48MP 180 Camera (Digital Watchdog) Test

By: Ethan Ace, Published on May 10, 2017

Camera resolution continues to advance, with Digital Watchdog offering the MegaPIX PANO 48MP 180° camera, the highest resolution mainstream camera available, outside of $10,000+ specialty cameras (such as Dallmeier's Panomera).

But, with this high resolution historically come tradeoffs in bandwidth and low light performance, and coming from less well-known manufacturer Digital Watchdog, the question is how it compares to more mainstream multi imager options.

We bought and tested the 48MP to see how it performed against the Axis Q3709-PVE, Pelco Optera, and Vivotek MS8391 in full light and low light, how bandwidth compares, installation issues, and more.

 

****** ********** ********* ** advance, **** ******* ******** offering the ******* **** **** ***° ******, *** ******* resolution ********** ****** *********, outside ** $**,***+ ********* cameras (**** ** *********'* ********).

***, **** **** **** resolution ************ **** ********* in ********* *** *** light ***********, *** ****** from **** ****-***** ************ ******* Watchdog, *** ******** ** how ** ******** ** more ********** ***** ****** options.

** ****** *** ****** the **** ** *** how ** ********* ******* the **** *****-***,***** ******, ********** ****** ** **** ***** *** low *****, *** ********* compares, ************ ******, *** more.

 

[***************]

*******

** *** *****, *** Digital ******** **** ***° camera ******* ****** ********* in ******* **** ****' **** Q3709-PVE ** **** ***** scenes. *******, *********** ** low ***** (>***) *** similar ** *** ***-** cameras tested, ********* ******* **** at ***** ***** (~**', PPF ~***-*** ********* ** model), **** **** ********* impossible ** **** **** scenes (~*.**** ** *** tests).

*******, *** ** **** is ********** ********** **** with ** ********/******* ***** VMS, **** ** ***** conformance, ****** *** ****** also ********** ******** ** Security ****** ** *** tests ***** * ******** "Genetec" **** (****** ** not ********** ********* ** Genetec).

*******, *** ****** *** focus *** ********* ****** not **** ** ***** multi ****** ****** ******.

*******

*** ***-******** ***** *** ~$2,300 ******, ******* ** the **** *****-***. **** pricing ** ************* ****** than **** ****** **** as *** ***** ** Vivotek ****** ****, **** ~$1,600.

Physical ********

*** ******** *** ** ******** flattened **** **** ******, not ****** **** **** other *******, **** *** four ******* **** ****** through ** ********** ****** (similar ** *** ******* MS8391). ** ****** *** camera's ******** ** **** video:

Limited ****

******** ** *** **** camera ** *******, **** 5-10° ******** ** **°+ in **** ***** *****-****** models. **** ** ******** using * ******* *****/******, shown *****, *** ****** be ******** **** **** a *** ******* ** the **** ****** (**** four ********** "*******") ***** block *** *******' ***.

**** **** **** ** the ******'* ******* ****** allow *** ********** ********, such ** *** *.**" adapter ***** ****:

Sensor ********/******** *********

** *** ***** ** found **** *** ** 48MP's ******* ******** ****** alignment ** ******** "******" the ********. **** **** adjusted ** **** ** possible, ******* ******* ******* was ***** *******, ***** below.

** ****** ****** **** sensor ********* ** **** video:

Autofocus ******

****** ******* ** **** experienced ******** ********* ******. When ********** ** *** autofocus, *** ****** ***** completely *********, ********* ********* to ** ***** ** manually *******. ** **** these ****** ** **** video:

Camera *************

** ****** *** *** interface ** *** ** 48MP ** *** ***** below. *******, *** ****** defaults ** */*** **** shutter *** ****** ** adjusted ** */*** ** setup ** ***** ********.

DW ******** **** ******** *** *******

*** **** ****** ** only ********** ********* ** DW ********/******* *****. *** camera ** ********* ** a ****** **** ** DW ********, ****** **** other ***** ******* (**** as ****, ***** *****), which **** * ******** tile *** **** ******.

Genetec ****

****** *** ********** *********/******, the ** **** ****** also *** * ******* "mode", ********** ** *** web *********. **** **** allows *** ****** ** be ***** ** ******* via *** "******* ********", added ** * ****** device **** **** ******* (one *** **** ******), shown *****.

Not ***** ********** 

******* ***** ****** ** Profile * ********** ** its ******* ********, *** ******** is *** ****** ** ONVIF ** ********** (******* ******** ** *** listed ** ** ***** member). *** ***** "****" shown ** *** *** interface ******* ** ******** and ******* ** ****** out *** *** *** be ********. ******* ******** says ***** *********** ** planned *** * ****** update.

DW **** **. **** ****

** *** ***** *****, we ****** *********/*********** *********** between *** *** ******* resolution ****** ** **** test, *** ** **** and **** ****, **** using **** *******. *******:

  • **** ******* ******** ***:****' ******** ***** ** view ** *******, *** some ** **** ********* is ****** ***** *** horizon.
  • ** **** ******: ******* ** *** ** 48MP ****** *** **** level **** *** ****' camera's ***** *******, ***** are ************* ******.
  • ** *******:*** ** ******'* ******* overlap *** ******* (********* in **** ****** *****). Axis' ** ***. 

