Minidome vs Full Size Dome Stats

By: John Honovich, Published on Jun 03, 2014

Domes are the most popular overall type of surveillance camera but two main types of domes exist: the 'mini' and 'full size versions:

What are used more? Why? When?

In this note, we share exclusive IPVM integrator survey results that answer these questions.

Integrators use full size domes more than they use minidomes.

However, minidomes were not that far behind. Indeed, quite a number of integrators use minidomes at least half of the times they choose domes:

Reasons for Minidomes - Cost / Aesthetics

The two main drivers for using minidomes are lower cost and better aesthetics, as multiple integrators emphasized these themes:

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

  • "The minidomes are usually cheaper and better aesthetically"
  • "Preferred for aesthetics and price"
  • "Normally it is just for looks when installing the mini-domes"
  • "Budget driven"
  • "Mini domes are always cheaper."
  • "Mini domes where a architect or interior designer has influence over the decision due to aesthetics. 'make the camera disappear' folks."
  • "Cheaper, look better"
  • "I used mini just when appearance is a concern."
  • "Minidome in retails and commercial customers due to small footprint and aesthetic look." 

The aesthetics aspect is especially important to many users who want to minimize the impact / overtness of cameras for their customers and/or employees. 

Reasons for Full Size Domes - Better Features

By contrast, the theme for full size domes was getting more advanced features, with integrators noting that: 

  • "Mini domes can lack the specs that full sized domes have."
  • "Mini domes typically lack specific features that we are looking for."
  • "Full size features are typically more enhanced and used where critical quality drives requirements."

The lack of varifocal was the most common complaint against minidomes and driver for full sized domes, with comments including:

  • "varifocal is the main reason for the full sized."
  • "most do not have varifocal lenses or it would be more."
  • "The full sized cameras typically have more lens options or varifocal lens, while many minidomes have a fixed lens"
  • "Usually we need vari-focal so mini-domes don't typically have that." 

Other feature sets, including image quality ones were noted:

  • "Video quality (WDR, integrated IR, low-light etc) points us to full sized domes"
  • "Mini domes tend to not have integrated IR, a feature that we typically utilize."

The lack of outdoor rating for minidomes also was called out as a driver for full sized domes:

  • "Minidomes are not usually rated for outdoors."
  • "Cannot handle outdoor environments well"

And a few noted installation limitations for minidomes: 

  • "Minidomes do not have back boxes or mounting hardware which makes installation in new construction difficult."
  • "Full size domes tend to have more mounting brackets and options"

Finally, two integrators cited their customer's preference for larger, more obvious cameras:

  • "The presence give our customers peace of mind."
  • "Provide a better deterrent then a smaller dome for most of our customers in the commercial world"

Minidomes On the Rise

These limitations noted, IPVM believe minidome use has been on the rise and will continue to do so, simply because more and more suppliers have enhanced their minidome offerings over the past 3 years.

Indeed, a number of integrators see their minidome use rising:

  • "Growing percentage as the available performance shrinks its form factor."
  • "This percentage will increase for mini-domes and the offerings increase."
  • "Full size domes typically have more features but lately we see mini domes being more fully featured so that will probably mean we install more if them."
  • "That appears to be changing as the Axis M30 line increases. Once again, our go-to is Axis and their camera line has been full sized for the most part until recently, so I expect that to change over the coming years."


1 report cite this report:

Testing Varifocal Minidome (IQeye) on Jul 02, 2014
Minidomes are increasing in popularity, as IPVM statistics show. However, the most common objection to using minidomes is the lack of varifocal...
Comments (0) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Favorite Video Storage / Server Manufacturers 2019 on Mar 25, 2019
189 integrators answered this question: "What is your favorite storage device / server manufacturer for recording video? Why?" In general...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Size Statistics 2018 on Nov 08, 2018
What is the most common hard drive size for video surveillance? 150+ integrators answered: What size hard drive do you most commonly use? What...
Favorite Video Surveillance Hard Drive Manufacturer 2018 on Nov 06, 2018
Who is the favorite hard drive for video surveillance use? 150+ integrators answered: What is your preferred brand/model of hard drive for...
ADI's Financials Revealed + W-Box Growth Priority on Oct 15, 2018
  ADI is one of the most powerful distributors in the security industry but how big are they? How much profit do they make? How much do they sell...
Multi-Imager Camera Guide on Jan 02, 2018
Multi-imager usage continues to grow, with most manufacturers now offering at least one model, making them an attractive option for covering wide...
Hikvision vs Dahua Access Shootout on Oct 26, 2017
Dahua and Hikvision have spent heavily expanding internationally in video surveillance. Now, both companies are looking to do similarly in access...
Avigilon H4 IR Mini Dome Camera Tested on Oct 24, 2017
Avigilon has released their successor to the aging Micro Dome, the H4 Mini Dome, claiming easy install, a patent-pending surface/recessed...
Dedicated Vs Converged IP Video Networks Statistics on Sep 12, 2017
'Convergence' has been a major industry theme for many years. All organizations have IP networks today with laptops, tablets, phones and more...
Panoramic: Fisheye vs Multi-Imager Usage on Jun 09, 2017
Panoramic cameras are a growing trend within video surveillance. The two main options are fisheye cameras using a single imager with an ultra-wide...
WDR Shootout 2017: Low vs High Cost Cameras on Jan 24, 2017
Multi-exposure WDR was once only available in expensive cameras but in the past few years, this capability has become available even in sub $200...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hikvision Illicitly Uses Back To The Future In Marketing on Jul 03, 2020
NBCUniversal told IPVM that Hikvision UK's ongoing coronavirus marketing campaign using NBCUniversal's assets was not allowed. Hikvision mass...
Verkada: "IPVM Should Never Be Your Source of News" on Jul 02, 2020
Verkada was unhappy with IPVM's recent coverage declaring that reading IPVM is 'not a good look' and that 'IPVM should never be your source of...
Vintra Presents FulcrumAI Face Recognition on Jul 02, 2020
Vintra presented its FulcrumAI face recognition and mask detection offering at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A...
Uniview Wrist Temperature Reader Tested on Jul 02, 2020
Uniview is promoting measuring wrist temperatures whereas most others are just offering forehead or inner canthus measurements. But how well does...
Dahua USA Admits Thermal Solutions "Qualify As Medical Devices" on Jul 02, 2020
Dahua USA has issued a press release admitting a controversial point in the industry but an obvious one to the US FDA, that the thermal temperature...
Access Control Online Show - July 2020 - With 40+ Manufacturers - Register Now on Jul 01, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce our July 2020 Access Control Show. With 40+ companies presenting across 4 days, this is a unique opportunity to hear...
Hanwha Face Mask Detection Tested on Jul 01, 2020
Face mask detection or, more specifically lack-of-face-mask detection, is an expanding offering in the midst of coronavirus. Hanwha in partnership...
UK Government Says Fever Cameras "Unsuitable" on Jul 01, 2020
The UK government's medical device regulator, MHRA, told IPVM that fever-seeking thermal cameras are "unsuitable for this purpose" and recommends...
Camera Course Summer 2020 on Jun 30, 2020
This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing. Lots of manufacturer training...
Worst Over But Integrators Still Dealing With Coronavirus Problems (June Statistics) on Jun 30, 2020
While numbers of integrators very impacted by Coronavirus continue to drop, most are still moderately dealing with the pandemic's problems, June...