Week 4 Exercise: Specify A Camera Using The Camera Calculator

Go to the camera calculator and use it to specify a camera.

Copy and paste a picture of the results (use the export / snapshot function) and explain why you choose:

  • the resolution you did
  • the lens you did
  • the PPF you settled on

Think of practical scenarios you have done or might do in the future to guide your decisions.

This exercise is to get you comfortable using PPF and planning out cameras.

Here is a submission from an attendee in last term's class so you can get a feel of what a solid answer looks like:

"A few months ago a customer wanted us to read license plates during the day. The entrance of the driveway was about 100 feet away, at the time I wasn't sure what lens to use so I purchase a varifocal and played with it at our office. I found that 12mm was the best option. This calculator is extremely helpful, more accurate than just guessing. I tested it on sunny and cloudy days to make sure we got the image he wanted.

3MP / 12mm / 51PPF"

Front Door ZMS

I uploaded an existing scene from one of our facilities front lobby cameras (see picture below). Right now we have M5014 camera to be able to focus on a broad scene and be able to zoom in to areas when needed. However, I would like to be able to see all the faces of people coming into the doors so I chose an AXIS Q1755 at 1080p with the included lens giving me an option of 5 to 48 degree AOV. I went with 27 degrees because that gave me 85 ppf with the camera mounted on the beam behind the concierge desk approx 50 feet away from the front doors.

Sorry just saw I posted this in reply to John's example and not to the assignment itself. If you need/want to move it go right ahead guys.

Funny enough I just had a somewhat rare scenario come up and I used the calculator to make sure the figures were right.

The scenario is; the customer wanted to cover a 120' wide area that was about 550' away from the camera. The goal was to get a minimum 40ppf if possible. The product the integrator wanted to use was a 4K camera.

So after putting the figures into the calculator I came to the following conclusion:

Using a 40mm lens on a 4K camera, they can cover 88.5 feet wide at 43.4ppf on a subject 550' away.

Camera Calculator - single 4K

Naturally this means they need two cameras for the entire 120' wide area. However, it makes more sense to tighten the FOV (increase the pixel density) even further since a second camera is needed anyway.

So I might suggest a setup with two 4K cameras with a 55mm lens. This will provide 59.6ppf across a 64.4' wide area at the same subject distance (550').

This will maximize the pixel density while omitting unnecessary data outside of the 120' viewing area.

Camera Calculator - 4K_60ppf

I know this is abnormal and a very rare scenario to have such distance and width requirements, but I figure that's exactly the point of the calculator...to help make what would be a pain in the butt, actaully pretty fun to do and in a much shorter period of time.


Thanks. As we discussed in class, my main concern with 4K cameras is that most / all (of current generation) are going to struggle with WDR and low light (e.g., Axis 4K Tested (P1428E)).

My other concern is the lensing. Are there real quality 4K 40mm lenses available? Even with regular HD lenses, we have seen steep drop off in image quality for more telephoto lenses (e.g., A Major Flaw in Long Lenses and PTZs Found).

I work for a school district, so most of my cams are in hallways. We have a lot of Axis M3014 cameras, so that is what I chose. We occasionally need to identify students/visitors who are involved in incidents, so I chose 60 ppf to make facial id feasible. The lens on this cam is fixed, and while different resolutions are available we usually use the highest the cam offers, 1280 x 720, 720p.

Knowing that to get the wanted ppf with this camera and resolution the distance from the cam is 13 feet is useful when we decide where to place cameras in new schools or in different locations. We can't expect all the incidents to happen 13' or less from a cam, but we do try to make sure that those involved can't exit the hallway or area without passing that close to a camera. We may not be able to identify the face while they are involved in the incident, but we can track them and get a good view while they are leaving.

Andy, I found your post to be informative but it could be improved on if you had selected a lobby sceen from those on the IPVM calculator or posted an image from one of your own cameras instead of having used the intersection scene in your post.

Andy, well thought out and a good example of the distance limitations in fixed focal lens cameras.

I have a parking lot with a prox card controlled gate for which the customer would like a record of who enters. There is a building across the street that I can mount the camera on (about 45 ft away) and the FoV is about 30ft and I would like to get a 50ppf image at the gate.

I was looking at an Axis P3346V but this requires mounting on a wall and the Axis is an indoor dome camera. The camera currently in use (and failing) is a Sony SNC-CS50N which is only a 640x480 resolution camera and does not provide the picture the customer desires. I would like to look at a 3MP camera but using the camera finder there do not seem to be any available that are suitable for outdoor use.

ADA lot

"I would like to look at a 3MP camera but using the camera finder there do not seem to be any available that are suitable for outdoor use."

Hi Rob, here are 120 cameras that are 3MP, outdoor, dome and varifocal.

That's odd; when I ran the finder in the office, it constantly zero'd out. I couldn't get a single camera result even when I dropped several of the factors out. But this time I got 85 with my query, almost all Avigilon, with a smattering of Arecont.

Thanks for pushing me to run it again. I will try at the office again to see if it was just a glitch.

