Testing Canon's PTZ Camera (VB-C60)

Author: John Honovich, Published on Dec 27, 2009

While megapixel cameras are hot, PTZs remain an important part of video surveillance deployments. Probably the most frequently mentioned product of Canon is their 40x optical zoom, network PTZ camera - the VB-C60.

We tested the Canon VB-C60 PTZ with Exacq's exacqVision software. The VB-C60 is from Canon's Network Camera line [Read our overview of Canon's products for background and watch a live VB-C60 from a public webam.]

Key findings include:

  • Generally, clear, crisp images during the day
  • In low light (1 lux and under), color quality was almost as good as black and white but both had challenges under .5 lux
  • For surveillance applications, some 'webcam' configurations can be confusing and make troubleshooting difficult
  • For real time security monitoring, physical/mechanical limitations can be problematic

Product Overview

The Canon VB-C60 has the following notable specifications:

  • MPEG-4 or MJPEG streams (no H.264)
  • 40x optical zoom (from 3.4mm to 136mm focal length)
  • 340 degree pan range (the camera cannot continuously pan and requires the operator to pan back to follow suspects across the camera's blind spot)
  • 115 degree tilt range (the camera cannot follow someone walking directly under it without panning first to reposition the camera under the target)
  • Fairly broad 3rd party VMS integration (we confirmed use with both Exacq and Milestone Enterprise). Additionally, Canon's listed support includes Genetec, ipConfigure, Luxriot and more)

For more details, see the specification sheet and the third party VMS support list.

Pricing

The MSRP of the VB-C60 is $1,695 and it can be bought on-line for approximately $1,300.

Physical Overview

Below, we examine the physical and mechanical elements of the camera. This is fairly straightforward but the limitations on pan and tilt range should be kept in mind.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Software Configuration

Software configuration was typical of IP cameras except for a few notable issues:

  • The camera needs to be re-booted for many configuration changes (including changes in resolution, frame rate and rotation of the image)
  • Problems can arise when someone else has control of the PTZ due to the 'webcam' PTZ control queue. For instance, if someone is using the web interface, the VMS can be blocked out from controlling the PTZ. While this should not be a problem during the 'normal' operational use, it can cause confusion and issues during integration/setup.
  • The default resolution is 320 x 240. We expect many users would want to immediately change that to the maximum resolution of 640 x 480.

Image Quality Analysis

Download the zip file of 8 video samples [Note: 150 MB] to view scenes from daytime, night time and controlled low light. The night and low light tests are provided in both b/w and color modes.

Key points on image quality include:

  • Daytime video was sharp and had good color fidelity except for direct bright sunlight. With such sunlight, the image quality tended to become heavily washed out.
  • During night time and low light, details captured in color mode were similar to b&w, except for our .3 lux test where b&w captured significantly more details than color.
Watch the screencast below for our commentary and analysis:

Recommendations

On a specification basis, the big draw for the Canon is its 40x optical zoom. While the camera demonstrated that it can zoom across long distances and provide sharp details (in daytime), the limitations on panning and tilting are probably the most important constraints on using this camera in security applications.

The best use of this camera is likely to be mounted to the wall of a building where only the exterior 180 degree area needs to be covered (examples include the outside wall of a shopping center or industrial location). By contrast, ceiling mounting this camera inside of a mall or installing the camera in a parking lot where an operator needs to follow suspects throughout the lot could be a problem (because of the pan and tilt constraints). For these applications, a continously panning speeddome is likely to be a better fit for security operators. On the other hand, the Canon (and others in its class, like the Sony RZ series) costs 2x less than common speeddomes.

In contrast to SMB cameras like Cisco's PVC300 (with similar pan and tilt range), the Canon VB-C60 has clear advantages in image quality, night time quality, PTZ speed and 3rd party support). On the other hand, the Canon VB-C60 is double the price (Cisco PVC300 is about $600 on-line, Canon about $1300). For details, read our test results of Cisco's PVC 300 PTZ.

