by Jeffrey Steele
(article appearing in April 2008 SDM)
What defines a ‘high-performance’ camera? It could be high resolution, low-light capability, rugged housing, wide-dynamic range, video analytics, or megapixel imaging — but usually not all in one package. What defines a ‘high-performance’ camera? It could be high resolution, low-light capability, rugged housing, wide-dynamic range, video analytics, or megapixel imaging — but usually not all in one package.
In the worlds of professional sports and entertainment, there are no clear definitions of what constitutes high performance. A high-performing baseball player may be a great pitcher or a slugging outfielder. A high-performing recording artist might be one who garners great reviews, packs concert halls or sells boatloads of CDs.
What’s true in sports and entertainment is no less true in the world of cameras designed for security applications. What determines “high performance”? According to experts contacted for this article, it can mean high resolution, low-light capability, rugged housing, wide-dynamic range, video analytics or any number of other qualities.
In this look at high-performance cameras, SDM talks with industry experts about their definitions of the term, how high performance and high definition differ, and how security dealers and integrators can best determine the appropriate high-performance cameras to specify and install.
The first point that experts stress is that high performance is a highly subjective term. In other words, it’s a term meaning different things to different users, with much depending on the environment and application in which the camera will be used.
“There’s no real industry definition I’m aware of for high-performance cameras,” says Don Beeby, vice-president of sales and marketing for the imaging technology division of CBC America Corporation in Commack, N.Y. “High-performance cameras incorporate the latest camera technology for a given application. It could be a standard analog camera. We have analog cameras in our line that are our biggest sellers.”