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Video Monitoring


Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras
Fixed cameras can show selected areas in two ways: as an overall view (using wide-angle lenses) or in detail (the detail increases with the focal length of the lenses). Of course, the detail also increases when the camera is placed closer to the monitored object.
To get the possibility to see the general view and, if necessary, spot details of the observed objects with a single camera, the following solutions can be used:
Motor-zoom cameras
MOTOR-ZOOM Camera: Sunell SN-ZMC6100DN/Z22 (4-88mm, day/night, ICR, Sony Super Had II 540 TVL, 0.05 lx, OSD)
MOTOR-ZOOM camera Sunell SN-ZMC6100DN/Z22
Motor-zoom cameras allow the operator to zoom in the central part of the scene. Such a lens can be controlled via RS-485 (from a DVR or keyboard / system control unit), by the voltage applied to the camera connector, or using OSD buttons on the camera.
In the case of the presented camera, there are two auto-focus modes, selectable from its OSD menu:
  • Auto focus with tracking the nearest object - the system automatically selects the nearest object and measures the distance to it,
  • Wide area auto focus - the focus is set not to the object in the center point of the image. It is useful for capturing images of moving objects.
The minimum focusing distance can also be adjusted, beginning with 1 m.
Video recording showing the use the camera in a CCTV system, where after detecting motion a close-up is made. After cessation of the movement the camera returns to the initial state.
PTZ cameras
PTZ cameras can be manually or automatically moved to any direction within the operating range. They differ in functionality:
  • zoom control: simple indoor cameras with pan-tilt mechanism have fixed lens; professional PTZ cameras feature optical zoom range from 10x to 36x.
  • one-plane or two-plane control:
    • one-plane devices (usually pan - horizontal rotation; the cameras have adjustable vertical position and allow for control of pan within 350o or even 360o.
    • two-plane devices (pan-tilt) ensure also control of rotation in vertical plane (usually within the range 0o...90o).
  • pan/tilt speed: simplest devices feature about 10 deg/s, advanced models ensure speed control within 0.1 deg/s to 400 deg/s. High speed is especially important e.g. on stadiums, roads etc.
  • positioning repeatability: in high class devices < 0.2 deg.
  • ingress protection rating: the minimum rating for outdoor cameras is IP66.
If we decide to use PTZ cameras we should choose devices from renowned manufacturers. Although camera modules can be comparable, the rotating mechanisms are critical for the general performance. Every rotating mechanism consists of mechanical parts which wear out. We should be aware that durable mechanism must cost a little and choose proven models of speed dome cameras.
PTZ cameras indicate a large price spread and are generally far more expensive than fixed devices. The reason is the complexity of the PTZ mechanisms, costs of the materials and means used for ensuring adequate IP rating, high speed and repetitiveness of movement. However, not always low price indicates poor quality. Manufacturers supply different categories of PTZ cameras for various applications. An example of a low-cost camera having very good performance is TP-Link TL-SC4171G K1154 designed for monitoring systems in homes and small offices. It is one of the cheapest solutions, allowing for remote control of pan within 354 deg range and tilt within 125 deg range at angular speed of 80 deg./s and 60 deg/s, respectively. The user can easily monitor what's going on in the room.
Wireless Pan-Tilt IP Camera: TP-Link TL-SC4171G (0.5 lx, VGA, IR, 30fps, MPEG-4, 4.3 mm)
Wireless Pan-Tilt IP camera TP-Link TL-SC4171G
An example of professional PTZ camera designed for IP CCTV systems is Sunell SN-IPS54/80DN/Z20 K1665. The P/T mechanism can change the position of the optical axis of the camera at speed of 0.1 to 240 °/s (pan) and 0.1 to 160 °/s (tilt). In conjunction with 20x optical zoom and 12x digital zoom it allows for detailed monitoring of large areas, with total zoom up to 240x! The two-megapixel image sensor (1920x1080), H.264 or MJPEG compression, ability to operate day and night (also in dark places), are the reasons that the professional PTZ camera is an ideal device for outdoor and indoor applications in various industries, commerce, hotel-keeping, as well as in public spaces, at parking lots, gas/petrol stations etc.

IP High Speed Dome Camera: Sunell SN-IPS54/70DN/Z18W (1.3MP, ONVIF)
IP High Speed Dome Camera: Sunell SN-IPS54/70DN/Z18W (1.3MP, ONVIF)
Modern PTZ cameras are controlled via:
  • a mouse - by selecting a desirable part of the image or clicking on the suitable OSD buttons from the dedicated application;
  • a USB system control unit (console) - with programmable buttons;
  • an RS-485 system control unit (console) - local control with the use of Pelco P, Pelco D, Dynacolor etc. protocol..
When designing an installation with PTZ cameras, we should consider the fact that additional coverage of the whole monitored area with fixed cameras provides more reliability for the system. Without such backup we have to remember that zooming in on an object we can't observe the wider area at the same time.
Megapixel cameras with "fish-eye" lenses
Panorama IP Camera: PIXORD PD636E (2MP, H.264, Fish-Eye)
Panorama IP camera PIXORD PD636E (2MP, H.264, 360/180 deg)
Cameras of this type have image sensors with minimum 2 MP resolution. Using a wide-angle lens (f = 1.25 mm, FOV = 185°), the image shows a large area but is significantly distorted.
The source image from a "fish-eye" camera
To get a useful picture, the source image has to be appropriately corrected and cut out (selection of interesting fragments). The processing can be performed by the camera or by means of appropriate software on a computer. As the result, the user has a virtual PTZ camera - can select any part of the image and enlarge it. Such a solution has a huge advantage in comparison with typical PTZ cameras - while the operator sees only the selected part, the recording contains the whole image. It can be played back to get information from any other part that may also be enlarged.
Four corrected images controlled by e-PTZ
Two corrected images - 2x 180o half-panorama
Wall-mounted camera covers a whole room:
Corrected image - 180o panorama
Source view of the whole room and three independently controlled windows of digital PTZ:

Corrected image (180o panorama) and two independent images controlled by e-PTZ
Pixord PD636 K1560 in action
In comparison with VGA cameras, the PD 636E K1560 camera delivers about six times more detail. This means that every part of the scene is much more closely monitored. Additionally, each part of the image can be zoomed, while saving the whole material. The K1560 camera is perfect for monitoring offices, stores, bars, restaurants, hotels, etc.