The Top 6 Things to Think About When Buying a Fisheye Camera | Oncam


Written by Therese Hume,
Strategic Partner Director at Oncam

You know by now that a fisheye camera is an integral part of a security surveillance ecosystem (but if you need a refresher, check out this post from my colleague Abhishek Kumar, which means that it’s time for you to take the next step toward implementing this kind of solution. Just like any other buying process, it’s important to know which characteristics you should be paying attention to when it comes to choosing the right device for your organization. The growth across the market is so expansive, that Technavio projects that the global 360-degree camera market will grow at a CAGR of 29% from 2020-2024.

As you aim to make a decision that will provide the greatest level of security and efficiency, you’ll want to keep these six factors in mind:

1. Form Factors

 A surveillance camera’s core value and purpose can be found at the center of the device, where the technology and capabilities stem from, but there’s more to these tools than just the module. A fisheye camera’s form factor determines where exactly the device can be placed and how it will be used in various environments, which is arguably one of the most important considerations. You’ll want to first identify the application for the device and then work with a company that provides several options, such as indoor, outdoor, stainless steel, explosive environment, recessed, concealed… the list goes on and on. 

2. Dewarping

 Let me first explain what dewarping is: To maximize the benefits of the 360-degree lens, digital manipulation of the native image is required. Dewarping allows for any area of the original warped fisheye to be converted to have the look and feel of a more traditional video stream. A user can then move around the image and look at different parts in a more natural and conventional way. 

You’ll want to be on the lookout for client side dewarping, which provides the best end user experience. In this case, the whole fisheye image is transmitted across the network and recorded in full by the VMS or NVR. The dewarping is then carried out on the client and can be done on both live and recorded footage – meaning full retrospective dewarping of the scene is possible. It’s also important to make sure this feature translates properly to mobile devices. 

3. VMS Capability

 It’s always critical to seek out technology that can “play nice” with others. You’ll want the dewarping technology and 360-degree experience to be able to integrate with complementary video management systems (VMS) — a feature that we strive for here at Oncam — for a comprehensive solution. This then facilitates the greatest level of insight and intelligence gathering while you benefit from an efficient and seamless solution. But the consideration here goes far beyond just these points — stay tuned for more on this to come! 

4. Image Quality

Sure, the Importance of reliable, high-quality surveillance imagery might sound self-explanatory, but it’s still important to mention. Your security operators count on footage to be reliable, and the consequences of blurry or broken footage could be significant. It’s extremely important to take advantage of surveillance systems that leverage the highest quality features to create a productive image or video, such as the latest generation of HDR technology, high-speed frame rate, low-light technology and advanced compression. 

5. Storage

It’s important to look at storage for both dependability and cost purposes. The ability to watch and analyze high-quality footage is a crucial step in the investigation process, but storing and transmitting large amounts of bandwidth on a network is costly. This is where advanced compression technology comes into play; leveraging a fisheye camera that uses this process to increase the compression ratio can save storage costs by significantly reducing the space used by any video recording, as well as network infrastructure costs by minimizing the bandwidth of video data being transmitted over the network. 

6. Security Features

You’re probably aware by now of the importance of cybersecurity when it comes to your physical devices. A fisheye camera can present a risk if it’s not properly secured, meaning that you need to look for advanced security features within the device. These should include password protection, a secure connection between the camera and client, tiered authorization levels, brute force protection, a user access log and more.