Tamron DE005 1/1.8”, 15-50mm, F/1.4 zoom lens
Tamron DE005 1/1.8”, 15-50mm, F/1.4 zoom lens

Tamron has been long recognised as an innovative source for mega-pixel lenses for critical ITS applications, affording them keen insight into industry needs and trends. Trending steadily higher are projections for the worldwide number of installed ITS cameras. Increasing in concert with forecasted camera count is growing demand for substantially higher ITS installation versatility – without compromise in optical performance. As part of an ongoing initiative to serve this dynamic market, Tamron has developed a new 1/1.8”, 15-50mm, F/1.4 zoom lens featuring a continuous range of focal lengths which includes the most widely used angles of view for traffic surveillance. A compact design enables PTZ dome installations, making the Tamron DE005 3 mega-pixel integrated zoom lens ideal for new systems and an efficient means to seamlessly upgrade existing cameras. 1.    Ideal focal length for traffic surveillance Rugged and durable construction assures peak performance over an extended life cycle Ideal 15-50mm focal length is suitable for license plate recognition, identification of vehicles and individuals Designed to match 1/1.8” sensors common to traffic surveillance system cameras Accommodates larger imager sizes 2.    Enhanced versatility PTZ dome compatibility. Even while realising a 50mm telephoto focal length, a 90mm chassis can be accommodated Lens-to-camera integration simplifies installation and eliminates back focus adjustment requirements Advanced stepping motors enable precise remote control operation and reduce installation time Auto focus enabled 3.    Optics engineered for low light surveillance Specialised optical formula minimises narrowing of aperture at higher zoom ratios F/1.4 is achievable from 15-35mm and F/1.6 at 50mm Outstanding image integrity is realised by eliminating colour smear and diminishing chromatic aberration

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Tamron introduces near IR corrected/ 5 megapixel board mount zoom lens 1/2.7” 2.8-9.8mm F/1.6, IR
Tamron introduces near IR corrected/ 5 megapixel board mount zoom lens 1/2.7” 2.8-9.8mm F/1.6, IR

Tamron Co., Ltd., total optics manufacturer and a leader in the security industry, announced the release of a near IR corrected / 5 mega-pixel board mount type zoom lens. Development concept Security cameras today offer rapidly improving picture quality and many manufacturers of security devices are now developing cameras with high-pixel image sensors. In light of this trend, Tamron has developed a high-performance zoom lens for PTZ’s and bullet cameras. This zoom lens has the resolving power to support high pixel counts and can support 1.8µm pitch image sensors. It promises three desirable characteristics: super-wide-angle support for high pixel counts, and high performance. With an angle of view of over 100°, this 5 mega-pixel lens is a new type of board mount zoom lens. The lens, moreover, not only offers 5 mega-pixel picture quality under visible light, but the same high level of quality is accomplished with near-infrared light conditions. Day or night, this lens, for the new age ensures high-resolution and high-performance monitoring with no compromise of picture quality. Tamron will lead the market for high-definition security with the newly developed zoom lens supporting 5 mega-pixel and near-infrared lighting. Key features 1. Super-wide-angle, high-picture-quality 3.5 x zoom lens for PTZ Achieves a wide 123.1° angle with 1/2.7” sensors (16:9) and 100° angle with 1/3” sensors (4:3). Enables wide-area monitoring with a single camera. 2. Maintains 5 mega-pixel high performance even in near-infrared light Achieves 24-hour, 5 mega-pixel monitoring without loss of picture quality. Lighting conditions are not a concern as the lens will provide uniform picture quality and resolving power day or night. Clip picture quality remains excellent as high pixel count is maintained, helpful for recognising persons. 3. Aperture mechanism supporting P-Iris Stepping motor enables precise aperture control. Depending on the application, aperture range can be controlled to a desired position to optimise the image quality. 4. Compact body, with overall length of just 64.25 mm Uses new iris mechanisms to maintain compact form with high picture quality. Tamron’s years of technical experience have achieved a form that is smaller but maintains super-wide-angle support for high pixel counts, and high performance.

