Everyone's Going 360

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Oct 23, 2012

For more than a decade, panoramic cameras have been the next big thing (remember IPIX?). However, adoption struggled for year, but now new product options and integrations are increasing their acceptance. In this note, we examing the reasons for this slow trend, recent announcements which impact the panoramic market, and future prospects.

Slow Trend

Though panoramic cameras gained attention over the years, market adoption has been sluggish, to say the least. The two biggest problems were:

  • Limited number of manufacturers offering panoramic cameras (e.g., Mobotix, Grandeye) forced users to go to new suppliers for models.
  • Limited amount of VMS integration blocked immersive panoramic cameras from being used effectively. While a web browser separate from the VMS could be used, most found this highly disadvantageous.

Value of 360º Cameras

Panoramic cameras claim "doing more with less" as the key value proposition. Installing a single camera offering a 360º view provides greater situational awareness than a single camera normally provides, though at the loss of detail in the scene, as pixel density drops very quickly.

360º cameras (both single-imager panoramic and multi-imager) also reduce licensing costs by requiring only one license instead of multiple cameras and licenses to cover the same area. 

Recent Changes

In the past year, several developments have improved panoramic cameras' positioning in the industry:

  • At ASIS 2012, industry giant Axis displayed its first 360º fisheye panoramic camera, the M3007-PV, projected for release later this year. 
  • Also at ASIS 2012 Panasonic announced two 360º panoramic cameras for indoor and outdoor use.
  • These above releases are in addition to panoramic models from mainstream manufacturers D-Link, Vivotek, and ACTi, as well as expansions of Sentry360 (up to 10MP) and ImmerVision (releasing a 5MP-rated lens).
  • Aside from new camera models, VMS support has also increased, with new integrations announced by Genetec, Milestone, Exacq, OnSSI, and others in the past year.

With Axis and Panasonic joining most of the Taiwanese manufacturers and a number of other global providers, getting a panoramic from one's preferred vendor is no longer that difficult.

Announcements from other, lesser-known camera manufactuers and VMS providers have also further increased panoramic cameras' market presence.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Remaining Barriers to Adoption

Though support and product options have increased, there are still a few remaining barriers to widespread adoption of panoramic cameras:

  • SDK integration: Most panoramic camera manufacturers require a separate SDK for dewarping and immersive (ePTZ) controls. This makes integration to VMS systems challenging, as many software providers are hesitant to devote development resources to integrate multiple manufacturers using a technology which has seen relatively little demand. In many cases, these integrations are performed only when there is a real-world business case to drive demand for a specific panoramic camera. Note, though, Axis's alternative SDK approach for its new 360 series.
  • Performance: As we discussed in our tests of Mobotix Q24 and GrandEye, panoramic cameras have definite tradeoffs in image detail, dynamic range, and low light capability. These issues need to be carefully considered. Single and multi-imager cameras are somewhat better able to compensate for WDR, and a few models that support a C/CS mount fisheye lens can allow for better (but larger) cameras to be used.
  • Multi-imager impact: Arecont has had much success with their 180º multi-imager SurroundView cameras (see our 20MP test results), despite performance and build quality complaints. This line delivers panoramic imaging without any special SDK integration nor dewarping plus much greater pixel density than fisheyes. However, despite the value, Arecont remains one of the few open multi-imager panoramic providers in the market. Until we see more of this style, the panoramic market will not reach its full potential.

Future Prospects

Undeniably, panoramic cameras are better positioned today than they have ever been. Users now have more options in both cameras and VMS support. However, users may still see some disappointment stemming from panoramic support by their preferred platforms, as well as camera performance issues.

For more on selecting 360 cameras, review our Criteria for Selecting 360 / Panoramic cameras guide. And get ready for our panoramic shootout this winter!

1 report cite this report:

Mobotix Wedge Panoramic Camera on Dec 19, 2014
Mobotix was one of the first manufacturers with panoramic cameras. Since then, everyone has gone 360, and panoramic cameras have become...

Related Reports

Axis Perimeter Defender Video Analytics Tested on Jul 12, 2018
Axis 'high security' video analytics offering is Perimeter Defender, OEMed / developed with Digital Barriers. But how good is Perimeter Defender?...
Drops Dahua, Fenner Becomes ISS CMO on Jul 09, 2018
Hired to improve Dahua's miserable marketing just last year, Janet Fenner has quit Dahua, joining VMS manufacturer ISS as Chief Marketing...
UK VSaaS Startup Ocucon on Jul 03, 2018
Decreasing exposure to fraudulent slip-and-fall insurance claims and lawsuits is one of the oldest selling points of video surveillance for retail....
Digital Watchdog Low Cost 4MP Camera Tested on Jul 02, 2018
Based on member 4MP testing requests, we bought and tested Digital Watchdog's low-cost 4MP DWC-MTT4Wi to see how it performs in real world scenes,...
IFSEC Competitor The Security Event Launches, Same Week As ISC West on Jul 02, 2018
IFSEC is facing competition. Led by an ex-IFSEC head, partnered with mega-exhibitor Essen and hosted in IFSEC's old city, Birmingham, "The...
Panoramic Fisheye Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek on Jun 27, 2018
IPVM tested Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek 12MP panoramic fisheye cameras head to head, as shown in the test setup...
Snap Surveillance Profile on Jun 26, 2018
There are not a lot of video surveillance companies that survive 9 years with only one feature that makes their product stand out. In the case of...
OpenEye Apex VMS Tested on Jun 26, 2018
OpenEye is a US company, founded nearly 20 years ago. In the past few years, OpenEye has been one of a few VMS providers that have pivoted to being...
ASIS GSX Show Struggling Getting Exhibitors on Jun 26, 2018
The show formerly known as ASIS, now GSX, is less than 3 months away. And it is struggling to get exhibitors to go back to Las Vegas, just...
Most Wanted Improvements In Manufacturer Technical Support (Statistics) on Jun 21, 2018
5 key areas of improvement and 1 clear wanted support feature were voiced by 140+ integrator responses to: What improvement in manufacturer...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested on Jul 16, 2018
Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore. IPVM found that...
Hikvision Wins Chinese Government Forced Facial Recognition Project Across 967 Mosques on Jul 16, 2018
Hikvision has won a Chinese government tender which requires that facial recognition cameras be set up at the entrance of every single mosque...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...
Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jul 13, 2018
Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security Sales Course Summer 2018 This...
US Tariffs Hit China Video Surveillance on Jul 13, 2018
Chinese video surveillance products avoided tariffs for the first two rounds. Now, in the third round, many video surveillance products will be...
Last Chance - July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jul 12, 2018
Registration ends today, Thursday. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance...
4 Most Difficult Camera Installs (Statistics) on Jul 12, 2018
Heavy housings, cumbersome brackets, heavy ladders required, and tricky field of view requirements will cause difficulties no matter the camera...
Axis Perimeter Defender Video Analytics Tested on Jul 12, 2018
Axis 'high security' video analytics offering is Perimeter Defender, OEMed / developed with Digital Barriers. But how good is Perimeter Defender?...
Hikvision Fights Ban - Claims 'Red Scare', Hires 14 Term Ex-Congressman on Jul 11, 2018
Hikvision is fighting back against the House Bill Ban of their products. Hikvision has hired one of the biggest lobbying firms, led by a 14 term...
Arecont Acquisition By Costar on Jul 11, 2018
Arecont Vision acquisition by Costar Technologies has been approved by the court, concluding the bankruptcy process triggered by Arecont's...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact