Camera Calculator - Need Help? Ask Here

We are making this a 'sticky' at the top of the discussions to help anyone using the Camera Calculator.

Just ask your question in the comments.

Related, here are 2 videos to help you use the Calculator.

This is the quick / short 2 minute intro, if you have never used it:

And here is the longer, more detailed, 10 minute version:

Questions? Need help? Ask below.


Is there a way to export the camera plan just showing the camera locations and not the field of view? I sometimes need to show a client the camera locations only.

Right now I copy the project and then go through and edit all the distances to zero. But I'm wondering if there is an easier way to do this.

Bob, we do not support that. In the future, we plan to add advanced options / settings to let users adjust display of the calculator / export. It probably will not be until the end of the year though as we are still working on adding more fundamentals right now.

Understood. Thanks for answering!

Is there a way of displaying scale on the image for additional dimensioning e.g Infrastructure

Yes, we added that. Thanks for the suggestion. It's on the lower right hand side of the map now:

Are there plans to add a list of "favorite" cameras? Rather than scrolling thru a list of hundreds of cameras I'd like to create a list of maybe the top 10 or 20 cameras that I use and have them in a list that I can quickly pick from.

Steven, we have this on the list of future features. It makes good sense.

It is not hard to do but it's secondary priority, so we are going to do it but probably end of this year, maybe beginning of next.

John are there any plans to calculate bandwidth and storage figures into this awesome calculator? I know it's a grey area but incorporated into the tool seems like a good feature. I'm sure it's come up in past posts I may have missed.

Kevin, good question.

In general, I dislike bandwidth calculators because they encourage false confidence and tend to be way off (particularly in how they automatically pick a bitrate only based on resolution and frame rate). Related: Should IPVM Do Its Own Storage / Bandwidth Calculator?

That said, at some point, we probably will add a calculator but that only allows inputting estimated average bandwidth per camera, forcing the user to have some knowledge about what their camera in their conditions is likely to do (because there is no reliable way for a calculation tool to automatically guess).

It would / will have inputs for average bitrate, continuous / motion (motion percentage time), days of storage and then an output for total storage.

John, are there any plans to update the Mobotix cameras/lenses available to choose from? It seems few new models and lenses are available. Many are similar fields of view but not the relevant model and therefore can cause confusion when presenting a solution based on the report.

Ted, sure. We can do that by tomorrow. Any specific models you want to make sure are done? Let us know.

Same view as in google street view. You can only view angles from the original height of where the shot was taken. So if you want to place the camera on a much higher elevation, you still get the same image.

1, I think what you are asking is for the non-Google Street View images (e.g., intersection, lobby, hallway, etc.) to show elevation / downtilt. Is that correct?

If so, yes we agree. Elevation was recently released in beta and does not yet include that. We plan to add that in to the calculator in the next month.

Thanks for the reply John. Yes that is correct, I was referring to the elevation of the camera placement.

I tried the to the elevation parameter on the beta version to the actual height where the camera will be mounted at 25mters. It just titled the view.

I wanted to try out the extent of the fov with different camera models.

Currently I assume the the original height where your current views are based on is approximately 5 meters.

It would be interesting how you will be able to incorporate elevation and fov on different camera models, particularly PTZ cameras (e.g. Acid Q60xx-E series)

Howdy

Are there plans to add a summary of cameras used in a plan so that reconciling the cameras planned with cameras quoted??

Cheers

Hi Graham,

We have a CSV export option that displays a summary of all the cameras in a project. See: Camera Calculator Data Export Released

Let me know if that works or if you are looking for something else.

This may be a double post, if so sorry, but:

On the calculator, is there a way to adjust/correct the camera order in the export? It appears to default to the order in which you added them from the beginning.

I have renamed the cameras beginning with an integer (1,2,3) which fixes the Boolean issue (ex. Camera 1, Camera 11, Camera 2) and allows them to sort correctly in the drop down camera list but when you export them they are in a completely different order and it appears to be the order in which they were added.

Makes any editing of a project get the list out of whack.

We are going to change the default sort order for exports to be alphabetical. This should make it better. I expect it done by next week and will update here.

I've also asked to make our alphabetical sorting more intelligent to recognize when there are numbers over 10 and to adjust the sorting to handle that correctly.

I think these two should help. Let me know if you have feedback or questions.

p.s. - I answered your comment in both places you asked.

Thanks, love this tool btw.

Another thought/suggestion: could you make the default scene view a simple text box that says something like "Camera preview unavailable" when there's no street view? That would dress up the scenes where street views don't exist. Right now I've got several looking at unidentifiable concrete.

make the default scene view a simple text box that says something like "Camera preview unavailable" when there's no street view?

I see the issue you have. I am trying to figure out the best way to solve it without creating a new problem.

If we default to no scene, than anyone who wants a scene has to select it for every camera. That adds a lot of work for people who do want a scene to show FoV.

One thing, off the top of my head, would be to change the default scene so that you would never get the 'unidentifiable concrete' (which comes from the default scene being an intersection and the road being in the center). Thoughts, John? Others?

