Panasonic Body Camera Tested

By: John Scanlan, Published on Mar 16, 2016

Bodyworn camera use continues to increase, with more police departments mandating it and the US pledging $75M for new cameras.

In this report, we share test results of the Panasonic Arbitrator BWC, part of Panasonic's line of evidence capture products (also including in-car video and evidence management).

We wore it and shot it, testing while walking and running:

And shot it out against conventional IP cameras to see how it performs, including:

  • Full light, low light, and WDR scenes
  • Motion stabilization when walking and running
  • Ease of use for recording
  • Importing/exporting video

******** ****** *** ********* to ********, **** **** police *********** ********* ** and *** ********** $*** *** *** cameras.

** **** ******, ** share **** ******* ** the********* ********** ***, **** ***********'* **** ** ******** capture ********(**** ********* **-*** ***** and ******** **********).

** **** ** *** shot **, ******* ***** walking *** *******:

*** **** ** *** against ************ ** ******* to *** *** ** performs, *********:

  • **** *****, *** *****, and *** ******
  • ****** ************* **** ******* and *******
  • **** ** *** *** recording
  • *********/********* *****

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

Note: ***** **** **** ****** ****

** ** ********* ** note **** **** ** our ***** ********** ** a **** **** ******, and ********* ** ****** state ************ *** ** compares ** ***** ******. In *** ******, ** we **** **** **** worn *******, ** **** include *********** ********.

Summary **** ********

******** ** *********** '***** infrastructure' *** *******, ******** camera ********** ** *** more *******. ******** ***** is **** ** ** event (******* ****, ******, interview, ***.) ** ******, with * **** ******* likely ********** ******** ***** per *****, **** ** which **** ** ********** and ********, **** ** a ******** **** ****** or ******, *** ****** for **** ******* . Even * ***** ********** could *********** ******** ******** of ***** ** ******** video *** ****, **** large *********** ****** ** the ********* ** **** of *********.

******** ** *********** ** cameras, ***** ******* *** average ** ***** ******* in **** ***** *** WDR *** **** ** low *****. ****, **********'* proprietary ***** ****** ** not ********** **** ***** party ******* ******* ********* clips ** **** *******, a ******* ******* ** clips **** ** ****** one ** * ****.

Pricing *** *******

**** *** * ****** camera *** ** $*,*** USD. **** *** ******** the ******, ****, *** charging *****.

*** ********** ******** ***** is **** ** * recurring *******, **** ** MSRP ** $*** *** year *** * *******. Discounts *** ********* ** 25 ******* *** *****. This ******* ******** *** client *** ****** ******** and *** ******* *******, as **** ********* *******.

********* ***** ********** ******* integrators, **** ** ****** sales, *** ************ ***** of ******* ********* ** cameras.

Physical ********

*** ********** *** ** about *** **** ** a **** ** *****, with *** ****, **********, and ***** ****** *** snapshot ******* ** *** front ****. ******** ** the ***** ****** ************ (LED/vibration), ******** ********, *** clip **************, **** *** status ********** ** *** top.

** ****** *** ******** features ** *** ****** here:

*** ****** ******** * clip *** ******** ** shirts/uniforms, **** *****. **** clip ******** ** ******** bracket ***** ** ******** to ********* *** ****** against *** ******'* **** or **** ***** *** prevent ******** *** ****** movement (**** ** *** right ** *** ****** in *** **** *****). The ******'* *********** *** be ******* ** **** clip ** ***** ********* screw *****, ** ** may ** ******* ** a ****, *** *******, by ******** *** ****.

Image *******

** **** *** *** Arbitrator ** **** ***** and *** ***** ****** to ******* *** ****** to ******* ** ******* for *********, ***** ************ *** ******* *****, *****-*******.

** **** *****, *** Arbitrator ******** ********** **** detail **** *** **** WV-SFV611L, **** ****** **** and **** ********* *****. Our ******* ** ****** recognizable, *******.

*******, ** *** *****, around * ***, *** Arbitrator *** ******** ** usable ****** ** *** subject, ***** *** ******* still ******** ****** ******, even **** ** ***:

*******, ** * **** dark *****, *** *** cannot *** *** **** chart ** ***, ********* essentially * ***** *****, while *** ******* ***** provides ** ***** ** our ******* *** *** first **** ** *** test *****.

Wide ******* *****

******* ***** ** *** Arbitrator *** ** ******* compared ** * ******* Panasonic ** ******. *****, we **** ******** *********** of *** ****** ** our ******* ****** ** outside ****.

******* ******* *** *******, though ******* ****** *** in *** *** (****), and **** **** ** the ******* ***** ******* into *** ********. ** contrast, ***** ******* ******* in *** **-******* (*****), the ******* ** ******** visible ******* *** **** door ** **** ** the ****** ******** **** where *** ******** *** lost ** *** ***.

