This project series explains how to configure and operate a Mobotix D24M-SEC megapixel internet camera to get you up and running quickly.
The Mobotix D24M is an indoor/outdoor professional grade system that’s most often used in commercial applications (banks, retail stores, hotels, office buildings, etc.) for security and surveillance. The Mobotix D24M camera is also suitable for residential users who demand the best. Mobotix (sounds like “robot”) is headquartered in Germany and with offices in New York for domestic sales and technical support.
The D24M-SEC camera kit consists of the camera, Ethernet cable, lens, wrench, camera- and software manuals and mounting hardware. You choose from one of several lenses when ordering the camera. My cost was about $875.00 for the camera and L32 (32mm, 60 degree wide) lens.
Mobotix D24M-SEC HiRes IP Camera Review
The Mobotix D24M is a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) camera, meaning the single Ethernet cable supplies both communications and power, which greatly simplifies the wiring and installation.
Mobotix D24M-SEC Features
The Mobotix D24M camera is loaded with features, the most important for my application being:
- 2048 x 1536 pixel color high resolution
- Outdoor rated
- On-board digital video recorder (DVR) with up to 32GB of flash memory
- Exchangeable lens with different fields of view
- On-board web server interface
- Very good low-light and nighttime performance
- Motion detection and event triggers for notifications, alarms and actions
- E-mail notifications for motion detection events, with- or without a photo
- Variable recording rates from 1 frame per second (fps) to full video recording
- High resolution recording while viewing live images at lower resolution
- Virtual pan/tilt/zoom through software control. Note this is not the same as a motorized camera mount.
- Secure internet access via SSL / https
- Support for different user access levels (admin, user, guest) and logins
- Power over Ethernet (PoE)
- Free camera management software (MxEasy, MxControlCenter and smartphone apps)
The Mobotix camera also supports IP-telephony using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) – similar to services like Vonage™ or Skype™ – and even can call you when it detects an event.
An example network configuration with Power over Ethernet (PoE) is illustrated in this diagram:
Camera Resolution – Size Matters
The image resolution (pixel count) is the most important camera feature. More pixels equals higher resolution and the ability to see details; recognize faces or read license plate numbers. The following chart illustrates the relative image sizes for different camera resolutions. The chart is scaled down to fit standard computer screens.
Mobotix supports eleven (11) different image resolutions from the tiny PDA (160X120) size to 3.1 megapixel QXGA (2048×1526). The green square represents an older analog video camera with 492 TV lines resolution.
Which camera resolution would you rather have?!
Mobotix D24M-SEC Camera Performance
Seeing is believing when it comes to video equipment. These next photos are full QXGA 2048×1526 images from the Mobotix D24M-SEC camera with the L32 lens (32mm, 60 degree wide viewing angle) under different scenes and lighting conditions.
This sunny day image shows the Mobotix D24M camera performance with a wide contrast between bright clouds and dark tree shadows. Click for on the image for a full resolution view.
This scene is has a wide dynamic range from sun to shade. Notice the lower right corner picture-in-picture; this is used during virtual zoom/pan/tilt and for viewing multiple cameras at once.
For normal viewing with a web browser, I prefer XGA 1024×768 image resolution which fits well on my 1680×1050 desktop computer monitor. For comparison, this next image illustrates the Mobotix XGA web browser image next to the Panasonic BB-HCM511A Network Camera which has a maximum resolution of 640×480. This image is actual size:
Nighttime performance is very good. This scene is illuminated by the street lamp. The red squares denote exposure exclusion windows to factor out the glare from the street light.
Compare this nighttime image to the same sunny day scene shown at the beginning of this section.
Apple iPhone and Smartphone Web Access
The Mobotix D24M has a low-resolution PDA web page option, but that’s no fun. I prefer to access the camera in 1024×768 resolution and use the iPhone’s pinch-in, pinch-out zoom and scroll gestures to view and control the camera. Very cool!
This image is a screen snapshot of the Mobotix web page from a 1st generation iPhone.
The camera network configuration is covered in Mobotix D24M-SEC Network Camera Setup.
Hope this helps,