If you trust the depiction of surveillance cameras on TV, stop now.
Surveillance cameras are amazing tools to aid your business security, safety and control. By being able to view a live feed of your cameras right on your smartphone, you can always be in control, wherever you go. There are however some limitations to cameras, which TV shows and movies like to ignore. Here we have listed a few highlights.
Enhancing a recorded image
While enhancing an image is somewhat possible, by changing contrast and saturation, some TV shows make you believe there are enhancement software pieces available. These software pieces are then supposed to scan the image and interpret what isn’t actually there. Unfortunately this does not exist. Once an image has been recorded, it is just about the best quality you will get from it. Enhancing an image after the fact is close to impossible, because it would require the program to know what is missing. And since it is missing in the first place, the program can’t know and interpret it.
Zooming into a recorded image
Again, this would require for a piece of software to exist that has the capability to see what isn’t there. There are movies and TV shows that depict an ATM camera capturing the happenings on the other side of the street. ATM cameras are specialized cameras to see the people in front of the ATM. They are not meant for long distance applications. If you have ever zoomed into an image to the point where it became just a seemingly random picture of pixels, the exact same thing will happen with surveillance footage after it has been recorded. Zooming into an object across the street from an ATM would result in having 1 or 2 pixels on your screen. For reference it would take about 45 pixels across to make out a face. Luckily there are cameras that will automatically zoom into any movement they detect. This allows the camera to modify the image before it is even recorded, so you have a much better picture when it is recorded. These cameras are Pan/Tilt/Zoom Cameras.
This doesn’t mean cameras don’t work well
Even though what we see on TV is a wrong depiction of the surveillance camera capabilities, cameras are still very useful and effective if your system has been designed properly. Cameras have a multitude of functions now to allow for better footage recording. Some of them are Picture stabilization for PTZ and high end cameras, auto tracking, as mentioned for the PTZ cameras and WDR, which allows to take advantage of light sources better. With all these features you can rest assured that your cameras are getting the image you need. System design is also absolutely crucial. It needs to be clear whether you want to detect, recognize or identify an intruder in your building. And from there the camera placement will have to be adjusted accordingly.
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