Rob, it's not all Avigilon / Arecont. That's just the first page of the results. There are 25 results per page, which means 3 more pages from other manufacturers who do not start with an A.

Emadaldin, very impressive use of the differrent tools available such as the camera installation tool (which one did you use) and the use of the lens calculator from AXIS.

robert thanks , i learn when you change the focal lenght with same FOV the PPF was change

it is right??

If you change the focal length, the scene width will change. Since scene width is one of two factors impacting ppf (the other being horizontal pixel count), it will change the PPF count.

Kindly John, in my select previous Axis Q1604 ( scene dimensions and resolution)

Same distance10 meter & same FoV 50º & same width of scene was 9.3 meter


In different select

resolution ( 1280 × 960) the hight of scene was 7 meter and focal length result 6

resoultion (1280 x720) the hight of scene was 17 meter and focal lenght result 3.8 and noted( corridor mode)

other case

If we leave and fix all data same (width , distance, hight , FoV , resolution, focal length)

Yes just the hight was different

And true when I go to slide down to min of focal lenght range the width go increase and resolution decrease and vise versa

The first case still me confused! !!


what were the perametters did you take into consideration when you changed the focal length?


Sorry it took me so long to reply. Work has had some demanding deadlines.

I took an Axis P3384-V. This is an advanced WDR camera that we use at entrances of buildings. It has a 1/3" imager, and a resolution of 1.3MP. We typically place the camera about 15 feet from the entrance. This camera has a 3-9mm lens. I used the calculator to simulate a 4.5mm focal length, which at 15 feet gets a nice tight shot of a double door. With these settings I get 80ppf. This tells me that we could either back the camera about 9 feet or widen the field of view to watch more of the entrance and still keep our ppf above 50ppf which still gives a good face shot.

Jesse, nice job on your post and the use of the camera calculator tool and yes given what you are covering the 80 PPF is more than sufficent for capturing a good facial image and it's also great to see that you considered moving the camera further back to extend the FoV and still have a good PPF for yeilding an image that still captures your initial intent.

Jesse, nice explanation. Btw you can calculate specifically for the P3384-V directly here.

for Axis Q1604

you can select 2 diffrent res. (1280x960 )(1280x770)

the distance was fix in 10meter

width of scence also fix in 9.3 meter

focal length and FOV different and change

also the installation hight was effact .


Regarding, "you can select 2 diffrent res. (1280x960 )(1280x770)"

The PPF will remain the same for either as horizontal pixel count is the same.

However, the vertical FoV / area covered will increase with the 1280 x 960 one.

I chose to do a lobby scene and I used an Axis P3367-V at a distance of 30ft to target resulting in a PPF of 56.3 with a scene width of 46 ft. One of the reasons I chose this camera was it has WDR-Dynamic Capture because there is quite a bit of light contrast by the glass doors. I also wanted something vandal resistant. It has a varifocal lens 3-9mm lens with a FoV of 30°-84°, so I can adjust the scene width to get the image I would prefer depending what is locatedon either side of the doors. If I wanted to focus mainly on just the doors themselves I would narrow the FoV which would result in a higher PPF. The FoV would all depend on what you want to see. At a distance of 30ft to target, the narrowest FoV would be 16ft wide with 161ppf and at the max FoV it would be 54 ft wide with 48ppf. I would locate the camera in a different positon if possible, more behind the reception counter facing toward the double glass doors to capture people as they entered the lobby and also as they approach the reception counter. Assuming the distance from the counter to the doors is 30 ft the PPF should be 56.3, but as they approach the counter, the PPF would go up so facial details should improve even further assuming the camera is not mounted at too high an angle.

Axis P3367-V Loby Snapshot

I'm currently working on a warehouse that has a row of dock doors. I thought the calculator could help me determine how far back I needed to put the camera. My width of view is 31ft. My camera is 3MP (IQA33WI-B5) which was not listed as a choice in the calculator. The focal length of my camera is 3 - 13mm so I used the 3mm allowing for the widest view. I was hoping to achieve between 50 - 60 PPF. So based on the calculator I need to mount the camera approximately 19ft back.

I have Dvtel CM-4211-01 (1080p) camera with focal lengh of 2-7 mm and imager size 1/3" and i wanted to capture the vehicle enterence and was looking for 50ppf so wanted to know how far i have to place the camera to monitor the enterence. I used camera calculator and as per the camera calculator I have to place the camera at 16ft back.

Here is Robert Gonzales' submission:

"Colleagues, for our week 4 exercise I chose to use an image captured by one of our cameras in one of the lobbies of a building at our Facility. About two years ago we installed a series of Sony cameras in the lobby floors of one of our open facilities. We went with the Sony SNC-DH280 1080P resolution camera which yielded a 88 degree Area of View of its available 32 degree to 88 degree range and yielding (delivering) ~20 PPF in a ~100’ wide scene at 50’ from the camera. This camera despite the low PPF number has given us a reasonable facial image capture during daylight hours, but has proven to be less than reliable during the evening hours and at night when the facility is shut down.

