As the name implies, single-sensor panoramic cameras consist of a casing and a single sensor/lens. These cameras are priceworthy, and are easier to mount, as they are smaller than multisensor cameras.
When mounting a single-sensor camera with a wide-angle lens in the ceiling, you will get a circular fisheye view of 360° (figure 1), thus giving complete coverage of the area in question. Panoramic cameras are not limited to ceilings – they can be mounted on walls too, from where they also give great overviews. The main benefit of wall-mounting a camera is that it is easier to see people’s faces, as the viewing angle is different to that of a ceiling -mounted camera (figure 2).
Another smart feature is the digital PTZ function, which allows you to get a zoomed-in rectangular view or a quad view (simulating four different cameras, figure 3).
So how does a camera get a rectangular view from a fisheye view? The answer is dewarping, a technique in which the camera’s processor uses special algorithms to convert the curved image to a rectangular one (figure 4). Note that movement in the fisheye view will look more natural than the dewarped quad view format. Dewarping can be applied to both live streaming and recorded material.
The fisheye lens used in the panoramic single-sensor camera displays considerable variations in the pixel density of the captured view. In the 360° view, the pixel density is highest close to the center, and significantly less at the edges of the view. Because of this it is recommended to place the camera closer to objects that require viewing at high pixel density.
Examples of suitable areas: small to medium retail stores, public areas, warehouses, offices.
- Great overview (180-360°)
- Compact casing
- Discreet installation (no visible viewing angle)
- Quad view (one network cable)
- Low pixel density