Avigilon 12MP Fisheye Camera Tested

By Ethan Ace, Published on May 03, 2018

12MP fisheye cameras have become mainstream, with nearly every major manufacturer offering their take on this segment. To see how these new higher resolution models compare, IPVM will be shooting out 6 models from popular manufacturers.

For this first report in a new IPVM series, we bought and tested Avigilon's 12MP H4 Fisheye camera and examine:

  • Dewarping performance in Avigilon Control Center
  • Third party dewarping support
  • Full light image quality
  • Low light/IR image quality
  • IR illumination range
  • Smart codec support
  • Bandwidth consumption

*******

*** ******** **** ** Fisheye ******* ******* ********* in *** *******:

  • ** ************* ******** **** ACC:**** **** **** ********'* VMS, ** ************* ** required ** ****** ** calibrate *********. *** ****** simply ******* **** ********* zooming **** ** ******* setup.
  • ****** ********* ** ***:****** **** ********* ******** in *** **** **** smooth, **** ** **********, jumpiness, ** ***** ****** found ** **** *********** clients *** ********* ****.
  • ***** ********* *** *********** SDK:********* ** ***** ***** *** Milestone using *** *********** *** worked ****, ****** *** as ******** ** ********'* integration ** ******* ******.
  • *** ***** ***** ********:******** ***** ***** (**** SmartCodec) ******* ******** ** 80-90% ** *** ******, with **** ********** (*********) as *** ** ~*** Kb/s.

*******, *** ** ******* had *** *** ***** weaknesses:

  • **** ***** **** *** light:** * ~*.*** *****, in ***** ****, *** camera ******** *** *********** details ** ********, ******* their ********* ****** ** "*********** ***** ****** ** low ***** *****."
  • **** ** ************:** *** *****, ** illumination *** **** **** at ~**' ********, ***** of *** ******'* ********* 10m/~33' ** *****.

*******

*** **.*-***-***-** *** ** ********* street ***** ** ~$*** USD. **** ** ** the ***** ** ***** 12MP ****** ******* ******, such ***********'* **-********-********* *****-****

Avigilon Dewarping *******

**** ********** *** ** fisheye ** ******** ******* Center, ** ** ************* recognized *** ******** ** default, ********* ** ***** configuration. ********* ** ******** is ******, **** **** ****** stutter ** ********* **** in ***** ******-**** ********* SDKs.

*******, ****** **** ******, there *** ** ******* for ********* ** **** panorama *****, **** ******** virtual *** *******.

** ****** ******* ********* in *** ** **** video:

ImmerVision/Third ***** *** *********

** ***** *** *********, he ** ******* ******** using *** *********** *** ******* issues (***** **** ****** RPLB4QQV). 

******* **************/** ********/****** ****** *** *** **** SDK, *** ***** *** universal ********* *************. *** H4 ****** ******* ****** using **** ********* ***.

**** **** *** ****** was *** ****** **** Security ******, ** ******* requires * ******* "****** camera *******" ** ******* Avigilon *******.

No ****** **** *********

*** ** ******* **** not ***** *** ****** side *********, **** ** dewarped *****, **** *****, panoramas, ***., ******* ********* from **** ******* ****** in ****, ***** ********* offer ******** ** ******** streams. **** *** ** an ***** *** ***** using ***** ***** ***** which ** *** ********* the ****** ***** *** ImmerVision ***. *******, *** ****** is *** **** ****** to ** **** **** Avigilon ******* ******, ************* reducing *** ****** ** this **********.

Image *******

** ***** *****, ***** quality ** ***** ****** the ***, **** ***** facial ******* ** *** subject *** ***** ****. At ***** **** ** on (~*.***), ******* ********, though *** ******* ** still ************. *******, ** low ***** ***** ****, with ** ** ************, few ******* ******* *** provided, **** **** ****** levels ** ******* *****.

** ~**' ********, ******* and ***** ******* ****** clear ****** *** ***, despite **** ~**% **** in ***. *******, ** details **** *************, **** no ************ ****** ** the ******* *** **** the ***** **** ** the ***** *******. ***** mode ******* *** ***** details *** **** ******* to *' ******, **** only ****** ********* ** detail.

IR ************

** *** *****, ** illumination ** *** ** fisheye ****** ** **** its *** **** *****. For *******, ** *** image *****, *** ***** only ~**'/** **** ** poorly ***********, **** ******* on *** *** **** of *** **** (~**'/**) very ********* ** **** out ** ***. ******* were ******* **** ******* adaptive ** ** *** off. 

HDSM ***** ***** *******

*** ** ******* ******** Avigilon's **** **********, ***** *********** adjusts *********** ** ****** objects ** *** *****, and ***** *** *** framerate **** ***** ** no ****** ** *** scene, ******* ****** ********* *.

**** **** ***** *******, bitrates ********* ************* *** and ***** (**-**%), ******** to ** ****** ** ~100 **/* ** ***** scenes. 

****: ** **** ** include ******* ** ***** codec *********** ** ***** scenes ** ********** ******* ********.

HDSM/Multistreaming *******

** ******** ******* ******, the *** ******* **** the ******* ** *** H4 *******'* ***** ********* being ****** ** **** resolution. ** ** * user ***** **** * doorway, *** *******, **** the ******* **** ****** in **** **********, *** rest ** *** ***** lower ******* ***** *** virtual **** ** ***** (which ** ******* *** a ****** **** ******, shown *****). 

Third ***** *** ********* *******

** *** *****, *** only ***** ***** *** the ** *******'* ********* only ****** **** *** Milestone ********. ** *** resolution ****** *** ********* when ***** ***** ** Network *****.