The results of using the IPVM calculator on the Sony camera are shown in the image below:

Now using the IPVM camera calculator and selecting a Avigilon 3.0W-H3-DC2 3MP resolution camera I got a better image than what had been delivered by the Sony 1080P camera. In addition, the Avigilon at 28 degrees of its 12degree to 28 degree range delivered ~82 PPF at 24.9” wide scene at the 50’ distance from the camera:

This test also confirmed for me that If I were to upgrade the cameras in the near future I will be using the IPVM camera calculator first to help guide me in making an informed decision on the type of camera that is going to deliver the quality of image desired at these locations within the lobby space of our facility for use in capturing clear reliable images both during the daylight hours and after hours when the facility is not in use.

This new capability that I have been fortunate to learn about through this class will make a much needed improvement in how my company goes about selecting and deploying surveillance cameras for enhancing our security posture at our buildings and facilities at our site."

We have a TV-IP311PI Trendnet camera, 3MP 1/3, 4mm F1.2, we can notice with the use of camera tool we can covering 32.8ft at 52.1ppf, which is enough for capturing a good facial image in outdoor.

I have to cover a vehicle entrance with a camera mounted approx. 33 ft. away. There is about 20 lux on the scene all night. I chose a 720P camera with good low lighting capabilities and WDR (~130db) - this gives me ~65 PPF with a FOV of 33dg.

I am avare that i need to speed up recording with this narrow FOV -e.g. 16 fps.

Also i would rather spend more money on a good lens (F1.2) rather than more pixels to get the best lowlight performance.


That's good. A few things to keep in mind for license plate capture:

  • Make sure you have a very fast shutter (1/500s, maybe faster depending on how quick the cars are moving). Without this, your license plates will be blurred and unreadable. However, with this, you'll need IR to help compensate for the short shutter.
  • So get IR, integrated IR should be fine 33' away as long as its a mid to high end model.


when we are looking at license plate capture do we need to be concerned with the firmware that is being used with regards to what would be admissible in a court of law?

Robert, I have never heard nor can even thin why firmware would affect admissibility of license plate capture.

Btw, please start new discussions to ask questions that are not related to the excercise.

Hi John, I have a special case where the camera has to me mounted about 500 ft away for the scene for LPR. When I was at Ifsec exhibition in London, I came across a camera from chinese company Uniview. Their PTZ camera uses "laser" to get light to appox. 820 ft.Do you know more about this.

I have tried to find out more of this technologi, but the specs are unclear. I have worked a little with the SWIR (1550nm technologi) but this is very expensive and probably not the technology in the case.

The camera can be mounted very stabile to avoid vibrations.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: LPR At Vehicle 500' Away?

"Determining the width of the FoV can be trickie". No Kidding! I messed around with a spare camera today to test all the math for PPF and found if the camera angle is oblique, it makes it very tough.

I used the calculator in an actual quote/design situation yesterday morning. Here is the summary.

A current customer is having issues with vandalism in the area where they park a few delivery trucks. They have an open area with trucks being parked in a space that is approximately 20' wide x40' long. Sticking with the same manufacturer of cameras they are currently using, our sales rep provided me a quote using a Hikvision DS-2CD2232-I5 camera, mounted to an existing structure, pointing down the 40’ length of the parking lot.

I pulled the manufacturer specs for this camera and entering the model into the calculator and selected the parking lot scene. Based on this, I can see a few potential issues:

  1. The selected Hikvision camera will not cover the entire length of the 40’ parking lot while being able to make out any facial features or license plates (picture included).

  2. PPF at 40’ are 31.1, this may work for the day-time image however the night-time image is simply not usable.

  3. PPF at 20” is 62.1, overkill for the day-time image but works for the night-time view.

  4. The selected camera is a 3MP camera and that is not likely helping the lower-light night-time image quality.

  5. The camera has a fixed focal length and the FOV is simply too wide for such a narrow space being monitored.

eyemart 6mm

In this case, I moved to a Hikvision DS-2CD8255F-EIZ camera, mounted in the same location. The results of the change are much improved.

  1. The cameras selected is a 2MP camera vs the original 3MP camera. In this case, the higher pixel count was negatively impacting the low-light performance.

  2. The selected camera also has a verifocal lense allowing me to dial in the field of view, thus increasing image quality as I am not capturuing a bunch of unnecesary images.

  3. PPF are now 65.3 @ 40’. This creates a really good quality day-time image and a much improved night-time image.

  4. Not sure why the export is cutting off the license plate view below.....

John, very well though out analysis and good explanation of how the varifocal helped to get the right balance of distance vs FoV vs details for your needs.

Thanks for pointing out the license plate cutoff problem. Our new open/save bar is causing that. It's a bug and we are going to fix it asap.

Currently working on a bid for a mixed used building and specifications require selection from a short list of manufacturers, fixed vandal resistant (no IK rating specified), IP, POE, dome, minimum 1/3 imager, minimum of 2MP, built in I/R with WDR, mimiumum illumination of .01 LUX.

Using the IPVM camera selector only 2 cameras met all the criteria with the exception of WDR. Excluding the WDR requirement, and the built in I/R, 2 Pelco models met the requirments--IEE20DN-OCP1 and IEE20DN8-1.

