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CCTV Cameras


Any Video Security System starts with CCTV security cameras. The images you see and record can only be as good as the images produced by your CCTV security cameras. Good security cameras produce good images and vice versa. There are several critical specification factors which affect the performance of your cameras and consequently, the quality of your camera images. These factors also affect the price of cameras. We offer a selection of CCTV security cameras to meet almost any situational need and budget. All our cameras provide excellent specification factors, overall quality and excellent images, coupled with very competitive prices.

Black and White (B/W) cctv security cameras were the most widely used just a few years ago because of price and better light sensitivity. Today, color cctv cameras have narrowed the price gap and some of our color cctv cameras are as light sensitive as B/W cameras. Because color video is much more lifelike than B/W and provides much more positive identification, most cctv cameras purchased today are color units.


The main performance factors are:

The Type and Quality of the Imaging Chip in the camera.

CCTV security cameras produce images using CMOS or CCD ( Charge Couple Device ) chips. Tiny, very low price cctv cameras usually use CMOS technology, produce poor quality images and have very poor light sensitivity. Decent quality cctv cameras use CCD technology. The size of the CCD chip is normally 1/4", 1/3" or 1/2". As a rule of thumb, the larger the size, the higher the quality of the image produced and the higher the price. However, higher density 1/4" and 1/3" CCD chips can now produce as good an image as many 1/3" or 1/2" chips.


The Make of the CCD chip in the camera.

Not all CCD chips are equal, even with the same specifications. Quality varies by manufacturer. Panasonic and Sony are generally recognized as producers of the best CCD chips. All CCTV cameras supplied by Sentry Security Systems use CCD chips from these two manufacturers.


The Type of DSP (Digital Signal Processing) Chip in the camera.

Digital cctv cameras use a DSP chip to digitize the video stream from the CCD chip, in order to improve certain picture quality elements and to add additional functionality. The DSP chip in the camera can have a very large effect on the quality of the video images produced by the camera.


Number of TV Lines

The number of TV lines in the camera image is a measure of picture resolution (sharpness). The larger the number of TV lines, the better the resolution and hence, overall picture quality. Over 400 TV Lines is generally considered good resolution while over 500 TV lines is considered high resolution. All our CCTV cameras have a resolution of well over 400 TV Lines.


Light Sensitivity

Sensitivity ratings are generally given in "lux" (a light level measurement). The lower the lux number, the lower the light levels at which the CCTV camera will produce an acceptable image. In other words, the lower the lux level rating, the more light sensitive the camera. B/W cameras generally have lower lux level ratings than color cameras ( i.e. B/W cameras will produce acceptable images in lower light conditions than color cameras). With the adoption of the new Extra View CCD chips from Panasonic, we can now offer exceptionally light sensitive color cameras in our "X" series of ONWAY cctv cameras. We are also pleased to offer several cameras incorporating "frame integration". This method of electronically boosting light sensitivity by user settable amounts, allows our "Starlight" cameras to produce a useable color image in as little as 0.003 Lux of light ( the equivalent of the amount of light available on a starlit but moonless night ).


Signal to Noise (S/N) Ratio

The higher the Signal to Noise ratio, the clearer the video image produced by the camera. Good cctv cameras will have a S/N ratio of at least 48dB. Our ONWAY color cameras have an actual S/N ratio of 60dB - much better than most.

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