Archive for the ‘ Product Cameras’ Category



IP Security Camera

Written By:
Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Nothing has more “global” access in the digital video security camera industry than an IP (Internet Protocol) security camera.  These cameras use the Internet as the means for their transmissions so anyone with a broadband Internet connection and a computer can access these cameras. The outreach available for use and/or monitoring has been extended even further with the increased technology in cell phones, namely 3G and 4G broadband Internet access.  In the following article we’ll take a look at some Internet security camera systems and how they work.

How a Non-IP Camera System Works

How a Non-IP Camera System WorksFirst, let’s make sure we understand how a “non-Internet” security camera system works.   In this type of system, digital video security and surveillance cameras capture video footage and send the video data to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR via a closed circuit made up cable, usually RG-59 coaxial cable or CAT5 Ethernet cable.  There are wireless systems also.

The wireless system consists of an antenna and transmitter built into the camera.  The receiver is usually located near the DVR and is attached to it by the cable mentioned above.  This is still considered a closed circuit television system because even though the camera is transmitting its signal wirelessly in is done on a private, specified frequency.

The DVR stores the video on a hard disk drive (HDD) just like the HDD found in a personal computer.  In addition the DVR may also display the video in real-time (live) on one to several monitors for surveillance purposes.  Some IP security cameras also offer the capability of storing video footage locally on the camera.  A miniature DVR of sorts is built into the camer so that footage can be saved locally on portable memory/storage media such as an SD card.

The digital video camera is responsible for capturing a light image and transforming it into an electronic image.  It does this by using a lens to focus what can be a large field of vision onto a small electronic sensor which usually ranges in size from only 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch square.

One of two different sensor chips is used for this purpose.  They are the Charged Coupled Device or CCD and the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS. When light strikes these sensors they emit electrical charges which can be measured and used to create a video image.  The data that is created by these chips is actually analog in form until it passes through an analog-to-digital converter chip.  Another highly specialized electronic chip called a Digital Signal Processor or DSP insures the integrity of the data and may make any corrections that are necessary.

At this point, the camera passes the digital data along to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR whose job is to record the data and store it as mentioned above.  It does this by compressing the file into a fraction of its original size but still managing to maintain a high quality.  It does this by using a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utility.

How an IP Camera System Works

IP Security CameraAn Internet security camera system is very similar to the above system, however once the data becomes digital, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities, especially including the use of the Internet.  There are basically two types of Internet security camera systems.  One system consists of cameras that are Internet compatible also called Internet Protocol ready or IP ready.  The other system consists of a DVR that has its own Web server technology and is called IP ready as well.

IP ready cameras contain their own web server technology so that they maybe connected to the Internet.  Instead of sending their digital data directly to a DVR, they send their data via the Internet to anywhere there is a client that wants to access the information.  Generally these cameras use two CODECs at once.  Many of the cameras pass the information on to the DVR using the MJPEG CODEC while streaming the information via the Internet for live viewing using the latest CODEC, H.264.

These cameras may direct their video via the Internet to a specific type of DVR that is designed for this purpose which is called a Network Video Recorder or NVR.  One of the advantages of this system is that multiple cameras in multiple locations can be recorded by the NVR.  These locations can be widespread, such as two or more commercial facilities that are located in two different cities.  An Internet security camera system of this type can lend itself to all sorts of networking possibilities.

Another type of Internet security camera system exists where the DVR is the IP ready device and it takes care of all Internet related inquiries.  In this system, the cameras are not IP ready and they send all of their digital data to the DVR.  The DVR then contains its own Web server technology and allows a client access to the system through the DVR.  All of Security Camera King’s featured DVRs have these feature built in to the DVR.

This internet security camera system records the video locally on the DVRs HDD, but it allows a user to control the DVR and in many instances, even the cameras (for example, PTZ movements) remotely.  As a matter of fact, these systems can ever be monitored and controlled using a smartphone and 3G or 4G Internet technology.

Additionally, the IP Camera/DVR can be set up to send alerts if the camera includes (and most do) motion detection.  Specifically, the user can have emails sent to then upon a variety of different triggers.

Wireless IP Security Cameras

In addition to using the Internet as the vehicle for delivering the digital data to its final destination, the wireless IP security camera may have the capable of connecting to the Internet wirelessly.  Although non-IP wireless cameras can be wireless as well, their wireless architecture is limited to a couple of different methods while the IP security system has the same wireless architecture but may have a few extra methods that only the IP camera can utilize.

Most wireless non-IP security cameras use a couple of different specific methods for transmitting their data.  Probably one of the most often used methods is the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz transmission method.  Some also use the 900 MHz technology, although as technology increases, there seems to be less of a tendency for using the 9000 MHz technology.

The 2.4 or 5.8 GHz technology boosts ranges possible of up to 5 miles Line Of Sight or LOS.   LOS means that the manufactures specification for range in length is dependent on objects that could impede the signal.  LOS means that the range is directly from camera transmitter to receiver, although this is an ideal situation and seldom does it ever really exist.  As a matter of fact if something does impede the LOS it usually reduces the range but does not entirely disable the wireless signal.  In fact, it usually just decreases the length of the range based on the material involved such as trees, walls, buildings, glass, etc.

Wireless IP security cameras on the other hand use a different mechanism for wireless transmission; normally wireless Internet known as WiFi.  WiFi is basically a brand name for products using the IEEE 802.11 standards.  Typically, wireless IP security cameras using WiFi have about a 65 foot maximum “hot-spot” to connect to their wireless router or modem that receives the WiFi signal.

Benefits and Differences of IP security Cameras

First and foremost IP network security cameras are capable of producing video at an extremely higher resolution than standard non-IP systems.  The highest resolution non-IP camera can record with a maximum regulation known as “D1″ which is 720 x 480 pixels.  A 3 megapixel IP security camera can record at a resolution equal to 2048 x 1536 pixels; this is about 9 times greater detail than D1.

Equally amazing is another benefit involving networking.  Non-IP cameras send their signals to a DVR.  IP cameras send their signals to an NVR or Network Video Recorder.  So what’s the difference?  Non-IP cameras are normally located in one general geographical area, i.e. the digital video cameras in a department store connected to a DVR in the stores office.

As mentioned above, IP cameras use NVRs instead.  Most IP cameras can be located anywhere you want to put them (geographically speaking) and although they are in totally different locations they can all be routed to the NVR via the Internet.  In other words, you may own three small convenient stores in a city.  If each convenient store has IP cameras, their video signals can be sent to somewhere not even connected with the geographical area of the cameras such as a home, home office, or office location.

IP cameras are available in a myriad of types sizes and functions.  Security Camera King currently offers 3 different cameras:  1. 3 Megapixel IP Network Box Security Camera Product # IPBC-EL3MP; 2. 3 Megapixel IR Vandal Dome IP Security Camera Product # IPVD-EL#MPIR; and, 3. 18 x 1.3 Megapixel IP Network PTZ Security Camera Product # IPPTZ-EL13mpl18x.

 

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High Resolution CCD Camera

Written By:
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Security camera lines of resolution are one of the factors that determine the size, fineness, or quality of a high resolution CCD camera. Most often, this figure is referenced in TVL which stands for Television Lines and is usually used to reference analog type video quality. Digital resolution is usually referenced in terms of pixels. Let’s take a look at both and see how the lines of resolution relate to high resolution CCD camera picture quality.

High Resolution CCD Camera

First, there are different formats of video that are used in different geographical areas. NTSC (National Television System Committee) format is used in North and South America, Japan, and Taiwan and many other areas. PAL (Phase Alternating Line) format is used primarily in Africa, Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and the majority of Europe. SECAM (in French, SEquentiel Couleur A Mémoire, meaning Sequential Color with Memory) format occurs in parts of Africa and in the Russian Federation. Without getting too technical, we will just focus on the NTSC format.

A standard NTSC analog video is composed of 480 interlaced horizontal lines. The number of horizontal lines displayed must be counted vertically, one above the other and so on. Security camera resolution in TVL is a specification that refers to the horizontal resolution which is the number of vertical lines visible in a certain area of a monochrome picture. The number of vertical lines is counted horizontally, one next to the other and so on. Although TVL is not exactly equal to the number of scan lines, it is directly affected by the number of scan lines.

