CCTV Cameras are highly specialized devices, each suited to a specific environment or application. Often referred to as security cameras, it is well to keep in mind that viewing video of your operations is not always a security matter. Improving efficiency or workflow can be accomplished by simply "stepping back" and watching how your operation functions with the help of a CCTV system.
A variety of factors go into choosing the right camera in each location, such as resolution, light sensitivity, auto-iris or auto-focus abilities, shutter speeds, dynamic range...to name a few. Here are a few categories of cameras:
Obviously, weather resistance is one major factor in considering a camera for outdoor use. In general, the housings of these cameras provide the needed protection, although cameras can also be placed in weather-tight enclosures. However, just because a camera is indoors doesn't preclude the need for protection. Factory or workshop environments may produce high levels of dust or other airborne particles which can damage sensitive electronics. High or low temperature or humidity can exist inside as well as outside, and cameras must fit within these operating ranges as well. City-Tel Communications is careful to install cameras suited to each unique environment.
Day/Night and Infrared
On the surface, it may seem simple enough to install a Day/Night camera when it needs to see...well, day or night. However, will it really give you the results you expect? Day/Night cameras generally incorporate an automatic iris control, opening to allow more light in for darker conditions and closing down in brighter conditions. Sounds good, but what if the lighting is mixed? Say a camera is facing directly into very bright light, for example the sun behind a glass door entering a dark hallway. The brightness will cause a standard Day/Night camera to close down, reducing the glare of the sun but virtually rendering a person walking through that door and down the hall as nothing more than a dark shadow. Specialized cameras are needed to accomodate that situation.
Another common installation utilizes infrared light illuminating an area to view darker areas at night. Again, this sounds good. But what if a camera that must serve the dual purpose of daylight viewing as well as infrared night viewing? In this case, images tend to go out of focus in one or the other settings. This is because infrared light travels at a different speed than natural light, thus changing where the image being captured reaches its focal point. While this may work for general observation, if clarity in both situations is a must, a different camera must be used.
Pan/Tilt/Zoom and Megapixel
Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras can be a very useful tool in allowing a live operator to zoom in on a specific area for a close-up look. For example, a wide view of a parking lot shows some activity in the far right corner. An operator can reposition the camera remotely to get a better view of what is happening. But it comes at a cost!
When the camera zooms to the far right corner, nothing is looking at the lower left corner! With older analog technology, this may have been the only option, but with high definition, IP video cameras, called megapixel cameras, rather than physically moving the PTZ, the operator can do a digital pan and zoom to an area of interest. This allows the the camera to continue recording the entire scene.
Whatever cameras are chosen, City-Tel Communications is most concerned that each camera gets the picture you need and will meet with you to be sure that happens.