Multi-Imager Camera Guide

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 02, 2018

Multi-imager usage continues to grow, with most manufacturers now offering at least one model, making them an attractive option for covering wide areas compared to multiple fixed cameras traditionally used, such as this ~200' wide parking lot:

In this guide, we review key issues impacting multi-imager camera selection, including:

  • Multi-Imager Basics
  • 180° Vs. 360° Vs. 270° Models
  • Separate Streams Vs. Stitched Views
  • Stitched View Aspect Ratio Issues
  • Rotated Imagers vs. Standard
  • Multi-Imager Licensing
  • Integrated IR
  • Advantages/Disadvantages Vs. Repositionable Multi-Imagers
  • Image Details Vs. Fisheye Cameras

For reference, users should also see our Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Guide and Fisheye Panoramic Camera Guide

*****-****** ***** ********* ** grow, **** **** ************* now ******** ** ***** one *****, ****** **** an ********** ****** *** covering **** ***** ******** to ******** ***** ******* traditionally ****, **** ** this ~***' **** ******* lot:

** **** *****, ** review *** ****** ********* multi-imager ****** *********, *********:

  • *****-****** ******
  • ***° **. ***° **. 270° ******
  • ******** ******* **. ******** Views
  • ******** **** ****** ***** Issues
  • ******* ******* **. ********
  • *****-****** *********
  • ********** **
  • **********/************* **. ************** *****-*******
  • ***** ******* **. ******* Cameras

*** *********, ***** ****** also *** ***************** *****-****** ****** *************** ********* ****** *****

[***************]

Multi-Imager ******

*****-****** ******* *** ******** image ******* ** * single ******* (**** ***** dome, *** ********* ******) to ***** * **** area. ******* ** ***** a ****** **** **** a ***** **** ***** of ****, ******* ** fisheye ******, ***** ******** imagers *** * ****** angle ** ****, ~**° or **° ** ***** a ***° ** ***° area.

***** *** ******* ***** of *****-****** ******, **** varying ******** ******, ********* 180°, *** **** ******* type ** ***** ****** camera, ********* **** ******* to **** * **** area:

** **** ** ***° models, ***** **** *** directly ******* ** * fisheye ******, ****** ** some ***** **** * deadspot ******** ***** *** camera. ***° ****** **** become **** ******* **** time, **** **** ************* favoring******************** *********** *******.

*******, **** ***** ******* are ******* ** * 270° *************, **** ** the ***** ******, ************ intended *** ****** ***** applications. ***** ******* ***** coverage ** * ***° FOV (*.*., *** ***** of * ******** **** parking ***) ** **** as *** **** ******** beneath *** ******, ***** below. ***° ***** ******* are *** ***** ****** style.

Separate ******* **. ******** *****

***** ****** ******* **** historically **** ******** ******* for **** ******, ***** must ** ******** ****** in ***** ** *** VMS ** ******* *** full *** ** *** view, *.*., **** *** view:

*******, **** ***** ******, such ** *** ******* IR ***** ****** ** Pelco ****** ****** ******* together ** ******* *** panorama ** * ****** stream. *** ******* ******, for *******, ******* * single ********* ******, **** here:

******** ******* *** ********** more ****** ** **** allow *** **** ******** to ** ********* ** once, ******* ** ****** from ****** ** ******. However, **** ****** ** a ******* ****** **** other *******, **** *** appear ***** ***/** ******* due ** ***** ***-******** wide ****** *****, **** here:

*****-****** ******* ** *** support *** ********* ******** nor ** **** ******* any *********. *** ***** from **** ** '****' like *** *********** ******. The **** ********** ** that **** *** ***** is '********', ** *** a *** ***** ****** ratio. ***** **** *** cause ******** ** *** layouts, ***** ***-******** ** easier ** *******.

Standard **. ******* *******

***** **** *****-****** ******* use ******* ** ***** standard ******** (*:*/**:*), * few *** ****** ****** imagers **° ** ****** a ****** ****** ***** (***** ********,****** ***-*****,********* ******).

**** ******** *** *** drawbacks ******** ** ***** using ******** ********:

  • ***** ***** *******:******** ** ******* ***** use ***** ******* ** their ****** ********, ***** rotating *** ******* ******* ~45% ***** ****** *** foot. ***** ****** ****** of **** **** *********** pixel ******* ***** ** the "*** (*******)" ******* by ***** *******.
  • ****** ***** *******:************, *** ***** ******* of ***** ******* *** skewed ******** ** ***** using ******* ******** ********, resulting ** ***** ***** of ***** *******' ***** wasted ** *** ** ceiling ******** ** ******, shown *****.

Multi ****** *********

******* *****-****** ******* ******* no *********, ****** ******* panoramics, *** *********** ** typically ***** **** *** licensing ** ******. *** VMS '****' *** *****-****** as ** ********** ** multiple ****** *****, ******* to * * ******* encoder.

*** **** ***** ** variance ** *********. **** VMSes **** ****** * single ******* ******* ** is ****** ** *** camera, ** ****** **** a ****** ******* *** IP *******/*** *******. ****** charge * ******* *** each ****** ****** ***** the ****** ******** ******** imagers/feeds.

** ****, ****** *****-****** models *** **** * single *** *******. *******, it ** ********* ** check **** ***'* ********* VMS ******* ******* **** can ******** ***** ** hundreds ** *******.

Integrated **

********** ** *****-****** ****** have ****** **** ******, but *** ***** * small ******** (***** ** expect ** ******** **** time). *******, ********** ** models ****** ********** ***-** multi-imagers ** *** *** light *****, ** ***** in **** ****** **** our **** ** ******** ********:

Repositionable ***** *******

******* **** ****** *********** in *****-****** ******* ** repositionable *****. ***** ******* allow ***** ** **** imagers ** **** ***** their *****, ** * typical *** ** *** view ** *** *****, such ** ******* ************* or ***** ***** ********* better ******* ** ******** points.

**** ***** ************ ************* the ***** ** *** Avigilon ** ***** ****** camera.

************** **** ****** *** less ****** **** ***** lens ******, ****** **********, with ******* ***********,********,****,******, ************* *********.

Advantages/Disadvantages **. ************** *****-*******

******** ** ************** *****-****** cameras, ***** **** ****** have *** *** **********:

  • ******* *****:****** ***** ****** ****** which **** ***** *** focused, ***** **** ******** aim *** ***** **** individual ****** ** ************** models, ****** ** ************ time.
  • ******* ****:************** ****** *** ****** than ***** ****** ****** and *** *** ** preferable *************.

************** ******' *** ********* versus ***° *** ***° multi ******* ** ***********, as **** *** ** configured ** ***** *** shaped ***** ***** *** not ** ******** ****** by ***/*** ******.

*** **** ** ***** issues, *** ***************** *****-****** ****** *****.

Image ******* **. ******* *******

**** *********** **** ***** panoramic ********, ***** ****** carefully ******** *** ************, as ****** ****** *** likely ****** ****** ** multi ****** ******.

*** *******, *** ***** below ***** *** ******** detail ******* * ****** imager ******* ******, * 360° *****-****** (**° *** imager), *** * ***°. With *** ******* ~**' from *** ******* ******* of *** ******* *** legible ***** ** *** test ***** *** ******* less ** *** ******* model.

**** *** ******* ** ~30' **** *** *******, the ******* ********* ******** no ****** ******* **********, while *** ***° *****-****** still ******** *** ******* lines ** *** ***** and **** ***** ******* details. ** **** ********, the ***° *****-****** ***** provides ************ ******* ** the *******.