Most security camera video is displayed in a 3X4 aspect ratio. This means a display in the shape of a rectangle, 3 units wide by 4 units high. Since horizontal resolution is equal to the number of vertical units (lines), it is actually the measure of detail that can be seen in 75% or ¾ of the pictures width. TVL then is the number of vertical lines that take up the space of 3 units. In other words, on a picture that is 3 inches wide by 4 inches high with a TVL of 420, there are 420 vertical lines in the 3 inch width.

High resolution CCD cameras come in a variety of resolution specifications based on manufacturer, uses, and price, but for comparison purposes, a typical “standard” CCTV camera has a resolution of around 380 TVL while a typical “high-resolution” CCTV camera has a resolution of 540 TVL or higher. At the present time it seems that the highest resolution CCD camera can attain a resolution of 700 TVL.

The TVL resolution number is an indication of the actual inherent quality of a security camera or monitor and should not be confused with the actual horizontal scanning lines of broadcast television systems.

These lines of resolution apply to analog type video. Digital video resolution is somewhat different. Digital video is still displayed in a 3X4 aspect ratio. However, the resolution is measured in pixels (small points, dots, or squares). Like the analog cameras, digital cameras have a sensor, called a CCD or Charged Coupled Device that captures the picture in digital format. The digital picture resolution is referred to in terms of pixels such as 352X240 pixels. The three most common digital security camera resolutions include 704 x 480, 352 x 480, and 352 x 240 pixels.

600TVL Color Day Night Vandal Proof Dome Surveillance Camera

Do not confuse the display resolution of the camera with the number of pixels of the CCD. The CCD sensor consists of millions of light sensing cells. The number of pixels produced by the sensor is called the pixel count. For example, a camera that can produce an image size of 640X480 would contain 307,200 pixels. A CCD capable of producing an image size of 3872×2592 would need to produce 10,036,224 pixels or 10 megapixels. This CCD rating in megapixels is often erroneously interpreted as the camera resolution. It more correctly indicates the maximum potential resolution the camera could produce when used in conjuntion with other high-quality equipment such as monitors, processors, etc.

To put everything in perspective, the following provides a summary comparison of both analog TVL and digital resolution with picture quality increasing as the number of the items increases:

1. 352X240 pixels (digital)

2. 330 TVL (analog)

3. 380 TVL (analog)

4. 480 TVL (analog)

5. 704X240 pixels (digital) and 704X480 pixels (digital)

6. 570 TVL (analog)

If you have any questions concerning high resolution CCD cameras please contact one of our security experts via on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 1-866-573-8878.

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Pan Tilt Zoom Internet Cameras

Written By:
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Pan Tilt Zoom Internet CamerasPTZ or Pan Tilt Zoom Internet cameras have the freedom of mobility to move about a horizontal and vertical axis thereby increasing the field of view for the camera.  In fact in some situations one Pan Tilt Zoom Internet camera may be able to perform the work of two or more stationary cameras.  In addition, the zoom function allows combinations of lenses to create telephoto enlargements for better clarity of objects that may be too far away from a normal camera lens.  These cameras also have the benefit of using the Internet too monitor and control the cameras.

 

Pan Tilt Zoom Internet cameras are excellent for use in retail stores where tracking and zooming in on a potential shoplifter may be needed.  Depending on the size of the store, the location of the camera, and the type of camera, it may be able to follow the shoplifter the entire route that’s made in the store.  Considering the high rate of retail theft that’s been reported lately especially in the major metropolitan areas, Pan Tilt Zoom Internet cameras are ideal for this purpose.

 

Pan Tilt Zoom Internet cameras are not limited to use in parking lots and retail stores; they have many other useful applications as well.  Let’s take a closer look at a Pan Tilt Zoom Internet camera.

 

Pan-tilt-zoom cameras are usually, but not always dome-type cameras.  These cameras are usually mounted on the ceiling with the orientation of the dome (and thus the camera lens) downward.  They may also be mounted on brackets on a horizontal surface (such as a wall or pole) with the brackets extending away from the horizontal surface just enough to provide clearance for hanging the dome in a downward position.

 

Pan Tilt Zoom Internet cameras may be indoor or outdoor models.  Outdoor models are basically the same as indoor models but are enclosed in a protective case or cover.  The outdoor cameras are normally rated according to the International Electrical code standard for the protection they offer from weather and other environmental elements.  This rating, called an Ingress Protection code or IP rating consists of two numbers that represent corresponding protection standards.  For an outdoor PTZ camera, look for a rating of IP66 or IP67.  Both ratings indicate the cameras are dust tight but the IP66 also indicates that the camera can withstand powerful jets of water from any direction while the IP67 also indicates that it could be submerged in up to 1 meter of water without damage.

