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 cameras. Now, with the rise of integrated IR, they are increasingly...
Comments (2) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Anyvision Facial Recognition Tested on Aug 21, 2019
Anyvision is aiming for $1 billion in revenue by 2022, backed by $74 million in funding. But does their performance live up to the hype they have...
Dahua 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 20, 2019
Dahua's new Pro Series 4K N85CL5Z claims to "deliver superior images in all lighting and environmental conditions", but how does this compare to...
Axis 4K Camera Shootout 2019 on Aug 14, 2019
Axis' 4K Q3518-LVE claims the "best video quality possible", with Lightfinder super low light performance, Axis' high end Forensic WDR, and...
Proactive CCTV "Only Affordable Video Archiving Solution" Profile on Aug 12, 2019
Proactive CCTV is claiming to offer "the only affordable video archiving solution on the market", reducing the storage typically required for H.265...
Milestone "GDPR-ready" Certification Claim Critiqued on Aug 12, 2019
Milestone is touting that its latest XProtect VMS is "GDPR-ready" with a 'European Privacy Seal'. However, our investigation raises significant...
Axis Door Station A8207-VE Tested on Aug 07, 2019
Axis newest door station, the A8207-VE, claims to deliver "video surveillance, two-way communication, and access control" in a single device. But...
Avigilon Blue VSaaS Tested on Aug 05, 2019
Avigilon says Blue is a "powerful integrator cloud service platform", easy to set up and configure, quickly scale business, by leveraging cloud...
Hikvision 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 02, 2019
With their latest Smart Series 5 cameras, Hikvision is claiming cameras "fully loaded" with "state-of-the-art technology for high performance and...
Cisco Settles False Claims Act Suit For Video Surveillance Vulnerabilities on Aug 01, 2019
Cisco entered the video surveillance market in 2007 and suffered for many years through a variety of its own errors and arrogance. The conclusion...
Ionodes Company Profile on Jul 31, 2019
What happened to Ionodes? With seasoned leadership from Jean-Paul Saindon founder of SmartSight and Dr. Michael Gilge, founder of VCS, back in...

Most Recent Industry Reports

TMA Apologizes to Amazon / Ring on Aug 23, 2019
Not only is Amazon / Ring making major incursions into the residential security market, the organization representing the biggest incumbents, The...
China Dahua Replaces Their Software With US Pepper on Aug 22, 2019
What does a US government banned company do to improve its security positioning in the US? Well, Dahua is unveiling a novel solution, partnering...
Security Integrators Outlook On Remaining Integrators In 2025 on Aug 22, 2019
The industry has changed substantially in the last decade, with the rise of IP cameras and the race to the bottom. Indeed, more changes may be...
First GDPR Facial Recognition Fine For Sweden School on Aug 22, 2019
A school in Sweden has been fined $20,000 for using facial recognition to keep attendance in what is Sweden's first GDPR fine. Notably, the fine is...
Anyvision Facial Recognition Tested on Aug 21, 2019
Anyvision is aiming for $1 billion in revenue by 2022, backed by $74 million in funding. But does their performance live up to the hype they have...
JCI Sues Wyze on Aug 21, 2019
The mega manufacturer / integrator JCI has sued the fast-growing $20 camera Seattle startup Wyze. Inside this note: Share the court...
Dahua 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 20, 2019
Dahua's new Pro Series 4K N85CL5Z claims to "deliver superior images in all lighting and environmental conditions", but how does this compare to...
ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access panel 'makes it very easy for anyone to learn and install access control...
Uniview Beats Intel In Trademark Lawsuit on Aug 19, 2019
Uniview has won a long-running trademark lawsuit brought by Intel, with Beijing's highest court reversing an earlier Intel win, centered on...
Suprema Biometric Mass Leak Examined on Aug 19, 2019
While Suprema is rarely discussed even within the physical security market, the South Korean biometrics manufacturer made global news this past...

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