Fujinon Develops 5-Megapixel Fisheye Lens Unit for Digital Surveillance

TOKYO -- Fujinon Corp. has developed a fisheye lens module that incorporates a 5-megapixel CCD (charge-coupled device) for use in digital surveillance cameras. The device will enable security personnel to analyze images in greater detail, the company claims.

The optical equipment arm of Fuji Photo Film Co. (4901) plans to market the product soon, targeting first-year sales of 1,000 units.

The lens, which can capture wide-angle views of up to 185 degrees, comes in three types to accommodate different camera specifications. Fujinon will price the unit at less than 100,000 yen and plans to sell it to camera makers and electronic equipment manufacturers that produce digital surveillance systems.

Fujinon says it was able to achieve higher image definition by combining several lenses and adjusting the refractive index. The resolution of images captured by existing lenses is high in the central part but becomes less clear around the edges, making it difficult for surveillance camera makers to enjoy the full benefits of megapixel CCDs.

The clarity of the images produced by the lens make the device ideal for surveillance of crowded stores, train stations and other places where the smallest details are important in crime prevention.

The company expects fiscal 2004 revenue from sales of lenses for digital surveillance cameras to jump 100% year on year to 4 billion yen. The company plans to accelerate R&D for new products on expectations that growing concerns over terrorism and other crimes will boost demand for lenses for surveillance cameras from the current level of 20-30 billion yen a year.