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

Hiring Spree At Aimetis 6 Months After Being Acquired on Sep 28, 2016
Aimetis was acquired in April 2016, and is now expanding almost all of their departments, hiring employees from Axis and other industry...
Axis Secretly Paid Anixter Sales People To Push Axis NVRs on Sep 26, 2016
Internal Axis communication shows how Axis paid Anixter and Tri-Ed sales people with secret bonuses to push Axis NVRs. In this report, we examine...
Milestone Ends Development of "Enterprise" VMS on Sep 22, 2016
Milestone 'Enterprise' was one of the first enterprise video management software offerings, selected by many early adopters of IP video. However,...
History of Video Surveillance on Sep 22, 2016
This is a concise history of video surveillance covering the past decade.  The goal is to help professionals newer to the industry understand...
Tagged RFID Object Search Recorded Video on Sep 20, 2016
Video analytics has gotten fairly good at tagging people in video, but it does not solve the problem of finding items like specific merchandise or...
Axis Touts Positive IPVM Coverage and Canon 'Reverse Takeover' on Sep 19, 2016
Axis NA sales leader Larry Newman rallied his troops on the ASIS show floor, touting positive IPVM coverage and bragging about Axis 'reverse...
Weak ASIS 2016 Upsets Manufacturers, ASIS Working On Improvements on Sep 19, 2016
Manufacturer dissatisfaction with ASIS intensified this year. With survey results from 80+ manufacturers, the trend of diminishing returns from...
Hikvision Enterprise Expansion ASIS 2016 Review on Sep 13, 2016
Hikvision is treating ASIS 2106 like an ISC West-level show, showing lots of new and upcoming products, as well as hosting large customer...
ASIS 2016 Day 2 Review on Sep 13, 2016
ASIS day 2 is done. We are at the show and have coverage of the show floor, and highlights from manufacturers in this report that we will update...
Milestone Kills Go, Slashes Express Pricing, Launches Enhanced Version Free on Sep 12, 2016
Milestone is shaking up the industry again with enhanced free software and a major price drop. 6 years ago, Milestone launched their first free...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Arecont To Release Industries' Best H.265 Support on Sep 30, 2016
Go big, or go home. That seems to be Arecont's philosophy for H.265, they say they are working on the "best" H.265 implementation in the...
Wall Street Journal Runs Report on Dahua Hack on Sep 30, 2016
The Wall Street Journal is bringing attention to the massive Dahua attack we reported on Tuesday. In an Thursday article entitled, "Hackers Infect...
Dahua USA CEO Tim Wang, Where Is Your Integrity? on Sep 29, 2016
Dahua USA CEO Tim Wang and Dahua Director of Marketing Tim Shen shared their IPVM passwords extensively, resulting in Dahua USA CEO's account...
Allegion NDE Wireless Lock Examined on Sep 29, 2016
While wireless locks are one of the hottest areas of access control, two of its biggest challenges are high cost and limited integration with...
The 'Last Chance to Save' On Hikvision Is Here on Sep 29, 2016
It is over. After at least 8 across the board price cuts in the past 10 months, including an unprecedented back to back 20% off, Hikvision has...
Camera Calculator Class and IPVM Member Orientation October 2016 on Sep 28, 2016
Members, learn how to better design video surveillance systems and get the most out of your IPVM memberships with 2 upcoming live classes. Both...
Axis 4MP Camera Tested (M3046-V) on Sep 28, 2016
Axis has brought 4MP to its camera line in the new M3046-V, the highest resolution model in their revamped M30 series. We bought and tested this...
Hiring Spree At Aimetis 6 Months After Being Acquired on Sep 28, 2016
Aimetis was acquired in April 2016, and is now expanding almost all of their departments, hiring employees from Axis and other industry...
Hikvision Chairman Tours With Chinese Government Boss on Sep 28, 2016
Two China Communist senior officials toured Europe this summer, one was Hikvision's Chairman and the other was his boss, SASAC Director. In this...

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