*** **** ******* ** these ****** ** *** Axis ******, ****** **** ** *** Axis ****.

Full ***** ***** ******* 

** ***** *****, *** DW **** ****** ******** more **** ******* **** all ***** ******* ******, including ****' ****, **** legible **** ** **** 10 of *** **** *****. Exposure *** ****** ******* were **** **** ** DW ** ****. **** that ******* ** **** range *** ****** ** all ******* ** *** is **** **** (~***-***).

*******, ** ******* *********, performance ** *** ** camera *** **** ** similar, ******* ************* ****** PPF ** *** ** panoramic (** **. ** in ****). **** **** models (***** *** *******) display ***** ******* *** limited ******* **** ** this *****.

*******, ** ***' ********, subject ******* *** ******* in *** ** *** Axis *******, *** *** Q3709 ******** **** ******* characters ** **** * of *** **** *****. No ********** *** ******* in ****** ***** ** Vivotek, **** ********* ** the ******* ****. 

Low ***** ***********

** **** ****** **** exterior ****** **, ~*** at ***** *****, ******** to ~*.* *** ******* back ** *** *****.

** **** ***** *****, the ** **** ******** the **** ****** ** the *******, *** *** test ***** ** ******** washed *** ******** ** the **** *****. **** that *** ******* ****** includes ********** **.

****** ** ~**' **** the *******, ******* *** similar ** *** *******, with ********* ****, ** identifying *******. ******* ********** 2x *** *** ** Pelco *** *******, ******* noise *** *********** ******* subject ******* ** **** scene. 

*** **** ** **** at ~***' ********, **** the ******* **** ********* to ******* ******* *****/********* in *** *******. *** Vivotek ****** ***** *** best ********* ** *** subject ** **** *****, but *** ** **** low, ****** ********* ***** difficult.

*******, ******* ******* ************ outdoor ********, *** ****** throughout *** ***** *** ~0.02. ** **** ***** level, **** ** ***** range, **** ** *** non-IR ******* **** **** to ******* * ****** image ** ******* ** test *****, **** *** integrated ** ******* ******. 

Bandwidth ********** 

*** ** **** ******'* bitrates **** **** **** day *** ***** ** our *****, ***** **% higher **** ****, * logical ******** ** ** uses * ******* ******* of *. ********* *** more **** ***-***% ****** in *** ** **** Pelco *** *******, ** well, **** ******* ***** resolution.

 

*******, **** ****** ** megabits *** *********, *** Digital ******** ****'* ******** are ******** ***** **** other ******* **** *** and *****, ******** ***** than ****, *** ************* lower **** *** ***** resolution ***** *** *******. 

**** **** **** *** Vivotek ****** **** ***** codecs ** **** ****. The ***** ****** ******** smart ****** ** *** firmwares, *** ** **** not *** ****** ***** features.

Test ********** 

******* **** ************ ** 1/30s *******, * ***, ~28-30 ************.

******** ******** **** ** this ****:

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

******** ******** ****:

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

Comments (9)

Has there been a multi-imager shoot out with the Axis, Vivotek, Pelco, and Avigilon? Curious how the group stacks up the to Avigilon 9MP HD multi sensor camera (which seems in need of product refresh). While the tech seems OK from Digital Watch Dog that lack of OVINF support seems like a non-starter. Who is going to buy this over an Axis or Pelco camera when you need to rev your entire VMS. 

We have a test of the Avigilon HD Multisensor here, against Axis, Arecont, and Pelco (Vivotek was not yet released).

Avigilon 9MP HD multi sensor camera (which seems in need of product refresh)

The one thing that has struck me as odd about the Avigilon line is that there is no simple 180° option. You have to use the 3 imager 9MP and manually set them to 180 yourself. I would think dealers would prefer the option to just hang up a 180 camera prefocused and fixed from the factory, no?

Thanks for the link! I wonder when the Avigilon, and or the Axis are going to get refreshed... They are both looking long in the tooth.

I think the Avigilon approach is totally different. I don't think they want a 180º camera (in the past there was a 180 and 360 prefocused JPEG2000 camera). It's all about flexibility, not just 180 or 360. The freedom to point the camera where you want. Is more like have 3 or 4 cameras in a cluster.

 

For me is a better solution than a prefocused unit. But, ok, different approaches.

I think Avigilon's plan was to have a more "flexible" camera.  However, with the huge imager heads on those things, it is still next to impossible to use them for much else besides a panoramic.  The heads need to be smaller so they can move in tighter and/or above/below each other in order to be truly versitile.

Totally agree with the need of smaller heads. But as I said, I prefer the Avigilon aspproach, but they need to correct the size issue.

I have to complaints with the DW panos. The first is the vertical field of view, the second is how slow and cumbersome the UI is, the camera seems to take forever to boot up. DW just released a couple of new panos that I hope will address these issues. We have sold several of them and have one on our building and for the most part have been happy with them. 

After going through what we did with Arecont we didn't sell multi images for 2 years, it's good to see companies releasing better products. 

I was really looking forward to seeing this camera, one of my customers was asking me to test after ISC West.  After this side by side, is there any reason for me to specify this over the Axis Q3709?  The price points are similar and in my opinion the image quality is very similar.  Why offer a proprietary option vs a much more well (VMS) adapted camera?  The extra bandwidth doesn't seem worth it.

If you're using DW Spectrum as a VMS, I might actually prefer the 48MP camera. The stitching of the four imagers into a single tile and the reduced tilt on the outer imagers are preferable to Axis, in my option. And image quality is a bit better than Axis in some scenes. But overall, it's minor, and if you're not using DW Spectrum, the 48MP is pretty much ruled out immediately.

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