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How Do I Choose the Best Infrared CCD Camera?

M. Kayo
M. Kayo

In order to choose the best infrared charged coupled device (CCD) camera, doing a bit of research would be prudent, especially if one is new to this area or knows little about these type of surveillance cameras and infrared technology. Infrared CCD cameras are available in just about any type of configuration imaginable. There are infrared CCD cameras specifically designed for outdoor use, indoor use, or even for use in extreme conditions, like underwater or in complete darkness. Various models are designed to be part of a closed cable system network, a computer network or connected to a single computer. Larger CCD sensors are able to capture and process more information and produce a better, higher quality image.

As part of an integrated network, an infrared CCD camera can be used to monitor homes, businesses, stairways, or any area requiring constant or intermittent surveillance. Just about every type of surveillance camera on the market includes an integrated CCD chipset. The CCD infrared technology at the heart of many surveillance cameras is capable of capturing even the faintest amount of light and converting it to a digital signal, which is then recorded by the camera as an image. Through a hard-wired closed cable network or wireless technology, images can be recorded onto a disk, sent to a specific computer on a secured network, or broadcast over the Internet.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

When considering the type of infrared CCD camera that is best suited for a particular situation or environment, take a look at what is truly necessary. For example, a surveillance infrared CCD camera that is mounted in a child's nursery to to monitor a baby at night is not, typically, going to require much resolution, night-vision capability, or even color. A surveillance camera used in a bank or other high-security setting, however, may require special features such as a bullet-proof lens, motion detection, or protective housing. If there is no light at all, the surveillance camera may require thermal imaging capability. The capabilities needed for particular situations will affect the cost of any infrared CCD camera.

As with most digital technology, more sensitive and detailed image production is going to be part of more expensive CCD cameras. Higher quality images captured by an infrared CCD camera require more resolution and a larger CCD sensor in the camera. For example, a 4MP (megapixel) CCD camera is not going to produce the same image as an 8MP CCD camera. The 8MP camera is capable of capturing and recording twice as much light and image data, resulting in a larger image with more detail. What this means to the consumer is that infrared CCD cameras with larger sensors that produce higher quality images are going to cost more than cameras with smaller CCD sensors.

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