Sanyo's full HD surveillance camera
Sanyo's full HD surveillance camera
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Sanyo Electric Co Ltd released the "full HD network camera VCC-HDN1(S)," a surveillance camera that uses the technology of the company's "Xacti" camcorder.

Featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (full HD) and a 10x zoom optical system, the camera has specifications comparable to those of the camcorder. It employs Sony Corp's CMOS sensor whose optical size is 1/2.5-inch and resolution is about 4 Mpixels. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is ¥294,000 (approx US$3,254). The monthly output is 500 units, according to Sanyo.

The VCC-HDN1(S) was developed by the company's department engaged in the development of the Xacti. Therefore, it was easy to apply the Xacti's technologies to the image processing engine and other parts of the surveillance camera, enabling the company to develop the new camera supporting full HD ahead of its rivals through fewer developmental processes.

"It took only about a year to develop the new product," Sanyo said.

'Surveillance cameras will be required to have several megapixel resolution'

The surveillance camera market is steadily expanding today as the awareness of security grows all over the world. According to Sanyo, the global market for surveillance cameras will grow from 11.4 million units in fiscal 2007 to 15 million units in fiscal 2009. In light of the market's expansion, many camcorder manufacturers began to develop surveillance cameras.

Most of those companies, including Sony and Panasonic Corp, are developing surveillance cameras in their automotive camera business departments. This is because the specifications required for surveillance cameras are similar to those needed for automotive cameras, rather than camcorders.

In particular, their resolutions and product life are similar. The resolution of a surveillance camera is about 300,000 pixels at most and is almost equal to that of an automotive camera, making it easy to divert image processing engines used in automotive cameras to surveillance cameras.

Also, both automotive cameras and surveillance cameras are required to have a long product life of about 10 years. Therefore, their materials and mechanical designs can easily be shared.

In consideration of such circumstances, Sanyo's development system seems to disagree with the mainstream. Sanyo, however, is expecting that surveillance cameras will be required to have a resolution of several Mpixels. And when surveillance cameras are being developed in the department engaged in the camcorder business, it is easy to share technologies, the company said.

Sanyo announced the "VCC-WD390" wide dynamic color camera, a surveillance camera that features a wide dynamic range of 65dB, at the same time. It employs a high-sensitivity CMOS sensor developed by Texas Instruments (Japan) Co Ltd. The suggested retail price is ¥102,900, and the market debut is slate for Feb 20, 2009. Its image processing unit is equipped with Xilinx Inc' FPGA.