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CCTV camera lenses - Expert commentary

Saving lives with effective security control centre design
Saving lives with effective security control centre design

When people think of control rooms, images from James Bond movies or intense action stories come to mind. What they fail to realise is the incredible level of ergonomics, technology, precision and craftsmanship required to create a top-notch command and control room. “These are rooms of complex functionalities, where hundreds of elements must be integrated and function in sync,” says Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Professional teams from several different industries must coordinate every single detail in order to ensure that functionality occurs each and every time. Reconfigurable furniture for control rooms AFC Industries is one company that specialises in equipping control rooms for security and other applications. AFC Industries was established in 1994 as a family-owned business that focuses on the design and construction of ergonomic products. Their height-adjustable units guarantee the right height for standing desks as well as traditional sitting levels. The company produces an array of Command and Control ergonomic security consoles and mounting solutions. Modular racking systems facilitate efficient storage of electronic and audio-visual equipment. As technology changes, older traditional consoles are no longer a necessity. Many organisations instead are choosing to use lighter, less costly, reconfigurable furniture that allows more flexibility. Command Centres need to be able to reconfigure the space at will. Because most systems are housed in secure data centres, users should be able to quickly move their positions by relocating their workstations, utilising different network connections. Simple control room features, like those addressing lighting or operator comfort, can make the difference in a correct or incorrect decision during a crisis Emergency operations centres A positive trend driving the market for control rooms is an increase in emergency operations centres (EOCs), says Randy Smith, President of Winsted. “Everybody is concerned about what happens in an emergency,” says Smith, and the centres are popping up as a tool for emergency preparedness. It’s another environment where sit-stand work stations are the rule. Winsted’s product lines include stock modular and customised elements in good-better-best categories – from basic to lots of “bells and whistles;” jobs can be configured from modular elements or customised as needed. Customised control rooms for seamless operation There is a lot at stake in control room design: Lives can depend on how effectively a control room functions in an emergency. Control rooms should seamlessly accommodate both everyday occurrences and crisis situations, says Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles. Better-operating control rooms can increase efficiency and reduce and/or mitigate risk. Simple control room features, like those addressing lighting or operator comfort, can make the difference in a correct or incorrect decision during a crisis. Addressing operator comfort can reduce the possibility of workers’ compensation claims. End users are seeing multiple benefits of creating a better operating environment, better sightlines, more comfort and attention to ergonomics. As a fully integrated control room solutions provider, Evans Consoles approaches the needs of a control room environment beginning in the conceptual/operational planning stage. They consider broad issues such as how information will be processed, the interface between technology and operators, and the cognitive and physical interactions of operators – understanding that these factors drive the layout and function of control rooms. After analysing tasks to be performed in the environment, Evans lays out the consoles to meet those needs. Rather than a predesigned solution, each installation is tailored around a specific application. Read part 2 of our Control Rooms series here

HD surveillance: Secrets to producing the best possible image quality
HD surveillance: Secrets to producing the best possible image quality

