IT’S been a few years since Sanyo’s day/night camera
technology was the benchmark in CCTV camera technology but that’s not because
the company hasn’t made any good stuff – we think Sanyo’s clever Pan-Focus
camera never got the attention it deserved.

Instead it’s probably fair to say that Sanyo was
overwhelmed by a flood of commodity-priced cameras coming out of China and Korea at the exact moment its designers
were working to lever the company’s hardware out of the 520-line rut in which they
found themselves stuck.

If you’re wondering whether Sanyo found its way out of that
rut, the answer is a resounding yes. The HD images dished up by the new
VCC-HD4000-P make the scenes delivered by 520 or 540-line analog cameras look
decidedly inferior.

We’ve observed before in SE&N that in a market driven
by price, nothing drives sales like technology innovation and in an ocean of
“me too” video surveillance cameras, you have to admire this effort from Sanyo’s
R&D team. They’re among the first of the traditional analog camera
manufacturers to bring the market a serious IP camera and there’s no doubt it’s
among the best IP cameras out there.

Before we go further, let’s look at HD technology itself.
The importance of HD resolution is that HD viewed on a composite monitor is
much superior to even the best analog video surveillance cameras. What this
means is that HD IP cameras really are worth the investment – they’re better in
almost every way.

One of the nicest things about the VCC-HD4000P is the
fact it comes with a 4-megapixel lens that not only saves installers money, it
saves them and their customers from paying for souped-up surveillance cameras
installed with rubbish lenses that never perform to spec.

In terms of specifications, Sanyo’s new baby comes with a
progressive scan CMOS sensor, dual codec’s in order to deliver 1080p at 25ips
using H.264, as well as 2288 x 1712 performance in JPEG.

The VCC-HD4000P’s dual codec’s allow dual streaming of
H.264 and JPEG, enabling simultaneous high definition recording and real time
H.264 live monitoring across a network. An HDMI output allows the full quality
of the camera’s images to be observed on an HD monitor and there is an option
to display the video onto an analogue monitor at a huge 680 TV lines.

Sanyo’s VCC-HD4000P has a peak resolution of 2288 x 1712
pixels for outstanding local monitoring (if your monitor can handle it). The
camera has 4 operating modes, the first 2 are HD, one being H.264 and JPEG,
with the other being H.264 only. Meanwhile modes 3 and 4 are Standard H.264 and
JPEG, and JPEG only.

Modes 1 and 2 have aspect ratios of 16:9, and resolutions
of 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, 1024 x 576, 960 x 540, 640 x 360 and 320 x 180. Meanwhile
modes 3 and 4 with their aspect ratios of 4:3 offer resolutions of 2288 x1712,
1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 1080 x 864, 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, 720 x 576, 640 x
480, 360 x 288 and 320 x 240.

Other features of the camera include 2 alarm inputs, 10x
digital zoom, day/night operation, anti-smearing, face recognition, BLC, AGC, SD
card slot, USB output, and 5 privacy masks. How’s day/night performance?
Independent tests we’ve read suggest this new Sanyo camera delivers low light
performance that’s as good as any other IP camera available and better than
most.

Now, one of the sweet things about full digital cameras
is the sorts of mainstream smarts CCTV solutions can now offer – including
things like human face detection we glanced off a moment ago. You don’t need it
all the time but in some applications face detection is an excellent option.

When it’s activated, the VCC-HD4000P automatically
detects human faces and deploys things like auto-focus and backlight
compensation in order to get the best view of the face/s in question including
groups of 32. This is useful if the camera’s job is to get identifiable footage
of all faces passing a camera.

The camera can be integrated into a broader solution but
it’s more than clever enough to function stand alone in retail or domestic
applications. The VCC-HD4000P is delivered with VA-SW3050Lite viewer software
that’s capable of supporting live viewing of image streams and recordings. You
can also buy network recording software which is an application program able to
extend he network operation of the camera.

This system allows monitoring of images multiple cameras
on a split screen while monitoring and managing up to 128 cameras over a
network. You also get automatic transmission/email of images upon alarm, pre
and post alarm recording, Power-over-Ethernet support, multi-casting, onboard
backup, internal log files and SSL compatibility (with JPEG).

 

“One of the nicest things about the VCC-HD4000P is the fact it comes
with a 4-megapixel lens that not only saves installers money, it saves them and
their customers from paying for souped-up surveillance cameras installed with
rubbish lenses that never perform to spec”