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.

Features

The Evolution 360⁰ is designed for broad coverage of an area utilizing a single camera to accomplish the task. The camera has no moving parts so there is no physical maintenance necessary on the unit. This also allows the camera to be deployed in a location where multiple views are necessary but stealth operation is required. As an example, this camera would work very well above the counting tables in casino money rooms as no one would be aware of any camera movement. Pelco has designed its Digital Sentry V7.5 software to work with the Evolution 360⁰ and there are 17 additional listed manufacturers that have VMS systems that will work with the product. Eight of those manufacturers, in my opinion, have a major influence in the IP CCTV industry. In addition, there are several other VMS manufacturers that are scheduled to come online this year, including the Endura IP VMS from Pelco.

The Evolution 360⁰ is outfitted with a 5-megapixel video sensor, and by utilizing a specific formula to achieve a greater sensor/lens resolution the camera carries a true 3.5-megapixel resolution for the entire video image. The camera can maintain 10 images per second (IPS) at the 4-megapixel setting and this rate increases to 15 IPS when the camera’s resolution is set to 2 megapixels or below. The camera has the ability allow configuration of one local alarm input and output and also allows for one audio input at the camera. The camera also has programmable motion detection areas in a grid pattern through the camera menu as well as programmable privacy areas to block out sensitive areas in the field of view.

The Evolution 360⁰ has the ability to broadcast multiple video streams, which allows the CCTV system to record one stream at a higher rate and display another lower rate stream to the operator. This can help keep network traffic down and reduce the operational load on the VMS system.

Setup

The Evolution 360⁰ comes with a handy quick startup guide that provides the user with easy steps to access the camera and perform basic camera programming. With this camera, there really are only a few settings that require adjustment since the camera itself is fully enclosed and requires no physical adjustments. As with all IP-based cameras, you should always set a static IP for the unit; I would never rely on DHCP assignments for any camera system. The minute you do that you are guaranteed to have a power failure and have all of your camera addresses get reassigned in the process.

Pelco also has viewing software available on its Web site to allow the user the ability to manipulate the camera view and to also select up to four individual view angles. The user also has the ability to manipulate the camera images into a 180⁰ panoramic view and two overall views or one overall view. The overall views can be manipulated like a pan/tilt/zoom (p/t/z) through digital enhancement in the software.

Verdict

  • Features: 5/5
  • Construction: 5/5
  • Setup: 5/5
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Overall: 5/5

Testing

Since my two VMS systems did not support the Evolution 360⁰ camera, I was only able to view the live images from the camera through my Web browser and the Oncam Grandeye software. The images were easily rendered and manipulated using the Oncam Grandeye 360⁰ viewer. It does take some getting used to when you are moving the camera
views around as a little movement can make the image spin around on you. I’m sure this was a learning curve for me and with more time I would get better with the image manipulation. As the photo accompanying this review shows, the Evolution 360⁰ camera provides a wide view of the focal area with clear detail.

Conclusions

The Evolution 360⁰ is a high quality specialty network camera that provides clear images for the user. I classify it as a specialty camera due to its design, application software and the fact that the Evolution 360⁰ isn’t appropriate for all applications. For example, while the camera would work well in an elevator, it would certainly be overkill as far as its capabilities are concerned. However, in those locations where a single camera application with multiple look angles is appropriate, the Evolution 360⁰ would be excellent.

Products are tested and reviewed by R. Grossman and Associates Inc., an independent consulting firm specializing in electronic security products and projects. For more information, visit tech-answers.com.

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