If I select built in I/R, only 4 Sony models meet the specifications, but max out at 1.3MP.

(Note that if WDR is selected, no camera models are displayed. This may be a bug?)

I selected the Sony SNC-DH160 since it is a bit cheaper for this exercise, even though it is only 1.3MP and not 2MP.

I chose the lobby scene since that is an area in the building I am bidding that must be covered. Placement of camera is approximately 15 feet from entry doors. This gives me a scene width of 27 feet which is plenty, pixels per foot of 46 which would be fine.

Karen, nice job!

The WDR field is being filled out by Derek as we speak. They should all be uploaded by the beginning of next week when we will do a formal announcement.

We currently are a company that mostly deals in analog cameras. We do work with IP Cams systems, many of our clients like a hybrid type of system (mostly analog with a few IP cams sprinkled in). One of our customers has a reoccurring camera shot of the front entrance to the store. Just as we have covered in class, I find this to be one of the most difficult shots to capture with the quality the customer would like. A high, dark ceiling creates heavy shadows once inside the entrance as opposed to incredibly bright glare shining in through the glass entrance door. High end analog cameras with decent BLC can handle some of the lighting issues but my wish would be to increase the quality even more (especially facial features). I first wanted to create a baseline using the manual selection in the calculator:

Width of shot: 20ft max

Distance: ~15ft

Resolution: 720p (chose this resolution because I wanted to make sure the cam I was using had a decent WDR for the strong variance in light/dark and was still reasonably priced.)

After further adjusting the camera for the “doorway” scene, I was comfortable with an 85.3 PPF:

This is almost exactly the shot expected by the customer. Even though the 85PPF was a nice baseline, I needed to take into consideration how to deal with the variance in light and dark. I would need a camera with true WDR (with some included digital enhancements) and day/night capabilities. After researching the IPVM review on WDR Megapixel Camera Shootout, I discovered a camera that met my needs. It is the Panasonic WV-SP306. Here are the results of my "padding:"

As I mentioned, the max distance from the cam would be ~15 ft. Just by lowering the amount of feet between the point of interest and the lens, I have increased my PPF to 106.7. I am very satisfied with the results.

Joel, That is well thought out. The Panasonic model, at ~$550 online price, is moderately priced as well.

For an even lower cost true WDR alternative, consider the Samsung 5004 model. Here's how the two compare.

A client wants to use the camera for multiple purposes that meet specific parameters.

1. Viewing of Production tables that start 16' away from the camera and extend 16'. They want to maintain 40 PPF at a minumum (32') away from the camera. The width is 100+ feet.

2. They want to see the workers face so positioning of camera cannot be located high with a steep angle.

3. When viewing the production line they want it to appear as one long line, stiched view within the VMS.

4. At times they want to zoom in to see higher detail for training purposes but this is only required for certain segments of the production line.

Conditions: Interior application with general even lighting. There are large garage doors that open and close during the day that brings in sunlight, but they are far enough away to not cause shadows or bright spots. Temperature can get to 32 degrees inside building at worse case.

I chose the Samsung SND-7082 3 Mb camera model - Motorized vari-focal 3 to 8.5mm lens, Simple focus control - temp range 14-131 degrees F

This camera set at 78 degree AOV at a distance of 32' yield a Scene width of 51.8 and 40 PPF -- At same AOV but at a distance of 16' to the near side of the tables gave a width of 25.9' and 79.1 PPF. - Using the width dimension at the near side of the table I would place a camera approx 25' apart to achieve a horizontal view across all production tables. The cameras were place at 10' above the floor which gave a good facial details and able to see the conditons on the prodction tables.

Not sure if the VMS will let you stich images but at least I have the camera coverage.

Conditon 2 was to increase the detail to use for training purposes. It was aggreed upon the 70 ppf would be sufficent for training purposes. All that need to be done was to change the angle of view to 49 degrees and that would give a 70 ppf at a distance of 32' and scene view woudl be reduced to 29.2' at the outer edge of production tables. With the vari-focal being motorized and the bility to auto focus from the software gives the client what they are looking for.

First two examples show the calculator for condition 1 - 32' and 16' distance away from camera - 40 ppf minimum.



The second set of examples show the calculator to meet condition 2 - 32' and 16' distance from camera. 70 ppf minimum.



The calculator printouts made it easy to explain all this to the client.

Tim, nicely done, nothing to add on the calculations.

Btw, on your question about VMSs allowing stitching cameras together, the answer is: generally no. There are some exceptions - DVTel, the new NUUO VMS come to mind. Check with your preferred VMS supplier but it's not common so you may not be able to do it (unless you switch to a VMS that supports this).

Unable to paste snapshot from school hallway scene. Want to have about 20-25 ppf at end of a 100' hallway with 20' width and use a Hikvision camera. Hikvision DS-2CD7264FWD-EIZ is a 1.3MP camera that will give about 23 ppf @ 100'. Lens is a varifocal 2.7~9M M usina 30 degree Aov.