Many end-users shell out the cash to acquire the newest high-end devices, plug in, and expect to be wowed A well-developed surveillance system can give a single security guard the power to see what otherwise might take a hundred pairs of eyes to see. But what happens when all the components are all connected and powered up, and the resulting image on the screen is, well, indiscernible, or, at the very least, terribly pixelated? Many end-users shell out the cash to acquire the newest high-end devices, plug in, and expect to be wowed. Often enough, however, what they see on the screen is not what they were expecting – and they wonder what they just paid for. In a good high-definition system, what factors actually create the best image quality? With so many variables involved, from the camera’s lens to the imaging algorithms to the monitor resolution – just to name the obvious ones – how do system integrators achieve the best on-screen images?   The lens The first component to handle light from an object, this may be the one most taken for granted in cameras of any sort. (Just try scratching or cracking one and you’ll agree.) In the days of analogue cameras, it seemed that any old lens would do just fine. However, as the technology inside cameras evolved and more powerful sensors (more pixels) became available, engineers and programmers demanded more from lenses. Moreover, intelligent video content analyses would be impossible without high-accuracy lenses.In what way do lenses impact the image quality? The key factor here is light transmission. The quality of light passing through the lens itself will forever be critical to the quality of image reproduced. A lens made using ultra-precision molding aspherical technology achieves more accurate colour, better light, and clearer images. Multilayer broadband anti-reflection coating further maximises a lens's light transmission while minimising the residual reflection of light on the surface of each optical lens. Variables involved include the camera’s lens, the imaging algorithms and the monitor resolution When it comes to fabricating a megapixel lens that hits the mark, the materials used and the processes by which lenses are produced are the two most critical criteria. The materials most often used to create lenses are glass and specialised plastics. An HD lens made of ultra-low-dispersion optical glass – which, by using dispersion characteristics that are different from those of conventional optical glass – will deliver better HD performance. Machine-automated lens production using specialised plastics results in high output for camera producers, and the lenses produced are more uniform in design and quality. For an HD vari-focal lens, its image quality depends largely on the precision of the cam. The cam rotates to drive the zoom and focus lens groups forward and backward for a smooth continuity of focal length and adjustment of the focal point. A lack of precision with the cam inevitably causes an offset or tilt of the lens' optical axis during zooming and focusing, leading to a serious loss of image quality. Lens production is a delicate balancing act. The slightest errors or imperfections will be very noticeable when tested Lens production is a delicate balancing act. The slightest errors or imperfections will be very noticeable when tested. The features of a lens that affect image resolution, clarity, and contrast must be perfect. Achieving uniformity of image resolution at the centre and the edges of a lens requires high-precision machinery. And once a lens has been properly crafted, the assembly of the camera, the lens housing materials, and the alignment of the optical axis demand utmost accuracy. To put it mildly, quality control must be rigorous. Image signal processing As light passes through the lens, the sensor captures it and converts it to data. Raw RGB data is transmitted by the camera sensor and undergoes Image Signal Processing (ISP) such as noise reduction, white balance, WDR, curve correction and colour correction, etc. The data is then transformed to true colours for each pixel point, for people to see images that look “normal” to the human eye. It is the Image Signal Processing that defines the final image quality on the screen. Collecting data in different conditions is vital, for instance, outdoor data should be analysed with natural light on days with sun, overcast, rain, and fog, at dawn, at dusk, and so on. Similarly, when using cameras equipped with infrared sensors, testing the IR light signals in various conditions is necessary as well.  Actual image performance depends upon variables such as low light illumination, signal to noise ratio, dynamic range of light, and more. ISP algorithms aim at increasing the signal data and decreasing noise. Cameras with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) will yield improved video imaging with both background and foreground objects in high contrast or high-backlight environments, maximising the amount of detail in brighter and darker areas in one field-of-view. In scenes with low contrast and low light, the sensors deliver digital image signals and at the same time send some amount of digital noise that directly hinders image clarity. Three-dimensional digital noise reduction (3D DNR) removes unwanted artifacts from an image, reducing graininess. Where cloudy weather poses a challenge, auto-defogging technology helps to identify the density of fog or rain with gray-white colour ratio analysis, and imbues images with true colour reproduction. Ramping up the megapixels and frame rates yields great video, but also results in more bandwidth used and more storage occupied Matching megapixels to image quality When the factors mentioned above line up well, correlating cameras and monitors creates the best viewing experience. When a high definition camera is in place, a monitor with a high resolution will display images much more clearly. But if the monitor’s resolution is low, it will not deliver the high-quality images expected – or possible – from that HD camera. For an 8 MP camera, for instance, users do best to apply monitors with 4K × 2K resolution. Though common sense, this deserves to be mentioned because users might decide to upgrade their systems with 4K monitors, but with perhaps 1.3 MP cameras installed. In such a scenario, there’s no guarantee the on-screen image quality will automatically improve. Managing data and bandwidth In terms of a complete, high definition surveillance system, when the right factors come together and the calibrations are set, image quality – even in a standard HD 1080p setup – can be extremely good. The final piece of the puzzle is managing the data. Ramping up the megapixels and frame rates yields great video, but also results in more bandwidth used and more storage occupied. Squeezing bandwidth threatens image quality and clarity, but keeping ample room for signal transmission and storage will eventually increase the overall cost for customers. Is it possible for integrators to optimise their customer’s system and, at the same time, stay within budget constraints? Luckily, it can be done. Squeezing bandwidth threatens image quality and clarity, but keeping ample room for signal transmission and storage increases the overall cost for customers To do this, a more efficient video encoding solution would allow an improvement in compression efficiency of 40–50% over H.264. Improvements to algorithms that are adaptive to a particular scene give users control over bitrate. Another option would be to start recording video only when an event triggers an alarm, since most security guards are primarily concerned with moving objects rather than a scene’s generally stagnant background. This intelligently helps optimise bandwidth and storage consumption. Another method is to use a single panoramic or fisheye camera in place of several HD cameras for coverage – the reduced number of security devices will reduce bandwidth demands and the rate of storage consumption as well. Getting the best image quality Now let’s put this all together. Naturally, integrators and users will refer to their product specs to understand features and functions, fine-tuning each component for best results. Also, as suggested above, users should select an HD camera comprehensively in terms of lens performance, pixels, image quality, and overall system compatibility and performance. Next, matching the backend device and management platform should be carefully considered in a complete security system. Installing equipment that has been engineered for a given scene is a must, along with strategising how to get the most coverage out of the lowest number of cameras. Finally, product quality, warranty, price, and on-going customer service are all important factors that customers should take into account as well.

Shedding light on integrated cameras and independent illuminators
Shedding light on integrated cameras and independent illuminators

Lighting, or the absence of it, is one issue that significantly affects a camera’s video quality Video surveillance has rapidly advanced over the last two decades. Today, integrators can purchase IP cameras offering complete network control, megapixel cameras with HD imaging, and PTZ cameras with remote directional control. Although these features are impressive, they don't solve all the challenges that surveillance solutions face. Importance of lighting for camera performance Lighting, or the absence of it, is one issue that significantly affects a camera’s video quality. Many think street lamps emit a sufficient amount light for surveillance. The truth is they don’t provide enough illumination nor are they strategically placed to optimise object capture and video monitoring. To respond to the need for better lighting, video manufacturers have introduced cameras with built-in lights, which have worked to a limited degree. Today, the best lighting solution for a surveillance system is an independent illuminator. Let’s look at why. Built-in illuminator challenges Integrated cameras, or cameras with built-in infrared (IR) illuminators, are convenient. These surveillance and lighting all-in-one solutions offer the ultimate ease of use. Common types of infrared security cameras are day/night or black and white cameras. They often have several IR light-emitting diode (LED) lights surrounding the lens. These integrated night vision cameras are effective for short distance applications, as they typically capture objects within 100 feet. Although infrared cameras are useful for close range monitoring, there are significant challenges that occur when deploying these systems Although infrared cameras are useful for close range monitoring, there are significant challenges that occur when deploying these systems. Integrated cameras often create hotspots. A hotspot develops when the camera lens angle is wider than the LED field of view. For example, you may have a camera whose angle is 90 degrees, but your angle of illumination is only 30 degrees. The effect is similar to when a person shines a flashlight on someone and takes a picture. The person or object is washed out. When LEDs are inside a camera and next to other electronic components, heat can build up. The heat then attracts insects, which can trigger motion detection and set off false alarms. Other times, spiders are attracted to the light and will spin webs around the camera lens, obstructing the camera’s view. Moreover, the heat buildup actually erodes the LED light, shortening its lifespan. Once the lights burn out, there is no easy way to replace it. Often, the end user has to replace the entire camera. However, the better option is to install a separate light source. Independent illuminators are the premier option today based on their coverage and flexibility Eliminating hotspots Independent illuminators are the premier option today based on their coverage and flexibility. Whereas the built-in, fixed infrared lights have narrow angles that only produce partial coverage, separate illuminators are available in a variety of angles that can achieve total coverage. For example, when working with a panoramic or PTZ camera, an integrator can install a triple mounting bracket that holds three, 120-degree illuminators that can be angled in different directions. The result is 360 degrees of light. In the same way, an integrator can pair a dome camera with a 10-degree illuminator to target a specific area of interest such as a gate or doorway. By deploying a light whose angle of illumination directly corresponds with the camera lens angle, hotspots are eliminated. End users can enjoy consistent lighting and a clear picture. Typically, you can purchase lights that yield 10, 30, 60, 100 and 120 degrees of coverage. Preserving LED life For independent illuminators, heat accumulation is not a concern. In infrared cameras, all of the heat is centralised in one area – the camera lens. Separate light sources are designed differently. The lights are usually arranged in rows, which allow the heat to dissipate in all directions. This not only deters insects, but also preserves the life of the LED. Increasing distances In an era where cameras are capturing more data than ever before, it’s important to maximise your camera’s storage space Another advantage of stand-alone illuminators is that they capture light at longer distances. On a street corner where an infrared integrated camera provided 10 degrees of coverage, it could capture objects up to 100 feet. On the other hand, an independent infrared light emitting 10 degrees illumination can cover over 900 feet. This is more than 9x the average of an integrated camera. Lastly, deploying a separate light source frees up bandwidth on the camera. In an era where cameras are capturing more data than ever before, it’s important to maximise your camera’s storage space. Independent illuminators help you do that. Spreading awareness It’s clear that independent light sources provide more powerful, adjustable illumination. However, if there’s not a general understanding of the critical need for lighting in security solutions, knowledge on various lighting products will be a moot point. Generally speaking, many professionals in the security sector are in the dark when it comes to lighting. People forget that that without light, there is no video and that a camera will only pick up as much video as the light in its environment allows for. So what can you do? You can spread awareness among your peers about the importance of proper illumination. Share training resources and educational webinars. Review case studies and testimonials. Empower your team and decide to invest in high-quality lighting.