May 2018 Camera Course

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Mar 16, 2018

Our next course starts on May 8th. Register now for the Spring 2018 Camera Course

This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing.

Lots of manufacturer training exists but none it really teaches the underlying technologies and tradeoffs of current 2018 camera technology. This IPVM course solves this.

What the IPVM Camera Course Covers

In 12 sessions, we cover surveillance cameras extensively.

(1) Basic Lenses

The course starts with the fundamentals - lens length, FoV/AoV, varifocal vs fixed focal and focusing - to make sure everyone understands how to use, calculate and plan coverage area.

(2) Advance Lenses

We then proceed to F stops, DoF, lens irises, and the related shutter speed so attendees understand the impact on low light performance and image quality.

(3) Image Quality

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With lensing covered, we turn to resolution and compression, breaking down quantizations levels, quality tradeoffs and measuring image quality variances.

(4) Streaming

Covering codecs (H.265, H.264, MJPEG, etc.) and streaming modes (MBR, VBR, CBR), we explain the tradeoffs between bandwidth, image quality and network impact.

(5) WDR / FPS / AGC

Here we teach the difference between 'true' and 'fake' WDR, show the impact of frame rate increases (up to 120fps) and explain the critical role and side effects of gain control.

(6) Low Light

Covers D/N, IR, Integrated IR, Smart IR, 'super' low light and thermal, contrasting these options and teaching the pros and cons of each one.

(7) Bandwidth

Reveals one of the biggest underappreciated and misunderstood elements of video surveillance, we break down the 8 key drivers of bandwidth variation, explaining how bandwidth can vary 10x or more across cameras, even with the same resolution and frame. We conclude by teaching the right and wrong ways to calculate bandwidth / storage.

(8) PPF

We teach how to use PPF / PPM correctly, what mistakes to avoid and how to incorporate this to improve the quality of your designs.

(9) Form Factors

Covers IP vs AHD vs CVI vs TVI vs SDI plus domes, minidomes, boxes, bullets, PTZs, and cubes, plus IK and IP ratings, explaining the tradeoffs and key reasons for using one vs the other.

(10) Panoramic vs PTZs

Panoramics and PTZs are two of the most common choices for covering wide areas. With panoramics now reaching 10+ MP, and adding IR, we contrast when and where to use them vs HD speeddomes. Finally, we explain and contrast the differences between fisheye, panomorph and multi-imager panoramics.

(11) ONVIF / API & SDKs

Learn what API and SDKs are, going through practical examples of camera and VMS manufacturer's APIs. Plus, understand ONVIF S, G, C and Q profiles, breaking down the strengths and limitations of these offerings.

(12) Camera Selection

In our capstone session, we pull all of the training together, showing you how to select and use different camera technologies in common scenarios including parking lots, offices, hallways, entrances, license plates and more.

Who Should and Should NOT Take this Course

Even if you have lots of hands on experience with surveillance cameras and manufacturer training, you should take this course. It teaches cameras at much greater depth than what regular field work or product specific training provides.

However, if you have no experience with IP cameras, you should not take this course unless you can commit to spending 10 to 15 hours per week studying. We have had many people take this course without experience and do very well, but only if they dedicate sufficient time to studying. You cannot pass this course simply by reading a few hours the night before the exam.

Course Calendar

The Camera course will meet live online, starting May 8th for 12 times over 6 weeks (Tuesday and Thursday for 1 hour from 1pm - 2pm ET (17:00 - 18:00 UTC).

Recorded Sessions

All sessions are recorded and posted for viewing on-demand anytime the same day the session is held.


At the end of classes, you will take a comprehensive final exam including multiple choice and essay questions. If you pass, you will become IPMVU Camera certified (see list of IPVM Certified Professionals).

Need to Be A Member

To take the course, you need to become an IPVM member. Membership gives you full access to course books + 5,000 reports + 550 tests + the Camera Calculator and many more resources.


Register now for the Spring 2018 Camera Course (Save $50 Early Registration).

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