Retail Customer Requires Super Low Profile Flush Mount Camera

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.

Hi Matt!

Those are some tough requirements :)

I did a Camera Finder search for smallest form factor cameras and then sorted them.

The Ubiquiti UVC Micro is definitely the smallest form factor camera and 'no dome' too. See test results.

Problem is that it is proprietary (only its own NVR), does not support ONVIF nor RTSP.

Being less than 3" in diameter is very tough to meet.

Btw, I missed the white requirement, sorry!

And this might be interesting - The Most Attractive Mini Dome? (Pulse) They seem to specialize in such form factors.

Thanks John!

Yes, these requirements are tough. Not only that, they're a little silly because they have some other, less aesthetically pleasing, hardware (WiFi access point, etc) in the ceiling.

The cameras that we originally proposed to them that they've put in their pilot store are actually pretty sexy...but I guess they want something else.

Great info here. Thanks for the links. I'll poke around a bit and if/when we find something that will work for them I will provide an update.

Thanks again! I hope you and the guys are well!

Have a look at the Axis M3014, I have seen these in high-end residential applications due to their ability to blend in.

I would also take a look at the Axis P and F series cameras and their associated mounts. You can get pretty creative with them.

Tyler, thanks.

Related to the mounts options, these 2 may be particularly relevant:

Vivotek has a newish model that's recess mount, ~2.3" diameter, which is actually smaller than the Axis F series mounts, though doesn't require a base unit.

I was actually pretty surprised that so many of the recess models are still over 3".

If 360 is an option, consider a concealed unit like this one from OnCam

Thank you for the comment here. Unfortunately 360 is not an option for this particular location.

I had this thought too, but based on what they want to see, 360 won't fit here.

[Avigilon Employee] Have you looked at the Avigilon Microdome?

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.

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions so far.

This all very helpful and appreciated!

Actually the Mobotix Halo mount would be more ideal than any others suggested as the lens would be completely flush with the ceiling.

In this case a Mobotix S15 camera would be required to complete the solution

And VIVOTEK FD816C-HF2 may work

There are also movable pinhole domes. This one is about 2" diameter, though it's an analog SD camera.

Have you thought of putting a standard pinhole camera inside another type of fixture, like a smoke detector, emergency light, etc.?

Acti has a line of disguised cameras that look like small speakers, and small light fixtures. Their website doesn't do them justice, they look good and don’t look like a camera.

Rob, thanks. Interesting option.

Here's a video of that camera / mount:


2 suggestions, both similar design.

Verint V3320RD -

Axis M3004 -

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.

Anyway, hope that helps.

Hi, I'm a Canon employee for full disclosure up-front.

How about looking at the ITS accessory ITS-S-RK - with Canon compact domes VB-S800D, VB-S805D (both static) or VB-S30D, VB-S31D (both PTZ)

It won't meet the no dome requirement, but the accessory can be painted to meet the wood colour request. So all that would be seen would be the very small bubble dome when installed.


Thank you all again for your great suggestions here.

We did end up getting the Vivotek FD816C-HF2 camera in, and are playing with it to see if it will truly work for them per their original scope.

Coincidentally, the customer has now changed their mind (surprise!) and wants the camera mounting 'inside' the walls with glass covering the camera hole.

...It just keeps getting better.

Thanks again to everyone for your kind advice and helpful suggestions.

Matt, thanks for following up and letting us know!

No problem John, happy for all of the assistance I've recieved.

I am also investigating the 'in wall' options and will update the thread on both solutions as we know more.

Just a quick update here.

This project was pushed into 2016 and I'm not sure when it's going to pick back up.

Once it does and we have a solution deployed I will update this thread.

Hope you all had a wonderful new year!

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.

also, speco makes a micro turret dome that is about one inch around. no "dome", available in white and last I checked they had traditional analog and an IP version at 1080P... worth a shot.

you could use this and get creative with mounting: