4K Panoramic Panasonic Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Mar 25, 2015

Panasonic has released their first 4K cameras, and surprisingly, they are panoramic, which they tout include high sensitivity 1/2" image sensors, true WDR, auto back focus, and other features not common in competitive cameras.

But will the combination of 4K and panoramic disappoint in low light, a historic problem for both these technologies? Or will these improvements help push panoramic to the mainstream?

To find out, we tested the WV-SFV481 against competitors from Axis and Hikvision to see how it compared in full light (below), low light, and WDR scenes:

Along with bandwidth, integration, and configuration issues.

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Comments (12)

You always talk about milestone and genetec. we use in México also DVTEL VMS, could you if at all possible test this things with the software?, I am sure you have a version of Latitude from DVTEL?

thasnks, it will be useful for some sector that uses that VMS.

excellent report.

Felipe, thanks for the feedback. The 4 VMSes we test the most are Avigilon, Exacq, Genetec and Milestone. That's because we have found them to be the 4 most common used by our members.

We might test Latitude in the future but, for the time being, we will continue to use those 4 most often.

It is my understanding that if the camera dewarps the video, the VMS only records what the dewarped view is outputting at the current time. I want to make sure I have this correct as we use the Samsung 7010 and record the entire image while allowing the end user to use different views live and recorded. Is my understaning correct with respect to dewarping on the camera side versus the VMS?

Yes, that's totally correct. If you're using a camera with on board dewarping, generally you will need to record multiple streams. For example, you might record a panorama stream, along with one or more view area streams, so you have a scene overview in addition to detail from the zoom stream.

It's the drawback of using on-camera dewarping. The plus side is that VMSes don't need to implement dewarping SDKs for all these cameras, which can be time consuming for relatively low-use cameras.

Is there no generic dewarping software that can dewarp a recorded 360 stream after the fact? Not for immersivision or panamorph, but just for your typical orthagraphical ones?

In some cases, you can use another camera's dewarping SDK on a model it's not intended for, but more often than not, now, it doesn't work.

Sentry360 released a generic Milestone plugin, also, but we haven't tried it.

I've asked manufacturers for years why they don't just include a generic dewarp. Manufacturer-specific plugins could be more accurate, possibly, but a generic plugin would be simpler for the majority of users, and likely good enough.

Thanks!

Yes, it does seem weird that everyone insists on re-inventing the 'wheel'.

I find most of the camera manufacturers tend to initially integrate with Genetec and Milestone for all their new product launches or new features. Exacq and Avigilon may thus not become the premiere choice for a Consultant or Customer among the 4 options, especially if they are looking for a future proof VMS.

Ameen, it's actually the other way around. Camera manufacturers don't typically decide what VMSes integrate with them. It's the VMSes that need to do the work.

To that end, Milestone and Genetec tend to be 2 of the quickest overall, Exacq is fairly fast too. Avigilon depends more on ONVIF.

This size of the camera's sensor is 12 MP.

The fisheye lens forms an image circle of 9 MP.

The images in the test are only 5 MP.

What happened to the other 4 MP?

Does the dewarper crop it or combine it?

The full overview is 9MP. A single PTZ window (which we used to test) is 5MP.

Thanks! I see the part above where you wrote about using the highest resolution single PTZ view, and that makes sense to do.

I'm still unclear about what the total FOV of the single PTZ is though. Does the Single PTZ view only show 5/9 the FOV of the overview?

In other words, what are you giving up, in image data or FOV coverage, if you were to record only the single view PTZ, as opposed to the overview?

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