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7 reasons to choose fisheye lens over multi-sensor security cameras

7 reasons to choose fisheye lens over multi-sensor security cameras recently spoke to Peter Kim, Global Technical Consultant at IDIS, to understand some of the most significant benefits of using a fisheye lens.
A decision that many systems integrators have to make is whether to use a fisheye lens or a multi-sensor camera. Both have a lot of similarities but differences too. For example, a fisheye provides a more cohesive and all-around view, while multi-sensors can offer more pixels per foot, and camera heads can be pointed to focus on specific areas. recently spoke to Peter Kim, Global Technical Consultant at IDIS Global, to understand some of the most significant benefits of using a fisheye lens.

Also read: which verticals do multisensor cameras suit the most? 
  1. Zero blind spots

With a fisheye camera, you get the advantage of no blind spots, meaning you’ll be able to follow any person of interest wherever they go, both live and during playback.  By contrast, a multi-sensor camera works by ‘stitching’ images together, so there is a more chance of gaps in footage and critical incidents being missed.

“It’s next to impossible to “stitch” images together to provide a true 360-degree view,” Kim pointed out. “Multi-sensor cameras are also likely to provide uneven exposure, leading to false colors.” 
  1. Better VMS integration

Like all specialty cameras, navigating and managing multi-sensor cameras is highly dependent on the chosen video management software (VMS). So, performance and the ability to use all the functions and features of the camera can vary quite dramatically depending on each setup. 

And while fisheyes are becoming more mainstream, users will benefit by using an end-to-end solution as the VMS will come with high-performance PTZ functionality. The dewarping capability lets users see clearly right to the periphery of a scene and makes it simple to export forensic-level footage. Better still, an end-to-end system should allow you to smoothly dewarp from the camera and VMS as well as via mobile devices, giving users the flexibility to review and investigate incidents on the move and remotely. 
  1. Enhanced use cases

Today’s fisheye cameras are achieving ever-increasing sensitivity to low and changing light conditions. This means users can benefit from functions such as heat mapping - in retail applications giving more accurate dwell time and customer flow data, for example - all from a single-lens camera that continually provides a wide and downward view.

“This is difficult to achieve with some multi-sensor cameras,” Kim added. “Pointing one sensor at a precise angle increases the chances of gaps in footage and raises the likelihood of missing a critical incident.”  
  1. Storage optimization

A single-lens fisheye camera also offers significant storage and bandwidth savings compared to multi-sensors because users only retain footage and transmit one stream. Despite the use of H.265 and specialist compression codecs and technology for controlling and managing resolution and frame rates, storage can still make up half of the overall cost of a new surveillance system. This continues to be a significant factor when it comes to buying decisions.  
  1. Ease of use

Fisheye cameras, with their single sensors, are also lighter and easier to install. Besides finding a location to mount the camera, an engineer does not need to adjust the field-of-view (FoV). This means they are significantly faster to install compared with a multi-senior camera.

“They also offer flexibility in locations such as corridors and receptions areas, for example, with the option of wall-mounting ensuring complete 180-degree coverage,” Kim said. “A multi-sensor, with its coverage dependent on positioning, will give you a poor depth of view in tight spaces.” 
  1. Lower costs

Fisheyes are also more affordable upfront. With fewer moving parts and components, there is less risk of failure and less likely to overheat compared to a multi-sensor since heat is something that is related to the lifecycle of any electronic device.  So, with fisheyes, users benefit from easier maintenance and lower life cycle costs, and that saves money for end-users and keeps service agreements profitable for systems integrators. 
  1. They look good too!

And finally, let’s face it, multi-sensor cameras are bulky and pretty ugly.  By contrast, fisheyes are sleek and discreet. They are available in compact models that can be mounted flush to ceilings and walls, making them the perfect choice for sites where customers don’t want intrusive surveillance – such as retail, restaurants, hotels, premium office spaces, lobbies, and other upmarket environments.
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