quality is clearly one of the most important features of any camera, if not the
most important. This is particularly so in surveillance and monitoring
applications, where lives and property may be at stake.
By developing image processing chips and sophisticated algorithms tailored
for network camera applications, image quality has been improved to a degree
never before seen at lower cost levels. As digital technology becomes
commonplace and replaces analog solutions, there will be further advances in
areas such as high resolution and advanced video compression, but success will
ultimately depend on how well the initial information is captured and handled.
In the fast-growing segment of network cameras, which are used for
surveillance and remote monitoring, there are many factors that influence image
quality. Integrated Intelligence, which set the standards for network cameras in
1996, identified right from the start the need for advanced image handling, and
has continued to invest in research in its Superior Image Quality
Superior image quality enables the user to:
||more closely follow details and changes in images, making for better and
faster decisions concerning the safety of people and property
||with greater accuracy use automated analysis and alarm tools, such as face
recognition, with fewer false positives.
What aspects of good image quality should I look for?
More about image quality
Welcome to the IQ Tool
Unlike traditional analog cameras, digital network cameras are equipped with
the processing power not only to capture and present images, but also to
digitally manage and compress them for network transport.
Image quality can vary considerably and is dependent on the choice of optics
and image sensor, the available processing power and the level of sophistication
of the algorithms in the processing chip.
There are two types of image sensors:
CCD sensors are produced using a technology developed specifically for the
camera industry, while CMOS sensors are produced by the same technology used for
the chips used in computers. Read more:
CCD vs. CMOS
Low light capabilities:
A camera might deliver reasonable image quality in bright light conditions,
but it may be unsuitable for typical indoor situations.
A high quality lens can deliver better images. Most professional level
cameras use a so-called C or CS mount, and some lenses feature auto-iris control
for improving the dynamic range.
Higher resolution means more detail, and as cameras now deploy megapixel
sensors that make it possible to capture even more detail, analog CCTV
cameras--which are bound to resolutions used in TV standards--are being
While a camera's automatic exposure control tries to get the lightness of an
image to appear as the human eye would see a scene, it can be easily fooled.
Think of the case where a person walks into a fairly dark room with a flashlight
in her hand and directs this flashlight to the camera. Although the light source
is quite small, it makes the camera believe the scene has become brighter and
the camera's exposure control automatically adjusts to it, resulting in a darker
image. To avoid this, a mechanism called backlight compensation is introduced.
It strives to ignore small areas of high illumination, just as if they were not
present at all. With backlight compensation, the image from the example above
would have the same exposure regardless of whether the flashlight was present or
not. The resulting image enables the person to be visually seen and identified.
Without backlight compensation, the image would be too dark, and identification
would be impossible.
The ability to correctly capture
In addition to good light sensitivity, another key feature to look for is
progressive scan. That the camera has progressive scan means that images do not
suffer from the "saw" effect that hampers interlaced video technologies The
interlace mode is used in TVs and traditional analog CCTV cameras in order to
enhance the image frequency in moving images. The "saw" effect becomes apparent
when the picture is frozen.
Additional image enhancements:
The functions that drive these reside in the chip that handles the image
processing, and affects color, sharpness, exposure and the white balance.
File size and bandwidth
Digital cameras use image compression. There is a trade off here between high
quality images and compressed images that require much less bandwidth. The JPEG
standard is used to achieve the highest possible quality, and MPEG is optimized
for lower bandwidth requirements.
Why is Integrated Intelligence
image quality superior?
Integrated Intelligence has ever since the development of network cameras
first began, introduced a stream of image enhancing technologies and patents.
One of our key goals is to continue to innovate and focus on our image quality