Posts Tagged ‘ Infrared Camera ’

Infrared Surveillance Camera

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Infrared Surveillance Cameras or Day/Night Cameras are becoming very popular as business and home security cameras. They provide a full color picture in daytime or adequate light situations. Gradually switching to BW at night or low light to maintain picture quality, Infrared cameras, as their name suggests, contain an array of Infrared LED’s that turn on in low light and can provide a B/W picture in complete darkness.

Security Camera King’s infrared cameras are equipped with IR illuminators that can allow the infrared surveillance camera to “see” in complete darkness, and provide superb video performance in the worst lighting conditions. An infrared surveillance camera is perfect for night applications or for applications with poor lighting conditions. Infrared security surveillance cameras use infrared radiation known as “near infrared” light that is invisible to the human eye. Many of our IR cameras feature infrared illumination using photocell activation, which automatically switches on and off the camera’s illuminators as lighting conditions change.

An infrared surveillance camera is any camera that is design with Infrared light built in with illuminators for day and night time video surveillance. All infrared cameras come with a light sensor built in to switch the IR on when light conditions go below 1LUX rating. All infrared color cameras will change to Black and White when IR sensor is on. Infrared security surveillance cameras are very popular and can be used anywhere.

An infrared surveillance camera has infrared LED lighting (light from a different region of the electromagnetic spectrum than we normally cannot see) installed around the outside of the lens of the camera. This lighting allows the camera to capture a good image in no light at all. With a little bit of light (called low light) the infrared camera can capture a picture that looks just like daytime. People use infrared security cameras for businesses that have the lights out at night (in case of break-ins). Or for outside, nighttime viewing. Keep in mind that even at nighttime there is a normally some light from the moon, stars, or street lights.

Infrared cameras are often called “Night Vision” cameras because they can ‘see’ at night. However, do not confuse “Night Vision” with “Day / Night Cameras”. Day / Night cameras do not have infrared lights built in.

Infrared surveillance cameras will provide a color picture while the light is good. When it gets dark, the camera will switch to infrared mode and illuminate the field of vision using its built-in infrared LEDs. In infrared mode the image is captured in black and white – this is true of all infrared cameras because infrared light is out of the visible light spectrum.. The level of light required to capture a good picture is referred to as a camera’s lux, the lower the lux the better the camera can see in low light. For example a camera with 0.003 lux is better than a camera with 0.2 lux. Infrared cameras are considered to be 0.0 lux in infrared mode – in other words they can ‘see’ with no light at all.

Infrared cameras are also compared by how far they can see in total darkness. This is generally a result of how many infrared LEDs are built into the camera. Many cameras can see on the average between 50 and 150 feet although some cameras can see as far as 300 feet with no light at all!  This can be extended even further by using illuminators, infrared LED light bars that can extend your range.

If you are going to use an infrared camera outdoors, it’s best to use an outdoor weatherproof bullet style camera. This is because if you use an indoor infrared camera and need to put it in an outdoor housing, sometimes the infrared light reflects off the glass of the housing. Some people get acceptable results if the camera is absolutely flush up to the glass thereby reducing the glare. This works well for example if there are street lights outside or an exterior light that can be left on at night. Keep in mind that cameras without infrared lighting will not capture an image with zero light. The other issue to consider is that infrared cameras require more power (usually more amperage). The power requirements are provided in the specs for each camera.

If you need more information about infrared surveillance cameras, please don’t hesitate to contact one of Security Camera King’s security experts.  We’ll be glad to help!


Infrared Wireless Camera

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

You may be wondering what an infrared wireless camera is.  It is a digital video camera that can capture digital video images in total darkness and does not require a coaxial video transmission cable run from the camera to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR.

Let’s start at the beginning.   A digital video security and surveillance system normally has three basic parts or components:  The camera(s); the DVR; and, the monitor(s).  It’s the camera that we are interested in so lets talk about how it works and what it does.

Unlike the infrared wireless cameras, most cameras need some sort of connection wire to send their video data over to the DVR.  Most often, this wire is actually RG-59 coaxial cable.  The signal originates at the camera end and terminates at the DVR end.  There is nothing wrong with this method; in fact this is the way most security systems are set up.  However, if you want to avoid running all that cable, then you may want to consider a wireless camera.

