Fisheye Panoramic Camera Guide

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Aug 31, 2016

Fisheye panoramics have become widespread, with most manufacturers offering fisheyes.

However, with many options, it can be confusing to understand the tradeoffs. In this guide, we explain:

  • Why Panoramic Camers
  • Fisheye Panoramic Basics
  • 'Warped' Video and Dewarping
  • Camera Side vs Client Side Dewarping
  • VMS Integration
  • Fisheye Mounting Heights
  • Ceiling Vs. Wall Mounting
  • Panoramic WDR Availability
  • Panoramic Low Light Weakness
  • IR Panoramic Availability
  • Image Detail Vs. Multi-Imager
  • Fisheye Manufacturer Availability

Multi-imager panoramics, a common alternative to fisheyes, are covered separately in our Multi-Imager camera guide and Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Guide

Why **********?

*********** ************ ******* **** capture ********** ************ ** ****(****). "*******" ****** ****** of **** *** ********* no **** **** ** degrees, * ******* ** a ******, ****** **** wide ***** ***-*** ****** options **** ****** **** common. *********, ** *** want * ****** ** see ****** ****** ** to *** ******* **** or *****, *** ***** need ** *** ***** cameras.

** ********, ********* ******* let *** ****** * single ****** **** *** "see" ** "*****" *********. However, *** ******* *** area *** *****, *** lower ******** ******* / ******* **, ***** **** significantly ****** ******* ******** in *** *********. ** examine ***** ********* ********** this ********.

Fisheye ********* *******

*** **** ****** ********* type ** *** ******* camera. ***** ******* **** super **** ****** ****** (~180° ** ****** ** some *****) ********* ***** into **** ********. ** uses * ****** **** and * ****** ****** covering *** ****** ****.

******* ****** *** ********* not **** ** ***** normal, ****** ***** (**** below), ** *** ***-**** view ** **** ****** for **********, **** **** objects/subjects ********* ****** **** or ********, ********* ** their ******** ** *** room.

** **** **** **** usable *** ********* **** typical ************ *****, **** are ******** ** ******* software. *** ***** ***** shows *** ******** ******* image *** ******** *****.

**** ********* ** * critical ********* ** ******* panoramics. ****** *****, ** itself ** *********** *******. Manufacturers *** ****** ** the ****** ****, ****** side ** ****. *** choice ** ***** ** dewarp ******* *** *********** and ********* *******.

Camera **** *********

********* ** *** ****** side ***** * **** video ****** **** *** VMS *** ******* **** like * *********** ******. Camera **** ********* *** become ************ *******, **** some ************* *** ******** only **** ***** ** dewarping, *** ** *** client ***. *** ****** is **** ***********, ***** these ******* *** ****** similarly ** **** ** the ***. *******, ***** are ***** *** ***********.

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

**** ****** ** ********** which ****** ** *** camera **** ******** *******, such ** ********, ********, PTZ **** *, *** area *, ***. ******** of ***** *** ***** below:

*** *** **** ********* all ** ***** *******, typically *** ****** *******, in ***** ** ***** support *** ******. *******, many ***** ** *** support *** ******* **** common *******, ********** ***** using ***** ******* ** direct *******. *** *******, neither *** ***********-********* ***********-********** ******** ********** **** multi ******* ** ***** or ********, ******* **** being ******* **** *** models **** ***** *************.

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

** ******** ** *** multiple ****** ***********, *** VMS **** **** ******* PTZ ******** *** ****** side ********* *******. ******* this ***********, ***** ******* must ** *** ** via *** *** ********* and *** *********** ****** in *** ***.

****** **** ********* ********* Limitations

**** ***** ****** **** dewarping, *** *** ******* only **** *** ****** stream *** ******* ** the ****. **** ***** that ** ** ******** stream (*** ********, ****** fisheye, ***.) ** *** recorded ** ******** ** digital *** *******, ** overview ** *** ***** is ********, **** ****** potentially ******. **** ** in ******** ** ****** side ******** *******, ***** record **** *** **** stream, **** ********* ********* at *** ****** ** playback.

Client **** *********

** ******** ** ****** side *********, ****** **** provides ********* ********, ***** allow *** **** ** view *** ****** **** a ****** ******** ******, and *********** ****** ******* windows ** *** *** client ** **** **** and ******** *****. *** example, ** *** **** below, ** ****** **** warped ******** ** *** window, ***, *** *** degree *********.

*** **** ********* ** this **** ** ********* versus ****** **** ** that ** ******** **** a ****** ****** ** be ******** ***** *********** overview ***********, ******* ******* of ******** ****** *********** or ******* *** ******* looking ********* ** ** event ******.

