Pelco Optera Multi-Imager Cameras Overview

By John Honovich, Published Apr 07, 2015, 12:00am EDT

2015 looks to be the year multi-imager goes mainstream.

Pelco is one of a number of major brands launching multi-imager cameras.

In this note, we examine the features, pricing and positioning of Pelco's Optera series.

Optera Overview

Optera are 4-imager, 12MP total cameras, available in 180, 270 and 360 degree versions, specified for True WDR and SureVision 2.0 low light performance (limited by the f/2.0 imagers used).

Their main differentiator (besides the 270 version which is novel) is what they call the 'Panomersive Experience'. Instead of the Arecont approach of 4 separate imagers that users need to manually lay out side by side, Pelco will provide a stitched output and a 'Optera tooklit' enabling immersive controls throughout the entire FoV.

Here is what that looks like in their new/upcoming VideoXpert VMS:

270° Model

The 270 model will have 3 imagers in a row, with a 270° FoV plus the 4th imager will be looking down. This model might work well for building corners, providing full coverage around the spot.

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3rd Party Integration

Pelco says Optera will have full ONVIF support (S, G and Q). Using ONVIF only, though, one will not get the full 'panomersive experience'. Pelco tells us that, via ONVIF, 3 streams will be provided, 'left' and 'right' halves and an 'overview' stream. The 'left' and 'right' halves placed side by side would display the full 12MP FoV.

Third party VMSes that implement the Optera toolkit will be able to have full control.


Pricing has not been set but Pelco says they anticipate it to be competitive with existing offerings. To that end, we would anticipate street pricing in the $1500 to $2000 range.


Competitive Positioning

The biggest player in multi-imager, for now, is Arecont, with an extensive lineup (e.g., their newest offering - the Omni). Scallop is another option (see Scallop test results). Both DW and ACTi are planning to release high-resolution muti-imager cameras this year. Avigilon has had a multi-imager for years but is out of date, JPEG2000 and proprietary.

Given Pelco's reach / size, they have the ability to market and provide a legitimate alternative to Arecont. A key question will be third party support and ability to use the Optera with ONVIF only.

However, for the many people looking for an Arecont multi-imager alternative, this provides an interesting option.

IPVM Test Results


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