Pelco 360⁰ Network Camera Has All the Angles Covered

Security industry expert T. Riley Pierce gives his opinion on the Pelco Evolution 360⁰ camera in SSI’s latest Bench Test.

The Pelco Evolution 360⁰ camera is a new addition to the IP camera line from Pelco by Schneider Electric. It’s the result of a partnership between Pelco and London’s Oncam Grandeye to provide a 360⁰ camera offering to the Pelco product line. The Evolution 360⁰ is designed to provide maximum coverage of an area from a single camera assembly. I have used other cameras that provide a panoramic view via three-four camera assemblies in one housing. These views often don’t match up well due to alignment issues with the different imagers and can’t provide a true 360⁰ view. The Evolution 360⁰ doesn’t have this problem since the camera assembly utilizes a 5-megapixel imager with a fisheye lens to capture as wide field of view as possible.

There are three variations of the Evolution 360⁰ camera available for deployment in the field. The interior model looks very similar to a smoke detector (albeit a large one) and could be discreetly installed in many environments without being given a second look. The outdoor model has a more traditional look to the assembly with a black trim ring and polycarbonate bubble. The third model is designed for more discreet installations and can be mounted inside walls or above ceilings with a minimal amount of the camera assembly visible to the general public.

Construction

Pelco Evolution 360⁰ Camera

SPECS

  • Network IP camera
  • Designed for 360⁰ coverage

PROS

  • Easy to install and configure with different mounting options

CONS

  • Requires dewarping software to provide usable views

 

I was provided the Evolution 360⁰ interior camera (Model EVO-05NID) for my product review. The unit is primarily designed to be mounted to a ceiling where its field of view would provide an expansive viewing angle. The camera can also be wall mounted to provide the end user with detailed coverage area. The camera consists of three basic components: a mounting base, the camera assembly and the plastic shroud. The mounting base I received was metal with a solid feel to the plate. The mounting plate has a connector hook on one side and a threaded post on the other side. These two connector points align with a slot and thumb screw that is attached to the camera assembly. This mounting design makes for a very easy installation by any technician. Once the camera assembly has been locked down to the mounting plate, the plastic camera shroud just snaps into place on the camera assembly.

The camera is designed to be powered via two different sources. There is a 12VDC power jack where external power is required or the camera can be powered via the assembly’s PoE connector. All three of the camera models have an operating temperature range of -40⁰ to +55⁰ C (-40⁰ to +131⁰ F) and the outdoor model has an IP-66 rating. The camera assembly has a built-in SD card slot that is not active at this time; the literature from the manufacturer states this SD slot will be available for local recording in the future via a firmware update. I was a bit surprised that this feature wasn’t active in the Evolution camera now, considering the number of manufacturers that currently offer local storage options via SD or Micro-SD cards on their IP cameras.

The camera has a handy feature that any integrator I know would be happy to utilize during the camera’s installation. There is a BNC connector that allows the technician to use a handheld CCTV monitor to align the image during installation. This is much more convenient than trying to lug a laptop and inline PoE adapter up a ladder and play the “balance everything at once” game that we have all played during IP camera installations. Though the image displayed via the BNC connector is the fisheye view, the installer will still have a workable image to allow for proper installation and alignment of the assembly. One thing to remember when you use the BNC output: the camera is set for PAL from the factory; you must change a dip switch setting to get the NTSC video output for those of us on this side of the pond.

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