Focusing Panoramic Cameras

By: Ethan Ace, Published on May 05, 2013

Focusing panoramic cameras is really important. Indeed, after testing 9 different panoramic cameras across many manufacturers, we believe this must be done manually for each camera. This might seem unnecessary as panoramic cameras are, after all, fixed focal lenses. However, though all the cameras in our tests shipped focused by the factory (with the exception of ImmerVision, sold as an accessory), we found it necessary to refocus nearly every one to maximize image quality.

Since panoramic cameras have lower pixel density by nature, due to their wide FOV, fine focus issues may be difficult to spot. Worse, because of the FOV, even being slightly out of focus will have a large negative impact on image quality. For these reasons, we recommend users always refocus panoramic cameras. 

Panoramic Camera Focus Overview

The specific mechanism by which panoramic cameras are focused varies from camera to camera. However, standard features for different form factors exist:

  • In box style cameras, focusing is performed much the same as with a standard non-fisheye lens, by turning a focus ring and/or iris ring (for manual iris lenses). ImmerVision also includes set screws for centering the lens of the camera imager, a feature not found in other lenses.
  • In minidome cameras, focus is typically performed by turning the lens. Some models, such as the Axis M3007 attach a ring to the lens to make focusing easier, while others require turning the small lens directly. Some may also include special tools which are required to turn the lens for focusing, and may not be focused by hand.

Some cameras include a gimbal mount to account for off-level surfaces, as well. We look at all of these features in this screencast:

Focusing Procedure

The focus procedure for fisheye cameras varies slightly from traditional cameras. These are the key points to remember:

  • Dewarp for focusing: We recommend not focusing using the warped fisheye overview, but instead using a dewarped view, preferably the view style which will normally be used (dewarped, quad, panorama, etc.). Users may find it necessary to focus from the fisheye view on occasion. We found it easier to focus some 5 and 10 megapixel cameras in the web interface, for example, because their high resolution was causing some frame drop which made fine focusing difficult.
  • Focus edges: It is important to focus using a target closer to the edge of the image, since this area suffers from the greatest reduction in resolution due to dewarping.
  • Focus center: Though a target at the edge should be used for focusing, we recommend using a target closer to center as well, and adjusting focus if need be. We found in some cases that focus had to be adjusted somewhere in between the two to produce the best all around image.

 

1 report cite this report:

4K Panoramic Panasonic Tested on Mar 25, 2015
Panasonic has released their first 4K cameras, and surprisingly, they are panoramic [link no longer available], which they tout include high...
Comments (3) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Integrated IR Camera Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 30, 2020
The best and worst cameras tested in this IPVM shootout showed major differences in quality and performance. While many view IR as being a...
FLIR A Series Temperature Screening Cameras Tested on Jun 04, 2020
FLIR is one of the biggest names in thermal and one of the most conservative. While rivals have marketed fever detection, FLIR has stuck to EST...
FLIR Screen-EST Screening Software Tested on Jun 30, 2020
In our FLIR A Series Test, the cameras' biggest drawback was their lack of face detection, requiring manual adjustment when screening each...
Directory of 162 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Jul 09, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers to help you see and research what options are available. There are...
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...
Masks Cause Major Facial Recognition Problems on Feb 24, 2020
Coronavirus is spurring an increase in the use of medical masks, which new IPVM test results show cause major problems for facial recognition...
Cheap Camera Problems at Night on Feb 19, 2020
Cheap cameras generally have problems at night, despite the common perception that integrated IR makes cameras mostly the same, according to new...
Facial Recognition 101 on Mar 18, 2020
Facial recognition interest, use and fear is increasing. This guide aims to teach you the fundamentals of facial recognition. Inside we...
IR Surveillance Camera Guide on Feb 06, 2020
Integrated infrared (IR) cameras are everywhere in 2020, but not all IR is created equal, with many differences in coverage, overexposure,...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the basics of cameras and features used in 2020. In this report, we...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Remove Dahua and Hikvision Equipment "Immediately" Or Else Banned From US Government Contracts on Jul 10, 2020
The US government has directed contractors to remove covered equipment, such as Dahua, Hikvision, and Huawei Hisilicon products, "immediately." If...
ZeroEyes Presents Firearm Detection Video Analytics on Jul 09, 2020
ZeroEyes presented its Firearm detection Video Analytics system at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from ZeroEyes...
Directory of 162 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Jul 09, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers to help you see and research what options are available. There are...
Clinton Public View Monitor (PVM) Mask Detection Tested on Jul 09, 2020
Face mask detection, or more specifically not wearing one, is expanding amidst the pandemic. Clinton Electronics has added this capability to their...
These Florida Real Estate Agents Are Now Selling "SafeCheck USA" Temperature Detectors on Jul 09, 2020
The "Kakon Brothers", William and Nathan, are self-described "south Florida Power Agents specializing in Luxury Real Estate" who "have closed over...
Avigilon ACC Cloud Tested on Jul 08, 2020
Avigilon merged Blue and ACC, adding VSaaS features to its on-premise VMS, offering remote video and health monitoring that was previously limited...
Hikvision's India Dominance Faces Threat on Jul 08, 2020
While Hikvision has become a dominant video surveillance provider in India, recent tension between the governments of India and the PRC is...
The US Fight Over Facial Recognition Explained on Jul 08, 2020
The controversy around facial recognition has grown significantly in 2020, with Congress members and activists speaking out against it while video...
Sperry West / Alibaba Tablet Temperature Measurement Tested on Jul 07, 2020
In April, we ordered a ~$500 temperature tablet from Alibaba. We set it to the side while doing 18 other temperature screening tests but, after...
Facial Recognition: Weak Sales, Anti Regulation, No Favorite, Says Security Integrators on Jul 07, 2020
While facial recognition has gained greater prominence, a new IPVM study of security systems integrators shows weak sales, opposition to...