Panasonic Panoramic Test

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Jun 24, 2013

Panasonic has gotten into panoramic cameras, with their launch of their WV-SF438 and WV-SW458 models. As part of our groundbreaking Panoramic Camera testing series, we ran a shootout of Panasonic against Axis, Mobotix and Vivotek panoramic cameras, as shown below:

These are the key findings from our tests:

  • Excellent performance in well lit scenes, one of the top performers in our tests.
  • Modestly inferior performance in lower light, with others providing brighter, more usable images.
  • No usable images at 1 lux or below, similar to most other cameras tested.
  • Control of on camera dewarping is simply integrated to VMS systems via typical PTZ controls.
  • Lack of client side dewarping is a drawback for investigations, common among camera side dewarped models. 

Additional Factors

Pricing for the two Panasonic models is as follows:

The WV-SF438 is indoor only. The SW458 is IP66 rated and available with either standard Ethernet connections or an M12 locking connector (WV-SW458M), often used in mass transit systems.

Recommendations

Panasonic's panoramic camera models offer solid performance in most conditions though are moderately more expensive than most panoramics. Users looking for a panoramic camera in wide dynamic scenes should especially consider them. For those where low light conditions may be a primary consideration, other cameras may perform moderately better. 

Physical Overview

In this video, we review the form factor and physical features of Panasonic's panoramic cameras. Key points include:

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

  • Models are functionally similar, with the same resolution and feature set, only in different housings.
  • Audio and I/O included on both models, common among many, but not all panoramic cameras in our tests.
  • Outdoor model is IP66 rated with pigtail connectors, no option to directly connect cable to camera.

Configuration/Operation Overview

In this video, we review the WV-SW458 web interface. Most features of the web interface are standard, and similar to other Panasonic models. Users should note the following, however:

  • Camera defaults to 3MP fisheye, but offers numerous other dewarped views from the camera.
  • Both single stream panoramic and dewarped views available, as well as dual stream modes including both.
  • Electrical day/night is offered, but turned off by default. We recommend leaving this turned off, as it has no effect on performance, only removing color information at night.
  • The camera offers 16 digital preset positions which may be used to quickly jump to an area of interest. Four of these are used as home positons of the camera's Quad View mode.

VMS Integration and Operation

Finally, this screencast reviews configuration and operation of Panasonic cameras in the VMS, using Exacq as an example.

  • VMSs are able to view and record multiple streams simultaneously from the camera, such as Dual Panorama + a 1.3MP PTZ view.
  • VMS PTZ controls control on-camera dewarping, with access to presets and tours, as well.
  • No client side dewarping is available, so archived video reflects only what the operator was viewing at the time. In the case of a single PTZ view, for example, this means that the rest of the area is left unmonitored, with only the dewarped view recorded. For this reason, we recommend recording either the quad view (1 PTZ + 3 static views) or the dual panorama plus single PTZ, to provide an overview of activity in the scene.

Competitive Comparisons

These comparisons pit Panasonic against a selections of cameras from our panoramic camera shootout, at varying light levels.

Full Light, ~160 lux

In full light, Panasonic is one of the top performers in our tests. At 6', the subject's facial details and chart are both clear, and colors in the scene are true.

 At 18', the maximum range we tested, against Panasonic performs well compared to others. Line three of the chart (TOZ) is more easily readable in the SF438 than others.

3 lux

Lowering the lights to ~3 lux, at 6', Panasonic still performs well, but is notably dimmer than some, such as the Axis M3007. Both the M3007 and Q24 show more readable lines of the chart. 

At 18', the WV-SF438 lags slightly behind others, notably the Mobotix Q24, with the chart difficult to read. Some details of the subject, such as clothing, can still be determined.

Low Light, ~1 lux

In our dark scene, the WV-SF438 produced no usable image. The M3007 and FE8172V allow for detection of the chart, but no recognizable details.

WDR

In our WDR scene, Panasonic performs well, revealing details outdoors which other cameras do not, such as the lettering on the pavement behind the subject. Only Mobotix shows more lines of the chart in this scene.

