This IPC-PFW8601-A180 Dahua Multi 180-degree Panoramic Network IR Bullet Camera provides added flexibility for capturing wide area video surveillance. With real-time image splicing technology, the camera has three 2MP sensors working in tandem to create a comprehensive 180-degree view. This camera replaces multiple single-sensor cameras to lower cost of installation, storage and maintenance.

The camera comes in the white Dahua logo box, and it includes the mounting screws, template map, screwdriver and the guide-book. No mounting bracket comes with the camera. However, Dahua offers many solutions regarding the brackets: pole mounting bracket, corner mounting bracket and junctions box.

The main features:

  • Three 1/2.8” 2Megapixel progressive scan STARVIS. CMOS
  • H.265/H.264 triple-stream encoding
  • Max 25/30fps@4096×832
  • Support 180-degree panoramic view
  • Day/Night(ICR), 3DNR, AWB, AGC, BLC,WDR
  • Smart detection
  • Intelligent Function
  • Max. IR LEDs length 30m
  • Micro SD memory, IP67, IK10, PoE+
  • The spec sheet from the manufacturer.

Installation

The camera feels heavy (7.5 lb / 3.5 kg) and mounting it may be little bit tricky. My recommendation is to use a mounting bracket like junction box, this may you can hide the pigtail and the installation will look clean.

There are three 2 Megapixels cameras connecting together in this panoramic camera achieving the 180-degree coverage. This means that if the camera is no mounted properly you’ll see “stitches” where the three images from the three built-in camera are attached together. The manufacturer suggestion is to mount the camera at least 12 feet high. On that height the stitches will disappear and the picture will look smooth.

IPC-PFW8601-A180 from above.

IPC-PFW8601-A180 from above.

IPC-PFW8601-A180 from the side. This camera comes only on the branded version (no OEM available).

IPC-PFW8601-A180 from the side. This camera comes only on the branded version (no OEM available).

IPC-PFW8601-A180 underneath.

IPC-PFW8601-A180 underneath.

IPC-PFW8601-A180 front view. In this version there are three 2MP cameras connected together delivering an180 degree view.

IPC-PFW8601-A180 front view. In this version there are three 2MP cameras connected together delivering an 180 degree view.

Another view. The IR block is "hidden" on the frame of the front.

Another view. The IR block is “hidden” on the frame of the front.

The camera supports Micro-SD card up to 128GB. To access the slot you need to unscrew the cover in the back of the camera. The card need to be formatted on camera’s settings, otherwise it won’t record.

The camera supports micro-SD card up to 128 GB.

The camera supports micro-SD card up to 128 GB.

With an operating ambient temperature range of -40 °C to +60 °C, IP67 and IK10 rating, this camera suits almost any outdoor applications including open and expansive areas like borders, coastlines, highway, square and stadium. Note: the camera will get hot, but according to the manufacturer that should be considered normal.

Supporting ±25% input voltage tolerance, this camera suits even the most unstable conditions for outdoor applications. Its 6KV lightning rating provides effective protection for both the camera and its structure against lightning. IP67 is supported by the camera, which makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments. IK10 compliance enables the camera to sustain the equivalent of 55 kg (120lbs) force.

IPC-PFW8601-A180 pigtail: Audio In, Audio Out, Alarm, Power, RJ-45 jack.

IPC-PFW8601-A180 pigtail: Audio In, Audio Out, Alarm, Power, RJ-45 jack.

Environmental Standard Dahua camera can function from -30°C to +60°C(-22 °F to +140 °F) with 95% humility, meanwhile some models support heater module optional which allows the camera to function from -40°Cto +60°C (-40 °F to +140 °F). With a temperature range of -40 °C to +60 °C, the camera is designed for extreme temperature environments.

Installation instruction.

Installation instruction.

Installation instruction for the micro-SD card.

Installation instruction for the micro-SD card.

Mounting and adjusting the camera.

Mounting and adjusting the camera.

Configuration

As with other Dahua cameras, you need to install the Configuration Tool in order to detect and modify the IP of the camera (the software will scan your network and list the IP camera’s address there). The IP of the camera should match the IP of your network. This way the camera is accessible via web browser. The default IP on the camera is 192.168.0.108.

On the Encode section of the camera settings you can modify the resolution, bitrate, frames per second etc. The max resolution of this camera is 4096x832px. The image on the screen will be elongated with black bars on the top and bottom and offer a 180-degree coverage. Make sure to get a Network Video Recorder that supports this camera (in the unsupported versions the image will be stretched to fill up the whole screen).

The max resolution for this camera is 4096x832px.

The max resolution for this camera is 4096x832px.

The Smart H.265+ encoding technology includes a scene adaptive encoding strategy, dynamic GOP, dynamic ROI, flexible multi-frame reference structure and intelligent noise reduction, providing saving of up to 70% of bandwidth and storage when compared with standard H.265.

Adjustments can be made to each sensor on contrast and brightness to achieve crystal-clear panorama view. The multi-lens camera supports day/night mechanical IR cut filter and true WDR (120dB) which make it ideal for applications in fluctuating lighting conditions In addition, this camera deploys Dahua Starlight Technology to deliver usable video with minimal ambient light.

The camera is equipped with built-in intelligent video analytic algorithm, which can realize functions like Tripwire, Intrusion, Abandoned object, Missing object, to quickly and accurately respond to events in specific area. At the same time, the camera features face detection and intelligent tamper detection, which means more efficient security surveillance. Other features include: Audio Detection (if there’s a mic hooked up to the camera) to trigger the camera when environmental audio is detected, Face Detection (in my opinion not very reliable since the people’s faces need to be very close to the camera), Heat Map (will map the areas with more movement), People Counting, etc.

Intelligent features of IPC-PFW8601-A180.

Intelligent features of IPC-PFW8601-A180.

Daytime and Nighttime picture quality

The array of the three cameras offers a 180-degree view and judging by the video below the pictures looks good. This camera is perfect for parking lots, or for building that require an 180 degree view on each side of them. The manufacturer on the installation documentation recommends the camera to be mounted at least 12 feet high in order to eliminate the stitches between the three cameras (where they each individual picture gets attached to the rest). The WDR features can be used when necessary.

The camera has smart IR technology which can adjust the intensity of camera’s infrared LEDs to compensate for the distance of an object. Smart IR technology prevents IR LEDs from whitening out images as they come closer to the camera. On the spec sheet the max IR LEDs distance is up to 30 meters (96 feet). As you can see on the demo below, the picture during the nighttime is not that bad.

Conclusion

This Dahua panoramic IP camera is very expensive and is generally used on commercial installations. The three built-in cameras offer an amazing 180 degree view, perfect for parking lots, hospitals, shopping malls, or other commercial that require to have a full 180-degree view on their promises. The 6 MP resolution of all the three cameras combined will deliver a relatively clear and sharp image, enabling you to track continuously on the picture the movement of the people, cars or other subject. Keep in mind to follow the instructions listed by the manufacturer for proper installation. Overall this Dahua IPC-PFW8601-A180 panoramic camera is good choice for certain solutions that require an 180-degree view.