IT’S true – I’ve not had my hands on this camera yet but the temptation to talk up Avigilon’s new 29MP megapixel camera is simply too much to resist. While there are a couple of other players in the big MP end of town, Avigilon’s imager is the single largest on the market and can potentially be used to replace up to 95 VGA cameras.
Of the 3, Avigilon’s big boy is a like-for-like camera which is installed in the usual way. There’s no need for engineering of custom housings to contain a multiple camera array – there’s just a fixed camera body and a very high quality lens supporting that humungus imager. 
The release means Avigilon’s JPEG2000 Pro Series now stretches from 8MP through to 29MP, covering pretty well any configuration requirement you could imagine. The great strength of Avigilon’s Pro series cameras is their ability to serve up all of a scene, in the highest resolution giving profound depths of field, as a single image stream. 
Before the pundits start shrieking blue screen, Avigilon is marketing its 6576 × 4384 pixel 29MP camera at 2 images per second, full resolution, which sounds about right to me. It also sounds enough to make this camera extremely useful in topical applications like public spaces, stadiums, port facilities, airside of airports, as well as in defence of high security utilities. It would be ideal for face recognition and numberplates and would shine in locations where a single mounting point was available to cover a large open space.   

Before the pundits start shrieking blue screen, Avigilon is marketing its 6576 × 4384 pixel 29MP camera at 2 images per second, full resolution, which sounds about right to me.

In terms of features, the 29MP has some features we’d expect and quotes some performance numbers that are exemplary. For a start the CCD is progressive scan and this means the imager is scanning the scene on a line by line without splitting the image into separate fields. When you combine JPEG2000 with progressive scan it means that single images viewed on a quality monitor are going to be outstanding. 
Avigilon is a quality manufacturer and a thoughtful one and the company’s adherence to couple charged devices for its high end imaging technology really is best practice. Cramming 29MP onto a CMOS chip would leave the pixels so miniscule low light performance would be nominal at best but Avigilon is claiming 0.1 lux minimum scene illumination from its 36.1mm (H) x 24mm (V) image sensor. Now, I’ve not seen the images in low light but if these numbers are accurate this new sensor is a real achievement. 
Another number that’s extremely impressive is 64dB signal to noise ratio which is certain to give excellent dynamic range – that means this camera can handle backlight. Most camera makers are pretty excited when their products’ signal-to-noise ratio’s reach 50dB – 64dB is fantastic. 
It’s not possible to talk about Avigilon’s JPEG2000 Pro cameras and not talk about…JPEG2000. This compression offers superior developers a real advantage in performance thanks to elimination of artifacts and blocking, as well as superior code stream layouts built pixel by pixel. 
I’m not appraised of Avigilon’s interpretation of the JPEG 2000 standard but this is a lossless compression featuring cool things like random code stream access and processing that allows different parts of an image to be viewed and/or stored at different qualities. This ‘region of interest’ capability can be accessed at varying resolutions depending on requirements.
Other features of interest include automatic exposure and iris control, software focus control, compatibility with Canon EF-mount lenses, PoE at 24A AC or 12V DC and both external I/O and RS-485. There’s also Stop-Action Electronic Shutter, plug-and-play thanks to auto-detection and auto-configuration of cameras for easy installation.
The camera’s advanced image acquisition system is designed to automatically adjust the exposure time and the iris to ensure all the available evidence is captured day and night. Important too, the camera integrates with Avigilon Control Center NVMS and High Definition NVRs using standard off the shelf or legacy network equipment. 
Of utmost importance, Control Center gives operators a live and post-incident digital PTZ, High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) and what Avigilon describes as the highest possible quality recording with no loss of data. There’s dynamically controlled bandwidth utilization for optimal streaming and Near Infrared (NIR) Sensitivity.
Other specs of interest include -10C to 50C operating temperatures, non condensing humidity tolerance at 20-80 per cent, IEEE802.3af Class 3 compliant PoE, power consumption 13W and mechanical dimensions of 120 mm x 79 mm x 74 mm (LxWxH) with a weight of 1.15kg with the lens. 
Network 100BASE-TX is Cat5 with an RJ-45 connector, network security includes SSL Protocol UDP, TCP, SOAP, DHCP and Zeroconf. There’s an (SLR-style bayonet) lens mount, motion detection selectable sensitivity and threshold, electronic shutter control automatic, manual (2 to 1/60000 sec), iris control automatic, manual, focus control automatic, manual, flicker control of 50 Hz, 60 Hz, auto white balance and auto backlight compensation, 4 privacy zones and external I/O terminals along with Alarm In and Alarm Out.

Fact file:
Features of Avigilon’s JPEG2000 HD Pro 29MP include:
• 29 megapixel progressive scan CCD sensor
• 2 images per second at full resolution
• 64 db true dynamic range
• 0.1 lux minimum illumination
• 35 mm diagonal image sensor
• Lossless JPEG2000 compression
• Unsurpassed image quality
• Automatic exposure control and iris control
• Software focus control
• Compatible with a wide selection of Canon EF mount 
• Power over Ethernet, 24 VAC or 12 VDC power input.