Camera Calculator Version 1 Released

Author: John Honovich, Published on Aug 04, 2014

The new IPVM Camera Calculator is a game changer that enables you to truly see and understand what image quality and coverage you will get from various combinations of lenses and resolutions.

[UPDATE April 2015: Version 2 of the Camera Calculator now supports Google Maps.]

Take a look at what it does first:

We let you dynamically try out different camera and lens settings, instantly showing how the FoV changes in real scenes and what the impact on PPF / potential quality is.

Experiment with different settings - resolution, angles, distance, width, PPF, etc. Select different scenes, pan and tilt within them.

You can learn more in our 12 minute in-depth video.

Let us know what you think!

[UPDATE: Metric Support, Customer Image Added]

Metric support and uploading your own images as scenes to the calculator has been added.

Try It Out

Try Out the Camera Calculator Now.

1 report cite this report:

IPVM New Features and Improvements Directory on Feb 28, 2016
IPVM's development team continuously releases new features and site improvements. This document lists those items so you can see what has changed...

Comments (140)

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Awesome! This tool is pretty sweet, makes it very straight-forward. Is it downloadable? What other tools are you guys considering? (Please pardon my ignorance, as I was very late to the tool webinar last week, appointment ran loss and my apologies.)

We have a dedicated page for it here - IPVM Camera Calculator. It's all online based, no thick client.

We also have the Camera Finder, which we are now entering new cameras and will do an official promotion in September.

Finally, for the Calculator we plan a number of improvements, including selecting specific models and then having the calculator show what each model can do, given their focal lengths and max resolutions.

Nice, very nice. Keep up the good work !! :)

I'm trying Firefox and IE and the PTZ function in the scenes isn't working. Also tried reloading the pages.

Windows 8.1 Pro. Firefox 28 and IE 11.0.9600. I can look for an update for Adobe Elemennt.

Luis, we've confirmed this on our end. I am pretty sure it's a javascript issue that we can fix. It's a top priority for today. I'll update when fixed. Thanks for letting us know.

Thanks! In the meantime I've found it works in Chrome for anyone interested.

Still it is a great tool!

The panning issue with Internet Explorer has been fixed. If anyone sees additional browser-specific issues, let us know.

Thanks for the feedback!

This is cool....Great job :)

it looks great, thank you guys! is it possible to add the meters option for those of us not custom to use feet? Tks

Jorge, [UPDATED] metric support is now live.

12 MP.. ? Is that it? LOL.

Hey, 12MP does even really exist yet in production! :)

We could easily list higher resolutions, it's just adding a field. We choose not to list anything higher because they tend to be proprietary above that.

Hi John,

While I agree 12MP is not a requirement at this point and probably a little overkill, some manufacturers are planning to launch 12MP ONVIF cameras before the end of the year.

12MP is already in the calculator.

The company I work for has a non-proprietary ONVIF 14MP camera... Not complaining, John, just letting you know that there are cameras at higher resolutions than 12MP on the market currently.

I knew who your company was even though you were undisclosed.

Why? That's how rare 14MP cameras are :)

Again, we can add resolutions we want - 100MP? Sure. But I am trying to limit it to those that are broadly (or likely in the case of 4K/12MP) available.

This is very helpful John. Thank you for providing this tool.

Wow guys you are amazing, great work. If metric system also included that would be awesome.

Great, thanks for this! You should create a permanent link to this tool somewhere I think.

Ulrich, yes, we have a dedicated page -, we are going to add it to the home page later this week after we end this initial promotion.

Any chance of a version in metric?

[Yes, we metric support is now live.]

Missing scene for Warehouse with long and high shelfing with dim light conditions.

Manfred, we can always add in more scenes. The software is setup such that we take a 180 image and simply upload it. We'll consider a warehouse scene. If others have ideas for other scenes, we will consider them too.

Equally importantly, we are in in the middle of a feature where members can upload their own images for 'personal' scenes. Then they can pan / tilt / zoom / experiment with those.

