VIVOTEK’s FE9181-H is a H.265 fisheye fixed dome network cameras, featuring a 5MP CMOS sensor, H.265 compression technology and VIVOTEK Smart Stream II technology, claimed to reduce bandwidth and storage by up to 80 per cent.

The FE9181-H has a removable IR-cut filter and WDR Pro technology enhancing low light performance, 30ips at 1920 x1920 resolution, the 1.47mm lens, ePTZ, 802.3af-compliant PoE, supports client-side dewarping and there’s a pixel counter for image clarity measurement – this allows you to get the most from the camera. Features include 180-degree panoramic view (wall mount) or 360-degree surround view (ceiling/floor mount) with no blind spots, these cameras offer excellent situational awareness of open spaces in many applications. 

There’s a 1/1.8-inch progressive scan CMOS giving 3096 x 2094 pixels of total resolution and a maximum display resolution of 1920 x 1920 pixels. This camera has a fixed lens with a focal length of 1.47mm and a relatively slow aperture of F2.2, which technically, should give better depth of field, though it’s tough to be certain at this focal length. 


Depth of field has unusual clarity…it's really bringing the 1976 out of the SEN office carpet…

Fisheye cameras have a tough ask with 360-degrees of pixel spread but for many applications they offer performance that no other camera type possibly can. A single FE9181-H can handle a space of about 7m in diameter in 360-degree mode giving close to face ID out at the edges and missing absolutely nothing in terms of action throughout the rest of the scene. Situational awareness is much larger through 360 degrees and when wall-mounted, images suggest the camera pushes its available resolution out further still.

Strengths of the camera include the enormous flexibility of its 360-degree or 180-degree views to give complete coverage of a space. Low light performance unassisted by IR is extremely good with this unit – it’s the best hemispheric we’ve tested so far under 2 lux at the lens. There's strength against WDR, resistance to blooming – which is very well controlled – and levels of detail are more than usually high, too. 

Check out SEN’s April issue for the full report on VIVOTEK’s FE9181-H 5MP H.265 Fisheye. ♦

By John Adams