Today, weather-proof CCTV cameras come with several advanced features like enhanced sensors for high image quality, excellent infrared (IR) coverage, ultra-high resolution technology, etc
By Richa Chakravarty
Wednesday, April 16,2014: One of the fastest growing segments in the security camera market is compact, rugged weather-proof cameras. A few years ago there were only a handful of manufacturers selling weather-proof cameras. But, today, every major manufacturer offers these. That makes choosing the right camera a bit of a challenge. These weather-resistant cameras are designed and developed to suit every type of climate—rainy, freezing and very hot or windy. Hence, these cameras need to be equipped with weather-proof housings. Every weather-proof camera has an IP rating, which refers to the amount of weather abuse it can handle. This rating is based on the camera’s ingress protection (IP) rating. The higher the number, the better the level of protection.
What’s new in the market
Weather-proof cameras today are equipped with several new and advanced features. Among these improvements, the most noteworthy is the addition of the enhanced image sensor.
Enhanced sensor for high image quality: The enhanced sensor for high image quality has resulted in unparallel visibility in extremely bright as well as dark environments, and provides a performance that easily surpasses conventional analogue cameras.
Hikvision has introduced two new models with the new enhanced image sensor—the DS-2CE15F5P(N)-VFIR3 720TVL vari-focal IR bullet camera and the DS-2CE55F5P(N)-VFIR3 720TVL vari-focal IR dome camera. “This sensor was specifically designed to be utilised along with Hikvision’s industry-leading 3D digital noise reduction (DNR) technology to secure higher image quality under challenging lighting circumstances. These cutting-edge cameras have been designed specifically to capture superior crystal-clear colour images in extreme, low-light conditions,” informs Ashish P Dhakan, managing director and CEO, Prama Hikvision India Pvt Ltd. Along with the superior image sensor, these cameras have a rugged IP66 rating that protects them against rain and dust, making them the ideal choice for almost any application.
Excellent infrared (IR) coverage: Unlike traditional IR night vision cameras that use standard CCD, lenses and LEDs that operate autonomously, most of the IR cameras have integrated automatic processor control (AMC) and electronic photocell control (EPC), along with a host of other technologies. This ensures that the optics, image sensor, the lens, etc, work in tandem to eliminate hotspots, washout, and under exposure usually associated with IR cameras, thus ensuring flawless active IR performance. Matrix SATATYA CADRP700FL90SW is an IR high-speed weather-proof dome camera that offers an excellent IR distance coverage, because of which higher levels of security can be provided.
Shares Kaushal Kadakia, product owner, video surveillance solutions, Matrix Comsec India Pvt Ltd, “Matrix’s IR high-speed dome camera has a 30x zoom capability, which allows the user to closely inspect the desired areas; the vari-focal camera allows the user to set the camera according to the requirements, covering a commendable IR distance. With this camera, both day and night video surveillance can be conveniently done.” Matrix’s IR bullet vari-focal camera comes with 600 TVL, which covers a distance of up to 50 metres using 35 IR array LEDs. The lens varies from 2.8-12 mm. It has a wide dynamic range, enabling the capture of images from shadows as well as in brighter light than normal.
IP cameras synchronise IR intensity and area illumination with motorised zoom lenses for outstanding active IR performance, eliminating over exposure, washout and hotspots, thus resulting in unparalleled performance. Launched under its brand name AVAKE, AV Systems’ latest UL36B/0114IR is an IR 36 camera equipped with special high radiance 14 mil infrared LED lamps. It is IP 66 compatible, and is equipped with a special type of sensor that has the ability to combat foggy and misty weather conditions. “It has been designed to overcome extreme weather challenges and give users an unmatched clear picture. It has all the features such as day and night visibility, IR sensor, OSD, DWDR, 2DNR and 0.001LUX, which is ideal for moonless starry nights. It also comes with lightning protection,” says Anurag Sehgal, managing director, AV Systems.
Ultra-high resolution technology: This technology helps in delivering outstanding image details and video performance in all lighting conditions. Hence, even a single camera can give greater overall situation awareness, while providing better digital zoom. The use of ultra-high resolution means that fewer cameras are required. Video quality has always been a challenge for the security and surveillance industry but with ultra-high resolution this limitation, too, has been overcome.
The recent launch of the 5000 series 960H analogue weather-proof PTZ camera by Bosch provides the highest levels of image quality available for the PAL and NTSC standards, according to the company. With 30 per cent higher resolution than previous generation analogue 760H sensors, it is capable of capturing images that are 976 pixels wide, ideal for capturing fine scene details.
Suggests Sudhir Tiku, head, South Asia, Bosch Security Systems, “Ideal for a user who wants ultra-high resolution analogue technology, the 960H sensors deliver crisp, clear video at the highest resolution available for analogue systems. It offers extraordinary performance in low light. The wider frame also delivers true-to-life images that let the user get the full benefit of the latest wide screen monitors.”
Weather-proof housing: As protection against harsh weather conditions, the outdoor cameras are furnished with weather-proof housing. These cameras are capable of functioning in extreme climatic conditions without compromising on quality and performance. Also, these security cameras are given an environmental rating to indicate their suitability for installation.
Aditya Infotech offers Dahua Technology’s latest series of robust and weather-proof 540TVL cameras. The DH-CA-DW161G, DH-CA-FW161H and DH-CA-FW161K are IR dome cameras that are integrated with the IP66 rated housing. These cameras can transmit footage during sandstorms, blizzards, torrential rain or even if vandalised. The DH-CA-DW161H and DH-CA-DW161G can cover a wide range of viewing angles of an IR range of 20 metres, whereas the DH-CA-FW161K is built with an IR range of 30 metres, allowing the user to set the camera for any outdoor location.
Tips for buyers
There are a number of important factors to consider when purchasing a weather-proof CCTV camera. On the one hand, the user should look into the technical factors applicable to every situation, regardless of the intended use. The second factor is the application—for example, the place where the camera is to be installed, the weather conditions, the distance to be monitored, etc.
“Understanding the components and how they affect the CCTV camera’s performance is an important part of knowing what to look for. This involves choosing the right lens, choosing the right output resolution and the right sensor. Other factors are more dependent on the intended use of the CCTV camera, as some varieties are more useful in some situations than others. A day/night camera is great for keeping an eye on visitors coming up the drive, but it may not be the best choice for monitoring staff on business premises,” suggests Anurag Sehgal.
Advises Kaushal Kadakia, “Buyers need to be clear about their requirements before purchasing a video surveillance solution. The distance to be monitored, the conditions under which the monitoring needs to be done, the change in the conditions that are likely to occur, the degree of closeness at which the inspection has to be done, etc, are the major factors to be considered.”
Avake’s UL36B/0114 IR camera
Electronics Bazaar, South Asia’s No.1 Electronics B2B magazine