Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, has expanded its line of network cameras with ten new feature-packed models in a variety of resolutions and designs to serve the needs of a wide range of video security and surveillance applications. Delivering superb imaging, low-light performance, high-resolution detail, and vital colour information through Genuine Canon Lenses, advanced imaging sensors, two proprietary Canon DIGIC processors (DIGIC DV III and DIGIC NET II), these new cameras provide the image quality necessary for detailed video analysis. Additionally, these new network Cameras provide built-in Video Analytics that assist in identifying potential crucial picture details, such as moving, removed, and abandoned object detection ideal for a broad range of security applications and environments such as financial institutions, industrial plants and utilities, military and government agencies, airports and transportation centres, educational institutions, retail establishments, commercial offices, casino and gaming establishments, web attractions and more.

“Canon continually advances its network cameras to deliver features and innovations helping to maximise the advantages of video over IP for security applications and environments,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A. “Canon’s expertise in HD imaging technology delivers the outstanding picture quality, latest digital capabilities, sophisticated user benefits, appropriate form factors, and technical compatibilities needed to help maximise the efficiency and convenience of today’s video security systems.”

Delivering sophisticated capabilities, key shared features of these new models include: an improved H.264 algorithm for remarkable image quality at lower bit rates; simultaneous delivery of two H.264 and three M-JPEG video streams in multiple sizes and resolutions for versatility in monitoring and recording; scheduled Custom Video Settings for optimal image capture according to the time of day; On-board Video Analytics for advanced detection and analysis, Outstanding Low Light Performance and more. The new camera models include:

2.1 Megapixel Resolution Network Cameras

  • VB-H43 PTZ Network Camera (20x Zoom Lens)
  • VB-H630VE Vandal Resistant Fixed Dome Network Camera (IP 66-rated)
  • VB-H630D Fixed Dome Network Camera
  • VB-H730F Fixed “Box” Network Camera

1.3 Megapixel Resolution Network Cameras

  • VB-M42 PTZ Network Camera (20x Zoom Lens)
  • VB-M620VE Vandal Resistant Fixed Dome Network Camera (IP 66-rated)
  • VB-M620D Fixed Dome Network Camera
  • VB-M720F Fixed “Box” Network Camera
  • VB-S805D Fixed Micro Dome Network Camera
  • VB-S905F Fixed Micro “Box” Network Camera

All ten cameras are ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) 2.2 Profile S Conformant to help ensure maximum interoperability with other third party ONVIF Profile S recording systems.

Key shared features

Helping to ensure superb imaging with outstanding low-light performance, high-resolution detail, and capture of vital colour information in these ten new network cameras begins with their built-in Genuine Canon wide-angle zoom lenses with advanced lens coatings (the new Canon VB-H43 and VB-H42 pan/tilt/zoom cameras include a built-in 20x wide-angle zoom lens, with 12x digital zoom and a wide 60.4 degree angle of view). As the initial point of image capture, the advanced optics of these new models make it one of the core components to delivering truly remarkable image quality.

The images are captured by an advanced CMOS sensor producing 2.1 or 1.3 Megapixel images, processed by a proprietary Canon DIGIC DV III processor, which helps optimise image quality by minimising noise, creating images with smooth gradations and accurate colour reproduction, and compressed and encrypted by the DIGIC NET II network video processor, which can simultaneously transmit the image in multiple resolutions and codecs (H.264 and M-JPEG) to meet various end-user needs. Additionally, a new H.264 algorithm has been applied to deliver high-resolution video with low bandwidth utilisation and low disk space usage, which has the potential to lower storage and reduce data transmission when the camera is using cellular data.

The new cameras all include built-in Video Analytics that assist in identifying potentially crucial picture details, such as moving, removed, and abandoned object detection as well as passing (or “tripwire”) detection. User-adjustable in terms of detection characteristics (sensitivity, area, and duration), Video Analytics can engage configured alarms and notification functions. Camera Analytics include detection of camera tampering and abnormal sound levels that can indicate vandalism. These cameras also include a user-adjustable Privacy Mask function to block sensitive locations (such as ATM keypads or computer monitors) from the cameras’ view.

Additional flexibility is provided by the cameras Custom Video Settings which allow the user to create up-to-four customised camera video settings, helping to optimise the image quality throughout an entire day and night. Settings that can be customised include exposure, shutter speed, iris, gain, white balance, and noise reduction. With this feature end-users have control over the quality of their video, regardless of the time of day or changing conditions in the monitored location.

VB-H43 and VB-M42 cameras

The new Canon VB-H43 and VB-M42 PTZ Cameras offer a 60.4 degree angle of view lens with strong 20x optical zoom and 12x digital zoom. Both models offer a new Relative Pan/Tilt Speed Mode function, which slows the pan/tilt speed as the zoom factor is increased in order to help ensure accurate surveillance by reducing the possibility that the camera operator may pan beyond a moving subject. A Recorded Video Utility feature enables users to record H.264 and M-JPEG images or video automatically to an SD, SDHC, or SDXC card during a network outage, or manually through a viewer. Videos can also be played back directly from the camera. The VB-H43 and VB-M42 Cameras can capture potentially crucial image detail in low-illumination environments down to 0.4 lux at f/1.6 and 1/30 sec. in colour and 0.02 lux at f/1.6 and 1/30 sec. in black & white.

VB-H630VE, VB-M620VE, VB-H630D and VB-M620D cameras

The new Canon VB-H630VE, VB-M620VE, VB-H630D and VB-M620D Fixed Dome Cameras feature an Enhanced PTR (pan/tilt/rotation) Mechanism design that helps reduce the likelihood that the point of view might shift due to vibrations or impacts. All of these models also offer Canon’s Remote Adjustment Function which allows installers to save time, labour and expense by using a password-protected Internet connection to remotely fine-tune a camera’s viewing area and focus settings whenever it’s required (an especially handy feature in multiple-camera installations). These cameras also feature a built-in Genuine Canon 112 degree wide-angle lens with 3x optical zoom for clear, high-quality images, and they can capture potentially crucial image detail in low-illumination environments down to 0.3 lux at f/1.2 and 1/30 sec. in colour and 0.015 lux at f/1.2 and 1/30 sec. in black & white.

The VB-H630VE and VB-M620VE Vandal Resistant Fixed Dome Network Cameras have an ingress resistant rating of IP66 and are built with a polycarbonate resin capsule and a die-cast aluminium. Both models also have a built-in lens shock absorbing mechanism that allows the lens to retract up to 15mm inside the camera body – thus helping to prevent lens impairment when the dome is struck. These features all combine to allow for the camera to absorb heavy impacts, making them ideal for use in areas that may be subject to abuse such as correctional facilities, public transportation centres and schools.

VB-H730F and VB-M720F cameras

The new Canon VB-H730F and VB-M720F Fixed “Box” Network Cameras feature a Genuine Canon wide angle lens with very impressive 112.6 degree horizontal field of view and 3x optical zoom (4x digital zoom), providing installation flexibility for a number of different applications and locations such as auditoriums, plazas and lobbies. Thanks to the high-precision of Genuine Canon optics, the lens maintains superb image clarity throughout the entire field of view and zoom range, both in day and nighttime conditions.

VB-S805D and VB-S905F cameras

Canon S-Series VB-S805D ultra-compact fixed micro dome camera and VB-S905F micro box network camera offer H.264 and/or M-JPEG streams in 1280 x 720 16:9 aspect ratio, 1280 x 960 4:3 aspect ratio video, and other video resolutions to suit multiple needs. Measuring just 4.72 in. (Diameter) x 2.13 in. (H) and 2.13 in. (H) x 1.26 in. (W) x 4.49 in. (D) respectively, the VB-S805D and VB-S905F cameras offer flexible and easy installation options for a wealth of video security applications. The VB-S805D ultra-compact fixed micro dome camera provides quality colour video in a range from .45 lux down to .01 lux and black & white video from .25 lux to .007 lux. The low-light performance of the VB-S905F micro box network camera is rated at 0.4 lux to 0.01 lux in colour and 0.2 lux to 0.007 lux in black & white. Nine levels of exposure compensation add to the image-capture range.

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Thermal cameras and smart cities: Preventing COVID-19 in public places
Thermal cameras and smart cities: Preventing COVID-19 in public places

With the pandemic still in full swing and no certainty as to when exactly it will come to an end, the world has been battling anxiety for months now. And with each day, circumstances change quickly and almost make it impossible to predict what will happen next, how events will unfold, and what actions to take in light of a new situation. But one thing is certain: the world has been shut down and paralysed for way too long, and the eventual reopening is unavoidable – in fact, it’s well under way. In this situation, what is possible to control is how the world will continue reopening – and specifically, how to ensure the safest possible reopening that will ensure the return of some degree of normalcy to people’s lives and business operations, while also managing the risk of COVID’s spread in the most efficient way. 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Why cloud-enabled physical security must be part of your long-term digital strategy
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Facial recognition: Contactless solutions for a safe, post-pandemic world
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As a workforce management tool, facial recognition helps preserve the health of employees checking into work, while providing management with an infallible means of documenting employee time and attendance while providing a detailed history of overall workforce activity and individual personnel tracking. Both of which have been longstanding challenges due to easily compromised time tracking systems and practices. Now, nothing is left to question based on hard data. With the growing popularity of facial recognition technology, there are many choices already available with more undoubtedly on the way. Selecting the right solution for your specific access control and/or workforce management application is dependent on a very wide range of variables. But there are a few core characteristics that you should look for when evaluating facial recognition readers. Wide and near-angle LEDs Most facial recognition terminals employ some form of IR (Infrared) technology to help ensure high visibility by the unit’s image sensor. This often limits where the unit can be installed such as outdoors or near windows due to strong ambient light. More advanced facial recognition readers employ as many as 80 wide-angle near infrared LEDs and 60 narrow-angle near infrared LEDs, allowing the unit to recognise faces even in full daylight and brightly lit environments (not direct sun). This enables installation at indoor locations near windows, lobbies and building entries. 3D pixel intensity distribution analysis Another facial recognition reader advancement to look for involves three-dimensional pixel intensity analysis. Ambient lighting contains ultraviolet rays which can negate near infrared LED lighting, and can also cast shadows making it difficult for a facial recognition reader to pinpoint the facial recognition points required for identification and authentication. Three-dimensional pixel intensity distribution analysis minimises the effects of ambient light when acquiring facial images by minimising lighting contrasts. As a result, it is easier for the algorithm to recognise the shape of the face, enabling it to extract more facial features and create higher quality face templates, which are critical for accurate facial recognition. Functional ergonomics This results in a faster, more comfortable, and convenient user experience The angle and position of a facial recognition reader directly impact the performance of the unit. Facial recognition readers with different viewing angles for built-in visual and infrared cameras allows users to stand at positions that are most suitable for facial recognition with little or no effort of contortions. This results in a faster, more comfortable, and convenient user experience. High performance processing Like any intelligent edge device, the performance of a facial recognition solution is directly reliant on its processing power. New advanced facial recognition readers deliver exceptional performance by employing enhanced face template extraction technology combined with powerful processor. For example, a facial recognition reader with a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor can perform up to 3,000 facial database matches (1:N) within one second. More advanced solutions also feature Group Matching functionality capable of executing up to 30,000 matches within one second. 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Advanced facial recognition readers with multimodal, multifactor credentialing capabilities provide this added security benefit. For example, facial recognition readers that support multiple RFID proximity devices supporting 125 kHz and 13.56 MHz provide varying degrees of protection and greater implementation versatility. Videophone or intercom capabilities Facial recognition readers with multifunctionality can solve several challenges with one solution Facial recognition readers with multifunctionality can solve several challenges with one solution. A perfect example includes devices with SIP (session initiation protocol) videophone capabilities which effectively eliminate the need and associated expense of  installing separate intercom devices while adding another layer of security to one’s facility. The COVID-19 pandemic, and hopefully soon to follow post-pandemic world, have surely accelerated the need for highly accurate, cost-efficient, and reliable facial recognition technologies to help get people back to work safely. Selecting the right facial recognition solution for your specific access control and/or workforce management is now more important than ever before, making a little extra due diligence during the evaluation process a smart decision.