*** **** ** ******* performance *******, *** ********** ********* ****** *****.

Comments (10)

Great Article

I am a fan of the repositionable style. Particularly with each head have a varifocal lens. Corner mount 270 degree, each with a wide or narrow FOV are versatile. Also at "T" hallway locations. They are bigger however not 2 or 3 times bigger. The prewire is easier .... They are sometimes not as movable as one would like however that is the size tradeoff.

rbl

For reference, also see our Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Guide.

I would say that some of the repositionable models are 2-3 times bigger than 180/360 models. The Hanwha PNM models and Axis P3707 are quite wide. The Avigilon HD Multi Sensor and Arecont Omni models not so much. They're not much bigger than other multi-imager domes.

This is great stuff.  In your comparison between fisheye and 180/360 multi-imagers, what models are used?

That was a Hanwha PNF-9010R for the fisheye, and Pelco Optera for the 180/360 examples. 

Which were the fixed 180 degree cameras shown in the image?

Ethan,

Do you have any bit rate statistics for these cams?

One would like to think of them as simply X number of single cams, but real life does not support that notion completely.

Hi

Personal experience. Multi imager that don't stitch are useful. No doubt. T For a camera that calls itself "panoramic", stitching should be standard. It shouldn't be the exception.

 I believe we all have been in situation where the customer expected stitched images when buying "Panoramic" ... That disappointment however slight will result in lost sales at one point or another.

On that is there a list of Panoramic cameras that perform stitching? VMS that can do stitching? Those lists would be much welcome as the manufacturers are very obtuse about stitching...

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Which Multi-Imager Cameras Do Panoramic Stitching?

Looking for advice on recent models of multi-imagers or panoramic cams. Application is for only three cameras:

#1. Inside a typical warehouse facility (about 20-22 high) where customer wants to be able to view three high bay doors as well as some of the interior space of the warehouse itself. There are very high stacks of products being stored, which would block the view into the deeper parts of the ware house space, which they are ok with. They are mainly concerned with seeing activity at the high bay doors.

So, wanting to only mount one camera (they'd prefer a dome) to capture perhaps a 50-60' wide FOV with the cam mounted about 10'-12' high and about 20' away from the closest high bay door is the challenge along with the definite need for a true WDR since the lighting changes very quickly when one or more of the high bay doors are open.

#2. Similar to #1 except there are no high bay doors but a single interior sliding pair of doors that can be opened into the outer warehouse above. They just want a single camera mounted up on a catwalk beam about 18' high. The camera would be about 35' away from the sliding double doors, which are open most of the time and about 15' wide when fully opened. This overall space is about 40'x40'.

#3. Exterior dome camera mounted above the main entry door, a single metal door used mostly be delivery truck drivers to enter the warehouse. Has the typical metal industrial stairway assembly that gets you up to about 3' off the ground. They want to capture who enters this door as well as view the parking lot outside and also hope to catch a view of another employee-only door that is about 20' away on the same exterior wall.

Lots of sun/weather and vandal type would be preferable since this door is around the rear of the building.

I am trying to avoid the NDAA-sanctioned brands since we do a lot of access control work for DOD contractors. This particular customer is not affected by NDAA though.

Thanks in advance for advice on possible cams that fit the bill with cost in mind.

Hello UI2,

This is Craig with Avigilon's inside sales team. After reading through your requirements, all of these scenarios are feasible with our camera capabilities. Also, the NDAA does not prohibit the procurement of any of our Avigilon products or technology. I'd be happy to discuss further your scenario and provide you with more information and physically see the solution. I can be contacted at craig.vigen@avigilon.com.

Here you can read more about Avigilon and the NDAA: National Defense Authorization Act - Motorola Solutions

On an initial read of your requirements, I would strongly suggest you look at the Axis P3807-PVE. It doesn't sound like you're looking for a re-positionable camera so a standard 180-degree view would work, and that's the best I've personally found. At the distances you're referring to, you'll still get good pixel density as well to be able to see what is going on.

As a point of reference, the WDR on the P3807 is the primary reason I would suggest it. I've done a shootout of a few different 180-degree cameras and that has by far the best I've found in real-world settings.

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