The first impression is that this is a very well-constructed and capable camera. At just under 2 kg it is heavy for a fixed camera hence the supplied security wire which should be screwed onto the base and attached to a suitable secure fixing point. A front facing slot for an SD storage card is easily accessible. Bendable sleeved cable retaining straps are positioned in the base to allow tidy cable management. Cable access is through either a side or base located conduit threaded hole.
The camera performed well with good colour rendition and clear sharp images. The bowl was of a very high optical standard and did not degrade the image.
The camera has very good sensitivity and maintained a good level of colour content well below 1 lux with manageable levels of AGC noise. Oddly, switching to monochrome mode at this level did not appear to show any real improvement in sensitivity and the noise level was similar. This meant that the evidential value of the image would likely be of more value in colour mode. While the sensitivity was similar, the removal of the IR filter would probably allow the sensor to respond to a wider light spectrum so the quoted figures of 0.3 lux colour and 0.015 lux monochrome may have used a light source with significantly more infrared content than the low level natural and artificial lighting used during these tests.
The 8 privacy zone masks were relatively easy to set up but not intuitive as any new additions are placed over the most recent zone resulting in an error message if you don’t move them before resizing.
The manuals provide a large amount of information on electronically zooming into pre-set views rather than using the whole image so it may be that the camera was originally designed with a specific requirement in mind. The preset view tool had to be closed down and re-opened before a preset tour would activate.
The camera does support detection of moved or missing objects under the “Intelligent Function Settings” option but there is a disclaimer on page 109 of the Operation Guide that states “Intelligent functions are not suitable where high reliability is required”. The Guide also suggests that if the overall scene brightness changes, there may be a delay of up to 5 minutes before detection recommences. To Canon’s credit, while this “get-out” clause is possibly hidden away in a large manual, at least they are not making extravagant claims about these features in their specification documents.
Canon’s “Smart Shade Control” is used to compensate for high background illuminated scenes. The menu options allow for an enormous amount of network data security so this camera will likely appeal to any users that need to transmit sensitive video images over wide area networks.
Some of the features covered in the supplied manual only apply to PTZ variants so it can be potentially confusing if you do not carefully check the scope of each section for relevance to your particular model.
A facility is available to upload settings to multiple cameras but this is limited to 30 cameras. Settings can be uploaded from the camera and saved for future service replacement.
For the full review see the June 2015 edition of PSI magazine