NORMAN says he and Ronnie Rotakin learned a thing or two at SecTech Camera Shootout Sydney and not all of it related to camera performance. 

“From where I was standing, it was obvious that the huge size of the shootout with 36 cameras, included big PTZs – as well as a switch issue – pushed everyone for time, despite the pre-commissioning day a few weeks ago,” Norman said. 

“The lack of time meant engineers were still getting cameras into groups at 3pm when the Shootout opened and as a result was there simply wasn’t time for a pre-demo run-through.

"The time constraints also meant Camera Shootout organisers missed an instance of accidental IP address contention between Bosch and Pelco cameras which caused some issues relating to the cameras attendees could see, and in which groups.” 

According to Norman, SecTech organisers have assured him that all these logistical issues have been resolved for Melbourne (register here!) and there will be time for that vital pre-demo dummy run missed in Sydney. 

“Something else that came up were questions relating to resolution and focal length, which always have an impact on the way the scene is viewed – organisers say they will be pushing to get a more consistent focal range in Melbourne,” Norman said. “This year, organisers have not divided the groups by resolution but by form factor, given form factor is often the governing consideration. This means resolutions on the jig vary considerably – we have 1080p, 3MP, 5MP and 4K resolutions.

“There are also big differences in camera cost. We have a couple of high end cameras, including Sony’s low light specialist, the SNC-VB770, which costs much more than something like Panasonic’s new iPro box camera – thankfully Genetec Security Center is so malleable it integrated perfectly with the products of all 13 camera manufacturers on the day – including a couple of last-minute entries – I was very impressed. The speed cameras could be moved into groups and shifted between monitors also helped a lot."

Norman said the cost differences suggest an apples-to-pears comparison but SecTech Camera Shootout is first and foremost a test of which camera does best in the conditions they are pointed at, regardless of specification and camera settings, with viewers able to decide for themselves on the basis of image quality and motion blur who is robbing Peter to pay Paul. 

“Organisers will be running through parameters like bitrate, resolution and trying to give attendees an idea of cost during the shootout,” Norman said. 

“I can hardly wait to see how the shootout goes and we're both looking forward to dinner at Cumulus – creative cuisine at sensible prices with wine that doesn't taste like nail polish – why is Melbourne is the only Australian city that can do that?” ♦