There are so many PTZ cameras in the market with various price levels, how to screen and choose the right camera supplier as a long-term partner?
First of all, I believe that users choose the PTZ camera because they need to produce relatively professional content, so the image quality, scene switching, and compatibility with existing equipment need to meet the professional standards expected by users.
So today, let’s discuss the screening of PTZ Camera suppliers from these three aspects.
1, Image Quality
The three key factors that affect the image quality of the camera are the lens, image sensor and image processor.
As we know, the camera works by the process of the lens capturing the object and imaging the optical image of the scene onto the surface of the image sensor, the image sensor converting the optical image into a “charge image”, which is converted into a digital image signal by an A/D converter, and then the digital image signal will be processed by an image processor into a digital image file in a certain format to be presented on a monitor or display. Therefore, these three parts are the key to determine the image quality.
- The lens is like human eyes, it is one of the main components of the camera, the quality of the lens is closely related to the image quality. The optical specification of the lens mainly includes view angel, light throughout, depth of field, resolution, sharpness, color reproduction, image distortion, stray light coefficient. etc., which the most important technical indicators are resolution and sharpness. Typically, the main reference indicator is the max aperture, light throughout, and mechanism for lens choice. Generally, the larger the aperture and relative aperture of the lens, the better the imaging effect; Fixed lens is better than zoom lens; Multiple pieces and multiple groups lens, image accuracy is higher.
- The image sensor converts light signal to electrical signal, it is the core component of the camera. Its photoelectric parameters determine the image quality directly. Such as Image sensor size (both image element size and optical size), the larger the size is, the more photons it can capture, and the better the light-sensitive performance is, and the higher signal-to-noise ratio is; The effective pixels, it determines the resolution of the image sensor directly; The wide dynamic range, which is determined by the signal processing capability and noise of the image sensor, it presents the image sensor’s ability to distinguish the strong light and low light at the same time. High wide dynamic range can take into account the details of the strong light and low light areas within the field of view, so the image detail is rich; Sensitivity, is the most important photoelectric indicator of image sensor, high sensitivity means high quality image can be presented at dark light or short exposure environment.
- Image signal processor (ISP), which is used for process the image signal from the image sensor. It works similarly to the human brain. It occupies the core domain position in the whole camera system, is the most important component of the camera. In fact, ISP can be regarded as an SoC, which can run a variety of algorithms and process image signal in real time. The main function of ISP is buckle dark current (to remove the bottom current noise), linearization(to solve the problem of data nonlinearity), Shading (to solve the problem of brightness decay and color change brought by the lens), dead pixel correction(correct the dead pixel of the image sensor), noise deduction(deduct the image noise), demosaic(convert the raw data to RGB data), 3A(auto white balance, auto focus and auto exposure), Gama(brightness mapping curve, to optimize the local and overall contrast), rotation (angle change), sharpen(adjust sharpness), color space conversion (convert to different color space into processing), color enhancement etc.. In a nutshell, ISP makes the details of the scene restored under different optical conditions.
Therefore, designing a good camera requires professional research on lenses, image sensors and image processors. Even if different suppliers use the same lenses, sensors and image processors, they will have different results because of their expertise in understanding images, their expertise in understanding product applications and their ability to develop ISP.
This is the core indicators to verify a camera supplier.
A big reason why users choose PTZ Camera is to save labor, because PTZ Camera can be flexibly installed, remotely controlled, and, through the preset position function, one camera can act as a multi-camera switch. Preset position is one of the most unique and useful features of PTZ Camera. The operator pre-set and name the multiple scenes that need to be watched, and when working they only need to call the preset position number in the control device to switch to the corresponding location.
Therefore, the ideal preset position switch must be fast, accurate and stable. This requires a precise and stable design of the camera’s mechanism. The overall ID design, the internal mechanical structure design, the materials used and the matched software need to be considered comprehensively.
This is also an important indicator to very a camera supplier.
No matter the user builds a brand new system or adds PTZ camera to the existing system, PTZ camera is only a small part of the video production system, which needs to be compatible with various devices of the system, such as capture devices, encode/decode devices, control devices, display devices, and various software and hardware platforms, which requires the video signal and control signal of the camera to be absolutely standard as well as strong scalability, so as to ensure the compatibility of various devices and maintain some of the special characteristics of PTZ Camera operation. Hence, this requires camera suppliers to have a professional understanding of various protocol standards, as well as deep research of a variety of and main devices and platforms in the market. For example, the trend of IP-based PTZ Camera, NDI, SRT, etc. to achieve a variety of live scenes, suppliers need to update their products in line with market demand.
This is also an important indicator to verify a camera supplier.
From a technical point of view, choose a high-quality PTZ Camera supplier, these aspects need to be carefully assessed, these also reflect a supplier’s R & D capabilities, so as to determine whether they can adapt to market changes to upgrade products, develop new products or customize features. Only suppliers with the core development capabilities of the camera can continue to provide valuable products, and long-term and win-win partnership.