Canon Impresses With Pitch-Black Demo at ISC West

Canon USA shows off its new ultra-low light network camera by capturing images in pitch black environment in booth demo at ISC West.

LAS VEGAS – It was so dark it felt like you were spelunking in a cave. Not even the hand in front of your face was visible, yet the Canon VB-M50B pan/tilt/zoom (p/t/z) network camera capable of reproducing color video down to .04 lux and black-and-white video down to .002 lux was able to capture the menacing “burglar” in the corner.

No, we weren’t in a back alley, but simply standing in a pitch-black booth on the exhibit floor of the ISC West show here where Canon set up a demo with a hooded mannequin wearing sunglasses.

The technology at work in the VB-M50B demo is new Clear IR Mode – which activates an Infrared Bandpass Filter that allows only infrared light to pass through to the image sensor – further contributing to the camera’s ability to capture images in challenging environments. In the demo, not only could we see the mannequin, but also make out a license plate on the wall above, even when a bright light was directed into the camera lens.

That was just one of the impressive demos set up by Canon U.S.A. at the show. Relying on the same optical and image processing principles that have propelled Canon into a leading position in the consumer digital camera space, the company developed its new network camera.

The technology at work in Canon’s VB-M50B demo is new clear IR mode, which activates an Infrared bandpass filter that allows only infrared light to pass through to the image sensor.

Among the features are:  an advanced lens with a large aperture ratio ranging from F1.8 (W) to F2.4 (T) which allows more light to reach the camera’s CMOS image sensor, and Canon’s DIGIC DV III Image Processor which helps to provide crisp, color accurate images.

“The demand for higher quality video from network cameras is growing considerably,” says Yuichi Ishizuka, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A. “Canon has leveraged ongoing investments in research and development to engineer a compact, high-sensitivity network camera that will enable the capture of video with remarkable color and detail in situations with almost no light – making it appealing to professionals working in various industries.”

Among the VB-M50B’s features is a long-range optical zoom capability. That functionality is backed by an enhanced digital zoom function that can stream a lower resolution crop of the original high-resolution video, thereby achieving a similar level of video quality as with digital zoom, but at a lower resolution to help minimize costly bandwidth and storage space.
“All of this innovation is due to Canon’s expertise in lenses,” admits Jay Skye, senior technical specialst.

The VB-M50B offers 300-degree-per-second p/t/z speeds that allow users to establish up to 64 preset camera positions and schedule up to five preset tour routes, helping to eliminate the need for repeated manual adjustment of the p/t/z positions.

The Canon Camera Management Tool (CCMT) allows users to manage most Canon network cameras on a local network via a single screen. Configuration of the VB-M50B is also simplified via ONVIF Profile S and Profile G support for quick configuration with different video management software (VMS) solutions.

The setup and use of the camera is further enhanced by a camera viewer and a mobile viewer that provide access to the camera’s features and functionality from a variety of different compatible devices including PCs, mobile phones and tablets. A built-in SD Memory Card slot also supports SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards to provide a secondary means of saving live images and H.264 video. Additionally, the camera’s variable bit rate stabilization feature can help assure a more reliable network connection by automatically suppressing spikes in bandwidth, according to the company.

To further enhance usability, the unit also includes two features, motion adaptive noise reduction and area-specific data size reduction (ADSR), which are both designed to help reduce data size while also helping to improve image quality. The Canon VB-M50B p/t/z network camera has a suggested list price of $3,499 and is currently scheduled to be available through authorized Canon dealers in April.

Coffee Barista Demo Shows Off Color Capture
In another section of the booth, Canon had a barista serving coffee to highlight a mock coffee shop retail area with vibrant colors on the wall. The demo showcased Canon’s five new 2.1-megapixel network cameras, each featuring a genuine Canon Lens for capturing high-clarity, virtually distortion-free video, and a DIGIC DV III image processor, which helps to provide color-accurate images in low-light environments.

Canon’s new speed dome network cameras, the VB-R12VE (outdoor) and VB-R13 (indoor), offer p/t/z control provided by 360-degree panning capability. In addition to 30x optical zoom, these cameras also share an enhanced digital zoom function that can offer up to an equivalent 120x optical zoom when streaming at lower resolutions. Up to 256 preset positions and up to five tour routes can be created. The VB-R12VE (MSRP $4,829) has a weather- and vandal-resistant housing and is available with audio and external I/O support as the VB-R13VE (MSRP: $5,106).
Also released at ISC West were the:

The VB-H651V indoor fixed dome network camera (MSRP: $1,449) featuring remote PTRZ adjustment function for easy post-installation changes to the camera’s p/t/z and rotation positions. The camera comes with a mounting plate, a vandal-resistant enclosure, and multiple power options, including 24VAC, 12VDC and PoE.

The VB-H652LVE infrared outdoor-ready fixed dome network camera (MSRP: $2,231) with a vandal-resistant, water-tight housing and optional heater unit. It is equipped with four built-in IR illuminators, and an auto focus function. It offers analog video output and installation controls for simple camera positioning during installation, and multiple power options including 24V AC, 12V DC, PoE and PoE+.

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About the Author


Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]

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