Client **** ********* ********: ********** *********** ********

********* **** *************' ******* cameras *** ********* ******** a ******** *** *** each. **** ** ****** when ***** *** ****** manufacturer's *** ** ****** (e.g.,********* ******* ********* ****-****). *******, ** *** want ** *** * 3rd ***** ***, **** that *** **** ********* that ******* ********. *****, this ** *** **** as ** ** ***********, expensive *** *********** ** each ******* ********* ************, for ********** *** ******* sold.

**** *** *********, **** as******* ************* ********* ********* ********* ** any ******* ******, *********** this ***********/*********** *******, *** this ** ********** ********.

Panomorph ******

********* ****** *** * proprietary **** ** ******* lens, ******* **** *** similarities **** * *** important ***********. ********* ********** is ******** *************, *** ******* *** lenses *** ******* *** dewarping *** ** ****** for ***********. **********, *********** lenses **** **** ** C/CS ***** ******* ****, to ** **** **** third ***** *** *******, but **** ********, **** have ********* *** ******, as ****, *** *** in **** *******, **** resolutions ** ** ****. Manufacturers **** ** *******,******, *** ****** **** released ****** ***** ***** lenses.

********* ****** ***** *** key ********** **** ******* fisheye ******:

  • ************* ****** ***:***********'* **** ***** ** that **** *** **** of *** ******'* ****** by ***** ** **********, instead ** ******** ******* format ***** ****** *** more ****** ** *** edges ** *** *** and ************* ******* ***** quality.

*******, ** **** *** found *********** ********* *********** in *** *****, **** standard ******* ****** ********** as **** ** ***********-***** models.

  • ******* *******:****, *** *** ***, major ***** ******* ***********, making **** **** ****** supported **** ******* ****** using ************-******** ****. **** SDK *********** *** ** ImmerVision's ********, ********* **** CS ***** ****** ** well ** ***** ***** their *** ****.

Panomorph *********

*******, ***** *** *** drawbacks ** ****:

  • *********** *** *** ********:************, ***** *** ***** and *** **** ************ been *********** ***** *** fisheye *******, ****** * high *** ****** **** ImmerVision **** **** **********, dome ****** **** **** WDR **********, ********** *** filters, *** ********** ** have ****** ************ ******, making ***** *** ** lenses **** **** ********** in ***** ********* ***** features.
  • ********* ***** **********:***** **** ********** **** become ********** ******, **** ImmerVision ******* ****** *** limited ** *** *** below, ** ** ***** high *** ** ***** lens. **** **** **** higher ********** ******, **** as******'* ***-******* ***********, *** *** majority ** ***.
  • ****** ****:********* ****** *** *********. The ******** *.*** ***** sells *** ***** $*** USD, **** *** **** of *** ******. *** newer *** ***** (**** by *******) ***** *** over $****. ** ********, single ****** ******* ****** sell *** $***-*** ** average, *** ** *** require ********** *********** *** setup *****.

Wall ***** **** ******* *******

***** **** ********* ******* may ** ******* ******* or **** *******, **** options *** ***° ** 180° *********, **** *********** models ******** **** *** wall ******** *** *********. Unlike ******* ******* ******, these ******* ********* ****** dewarped ***° (** **** in **** *****) ******** views ****, **** ** options *** ******** ******* PTZ ***** ** ***** panorama *****.

**** ** ***** *** standalone ******* (*** *** test *********'* ******-**) ***** ****** *** integrated **** ***** **** stations (**** ***** **** *****-*).

Wall ***** ******* ****** **** *** ****

*** **** ********* ** wall ***** ******* ******* is **********, ** **** generally ****** ******* *** output * ******** ******, instead ** ********* **** complex ****** ** ****** side ********* *********** *** setup.

*******, ***** ****** *** generally ***** ********** **** typical ******* *******, *-*** instead ** *-** ***** in ******* **** *** high ********** ******* ******.\

Fisheye ******** ****** ** ***

******** ******* ********* ******* low *** ***** ** targets ** ********. ******** ******* ** ********* cameras ***** *********** *** ******* ***** farther **** **** *** camera, ** ********* ******** resulting **** ******** ******* higher ******* **** *****. For ********, * ******* who ** * **** away **** * *.*** 360 ****** **** ** captured ** ~***** *** the **** **** ******* just ** **** **** will ** ******** ** ~20ppf. ****** ***** ** the ******* ** **** 20 **** ****. *** PPF **** ** **** to ***** ***** ******* that *** **** *** no **** **** * blob.

