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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Tamron DF024NL mega-pixel/full HD/ultra-small 3X zoom lens
Tamron DF024NL mega-pixel/full HD/ultra-small 3X zoom lens

Tamron Co., Ltd., specialised manufacturer of optics and one of the leading companies in the security/surveillance equipment industry announces development of a compact zoom lens for integration with camera modules, Model: DF024NL, supporting 3 mega-pixel resolution in near-IR for security/surveillance use. Development Concept Demand for cameras in fully integrated forms such as mini-dome and bullet-type cameras is on the rise in the security/surveillance market due to ease of installation and well-refined cosmetic design. While cameras require performance exceeding the HD/Full HD resolution, the constraint on the geometric size and compactness are mandated, especially for lenses for mini-dome cameras. Tamron has begun selling Model DF010NL "2-Mega-Pixel/Full HD/Ultra-Small 3X Zoom Lens" (1/3" 3-9mm F/1.2) since 2012. The lens, a compact 3X zoom one of the smallest in the industry and fitting nicely within 3" domes, has been extensively adopted by many camera manufacturers, setting a standard for mini-domes. Mini-dome cameras incorporating a small zoom lens are installed indoors as well as outdoors, and deployed for day/night 24-hour surveillance. When images are captured in black-and-white under very low light conditions in the night-time, the quality tends to drop down to near an SD-level resolution, significantly lower than that in the daytime. In response to the strong market demand for high-quality day/night use, Model DF024NL is developed with the image quality substantially enhanced by use of a new optical design optimally tuned for various lighting conditions around the clock. Main features: 1. Enhanced image quality in the visible light range by means of a new optical design (for 3-mega-pixel cameras) While the existing mini-dome camera market is moving toward higher than 2-mega-pixel/Full HD resolution, Tamron took an early start on a new optical design to deliver 3-mega-pixel resolution over the entire zoom range under visible light, which has achieved unprecedented high-resolution image quality breaking through a conventional standard. 2. Enhancement of near-IR image quality by means of a new optical design (Mega-Pixel) Efficient compensation of optical aberrations in the near-IR bandwidth, and enhancement of resolution and quality for mega-pixel cameras have been achieved by means of a new optical design, delivering clearer black-and-white images when an IR-cut filter is disengaged in the night-time. 3. A compact size that fits within 3" mini-dome camera housings The lens retains one of the smallest sizes in the industry, to fit within 3" mini-dome camera housings, without compromising image quality. 4. A horizontal FOV angle of 93°at the wide-angle end (for 1/3" cameras) Features inherited from DF010NL Use of a mount compatible with DF010NL - Geometrical dimensions of the mount and the boss are compatible with DF010NL. DF024NL is compatible with former products in installation and usage. Incorporation of a stepping motor for focus / zoom drive - Higher-precision focus / zoom adjustment is enabled by use of a lead-screw stepping motor, a feature identical with DF010NL. Continuous employment of the highly-reliable IR-cut filter ON / OFF switching feature that has been validated by DF010NL.

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FUJIFILM Europe showcased wide range of Fujinon zoom lenses at IFSEC 2017
FUJIFILM Europe showcased wide range of Fujinon zoom lenses at IFSEC 2017

At this year's IFSEC, the FUJIFILM Europe booth focused on the great variety of high-quality Fujinon zoom lenses. Highlights on the booth were the Full HD zoom lens series with 32x and 60x optical magnification that were presented in live demonstrations. Both lens series combine large optical zoom ratios with high resolutions and large sensor formats of 1/1.8” and 2/3”.The new 32x zoom lenses impress with Full HD image quality across the entire zoom range with maximum focal lengths of up to f = 400 mm (FD32x12.5SR4A) and f = 500mm (FH32x15.6SR4A). To respond to increasing market demands for colour images even in low light, the lenses are designed for large sensor sizes of 1/1.8” and 2/3”. The built-in visible-light-cut filter enables reliable performance even in fog, rain and snow. Analogue control for zoom, focus and iris is supported as well as serial control via RS232C interface for operation by PC. In addition, the lenses support the widely used Pelco-D protocol. Added value for easy operation: Improved back focus adjustment for simple handling during set-up; Compact size (20% smaller than before) to fit into a great variety of housings; Control panels on top of the lens body enable direct access to adjustment functions - easy handling even after the installation into a housing; Higher installation stability due to additional affixing holes downside. The 60x telezoom lens series D60x16.7 and D60x20 feature 2 megapixel Full HD resolution. The D60x16.7 lenses are designed for a maximum sensor size of 1/1.8” and cover a focal length range of f = 16.7 ~ 1000 mm while the D60x20 lenses offer a focal length range of f = 20 ~ 1200mm on 2/3” sensors. Thanks to the built-in 2x extender the focal length can be doubled, giving clear identification and recognition of objects at 4 km distance. Discover additional features such as: Anti-vibration technology: built-in optical image stabilisation due to moving glass elements inside the lens. This unique optical image stabilisation technology compensates for image vibration; the result is a stable picture even at long focal lengths Remote controllable built-in filter system: 2 types of ND selection for observation suitable at most light conditions. A visible-light-cut filter gives advantages in most critical weather conditions such as fog and rain Autofocus function: the one-shot autofocus system enables accurate and reliable focusing based on contrast measurement within the scene Precise lens control by PC: adjust zoom, focus and iris by your computer via RS232C interface

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FUJIFILM Europe's wide range of Fujinon zoom lenses at Security Essen
FUJIFILM Europe's wide range of Fujinon zoom lenses at Security Essen

FUJIFILM at Security Essen This years' booth of FUJIFLM Europe at Security Essen focused on the great variety of high quality Fujinon zoom lenses. The highlights on the booth were the Full HD zoom lens series with 32x and 60x optical magnification that were presented in live demonstrations. To respond to increasing market demands for colour images even in low light, the lenses are designed for large sensor sizes of 1/1.8” and 2/3”. Fujinon zoom lenses The 60x telezoom lens series D60x16.7 and FH60x20 feature 2 megapixel Full HD resolution. The D60x16.7 lenses are designed for a maximum sensor size of 1/1.8” and cover a focal length range of f = 16.7 ~ 1000 mm while the FH60x20 lenses offer a focal length range of f = 20 ~ 1200mm on 2/3” sensors. Thanks to the built-in 2x extender the focal length can be doubled, giving clear identification and recognition of objects at 4 km distance. Discover additional features such as optical image stabilisation, built-in “Fog-Filter” and Autofocus function. The 32x zoom lenses impress with Full HD image quality across the entire zoom range with maximum focal lengths of up to f = 400 mm (FD32x12.5SR4A) and f = 500mm (FH32x15.6SR4A). To respond to increasing market demands for colour images even in low light, the lenses are designed for large sensor sizes of 1/1.8” and 2/3”. The built-in visible-light-cut filter enables reliable performance even in fog, rain and snow.

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Fujinon PL 85-300 Fujifilm unveils two new lenses
Fujinon PL 85-300 Fujifilm unveils two new lenses

