By: Erin Zwirn, Assistant Editor
Threats are known to lurk in the dark, so lighting and intelligent cameras play an essential role when creating a security solution using a surveillance system.
For example, cameras that can perform well in poor lighting conditions are considered more often when creating a solution.
«Far too often end users worry too much about the quality and forget that the image that is recorded must be from a quality video source that is sensitive to the appropriate lighting source,» said Steve Surfaro, manager of sales and engineering at Panasonic. «Parking areas have high contrast. If the wrong type of camera is used, no digital recorder will improve the image.»
However, cameras that combine image capture and processing within a system, like wide dynamic range, are gaining momentum for applications where the lighting changes throughout the day.
Lee Hirsch, vice president of marketing for Pixim, said, «Wide dynamic range in general looks at an image in a scene with both dark and bright areas and can capture the image in both light settings.»
The key is to be able to view all areas without having dark and light hinder the secured area.
«Standard cameras typically set one exposure time for the frame and sample each pixel at that time, resulting in images with some pixels that are underexposed and some that are overexposed,» Hirsch said.
Hirsch added there is a benefit to see in both conditions because the end user is capable of viewing images under a lot more conditions.
With the movement to preserve the natural appearances of security areas, there has been a shift in how security light is being used.
Security surveillance has gained a presence in consumer environments. Although a camera that is centrally visible might scare away a potential criminal, some in the industry are considering aesthetically pleasing ways to survey an area.
Jack Gin, president of Extreme CCTV, said there is a move in the industry to look at light pollution when designing applications.
Gin described light pollution in the surveillance market when light extends out of the targeted area, such as a hospital that is located beside a residential area. Infrared cameras were installed in the Brooklyn Botanic gardens.
«It’s a pristine area, and illumination would ruin the whole design,» he said.
BRIGHT LIGHTS, SMART CAMERAS
The behavior and identifying tracking spectrum is endless for security environments.
Intelligent cameras are a maturing technology that is being adopted for many applications, said Brooks McChesney, president of Vidient Systems.
For example, one application includes perimeter surveillance of objects using multiple cameras. If a vehicle is parked outside of a building, it may not trigger an alarm. But if the vehicle is large enough to hide explosive devices it will.
Behavior recognition software tracks an object using algorithms. It identifies multiple behaviors, so out of the norm behaviors are sent to security guards to investigate, he added.
Jonathan Hollander, president of Vigilo Security, a systems integration firm, agreed the future of these systems stem from advanced software chips that enable surveillance systems to distinguish one event from another.
For example with behavior recognition software, «a camera could be detecting motion, but the motion is only snow falling,» Hollander said. «With the chips, the camera says that type of motion is false.»
By: Erin Zwirn, Assistant Editor