Mobotix S14 Flexmount examined

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jun 18, 2012

Breaking a drought of new product releases, Mobotix has announced the FlexMount S14 series [link no longer available]. The new model departs from traditional IP form factor conventions and claims to satisfy unique deployment applications. In this note, we examine this new release and compare it to similar offerings.

Overview

The most distinguishing attribute of the S14 are the dual detached 'Lens Units' connected via USB cable to the 'Network Connector' unit to compose a camera. See below for an image of the S14D with two installed imagers:

The camera is available in two standard builds: the S14M (MonoMount) and S14D (Dual Flex Mount). The MonoMount is designed with a single lens unit fixed into the Unit Connector housing, while the Dual Flex Mount features the detached lens units shown above. The S14D Flexmount features are described below:

  • Detached lens unit measures just under 2 inches in diameter
  • Two Lensing Options: L11 Hemispheric (180 deg. horizontal and 160 deg. vertical) , or single view day/night
  • 3.1 MP imager per lens unit, up to 4 FPS @ MJPEG or 20 FPS @ MxPEG
  • Proprietary cable format, mini-USB terminated lens units 
  • Integrated microphone (per lens unit)
  • Recording on-board via MicroSD, PC, or NAS
  • PoE Powered Network Connector
  • MSRP: A kit with a single lens has an MSRP of $1098 USD; kits with two lens units can run up to $1798 USD

The flexible orientation of the lens units facilitates either full 360 from a single image unit or split view, dual panoramic 180. The image below depicts both modes:

Analysis

Smaller Size: The lens units, by themselves, are extremely small for IP camera standards, less than half the diameter of even the smallest minidomes (2" vs 4"). For example, the lens units of the S14 can be discretely mounted in interior trim panels in public transit, low-profile ceilings for hemispheric surveillance of art galleries, and various covert applications.

Flexible Mounting: The small size and lightweight of the lens unit can be installed many different ways. Even the smallest domes protrude into space, whereas the profile of the S14's detached 'connector' unit means that a shallow 2" deep surface will support flush camera installation. However, the unit's cabling and 'network connector' component must still be hidden from view behind walls or panels. While the form factor is non-standard, we can see several potential issues with deployment. The maximum lens distance allowed by the mini-USB terminated proprietary cabling is 6 feet from the 'network connector' unit. Proper alignment of the imagers requires precise measurements and using non-standard mounting methods. In order to lessen the effort, Mobotix has announced several mounting accessories for the series, including a 15 degree wallmount plate, a compression-type ceiling mount, and a dual imager blister mount.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Dual Lenses: The camera has the unique ability to observe two different areas simultaneously. In addition to supporting 'hemispheric' 360 images, the lenses can be mounted front/back or altogether independent from each other. A single unit can be divided into separate rooms, although the 12' combined distance limitation could limit camera position.

Mobotix 3rd Party Limitations: Like other Mobotix cameras, the S14 is best used with Mobotix's own VMS solution. For 3rd party systems, unless Mobotix's proprietary codec (MxPEG) is supported, frame rate is only a low 4fps at 3MP. Mobotix has limited 3rd party VMS support overall and especially for its MxPEG codec.

High Cost: Mobotix's S14 is more expensive than IP minidomes. While it supports a slightly higher resolution than 1080p models, the Mobotix unit is much higher than comparable models. For example, the 3 MP Sony SNC-DH220T can be purchased online for $670, notably less than the least expensive S14 model. Small form factor minidomes like the Vivotek FD8136 and Axis M3004/5 are a fraction of the cost (at under $400 even for the Axis 1080p version). Compared to these competitors, the biggest benefit is the S14's smaller diameter (2" vs 4"+) that can be a key deciding factor for users with demanding aesthetic and camera concealment requirements.

[UPDATE: Axis has released a very similar offering. See our review and comparison to the Axis P12.]

Mobotix Promotional Video

Mobotix has released a detailed technical marketing video that is worth watching for further details:

Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Phone Camera Calculator Released on Mar 10, 2020
IPVM has released the first-ever Phone Calculator, video surveillance design software that you can use on your phone, without installing an...
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...
Glossary / Acronyms for Video Surveillance on Feb 10, 2020
This directory provides definitions and explanations for over 70 common video surveillance industry terms, including links to related IPVM...
2020 Camera Book Released on Jan 10, 2020
This is the best, most comprehensive security camera training in the world, based on our unprecedented testing. Now, all IPVM PRO Members can get...
Hidden Camera Detectors Tested on Nov 18, 2019
Hidden cameras are a growing problem as cameras become smaller, cheaper and easier to access. However, some companies claim to be able to detect...
Hanwha Announces 32MP Camera + AI Line on Sep 10, 2019
In the first rise in maximum megapixel resolution in 5 years, Hanwha has announced a 32MP / 8K camera directly competing with Avigilon's H4 30MP /...
How To See If Your Camera Uses Huawei Hisilicon Chips on Aug 30, 2019
Rarely do manufacturers disclose what SoCs (System on a Chip) they use, even though it is the core of IoT devices. Interest in this has increased...
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...
Axis Supports HD Analog on Apr 15, 2019
In 2017, Axis declared 'Everything is IP': Now, in 2019, Axis has released support for HD analog, with their new encoders.  Why the change?...
Spring 2019 50+ New Products Directory on Apr 08, 2019
We are compiling a list of new products for Spring 2019 and have over 50 already. Contrast to Fall 2018 New Products Directory and Spring 2018...

Most Recent Industry Reports

USA's Feevr Thermal Temperature System Examined on Mar 31, 2020
This US company has burst on to the scene, brashly naming itself 'feevr' and branding itself as a "COVID 19 - AI BASED NON CONTACT THERMAL...
JCI Coronavirus Cuts on Mar 31, 2020
JCI has made coronavirus cuts, the company told employees in an email that IPVM has reviewed. Inside this note, we examine the cuts made, the...
Add Door Operators To Fight Coronavirus on Mar 31, 2020
IPVM recommends that integrators advocate and end-users consider adding door operators to fight the spread of coronavirus. This delivers...
Video Surveillance Business 101 on Mar 30, 2020
This report explains the fundamental elements of the video surveillance business for those new to the industry. This is part of our Video...
FDA Gives Guidance on 'Coronavirus' Thermal Fever Detection Systems on Mar 30, 2020
The US FDA has given IPVM guidance on the use of thermal fever detection systems being marketed for coronavirus, as an explosion of such devices...
Worsen: Integrators Hit Even Harder By Coronavirus on Mar 30, 2020
Integrator's problems have worsened over the past 2 weeks, according to new IPVM survey results. Inside this report, we share statistics and...
Pivot3 Mass Layoffs on Mar 27, 2020
Pivot3 has conducted mass layoffs, the culmination of grand hopes, a quarter of a billion dollars in VC funding, and multiple failures to gain...
Athena CEO Criticizes 'Deplorable' 'Nitpicking', IPVM Refutes on Mar 27, 2020
UPDATE: NBC News Report Cites IPVM On Coronavirus 'Fever Detection' Cameras Athena Security's CEO Lisa Falzone has strongly objected to IPVM's...
Hikvision Admits Sanctions Harming Its Financial Performance on Mar 27, 2020
While Hikvision initially downplayed being sanctioned for human rights abuses, the company is now admitting a significant impact in a new PRC...