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

Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
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....
GDPR For Access Control Guide on Jul 03, 2018
Electronic access control is common in businesses plus organizations are increasingly considering biometrics for access control. With GDPR coming...
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 Recent Industry Reports

AI Startup Anyvision Raises $28 Million Led By Bosch on Jul 20, 2018
Anyvision is the most ambitious heavy-spending video surveillance startup in many years. And, now, the startup has raised $28 million led by...
Fail: Dahua "Didn't Check The Lux Levels but It Was Dark" on Jul 20, 2018
Dahua UK has been promoting their camera quality on LinkedIn: I, and others, asked what the lux level of the scene was. (background: Lux Rating...
Free 100+ Manufacturer-Customized Camera Calculator Released on Jul 19, 2018
Now, any manufacturer has a customized IPVM Camera Calculator, free. The goal is to make it easier for companies to help their customers better...
Improved Security And Surveillance Bidding - 2018 MasterFormat Divisions Examined) on Jul 19, 2018
Navigating the world of system specifications and bidding work can be complex and confusing, but a standard format exists, and understanding it...
Last Chance - Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jul 19, 2018
Today is the last day to register. Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security...
Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Ladder Lockdown and Ladder Levelizer Tested on Jul 18, 2018
Ladders are a daily necessity for surveillance and security installers, but working on an unstable surface can be extremely dangerous. In addition...
FST Fails on Jul 17, 2018
FST was one of the hottest startups of the decade, selected as the best new product at ISC West 2011 and backed with tens of millions in...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
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...

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