When zooming in and out, it is critical that the object remain in the same position in the real time video, especially in outdoor imaging and mission critical global security applications. For example, when observing one person in the crowd, you would want to be able to zoom in and out without losing track of the person. Full motion video cameras with integrated zoom optics ensure very accurate alignment of the sensor behind the lens to maintain the line of sight over the zoom range.
Figure 1. Zoomed out on person of interest
Figure 2. Zoomed in on person of interest with accurate line of sight over zoom range
Figure 3. Zoomed in with inaccurate line of sight over zoom range and lost person of interest
Note: These images are for demonstration of the concept only and the original source of the crowd image is http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en
Camera manufacturers know about both cameras and optics and can make the right combination for the best resulting image quality. For the most detailed images, the image resolution and MTF for both the camera and the lens must be matched. Better MTF will allow for further optical zoom and higher video resolution will add digital zoom.
Tight tolerances in the mechanics and lens mounts can be eliminated with integrated zoom optics to allow alignment even in extreme shock and vibration situations. The lens-camera combination can often also be built compacter in order to reduce total size and weight.
Ease of use and ease of integration can also be improved with one point of control for both the camera and the optics. If iris control is needed, this can be combined with the automatic exposure control of the camera. Only one power source and control is needed with no additional control loop.
For many outdoor imaging applications, particularly in global security, zooming capabilities are advantageous. For the system builder, there is always the question of how much component integration to start from. Cameras with integrated zoom optics have several advantages over purchasing them separately and then combining them in the system.
Contact Adimec for more information about rugged cameras with integrated zoom optics possibilities.