The wireless camera helps to avoid all the time and effort it takes to run the RG-59 cable.  Imagine that you want to install a gate camera at the end of a very long driveway.  Can you imagine the cable run through your house all the way out to that camera at the gate?

On the other hand an infrared wireless camera has its own on-board transmitter and built-in antenna so that it can send the video data to the DVR in radio frequency format instead of cable.  Actually the camera sends the radio transmission to a corresponding receiver made specifically for this purpose.  The receiver is then connected to the DVR by a coaxial cable and relays the camera’s signal to the DVR via this short cable.

The camera at this point is not truly 100% wireless.  All cameras must have some sort of power supply and so a power supply line must be run to the camera.  In this situation, this can still be a bit of an advantage at making installation easy because a single plug-in type transformer, made specifically for the camera can be plugged in to an outlet nearest the camera reducing the power supplies’ cabling run.

A truly infrared wireless camera can be achieved with very little effort.  This is probably the most desirable configuration because there are absolutely no wires or cables that need to be run from the DVR to the camera.  There are many infrared wireless cameras available from Security Camera King that obtain their power supply from on board batteries.  This makes the camera truly wireless.

When purchasing a wireless camera, make sure you know how far (usually in feet) that your camera will be separated from the receiver.  Most cameras employ a wireless transmission type where the maximum range is stated based on Line Of Sight or LOS.  That means that a camera with a wireless range of 300 feet has that range based on LOS.  If there are any objects between the receiver and the camera you could loose the signal entirely, although this is rare.  Generally, depending on the amount and material the radio signal must go through it simply reduces the camera’s range.

The other half of the infrared wireless camera, that is the infrared portion, allows the camera to see in total darkness.  The camera lens focuses the field of view onto a small (usually 1/4 to 1/3 inch square) sensor that when struck by light energy emits electrical impulses that can be measured and used to create an electronic reproduction, or video footage.

The chips that are used are the Charged Coupled Device (CCD) and the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS).  Both the CCD and the CMOS have the inherent ability to react not only to the visible light spectrum but they can also see the near red infrared light spectrum (human eyes cannot see this type of infrared radiation–simply put it is invisible to us).

An infrared wireless camera is usually supplemented with an array of InfraRed Light Emitting Diodes (IR LEDs) positioned around the lens.  This is like using a floodlight on a non-infrared camera.  Additional illuminators can be purchased to extend the distance of the camera.

An infrared wireless camera not only has a transmission range, but it also has an Infrared range distance.  Make sure to check the infrared range on the camera before purchasing it as well.


640 x 480 Infrared Camera

Monday, October 11th, 2010

What exactly is a 640 x 480 infrared camera? This can be a complicated answer for many reasons. In the following article we will attempt to address some of the characteristics that can make this seemingly simple question so complicated. Specifically, we will briefly discuss infrared technology and the reference to display resolution and how they relate to a 640 x 480 infrared camera.

First lets discuss the meaning of “infrared” when we talk about a 640 x 480 infrared camera. The term “infrared” refers to the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation. The wavelength of infrared radiation generally ranges between 0.7 and 300 micrometers abbreviated as “µm.” The exact range and categories defined may vary slightly depending on the scale that is used to describe the radiation.

For our purposes, it is sufficient enough to know that infrared radiation is a longer wavelength than visible light, therefore the human eye cannot see it. Further, there may be several categories of infrared radiation based on wavelength but we will only consider two; “near infrared” radiation which is invisible to the human eye but is the closest in wavelength to radiation that is visible to the human eye) and “long-wavelength” also called “far infrared,” which for our discussion is the thermal imaging region which is naturally emitted by objects and requires no external or artificial illumination.

So, on this basis there are essentially two types of 640 x 480 infrared cameras. The first type, and the one most commonly used in digital video security camera systems, is the near infrared camera. This camera contains one of two electronic sensor chips, either a Charged Coupled Device (CCD) or a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS). These sensors are able to convert the light energy into electrical energy that can be measured, thereby creating a digital image. Fortuitously, these sensors inherently detect near infrared radiation as well.

