An often-overlooked critical component in Video Surveillance systems is the lens. The security industry has moved steadily toward providing cameras with integrated lenses taking out the “guess work” for integrators. Given the increased competitive pressures, it is understandable that cameras companies make trade-offs in lens performance to meet budgetary price targets for dome and bullet offerings. This can result in less-than-ideal solutions to specific imaging tasks.
Most camera companies still offer traditional box cameras that come without a lens or with the ability to remove the accompanying lens and replace it with a better, more tailored solution. Being able to select a compatible high-performance lens can ensure the investment in a high resolution system is not wasted.
The following two case studies tell a story of lens selection. One went well but the other went wrong. Through this story we will illustrate some of the most important considerations in lens selection. Both cases are from the public school sector. Both schools had defined goals, both did research, evaluation and testing of the selected lenses before installation. Yet one project failed, while the other was a success. What made the difference?