 

Some PTZ cameras are set manually, but the majority of Pan Tilt Zoom Internet cameras marketed today are remotely controlled.  This is normally done by a keyboard or joystick control connected to the processing unit/digital video recorder or DVR.  If the camera is connected to a personal computer or the Internet, it may use the computer’s keyboard and/or mouse, or may provide software that has graphics that are used to control the cameras.

 

Pan Tilt Zoom Internet cameras may also come with software that can be used to preprogram the movement of the camera.  Programmable preset points will move the camera to that position and hold it there for a predetermined amount of time (often referred to as a “dwell time”).  After moving to each preset point and holding, the camera returns to the first preset point and repeats the cycle over again.  Different cameras have a different total number of preset points available. When looking for a PTZ camera with this option, check the specifications to make sure the camera can be programmed for the number of presets you will need.

 

Most Pan Tilt Zoom Internet cameras also have the ability to detect motion.  This is not so much a function of the camera as it is the programming or software that is controlling it.  However, once these cameras detect a moving object they have the ability to “lock on” to the object and follow it throughout the total range of view for the camera.  If cameras include the zoom option, they can even zoom in on the object while following it.  These cameras are usually referred to as “Auto-Tracking PTZ Cameras.”

 

PTZ cameras are incredibly versatile, easy to install, and reasonably priced making them an excellent choice for many business and residential applications.  Contact one of our security experts today for more information either via Live Chat or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM until 6PM EST.

 

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Types of Dome Cameras

Written By:
Sunday, October 16th, 2011

There are so many type of dome cameras that it makes this category of digital video security camera incredibly versatile.  There are basically three types of security camera:  1. The box camera, a very popular and original security camera; 2. Bullet cameras, so called because of their shape; and, 3. Dome cameras, also named after their shape.

Generally, regardless of the type of dome camera, these cameras come with their own mount or the camera plate itself is mounted directly to the wall, ceiling, or other surface.

There are several ways of stating the types of dome cameras.  The types are basically arbitrary but there some common characteristics among cameras that allow us to place them in different categories (types) for the purpose of discussion.

First we can separate them into indoor and outdoor types.  Indoor dome cameras are made in such a way that they cannot withstand some of the rough treatment of constantly being outdoors.   Outdoor dome cameras on the other hand are designed to withstand weather and other natural elements such as dust and often have an IP rating.

An IP Rating or code is based on the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) international standard 60529.  According to the standard, it “describes a system for classifying the degrees of protection provided by an enclosure.  IEC 60529 is NOT a ‘product standard’ and does not cover enclosure requirements other than the ‘degree of protection’ provided.  An IP rating is usually represented by two digits and may contain an additional optional letter.

An IP rating can be thought of as a more exact classification of the degree of protection offered from the security camera from intrusion by solid and/or liquid matter.  The rating is usually expressed as “IP 65” or “IP 65M.”  Generally speaking, the higher the IP rating the better protection that is afforded to the camera.

This term can be confusing when dealing with security cameras because some digital security cameras can be IP networked cameras, which has nothing to do with an IP rating.  For the benefit of clarity and distinction, an IP networked camera is a camera that can take advantage of Internet Protocol to transmit its video signals over a network or the internet.

This brings us to another type of dome camera, the IP (Internet Protocol) type camera.  These cameras connect, not necessarily to a DVR, but usually directly to the Internet which they use as a network.  Once connected to the Internet, IP dome cameras can be monitored anywhere in the world where there is a broadband Internet connection and this includes 3G and 4G smartphones as well.

In contrast, non-IP cameras normally connect to a Digital Video Recorder or DVR via a transmission cable such as coaxial cable RG59.  These cameras do not have a direct connection to the Internet although the DVRs they are connected to may have one.

Other types of dome cameras include InfraRed (IR) dome cameras.   These cameras normally contain an array of IR Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs that allow the camera to “see” in complete darkness.  The LEDs work like a flood light for the sensor inside the camera however, human eyes cannot detect them; the infrared “light” waves are completely invisible to us.