Here is the snapshot for that config:

Note: that at 100', the scene width will be a far wider 53.6' than you intended. You would need a longer lens (~20mm) to get a tighter 20' scene width at 100'


i am in need of your assistance. I have recently taken on a project as a project manager and it involves placement of some Ip Vedic surveillance cameras outside of a TRU Waste evaluation glovebox. Has anyone ever experienced setting up a series of cameras looking in through thick lead lined glass to observe and record the opening and processing of a drum containing low level radioactive waste? Looking for so approach ideas for being able to capture the unpacking of the radioactive waste drums and the repackaging of a new daughter drum. Given the state of electronics used in IP cameras do I need to take into consideration the effect of the radiation on the camera internal components?

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Camera Looking Through Thick Lead Lined Glass?

Resolution 1080P

ptz lens range 2-59 deg set 23 deg

ppf 63

Customer camera settings tighten width,

improved and increased ppf, license reading improved.

Jeff, good, just make sure nobody moves the PTZ position on you :)

set a preset called license_view

If you can set that preset as the home position with a set return time that would work best.

We are developing a new kind of observation camera and as an operational test we are going to monitor a crowd at a football stadium. Because I was not sure how our camera would perform or which lens I should use (Canon EF mount ) I checked the calculator. For this test our 24-75mm lens would be the best type of lens to use.

Oh By the way night vision is working with I2 tube so the picture of the person during night time will probably be better than the example. But I will let you know the results.

This is a scene from one of our lobby cameras. The camera is an Axis M3114-VE, 720P, with an AoV of 80 degrees. The subjects in front of the counter are about 10-15 feet away. This allows for about 50ppf.

Just before taking the snapshot a person was standing at the counter. Using the Axis ppf tool (right click on the camera image during live view) indicated it was 57ppf for the persons face.

We selected GV-FD320D (3MP/3-9 mm varifocal lens) for the Shipping/Receiving area for the purpose of tracking package movements. The camera is pointed at two bay doors. We set the max AoV this camera offers so we can see which direction the packages are being moved to.


Tia, good work and good use of uploading your own image.

I think that's the best you can do with one camera. In this type of scenario, it might be worth considering mounting the camera lower (which will decrease the angle and distance to the subjects) or using 2 cameras.

We have a situation where a customer said that he just wants to "get an idea of what is happening at an exterior gate." The term is so loose. We just don't know how to interpret his comments. Anyways, we looked to supply a Vivotek IP8362. This is 2MP outdoor bullet-style camera. According to Google Earth, the gate is approximately 215' away from the buidling. By utilizing IPVM calculator, we are able to tell that the IP8362 camera will only provide 10.8 PPF at the gate. Eventhough the customer only wants a general idea of what is happening, the 10.8 PPF is not going to be acceptable.

In contrast, if we provide a Vivotek IP8162P, this camera will provide an additional 3PPF. Since this camera is a box camera, we are able provide a different lens. Most likely we are going to provide a 5-5mm lens on this camera. According to the IPVM calculator, this new lens will provide close to 60PPF. We firmly believe that this is what the customer will actually want in the end. Will the customer be willing to spend the extra money?

Jeff, good description and analysis. The challenge is that 200'+ is a long way away to get high details.

Your approach of using a longer lenses makes sense as you need to cut down the FoV / scene width to increase detail.

One thing to keep in mind is that long varifocal lenses tend to suffer from quality degradation so an actual 60ppf may only 'look' like 40ppf. See: A Major Flaw in Long Lenses and PTZs Found

For this exercise I chose to test a Panasonic WV-SW355. This camera is being used in a parking garage to watch the vehicles exit. This is a WDR camera and in this situation a WDR camera is very helpful because of the various lighting levels. This camera is vandal resistant and also has true day night capabilities. It is a varifocal lens that goes from 2.8 – 10mm. In my application the lens is set at 2.8mm. I input all the criterial into the camera calculator and realized that this cameras has a PPF around 37. In my opinion this seemed a little low for this situation. I took a couple screen shots from the camera itself and found that the license plates can be very hard to read. This was especially true when the vehicle was already moving. If I replaced this camera I would probably make it a 1080p camera which would drastically improve the PPF. I would also move the camera back farther so you could capture the license plate when the car is stopped instead of moving.


Michael, if you had it at 2.8mm, the AoV is going to be 100.8° per their spec sheet.

To better calculate this with the IPVM calculator, you can select the WV-SW355 model (here's a link to selecting it).

Because it is 100.8°, the PPF at 20' away is actually 26.8:

I had tried selecting an individual camera earlier but it said I did not have access. I tried this morning and its working now. Using the calculator I can also see that I can narrow and FoV and greatly increase the PPF. I could greatly increase the picture quality without replacing the camera if I did this.

I kind of worked this in reverse.

We had a council pound that was being broken into and had animals stolen at night/early morning. The reasons they were being stolen were extremely cruel... and the offenders should have the like done to them but that's a different issue.

I've actually input the spec of the camera installed (webgate HD full body PoC).