I mean only when there's no street view available. It appears to default to the streetview if it exists.

Just have the fall back image be the unavailable message instead of the intersection

Here's our order:

  • If street view exists, show it
  • If street view does not exist, then show the intersection
  • If a user chooses any other scene (hallway, parking lot, etc.) remember that

I think it's a problem if we ever show an 'unavailable message', by default, because this will cause everyone else who wants to have at least some image shown to give a sense of FoV to have nothing unless they manually select a scene. That said, having an option for a user to select no scene would be fine, because that would be an exception.

I may be misunderstanding you so please elaborate on what you want.

Here's our order:

    • If street view exists, show it
    • If street view does not exist, then show the intersection
    • If a user chooses any other scene (hallway, parking lot, etc.) remember that

Order option number 2 should be if street image does not exist then show "street view image does not exist. Not sure why this is such a hard concept to understand.

I think John understands what you want. He just thinks that more people prefer a stock scene to an error message, because they are just using it to get a sense of the AOV.

@John H. What about allowing re-ordering of the "General" scenes by user? And then add a blank scene that John could move to the top?

And some might prefer an unidentifiable hallway to some unidentifiable concrete.

We can add a 'blank' scene and let people pick that.

But the default definitely is going to be a real scene (we can improve the default scene to eliminate the 'unidentifiable concrete' as well) but most users prefer to have a scene rather than nothing by default.

The re-ordering of scenes by user is interesting and something I will add to the requests we track but am not going to commit to that now.

Also, we are in the middle of developing the mobile app so we are trying to minimize changes to the existing version until the mobile app is released.

How do I make the cameras stick to the map?

By stick, do you mean not move? We have a lock feature that does that:

By request, we now export cameras by alphabetical order, rather than order created. Also, we now sort correctly for 'Camera 1, Camera 11, Camera 55', etc. where before 'Camera 11' came before 'Camera 2'.

This should make exporting better. Also, the Camera List also benefits from the improved sorting.

Up next, we are going to take a new Intersection default street shot. We will do it with traffic and people in the middle of the street to eliminate the blank concrete problem solved above. We had to buy a 12MP Hikvision fisheye camera because we also wanted to get a higher resolution shot so digital zooming is crisper. Originally, all the screen preview images were taken with 3MP resolution (this was ~3 years ago), so with the new camera, the images should be sharper / better.

Are there any terms and conditions for using the Camera Calculator? For example, may I directly export a project and supply it to vendors to bid on a project?

may I directly export a project and supply it to vendors to bid on a project?

Yes, that is allowed. We may need to be more explicit about this being allowed because this question has come up a number of times.

Our position on research and testing is different since it's our 'work' whereas the projects you calculate are your work. Thanks for asking!

Feature Request: Trimming of the view (so it doesn't show past a boundary)

Example pic shows a barn where it would be nice to trim FOV to match the building.

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Jason, thanks.

That is a good idea. We need to think through some of the logisitics (what's the best way to allow users to edit out areas, what happens if the camera is moved, etc.).

I put this down in the queue of future features. We won't do in the next month or two because we are in the middle of rebuilding the app to support mobile (the new architecture will work for both desktop and mobile). After that is done, we will consider the implementation of this.

Thanks again!

Any plans to add Axis Q3708-PVE to the calculator?

Amos, the Q3708-PVE is now added.

I just added an Axis M3007-PV camera to a project; planning on using it ceiling mounted in 360 mode, rather than wall mounted and 180 degree mode.

I was thinking I'd get a field of view shown as a circle, which I could drag to a larger or smaller radius. Instead, it's stuck on a 180 field of view, and a huge width I cannot resize, either.

Am I missing a control to change this, or is this a bug?

Hey Robert, try it again in a few minutes. It had a field of view of 187 listed which kept it from flipping to the panoramic field of view circle. I changed it now and it should refresh soon.

Bingo! Thanks :-)

Hi john,

It would be great for the export tool to export each all camera configuration table together with each cameras individual view and resolution images just like the pictures that come up when you select 1 camera. that way you could export the whole thing into a proposal

Arthur,

Thanks, can you clarify? We have 6 export options - snapshot (just one camera), zip (each camera image one by one), csv (just data), PDF, Doc and PPT.

The PPT / PowerPoint and the Doc versions are regularly used in proposals.

Which export tool are you referring to and what do you want added? I am not sure what you mean by 'camera configuration table', so if you can elaborate on that, that would help.

different issue but export related.

Experienced an issue yesterday that I haven't had a problem with before. I imported some site pictures for custom scenes and uploaded them. I arranged the picture to center the scene, (say of an office or entrance). I saved project then exported it to ppt. When I brought it up in ppt. the picture had "dropped" showing only the ceiling of the original shot. I tried redoing the project, re saving and exported to pdf and ppt and had the same issue.

This:

becomes this on export

John my project is titled "road map" if you want to access it and test what I experienced.

