CCTV Cameras – Back to the Future???

CCTV cameras …..constantly evolving.

One of the various technologies on display at IFSEC was the variety of HD and Megapixel cameras.

But, despite the hype ongoing regarding ‘Megapixel cameras to replace PTZ’, there were actually a lot of HD cameras with ZOOM lenses on them….yes, you are reading correctly, Optical ZOOM lenses!!!

CCTV cameras

So, it seems with CCTV cameras there is in fact very much a place for zoom lenses on megapixel / HD cameras – and it makes sense

We have posted before that HD should be viewed as complementary technology – sticking to what it does best, providing stunning OVERVIEW coverage of a scene and potentially passing detail and/or data to PTZ cameras to take over and provide close in detail….

There have been various shoot outs recently between HD CCTV cameras and PTZ CCTV cameras and, the PTZ wins on many fronts……

So it was interesting to see some companies fighting back, accepting defeat, producing HD cameras with optical zoom lenses.

Sony have two modules out for use in Domes and PTZ heads – a 20x that is lifted right from their established and popular AutoFocus range, and a brand spanking new 28x module with Ultra Low Light capabilities and a host of new features designed for night time surveillance – both with 1080p outputs for HD quality recording…..Hitachi are promising similar, even to the point of increasing the optic zoom to 36x !!!

Two decades ago, CCD was just emerging, replacing the tube technology of old…..lenses were selected based on specific field of view requirements…..object 2m size at a distance of 30m away….the amount of CCTV surveyors (and sales guys) that had lens viewfinders to calculate the required lens…..

Then, all turned lazy. Varifocals were introduced to take away the specific element, allowing a little latitude to the installation engineer if he/she had to move the camera to a slightly different location. Varifocals got longer and longer until, in the end, the specific lenses were early used.

Megapixel brought all that back in again. Starting initially with specific, fixed focal length lenses, HD and Megapixel have slowly crept back towards varifocal lenses as the preferred choice.

Now, with optical zoom, it makes perfect sense that a detailed HD picture should have the ability to optically zoom as well as digitally……….what is viewed is recorded and of course, that stunning post zoom offered by most of the HD cameras out there is still available.

The next step for CCTV cameras ? Well, it makes perfect sense to take that glorious HD resolution, coupled with a decent optical zoom, and place inside a Pan and Tilt device such as a dome or similar……imagine having 360 degree movement HD resolution with optical zoom! Sounds like utopia…….and companies are working now on units that incorporate exactly that – more info to come in the near future.

We will keep a close eye on these developments but it certainly seems like manufacturers are looking at the old ways to enhance and evolve their CCTV cameras to suit new technologies!!!

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