The distance from the camera is correct, as is the focal length on the lens 2mm-11mm. this particular camera looks at the entrance gate/ The ppm is rather high. Although I didn't design the system, essentially the camera was used as it came in part of the webgate proprietry dvr.

It's interesting to see that it is more than overkill, there was street lighting as well near the gate to deal with night. We also did suggest installing a standard IP system... which probably would have cost them about the same in the long run as fibre links were installed (by others) at the end of the job to link two dvr's together that were dealing with earth leakage problems. Generally how things go with council's at times though.

I will use the image I used in the WDR excercise and evaluate my original design. I needed a good WDR cam for the doorway entrance to the store. I chose the Samsung SND-6084R based off of the initial reviews from IPVM. It worked well and I used JVSG for the original model. I went back to the model and I had a 10.5 FoV with an installation height of about 10'. The camera was about 11' from the door entry which is where the FoV was measured. Looking at the camera calculator as opposed to JVSG, I immediatly see that I could make my FoV wider without sacrificing too much image quality. Since the front has more windows, I would be able to see more outside of the store. If I set the camera to 3mm as opposed to 5mm I would go from 182PPF to 109PPF and have a new FoV of about 17'.

Looking at the camera calculator though, I think I would keep my original design even though it may be overkill but it is supposed to be a tight door shot. Looking at the night shot, I seem to get better quality at 152PPF but there is a security light above the door at night so I probably would be able to get away with a wider FoV. What is the LUX level on the night shot in the calculator?

Original Design:

Revised Design:

So if I was just worried about day time traffic, a wider FoV would be fine. If there was not a security light, then I would probably want the best possible quality on the door in case of a break-in. The other cameras are on specific areas of importance while there is a panoramic for general OV along with a back door camera. The front door camera couldn't be moved back any further do to a change in the ceiling architecture.

The biggest benefit of the calculator I see is comparing the day shot to the night shot since the night shot is always worse. It would seem that the PPF minimum should be judged starting with the night shot for scenes that require both acceptable day and night images.

They do make an SND-5084R which also has IR but the price difference doesn't offer that much of a cost savings, but it could also work in this situation. I could jump to the SND-7084R if I needed the height but would gain nothing in terms of an increase in PPF.

I do know that it is much easier to get a good door shot with a MP camera than with an analog SD camera.

Kyle, the night shot was taken at ~5 lux. The other element is that camera low light performance will vary. I think that Samsung will perform moderately better than the camera we used in the low light reference shot.

That said, ~180ppf seems to be extreme overkill.

Here's a contrast of that Samsung model with wide, mid and tele options:

I did try to select that camera but I noticed it selected 2MP (1600X1200) as its default. The spec sheet lists 1,944(H) x 1,104(V) for effective pixels which would be 1080P. From the shots given, the PPF should be slightly higher. I made my shots in manual mode and had noticed there is no option for 1/2.8" sensor size. In manual mode choosing between 1/3 and 1/2.7 and choosing 3MM (zoomed out), I couldn't get higher than 83.7 AoV even though the spec sheet does state a 105 AoV. In JVSG I can get 86.65 AoV with the 1/2.8" sensor option. At 11' this would yield a maximum FoV of 19.1'. Is the spec sheet wrong for AoV?

On another note, if I could reach 55.7PPF, I wouldn't go below 80PPF for the door. If I installed the camera again, I would most likely increase the FoV slightly.

Customer wants to see around a corner to know if cars are present at menu order board or 3 cars behind using ONE building mounted camera.

My thought is to use an OnCam Grandeye 360° camera simply as a test to see if we can indeed see around the corner with one camera.

The calculator looks thus:

My belief is that while we may see around the corner with 25% of the image blocked by the building the PPF will be adequate to see if a vehicle is present or not.

Basedon the images in the calculator, the scene will need to be very well lit.

Brian, so basically you need a 270° camera, correct? (if one existed).

A few other options - Samsung has an outdoor 3MP for ~$400 that's worth considering, mainly because it's really low cost and performs well.

You could use an Arecont Omni repositionable multi-imager, which would give great performance put at a high price.

This shot gives me a good clean video if someone is approaching my house, or my neighbors, from our driveways. My cars are docked in the garage while his is exposed most of the time. I agreed to provide the camera and he agreed to install motion sensing lighting.

  • the resolution you did - This is the highest supported resolution.
  • the lens you did - Varifocal 3.3-12mm.
  • the PPF you settled on - 51.2 is the best I can get out of this camera.

Ideally I would like to be closer to 80PPF for a cleaner shot. It would also be nice to a widers shot. Maybe a 2.8mm focal length.

Chris, good work.

"The PPF you settled on - 51.2 is the best I can get out of this camera.

Ideally I would like to be closer to 80PPF for a cleaner shot. It would also be nice to a widers shot. Maybe a 2.8mm focal length."

Well, if you use a shorter focal length, your PPF will go down, presuming everything else remains constant.

Btw, the Calculator directly supports the ACM-7411 - link here.

The multi-tennant office building I work in had an issue with unauthorized personnel entering the building during business hours. They hired a local alarm company to install cameras. I am familiar with the company. They stuck with their comfort level and installed Honeywell Analog dome cameras. They installed only one camera on the side wall of my example shot. By using the Camera Calculator I was able to compare the Honeywell HD3MDIP with the Hikvision DS-2CD754F-E. The HD3MDIP has fixed FOV (101) and only 35.2 PPF in my example shot. The Hikvision DS-2CD754F-E has variable AOV and provides 56.3 PPF at same AOV. You can see a noticable difference espically if recognicition is desired. If a resource like the Camera Calculator was used camera placement and selection could have been better defined

Gerald, thanks for sharing. From what I can see, it appears the main difference was going from the 720p to 3MP camera increased the PPF, given the AoV / scene width was the same.

Our company recently proposed a CCTV system for new construction at a vo-tech school. I chose to analyze one specific camera proposed in this design. We need a camera capturing images from inside the building of a vestibule double door entrance. We proposed the Axis P3384-V. This particular camera is a 1.3MP dome, varifocal lens, has true WDR, Lightfinder for low light, is day/night, and is IK 10 vandal resistant. The main purpose is to capture the traffic through the double door entrance. First, I put this particular camera model into the camera calculator and specified an 8 foot width to just focus on the doorway. The calculator placed the camera 15 feet from the entrance with a PPF of 154 as shown in the screenshot below. WAY more detail than is needed.

I then widened the view to include the entire width of the hallway still at the same distance from the doorway. The calculator gave a PPF of 85.3 which may still be a bit high.

I can get this same PPF of 85 by going to the narrowest FoV for the camera and moving it to 27 feet from the entrance which would allow monitoring of more traffic inside the hallway.

Finally, I adjusted the camera distance at its narrowest FoV (which still captures the entire width of the hallway) until I found a PPF of about 60 which is probably sufficient for this application. This allows the camera to be mounted almost 40 feet from the entrance and monitor even more of the length of the hallway while still capturing good detailed images of the entrance.

I then went to the Camera Finder site and plugged in some of the key parameters of this particular camera model and our application needs. I found 34 cameras that matched these criteria. Sorting these by price, I found that this Axis P3384-V is almost the most expensive option, so there may be several other acceptable cameras if budget becomes an issue.


I am trying to show a 20mp Aerconet cmaera with a 180 degree FOV. I noticed I do not have the option for 20mp camera?


20 Megapixel 180? Panoramic IP Camera, 3.5 fps, Day/Night,
6.2mm f/1.8 IR Lens, IP66, IK-10 Vandal Resistant Dome


Yes, the calculator does not support multi-imager cameras.

That said, a 20MP Arecont 180° camera is really just 4 5MP cameras side by by side, each with a 45° FoV. You can calculate that here.

Ok. I am also having trouble saving the "snapshot" it does not give me the option to save it. So I can upload my results. Any idea what I am doing wrong?

Make sure you are logged in.

Snapshot feature is here:

For a Beta location for our nextgen cameras we are monitoring a parking lot entrance/exit with a 720p camera from a distance of 60 feet. We wanted to see the maximum PPF we could achieve with a standard lens with a maximum focal length of 9mm. At this distance we could achieve 40PPF which is really at the low end of license plate capture.

week 4 exercise

one of my customers wonted to monitor a driveway 12 feet wide and at 100 feet for the camera location and durind the day to be able to read licence plate.

my solution was hikvision DS-2CC12A1N-AVFIR8H 5-50MM, this camera will give 53.3ppf at 100 feet

I would like to know if the camera I select ( Bosch [varifocal 1080P dome] NII 50022 V3) has enough PPF for being used at a doorway with its larger Angle of View. The door will be at around 15ft from the camera.

For the larger AoV ( 115°) the PPF will be 40 which seems enough to cover a wide area and still be able to recognise people coming in. If I set the AoV to 90°, I will get a better 64 PPF with still a good coverage of the doorway.

Lionel, 40ppf is dangerously low, especially since the camera does not support true WDR.

Hey, it's a varifocal lens so try it out on site but be prepared to go narrower if it looks like the detail is too poor.

I have a project for perimeter fence video surveillance, where a potential intruder upto 1000ft away needs to be identified. The fence line has sufficient lighting during evening (25Lux minimum) and is well constructed. Using a 1080p IP PTZ camera with a 1/4 inch imager, I am able to get above 45ppf which should be just enough to identify a person. The reason why I chose 1/4 is because it gives better pixel density than a 1/3 or 1/2 imager for the same resolution. Since lighting was not so much of an issue, I chose 1080p against a 720p as the latter dropped the ppf to 30.

Here is the link that shows the calculation:



"The reason why I chose 1/4 is because it gives better pixel density than a 1/3 or 1/2 imager for the same resolution."

It gives 'better pixel density' because 1/4 has a narrower FoV, everything else equal than 1/3 imager. There's no free lunch, it's a narrower FoV.

You have a practical problem though. 1080p PTZs almost never use 1/4" imagers.

What you really need is a 1080p PTZ that has a max telephoto AoV of 2°.

Here is a list of 52 1080p / 3MP PTZs that support a 2° AoV.

