Mobotix S14 Flexmount Double Hemispheric
by Security Electronics and Networks | @Articles Product Reviews | September 23, 2012, 7:00am AEST
WHAT’S interesting about the S14 is that it’s a single camera body that can deploy a pair of hemispheric lenses complete with image sensors allowing it to secure 2 rooms that are adjacent, or a room and an external corridor, or 2 rooms located one on top of the other.
But what impressed me about this unit at Security 2012 was that it offers the performance of 2 extremely powerful cameras in a miniscule form factor. We’ve been banging away about the inventive future we’re going to enjoy once digital surveillance technology settles in terms of capability and this unit really makes that point.
The idea is that for the price of one camera you get what amounts to the performance of 2 superb cameras with very little increase in cost, installation time or labour. The discreet nature of these lenses is such that you’d need to really know your stuff to realise they were there.
Depending on the ingenuity applied by the installer, the S14D can also see both sides of a right angle corner, secure indoor and outdoor areas, view a room and a ceiling space at the same time or handle any other adjacent or configuration you can come up with. It’s also capable of dealing with the challenges of creative architectural design or can be moved about in sites like galleries or stores where displays alter over time.
The 2 full image sensors allow the S14 to generate a pair distortion-corrected, high-resolution 180-degree panorama images, each with a resolution of 3.1 megapixels. All other MOBOTIX lenses, from super-wide angle to tele lens, will be available as options with the S14 in the near future as day or day/night versions.
On that topic, the S14 is the world’s first hemispheric day/night camera. When both modules with black-and-white and color sensors are mounted directly next to each other and cover the same area, the camera automatically chooses the best available mode depending on the lighting conditions.
I’ve not seen it working yet but according to Mobotix this provides for excellent colors in daylight as well as superb light sensitivity in dark environments. Having seen the quality of the Mobotix 3rd gen chipset in the presence of very strong backlight (direct morning sun), it’s likely this claimed day/night performance is similarly exacting in its execution.
Panning and zooming into the image is done electronically. The user is provided with detail views and other image sections without any mechanical movement, meaning that there is no wear-and-tear to the camera and no maintenance is required. Each of the 2 hemispheric lens units have integrated microphones and are connected to the main housing via cables.
Both module units and the separate housing with the latest dual camera board are weatherproof in accordance with IP65 and operate in a temperature range of -30 degrees to +60 degrees. The flat housing of the camera, including flash memory with up to 64 GB and all external connectors (Ethernet, MiniUSB, MxBus), can be installed discreetly and with optimal protection behind a wall or ceiling panel so that only the lens units in their tiny rugged housings are visible.
Power is supplied very cost effective via a network cable (PoE). At less than 5 watt-hours, the energy consumption is extremely low.
MOBOTIX also offers the appropriate installation accessories for mounting the sensor module on thicker walls. Using several extension pieces (each approx. 40 mm), longer ‘tunnel holes’ through a wall can also be bridged.
As usual with all MOBOTIX products, the complete MX Control Center software for configuration and operation of the camera, is integrated directly into the camera. Additonally, professional video management software can be downloaded from the website free of charge.