Panoramic Camera Guide

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 19, 2013

Panoramic cameras, including fisheyes and multi-imagers, have become increasingly widespread, with most manufacturers offering fisheyes and an increasing number offering multi-imagers.

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

  • Panoramics vs Traditional
  • Fisheye vs Panomorph vs Multi-Imager Panoramics
  • 'Warped' Video and Dewarping
  • Camera Side vs Client Side Dewarping
  • VMS Integration
  • 180 vs 360
  • Repositionable Multi-imagers
  • Seperate vs Stitched Multi-imagers
  • Mounting Heights
  • WDR and Low Light
  • Image Detail
  • Cost

********* *******, ********* ******** *** *****-*******, **** ****** ************ **********, with **** ************* ******** ******** *** ** ********** ****** ******** multi-imagers.

*******, **** **** *******, ** *** ** ********* ** ********** the *********. ** **** *****, ** *******:

  • ********** ** ***********
  • ******* ** ********* ** *****-****** **********
  • '******' ***** *** *********
  • ****** **** ** ****** **** *********
  • *** ***********
  • *** ** ***
  • ************** *****-*******
  • ******** ** ******** *****-*******
  • ******** *******
  • *** *** *** *****
  • ***** ******
  • ****

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

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

*********** ************ ******* **** ******* ********** ************ ** **** (****). "*******" ****** ****** ** **** *** ********* ** **** than ** *******, * ******* ** * ******, ****** **** wide ***** ***-*** ****** ******* **** ****** **** ******. *********, if *** **** * ****** ** *** ****** ****** ** to *** ******* **** ** *****, *** ***** **** ** add ***** *******.

** ********, ********* ******* *** *** ****** * ****** ****** that *** "***" ** "*****" *********. *******, *** ******* *** area *** *****, *** ***** ******** ******* / ******* **, ***** **** ************* ****** ******* ******** ** *** direction. ** ******* ***** ********* ********** **** ********.

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

*** **** ****** ********* **** ** *** ******* ******. ***** ******* have ***** **** ****** ****** (~***° ** ****** ** **** cases) ********* ***** **** **** ********. ** **** * ****** lens *** * ****** ****** ******** *** ****** ****.

******* ****** *** ********* *** **** ** ***** ******, ****** state (**** *****), ** *** ***-**** **** ** **** ****** for **********, **** **** *******/******** ********* ****** **** ** ********, depending ** ***** ******** ** *** ****.

** **** **** **** ****** *** ********* **** ******* ************ video, **** *** ******** ** ******* ********. *** ***** ***** shows *** ******** ******* ***** *** ******** *****.

**** ********* ** * ******** ********* ** ******* **********. ****** video, ** ****** ** *********** *******. ************* *** ****** ** the ****** ****, ****** **** ** ****. *** ****** ** where ** ****** ******* *** *********** *** ********* *******.

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

********* ** *** ****** **** ***** * **** ***** ****** that *** *** *** ******* **** **** * *********** ******. Camera **** ********* *** ****** ************ *******, **** **** ************* *** offering **** **** ***** ** *********, *** ** *** ****** SDK. *** ****** ** **** ***********, ***** ***** ******* *** appear ********* ** **** ** *** ***. *******, ***** *** two *** ***********.

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

**** ****** ** ********** ***** ****** ** *** ****** **** multiple *******, **** ** ********, ********, *** **** *, *** area *, ***. ******** ** ***** *** ***** *****:

*** *** **** ********* *** ** ***** *******, ********* *** direct *******, ** ***** ** ***** ******* *** ******. *******, many ***** ** *** ******* *** ******* **** ****** *******, especially ***** ***** ***** ******* ** ****** *******. *** *******, neither *** ***********-****** *** ********* **-******* *** ******** ********** **** ***** ******* ** ***** ** ********, despite both ***** ******* **** *** ****** **** ***** *************.

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

** ******** ** *** ******** ****** ***********, *** *** **** also ******* *** ******** *** ****** **** ********* *******. ******* this ***********, ***** ******* **** ** *** ** *** *** web ********* *** *** *********** ****** ** *** ***.

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

**** ***** ****** **** *********, *** *** ******* **** **** the ****** ****** *** ******* ** *** ****. **** ***** **** if ** ******** ****** (*** ********, ****** *******, ***.) ** not ******** ** ******** ** ******* *** *******, ** ******** of *** ***** ** ********, **** ****** *********** ******. **** is ** ******** ** ****** **** ******** *******, ***** ****** only *** **** ******, **** ********* ********* ** *** ****** on ********.

