Camera Review: Mobotix M16 – First Impressions

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Mobotix M16 - properly installed it will give nearly a decade of service
Mobotix M16 - properly installed it will give nearly a decade of service

MOBOTIX M16 is a modular, dual sensor surveillance camera system that offers installers and end users much more than meets the eye. It’s a PoE, 6MP day/night camera with an integrated housing, rated IP66 and IK10, supported by MxManagementCenter and MxAnalytics software and offering H.264 for the first time in a Mobotix camera. 

Holding the Mobotix M16 in the hand is instructive – it doesn’t feel like a modern surveillance camera. The M16 is compact but at just under 1.2kg it’s a hunk, with the camera system buttoned up inside a Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) housing reinforced with glass fibre to increase strength, stiffness, impact resistance and the ability to withstand heat, acids, oils and sunlight. Strength is a design characteristic – this camera has an MTBF of 80,000 hours – that’s around 9 years of constant operation.

In terms of camera performance, there’s a lot to like about the Mobotix M16 in the ultra wide angle configuration we're reviewing here. There’s barrel distortion but it’s mild – about 8-9 per cent. Chromatic aberration is there if you look for it in areas of high contrast but it’s mild, too, suggesting a quality lens design. Overall, the M16 with its new dual core processor exhibits low latency, a strong angle view for retail, lobby, lane and courtyard applications, and zero discernible blur in good light. 

At opposite ends of the spectrum, the ability to handle variably lit scenes and low light scenes without blur are also very good. Important for performance on the street, bloom in low light is reasonably well controlled. You also get surprisingly useful performance from the M16 in a completely dark room with just its little green LED indicator shining. I try to measure the light emitting from this LED – it’s 0 EV. There's amplification noise under 50 lux but the trade-off between blur and sharpness is worth it. 

Read the full review of Mobotix M16 in the December issue of SEN! ♦