The near infrared 640 x 480 camera uses external infrared radiation (or infrared light) to illuminate the area in its field of view. These cameras use InfraRed Light Emitting Diodes or IR LEDS to illuminate the target area in order to create an image. The IR LEDs are normally configured in an array that surrounds the camera lens so that they are focused in the same direction. However, some cameras may have IR LEDs clustered off to the side of the lens and there are even separate “illuminators” that contain nothing but IR LEDs and can be mounted and aimed separately from the camera.

These cameras normally produce a color image in visible light conditions and when the visible light is not bright enough to produce a high quality video image, they switch to infrared, producing a monochromatic or black and white video image.

The far infrared 640 x 480 infrared camera does not require additional external infrared illumination. This camera uses an infrared “Focal Plane Array” or FPA sensor and is capable of creating a digital video image based solely on the thermal emissions or “heat signatures” of objects. These cameras are often called “Forward Looking InfraRed” or FLIR cameras. These cameras are also often made in a “hand held” version. Older models of these cameras had to be cooled somehow to prevent the users’ and their own thermal emissions from interfering with the image.

Far infrared 640 x 480 infrared cameras are often used not only for covert surveillance and security, but by inspectors and engineers to detect a variety of heat signatures. These cameras can be used to detect areas of heat “leakage” from a building or “hot spots” on mechanical engines and other devices.

As for the reference of “640 x 480” in a 640 x 480 infrared camera, this refers to the image resolution in pixels that the camera is capable of displaying. Far infrared cameras are more commonly referred to by their resolution in pixels, i.e. 640 x 480 infrared camera. However, digital video security cameras may also use the same description.

This can be confusing because older, analog security video cameras more commonly referred to their resolution in terms of TVL or Television Lines. Since the security camera industry today uses primarily digital video cameras, they may refer to the resolution in terms of TVL or pixels.

Perhaps the easiest way to tell the difference between the two is the price. Near infrared digital image security video cameras can be purchased for as low as less than one hundered while far infrared FLIR cameras range from one to several thousand dollars.


Cheapest Quality Infrared Camera

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Are you looking for the cheapest quality infrared camera? Look no further than Security Camera King as we stock some of the highest quality yet economically priced infrared security cameras available. Before we look at some specific models Security Camera King has to offer, lets look at some of the features of infrared cameras that may affect their price.

First, let’s briefly discuss how an digital video infrared camera works, then we can better understand the difference in prices based on its features.

To begin with, a digital video camera produces a video image by taking several digital photographs in rapid succession. On the average, a typical high quality camera is capable of producing at least 30 photographs (called frames) per second or 30 fps.

These images are created by electronic sensors that convert light energy into electrical energy that can be measured and used to create a digital photograph or video. There are two basic sensors that are used. One sensor is called a Charge Coupled Device or CCD. It usually produces a higher quality image but may also be more expensive. The other sensor called a Complimentary Metal Oxide Sensor or CMOS has historically been a little lower in quality and cheaper in cost. However, as technology advances the CMOS and CCD are becoming closer in quality and cost. Both sensors produce black and white or monochromatic images in the infrared mode.

These sensors have and added advantage to digital imaging. In addition to being sensitive to light, they are also inherently sensitive to near infrared radiation (light). This means that they have the inherent ability to be used as an infrared camera. However, since the sensor is able to detect near infrared light, the field of view must be illuminated by near infrared radiation. In other words these cameras do not detect the typical heat signatures naturally emitted by objects.

Therefore, infrared cameras use infrared Light Emitting Diodes or IR LEDs to “illuminate” their field of view. These LEDs are usually arranged in an array around the camera lens so that their light is focused in the same direction as the camera’s field of view. However, separate LED security cameras may also be used to illuminate the target area. Generally speaking, the more LED’s the better and longer range of illumination, therefore the longer IR range of the camera.

Finally, there are day/night cameras and true day/night cameras. Lesser quality day/night cameras use software to filter out the infrared light that it sees during the day mode. Higher quality true day/night cameras use an IR Cut filter during the day to filter out the infrared radiation producing a higher quality image.

To summarize then, there are certain features that affect the price of infrared security cameras, namely:
• The type and size of the sensor chip used (CCD vs CMOS)
• The speed of the camera (FPS)
• The number of LEDs used for IR illumination (and therefore the range of the camera)
• Any filters or additional accessories that may be used with the camera.