4 reports cite this report:

New Surveillance Products Spring 2011 Final on Apr 06, 2011
In this report, we provide a single source listing new video surveillance products announced in Spring 2011 and in conjunction with ISC West.For...
Canon's New Megapixel Cameras Examined on Mar 23, 2011
In this note, we examine the announcement of 3 new megapixel cameras from Canon. The release includes a PTZ, dome and box camera as well as video...
Testing LuxRiot VMS (Version 1.7) on Feb 28, 2010
As video management software matures, complaints increase about its high price. Even a small deployment of 16 cameras in a single site can cost...
Testing LILIN's PTZ (IPS-2124) and ONVIF Integration on Jan 09, 2010
Merit LILIN was the first manufacturer to announce production support for IP camera 'standards' - specifically ONVIF's protocol. In January 2009,...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Axis Perimeter Defender Video Analytics Tested on Jul 12, 2018
Axis 'high security' video analytics offering is Perimeter Defender, OEMed / developed with Digital Barriers. But how good is Perimeter Defender?...
Drops Dahua, Fenner Becomes ISS CMO on Jul 09, 2018
Hired to improve Dahua's miserable marketing just last year, Janet Fenner has quit Dahua, joining VMS manufacturer ISS as Chief Marketing...
UK VSaaS Startup Ocucon on Jul 03, 2018
Decreasing exposure to fraudulent slip-and-fall insurance claims and lawsuits is one of the oldest selling points of video surveillance for retail....
Digital Watchdog Low Cost 4MP Camera Tested on Jul 02, 2018
Based on member 4MP testing requests, we bought and tested Digital Watchdog's low-cost 4MP DWC-MTT4Wi to see how it performs in real world scenes,...
Panoramic Fisheye Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek on Jun 27, 2018
IPVM tested Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek 12MP panoramic fisheye cameras head to head, as shown in the test setup...
Snap Surveillance Profile on Jun 26, 2018
There are not a lot of video surveillance companies that survive 9 years with only one feature that makes their product stand out. In the case of...
OpenEye Apex VMS Tested on Jun 26, 2018
OpenEye is a US company, founded nearly 20 years ago. In the past few years, OpenEye has been one of a few VMS providers that have pivoted to being...
Most Wanted Improvements In Manufacturer Technical Support (Statistics) on Jun 21, 2018
5 key areas of improvement and 1 clear wanted support feature were voiced by 140+ integrator responses to: What improvement in manufacturer...
Axis Guardian - Cloud VMS And Alarm Monitoring - Released on Jun 19, 2018
Axis has struggled to deliver a cloud-based managed service video platform. Video service providers have utilized AVHS for over a decade, and have...
Hikvision 12MP Fisheye Camera Tested (DS-2CD63C2F-IV) on Jun 14, 2018
Hikvision's DS-2CD63C2F-IV is their flagship panoramic camera, with a 12MP imager, 15m integrated IR, smart codec, and more. We tested the 63C2 in...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested on Jul 16, 2018
Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore. IPVM found that...
Hikvision Wins Chinese Government Forced Facial Recognition Project Across 967 Mosques on Jul 16, 2018
Hikvision has won a Chinese government tender which requires that facial recognition cameras be set up at the entrance of every single mosque...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...
Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jul 13, 2018
Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security Sales Course Summer 2018 This...
US Tariffs Hit China Video Surveillance on Jul 13, 2018
Chinese video surveillance products avoided tariffs for the first two rounds. Now, in the third round, many video surveillance products will be...
Last Chance - July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jul 12, 2018
Registration ends today, Thursday. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance...
4 Most Difficult Camera Installs (Statistics) on Jul 12, 2018
Heavy housings, cumbersome brackets, heavy ladders required, and tricky field of view requirements will cause difficulties no matter the camera...
Axis Perimeter Defender Video Analytics Tested on Jul 12, 2018
Axis 'high security' video analytics offering is Perimeter Defender, OEMed / developed with Digital Barriers. But how good is Perimeter Defender?...
Hikvision Fights Ban - Claims 'Red Scare', Hires 14 Term Ex-Congressman on Jul 11, 2018
Hikvision is fighting back against the House Bill Ban of their products. Hikvision has hired one of the biggest lobbying firms, led by a 14 term...
Arecont Acquisition By Costar on Jul 11, 2018
Arecont Vision acquisition by Costar Technologies has been approved by the court, concluding the bankruptcy process triggered by Arecont's...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact