Posts Tagged ‘ cmos’



Security Camera CCD

Written By:
Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

We are asked quite often about the security camera CCD (Charged Coupled Device) and the CMOS or Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor.  In the following article we’ll discuss how a digital video system actually works and what importance a security camera CCD has within this system.

First let’s describe a digital video security and surveillance system.  It normally consists of three components; the camera(s), the Digital Video Recorder, and a monitor(s).  The camera’s function in this system is to capture a video image created by light reflectance and transform it into an electronic image based on electricity.  Both live and recorded material is played back by the DVR and may be seen by watching the monitor.

So now that we have a general idea of what each component does, let’s talk specifically about the camera and the security camera CCD.

A digital video camera works by using a combination of mechanical (lenses) and electronic (Integrated Circuit or IC chips and printed boards).  Whatever direction the camera may be pointed in, the area that you will see as a point of view from the camera is called the camera’s field of view.  The field of view is the specific area that will constitute the video image.

The field of view can be made larger or smaller depending on the focal length of the lens.  A standard lens has one focal length and therefore on field of view.  Varifocal lenses can vary their focal length (either manually or remotely).  The field of view contains objects that reflect light.  This reflected light is captured by the lens and when in focus, the lens focuses the reflected light on a sensor chip which is usually only 1/4 to 1/3 inches square.

This sensor chip, in our case, is the security camera CCD.  As the focused light strikes the security camera CCD, tiny pixels on the sensor emit a very small but measurable electric impulse.  Their may be more than one CCD and their maybe the use of one or more filters involved as well.

Once the light strikes the security camera CCD, the CCD gives off it’s electrical pulses and this are measured and interpreted by the analog to digital processor IC chip.  This is when the video image becomes digital.  As the processing continues in the camera, the camera’s Digital Signal Processor or DSP, in essence another IC chip, makes adjustments to brightness, color intensity, contrast, etc. to make sure the video image is of the highest quality.

Once the video image information, now binary or digital data is sent to the DVR the DVR stores it or plays it live.  Either the camera or the DVR compiles the binary data and creates a digital video file out of it.   These digital video files are the same type of digital video files that can be watched on a personal computer.

The security camera CCD (and the CMOS) has a unique feature about it that makes it even more versatile.  The CCD inherently can also create video images using on infrared light.  Infrared light is invisible to the human eye, so this makes for a very powerful, useful security device.  Most night time infrared cameras have an array of Infrared producing Light Emitting Diodes or IR LEDs that are arranged around the lens of the camera.   The human eye cannot see their light, but to the CCD, they work like using a floodlight.

In addition to the array of LED’s around the camera lens, IR LED illuminators may also be used.   Illuminators are just a group of more IR LEDs to add more light to the picture.  Some illuminators boast IR ranges of as much as 300 feet when using the illuminator along with the camera’s own lights.

Incidentally, since this type of video construction is done with only IR light, the image will be in either black and white or monochromatic.  But very seldom will the detail or resolution degrade so the IR video image is as good of quality as the day time color versions.

Security Camera King has a large variety of security camera CCD cameras and systems.  Be sure to check the “Specification” tab when looking at a camera that you may be considering to purchase to make sure that the camera gets the proper night time range that you will need.

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High Quality Hidden Camera

Written By:
Friday, February 18th, 2011

There are situations when designing your digital video security and surveillance system that you should consider using a high quality hidden camera. These cameras come in a variety of types, shapes, and sizes and connect to your system just like any other digital video security camera.

Today’s technology has allowed the digital video camera to be incredibly small and still produce a full-size high quality video image. Because of this, a high quality hidden camera can be disguised or concealed in just about any object. This is important when effective covert security and surveillance monitoring is required because the key to success is not being detected.

It seems as though there are almost as many high quality hidden camera models available as there are non-hidden models. As usage becomes more popular and demand increases, so does the variety of objects arrive on the market with these cameras embedded in them.

Most high quality hidden cameras use a 3.7 mm diameter lens and a 1/4″ or 1/3″ sensor. The sensor is what the lens focuses the light image on. It is also what is used to convert the light image into a potential electronic digital video image. There are two different sensors and every camera uses one; the Charged Coupled Device or CCD and the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

The rest of the internal working parts of a high quality hidden camera are just electronics. “Just electronics” doesn’t mean to lessen the sophistication and power of the technology, rather electronic technology as exponentially increased in the past several years. “Just electronics” means to imply that although there is a lot of circuitry, it can be accomplished by using very small Integrate Chip (IC) chips in a small amount of space.