FUJIFILM Europe GmbH, Optical Devices Division is introducing two new high-performance FUJINON lenses: the PL 85-300 light weight zoom  lens (model ZK3.5x85) and the XA99x8.4BESM ultra-wide field production lens. The PL 85-300, a PL Mount zoom lens in the Premier PL digital cinematography family, capitalises on the popularity and success of its predecessor, the PL19-90mm Compact zoom (Model ZK4.7x19). The new XA99x8.4 is a box style HD lens, ideal for producing live sports and entertainment events. PL 85-300 Compact Zoom Lens While the PL 85-300 is similar in size and weight as the PL 19-90, its longer lens makes it ideal for shooting documentaries, nature and wildlife, and car commercials, among other demanding production scenarios. The PL 85-300 offers a focal length of 85-220mm at T2.9 and 300mm at T4.0, with 200-degree focus rotation. Designed using the latest optical simulation technology, the PL 85-300 compact zoom not only offers exceptional optical performance in the center of the image but in the corners of the frame as well. Like the highly acclaimed PL 19-90 compact zoom, the PL 85-300 is equipped with the same indispensable features including flange focal distance adjustment, a MOD of 1.2m, a macro function for objects as close as 97mm (3.8-inches), and covers a 31.5mm sensor size. The digital servo’s 16-bit encoding assures operators that all lens data output—such as the position of the zoom, iris, and focus—is extremely accurate and the lens supports Lens Data System (LDS) and /i metadata formats. Like the PL 19-90 Compact zoom, the new PL 85-300 features an exclusive detachable servo drive unit, making it suitable for use as a standard PL lens or as an ENG-style lens. And the PL 85-300 can be controlled using cinema industry standard wireless controllers as well as existing FUJINON wired and wireless units. The other Premier PL Mount Series lenses are available in 14.5-45mm T2.0, 18-85mm T2.0, 24-180mm T2.6, and 75-400 mm T2.8-T3.8 ranges. “We designed the new PL 85-300, and the entire Premier PL zoom lens family, to give professional cinematographers and videographers the utmost in features and versatility. We believe that a wide array of choices help them match the right lens with the unique demands of their high-end productions,” said Thom Calabro, director, Marketing and Product Development, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Optical Devices Division. “Versatility means that videographers accustomed to shooting ENG-style will be right at home with a servo attached to the lens, while cinematographers who shoot projects like feature films and commercials can opt to shoot without it,” Calabro explained. “Cinematographers will also like that this lens accepts industry standard cine motors and matte boxes.” XA99x8.4 Ultra-Wide Lens The new XA99x8.4 ultra-wide field production lens offers a zoom range of 99x, a focal length of 8.4 to 832mm, and MOD of 2.9m. The XA99x is f1.7 to 341mm and f4.2 at 832mm. Like other lenses in this product line, including the XA77x9.5, XA88x8.8, XA8812.5 and the XA101x8.9, the XA99x8.4 offers FUJINON’s DIGI POWER digital controls (featuring F number limit), Quick Zoom, two-shot presets, a 2X extender, and other precision digital functions increasing production flexibility. “The XA99x Ultra Wide is outstanding in its class because it combines high-performance imaging, a long zoom reach, and an ultra-wide angle,” said Calabro. “Since it’s extremely rugged, versatile, and reliable, this telephoto zoom lens is ideal for even the most demanding live sports production.” The XA99x8.4 features a newly developed patented image stabilization technology for rock-steady performance, which is especially critical for long-distance HD shots. High-resolution 16-bit encoders are standard, making it suitable to virtual, robotic, and digital signage, among other applications. FUJINON’s exclusive GO-Technology improves image resolution and chromatic aberrations at all focal lengths. This 2/3-inch telephoto field lens employs the latest High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating (HT-EBC) resulting in richer colors and greatly improved blue response and transmittance. HT-EBC coupled with FUJINON’s exclusive Aspheric Technology reduce ghost and flare and increase light transmission. A proprietary anti-fogging design minimizes lens fogging and reduces downtime due to moisture—a critical concern when shooting in all types of weather conditions.

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CCTV camera lenses - Expert commentary

HD over Coax provides cost-effective video surveillance upgrade
HD over Coax provides cost-effective video surveillance upgrade