Continuing with our types of dome cameras, there are also Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras or PTZ cameras.  These cameras can move left or right, up or down, and zoom in or out.  One PTZ camera can often replace the need for 2 or 3 or more stationary cameras.  These cameras often have a feature called automatic object tracking or object following.  They can detect motion and once detected, zoom in on and follow the object.  A good example of this is a PTZ with object tracking mounted in a parking lot.   It can follow people and/or cars as they enter/exit the parking lot.

Finally, there is one last category that we can use to classify the types of dome cameras.  These cameras are vandal proof dome security cameras.  Since most situations that include vandalism present themselves as such that the camera needs to be mounted very close to where the vandalism occurs, they are subject to abuse.  These cameras usually have tough body cases and Lexan windows to help with stand vandal attacks.

Security Camera King has a full line up of different types of dome cameras.  If you need more information you can contact our security experts by on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.

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Wide Dynamic Camera

Written By:
Friday, July 8th, 2011

wide dynamic cameraA wide dynamic camera conjures images of an incredibly large (In a horizontal direction) camera, somewhat like an oversized wide-angle lens.   However, that’s not what a wide dynamic camera is at all.  In fact, some ultra-small hidden covert cameras are also wide dynamic cameras.  So just exactly what is the wide dynamic range of a camera?  Read on to find out.

A wide dynamic camera is actually a camera with a highly specialized function to assist the image capture process.  When cameras possess the circuitry to support this function we say that they have Wide Dynamic Range or WDR.

The whole idea behind this business of a wide dynamic camera is to produce a superior image, at least superior when compared to the image from an exact same camera that does not support WDR.  WDR helps to provide clear video images under unbalanced, poor lighting conditions:  Specifically, when the intensity of the light varies such that that there are incredibly bright and dark areas that appear simultaneously in the field of view (which is destined to become the video image) of the camera.

Overly dark areas and overly saturated light areas, especially over saturation of back lighting is the problem that the wide dynamic camera is trying to solve.  The better the WDR of a camera the better video image produced under undesirable backlighting conditions and other over contrast conditions.

Specifically, a wide dynamic camera filters the intensely bright back light that may surround an object therefore enhancing the ability to distinguish features and shapes on the subject that were “washed” out by the intense bright light.  The dynamic range of a camera is normally defined as the ratio of the brightest point of an image to the darkest point of the same image.  Some also refer to this situation as “maximum contrast.”

In essence, what happens in this situation is the intensely bright (back) light is causing the camera to adjust itself to that particular condition.  When this happens, the video image produced is a washed out image near the light source and everything else being to dark to recognize.  This does not necessarily apply to images with steady light sources; it can occur when momentary intense light appears (for what ever reason) throwing the entire camera off balance.

Perhaps one of the best examples of a problem wide dynamic range is when a camera attempts to capture an image in front of a large storefront window.  The object inside the store appears far too dark with the sunlight pouring through the front window and washing out the details of most of the field of view of the camera.

There are several different approaches to the solution of this problem and although each method’s goal is the same result (a balanced, detailed video image) the process they use to go about correcting the situation may be different.  Basically there are two major methods or technical solutions that are used to correct the problem and there are additional methods that “hybridize” the process by combing the two basic methods.

The first solution is “multi-frame imaging.”  Here the wide dynamic camera captures more than one frame of the field of view.  Each of these frames possess their own dynamic range and the camera combines the different frames to produce one WDR image or frame.

The second solution is the use of non-linear sensors (generally logarithmic sensors) where the sensitivity level of the sensor at different light intensities also varies providing the capture of the field of view in one wide dynamic camera frame.

Combinations of the two methods just mentioned are also used. For example, they may include parallel capturing by more than one sensor using a common optical path.  Here each sensor captures different levels of the dynamic range of the scene by either different exposures, different optical attenuation in the final optical path, or different sensor sensitivity.  There are many more combination methods that may be used as well.

The key is that if you intend to use a camera that will be capturing areas of extremely high contrast or that are back lit by an extremely bright light, you’ll want a good wide dynamic camera to capture the image.

If you have any additional questions about wide dynamic cameras or would like to purchase a camera with WDR, please contact one of our security experts today either via on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 866-573-8878.

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