** ********** ****, **** animation ***** *** ********** in ******* ********* ** the **** ********* ******, mounted ** **', **', and **'.

****** ***** ******** **** or *** ********* ****** to *** *** ****** closer (** ******, **** the *********** **** **** may ** ************* ***********).

Ceiling **. **** ********

*** ******** ** ******* to ***** * ******* camera ** *** ******* or **** *********** ******* on ***** ******** *** likely ** **** ******* the *****.

  • **** **** ** ********:** ******* ** ** observed *** ****** ** move ********** *** ***** and *** **** **** the ******, ***** * ceiling ***** ****** ** likely *** ****** ******, as ** *** ******** details ** ******* *** far **** *** * wall ***** ****** ** capture.
  • ****** **** ** ********:** ******* *** ****** to *****/**** ******* *** or *** *********, **** mounting * ******* ****** is ****** ** ******* better ******* ** ******** as **** **** *** to *** ***** ***** of ********* (********* *****).

******* ****** *** *** test********* ******* **** ** Ceiling ******** **** ******* *** image ******* ******** ** this *****.

Fisheye **** *** ************ *********

**** *** ************** ****** ****** ** fisheye ******, ***** ********** it *** ********* ** few ******* ** ******** a ******** ****** *** Panomorph **** ** ** used. *** *******, *** clip ***** ***** *** performance ** ***** *******, two ** ***** *** true *** (**** *** right) *** *** ***** is *** (******).

Fisheye ************ **** *** *****

********* ******* **** ************ been ********** **** ** low *****, ***** ********** noisy ** **** ****** in **** ******** *** light. **** ** *** to *** ************ *******:

  • **** *-**** ******:******* ****** ********* **** a *****-****(*/*.* ** */*.* *** traditional *******) ******* ** ~75% **** *****.
  • **** **********:***** ******* ****** *** frequently ***, ***, ****, etc., ****** *** ****** smaller *** ******* **** light.

******* ** ****, ***** should ****** **** ********** fisheye ****** ** **** moderately *** ***** (*-***), as ***** *** *********** is ********.

IR ******* **********

** ****** ******* *******' poor *** ***** ***********, many ************* **** ********** integrated ** ******, **** illuminators ******** * ***° field ** ****. *** example, *** ********** ***** shows *** **** **** end ******, **** *** Hikvision **** ************* *** Panasonic **** ** *** light *** ** *** integrated **.

**** **** ******* ***** advancements, ******, ***** ****** be **** ******* ***** using ********** ** ******* dark *****, ** *** performance ***** ***** ** not ******* ** *** panoramic (******* ** *****-******) cameras.

Fisheye ************

** ****, ****** ***** manufacturer ******** ** ***** one ******* ********* ****** in ***** ******, **** most ******** **** **** one ** ********* ***********, feature **** (***/**), ****** and ******* ********, ***.

******** **** ** **** a *** ***** *** when ******* ********* ****** were ********** ********** ******* and **** ********* **** a ******* ** *************.

**** **** **** ******* panoramic ******* ****** **** common **** *****-****** ******, but *** *****-****** ******* has ***** ************* ** the **** *-* *****.

Image ******* **. *****-******

**** *********** **** ***** panoramic ********, ***** ****** carefully ******** *** ************, as ****** ****** *** likely ****** ****** ** multi ****** ******.

*** *******, *** ***** below ***** *** ******** detail ******* * ****** imager ******* ******, * 360° *****-****** (**° *** imager), *** * ***°. With *** ******* ~**' from *** ******* ******* of *** ******* *** legible ***** ** *** test ***** *** ******* less ** *** ******* model.

**** *** ******* ** ~30' **** *** *******, the ******* ********* ******** no ****** ******* **********, while *** ***° *****-****** still ******** *** ******* lines ** *** ***** and **** ***** ******* details. ** **** ********, the ***° *****-****** ***** provides ************ ******* ** the *******.

****: ** ******* ******* of **** ***** ******* both ******* *** *****-*******. This *** **** ***** into * ****** ** reflect *** ****** ** panoramics, *** **** *** our*****-****** ****** ********************** *****-****** ****** *****.

Comments (4)

Well done.

Great article! One thing I've always theorized, but have never been able to test is the potential downside of using client side dewarped fisheye panoramics use of additional client PC resources when dewarped. I'm sure this is negligible if dewarping one or two, but if you have a large amount of this style camera being dewarped it could be an issue.

Fisheye camera seems interesting but cost more...

The idea is you get more coverage with a single fisheye camera versus multiple fixed cameras which is how you save money with fisheye cameras. 

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