Scallop Multi-Imager Camera ImprovementsBy John Honovich, Published Sep 23, 2014, 12:00am EDT
Earlier in 2014, after years adrift, multi-imager panoramic camera specialist Scallop rebooted. Now, the company is moving forward with product improvements, price drops and new offerings.
In this note, we break down each of these aspects.
Frame Rate Increase
Full resolution video at 1fps max was one of the most notable historical limitations for Scallop's multi-imager, multi-megapixel cameras. The upside was a 6.5MP 5120 x 1280 stream but the downside was no more than 1fps. A secondary 720p / 15fps was offered but 720p is quite limited (especially today).
Now, Scallop is upgrading their cameras to do 3fps at max resolution. This is a firmware upgrade that is backwards compatible for existing models.
Though 3fps is not high, it is significantly better than 1fps and gets Scallop closer to actual video, not just a slide show.
Two of their models are getting notable price drops with the MSRP of the:
- D7-180 [link no longer available] decreasing $200, from $1,499 to $1,299
- the M6-200 [link no longer available], b&w, low light camera declining $500, from $3,499 to $2,999.
Despite this, given the rapid growth of panoramic fisheye cameras and the expansion of rival's Arecont lines to 12MP, 20MP and 40MP, Scallop is certainly not inexpensive.
New Horizontal Form Factor
Historically, Scallop's form factor has been vertical / portrait oriented. Now, they are adding a horizontal / landscape one. Contrast:
The idea is that the horizontal orientation may fit better in certain applications and/or be more aesthetically pleasing to certain buyers.
Upcoming 3 Imager Model
Scallop also says they will soon be releasing a 3 imager, ~120° model.
This will provide a lower cost option for those applications that do not need to cover an entire 180 FoV, as their other cameras have.
Outlook - First Step
These are solid, but not huge, first steps in improving Scallop's positioning.
The good news, for Scallop, is that multi-imager offerings remain nearly as scarce as they did 5 years ago, when Scallop's product first hit the market while the unmet demand remains high as Arecont remains the only open, multi-imager offering in the market.
The moderately lower pricing and the improved frame rate should help spur some interest, but the company needs to further developing new products to gain a stronger position.
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