How far can a surveillance cameras see?

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What you can see is affected by the following factors:

Factor 1: Focal length
The focal length of the camera lens is the biggest factor that determines how far security cameras can see. The focal length is measured in mm and can be classified into fixed focal length and variable focal length
The smaller focal length (eg 2.8 mm), the wider the field of view (FOV) and the larger focal length (eg 12mm) a narrower field of view on your surveillance cameras.

Factor 2: Resolution

The resolution of the camera, how detailed the image is. This is stated in “Pixels per meter” how many pixels you have left at the desired monitoring area and what your target is. Do you want to discover, recognize or identify? This is affected by the camera’s resolution (ex. 720P, 1080P, 4K UHD) and type of lens (wide angle or telephoto).

Translation table from SSF1060 (Swedish regulatorns) to Pixel Per Meter

  • 80mm / pixel size (monitor) – 12.5px/m (translation by manufacturer)
  • 40mm / pixel size (Detect) -25 px/m (translation by manufacturer)
  • 16mm / pixel size (Observ) -62.5px/m (translation by manufacturer)
  • 8mm / pixel size (recognize) -125 px/m (translation by manufacturer)
  • 4mm / pixel size (identify) -250px/m (translation by manufacturer)
  • 1mm / pixel size (inspect) -1000px/m (translation by manufacturer)

Factor 3: Location
The location where you place your security cameras also affects how far a surveillance camera can see. Some examples are Mounting height, the angle of the camera, Lighting at night, How the sun stands in relation to the camera etc.

PICTURE: Sunlight straight into the camera lens

Factor 4: Quality
Camera quality is also an important part. The camera’s technical features such as chip type (Lux value, light sensitivity, day and night ..), WDR (backlight compensation), IR light (how much light it gives), 3D-DNR (Noise reduction), Image compression type (eg H265) and the quality (compression ratio) selected.

Some examples (NOTE! Can distinguish which image chip the camera has.)

Detection with a Full HD (1080P) camera at a distans of 10 meter

  • Mounting height of 4 meters
  • A lens of 6 mm gives about 158 pixels per meter (PPM) and an image width (Field of view) of about 10 meters.

Recognition with a Full HD (1080P) camera at a distans of 10 meter

  • Mounting height of 4 meters
  • A lens of 8 mm gives about 211 pixels per meter (PPM) and an image width (Field of view) of about 9 meters.

Identification with a Full HD (1080P) camera at a distans of 10 meter

  • Mounting height of 4 meters
  • A lens of 10 mm gives about 264 pixels per meter (PPM) and an image width (Field of view) of about 7 meters.

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Heddan

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