Intelligent Security Integration’s Mobile CCTV Command Centre got plenty of attention at Security 2016. The unit combines multiple integrated fixed and PTZ HD cameras, 360-degree 4K cameras, thermal cameras and 8 deployable cameras with video and manpower management. It’s the attention to detail that transfixed the crowd. The MCCC is thoughtfully conceived and beautifully executed.
MOBILE command centres are not a new concept by any means and we’ve seen a number of mobile trailers at security shows over the years that are designed to push intelligence gathering outside of built spaces. But none of these units can compare with the Intelligent Security Integration’s van-based Mobile CCTV Command Centre, which combines the latest video surveillance and communications technology to create remote area security for events and other applications.
Q: I was interested to read in Help Desk last month the points made about the challenges of context when wide angle camera views are being used. Does the same type of issue apply with longer views and is there a way to deliver context in such cases – especially when operators familiar with wider ‘parked’ camera views start going from wide to long with 36x optical PTZs?
A: Yes, you’re quite correct – compression is a great strength of longer lenses in some applications but it can confuse if operators are unfamiliar with its effects. Once you get past the hyperfocal distance of a 36x zoom you’ll get pedestrians at 40m, diners outside a café at 65m and situational awareness in the compact-seeming but profoundly deep field of view behind both – out to 100m and more.
Hikvision’s new 4K PTZ is a tour de force, combining all the company’s best technologies in a single camera. It melds 4K resolution with a fast F1.5 aperture 6.2-202mm (36x) optical zoom lens, integrated 200m IR, 120dB WDR, IP66 and IK10 ratings, and low light performance down to .02 lux in colour.
HIKVISION has tipped all its engineering nous into the DS-2DF8836IV-AELW 4K PTZ – this camera is just bristling with tech. I got a look at the handsome new 4096 x 2160 resolution PTZ straight out of the box, having had no fine tuning from the technical team at Hikvision Australia. It would have been great to get hold of Hikvision’s 4K PTZ and undertake a full test but just mucking around in the demo room with the first unit to arrive in the country was highly instructive.
Wide angle lenses and lens settings have advantages and disadvantages
Q: Would you recommend not using wide angle lenses in many security surveillance applications? What are the advantages and disadvantages of wide angle lenses?
A: Disadvantages of wide angle lenses can include chromatic aberrations, vignetting, excessive barrel distortion and corner softness. And if you need identification, then you need the lens very, very close to the subject. Given the challenges of wide angle views, we’d recommend you cover your operational target area fully but nothing more. For instance, a 130-degree angle of view might be wonderfully dramatic and include huge amounts of detail, but if a large part of that detail includes the walls of adjacent buildings, the foliage of street trees and tens of degrees of empty sky, you’re better to opt for a narrower field of view with a higher concentration of pixels.
Tone mapping showing as halo fore and aft of this fast moving car
Something installers and end users often notice with IP cameras is signs of tone mapping, a technique used in image processing to map adjacent colours in order to reconstruct higher dynamic range in scenes where the limited dynamic range of display media can’t match strong variations of natural light discernible to the human eye.
TONE mapping, which leaves footprints in the form of a halo effect, or an area of fringing around objects in a scene, is a process by which very high contrast areas in a scene are digitally reduced using algorithms to a displayable range, while retaining as much image detail and colour rendition as possible from the original scene. CCTV people see more tone mapping characteristics than they realise, including halos around dark or moving objects and a Claymation-like appearance in scenes stressed by very strong backlight.
ISD has made some noteworthy CCTV cameras, including Jaguar
FLIR has acquired camera manufacturer, Innovative Security Designs, as part of a move to expand its optical camera range. But the move also highlights FLIR’s expectation of where the video surveillance market is heading.
In recent times FLIR has acquired mass market CCTV provider, Lorex, and high end VMS and camera manufacturer, DVTEL. The acquisition of ISD is another step in rounding out FLIR’s optical camera offering but not in the most obvious way. ISD is small, with its most market penetration in the United States. FLIR suggests the acquisition fills a gap in its mid to high-end offering and while that’s true, ISD’s cameras are not the optical equivalents of benchmark products from tech houses like GBO. Furthermore, DVTEL made some lovely high end cameras in its own right.
If all other things were generally equal, which single quality is most important for a video surveillance camera?
A: You must answer this question from an operational perspective. The most important qualities depend on what the CCTV camera is being used for – a camera might be used for real time situational awareness supported by security patrols and operators wielding high resolution PTZs but more often it will be used as a post-event forensic tool.
A camera used for investigation needs to provide a well-compressed, high quality image stream in order to meet its operational priorities. If image clarity - taking into account contrast, colour rendition, low light and backlight performance – are equal, then image sharpness and resistance to motion blur are the most important qualities a camera can have from a security operations perspective.
SAMSUNG’s 5MP SNO-8081R bullet, distributed locally by EOS, incorporates a 1/1.8-inch 6MP CMOS sensor, a 3.6-9.4mm motorized varifocal lens with auto-focus, 120dB WDR, built-in IR to assist in low light applications and a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. This is a powerful and well-made camera that takes fixed surveillance capabilities to an elevated level.
AS soon as you pick up SAMSUNG’s 5MP SNO-8081R bullet, you get a sense of its quality. Samsung makes nice gear and this SNO-8081R bullet camera is no different. The unit has a tilt-mount, a metal alloy body and a simple and detachable poly sunshade. The PoE SNO-8081R has IP66/IK10 ratings against environment and vandalism and proffers an operating temperature between -40 and 55C, which is at the upper end of good. Emerging from a heavy cross-cut rubber flange on the rear are RJ45, audio and I/Os. Wherever you look and touch, build quality is superb and attention to detail is exemplary.
New from Axis is the PoE 1080p M3045-V dome with HDMI and a highly flexible pan and tilt gimbal. This 1/3-inch progressive scan CMOS camera features a fixed 2.8m F2 lens, giving a wide 106-degree field of view and light sensitivity down to 0.25 lux.
TRULY compact dome cameras face a tough task. Within their compact housings they’re required to offer broad and at times conflicting functionalities, including compact size yet quality optics and very wide field of view yet low distortion and high image sharpness. Adding pressure to the recipe is the demand for low price. Clearly, this class of camera is a compromise and what installers and end users want to know is whether or not the balance of compromise meets their requirements.
SecTech Camera Shootout hits Perth tomorrow, Wednesday May 4 from 12-6pm - see you there
SECTECH Camera Shootout commissioning took place at the CX TV studio in Sydney late last week, with a number of cameras registered into the Genetec VMS and tweaked before the road trip to SA for SecTech Adelaide, which opens at Adelaide Convention Centre tomorrow, May 9 at midday until 6pm (register here!).
The quality of the contenders in this year's SecTech Camera Shootout is unprecedented, with many cameras in SecTech Camera Shootout on show for the first time. Central to our testing this year will be assessing motion blur, which proved difficult to consistently perceive across a 9-way split screen in 2015.
If you want to see 24 of the best CCTV cameras in the world going head to head in your town, don't miss SecTech Camera Shootout - it's going to be an eye-opener, that's for sure. ♦