Security Camera King offers a vast supply of high quality hidden cameras, hidden camera systems, and wireless high quality hidden cameras. The following is just a partial list of the items we offer:
420 TVL Motion Detector Camera. This is a high quality camera hidden inside a motion detector casing.
420 TVL Smoke Detector Hidden Camera. It looks just like a smoke detector; it functions as a high quality hidden camera.
Wired Color Sprinkler Hidden Camera. This camera looks like a commercial ceiling sprinkler that puts out fires.
Hidden Pen Color Camera with Audio. Now this is compact digital video technology and then pen actually functions as a pen.
Black and White Button Camera. This is an excellent example of the micro-small compact technology available today.
Black and White Screw Camera. Talk about small! This camera looks like the head of an ordinary Phillips type screw.
Hidden Watch Color Camera with Audio. Even James Bond didn’t have one of these!
Black and White or Color Wall Clock Cameras. Perfect for covert monitoring in the home or office.
Black and White Cordless House Phone. This unit has the camera hidden in the base. It also has a special high-power transmitter that can send the wireless video signal almost 2500 feet to the corresponding receiver.
Black and White CD/Boombox Camera. A fully functional music device with a camera inside.
Color Alarm Clock Camera. Think someone’s in your bedroom that shouldn’t be? This is a fully functional alarm clock.
Black and White Thermostat Camera. This unit does not function as a thermostat; it just looks exactly like one. It comes with an 8-hour rechargeable battery.
Color Emergency Light Camera. You’ve seen them before; the dual back-up power lights except these contain a high quality hidden camera.
Wireless Dog Baby Monitor Camera. Excellent for monitoring baby or toddler without the presence of a “scary” looking camera.
Wireless “EXIT” Sign Black and White Camera. Right this way folks, and please smile on your way out.
Color Wireless Motion Detector Camera.
Wireless Black and White Vanity Mirror. This camera activates when the mirror is touched; now that’s innovation.
Wireless Desktop Speakers. Full functioning speakers, but with a hidden camera inside. Great for use with computers.

This is just a partial listing of Security Camera King’s high quality hidden cameras. To see a complete line up of our products or to seek information on a specific model visit our “Hidden Security Cameras,” “Wireless Hidden Cameras,” and “Hidden Camera Systems” sections under “Security Cameras” on the navigation bar on the left side of our Web page.

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Wireless Wall Clock Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Sometimes it’s necessary to keep a watchful eye covertly, and a wireless wall clock camera is just the device for the job. Security Camera King offers several different types of hidden cameras, including wireless wall clock cameras. These cameras are built in such a way that detection of surveillance is almost impossible.

Our security experts are often asked how these cameras actually work and how they can be concealed in an object like a clock. In the following article we’ll talk about how a wireless wall clock camera works an mention the types available for purchase through Security Camera King.

The key factor behind hidden or disguised digital video security cameras is advanced technology. In the no to distant past, security and surveillance cameras were analog based. Since they are now digital, that has allowed the security camera industry to share the benefits of technological advances found in the personal computer and electronic industries. This in turn has yielded incredibly small, high quality cameras that can capture video images in a variety of different conditions.

Creating a digital video image using a wireless wall clock camera begins with the camera’s lens. Objects have a natural tendency to reflect light. The light that is reflected is gathered by the lens and focused on an electronic sensor. Many hidden cameras use a highly accurate 3.7 mm wide angle lens. To get an appreciation for the size of this lens, hold two nickels together. The thickness of two stacked nickels is a little greater than the entire size of a 3.7 mm lens. The wide angle feature allows this small lens to have a proportionately larger field of view.

The lens focuses the light image on a small electronic sensor. One of two different sensors is used. A Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS converts the light energy into electrical impulses. The CCD and CMOS go about the process a little differently, but both yield the same end result; electrical impulses that can be measured and used to create a digital video image.

