We have a high-end retail customer who requires cameras to cover the store and back room areas. Aesthetics are very important, so we have proposed a small flush mount dome camera. However, even though the profile/footprint of the camera is very small, it was rejected.
They are telling us that the landlord has requested a 'flatter' camera with 'no dome'. Some criteria they've come back to us with include:
Camera no greater than 3" in diameter
No more than 2" high (what I think they mean here is that they don't want more than 2" of the camera sticking out of the ceiling)
Must be ceiling mount
To make matter more difficult, the ceiling is custom wood, so 'blending' into the ceiling will be difficult. The smoke detectors, lights, etc. that they have in this ceiling are white.
I even considered a pinhole type of camera, but the views cannot be straight down, which will require some of the camera sticking out of the ceiling and pointing in a direction other than straight down.
Any ideas or thoughts that anyone has seen it the past is much appreciated.
[Avigilon Employee] Have you looked at the Avigilon Microdome?
The surface mount version is ~2" in diameter. The in-ceiling version is ~3.5" in diameter, which is primarily the trim ring. The upside to the in-ceiling version being that you could have the trim-ring painted to color-match the ceiling to reduce the overall visibility.
These cameras have been fairly popular in other high-end retail locations where aesthetics are a concern.
Personally, I prefer the V3320RD for one selfish reason (for full disclosure) and 3 practical ones:
The selfish full disclosure reason was I designed the V3320RD when I was at Verint and actually was awarded an application patent for the design :)
The three practical reasons are as follows:
1) The V3320RD is easier to install and can be installed without separating the camera from the mounting bracket (though you can easily separate the two without tools).
2) The V3320RD has higher available resolution 1080p vs 1280x800 for Axis
3) The cover for the V3320RD was designed to be painted. It's a matte white finish. The bubble is fairly easy to mask over, and then you can paint it a brown to get close to the wood color. Not sure of Verint's policies now, but when I was there you could paint it without violating the warranty.
Now, this is still a "Dome" camera. The only cameras I'm aware of that fit your need that wouldn't have any visible "Dome" would be something along the lines of the Evo line of cameras available here at Pelco or similar designs, but then that's an immersive solution that may not be what your customer wants.
In the past I have used a 720p pinhole IP camera and installed it into a covert housing. Drill the housing with a cone bit from the inside to reveal a pinhole, secure the camera inside the housing. Video quality is not the best, but when you start requesting things like this there has to be a compromise somewhere. The camera Ive used in the past was about 2 inches square and Ive mounted it inside smoke detectors, blank wall plates, exit signage, etc.
You could alternatively take an existing fixed lens camera and affix a pinhole lens to it then follow the above idea. Ive not found any megapixel rated pinhole lenses, so again, video quality and ability to properly focus and low light quality may suffer. hope that helps.