Yes John, I am aware that it will be of a narrower FoV. But since the camera is viewing along the fence line only, a narrow FoV should be enough?

I do realize the problem with the sensor size of 1/4 inch for PTZ, but when I had used the camera finder for my calculations it returned a result with list of PTZ cameras and I thought they matched. I checked my calculations again and found out that I didnt set the range for the imager size (between minimum and maximum) properly! Thanks for correcting me.

"But since the camera is viewing along the fence line only, a narrow FoV should be enough?"

Yes. There are two ways to get a narrower FoV. Use a smaller imager or a longer focal lens length.

My point is that using a 1/4" imager with a 1080p PTZ is not practically possible. Instead, use a larger imager but make sure the focal length is sufficiently long to deliver the corresponding narrow FoV / AoV.

That is the reason for the list of 52 1080p / 3MP PTZs that support a 2° AoV.

Ameen , if the camera will viewing along to fince line why you go to select PTZ ,

other thing the lighting lux around 25 @night did you mean in place of camera OR in place of object as the distance around 300 meter from the camera without IR how it is work ? without good light

The minimum lux level along the fence line is 25, where the max is around 100. So lighting isnt an issue. The reason for choosing PTZ is because it shall integrate with a fence intrusion detection system.

John kindly looking to the capture below

in the camera finder i was select from lens the AoV 1 to 66 (4.3mm-129mm) as i think this is the most common trade use in surveillance camera .

but the range of table still going over

If you select 1 - 61° AoV, it will return any camera that can deliver any AoV between 1 and 61°.

If you just want cameras that can deliver super telephoto ranges, choose 1 to 3°.

Also, you have inverted wide angle and telephoto entries. You put in 129mm for wide angle, which will return anything 129mm or shorter focal length, which means practically every camera.

Yes I think i do the opposite it is must degree vs mm right? ?

I envisioned a scenario where it is necessary to monitor people entering an exterior entrance. The main requirements are 60+ PPF for facial recognition and a wide enough AOV to cover the whole entrance.


Based on the requirements here, and adding the reqirement of true WDR, I found the following list of IP dome cameras usable in the application.


The Axis 225FD is VGA resolution, set to 100.39° AoV, delivers 0.8 PPF at 799.22' wide scene, 333ft from the camera.


That is pretty terrible. You really are designing a camera that gets 0.8ppf on target?

I see you are now just answering all of these exercises. You need to put genuine though into each one. Please redo this or explain why you would accept 0.8ppf?

I have an entrance to a doctors office that is 20 ft wide and 21 ft from the camera. The doctor wants to be able to see the faces of the past customers. I have selected the AV2145DN-3310-DA as the camera. Price is Ok, 79.2 ppf will give me plenty to identify the face (little overkill). The camera is varifocal so I can adjust AoV slightly. The width is slightly wider than the door by design as customer only wants to see the door. The 1080 p was requested by the customer.

Cliff, that's well thought out.

If you have any issues with sunlight, consider the AV2146 models, which are the true WDR counterpart to the model you selected yet similar price.

I applied this exercise on the Hallway scene since we are having many in our site. I selected Arecont AV3115DNv1 since it is the camera that we used in that site.

I modified the AOV = 60, the Distance = 30 ft, the width = 35 ft .... I got PPF = 59 which is very good to monitor and identify the people who a cross through the Hallways

I have chosen FLIR DNZ30TL2R for parking lot. Argument for my choice are:

1. Not very wide angle of view of 58 degrees can be compensated with Pan (360)
2. 1080p resolution should be enough for general surveillance (20 PPF at 85’)
3. Strong IR (150 m) is used to support motion detection at night
4. High details could be achieved on demand with 30x optical zoom narrowing FoV and increasing PPF to 60 or higher with 4.3mm - 129.0mm vari-focal lens including low light conditions with IR support (second screenshot)
5. Wide working temperature range -40 + 70C and IP66 for working in continental climate like in Kazakhstan or Russia
6. Vandal resistant (“none” in Camera finder chart, but “yes” in camera details)

For this exercise I chose a camera (DS-2CD8133F-EW) that we have installed in our office. The lens is 1/3. I settled on a PPF of 50 so that capture of facial details ispossible. Based on where the camera is mounted, subjects would be about 5ft away where the scene width is around 12 foot.

Camera calculator

Aoife, good example. That shows the challenges of VGA at wide angles.

By comparison, with 1080p, you could achieve the same PPF at 16' distance as you did at 5':

I imagined a scenario where there was a camera covering a medium parking lot at a military installation. It is important to see details and license plates even at a distance thus the lens chosen, the distance necessary, and the ppf.

Luke, Are you sure 40' distance and 48' wide is all you need to cover in a parking lot? That sounds pretty small to me. Of course, it depends on the parking lot but an average parking spot, for one car, will be ~8' wide and 16' long, meaning that not many cars / area will fit in 40' x 48'.

Newest Discussions

Posts Latest
almost 4 years by Derek Ward
almost 4 years by John Honovich
almost 4 years by John Honovich
almost 4 years by John Honovich
almost 4 years by Jeff Brender