As a side note, CCDs have historically produced a higher quality image with a greater demand for electrical power while CMOSs have produced a slightly lesser quality image with a lesser demand for power. However, as technology advances, both CCDs and CMOSs are approaching an equal state of quality and power demand.

All of Security Camera King’s wireless wall clock cameras use CCDs. One would think that the electronic sensor would need to be rather large, especially when using a wide angle lens. However, our wireless wall clock cameras use a very small 1/4 or 1/3 inch CCD. Using a 3.7 mm lens and such a small CCD, it should become obvious how easy it is to disguise the camera with the clock face.

After the light images are created into measurable electrical impulses by the CCD, the camera then converts this analog data to binary or digital form by using an analog-to-digital converter. The analog-to-digital converter resides in a very small Integrated Circuit or IC chip that takes up very little space.

Now the video data is ready for transmitting. Once again a relatively small IC chip comprises the transmitter. The circuit converts the digital data into radio waves that can be sent by the transmitter to a corresponding wireless receiver.

Our wireless wall clock cameras use 2.4 GHz radio technology; the same technology used by many land-line based wireless phones. This technology offers a strong, clear signal with very little interference.

Normally the receiver is located near the Digital Video Recorder or DVR unit and is connected to it by a cable. Once the wireless wall clock camera video signal reaches the receiver, it is transferred to the DVR where it can be displayed on a monitor and viewed live and/or stored on the DVR’s hard disk drive for archiving or later use.

Security Camera King offers four different wireless wall clock cameras. We offer a “standard” looking wall clock that looks like any plain circular wall clock found in an office or home. We also offer a more sophisticated looking clock camera with humidity and temperature indicators. Each of the two designs offers either a black and white video image or a color video image. The black and white video images models will produce a high quality image in very low light conditions (0.003 lux for example). Check our “Wireless Hidden Cameras” web page.

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Hidden Camera With SD Card

Written By:
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

There are times when covert camera monitoring and recording are necessary and one of the best devices for this purpose is a hidden camera with SD card. Thanks to recent technological advances in the computer world as well as in general electronics, a camera can be made as small as to fit in the shell of an average writing pen.

When it comes to the appearance of a hidden camera with SD card, there are many types from which to choose. These cameras come in “bare-bones” mini versions, where the camera is basically undisguised but is small enough to be hidden, to disguised versions that look (and often times function) as clocks, mirrors, safes, stuffed animals, and many more.

But what exactly is a hidden camera with SD card and how is it able to work? We’ll answer those questions and more in the following article.

The secret behind the success of the hidden camera with SD card is its incredibly small size. Another technological feature is its relatively low demand for power consumption. Yet another is the ability to save digital video images to an SD card, a relatively small device that can pack a big punch in memory capacity these days. Let’s start from the beginning.

A digital video security camera system works by capturing color digital video images with the camera, transmitting those images to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR unit, and saving them on the DVR’s hard disk drive and or displaying them on a monitor. Technically, a monitor is only needed for the system to set it up; that is, fine tune and adjust initial settings. However, if the user wants to monitor the digital video live (or later) the monitor will be needed. The important point here is that a digital video system can consist of just a digital video camera and DVR.

Basically that’s exactly what a hidden camera with SD card is; a digital video camera with a DVR. The key component of the digital video camera is the sensor that is used to create the digital video image. One of two different types of sensors, a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor is used. Generally speaking, a CCD provides the highest quality image at the price of power consumption while a CMOS provided a good quality image at a much lower demand for electrical power.

As technology continues to increase, the power demands for the CCD become much less and the quality for the CMOS becomes even better. Since many hidden cameras with SD card are standalone units placed inside other objects to disguise their appearance, power consumption may be an issue. For that reason many hidden camera with SD cards use CMOS sensor chips.

Although the CCD and the CMOS work a little differently, they both produce the same outcome, a relatively high-quality digital video image. They do this by transferring light images into electrical impulses. These impulses can be measured and compiled into data that creates a digital video image.

One of the most impressive features of digital video cameras is that they can produce these high quality digital video images with a CCD or CMOS the size of a square that is only 1/4 inch! In addition, a wide angle lens is usually used to focus the image on the sensor and these lenses are often as small as 3.7 mm in diameter. Obviously, the small sensor chip and lens combination “paves the way” for camera to be used in other devices as a hidden or disguised camera.