1 report cite this report:

Lux Rating / Minimum Illumination Guide on Dec 23, 2016
Lux ratings are one of the poorest specifications to use in selecting...
Comments (2) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Sunell Panda Cam Body Temperature Measurement Camera Tested on May 14, 2020
Sunell is far less well known than its gargantuan domestic competitors Dahua...
New Axis M30 Cameras Tested on Mar 26, 2020
Axis has released a new generation of, for them, relatively low cost M30...
FLIR Screen-EST Screening Software Tested on Jun 30, 2020
In our FLIR A Series Test, the cameras' biggest drawback was their lack of...
FLIR A Series Temperature Screening Cameras Tested on Jun 04, 2020
FLIR is one of the biggest names in thermal and one of the most conservative....
Camera Course Summer 2020 - Last Chance on Jul 18, 2020
This is your last chance to register for the Summer 2020 Camera Course. This...
FLIR New Coronavirus Prioritized Temperature Screening Camera Examined on Apr 03, 2020
FLIR has announced a new series of thermal cameras "prioritized for entities...
Video Analytics 101 on Mar 16, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the...
Integrated IR Camera Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 30, 2020
The best and worst cameras tested in this IPVM shootout showed major...
Sunell "Panda Cam" Thermal Body Temperature System Examined on Apr 09, 2020
Sunell's Panda Cam is the most visually recognizable coronavirus camera, sold...
Vivotek LPR Camera Tested on Apr 15, 2020
Vivotek has historically sold license plate capture cameras but not LPR. Now,...
Dahua, Hikvision, ZKTeco Face Mask Detection Shootout on Jun 19, 2020
Temperature tablets with face mask detection are one of the hottest trends in...
Leica Launches LIDAR / Thermal / IP Camera on Mar 04, 2020
Swiss manufacturer Leica is launching what it calls a "real-time reality...
LILIN Presents NDAA-Compliant P2 Cameras on May 26, 2020
Merit LILIN presented its NDAA-compliant P2 camera series at the April 2020...
Sony Launches AI Camera Sensors on May 18, 2020
Weeks after exiting the branded video surveillance business, Sony is making a...

Recent Reports

Dangerous Hikvision Fever Camera Showcased by Chilean City on Aug 07, 2020
Deploying a fever camera outdoors, in the rain, with no black body, is...
"Grand Slam" For Pelco's PE Firm, A Risk For Motorola on Aug 07, 2020
The word "Pelco" and "grand slam" have not been said together for many years....
FLIR Stock Falls, Admits 'Decelerating' Demand For Temperature Screening on Aug 07, 2020
Is the boom going to bust for temperature screening? FLIR disappointed...
VSaaS Will Hurt Integrators on Aug 06, 2020
VSaaS will hurt integrators, there is no question about that. How much...
Dogs For Coronavirus Screening Examined on Aug 06, 2020
While thermal temperature screening is the surveillance industry's most...
ADT Slides Back, Disappointing Results, Poor Commercial Performance on Aug 06, 2020
While ADT had an incredible start to the week, driven by the Google...
AHJ / Authority Having Jurisdiction Tutorial on Aug 06, 2020
One of the most powerful yet often underappreciated characters in all of the...
SIA Coaches Sellers on NDAA 889B Blacklist Workarounds on Aug 05, 2020
Last month SIA demanded that NDAA 899B "must be delayed". Now that they have...
ADI Returns To Growth, Back To 'Pre-COVID Levels' on Aug 05, 2020
While ADI was hit hard in April, with revenue declining 21%, the company's...
Exposing Fever Tablet Suppliers and 40+ Relabelers on Aug 05, 2020
IPVM has found 40+ USA and EU companies relabeling fever tablets designed,...
Directory of 201 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Aug 04, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers...
Face Masks Increase Face Recognition Errors Says NIST on Aug 04, 2020
COVID-19 has led to widespread facemask use, which as IPVM testing has shown...
Dahua Loses Australian Medical Device Approval on Aug 04, 2020
Dahua has cancelled its medical device registration after "discussions" with...
Google Invests in ADT, ADT Stock Soars on Aug 03, 2020
Google has announced a $450 million investment in the Florida-based security...