According to IHS Market, it is estimated that there are over 60 million security cameras in the United States, and other reports say these cameras capture more than four billion hours of footage per week. Over the last decade, IP camera technology has dominated the conversation as it has provided users with a broad offering of enhanced image quality and features. With a large percentage of existing security systems relying on analogue, many end users looking for high definition (HD) video quality have been forced to take on a complete system overhaul. Infrastructure overhaul for HD video To make the switch, customers would need to change everything, from cameras to hardware to wiring– not to mention the lengthy installation process that would ensue. IP cameras also require higher Internet speeds and more cloud space. Whether constrained by budget, bandwidth or storage, many end users have been unable to adopt this new video surveillance method.Thanks to technological advancements within the security industry, HD over Coax offers a viable solution for integrators and end users alike Thanks to technological advancements within the security industry, HD over Coax offers a viable solution for integrators and end users alike. By utilising the current Coaxial cables, this offering yields high definition video, while requiring minimal infrastructure changes and is an optimal surveillance choice for security customers. Plus, with new advancements and updates being made frequently to this technology, there is a solution for every security need. The enhanced alternative of HD over Coax has been warmly welcomed in the security industry, thanks to its simple solutions and ever-evolving features. Many new analogue HD cameras are “plug and play,” able to connect directly to existing Coaxial cables. This eliminates the need for a complete system change, creating cost-savings for the end user and an enhanced video quality offering. Easy solutions for HD video As a result, integrators can cost-effectively upgrade their customer’s surveillance solution while using their legacy infrastructure, making it an attractive option for end users and an easy sell for dealers. Latency in video is another common issue with network-based camera systems, where even the slightest delay in video surveillance can hinder security response HD over Coax cameras themselves are always expanding and evolving to meet a wide array of security needs. With the introduction of fisheye and multi-sensor cameras, users now have a multitude of coverage options, not to mention the introduction of 4K bringing resolution options to the same level as IP. Some newer technologies are even touting 4K cameras paired with 4K digital video recorders (DVRs) made specifically for analogue systems. Longer cables grant transmission for up to 1600 feet, double the distance of standard analogue solutions, and triple that of IP systems. This single cable is able to transmit both HD video and audio. Recently, broadcast quality audio over Coax has become available in limited models, a substantial improvement over older analogue technology, which was unable to transmit audio. Stopping video delay Latency in video is another common issue with network-based camera systems. Even the slightest delay in video surveillance can hinder security response. IP cameras are forced to compress and packetise their video for transmission. The outcome of this is a reduced number of images per video, which in turn causes delay. HD over Coax on the other hand, delivers an unlimited amount of HD images in real time, with smooth motion and impressive clarity. Additionally, the point-to-point transmission delivers uncompressed video free of lag. Another touted benefit is that, unlike IP networked cameras, analogue systems provide a more secure video transmission. With so much sensitive information housed on a businesses’ network, adding another point of network access through an IP camera can create concerns for cyber security risks. HD over Coax delivers an unlimited amount of HD images in real time, with smooth motion and impressive clarity Preventing network hacking With HD over Coax, the physical connections between the camera and DVR prevent network hacking. By keeping the video surveillance system offline, security professionals are able to direct their attention to the physical threats at hand, rather than having to focus on deterring cyber security risks. One of the primary difficulties of deploying HD video solutions is the fact that many older systems utilise a wide variety of HD standards and platforms. To make matters more complicated, after HD over Coax was brought to market, manufacturers raced to create their own version of this technology. Today, the most popular proprietary standards are HD-CVI, HD-TVI and AHD. However, integrators and customers found that attempting to manage multiple HD technologies proved to be near impossible.Integrators and customers found that attempting to manage multiple HD technologies proved to be near impossible Diversifying surveillance through one DVR To combat these issues, manufacturers have introduced products with more flexibility to their portfolios. One example of this is the penta-brid DVR which grants the ability to seamlessly integrate multiple technologies deployed across one application. This means that systems with diverse camera brands and technologies, such as a mix of HD-CVI, HD-TVI, AHD, analogue or IP, can be connected through one DVR. For many end users with legacy analogue systems, penta-brid DVRs give them greater freedom to choose between a variety of solutions, rather than being limited to one option. With video resolution increasing, the space needed to store the footage is similarly rising. Penta-brid technology has been able to adapt to these evolving needs, giving users ample storage space to house the HD and 4K surveillance video with some of the newest models including H.265 compression.  HD casino surveillance made simple For casinos, HD images are critical for identifying unauthorised personnel and unlawful behaviours to create a safe environment for guests and staff While HD over Coax is beneficial to many end users and integrators, those in the casino and hospitality markets find it crucial. With a combination of high profile guests, large amounts of cash on hand, constant crowds and strict industry regulations, reliable video surveillance is a must. Deploying new IP systems comes at a stiff price. When looking to upgrade their video surveillance, casinos must also be mindful of the installation process. When moving to an IP-based system, ripping out old wires and replacing them with new is the standard practice. This practice can be both disruptive and costly, not to mention gaming regulations require casino activities be monitored at all times so a complete system shutdown would result in revenue loss. This cost can be hard to justify, especially when the current legacy analogue system remains in working condition with only the lower image resolution to date it. For these scenarios, the most cost-effective option is to leverage the legacy infrastructure, replace the existing cameras with new devices, and reap the benefits that HD video has to offer without any lapse in security. For casinos, HD images are critical for identifying unauthorised personnel and unlawful behaviours to create a safe environment for guests and staff. HD over Coax cameras now offer the same resolution as IP cameras with a plug and play approach, that cuts down on expense without sacrificing quality. For businesses and applications that are unable to adopt IP technology, whether it be cost or time prohibitive, HD over Coax now features most of the same benefits IP has to offer without breaking the bank. By providing clear images in real time, maximising existing infrastructure, and affording cyber security benefits, HD over Coax provides an attractive solution for many end users and integrators.

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.