After the camera has created the data for a digital video image micro-circuit technology take over from there. First, an on-board analog-to-digital converter chip transfers the analog data into digital data. Then another circuit compiles and condenses the data to create a digital video file. The digital video file is saved by the DVR, however this cameras DVR records to an SD (Secure Digital) card instead of a hard disk drive.

SD cards are non-volatile memory containers that are used in many electronic devices such as cameras, cell phones and MP3 players. All the user has to do is remove the SD card, plug it into their computer, and download the digital video file created by the hidden camera with SD card.

On-board power for hidden cameras with SD cards may be supplied by a battery, or the camera may actually tap into the power of the device in which they are hidden.

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Infrared Wireless Security Camera

Written By:
Sunday, January 30th, 2011

An infrared wireless security camera offers the ease of do-it-yourself installation and the versatility of total darkness digital video recording. Weather you choose and indoor or outdoor type camera, these cameras can be mounted just about anywhere provided you can provide them with a power source to operate. In addition, infrared wireless security cameras do not require any other special add-on equipment to function.

Infrared wireless security cameras are used for many different applications. The following is just a short, partial list of some of those uses:
• Residential Indoor Applications. In areas that are not always lit, such as storage areas, garages, or any room that is dark. These cameras are excellent for use as baby monitor cameras.
• Industrial (and/or Commercial) Indoor Applications. In any area that is not well lit especially storage facilities, chemical or hazmat storage and use areas, retail store “back” rooms, night time exits and entrances, etc.
• Residential Outdoor Applications. Anywhere outside the house that you want to cover a perimeter zone that surrounds the house: Drive ways, garages or shops not attached to the main home, entrance gates, boats, and barns.
• Industrial (and/or Commercial) Outdoor Applications. Outside store perimeters, no-trespassing areas that may be difficult to patrol in darkness, night-time (or no-light condition) equipment operation areas, rooms and offices that are vacant at night, areas where money and other valuables are stored.

These cameras have the added advantage of performing as a normal visible light digital video camera when sufficient light is available and as an infrared light digital video camera when there is an insufficient amount of light. When the cameras are operating under visible light conditions, they provide a high-quality color display; and when operating under infrared conditions they provide a high-quality black and white or monochromatic video image.

As the description indicates, an infrared wireless security camera does not require the use of a video transmission cable. Non-wireless cameras must have an RG-59 coaxial or similar cable run from each camera to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR. This cabling can complicate installation and some users may feel that, although the cable can be hidden most of the time, when it is visible it can be obtrusive.

Infrared wireless security cameras use one of many different types of wireless technologies to send their video data to a corresponding receiver, or directly to a DVR unit that has a built-in receiver. One of the most popular wireless technologies used for this purpose is the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz technology due to its crisp, clear mostly interference free transmission/reception. (This is the same technology used on many landline-based wireless telephones.)

If the signal is received by a corresponding wireless receiver, the receiver is usually located near the DVR unit and is connected to it by a cable. Some DVRs made specifically for wireless applications have on-board receivers that “catch” the cameras’ transmission and relay it directly to the DVR for further processing.

Most infrared wireless security cameras radio technologies are based on something called a Line Of Sight range or LOS. An LOS range means the camera’s maximum transmission range is based on LOS. This means the camera’s maximum transmission is specified based on a situation where there is an unobstructed view (or LOS) between the camera and the receiver. Although obstructions do not usually cancel the transmission, they do reduce the maximum range based on their material composition.

The interesting thing about infrared wireless security cameras is that they are intrinsically sensitive to infrared radiation. The digital video camera uses one of two sensors, a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS or a Charge Coupled Device CCD, to convert light images into electrical signals that create digital video images. Both of these sensors can detect not only visible light, but infrared light of the near-infrared wavelength. Furthermore, the cameras’ sensors can “see” the infrared light, but the human eye cannot. There for the light used for infrared illumination is literally invisible to the human eye.

Infrared wireless security cameras normally used infrared Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs to create the illumination for the camera. These LEDs may be configured in an array surrounding the camera lens, off to the side, or entirely separate on an infrared “illuminator.” Generally, the more LEDS the longer the range of capturing in total darkness conditions. For that reason, always check the specifications before purchasing the camera to make sure it meets your required range.

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