A very nice tool indeed, any plans to make it metric ? or is there a hidden option ?

[Yes, metric support is now live.]

Very useful thanks IPVM.

It's pretty good done camera calculator. Thank you.

John, I am using the following IE version and the tool does not seem to respond at all. Any ideas?

WINDOWS IE VERSION - 8.0.7601.17514

Ciper - 256-bit


Joel, We are not supporting IE8 as it is more than 5 years old and there are many more recent version of IE, Firefox, Chrome, etc., that work well.


I assume you're still using XP? Try Mozilla Firefox I think you'll be pleased.

One caveat: make certain you are downloading from's website. Other sources like CNET tend to bundle spyware and bloatware into their downloads.

Finally, something that will actually help us and our customers make the best selection. I know its early, but I tried it on my iphone with chrome and it works, a little. I would gladly pay a few a bucks for this as an app that I can use with pics that I've taken while onsite. Great jobs guys and thank you!


We are considering an app version, but it could fairly expensive to develop. Selling it for $3 each won't justify the cost but perhaps we do that as a member only feature where one logs in to use it.

Thanks for asking for it. We will seriously consider.

I have several apps for business that I paid $9 or $10 for. I even have one that I pay $500 a year for....paying for this for iPad or other tablet would be well worth the money, especially if we can use the camera on the tablet to create the scene......

You guys are awesome and membership in IPVM is the best money I spend on any industry organization. Thanks.

Totally agree John. I once paid $150.00 for a limited capability lens finder tool at ADI (many years ago). I'd pay a lot for an app that I could use while on site to show the client what they'll see given the camera/lens I plan to provide. Maybe you should do one of your surveys to see how many members would buy it and at what price point to decide if it makes sense for you. By the way - thanks for this calculator, its awesome! :)

I feel the same John. It seems that AppStore users get used to $1 - $3 apps.

Our users ask us to make a mobile version of IP Video System Design Tool, but we cannot make it our higher priority because of low AppStore prices.

I've read about Httpwatch price experiment. Initally they put $99 price tag on their Pro mobile app. And got a feedback from many users like: "$100 for Pro is stupidly expensive...". So they lowered the app price to $9.99. The number of sales went up, but their revenue decreased. Then they increased the price to $19.99 and they got the same number of sales as with their old $99 price (!) but with the $19.99 (source).

Thanks for the tool!

A suggestion - it appears that the scene images are some fixed size and resolution. Would it be possible to to define a regular camera picture FOV or modifier such that it could be uploaded and used to determine the ideal security camera FOV to define and document FOVs for installations? The application is taking a regular camera or cell phone and hold it where the security camera will be installed and use that image as a basis for selecting the final FOV.

Just a thought :)

Mark, yes, we are already working on a user image upload feature that can be used as a scene. It should be ready by the end of this month (August).

This is not useful to me unless I can use the customers scene.

Kenneth Macphee, seriously? Then I just wouldn't use it if I were you.


Are you kidding? And what tool are you using now that IS useful? I haven't seen anything like this one out there yet.

Kenneth, Meghan,

Thanks for the feedback. We are definitely going to do uploading of one's own scenes / images so everyone will be happy!

This has been part of our plan from even before launch and its a top 3 priority. Expect it before the summer is over.

How did you deteremine the angle of view for each mm setting? I have not seen an accurate lens calculator to determine horizontal fov in quite some time that was not made specifically by the camera manufacturer. For instance, you state that with a 1/2.7" imager, a 2.8mm lens should give you a 93 degree angle of view. But Axis for example uses a 1/2.7" imager in the M3005-V with a 2.8mm lens and they state you will get 118 degree angle of view. This is just one example, but many other cameras and manufacturers have varying horizontal angles of view listed that are different from typical lens calculator figures.

Undisclosed E, very good point about FoV calculation. There does not seem to be any universal formula that covers all manufacturer implementations. I believe some manufacturers do not use the full sensor area, others may have slightly different sensor dimensions, etc.

