Member Discussion

Using "Still" Camera Vs Security Camera For 360* View Around An Object?

Working on an idea where an object (boat, plane, bus, etc.) would enter a marked area and cameras circling that area would all take a snapshot of the object in question at the same time. This process would happen as a result of the object breaking a beam, or similar, triggering the “snapshot” event to occur. Obviously there would need to be more hardware and a bit of programming involved in order to compile that specific group of images into an event folder, etc. after the fact, but that comes later.

As of right now, I’m not exactly sure which type of camera would be best to source for such a project. What comes immediately to mind is an array of traditional IP security cameras. Then I’d have a still image pulled from the recorded video off each camera. Although that seems like the easiest method, I’m sure that won’t really provide the greatest level of detail.

The next idea would be to use a process similar to time lapse photography where a DSLR camera would be used to capture images after being triggered remotely:

Time-Lapse Camera Package | Products | Harbortronics

Although the quality of images would be high, the equipment cost makes that particular example prohibitive. The reason why I’m even toying with the idea of a point-and-shoot style camera is that I’m not entirely sure I can extract a “clean” enough picture straight from a video feed; without requiring manual retrieval of the best looking screenshot, that is.

I guess my main question is: does this type of setup already exist? As you might imagine, searching for an outdoor rated camera that isn’t security specific leads me mostly to trail/game cameras which are meant for hunting.

As of now, here are some initial requirements:

  1. Outdoor rated camera/housing
  2. ~$600/camera budget (preferably less)
  3. Ability to “network” each camera (in order to send/collect images or trigger shutter, etc. remotely)
  4. Enough clarity/resolution to clearly read something like a DOT placard off the side of a truck, etc.

Not sure if I’m making this more difficult than it needs to be, from a hardware perspective at least, but I look forward to any thoughts/suggestions/feedback on the subject.

Thanks in advance!

What sort of resolution do you need on these vehicles? How small is the text you need photos of? How many angles?

More than likely it will be between 4-6 cameras altogther; front/back, left/right, and top. As for the resolution, after using the handy dandy IPVM resolution calculator, it seems like 2MP cameras should cover it (at least I think I'm using that tool correctly).

As for text size, it will probably need to capture text with a height of 2" or so.