We chose the manufacturers in this shootout because they are widely used and have a large number of cameras. We planned to include Avigilon, but they did not respond to our emails. There are many other camera manufacturers and third parties that make camera mounts which we are not opposed to including in the future, but needed to set limits on the initial shootout. As an example, we also bought Clinton Electronics and Novattach mounts and plan to add those later.
Question for other integrators: Why does nearly everyone sell/install (from what I've seen recently) the gooseneck/L-Bracket mounts vs just installing the camera directly to the wall? Is it for the additional component markup, or do you have an actual reason for it? I've found these brackets often limit my vertical view angle (when looking uphill), and they take additional time to install?
Mounting domes flat on the wall will have issues with rain spots. This gets really bad with build-in IR as you get a lot of reflection which makes your night image basically useless. We prefer bullets as they are easier to aim and most of the time don't have the rain spots issues.
Mounting directly to a wall allows for more rain, snow, etc. to accumulate on the camera. You also may get more sun glare, and need a sun shield. Mounting them hanging down, you have a wider range of options for the positioning of the view. It also brings the camera away from the wall some to get a better angle. Finally, many manufacturers have a standard gooseneck, etc., allowing you to replace a camera many years later without having to drill new holes in to the wall, etc. Simply replace the camera and cap.
I am sure others will describe additional benefits...
There are other reasons than the ones correctly listed above. I've also noticed that wall mounted domes have issues with their PC domes baking in the direct sunlight, which will lead to obstructed images as well as fully cracking and allowing in moisture and debris. Also, dome seals are designed and engineered to work as intended. They will fail otherwise.
While I can't speak to every dome camera ever made, I can tell you that in all the dome cameras I was ever involved in making or OEM'ing, we required identical HALT and IP testing in both the natural "dome down" position as well as in the surface wall mount position. I don't recall ever hearing that the dome seal was more likely to fail in the surface wall mount position.
But yes to Sunlight, HALT testing always showed indications that the dome life wouldn't be as long for surface wall mounted domes that suffered direct sunlight each day. Thus, I've typically recommended to dealers and end-users to use surface wall mount only for indoor mounted cameras.
Sunlight baking the dome. Some manufacturers suffer more from this than others.
You can't seal the camera and holes properly. Eventually they always seem to leak.
Sometimes hard to get the exact view you are needing.
Personally I think it looks tacky. Others may disagree but to me it makes the installer look lazy by not taking the extra time to mount properly. With that said some of the pendant mounts were extra ugly as well so mounting directly looked better.
Great article, especially the photos showing the cams and mounts side by side gives a better perspective on size and aesthetics. One mounting challenge I am often faced with is using outdoor panoramic cameras mounted flush to walls and showing too much 'horizon'. I'd love if the manufacturers offered a 'wedge' type mount to tilt the camera down about 15-20 degrees. I've found adjustable wedge mounts but they are bulky, and mounting a panoramic on a gooseneck isn't always practical as the camera config may not allow a 'ceiling' mounted scenario to provide a clean single 180-degree view.
Believe it or not, mounts play a part in which manufacturer I spec. One of the vendors in this test who I use alot automatically disqualifies themselves and loses potentially 40% in sales on just how ugly or lack of variety on the mounts they offer.
I might guess HIK Vision, a lot of their dome mounts are quite ugly, and sometimes lack of variety, or confusing. Sometimes hard to tell which camera fits which mount. The datasheet will reference one mount, which you can't find on their own website. I don't discredit them for it personally, but I could understand why some might.
Vivotek. I think their L Bracket is quite ugly. Also, its a universal bracket meaning its meant for their smaller domes also. When you put a smaller dome on it, it looks awkward. Also, the pricing on their brackets is overpriced.
I have had issues with Digital Watchdog mounts. They have a nice layout showing what combination of mounts to put together for SOME of their cameras. We were putting in a fisheye and no one including their tech support people could tell me what I needed to use to get from the camera to a pole mount correctly and without buying parts I may or may not need.
Manufacturers to be clear on what we need to buy to get this product mounted and not treat it as an afterthought. It is damn important that we dont get suprised by need extra pieces at the install, especially when delivery may take several days and the then the extra parts cut into profit if not accounted for.
I appreciate external mounts that have little to no extra "space" for critters and creatures to call home. Nothing quite like being 20' up in a bucket truck and beginning to take a mount down only to find where bees have taken up residence, and are angry you didn't knock first...
To be fair, I've also found a variety spider nests in/around mounts as well. They like to live up in the pendant shields, depending on location.
I'm interested in mounts that attach directly to gang boxes for new construction. I want to have the electricians install a box that I mount the camera to directly without needing to put anchors in sheet rock. I just recently found the Dahua PFA200G which works great for that. It looks like it is in the first picture of this article but there was no mention of it. I found it on Amazon with the name Loryta PFA200G.
U7 - thanks for the comment. That mount is Dahua's solution to their camera's non-standard hole patterns. The mount hole patterns on many Dahua cameras are not laid out in the standard electrical patterns of 4", octagon, single gang, double gang. For comparison others, like Axis, commonly include standard electrical hole patterns on their camera mount plates.
This adapter comes in two parts, an adapter plate and a cover/dress plate. The adapter plate has 4" square, octagon, single gang and double gang hole patterns as well as the non-standard hole pattern for the Dahua camera.
Below is a Dahua camera with a non-standard 3 hole pattern a 4" square electical box with the PFA200G adapter plate mounted to it, and the dress plate to the right:
Below full assembly: 4" box / adapter plate / dress plate / camera with non-standard hole patterns:
While this is a separate ~$13 component it is similarly priced to and seems better than using a box on top of an electrical box.