Multi Sensor Cameras

by in Q&A
March 1, 2018

Q. I always hear people talk about how great Multi Sensor cameras are; What are they and what advantages do they have over the competition?


James Seeley

Multi-sensor dewarped monitor view

Dear James,

Thanks for reaching out. Let’s dive into what multi sensor cameras are and then get into what advantages they provide.

Long gone are the days of deploying a multitude of analog cameras to cover a simple 180 or even 360 degree view. In 2018, we have come a long way and simply demand more from our hardware. At a minimum we want less cameras, at HD quality for lower cost. That is what multi sensor cameras (among other things) seek to achieve.

For starters, what are multi sensor cameras? Multi sensor cameras seek to cover a range of 360 viewing in a single camera housing. Multi sensor cameras often get mixed up fisheye panoramic cameras though. Both camera types seek to capture panoramic footage, but that is where the similarities end. To put it simply, fish eye cameras deploy a panomorph lens to capture a panorama of 360. The images often come out a bit distorted as they are captured in fisheye mode and typically require developing software usually called dewarping to adjust the images to something usable for surveillance. Multi sensor cameras offer different angle sizes (180, 270, 360) and deploy multiple sensors to capture video at different angles. The streams of each sensor is then stitched together to provide the end user with a single hi resolution video stream. A big drawback with fisheye cameras is that since it is only a single camera sensor being used, the pixel level is naturally much lower, making it a more difficult to use them in low lighting scenarios.

Now into the thick of it, the advantages of multi-sensor cameras.

Extreme Versatility

For starters, the variety in its application sets multi-sensor cameras apart from the pack. Right off the bat, the option of 180, 270 and 360 views allow multi sensor cameras to be successfully deployed in a multitude of situations. 180 multi-sensor cams do a great job being mounted to walls to cover parking lots, loading docks, and sites of similar nature. 270 cameras are best suited for corners of buildings as they can cover the entry way and the surrounding areas of it seamlessly. The 360 is the big boy of the bunch and can handle wide area spaces like parks, airport exteriors and parking lots pretty effortlessly.

Financial Benefits

Multisensor cameras really offer a ton of bang for your buck. For starters, less cameras mean less cabling work that needs to be done and therefore less overall time that an integrator needs to spend installing your system. Those factors put together can return in some pretty steep savings for the end user make multi sensor cameras all the more tempting for anyone operating on a budget but not willing to sacrifice on quality.

Add on benefits

Most multi sensor cameras come equipped with a variety of benefits that, when leveraged, properly, can add a whole host of benefits to the end user at no additional cost. Abandoned object detection, camera sabotage and stopped vehicle detection are typically included with multisensor cameras so that your system can be leveraged into a event detection device as well as a camera.

Image quality

Likely the biggest advantage of multisensor cameras, the high number of pixels per sensor ramps up the recorded image quality substantially. Additions like wide dynamic range and low light functions make the quality and usability of these stitched together images even more effective.

Multisensor cameras are not a one stop shop for security or even surveillance as a whole. Word of caution, not all multi sensor cameras have the correct integration to all VMS out there. Before you buy the camera and decide on the VMS of choice, make sure the VMS handles the multisensor camera as one license. You certainly do not want to buy 4 licenses worse case, just because you are using a multisensor camera.

Deployed in the proper circumstances though, they can offer some pretty sweet advantages. We hope we have answered your questions in a way that has been both informative and interesting.

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