What are we going to do to solve this is to add a camera selection field. It will display a list of camera models, allowing the user to select the camera they are interested in. For example, if one selects the M3005, we will look up in our database the specific AoV specified by Axis and then display that. The added benefit of this is that you can see immediately what each camera can cover based on their AoV and resolution limitations.

I have justed spent 10 minutes with this but it looks like an OUTSTANDING tool. I understand it is offered free at this point. Are you planning to keep it available as a free tool? If so, as a web-based tool, will you allow it to be linked on a member's website (of course, fully credited to IPVM)?

The plan is for the core tool (what you see right now) to remain free and for premium, member only features to be added to it. For example, upcoming PRO member features will include:

  • Uploading one's own scenes
  • Selecting specific camera models
  • Saving results

It is a web-based tool and we are considering letting others embed it but we have not decided on that yet.

great tools, are you going to lunch one with the metric as unit system?

We are adding a metric toggle shortly [UPDATE: it's now live]. Please no one ask this again. We get this is a priority from the previous 5 comments and have moved this up to the top of queue :)

great stuff, how about doing it in metrics

That's what, 5 or 6 people already who asked and got a response about metric? Can we implement a European filter on discussions?

Pretty nice, John. Good work.

Suggestion ... provide the ability to use our own image file.

Very nice tool and clean implementation. Maybe I'm missing something, but shouldn't "Horizontal FOV" be labeled "Width of Object" or "Width of Scene" and shouldn't "Angle of View" be labeled "Horizontal FOV"?

One other minor note. There are plenty of 5MP cameras with 2560 x 1920 resolution, but I don't recall seeing any cameras with 2560 x 2048 resolution, as listed in the Camera Resolution dropdown.

Vance, I checked 5 manufacturer's 5MP offerings and 4 of them were 2592 x 1944. So we will change it to that, though it will not make a big difference.

That looks great! Good work IPVM team! I look forward to the various improvements/changes others have already asked about.


Many thanks for adding the "Lens Selector" function. That is exactly what I was looking for.

"The Lindgren Lens Selector" as we call it internally...

Glad you like it!

LOL. At my age, fame and infamy are both appealing...

Excelent tool. Is there any possibility to make a possibility to use it in meters as well ?

It will help a lot .


Are you pulling my leg, my man? :)

As we have answered 5 times above, yes, we are adding metric as an option. It's literally being worked right now and it should be live tomorrow.

Thanks for your interest!

Give these guys an inch and they'll take a meter!

Metre, Rukmini.

Welcome to 'Merica, where we don't use meters but we insist on spelling the word wrong anyway.

That was so bad, but it was hilarious.

This IPVM Camera Calculator is cool and anig help, but I do not understand something. I thought that if everything else on the calculator remained constant (same Distance to Object, Focal Length, Horizontal FOV, Resolution, etc...) and all I changed was the sensor size, say going from a 1/2.7" sensor to a smaller 1/4" sensor, then I would have thought that the smaller 1/4" sensor would have resulted in a lower PPF, but I am seeing just the opposite occur, the smaller sensor is showing a higher PPF (again keeping all the other variables in the calculator constant). Can someone explain this to me, or is this an error?

Hi Larry,

Good question! This is an indirect effect.

The smaller the sensor, the narrower the AoV /HFoV. Alternatively put, the bigger the sensor, the wider the AoV / HFoV. That's the direct relationship.

If you have a narrower HFoV, everything else equal, the PPF will be greater at the same distance from the camera.

Thanks to all for explaining the "unexpected" (at least to me) change in PPF. I had not noticed that the H-FOV had narrowed as well with a smaller sensor. The higher PPF makes sense now.

Great Tool!

1) Would be awesome if we could upload an actual picture and use the picture for selection.

2) Is there any way to make the tool full screen?


1) Yes, we are working on uploading actual pictures for use as a scene. It's a top 3 priority (right below the metric feature :)

2) Full screen is a very good idea. We had not considered this, but we will now.

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