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

** ******** ** ****** **** *********, ****** **** ******** ********* controls, ***** ***** *** **** ** **** *** ****** **** a ****** ******** ******, *** *********** ****** ******* ******* ** the *** ****** ** **** **** *** ******** *****. *** example, ** *** **** *****, ** ****** **** ****** ******** to *** ******, ***, *** *** ****** *********. 

*** **** ********* ** **** **** ** ********* ****** ****** side ** **** ** ******** **** * ****** ****** ** be ******** ***** *********** ******** ***********, ******* ******* ** ******** stream *********** ** ******* *** ******* ******* ********* ** ** event ******.

*******, ***** *** *** ********* ** ****:

*********** ********* (*********)

********* **** *************' ******* ******* *** ********* ******** * ******** SDK *** ****. **** ** ****** **** ***** *** ****** ************'* VMS ** ******. *******, ** *** **** ** *** * 3rd ***** ***, **** **** *** **** ********* **** ******* software. *****, **** ** *** **** ** ** ** ***********, expensive *** *********** ** **** ******* ********* ************, *** ********** few ******* ****.

**** *** *********, **** ********* ************* ********* ********* ********* ** *** ******* ******, *********** **** ***********/*********** concern, *** **** ** ********** ********.

Panomorph ******

********* ****** *** * *********** **** ** ******* ******, ******* **** *** similarities **** * *** ********* ***********. ********* ********** ** *********** *************, *** ******* *** ****** *** ******* *** ********* *** to ****** *** ***********.

**********, *********** ****** **** **** ** */** ***** ******* ****, to ** **** **** ***** ***** *** *******. ***** ****** are ********* ** *.*** *** *** ******. **** ********, **** have ********* *** ******, ** ****, *** *** ** **** *******, with *********** ** ** ****/**. ************* **** ** ****, *******,********, *** ******, **** ******** ****** ***** ***** ******. 

*** ***** ***** ***** ***********'* */** ***** **** *** *** it ******** ** *** ***** *******:

panomorph immervision

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

  1. ************* ****** ***: ***********'* **** ***** ** **** **** *** **** ** *** camera's ****** ** ***** ** **********, ******* ** ******** ******* format ***** ****** *** **** ****** ** *** ***** ** *** *** and ************* ******* ***** *******. *******, ** **** *** ***** substantial ********* *********** ** *** *****, **** ******** ******* ****** performing ** **** ** ***********-***** ******.
  2. ******* *******: ****, *** *** ***, ***** ***** ******* ***********, ****** **** more ****** ********* **** ******* ****** ***** ************-******** ****. **** SDK *********** *** ** ***********'* ********, ********* **** ** ***** lenses ** **** ** ***** ***** ***** *** ****.

*******, ***** *** *** ********* ** ****:

  1. ****** ****:********* ****** *** *********. *** ******** *.*** ***** ***** *** about $*** ***, **** *** **** ** *** ******. *** newer *** ***** (**** ** *******) ***** *** **** $****. ** contrast, ****** ****** ******* ****** **** *** $***-*** ** *******, *** do *** ******* ********** *********** *** ***** *****.
  2. ********* ***** **********:***** **** ********** **** ****** ********** ******, **** *********** ******* models *** ******* ** *** *** *****, ** ** ***** high *** ** ***** ****.
  3. *********** *** *** ********:************, ***** *** ***** *** *** **** ************ **** *********** areas *** ******* *******, ****** * **** *** ****** **** ImmerVision **** **** **********, **** ****** **** **** *** **********, mechanical *** *******, *** ********** ** **** ****** ************ ******, making ***** *** ** ****** **** **** ********** ** ***** requiring ***** ********.

Multi-Imager **********

*****-****** ******* **** * ********** ********* ******** ** ********** **** fisheye ** **********. ******* ** * ***** **** ***** ****, they ********* ******* ******** **** *** ******** ****** ** * single ******* **** * ****** *****/******* ******. ** **** ********, each ******/**** ****** **** * ******** ** *** ******* ****. For *******, **** ******** ***** ***** ***°***** *** **** ********** **** **** ****** ********* **-**°.