Image *************

** *** *****, ** found **** *** ********** BWC's ********** ***** ************* had ******** ****** **** the ****** *** ******* or ******* *******.

*** *******, **** ******* at * ****** *****, there ** ****** ** the ***** *******, ***** is ****** ****** ** shakiness.

**** ** * **** run, ***** *** ****** is ******** *************, ***** is ********** ****** (****** moderately ******* *** ** movement).

Arbitrator **** *** ******

*** ********** **** *** Client ** *** **** user ********* *** *** BWC, ********** ******* *** functions, ********** ** **** video *** ******** ** further ****** *****.

*********** *****

***** *** ********, *** Back *** ****** ** used *** *********** *****. This *** ** ************ in ******* ****, ********* automatically ** ********:

  • ****** ***:********, ***** *** ******* to * ****** ****** via *** (***** *** or *** *********** ****** cable). ****** ***** ** offload **** ******* **.
  • **-*** *******:******, **** *********** *** use * **-*** ******** dock ***** ******** ** the ******* *** *** 3.0. ******** **** ***** camera ** *** *** of *** ***** *** video ** ********* *************.
  • ********:*******, ***** *** **** be ********** ********* **** in ***** ** *** server's ******** ******* (** Arbitrator **-*** ***** ******). This ** **** ********** as ** **** ************ is ********, *** ******* battery ****.

*** ****** **** ****** by ********** **** *** policy. ********* ****** ** used, *** ******* ** similar, ***** ** **** video *****:

*********

***** ********** **** *** own ***********, *********, ***** format, ** **** ** exported ** **** ******* for ******** ** ******** players. ********** ****** ******* in *** *** *** formats, **** *****. **** one **** *** ** exported ** * ****. Note **** ********* **** not ********* ** ********* authenticate **** ****** *****, requiring ***** ********** *********** player *******.

***********/******* *****

****** *** ** ****** with **** ********** *** case *******, ****** **** camera ******* ** *** field ** *** ******** after *** ****. ***** tags ****** ** *** type ** ******** *** recording ****** ** (***, force ****, ***** *********, etc.), ** **** ** the **** ******. **** carry ******* *** **** BWC ***** *** ********** in-car **********, *** ** any ******** *****, ** well (******** *****).

*********

********** ******* **** ********* VMSes ** **** ** is ******** ** ** used ** * **** evidence **********/********** ******. ** automatically ****** ***** **** its *** *******, *** clips **** ***** ******* may ** ****** ** well ***** *** ****** feature, ** **** ** other ***** *** *********.

*** *******, *********** *** tag * *** ******** with *** **** ******, and ******* ******** *** in-car *****. ****, ***** interviewing *** *******, ***** and ***** ********** *** be ******** *** **** to *** **** ****. Photos ** ****** ** vehicles ** ********, ** well ** ********* ********** statements **** ********* *** all ** ********, ** well.

** *********** ********* ** this *****:

*******/***** *****

*** ****** *** ** the ****** ******** *******, essentially ****** ***** *****. This ****** ***** ** see *** *** ******** files *** ****, ** ensure ****** ***** ** custody *** **** ** tampering. * ****** ****** below ***** * **** exporting ***** ** *** and *** ********** ***:

*************

*** ********** ************** ****** allows ******** ******* ** settings *** ***, ********* classifications *** **** ****** formats, ***** *** *****-**** and ****-**** ******* *** archiving, **** ****** **********, and ****. *** *******, departments *** **** ***** from ***** ******* ** archive ***** * *****, or **** ******* *************** or ********* ***** ***** on *** ****'* ********.

** ******* * ***** overview ** **** ****** in **** *****:

Comments (7)

Very interesting report. I am curious what are some of the benefits, other than the Arbitrator software, of this purpose built camera when compared to the latest GoPro 4K which is a third of the cost?

The software is the benefit. Imagine managing the video from 1500 cars, 300 motorcycles, and 2500 body cams. The management is the challenge, not the video.

The major practical limitations on the GoPro are battery life and image quality.

GoPro estimates about two hours of recording battery life for the Hero4, tops. There are extended battery packs, but they effectively double the size of the GoPro (or more). Keeping it turned on on standby won't use so much battery but you still aren't going to see an eight hour shift covered.

The GoPro does not have image stabilization. Arbitrator does. Even walking at a normal pace with something attached to you, it's going to move a lot.

I haven't used a Hero4 personally but low light and WDR in the Hero3 were awful. Arbitrator isn't great compared to mainstream cameras but the Hero was worse. Maybe that's better in the 4.

Video is encrypted in the Panasonic camera from recording to export. GoPro records to standard MP4.