So what are the cheapest quality infrared cameras that Security Camera King has to offer? The following is a brief list of the four cheapest quality infrared cameras offered by Security Camera King including some brief specifications that you may use for comparison to other cameras.

Cheapest Quality Infrared Cameras offered by Security Camera King
• Product # OD-LX420IR50 – A 420TVL indoor/outdoor vandal resistant dome camera with a 50 foot IR range. It contains a CCD and 23 IR LEDs. The current price is only $49.95.
• Product # OB-LX420IR50 – A 420TVL indoor/outdoor weatherproof bullet camera with a 65 foot IR range. This camera contains a 1/4″ Sharp CCD and 23 IR LEDs. The current price is only $49.99.
• Product # OD- LX520IR50 – This dome camera is essentially the same as OD-LX420IR50 but offers an increased resolution of 520TVL. The current price is only $79.99.
• Product # SVB-58IR48 – This bullet camera is similar to the OB-LX420IR50 listed above but offers an increased resolution of 580TVL. In addition it also offers a longer IR range of 164 feet and uses 48 on-board IR LEDs.

Security Camera King offers some of the cheapest quality infrared cameras available. Remember when shopping for your IR camera to consider camera features such as resolution, IR range, weatherproofing, etc. for comparable pricing.


Child Room Infrared Camera

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Nothing can give new parents the sense of comfort and peace of mind like a child room infrared camera. Innovative technology in the security camera field has produced high-tech cameras with sophisticated features for a variety of uses while maintaining affordable prices. Child room infrared cameras are not only great for use with newborns and infants but with toddlers and all young children. They also work great as nanny cams to help you monitor your child your child’s care giver while you are away.

A child room infrared camera system can be set up in a variety of ways but there are two methods that are most often used. The first is simply as a monitoring camera that allows you to view in real-time (live), video images of your child’s room. This method is often used as a day/night baby or child room monitor.

When using this method there are basically two pieces of equipment that are required; an infrared camera and a monitor. The camera is simply mounted in the child’s room normally in a corner or other vantage point that will yield the greatest field of view. If used as a nighttime child monitor it is normally mounted in a place that provides a field of view that encompasses the bed, crib or other sleeping area

Modern digital video cameras create digital video images using one of two sensors. Either a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS is used. Both of these devices convert the light focused on them by the lens into electrical energy that is then converted into a digital video image.

One nice feature about these sensors is that they are inherently sensitive to infrared radiation in the near infrared spectrum. That means they can be excellent candidates for making infrared video cameras. They do this by illuminating their target area with infrared light; light which is invisible to the human eye but easily seen by the sensor. This light is normally created by an array of several infrared Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs that either surround the camera lens or are next to it so the light is aimed in the same direction as the lens.

These cameras can be set up in the child’s room with the monitor in another area of the house that is convenient for the parents. A coaxial transmission cable may be used to transmit the video camera’s images to the monitor. However there are also wireless child room infrared cameras.

Wireless child room infrared cameras can transmit their video images using the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz radio band frequency. They contain a built-in transmitter and antenna that they use to send the signal to a corresponding receiver. The receiver is then connected to the monitor, or in some cases, the receiver and monitor may all be in one unit. This system is incredibly easy to setup and install. Just mount the camera and plug it into a power source. Plug in the receiver and monitor and connect the two together and away you go.

There’s even a simpler and possibly more convenient wireless option. New IP (Internet Protocol) ready wireless child room infrared cameras contain their own server. This means if you have a broadband internet connection, you can simply connect the IP camera to the internet and use any computer anywhere in the world there is internet access to monitor the child’s room. This amazing versatile feature allows parents to use child room infrared cameras not only as night time monitors, but as daytime “nanny cams” as well and they can be easily monitored from any computer with an internet connection and a web browser, like Internet Explorer.

The second method which is also frequently used, employs the same basic equipment above, but in addition to monitoring the system creates a digital video file and actually records the video footage for later viewing or archiving. These child room infrared camera systems have Digital Video Recorders or DVRs that store the digital video file. Some systems allow you to use your own personal computer to store the files instead.

Whichever method you choose, a child room infrared camera has the versatility to be used in most all situations and can provide 24/7 monitoring that gives you peace of mind that your child is safe and well. In addition these systems are very reasonable priced so as to be affordable on almost any budget.