Camera Course Summer 2015

Author: Matt Transue, Published on Jul 08, 2015

This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing.

Lots of manufacturer training exists but none teaches the underlying technologies and tradeoffs of current 2015 cameras. This IPVM course solves this.

Key Benefits of the Course

This is not one of those 'courses' where you scan through old material and quiz yourself. Instead, with IPVM, you get:

  • Education on the newest technologies including 'smart' codecs like Axis Zipstream; the tradeoffs between emerging HD analog technologies, like AHD, CVI, and TVI; the impact of 4K vs 1080p and 720p; the emergence of mass market multi-camera offerings. You learn what is relevant today in 2015, not a history lesson of systems in the 2000s.
  • Direct interaction with the instructors. Both during the live classes and in the private class discussions, the IPVM instructors will answer your questions and correct any mistakes to help you learn tougher aspects of surveillance cameras. As a bonus, many attendees use the class to have IPVM instructors give them advice on their current projects.
  • Quizzes and a final exam where we review what you got wrong and explain why. Plus, IPVM certification that only the top 40% of attendees can typically achieve, providing a real accomplishment and industry distinction.

[Today is the last day to get into the course. Register NOW. This will not be offered again until next January 2016.]

What the IPVM Camera Course Covers

In 12 sessions, we teach surveillance cameras extensively.

(1) Basic Lenses

The course starts with the fundamentals - lens length, FoV/AoV, varifocal vs fixed focal and focusing - to make sure everyone understands how to use, calculate and plan coverage area.

(2) Advance Lenses

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We then proceed to F stops, DoF, lens irises, and (related) shutter speed so attendees understand the impact on low light performance and image quality.

(3) Image Quality

With lensing covered, we turn to resolution and compression, breaking down quantizations levels, quality tradeoffs and measuring image quality variances.

(4) Streaming

Covering codecs (H.265, H.264, MJPEG, etc.) and streaming modes (MBR, VBR, CBR), we explain the tradeoffs between bandwidth, image quality and network impact.

(5) WDR / FPS / AGC

Here we teach the difference between 'true' and 'fake' WDR, show the impact of frame rate increases (up to 120fps) and explain the critical role and side effects of gain control.

(6) Low Light

Covers D/N, IR, Integrated IR, Smart IR, 'super' low light and thermal, contrasting these options and teaching the pros and cons of each one.

(7) Bandwidth

Reveals one of the most underappreciated and misunderstood elements of video surveillance, we break down the 8 key drivers of bandwidth variation, explaining how bandwidth can vary 10x or more across cameras, even with the same resolution and frame rate. We conclude by teaching the right and wrong ways to calculate bandwidth / storage.

(8) PPF

We teach how to use PPF / PPM correctly, what mistakes to avoid and how to incorporate this to improve the quality of your designs.

(9) Form Factors

Covers IP vs AHD vs CVI vs TVI vs SDI plus domes, minidomes, boxes, bullets, PTZs, and cubes, plus IK and IP ratings, explaining the tradeoffs and key reasons for using one vs the other.

(10) Panoramic vs PTZs

Panoramics and PTZs are two of the most common choices for covering wide areas. With panoramics now reaching 10+ MP, and adding IR, we contrast when and where to use them vs HD speeddomes. Finally, we explain and contrast the differences between fisheye, panomorph and multi-imager panoramics.

(11) ONVIF / API & SDKs

Learn what API and SDKs are, going through practical examples of camera and VMS manufacturer's APIs. Plus, understand ONVIF S, G, C and Q profiles, breaking down the strengths and limitations of these offerings.

(12) Camera Selection

In our capstone session, we pull all of the training together, showing you how to select and use different camera technologies in common scenarios including parking lots, offices, hallways, entrances, license plates and more.

Who Should and Should NOT Take this Course

Even if you have lots of hands on experience with surveillance cameras and manufacturer training, you should take this course. It teaches cameras at much greater depth than what regular field work or product specific training provides.

However, if you have no experience with IP cameras, you should not take this course unless you can commit to spending 10 to 15 hours per week studying. We have had many people take this course without experience and do very well, but only if they dedicate sufficient time to studying. You cannot pass this course simply by reading a few hours the night before the exam.

Course Calendar

The Camera course will meet live online, starting July 14th for 12 times over 6 weeks (Tuesday and Thursday for 1 hour from 11am - noon ET (15:00 - 16:00 UTC).

Additionally, all classes are recorded so you can watch on-demand on-line anytime.


At the end of classes, you will take a comprehensive final exam including multiple choice and essay questions. If you pass, you will become IPMVU IP Networking certified (see list of IPVM Certified Professionals)

Join the Course / Register

Registration is now closed.

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