by Kevin Gillingham | Apr 15, 2016
Network cameras are commonly used as integral features of security systems. Often described as all-in-one cameras and computers, they are designed to connect directly to the network and circulate data over the internet. They have their own IP addresses, meaning that – unlike webcams – network cameras can be located wherever there’s a network connection.
Since inventing the first network camera in 1996, Axis has been the global market leader in network video. With set-up and equipment costs at competitive rates, companies can create comprehensive security packages incorporating live camera feeds, remote video viewing, high-quality images, and more.
Today’s network cameras can be divided into five distinct categories:
1. Fixed Network Cameras
Fixed network cameras are the most traditional, identifiable type of network camera and are the best choice in situations where it makes sense to have cameras be prominent and noticeable. They can be installed in protective enclosures and can be mounted on a tilt motor to enhance viewing flexibility.
2. Fixed Dome Cameras
A fixed dome network camera is what its name suggests – a fixed camera in a dome case. It might have a motorized, varifocal, or fixed zoom lens, which will be interchangeable for some cameras.
- They can be pointed in any direction.
- Fixed dome cameras are discreet, non-obtrusive, and make it difficult to see the direction they’re pointing.
- The cameras are tamper resistant.
- They can be mounted on a pole, wall, or ceiling.
Fixed dome cameras featuring wide-angle lenses provide 360 degree, panoramic fields of view.
3. Covert Network Cameras
Covert network cameras are designed to blend seamlessly into the environment around them, making them almost impossible to discover. They can be located at eye level and incorporated into machines like ATMs. They facilitate close-up shots and are hard to tamper with.
Axis’ covert network cameras offer resolutions up to 1 MP using a pinhole lens, and are pre-mounted with an Ethernet cable. These cameras are ideal for hospitals, banks, and retail stores.
4. PTZ Network Cameras
PTZ network cameras enable wide area coverage and detailed zooming, offering manual and automatic tilt, zoom, and pan functions. Axis’ PTZ network cameras come equipped with zoom lenses to guarantee optical zoom without sacrificing image resolution, a common problem with digital zoom.
Features that can be incorporated into a PTZ network camera include:
- Most Axis PTZ network cameras support 3D privacy masking, which lets operators block selected areas of a scene from being viewed or recorded. That masking is maintained even when the camera changes its field of view.
- E-flip automatically rotates images 180 degrees to seamlessly follow individuals as they move. In traditional network cameras without E-flip functionality, a person who passes under the lens will be seen upside down.
- Axis’ PTZ network cameras enable pre-set positions and guard tours. Once set, operators can quickly go from one position to the next. When in guard tour mode, the camera can move automatically from one position to the next, either in a pre-determined order or at random.
- With tour recording, a device like a joystick will record the tilting, zooming, and panning movements an operator makes. That tour can be activated to operate on repeat at schedule times.
- Autotracking automatically detects moving persons or vehicles, following them within the camera’s area of coverage. This is particularly beneficial in unmanned surveillance situations, cutting down costs and increasing the surveillance system’s effectiveness.
- The Advanced Gatekeeper lets a PTZ network camera move – panning, tilting, and zooming – when motion is detected in a pre-set area, returning to its “home position” after a set amount of time. Combining that functionality with the ability to track a detected object is called Active Gatekeeper.
- When used outdoors, PTZ network cameras with zoom factors beyond 20x can become sensitive to motion and vibration. Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) helps to reduce effects of vibration, reducing the file size and saving valuable storage space.
5. Thermal Network Cameras
Thermal network cameras create images based on heat radiating from surrounding objects. Often the images are produced in black and white. They can be artificially coloured, which makes it easier to distinguish between different shades.
Thermal network cameras are ideal for:
- Detecting objects and incidents obscured by shadows, darkness, and other challenging conditions.
- Complementing conventional network cameras, as they don’t enable reliable identification.
- Perimeter protection, providing a cost-effective alternative to flood lights, electrified fences, and radio frequency intruder detection.
- Providing discrete surveillance without the need for artificial light.
- Securing indoor or outdoor off-limits or dangerous areas including tunnels, nuclear power plants, prisons, and more.
The lenses of thermal network cameras are often made with germanium, which lets thermal radiation and infrared light pass through. The Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) value expresses a thermal camera’s sensitivity to infrared lights. A lower NETD value means better sensitivity.
Ultimately, it’s important to choose the right type of camera to complement and benefit your security package.
At Activo, are proud to partner with Axis to provide your organization with state-of-the-art surveillance solutions. Contact us today to learn more!
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