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By 7 September 2015 | Categories: news

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If there is one thing Canon cannot be accused of being, it’s being complacent. The company is apparently developing a high-sensitivity network camera equipped with a fast high-magnification lens capable of long-range colour image capture at night. Or, put in a nutshell, the camera will apparently be able to view subjects that one would not be able to otherwise discern.

The development appears to be particularly targeted for use in urban surveillance and in security fields where the monitoring of important infrastructure is paramount. The camera’s uses are also envisioned as extending to include crime prevention and the monitoring of natural disaster sites, enabling the viewing of scenes during either night or day.

The network camera being developed will feature a large-aperture ultra-telephoto zoom lens with a focal length of more than 600mm (35mm film equivalent) that achieves a bright F-value of 2.4 to allow large amounts of light to enter.

I see you

More specifically, the company explained that the lens will incorporate aspherical and UD (Ultra Low Dispersion) lens elements that suppress the incidence of chromatic aberrations. These become more prevalent as a lens’s aperture size increases, while making possible a compact lens unit.

In practical terms, the combination of the large-aperture lens with a high-sensitivity sensor and high-performance image processor will enable the colour recognition of a subject’s face at a distance of 100 metres even in dark environments with a mere 0.08 lux of illumination, roughly equivalent to the illuminance of moonlight. Canon pointed out that by comparison, conventional night-time surveillance to date has only been possible within a limited range with the aid of infrared illumination, or by using a night mode that only captures images in black and white.

You can drive, but you cannot hide

Through the combination of an electric-drive pan/tilt function that controls the camera’s orientation with the ultra-telephoto zoom lens, the network camera will be able used to monitor natural disasters involving rivers or bays.

It could also conceivably be mounted on the rooftops of buildings and identify automobile license plate numbers on roads, not only during the day, but also in settings in which night-time surveillance is required.

Canon apparently aims to commercialise the new network camera in 2016. Here’s hoping that it helps deter crime and attacks on sensitive buildings.  

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