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

******* ********** **** ****** widespread, **** **** ************* offering ********.

*******, **** **** *******, it *** ** ********* to ********** *** *********. ** this *****, ** *******:

  • *** ********* ******
  • ******* ********* ******
  • '******' ***** *** *********
  • ****** **** ** ****** Side *********
  • *** ***********
  • ******* ******** *******
  • ******* **. **** ********
  • ********* *** ************
  • ********* *** ***** ********
  • ** ********* ************
  • ***** ****** **. *****-******
  • ******* ************ ************

*****-****** **********, * ****** alternative ** ********, *** covered ********** ** ********-****** ****** ***** *** ************** *****-****** ****** *****

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

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 is *** ******* ******. These ******* **** ***** wide ****** ****** (~***° or ****** ** **** cases) ********* ***** **** dome ********. ** **** a ****** **** *** a ****** ****** ******** the ****** ****.

******* ****** *** ********* 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 manufacturers *** ******** **** this ***** ** *********, and ** *** ****** SDK. *** ****** ** easy ***********, ***** ***** cameras *** ****** ********* to **** ** *** VMS. *******, ***** *** three *** ***********.

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

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

*** *** **** ********* all ** ***** *******, typically *** ****** *******, in ***** ** ***** support *** ******. *******, many ***** ** *** support *** ******* **** common *******, ********** ***** using ***** ******* ** direct *******. *** *******, neither *** ***********-****** *** ********* **-******* *** ******** ********** **** multi ******* ** ***** or ********, ******* **** ***** current **** *** ****** from ***** *************.

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

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

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

**** ***** ****** **** dewarping, *** *** ******* only **** *** ****** stream *** ******* ** *** time. **** ***** **** if ** ******** ****** (360 ********, ****** *******, etc.) ** *** ******** in ******** ** ******* PTZ *******, ** ******** of *** ***** ** provided, **** ****** *********** missed. **** ** ** contrast ** ****** **** dewarped *******, ***** ****** only *** **** ******, with ********* ********* ** the ****** ** ********.

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 ***** *** ****** ************'* VMS ** ****** (*.*., ********* ******* ********* ****-****). *******, ** *** want ** *** * 3rd ***** ***, **** that *** **** ********* that ******* ********. *****, this ** *** **** as ** ** ***********, expensive *** *********** ** each ******* ********* ************, for ********** *** ******* sold.

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

Panomorph ******

********* ****** *** * proprietary **** ** ******* ****, ******* some *** ************ **** a *** ********* ***********. Panomorph ********** ** ******** ** ***********, *** ******* *** lenses *** ******* *** dewarping *** ** ****** for ***********. **********, *********** lenses **** **** ** C/CS ***** ******* ****, to ** **** **** third ***** *** *******, but more ********, **** **** developed M12 ******, ** ****, for *** ** **** cameras, **** *********** ** to ****. ************* **** as *******,******, *** ****** **** ******** models ***** ***** ******. 

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

  • ************* ****** ***: ***********'* **** ***** ** that **** *** **** of *** ******'* ****** by ***** ** **********, instead ** ******** ******* format which allows *** **** ****** at *** ***** ** the *** *** ************* greater ***** *******.

*******, ** **** *** 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 ********** ******, **** *********** enabled ****** *** ******* to *** *** *****, as ** ***** **** end ** ***** ****. Note **** **** ****** resolution ******, **** ** ******'* ***-**** *** ***********, *** *** majority ** ***.
  • ****** ****:********* ****** *** *********. The ******** *.*** ***** sells *** ***** $*** USD, **** *** **** of *** ******. *** newer *** ***** (**** ** Fujinon) ***** *** **** $1000. ** ********, ****** ****** fisheye ****** **** *** $500-800 ** *******, *** do *** ******* ********** integration *** ***** *****.

 

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

***** **** ********* ******* *** be ******* ******* ** wall *******, **** ******* for ***° ** ***° dewarping, **** *********** ****** intended **** *** **** mounting *** *********. ****** typical ******* ******, ***** cameras ********* ****** ******** 180° (** **** ** some *****) ******** ***** only, **** ** ******* for ******** ******* *** views ** ***** ******** types.

**** ** ***** *** 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 *** ************ *******:

  • **** *-**** ******: ******* ****** ********* **** * high*-****(*/*.* ** */*.* *** 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 between * ****** ****** fisheye ******, * ***° multi-imager (**° *** ******), and * ***°. **** the ******* ~**' **** the ******* ******* ** the ******* *** ******* lines ** *** **** chart *** ******* **** in *** ******* *****.

**** *** ******* ** ~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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