Mark also questioned the rush to higher and higher megapixel counts beyond HD, noting that there aren't any monitors/displays on the market today that show more than HD/1080p. And even then, most users watch multiple cameras at once, so maybe you're only applying a quarter of that display resolution to a single camera. His point is well taken. Extremely high megapixel cameras really can only show the value of those extra pixels if you're zooming in on the video, but for regular monitoring purposes, those extra pixels aren't necessary.
Talk to Tom Carnevale at Sentry360 and the message is that the company is a lot more than 360 imaging. Yes, they are known for that technology and do it well (with resolutions from 1.3 to 10 megapixels in their 360 line), but what the company was highlighting at ISC West was a compact 14-megapixel box camera. I was able to swing by and take a gander at this unit. To Sony's point, sure this camera is producing video beyond the monitoring capacity of today's displays, but if you're wanting real forensic details in a wide area where you can focus in after the fact on a subject, these solutions really perform. Carnevale explains why they now offer a fixed camera: "Every application needs situational awareness, but they also need forensic detail. The 360 technology gives you that situational awareness, but a 360-degree camera combined with fixed video is what we think is an even better approach."
Notable on the 360 side of their business is that they have received great endorsement with many of the more popular VMS platforms now supporting the technology.
The Victor video management system isn't brand new by any means having launched last year, but this NVR/hardware-offered VMS continues to improve. One of the slick features is really about evidence exportation. You can export video from multiple camera feeds at once, so if you wanted all the video for 20 minutes, for example, from eight cameras that were near an incident, you can produce that instantaneously in a group. There's also a nice improvement in exporting still images out of video, allowing you to grab it straight from the VMS and export or email it any way you want – or even to take it into an external program if you want to do image enhancements.
American Dynamics is also rolling out more and more cameras in the Illustra line, with 400-series and 600-series cameras depending on your image resolution needs. The one thing I'm hearing about the 400 series is that the low-light image quality is quite good, and then the 600-series (a higher end camera line) takes that even further with improved IP resolutions that offer HD outputs of 720p and 1080p. If you haven't seen Illustra in sometime, the thing to take away is that they really have a full line, from high-speed PTZs to box camera, indoor and outdoor mini-domes, and infrared illumination capabilities – available in standard and HD resolutions.
Look for more video surveillance technology reports in our next update...