|CCTV Systems||Camera Resolution||4 Channel with CCTV Cameras in White or Black.||Our Installation Price|
2592 x 1944
|4. Channel System||£899 + Vat|
2592 x 1520
|4 Channel System||£799 + Vat|
1600 x 1200
|4 Channel System||£599 + Vat|
2048 x 1536
|4 Channel System||£699 + Vat|
HD – High Definition: As of 2017, Analogue HD CCTV supports resolution of 720p and 1080p, whilst digital IP cameras support 720p all the way to 5 Megapixels.
Frame Rate: Typical frame rates of CCTV cameras are 25 FPS (frames per second). This means smooth video, whilst also keeping file size lower on the DVR hard drive.
Lenses: A CCTV lens is made from glass and focuses light from the scene onto the camera’s image sensor.
Field of View: This is the width or height of the scene monitored by the CCTV camera.
What is Depth of Field?
The depth of Field (DoF) can be defined as the zone that is focused on the video image, on the front to back axis. So, in all video there will be an area in front and behind the target area that is in focus. Sometimes there will be a very small focused zone and this is called shallow depth of field and a large zone of focus is called deep depth of field. Three key factors affect DoF: aperture, camera distance from the subject and the lens focal length.
Focal Length: The lens’ focal length determines the field of view at specific distances.
Varifocal Versus Fixed Lenses: With a fixed lens, you cannot adjust the focal length, zoom or angle of view. Most fixed lens cameras use a wide angle. On a varifocal lens, these settings can be adjusted.
More about Varifocal CCTV Cameras
Varifocal lens security cameras are generally more expensive than the fixed spectacles but offer the following advantages. With a fixed lens, your installer would have to physically move and reinstall the camera to adjust the field of view. With a varifocal lens, the installer can adjust the focal length to change the field of view. With a varifocal lens, the settings can be adjusted to capture a specific localised area at your premises, whether that be a doorway or a window etc. Even if a camera is positioned far away across a room then it’s still possible to zoom in and focus on the doorway. In other words, it’s easier with varifocal to capture the action you need. The people or objects in that area will be larger and therefore better for identification and to use as evidence. Sometimes the only location for a camera outside is under a roof overhang, but this may be too far away from the area you want to view and the solution without moving the camera mounting position is to use a varifocal lens and zoom into the scene you want to capture.
CCTV Smart Systems recommend and use varifocal lenses for our installations as we can adjust the lens easily and they are generally easier to work with.
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Types of Iris: Auto, Fixed & Manual Iris. What is an Iris?
An iris is an opening or aperture that controls the level of light that travels through the lens. This is known as ‘exposure’. A CCTV camera iris works in a similar way to a still camera, the more open the iris is, the brighter the image will be. Control of the iris is important in increasing the quality of the image. The iris ensures an optimal light level to the CCD image sensor so that images are clear, sharp and have good resolution and contrast (see further down this guide).
Fixed Iris: A CCTV camera with a fixed iris is ideal for settings where the light levels are constant, for example indoors. These cannot be adjusted and are the least expensive.
Manual Iris: Similar to fixed irises but can be adjusted manually when installed. Again, suitable for indoor use.
Auto Iris: An auto iris is part of a motorised lens and has the ability to automatically adjust to keep a constant level of light in the video image – this is useful for environments where the light levels change, for example outdoors.
P-Iris: This is a ‘precise’ iris. It auto adjusts like the auto iris, but additionally, the camera’s software allows improved video clarity and depth of field. The key aim of the P-Iris is to improve the quality of the image by allowing optimal iris position so that the central, best-performing part of the lens is used as much as possible.
CCTV Smart Systems generally uses auto iris as it’s commonly available and because the camera adjusts itself in various light conditions, saving time and cost.
What is Pan, Tilt, and Zoom (PTZ)?
Pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) is a type of IP camera where it’s possible for a user to control the position and movement of the camera lens remotely using an internet browser or specialised software.
Panning is the horizontal movement of the lens, left and right. Tilting is movement in the vertical axis, up and down. Zoom is the changing of the focal length of the lens to bring the subject closer or further away.
PTZ CCTV cameras often have the ability to have preset positions, so that the operator can easily monitor different images. Some PTZ cameras use ‘triggers’ so that when triggered by moving the camera is directed to a preset position, e.g. a doorway or valuable object. Some cameras also use auto-panning so that the camera moves automatically between presets, allowing a wider surveillance area.
The benefits of PTZ is that remote operation of pan, tilt, zoom allows an operator to cover a much wider area with one camera, saving money. Also, large areas can be covered with automatic presets.
Some PTZ cameras can use their PTZ functions to track moving targets.
What is Video Motion Detection?
Video motion detection (VMD) is the ability of a CCTV system to detect movement and switch on the recording. The VMD is controlled by the Digital Video Recorder.
For a business setting, VMD allows the operator monitoring the CCTV to not be continually focused on camera footage where there is no change in the image. The VMD system processor monitors the cameras continuously. Where there is no operator, VMD is useful to save hard drive space on the DVR as it will only record footage where motion is detected. Also, all the footage that is recorded will have movement events which can be played back to monitor, saving time on monitoring.
Motion detection will compare the current image to the previous one and if any of the pixels have changed then it has detected movement.
Auto-Tracking Objects with PTZ CCTV Cameras
Automatically tracking moving objects can be achieved with PTZ auto-tracking, which is a type of camera software closely associated with motion detection. Auto-tracking takes motion detection one step further and calculates which part of the image is moving and then defines it as an object. The camera will then move to keep that object in the frame. This is useful for tracking an intruder and generating evidence.
What is Contrast? Contrast is the separation between the brightest and darkest areas of the video image. Increasing contrast increases the separation between bright and dark, so shadows, for example, will appear darker, whilst light areas will be brighter. If the contrast is decreased then shadows will become lighter and highlights darker, bringing each one closer to each other.
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Monochrome Versus Colour
Cameras are available that capture video in colour, monochrome (black and white) or switch between these. The switching cameras are used for low lighting environments and the reason for using these is that monochrome is more sensitive to low lighting environments. Also, monochrome can be used with infrared lighting.
What is Night Vision? Night vision is the ability for a camera system to have a vision in complete darkness or improvement of vision in low light.
Near-infrared illumination is a popular method of night vision. With this method, the camera’s CCD detector is sensitive to near infrared radiation which is invisible. This is coupled with the infrared light emitting LEDs on the camera. At night, a lux (unit of illuminance) sensor on the camera detects low light levels and then switches the camera chip to monochrome and turns on white led lights and red infrared lights, the camera then records in black and white and you can see a clear picture recorded on the system.
Many incidents of crime will occur in the night time and so it’s important to install cameras that perform well at night.
What is License Plate Recognition CCTV Cameras?
Camera systems can also be enabled with LPR (License Plate Recognition). The British Police first invented LPR in 1976 and initially, it was a crude system with limitations, but several decades later though it is advanced and reliable.
LPR captures images or video of license plates and when processed this results in a text entry of the license plate.
What are Best Branded Versus Non-Branded cameras?
Branded Hidden cameras are preferable to cheaper non-branded models. With branded cameras there is a quality control process, the cameras comply to all relevant standards in Europe and they are more durable and reliable cameras. Unbranded cameras are not certified products. We use branded products as they are better quality.
QVIS is a good quality brand, but high-security organisations such as banks use Honeywell as they offer even better quality. Sony and Samsung are also very high quality.
Physically, unbranded and branded cameras may look the same or similar, but unbranded do not perform as well in terms of image quality.
My Final Thoughts
As you can see from reading this article, there are many parameters involved in choosing a CCTV camera. The variety of options can be bewildering and for the uninformed, choosing the right cameras for a specific application is not straightforward. Every link in the chain in a CCTV system is important, from the actual camera and its functionality to cabling and electrical power considerations. Each element needs to work together in harmony to deliver the best possible video image. We hope that you now have a better understanding of CCTV cameras and their application.
Areas Covered By CCTV Smart Systems
Birmingham, Bath, Blackburn, Bradford, Bolton, Chester, Coventry, Crewe, Derby, Blackpool, Huddersfield, Harrogate , Hull, Halifax, Liverpool, Lancaster, Leicester, Lincoln, Leeds, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Motherwell, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham, Northampton, Oldham, Peterborough, Preston, Sheffield, Stockport, Slough, Sutton, Sunderland, Southend-on-Sea, Stoke-on-Trent, Cleveland, Teesside, Warrington, Wakefield, Wigan, York.