Posts Tagged ‘ infrared night camera system ’

Color Day Night Camera

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

If the environmental conditions are supportive, and you need color video images even at night, a color day night camera is your most likely solution.  These cameras require no InfraRed Light Emitting Diodes or IR LEDs to light up their field of view.  Therefore the video image retains its original color even in conditions with almost no visible light what so ever.

Digital video security cameras, especially the color day night camera, are amazing pieces of technological wonder.  They have plenty of positive benefits and are the ideal choice for security and surveillance systems today.  Let’s take a look at how a typical digital video security camera and system work.

In an effort to keep things simple we won’t get into the detail of the system but we will consider details pertaining to the camera.  A digital video security and surveillance system normally consists of three separate, independent components, the camera, the DVR, and the monitor.

The cameras’ job is to capture reflective light and convert it into electronic information that can be sent to the DVR for processing or to a spot monitor for viewing.  The DVR’s function is to control the system, store the digital video file, and display the results of the cameras on a monitor(s).  The monitor, of course, displays the end result, the video image.

The camera alone is basically an electronic wonder.  The digital video camera today is very similar to the analog video cameras of yesteryears except that it is cheaper, lighter, and much more versatile, uses less power, and can be incredibly small in size.  This is how a typical digital video camera works.

First, the camera has a field of view, an area of which is subject to capture by the camera.  In the field of view, objects reflect light, which is gathered by the camera’s lenses, and focused on a small sensor chip that is usually 1/4 to 1/3 inch square.

There are two different types of sensor chips.  Both provide the same end result (a digital image) but each goes about providing the end result in different ways.  The two chips are called a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.  The light from the lenses is focused at this chip which is photo sensitive.  When light strikes the chip, a small but measurable electric impulse is given off.  By manipulating the impulse values appropriately the camera can construct a video image.

Interestingly, the initial video image data is analog.  The data is run through an analog-to-digital Integrated Circuit (IC) Chip that converts the initial analog data into binary or digital format.  Most cameras also have a processor called a Digital Signal Processor that further refines the image and makes any fine tuning adjustments before leaving the camera.

What is most interesting is that both sensor chips the CCD and the CMOS are inherently sensitive to infrared radiation in the near infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Usually there is a filter that is removed for normal night time recording because if the cameras pick up both bright visible light and  ambient infrared light during the day without the filter the image it produces is distorted in some way or another.

Color day night cameras may use other filters only at night too.  These cameras also contain highly sensitive CCD and/or CMOS chips such that with the high sensitive chip, good lenses, and just a small bit of ambient light (a starlit night for example) the can produce a color digital video image.  Incidentally, the empahsis here on color is important because IR based video image are either black and white or monochromatic, but they are never in color because colored light is out of the bandwidth range for near IR.

Often times these cameras’ over all sensitivity to light (lens, filters, sensors all play a part) is rated for the camera in Lux.  A color day night camera may be rated to work and continue to produce high quality color video images down to 0 Lux conditions.

It’s important to note that these cameras are not producing an infrared light based image.   Therefore IR illuminators are not required and the natural color of the image is retained and reproduced.

If you have any questions concerning color day night cameras, please contact one of our security experts either via on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone.  They will be happy to help you with any aspect of your system.


Night Infrared Camera System

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

A night infrared camera system can help you see what others can’t.  Not only can it help you to see, but those being watched cannot detect the “light” that is used to “illuminate” the scene that they are in.  What’s more is that an infrared camera system can give you the high resolution quality of daytime video recording and also the high resolution of nighttime video recording, without requiring much of a greater cost.  To find out more about this type of system, read on.

There are three components to a typical digital video security and surveillance system; the camera(s), the Digital Video Recorder (DVR), and the monitor(s).  It is neither the DVR nor the monitor that makes night infrared camera systems possible, it’s the camera.  So let’s discuss a little about how a typical digital video camera works, including those that are night infrared cameras.

First, the camera works by using reflective light and transferring it into electrical energy that can be used to create an electronic video image.  The light in the camera’s field of vision penetrates the camera’s lenses.   The lenses function is to focus the entire field of vision onto a 1/4 to 1/2 inch size square sensor.

There are two different types of sensors used in night infrared camera systems.  Although they both change the light image into measurable electrical impulses, each goes about doing so in a slightly different manner.  Nonetheless, the end product of the either sensor is an electrical impulse that can be used to “reconstruct” the image.  The sensors that are used for this purpose are either the Charged Coupled Device or CCD or the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

Both the CCD and CMOS send their minute impulses to a couple of on-board Integrated Circuit (IC) chips.  One called a Digital Signal Processor or DSP is constructed specifically for the purpose of managing the camera’s output and making sure that the video image created is of the best quality possible.  The other IC chip is called an analog-to-digital converter which takes the sensor’s electrical information which until now has been in analog form and converts it into a digital or binary format.

One advantageous characteristic of both the CCD and the CMOS sensors is that while these sensors can “detect” visible light and create a small electrical impulse out of it, they can also “detect” invisible light, specifically infrared light in the near infrared spectrum that is invisible to the human eye, and create a small electrical impulse from it as well.  In fact, these sensors can detect near infrared light inherently and really require no other assistance to help detect it.

However, depending on the construction of the sensor and the type of camera, they may need some additional light provided in order to make the infrared signature “bright enough” at a longer distance in order to create a highly detailed video image.  This additional light is near infrared light provided by infrared Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs.  Most night infrared camera system cameras have an array of these LEDs position in a circle right around the lens.  This ensures that the LED light will be directed in the same field of vision that the camera’s lens is.

Each night time infrared camera has a rating of the distance at which it can produce an infrared image.  The distance is usually limited to the number and type of LEDs used, so when purchasing a night infrared camera system, be certain to check the range of the camera to make sure it meets your requirements.

If the camera doesn’t have the range you need you can always try using an Infrared Illuminator.  Infrared Illuminators are basically nothing more than a group of infrared LEDs.  However, most illuminators emit strong invisible infrared “light” up to 300 feet or more, drastically extending the range of your camera.

One last note about night infrared camera systems; since these systems are working in infrared mode their video image will be displayed as monochromatic or black and white.  Only the visible light spectrum can display color and that is why the infrared mode is not in color.

If you have any additional questions about a night infrared camera system, please contact one of our security experts either by on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 866-573-8878.