Even with megapixel-resolution imaging, advanced optics, sophisticated image processing and highly efficient digital compression, today's megapixel IP security cameras must also meet a broad range of additional requirements that can vary according to particular applications. In a world where security professionals are tasked to monitor an ever-growing quantity of video content, IP security cameras offering features for automated video analytics can provide crucial assistance for evaluating imagery from highly sensitive or otherwise vulnerable locations. Such "intelligent functions" can include audio, video, and camera-tampering analytics that enhance the performance of IP security cameras and make them more valuable than ever before.
Audio analytics include the ability of the camera to detect variations in sound levels-whether they are louder or quieter than usual-and create warnings to users based on that data. Video analytics include abandoned, moving and removed object detection. These features are useful in multi-camera applications, particularly when they are being monitored by a single individual. Camera-tampering analytics are also important, especially in sensitive areas such as correctional institutions, public transportation centers and educational settings such as schools and universities.
Additional important considerations that can maximize the efficiency of today's megapixel IP security cameras include ONVIF Standard Compliance, which is designed to ensure interoperability between IP-based physical security products regardless of manufacturer. ONVIF-compliant security cameras deliver added value to customers who are concerned about integrating new equipment with other security network components.
Also, a Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) camera provides maximum flexibility in remote-control operation since it can be freely aimed wherever the operator desires. Such cameras are at their best when equipped with high-power zoom lenses to zoom in on specific areas of interest. But fixed-position cameras are important as well; typically equipped with a wide-angle lens, they display a greater portion of the scene than a telephoto lens and make it easier to monitor tight spaces or large areas. A good security system combines both types of cameras for maximum coverage. Useful accessories, such as weather and vandal-resistant domes, protect security cameras from the dangers of bad weather and/or damage caused by abuse.
There are many megapixel IP security cameras on the market. Cameras such as Canon's new VB-M40, VB-M600VE and VB-M600D are equipped with the best of all the features referenced above. Ultimately, however, security network integrators must consider more than just picture resolution when evaluating any new investment in IP security cameras. With so many models to choose from, close attention to each camera's additional features, capabilities and unique attributes are what can determine whether it's the right one for a given user's needs.
Chuck Westfall is the Technical Advisor for the Professional Engineering & Solutions Division of Canon U.S.A., Inc.