And finally, having worn a GoPro and used one off and on for a couple years, I can say that wearing it is pretty bulky and unwieldy. It's like to come off or get knocked off easily in a scuffle. The BWC's mounting clip is pretty substantial. And the remote camera, if you choose, is low profile. Both much less likely to get knocked around.

The major practical limitations on the GoPro are battery life and image quality.

On paper at least the new EZVIZ Five plus looks better than the Hero 4 Black for this application, since it has:

  • Longer battery life
  • Image stabilization
  • Smaller and lighter
  • 128GB vs 64GB micro SD
  • Dual Mics for noise cancellation
  • Built-in LCD
  • $100 Cheaper

Though it still lacks a little hardware and a lot of software to make it viable as a mass deployment body-cam. Maybe a good place to start if you are developing one.

dahua also got similar camera in their product range. I guess it can be a good comparison.

For future comparisons battery life and pre recording are interesting specs. So I am quickly deployed to a fight, I can do my job quick and then hit the record 5 minutes after and not worry about losing evidence. Encryption is also very important since the camera WILL be lost or taken one day. Audio quality is also a consideration (and a privacy concern). Playback on the device is not attractive as it will allow officers to review the video before making their notes which is poor. In fact the less operator interface the better. An independent person or section is best to handle the evidence.

Great work :)

Useful test report and I was really interested to see the demo video. We are a Panasonic partner in SE Europe and recently I've asked Panasonic EU about this specific product but I got the unfortunate feedback that it is available only for the American market so I couldn't even get a sample. Based on experience I would say that the thing that most potential customers (police officials) ask for is:

- Battery life (which varies according to the recording resolution used)

- Recording capacity

- Encryption/tamper protection for the recorded video

- Ease of downloading and fast operation

- 3G/4G connectivity option is considered as a good advantage for online monitoring/verification when needed

I was unable to get the Panasonic Arbitrator, but I got samples of two Hikvision body worn cameras with 1080p resolution which actually got to be very good products - DS-MH2111/GLF and DS-MH2211. The first one supports 4G connection and is fully integrated in iVMS-5200 CMS software while the second one is a simpler and more compact model with Wi-Fi and H.265 support which greatly optimizes the recording space. The tests so far of both models show good results.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security on May 20, 2019
Amazon dominates market after market. Quitely, but increasingly, they are doing so in residential security, through a combination of significant...
Panasonic 32MP Multi Imager Camera Tested (WV-X8570N) on May 16, 2019
Panasonic has released their first multi imager models including the 32MP (4x4K) WV-X8570N, claiming "Extreme image quality for evidence capturing...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
China PRC Government New National Video Surveillance Standards on May 14, 2019
The People's Republic of China (PRC) government has released a new set of overarching standards for authorities to follow when they install video...
Mining Company Security Manager Interview on May 10, 2019
First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) is a global enterprise with offices on 4 continents and operations in 7 countries with exploratory operations...
Hikvision DeepinView Camera Analytics Tested on May 08, 2019
Hikvision is expanding its 'deep learning' offerings with a new camera series called 'DeepinView' claiming false alarm reduction and improved...
Aegis AI Gun Detection Video Analytics Startup on May 07, 2019
Gun detection analytic startups are increasing as the promise of AI and the threats of active shooters grow.  One company, Aegis AI, is being led...
Registration Closed - Spring 2019 IP Networking Course on May 02, 2019
Register now for the Spring 2019 IP Networking course here - Closed. Last chance now.   This is the only networking course designed specifically...
Verkada Gets Million Dollar Memphis Spec on Apr 29, 2019
The US city, most famous in video surveillance for standardizing on Hikvision, has issued an RFQ for 962 Verkada cameras due Wednesday, May 1,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
ASCMA / Monitronics Declares Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on May 22, 2019
Monitronics is entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company, also called Ascent Capital Group Inc., aka ASCMA, aka Brinks Home Security,...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 21, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
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...
Covert Facial Recognition Using Axis and Amazon By NYTimes on May 20, 2019
What if you took a 33MP Axis camera covering one of the busiest parks in the US and ran Amazon Facial Recognition against it? That is what the...
Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security on May 20, 2019
Amazon dominates market after market. Quitely, but increasingly, they are doing so in residential security, through a combination of significant...
LifeSafety Power NetLink Vulnerabilities And Problematic Response on May 20, 2019
'Power supplies' are not devices that many think about when considering vulnerabilities but as more and more devices go 'online', the risks for...
Facial Recognition Systems Fail Simple Liveness Detection Test on May 17, 2019
Facial recognition is being widely promoted as a solution to physical access control but we were able to simply spoof 3 systems because they had no...
Inside Look Into Scam Market Research on May 17, 2019
Scam market research has exploded over the last few years becoming the most commonly cited 'statistics' for most industries, despite there clearly...

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