***** *** ******* ***** ** *****-****** ******, **** ******* ******** ranges, ********* ***°, *** **** ******* **** ** ***** ****** ******, typically **** ******* ** **** * **** ****:

 

** **** ** ***° ******, ***** **** *** ******** ******* to * ******* ******, ****** **** * ******** ******** ***** the ******:

*******, **** ***** ******* *** ******* ** * ***° *************, such ** *** ***** ******, ************ ******** *** ****** ***** applications. ***** ******* ***** ******** ** * ***° *** (*.*., *** sides ** * ******** **** ******* ***) ** **** ** the **** ******** ******* *** ******, ***** *****. ***° ***** imagers *** *** ***** ****** *****.

Repositionable ***** *******

******* **** ****** *********** ** *****-****** ******* ** ************** *****. These ******* ***** ***** ** **** ******* ** **** ***** their *****, ** * ******* *** ** *** **** ** not *****, **** ** ******* ************* ** ***** ***** ********* better ******* ** ******** ******.

**** ***** ************ ************** *** ***** ** *** ******** ** Multi ****** ******.

************** **** ****** *** ****** ********, ***********'* ************* ****,****' *****, *********** ** ***** ****** *** **** ********* *******.

Separate ******* **. ******** *****

***** ****** ******* ********* **** ******** ******* *** **** ******, which **** ** ******** ****** ** ***** ** *** *** to ******* *** **** *** ** *** ****.

*******, **** ***** ******, **** ** *** ******* ** ***** Imager ** ***** ****** ****** ******* ******** ** ******* *** panorama ** * ****** ******. *** ******* ******, *** *******, outputs * ****** ********* ******, **** ****:

******** ******* *** ********** **** ****** ** **** ***** *** full ******** ** ** ********* ** ****, ******* ** ****** from ****** ** ******. *******, **** ****** ** * ******* layout **** ***** *******, **** *** ****** ***** ***/** ******* due ** ***** ***-******** **** ****** *****, **** ****:

*****-****** ******* ** *** ******* *** ********* ******** *** ** they ******* *** *********. *** ***** **** **** ** '****' like *** *********** ******. *** **** ********** ** **** **** the ***** ** '********', ** *** * *** ***** ****** ratio. ***** **** *** ***** ******** ** *** *******, ***** non-stitched ** ****** ** *******.

Multi ****** *********

******* *****-****** ******* ******* ** *********, *** *********** ** ********* quite **** *** ********* ** ******. *** *** '****' *** multi-imager ** ** ********** ** ******** ****** *****, ******* ** a * ******* *******.

*** **** ***** ** ******** ** ** *********. **** ***** only ****** * ****** ******* ******* ** ** ****** ** one ******, ** ****** **** * ****** ******* *** ** address/MAC *******. ****** ****** * ******* *** **** ****** ****** since *** ****** ******** ******** *******/*****.

*********, ****** *****-****** ****** *** **** * ****** *** *******. However, ** ** ********* ** ***** **** ***'* ********* *** charges ******* **** *** ******** ***** ** ******** ** *******.

Mounting *******

******** ******* ********* ******* *** *** ***** ** ******* ** critical. The***** ******* ** ********* ******* ***** *********** *** ******* ***** ******* **** **** *** ******, ** increased ******** ********* **** ******** ******* ****** ******* **** *****. For ********, * ******* *** ** * **** **** **** a *.*** *** ****** **** ** ******** ** ~***** *** the **** **** ******* **** ** **** **** **** ** captured ** ~*****. ****** ***** ** *** ******* ** **** 20 **** ****. *** *** **** ** **** ** ***** 10ppf ******* **** *** **** *** ** **** **** * blob.

** ********** ****, **** ********* ***** *** ********** ** ******* delivered ** *** **** ********* ******, ******* ** **', **', and **'.

 

****** ***** ******** **** ** *** ********* ****** ** *** the ****** ****** (** ******, **** *** *********** **** **** may ** ************* ***********).

Wide ******* ***** 

*****-****** ********** **** ** ****** ****** ******* ******* ** **********. *****-****** ******* *** ****** *** ******** for **** ********** ****** ********* ** *** ***** ***** ** the ******* **** ** ** **********. ** ********, ******* ******* have * ****** ******** *** ***** ****** ***** **** ***. This ***** **** ** *** **** ** ************ **** (*******) or ****** (********) *** ** ***** *** ***** **** ** significantly **** ** ************. 

