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Which panoramic camera should you use?

by Andy Clutton

When it comes to panoramic cameras, there are a number of options on the market to choose from. Some include multiple sensors in a single housing. Others produce panoramas with a single camera sensor.

Each of these has its strengths that allow it to shine in particular situations. The challenge is to know which is best suited for which particular application. Here, with the help of Dahua, we find out how you can get the most out of panoramic cameras.

Stitched multi-sensor technology

Stitched multi-sensor cameras combine video streams from multiple sensors to produce a high-resolution panoramic image of a 180º or 360º area. Stitched images are the optimal choice for busy scenes where wide-area surveillance is needed, such as stadiums, malls or city surveillance.

For security operators, mental fatigue can set in quickly when they must constantly switch focus among several camera views to monitor a scene. In these types of applications, stitched cameras relieve that strain by providing a single, all-encompassing image for monitoring. Dahua offer four- or eight-sensor cameras that are precisely aligned within a single housing to produce a seamless, widescreen 180º to 360º view with minimal surveillance blind spots.

Unstitched multi-sensor cameras

Multi-sensor cameras that are unstitched comprise of two or more single-sensor cameras in one housing to increase efficiency for wide-area surveillance. Each sensor provides a single output and can be positioned independently based on the specific requirements of a scene or application.

When customisation is required, unstitched images are the best option, as they deliver the functionality of multiple single-sensor cameras with the convenience of using a single camera. These cameras excel at providing a comprehensive, multi-camera view of a scene without the clutter of multiple cameras, decreasing total cost of ownership and offering a more flexible solution. They’re ideal for intersecting hallways and scenarios with multiple targeted monitoring points.

An example of a high-performing, multi-directional, unstitched-image multi-sensor camera is the 4 × 5MP WizMind Multi-Sensor No-Splicing Panoramic Dome Network Camera (model number: IPC-PDBW82041-B360). It can be deployed in crossroads, business parks, campuses and other application scenarios that require multi-directional monitoring, perimeter protection, and face recognition.

Whether you choose stitched or unstitched cameras, multi-sensor cameras deliver improved image quality and flexibility, as well as better depth-of-field. Additionally, end users get a higher return on investment from deploying a multiple-sensor camera in place of multiple single-sensor units.

Fisheye cameras

Unlike the first two camera types, Dahua’s fisheye cameras feature a single CMOS sensor with resolution choices of either 5MP, 8MP, or 12MP within a compact housing. These cameras use a special fisheye or panomorphic lens to produce ram video in a circular shape that is optically distorted. As a result, the image has to be dewarped with software to provide a variety of preview options and viewing experience.

Ideal for capturing small to mid-size scenes without blind spots at a 180º or 360° field of view, fisheye cameras like Dahua’s WizMind 12MP Fisheye Network Camera (model number: DH-IPC-EBW81242-AS-S2) are designed to replace multiple single-sensor cameras, providing a higher return on investment. Other benefits fisheyes offer include lower risk of failure, compact size and true 360° coverage.

Moreover, the DH-IPC-EBW81242-AS-S2 fisheye camera model is also equipped with advanced AI technology, including People Counting (area and line-crossing), Queue Management, Heat Map, and Front Dewarp & VR Modes, all of which add up to heightened situational awareness. Ideal applications are open spaces such as supermarkets, museums and restaurants.

There’s a camera for every application – find out more here

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