Testing Wide Vs Narrow Camera FoV

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 24, 2011

Determining the correct Field of View (FoV) for each surveillance camera is one of the most important decisions in designing surveillance systems. It can also be one of the most challenging as a fundamental tension exists: People prefer wide FoVs because the wider the Field of View the more they can see. However, the wider the FoV, the less details they can actually make out in any given area of the scene. While megapixel has improved this situation, significant limits exists in how wide and how far one can see simultaneously.

Testing Wide vs Narrow FoV

One of the most common outdoor use cases is to monitor the perimeter of a building and the parking lot adjacent to the building. Ideally, it would be great to accomplish this with a single camera that captures the details of a person coming up to a building while at the same time capturing what is going on in the parking lot.

The images below provide examples of two different Field of Views. The first, the 'wide' one captures both the sidewalk/entrance to the building and a large portion of the parking lot. The second, the 'narrow' one focuses on the sidewalk/entrance with only a small portion of the distant parking lot.

Both pictures are from the same camera. The only thing that has changed is the optical zoom.

Inside this report, we look at which one is 'better' in which conditions and what the tradeoffs are.

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