**** **** *** ******* ****** **** ****** *********, **** ** the******* **** (*** *** ****). ** *** *****, *** *** *********** *** **** ****** other *******, **** **** ****** ********** ** ****** ******** ********** than *********** ******, ***** *****.

*******, ******* *** *********** ***** **** ****** ***** ******* **** smaller ****, **** ** ***/***° *****-*******.

Low *****

****** *** ********* ******* **** *********** ******** ** *** ***** but ********** ******* *********. ***** ****** ********* **** * ***** ****(*/*.* ** */*.* *** *********** *******) ******* ** ~**% **** light. ************, ***** **** *** ********** *****-********* (***, ***, ** higher), *** ****** *** ***** ******* *** ******* **** *****.

** ****** ****, **** ******* ***** ****** ****** *** ******* integrated ** ************, ******** ***** ***** ** ****. *** ********** below ***** *** **** **** *** ******, **** *** ********* 63C2 ************* *** ********* **** ** *** ***** *** ** its ********** **.

********** ** ***** ****** ****** *** *** ********* ** ****, such ** *** ******* ****** (*** *** ****), ***** ****** outperformed ***** *****-****** ******* ** *** ***** ** *** *****:

**** **** ******* ***** ************, ******, ***** ****** ** **** careful ***** ***** ********** ** ******* **** *****, ** *** performance ***** ***** ** *** ******* ** *** ********* (******* or *****-******) *******.

Image *******

*****-****** ********** ********* ******* ************* ******* ***** ******* **** ******* or ********* *******. ***** ******** ******* ****** *** ****** ***** resolution (******* ** *****-**** ****). ****, *****-****** **** ***** *** far ******* ***** ******* ***** **** ********** ****** **** *** to ***** * ********** ****** ~**°.

*** *******, *** ***** ***** ***** *** ******** ****** ******* * single ****** ******* ******, * ***° *****-****** (**° *** ******), and * ***°. **** *** ******* ~**' **** *** ******* details ** *** ******* *** ******* ***** ** *** **** chart *** ******* **** ** *** ******* *****.

**** *** ******* ** ~**' **** *** *******, *** ******* panoramic ******** ** ****** ******* **********, ***** *** ***° *****-****** still ******** *** ******* ***** ** *** ***** *** **** rough ******* *******. ** **** ********, *** ***° *****-****** ***** provides ************ ******* ** *** *******.

*******, ** **', ********** ******* ** *** ******* ******, *** 360° *****-****** ** ****** ******** ****** *******, *** *** ****** 180° ***** ******** **** ***** ******* ** *** *******, *** 1-2 ***** ** *** *****.

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

*** **** ************* ***** ******* ********** **** *****-****** ****, **** nearly ***** ***** ************ ******** ** ***** *** ***** ** fisheye. *******, ** ****, *****-****** ******* **** ****** **** ******, with ******** ****** ********* *********,****, ***********, *** ******************** ***** ****** ***** ** ***** *****.

*** * ******* *****, ********,*****, ********** *********** ********** *** ******, *********** ******** ***** **** **** ****** ****/***** *** *.***.

****

*****-****** ********** ********* **** * ** ** **** **** ******* panoramics. ** ******* ******* ****** ***** **** ~$***-*** ***** *** should ****** ** *** ****** ** $*,*** *** * *****-******. Higher *********** *****-******* *** ** **** **** *********, $*,***+, **** as *** **** ***** (~$*,***) *** ******* ******** **** (~$*,***).

**** **** ** ******, *** *****-****** ** ****** ** **** higher ***** **********, ****** *** *** **** ****** **** *** integration.

Tradeoffs / ************

***'* ********* *** **** ********* *** ********** ** **** ** the * *****:

  • *******: ********* - ********* ********, *** ****, ***** **** ******; Weaknesses - *** ***** *******, *** *********** ******, **** *** and *** *****
  • *********: ********* - ********* ********, ***** ***** ****** *******; ********** - **** ****, *** ********** ***, **** ********** **** ***** add-on ******
  • *****-******: ********* - **** ***** *******, ***, *** ***********; ********** - ** ********* ********, ****** ****, ***** ******* *******

*******, **** **** ** ********* **** **** **********. ** ******* this ** ***** ** ******* ** ********* ****** *****.

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