*******, ******* ***** ******* are **** ****** ** be **** **** ******** Control ******, *** ****** of **** ********** ** limited.

Made ** ******

*** ** ******* ** manufactured ** ******, ****** much ** ********'* ****, which ****** ** ***** ***** American *********.

*** **** ****** **** physical ***************, **** ** housing, *********, *** ***** components, **** *** ******* FE9391-EV.

*** *******, *** ******** of *** *****, ***** and ****, *** ****** identical:

*******, ******, ********** ******, with *** ******* ***** a ********** ****** **** assembly, *** **** ******/********* differences:

Versions **** 

*** ********* ******** **** used ** *** *****:

  • ******** **.*-***-***-**: *.**.*.***
  • ******** ******* ******: *.*.*.*

Comments (20)

If the Avigilon camera uses Immervision, why do they call it a fisheye? Curious since I thought Immervision's marketing is that their lenses are better than fisheye.

That's a good question. Technically, this camera is not on ImmerVision list of Panomorph cameras, which was just updated on 4/15. I've asked them for feedback. 

That being said, it dewarps without issues using in multiple VMSes. Standard fisheye cameras normally do not.

Also, it's worth noting that ImmerVision has released lens designs that are more similar to typical circular fisheye lenses, in contrast to their older designs that were elliptical. They claim their geometry distributes PPF more evenly across the field of view, where typical fisheyes might be distorted in the center or edge.

All fisheye cameras eventually disappoint the end users. They fit a tight budget or space request, and then the unit completely underwhelmes. All junk. 

I think that historically things have been quite underwhelming, agreed. But in these newer models, we are starting to see improved details at longer range, and some with better low light and IR illumination performance. 

We have multiple other fisheye camera tests and a shootout coming and will be comparing 12MP models to older 5MP and 6MP in various environments to show these differences. 

We've had bad luck when putting in to see a fairly wide indoor area, large lobbies, waiting areas etc.

We've had good luck with them though in fairly enclosed areas like a guard house, parking booth, etc.  

We've also had good luck with them wall mounted in a stairwell.  They give a much better view of the landings, doors and stairs up and down than a conventional camera does.

We've mostly used the M3007 over the last few years.

I disagree.  We sell a ton of these fisheye cameras and customers love them.  You have to understand the how and where these cameras work best and don't over sell them.  

I agree with Michael. When we do install them, clients love them and try to find more applications for them. We actually have one client addicted to them :)

Couldn't agree more. Its all about setting appropriate expectations and not overpromising. Ive always hammered in the point that Fisheyes are great for general overviews, but dont expect fine details more than 10-20 feet away. Once that is understood, customers love them. With new rollouts, and the upcoming slew of IPVM tests, this pitch may be changing.  

I agree with Michael also. We have sold over 1000 of the 6 or 12 MP fisheyes and we have hardly had any returns nor any complaints. These are OVERVIEW cameras and should be sold as such- they are not identification cameras. If the customer clearly knows what to expect then he cannot be disappointed.

I tell everyone selling video, “It’s all about managing expectations”

However, unlike many others, there are no options for panoramas or dual panorama views, only dewarped virtual PTZ regions

What function is this referring to? Just for comparison, one can create a custom screen format in ACC with 2 tall by 1 wide panels and zoom each image and automatically fill the ultra wide aspect ratio of each panel. 

Are panoramas or dual panoramas different in some significant way?

Panorama/dual panorama are view modes included in the client side dewarping SDK of a number of other manufacturers, as well as camera side dewarping on some.

Yes, you can drop the camera into multiple tiles and view whatever you'd like, but the option to simply click and view a panorama is simpler, especially for infrequent users.

For example, an ImmerVision camera in Exacq gives dewarp, panorama, and dual view options:

If you create a view (single panel or multi-panel of your preferred views) and save the view, you can simply drag the view from camera tree on left side. Not sure what could be easier.

I agree you can save a view, and that works well, but I would argue that right clicking and choosing to dewarp it into a panorama is easier than having to create and retrieve a saved view. I think it's a limited use case for a limited camera segment, so not a huge usability showstopper, just pointing out that others have this option. 

Agreed.  Yet I think a users ability to create desired views across any camera or cameras and have those views available at the click of a mouse is fundamentally convenient and easy and adaptable to a multitude of use cases. Every user wants to get to the display they want as fast and easily as possible with the least amount of clicks. Double click or click and drag to open screen is easier than right click, scroll down, left click (and hope you stopped at the right line) and get a display that is predefined rather than one you you defined yourself based on your personal interest/needs. Not a big deal but I'm firm believer... Get me to what I want in as few clicks as possible.

“Note that the camera was not tested with Security Center, as Genetec requires a special "custom camera license" to connect Avigilon cameras.”

Does IPVM know anymore about this special license that Genetec requires for one of the largest ONVIF-based camera manufacturers? I know they’ve done something similar with Hikvision cameras and cited security concerns, but what is motivating this for Avigilon Cameras? What’s even stranger is that the industry just seems to accept it. Thoughts?

Fair question. We asked Genetec for details and will update when we receive them. It is similar in practice to how they handle Hikvision, though those fall under "restricted" cameras, while Avigilon requires "custom." 

It’s a Canadian thing, eh? Us Americans wouldn’t know anything aboooot it. 

Was this tested using POE+ as the power source? The data sheet says that the IR distance is shortened to 8m when POE is used rather than POE+. Curious what differences it makes in low light performance.

That’s a good question! Yes, it was tested with a POE+ switch. We actually don’t have any that are standard PoE at this point. I did not specifically check to see if IR decreased if it was power limited, but it’s something we can check. 

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