Hikvision have released a network IR speed dome, the DS-2DF1-715B, for customers who require wide-area, day-night surveillance. IP speed dome cameras with IR functionality are rare, and the camera meets a market need for users who may otherwise be obliged to combine IP dome units with separate IR LED flood lamps.

These cameras are suitable for securing locations such as airports, harbours, military bases, public parks and any large area where potential for using conventional illumination is limited. A key benefit is that by using IR, the cameras allow users to illuminate a facility covertly at night. This avoids the light pollution caused by white halogen units and does not alert intruders to the presence of cameras.

Another highlight of this product is that it is a ‘green' solution because the integral adaptive power LEDs illuminate only the segment of the scene being observed by the camera at a given time. By contrast, separate flood lamps will throw IR light indiscriminately through 360°. These cameras can therefore reduce power consumption on major installations, so meeting Hikvision's goals of reducing its carbon footprint both in manufacture and deployment of products. 

The camera is available in PAL and NTSC variants and will operate at levels as low as 0.65 lux (F1.35) in colour mode or 0.005 lux (F1.35) in B & W. True day-night switching and optimum image quality with elimination of focus shift are achieved through an IR cut filter (ICR) which allows IR operation at 0 lux. Key optical features include 28x optical zoom, 12x digital zoom, 128x wide dynamic range and a lens focal length of 3.5-98mm.

These zoom levels are the result of Hikvision responding to market demands; clients now expect discrimination between object types from considerable distances even at night. The effective pixels generated by the cameras are 752(H) x 582(V) for the PAL model and 768(H) x 494(V) for the NTSC unit.

Hikvision are aware that users who transmit high-resolution images at night face the challenge of increased ‘noise' levels resulting from the signal amplification and image ghosting that accompany slow shutter speeds. The company's R & D engineers have optimized noise reduction with ‘3D noise reduction' technology.

The product offers dual streaming and H.264 compression for preserving RAID resources and optimizing bandwidth consumption. These features allow facility managers to make efficient use of RAID storage. Extra system resilience is provided by SD/SDHC card local storage.   

The dome employs a ¼" SONY Exview HAD CCD which has improved sensitivity by its ability to process near infrared light which until recently had been invalid as video information. The ultimate flexibility and variety of potential applications of these domes is increased by the range of electronic shutter speeds (1/4-1/10000s) and the IR coverage which extends to 80 meters, as well as the manual pan speed of 0.1°-160°/s and manual tilt speed of 0.1°-120°/s which allow users to track objects of many kinds in various environments. Other key features include image optimisation through auto iris, auto focus, auto white balance and backlight compensation.

Mr Polo Cai, Vice President of Hikvision, said: "Hikvision's market research revealed that customer expectations have increased to the point of demanding content analysis under almost any lighting conditions. The functionality of this camera illustrates the responsiveness of our R & D department."

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