Testing Panoramic / 360 Cameras (Mobotix Q24)

Author: Benros Emata, Published on May 08, 2010

Panoramic / 360 cameras are a growing trend within video surveillance. Megapixel resolution enables cameras to cover wider field of views. 360 cameras take this to the extreme and essentially look in 'every' direction. 

Important questions remains on the use of this technology: How good is the quality of the image? How easy is it use? How well does it integrate with VMS systems?

In this test, we examine the Mobotix Q24 panoramic/360 cameras including both color (MX-Q24M-Sec-D11) and B&W models (MX-Q24M-Sec-Night-N11). We tested with 4GB of on-board storage and their MxControlCenter client.

A pre-requisite for this test is our Mobotix camera configuration report or experience configuring Mobotix.

Contrast to our test of Grandeye's 360 Degree / Panoramic megapixel camera.

Product Overview

Mobotix Q24 cameras provide immersive viewing and control over a 360 degree field of view. The cameras uses a fisheye lens and dewarping software to provide 'normalized' images across the area covered. The camera's Virtual PTZ functionality can only be controlled via Mobotix software (e.g., MxControlCenter and MxEasy).

Mobotix offers free VMS licenses and supports storage inside the camera or direct to NAS appliances.

Although we tested the Q24M cameras as a ceiling mount installation, Mobotix offers adapters for wall mount, discrete, and vandal resistant integration options.  Review the specifications and the manual from the Mobotix website.

Key points include:

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

  • Max resolution of 3MP for color and 1.3MP for black & white
  • MxPEG and MJPEG Codec (no H.264 support)
  • 11mm, 360 degree lens included (in the models D11 and N11)
  • Weatherproof housing and connectors
  • 4GB MicroSD card pre-installed
  • Powered via POE ethernet port

Pricing

The online price for both Q24M-SEC-D11 (color) and Q24M-SEC-NIGHT-N11 (black/white) is approximately $1000.00 USD.

Physical Overview

The following screencast covers the physical form factor of the Q24M.

Key points include:

  • Color and black/white camera versions are physically identical
  • Includes a fixed 1.8mm lens
  • Microphone and speaker built in
  • Note the labeling on the camera to verify the side to face North
  • The default IP address is printed on the back label
  • Press and hold the "L" button will reset the camera to the factory IP address
  • Press and hold the "R" button will play an audible voice that states the current IP address

Configuration and Optimization

Because of Mobotix's unique camera configuration convention, we have created a dedicated report that focuses on its specific features and settings. If you are not familiar with Mobotix hardware and software, please read the configuration report before proceeding.

Virtual PTZ Functionality and Optimization

The Q24M has no optical zoom, nor does it have electronic motors for pan and tilt functionality: All PTZ functions are performed digitally.  The following screencast describes the enabling of the virtual PTZ function and covers the different display modes to control.

Key points include:

  • The Mode feature has two dropdown menus that list display options of the camera and Mx Control Center
  • Changing the display mode in the camera will yield slower PTZ controls than changing the display mode in Mx Control Center
  • Changing the mode to Area Corrected simulates a traditional PTZ view
  • If you have no PTZ functionality, click on the Post Processing icon, select Settings, and check Activate in the PTZ area in the pop up window
  • The virtual PTZ can be set to automatically rotate at different speeds
  • The Center button instantly sets the camera back to its center position
  • The 1x Zoom button instantly sets the camera back to its default field of view
  • Surround mode switches the display to a quad view, with a region of the camera in each window
  • Panorama mode is for a wall mount installation and displays a corrected 180 degree panorama view
  • Double Panorama mode displays a corrected 180 degree panorama view of the North and South half of the image

Image Quality

The following screencast covers our analysis of the Q24M image quality for daylight, low lux outdoor, indoor, and wide dynamic range environments.

Before downloading and viewing our sample clips, please carefully review our screencast, for it explains specific steps in importing the clips into Mx Control Center.

Key points in the screencast include:

  • In a low lux environment (0.3 lux), camera noise for black and white is significant: person identification occurs when subject is almost directly under camera; however, for color, almost no usable image is produced
  • In uneven low light scenarios (ranging from 8 - 12 lux), camera noise is still apparent; In addition, facial features on subject beyond 8 feet is not identifiable
  • In an even lit environment (3000 lux), subject's facial details beyond 10 feet is not very detailed
  • In a wide dynamic range scene (ranging from 4000 - 300 lux), demonstrated in a partially covered parking garage, there are visible tradeoffs in using the camera in this environment

Recommendations and Competitive Contrast

Overall Use - A selection of Mobotix's Q24 cameras requires selecting Mobotix's entire video management package (using MxControlCenter or MxEasy). As such, specifiers should be comfortable with using Mobotix end to end. We believe MxControlCenter and MxEasy require more training and technical expertise than most VMS systems. End users should be careful on this point [Note: a full review of MxControlCenter will be published May 12th].

Cost - The camera cost and overall cost are both quite low. At approximately $1,000, the camera is significantly less than Grandeye's comparable camera as well as multi-imager units from ArecontVision. Moreover, since Mobotix does not charge for VMS licenses, this saves an additional $75 - $200 per camera. Finally, since Mobotix can record to low cost NAS devices, storage costs will be lower as well (saving $50 - $200 depending on the amount of storage used).

