Place of installation
The use of cameras in everyday life has become very popular, especially in the last few years. A large selection of cameras available on the market and a low price have made this "luxury" a very common ... fashion. Thanks to this, we have the ability to monitor the interiors of apartments in a block of flats, single-family houses or a warehouse or company, as well as observe the reality outside these areas, such as: the immediate vicinity, yard, parking lot, garden or construction site. Using the camera gives us a sense of security and makes us feel protected against the loss of our property, e.g. as a result of theft or accident or a deliberate act of vandalism. Therefore, when planning to buy a camera, it is worth considering what function it is to perform, i.e. what it should look at (whether we want it to monitor a specific object, area, thing, etc.), at what distance the object of observation is located in relation to the the planned assembly site, what accuracy we expect (what we want to see clearly and precisely, and what can be seen without details - general view) and whether the size of the monitoring area will be ensured by using a "static" or rotating camera. This information will help us choose the best camera for our needs and ensure a compromise between the required functionality and the expense we will incur.
CAMERA MOUNTING PLACE – CAN I GO ANYWHERE?
When planning the place of installation of the camera, check what "media" we have in the vicinity of this place, specifically checking whether we have a LAN socket nearby or determining the possibility of laying a LAN cable from our router to the place of installation. In the same way, you should verify the power socket - how far is the nearest socket and whether it will be necessary to extend the power cord. If possible, you should always consider the cable connection of our camera, as definitely the most stable and reliable, and only when it turns out to be impossible or will require excessive interference in the appearance of our apartment, decide to connect using a WiFi network.
We will mainly deal with the aspect of installing the camera outside and inside large areas, because when it comes to placing it inside apartments, due to the smaller dimensions of the rooms, everyone is able to determine the location so that it records exactly what we care about.
When we intend to mount the camera outside a block or building, we must have the consent of the community or housing association, otherwise we do it arbitrarily. Before we install the camera, let's check what the image will cover. We can monitor and observe our area without restrictions, without violating the privacy of our neighbors. However, each of us has the right to privacy, so we cannot spy on our neighbors, even if we do not do it intentionally. By law, we can mount a camera in a large block of flats if there is a clear reason for doing so. If we feel threatened, we can opt for such a solution. Remember then to hang the information plate then. We should write on it who is responsible for capturing the image from the camera. Such information will be useful if a crime occurs and law enforcement services will be able to request access to the recordings. In such a situation, you know who to turn to for recordings.
CAMERA OPTICAL FUNCTIONS
Being aware of the legal restrictions related to the installation of the camera, we can proceed to planning what view the camera is to record. An important parameter is the focal length of the lens used in the camera, which determines the angle of view it will cover. The larger the focal length (expressed in mm), the smaller the angle of view of the camera.
Most of the cameras available in the Zintronic offer are cameras with a fixed focal length of 2.8 mm and 3.6 mm, which have an angle of view of approx. 109⁰ and approx. 74⁰, respectively. There are also cameras with a variable focal length, which can be adjusted in a certain range, e.g. between 2.8 and 12 mm - most often it is referred to as the motor-zoom function, i.e. optical zoom.
I NEED ONE CAMERA. ARE YOU SURE?
Knowing that the camera can observe a specific area (angle of view), we can proceed to estimating the number of cameras that would provide monitoring of the required area. If it were to be 1 camera with a viewing angle of 109⁰, then both the use of a "fixed" (so-called bullet) and a rotating camera, in a very simplified scheme, would look like this:
It can be seen that depending on how far the objects of interest are located, they will either be visible in the field of view of the camera or not. The advantage of a rotary camera in this case will be the fact that such a camera can be remotely moved to the left or right and see the previously invisible area. However, it should be remembered that the viewing angle does not increase and we can still see in the range of 109⁰ - we can only see a different zone, but at the expense of another, which ceases to be visible when the camera moves, i.e. the so-called "dead" zone. Therefore, if 1 camera does not meet our expectations, consider placing 2 cameras in two different places according to the following simplified diagram:
In this way, we cover a much larger area of the field of view and ensure monitoring of the area we care about. Such a scheme of using 2 "static" cameras is a more effective solution than using 1 PTZ camera, although this one can extend the field of view to 320⁰ thanks to the rotation function (such as the Zintronic P5 or P5 Pro camera) or move without limit and turn around (like the Hikvision 2DE4425IW camera).
OPTICAL ZOOM VS. DIGITAL ZOOM
If we already know how many cameras we want to install and what area will be monitored, it remains to determine how detailed the image we will need. Expectations should be set as precisely as possible to make a conscious compromise between functionality and price. It often happens that we want our car standing in the parking lot to be seen clearly enough to read the registration number or the face of the person sitting inside. Another common solution is the desire to be able to read the waybill numbers when packing packages in the company's warehouse. Such solutions require the use of the image zoom function, i.e. zoom: digital and optical. The digital zoom magnifies the image read directly by the matrix using the software (the image loses quality with increasing zoom), while using the optical zoom we can enlarge the image without any loss of quality (thanks to the variable focal length of the lens) . The difference is illustrated by the following comparison:
The vast majority of cameras are only equipped with a digital zoom function with a specific image magnification, e.g. 3X, 4X or 5X. There are also cameras with an optical zoom function, often called motorzoom. Such cameras are usually more expensive than those with only digital zoom, and the price increases the more times this function is offered by the manufacturer. Zintronic also offers products with this feature, which are very popular with our customers. These include: P5 Pro (5X) PTZ cameras .
REMOTE VIEWING OF CAMERAS - MOBILE APPLICATION
Equipped with full knowledge of our expectations, we proceed to the selection of a specific camera model. When choosing 2 or more cameras, especially when we are interested in different models, you should also consider the application with which the selected cameras work. This is important, mainly for our convenience of use, so that we can view the image from the cameras and recordings stored on the SD card in one application. Zintronic's offer includes cameras mostly operating on two applications: CamHiPro and Bitvision. A detailed breakdown of available cameras depending on the mobile application is presented in the table below: