|IP Cameras in 2013|
Compucon entered the video surveillance industry in 2008 and has come across 4 grades or evolutions of camera technology in the last 5 years. This article explains the direction of evolution and what are current in 2013. The information does not refer to 3rd party marketing materials but is based on direct Compucon hands-on experience in our workshop.
o Let us use 4 letters to represent the 4 grades or evolutions: A, T, E and K. Compucon cameras are indeed named with these 4 letters as the prefix. Each letter represents one series, and not one model of cameras. All cameras mentioned here are Internet Protocol (IP) based. <Click this to go to the IP Camera main page for detailed specifications and terminologies >
o A-series base features are 1.3 Megapixels of image resolution (1240 x 1024), MPEG4 hardware compression of image for transmission from the camera to the computer for processing, and Power-over-Ethernet for cabling reduction. There are other features that are present in some models of the series but not all models. These other features are Infrared Filtering for optimising the changeover from visible light to low light recording and vice versa, Infrared LED for night vision, variable lens focus for optimising clarity against distance, and Digital Input and Output for connecting the camera to the outside world other than the computer.
o T-series improves the features from MPEG4 to H264 which is a more effective image compression algorithm, and Dual Streaming with different compression algorithms.
o E-series improves from 1.3 to 3.0 Megapixels (2048 x 1536), adds Wide Dynamic Range capabilities to deal with high lighting contrast, Infrared LED, and Edge Storage to the camera.
o K-series improves to 4 Megapixels (2032 x 1920) and more advanced Wide Dynamic Range. Some models also gain optical zooming from remote or automatic on events, 180 and 360 panoramic vision angles, and tracking of object movements.
o As of March 2013, E and K are the dominant series
o E is the same or cheaper than A and T
Video Management Software
o Version 2.3 has evolved to Version 3.0 which has a better graphical user interface and faster image retrieval process from archive. However, V3.0 comes with a price tag and we do not recommend an existing surveillance site on V2.3 to upgrade to V3.0. However, software upgrade to a newer sub-version of V2.3 will be needed in order to accept E-series of cameras.