Image Quality - Mobotix's Q24 cameras do not provide high detail for facial and license plate identification at more than 8 - 10 feet from the camera (even in day time lighting conditions). This is a category issue for fisheye based 360 degree issues as the FoV increases by 3 to 6x traditional video surveillance areas covered. The Mobotix cameras should be used more for situational awareness than for detailed forensic evidence.

Day vs Night - The black and white camera performed far better than the color at under 1 lux. Additionally,we saw modest improvements at 5 lux. If low light is a key requirement, the black and white model should be strongly considered. However, the obvious tradeoff is the loss of color. There is not day/night model for Mobotix's panoramic cameras.

Overall, selecting Mobotix's Q24 cameras is a difficult decision as the camera possesses some strong positive and negative elements. The low cost and broad coverage (for situational awareness) makes it a very attractive replacement economically for multiple SD cameras. However, the limitation to Mobotix's platform forces users to carefully examine the usability and suitability of an end to end Mobotix solution.

For current Mobotix users or those planning to use Mobotix, the Q24 cameras provide significant value. However, for those who do not use or have reservations of switching to Mobotix, caution is recommended.

5 reports cite this report:

Mobotix's 2011 Challenges and Future Plans Examined on Mar 20, 2011
While Mobotix's growth continued and accelerated at the end of 2010, we believe the company faces new challenges as competitors catch up to a...
New Products Reviewed Fall 2010 on Oct 12, 2010
In this report, we aggregate all our new products reviews for Fall 2010 announcments. Products Reviewed The following new products are reviewed....
Arecont's New 8MP D/N Panoramic Cameras Examined on Oct 10, 2010
Arecont Vision has announced new multi-imager dome cameras that offer significant enhancements relative to the existing AV8185 (180 Deg.) and...
Examining Geovision's Panoramic Cameras on Oct 05, 2010
Geovision has announced 2 panoramic camera models including a 1.3MP and 4MP model. Both models use fisheye lens with dewarping of the video inside...
Strong Q1 2010 Growth on May 17, 2010
For the first 3 months of 2010, Mobotix generated strong growth - continuing a rebound from a near growth stall experienced in 2009.  Q1 2010...

Related Reports

Milestone Disrupts Milestone With Arcules on Nov 19, 2018
Milestone is now competing against... Milestone's own spinout Arcules. New IPVM testing shows that Arcules has incorporated a substantial amount...
Arcules Cloud VMS Tested on Nov 19, 2018
Arcules is a big bet, or as they describe themselves a 'bold company', spun out and backed by Milestone and Canon.  But how good is Arcules cloud...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Size Statistics 2018 on Nov 08, 2018
What is the most common hard drive size for video surveillance? 150+ integrators answered: What size hard drive do you most commonly use? What...
Axis 2N Intercom Tested on Nov 08, 2018
Axis expanded its video intercom business buying Czech-based 2N in 2016. Despite competing against owner Axis' intercoms, 2N recently registered as...
Kogniz Silicon Valley AI Startup Profile on Nov 07, 2018
Kogniz is a Silicon Valley company that aims to bring AI analytics to security and surveillance, centering on their own smart cameras: We spoke...
Dahua Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (HDBW4231FN-E2-M) on Nov 07, 2018
Dahua has introduced a dual-imager dome model, the HDBW4231FN-E2-M, with two independently positionable sensors including integrated IR, not found...
Avigilon Opens Up Analytics And Cameras on Nov 06, 2018
Avigilon is opening up. The company historically famous for advocating its own end-to-end solutions and making it harder for 3rd parties to...
Favorite Video Surveillance Hard Drive Manufacturer 2018 on Nov 06, 2018
Who is the favorite hard drive for video surveillance use? 150+ integrators answered: What is your preferred brand/model of hard drive for...
Worst Products on Nov 03, 2018
Security integrators periodically report on their favorite and worst products to IPVM. These are known integrators who IPVM pays to answer surveys....

Most Recent Industry Reports

Milestone Disrupts Milestone With Arcules on Nov 19, 2018
Milestone is now competing against... Milestone's own spinout Arcules New IPVM testing shows that Arcules has incorporated a substantial amount of...
Pressure Mounts Against Dahua and Hikvision Xinjiang Business on Nov 19, 2018
Pressure is mounting against Hikvision, Dahua, and other companies operating in Xinjiang as an international outcry brews against the Chinese...
Arcules Cloud VMS Tested on Nov 19, 2018
Arcules is a big bet, or as they describe themselves a 'bold company', spun out and backed by Milestone and Canon.  But how good is Arcules cloud...
'Sticker' Surveillance Camera Developed (CSEM Witness) on Nov 16, 2018
The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) has announced what it calls the: world’s first fully autonomous camera that can be...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Final Report on Nov 16, 2018
This is our second (updated) and final show report from ISC East. ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed...
Facial Detection Tested on Nov 16, 2018
Facial detection and recognition are increasingly offered by video surveillance manufacturers. Facial detection detects faces in an image/video...
Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...

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