Panasonic New Integrated IR Camera Reviewed

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Apr 10, 2012

Panasonic is the latest manufacturer to jump on the built-in IR bandwagon with the introduction of the WV-SW316L outdoor camera. This camera promises improved nighttime performance without the additional expense and complexity of external illuminators. In this update, we look at this new model's features and compare to competitors Sony and Axis.

Overview

The WV-SW316L is a a pre-packaged box camera (IP66 housing/sunshield/camera in one), with the following features:

  • 1/3" MOS image sensor.
  • 3.1-10mm varifocal lens.
  • True day/night with mechanical IR cut filter.
  • Built-in IR LEDs with specified range of 15m (~50'), dynamically adjust based on object distance from the camera, to avoid overexposure of subjects.
  • High profile H.264 as well as MJPEG, MPEG-4.
  • 30 FPS specified at maximum resolution, 1.3MP (1280 x 960).

The WV-SW316L will be available Q2 2012, with an MSRP of $1,690, and an estimated street price around $1,200, based on available models' MSRP and online pricing. The following image illustrates the camera's all-in-one construction and IR LEDs:

Competitive Comparison

The SW316L is a catch-up release for Panasonic. Other major manufacturers, such as Sony, Arecont, and most recently, Axis, have each released a range of models with built-in IR illuminators, in either dome or bullet form factors, versus Panasonic's single model. Like Panasonic, both Sony and Axis's models feature "smart" IR, which adjusts as subjects move toward or away from the camera. Axis also allows for adjustment of the IR coverage pattern to match the set field of view. Sony, Arecont, and Panasonic do not offer this.

This video demonstrates the dynamic adjustment of the IR illuminator:

The WV-SW316l's pricing places it in the same range as the Sony SNC-CH180, around $1,200 online, and above Arecont's AV1325IR bullet and Axis' new P series -L model domes, $800 and $950, respectively. Both Panasonic and Sony specify that their models feature WDR capability, however. Panasonic's use of H.264 high profile may also provide modest bandwidth and storage savings.

Recommendations

While built-in IR illuminators may be useful in some instances, users should beware of two common issues which make them less than perfect for all applications:

  • Overstatement of range: As we've found in our testing, manufacturers commonly overstate IR illuminator range. In some cases, range is as little as 50% of specifications. Users should be aware of this before counting on illuminators to fill the camera's field of view.
  • Short range: Relative to external illuminators, built-in IR provides limited range. External illuminators may provide hundreds of feet of range across a wide field of view, though at a higher price, normally hundreds of dollars. 
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on IR

Wyze AI Analytics Tested - Beat Axis and Hikvision on Jul 17, 2019
$20 camera disruptor Wyze has released free person detection deep learning analytics to all of their users, claiming users will "Only get notified...
Axis ARTPEC-7 P1375-E Camera Tested on Jul 12, 2019
Axis claims the new P1375-E box camera with ARTPEC-7 chip delivers "clear, sharp images in any lighting condition." But how well does it do? We...
Last Chance - Camera Course Summer 2019 on Jul 11, 2019
Last day to register is Thursday, July 11, 2019. This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology...
FLIR Saros Visible / Thermal Analytic Camera Tested on Jun 26, 2019
FLIR's Saros claims "accurate, actionable alerts" with a combination of 1080p visible and dual thermal sensors along with IR and white light...
Directory of 59 Video Surveillance Startups on Jun 25, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
Hikvision ColorVu Camera Tested on Jun 24, 2019
Hikvision says their new ColorVu line captures "vivid chromatic images in darkness", with unconventional white light illuminations whereas most...
Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Avigilon 32MP and 12MP H4 Multisensor Cameras Tested on Jun 11, 2019
Avigilon has released their H4 Multi-Sensor line of cameras claiming "broad scene coverage and high image detail" We bought and tested the...
Vivotek 20MP Multi-Imager Tested on May 30, 2019
Vivotek has released their latest repositionable multi-imager camera, the MA9321-EHTV, a 20 MP model claiming "Supreme Night Visibility", "Optimal...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Wyze Disruptive AI Analytics Tested on Jul 17, 2019
$20 camera disruptor Wyze has released free person detection deep learning analytics to all of their users, claiming users will "Only get notified...
Anyvision Aims For 2022 Revenue of $1 Billion on Jul 17, 2019
Only 3 video surveillance manufacturers do a billion dollars or more in annual revenue - Hikvision, Dahua, and Axis. Now, Anyvision plans to join...
HD Analog vs IP Guide on Jul 16, 2019
For years, HD resolution and single cable signal/power were IP camera advantages, with analog cameras limited to much lower resolution and...
How To Troubleshoot Wiegand Reader Problems - Inverted Wiring on Jul 16, 2019
Wiegand is the dominant method of connecting access readers, but problems can arise for installers. In fact, one of the most difficult reader...
ZeroEyes Gun Detection Startup on Jul 16, 2019
A gun detection video analytics startup, ZeroEyes, is being led by a group of 6 former Navy SEALs, aiming to "save lives" by using AI to assist...
Motorola Acquires Watchguard, Adds to Vigilant And Avigilon on Jul 15, 2019
2 years ago, Motorola had no position nor relevancy to video surveillance. Now, they own major video surveillance, LPR and body camera providers...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Jul 15, 2019
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video surveillance company, ever, ranging from the WSJ, the Financial Times, Reuters,...
Vivotek Trend Micro Cyber Security Camera App Tested on Jul 15, 2019
Vivotek and Trend Micro are claiming five million blocked attacks on IP cameras, with their jointly developed app for Vivotek cameras. This new...
Beware African 50,000 IP Camera Contract Scam on Jul 12, 2019
A “Nigerian Prince” scam for the video surveillance market is going around. You, or at least we, could be lucky enough to be the single bidder for...
Axis ARTPEC-7 P1375-E Camera Tested on Jul 12, 2019
Axis claims the new P1375-E box camera with ARTPEC-7 chip delivers "clear, sharp images in any lighting condition." But how well does it do? We...

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