Vivotek 12MP IR Multi-Imager Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Aug 09, 2016

A key weakness of multi-imager cameras is poor low light.

While integrated IR has become dominant in cameras overall, it is still uncommon in multi-imager cameras.

But now, Vivotek has released the MS8391-EV, a 12MP multi imager model touting 30m integrated IR, one of the first cameras to include it.

We tested this new model to see how it performed against multi-imagers from Axis (Q3709-PVE) and Pelco (Optera) in full light and low light, checking image quality, infrared illumination performance, bitrates, and more.

The image below overviews the Vivotek, with competitive comparisons inside.

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Comments (19)

Vivotek says customers locating the MS8391 near other cameras may request a special firmware which keeps the camera's LEDs on full time, but this reduces IR range by ~30%.

So even other Vivotek cameras?

Yes, since the exposure of the other cameras (including VIVOTEK's) is not synchronized with the IR pulse of MS8391-EV, the image would be effected. Upgrading special firmware provided by VIVOTEK can eliminate this effect.

Back in the day, some cameras with an AC inlet could sync the frame with the mains cycle, and as long as everybody was getting more or less the same phase, all the frames would be in lockstep. Which made the old video muxes switch without a horizontal blip.

Nowadays of course with everything being POE the mains cycle sine wave has been long flattened, so that's not available.

Still, within a given manufacturers line, you would think that it could recognize the pulsing IR effect of another similar camera, if nothing else thru a crude video analytic. Then slight adjustments could be made in the timing to bring them all together. This would produce a natural incentive to stay within a manufacturer's line, so I think that if pulsed IR is indeed the "wave" of the future, we shall see such synchronization mechanisms shortly.

Any plans to test DWC-PB2M4TIR to compare with another IR panoramic?

No plans to test that one since it is only 6MP.

Their 48MP one is much more interesting to us, given its very high total resolution, though that they sold off ISD that developed this is a negative.

48MP is much more interesting, no doubt, but it doesn't have IR. Comparative test vs. another panoramic with IR would be interesting, but not critical, I agree.

So would you recommend this camera over the Axis?

Why are these things still only putting out 5fps? I can put 4 single cameras together and do much better...heck even just two.

I can put 4 single cameras together and do much better...

How much better? You mean like as fast the camera outputs them, e.g. 30 FPS?

So take 4 3MP cameras, read an uncompressed 3MB frame from each sensor, dewarp the edges, smooth and integrate the four frames into a single 10 MP raw image, compress it and then IP encode the whole thing and kick it out the door.

Do it in less than 30 milliseconds per frame and you are good to go!

faster fps and the image quality when using single cameras just seems much better. im not concerned about stitching, just coverage and quality.

You asked why. That's why.

@John or anyone any idea when is Axis going to update the q3709?

Update in what way? It's a pretty new camera so I wouldn't expect an upgraded model soon.

They have the Q3708 but it's much lower resolution (3x1080p). It's more light sensitive but it's a big drop in pixel count.

Perhaps he is referring to this, from the Q3709 test.

Yes I was referring to the firmware update it is a little late!

The AXIS Q3708 has 3 x Quad HD at 30 fps or 3 x 5 MP at 20 fps, and one IP address.

Will you be testing the Hik PanoVu's anytime soon?

I had the opportunity this week to test them but I'm keen to know your thoughts.

Just beware of the weight of the 1636. It comes in at a whopping 15kg.

Campbell, thanks, I am not sure if the PanoVu is available in North America yet.

We definitely will test the non-PTZ model, the 6986, because we expect it to be fairly widely used. Not sure about the PTZ one as the Axis version has been a niche so far. Maybe if the Hikvision one is much lower in price it could spur interest but don't know yet.

Would be great to see how it compares to the Avigilon Multi-sensor.

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