John, sorry about that. Thanks for so clearly explaining it. We'll review and get it fixed by tomorrow. I'll update here.

John, the 'dropped ceiling' is fixed, thanks for letting us know!

Any suggestions as to how I can add the Q6000-E on a drawing? I will be using in conjunction with the Q6045. Any thoughts would be welcome.

5, The Axis Q6000-E has been added to our database. Please let me know if you need anything else.

Thanks much John. Will check it out!

John, sorry, but another question for you. I was expecting the Q6000-E to show up as a 360 deg, but it is showing a max of 152 deg, I believe. Am I missing something?

I just updated the AoV to 360, that was an error on our end. It should update in the database in a few minutes for calculations.

Thanks!

Beautiful, Ethan. Thanks much for the quick response...

Looks like I have another question. When I type in "20" for PPF, the Q6000 shows a distance of 51'. However, when I manually drag the "little man" so that PPF shows 20, distance shows 100'. Am I misunderstanding the definitions of the settings in some way? I believe I have noticed this on other cameras as well so not sure if this is a misunderstanding on my part.

I think I may see a potential reason for the above. Even though i have the AoV set at 360 for the Q6000-E, the app still seems to be seeing it at 180. Here is the description that comes up below the drawing:

"The Axis Q6000-E is 8MP Multi-Imager resolution, has a fixed 180.00° AoV and delivers 20.0 PPF at E wide scene, 102ft from the camera."

I have another drawing with the exact same camera and settings, but description below drawing is as follows:

"The Axis Q6000-E is 8MP Multi-Imager resolution, has a fixed 360.00° AoV and delivers 20.2 PPF at E wide scene, 51ft - 6in from the camera."

This seems to be a bug. The FOV shows as 360 but the text does indeed say 180. We will look into it and fix today.

Thanks very much Ethan

This should be fixed now, let us know if you still run into issues.

Thanks Ethan. Will check it out

Still having a weird issue. See drawing Loc 2 Low Res if you have access. On the Q6000 when I type 20 in the PPF field the app puts the field distance at 51'. When I drag the field to adjust distance, it shows 40 PPF at 51'. Not sure if I'm doing something wrong?

No, it looks like you're not wrong. It's behaving the same for me. It looks like we have a bug. We'll get it fixed ASAP.

I will add that the Axis Lens Calculator only shows 3ppf at distance of 51' (resolution set at 1280x720). Now I'm totally confused. I'm hoping my son can help me figure out the math:-).

So the max resolution of the Q6000 is 1920x1440 on each imager. However, it's a 152° field of view on each, so there's overlap. I added a custom resolution for it to try and get it more accurate. But you are right, the Axis calculator only seems to let you calculate at the lower resolution, for some reason.

We also had a bug which was impacting how 360 PPF was calculated, which should now be fixed. Take a look (again!) and let us know.

Thanks!

Thanks again, Ethan!!

Is there any chance a camera model tally can be added to the last page of an export? I keep finding myself making tick marks for camera models. Wonderful tool BTW!

6, thanks. By 'tally', do you mean like a listing of all the camera models? What do you see it including?

Yes Sir. It would be nice to see a listing of all camera makes/models and the number of them associated with the saved location. If there is a way to squeeze more info including resolution and focal length etc it would help as well (May help if we are placing a camera that is not on your list). This will help with quoting.

6, we have a CSV option currently that summarizes cameras, like so:

We could add something like that to the end of PDFs / Docs and PPTs.

What do you think? How would you like it to be displayed?

That actually helps. I can just go down the list and tally 3MP/4MP/5MP cameras and plug them into a storage calculator.

I image something similar, but grouped by camera models. Like this pic with all Axis models x consolidated..Arecont xx and so forth.

Export Suggestion

Visualize the 2nd unknown camera model as a 4MP or something other than the 3MP....again it is really just to tally cameras on the ppt and pdf print outs.

6, we will add the summary table output like we have in the CSV into the PDF, Doc and PPT output (expect that in the next month). We won't include a tally though because it seems to be too an infrequent use case but we might add it in the future with enough clear requests.

Created a layout using an imported jpg but on exporting to PDF it shows the camera layout jpg as a smaller almost thumbnail size over a larger satellite view. How can I correct this?

Lawrence, can you email me the PDF? It'll make it easier to diagnose. ethan@ipvm.com

CAN I ROTATE THE IMPORTED FLOOR PLAN IMAGE?

Yes, you can rotate the floorplan image. Zoom out and try again.

Here is what it looks like:

I'm missing something that is probably obvious. When I add generic camera, the info in the top bar includes the focal length as I manipulate the view. When I choose a particular brand (e.g. Axis Q6045), this info is no longer in the top bar. Is it elsewhere and I just can't see it?

John, we do not show the focal length slider when selecting a varifocal camera. The reason is because AoV angles and focal lengths do not always match up exactly, so we were concerned about reporting the wrong information

We do display the AoV because we are confident that this will be correct / accurate. We may try to do something about this in the future but not sure.

For other members, this is what John is commenting on: