catch up with our peers and find out what’s new. We are only interested in IP-based security as you know and we will leave the analog stuff to one side. So what’s the latest in IP?

Probably the cleverest new product we saw is the Axis Q1602 IP camera with what Axis calls ‘light finder technology’. The camera was demonstrated in a small dark room with the door slightly open to allow a ray of light to enter. We were amazed to see that the camera produced a perfectly useable colour image and we will definitely take a close look at this camera when it becomes available to see how it behaves in a wider range of circumstances. We will keep you posted on this.

What we think is a hot release is the new Axis M5014, a mini IP dome with HD 720p and pan and tilt. This camera will be direct competition to the very popular Panasonic BB-HCM715. Though, its launch price of £475 is almost double the cost of the Panasonic camera so it will be interesting to see how it will settle in the market.

Axis also introduced a new indoor PTZ dome with 35x optical zoom and the P3367 series of 5 megapixel fixed domes. Nice but there is plenty of this on the market already.

Panasonic displayed the impressive,  recently launched WV-SW395, which is an outdoor pan-tilt-zoom camera with 18x optical zoom, HD 720p and power-over-ethernet support. It competes with the Axis P5534-E, which we use a lot and has a very similar specification. The disadvantage of the Panasonic camera is its mechanical stop on the panning mechanism, whereas the Axis has continuous rotation. However, we have heard Panasonic is soon to release a firmware upgrade that would spin the mechanism around in a split second as a way of dealing with this issue. We are keen to see how this would work and will provide an update when it happens.

Sony launched their comprehensive HD line up last year and this still is their key focus. A new series of indoor PTZ IP domes were shown with choice of HD 720p and full 1080p, various optical zoom ranges and choice of standard and rapid control mechanisms. All due for release June / July 2011. Too many variations if you ask us but it further completes the Sony range of IP cameras.

Mobotix were not at the show and as far as we know there is nothing new to report, which moves us on to Milestone. All the eyes were on Milestone’s version 4 of Xprotect Corporate, their flagship product launched earlier this year. It so feature-rich that it is impossible to start explaining here all the benefits it offers. We recommend anybody looking for an enterprise-level video security solution to take a look at Corporate. If any other VMS provider has to offer anything better, we did not see it. But we’d like to hear. You can request a free Milestone Corporate 30 day trial to see for yourself.

The exhibition confirmed to us that Axis, Panasonic, Sony and Milestone are miles ahead in the IP video market. Their IP security product line ups have much matured over the last 12 – 18 months with HD now becoming a common standard at not much of a premium.

Other IP camera manufacturers such Sanyo, Canon, JVC, Vivotek, Lilin, IQeye and Arecont are all catching up and now offer some interesting products, some very good, but overall lack behind somewhat at either a technology level, depth in the product range, the level of integration with recording platforms or the availability of product and support. However, we have seen some significant developments and successes amongst them in the last year and expect to see much more of Sanyo, Vivotek and multi-megapixel company Arecont in particular.

Published on May 20th, 2011 by Frank Crouwel

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