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eMan

Zoom/Varifocal Camera Solutions

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zoom can be had, the question is one of weight, cost and integration with the RC Rx.

one thing to consider is what needs to be controlled on the camera. if the camera is not auto-focus, then you'll likely have 2 controls to manipulate - zoom and focus - and you'll have to keep them in sync. auto-iris and gain must also be considered when selecting cameras.

regarding camera chipsets, it is my understanding there are basically 3 or 4 types of SONY chips; HAD, Super HAD and Exview HAD. the latter 2 are the best, with Exview HAD seeming to be the best all a round chip, especially for low-light conditions.

regarding lens focal lengths...

human eye (one, not both) 2.9mm

1.7mm lens has approximate 170 degree field of view

2.1mm lens has approximate 158 degree field of view

2.5mm lens has approximate 147 degree field of view

2.8mm lens has approximate 130 degree field of view

2.9mm lens has approximate 127 degree field of view

3.6mm lens has approximate 92 degree field of view

4.3mm lens has approximate 88 degree field of view

6.0mm lens has approximate 78 degree field of view

8.0mm lens has approximate 58 degree field of view

12 mm lens has approximate 28 degree field of view

this is what i've found so far - hopefully others will be able to add to it.

1/3” CMOS Wide Dynamic Range Color Board Camera With TotalFocus™ Lens (link)

20b40w-f-angle0.jpg

i have inquired about this cam but haven't been contacted yet. full specs here. one would have to figure out how to interface with the motorized zoom.

things to consider...

  • fairly small
  • fairly light, considering it has a zoom lens (109 g - less if the control board doesn't have to be carried)
  • zoom range seems pretty good, starting fairly wide (2.9-8.5mm)
  • probably low cost (guessing under $300 U.S.)
  • no focus, iris or gain to worry about - zoom only - lens uses newly developed TotalFocus™ technology.
  • no image stabilization

SONY FCBEX11D 10x NTSC Color Block Camera (link)

Sony-FCBEX11D.jpg

3tb_0912072057416g2i214656.jpg

above is a VISCA to RC controller board interface sitting on top of the camera (probably a different camera) (link)

despite the bulky look, this is a very small camera considering what it has to offer...

* 1/4-type EXview HAD CCD

* Advanced Digital Signal Processor (DSP)

* High Horizontal Resolution of 530 TV Lines

* 120x Zoom Ratio (10x Optical, 12x Digital)

* SMART (Sony Modular Automatic Lens Reset Technology) Lens Control

* Angle of View (H) - 46.0° (wide end) to 4.6° (tele end)

* Advanced Spherical Privacy Zone Masking with Mosaic Effect

* Video Motion Detection

* Minimum Illumination - 1.0 lx (F1.8, 50 IRE typical)

* 16 bytes memory

* E-Flip Function

* Slow AE Response - Ideal for monitoring areas in which lighting conditions abruptly change

* Spot AE

* Multi-Line On-screen Display

* Picture Freeze Function

* Electronic Shutter/Slow Shutter - 1 to 1/10,000s, 22 steps

* High-Speed Serial Interface (maximum 38.4 Kb/s with TTL Signal-Level Control - VISCA protocol

* Internal/External Sync

* Customizable Settings

* Dimensions: 35.9 x 40.8 x 59.2 (mm)

* Mass: 95g

things to consider...

  • an RC interface may exist, but i don't know how one would go about getting one yet. glassfox doesn't seem to be giving out much information at this point. it is probably trivial to develop a tiny board that would communicate between the RC Rx and the SONY VISCA protocol since both are well documented.
  • everything auto, so only zoom to worry about
  • no image stabilization
  • pretty small - 35.9 x 40.8 x 59.2 (mm)
  • fairly light - 95 g - and the housing could probably be stripped to reduce weight even more
  • inexpensive for what it has to offer - < $300 U.S.
  • focal length starts at 4.2mm, so it's not very wide angle, and goes to 59.2mm, which would be useless without stabilization.

there are many SONY block cams available, but i felt the above was the best choice (lightest, smallest, cheapest).

KT&C KPC-650CHQ (link)

KPC650.jpg

this is the same, or similar, camera that RangeVideo sells, except they spec it with the Super HAD chip and this one says Exview HAD. it has a CS lens mount, so lens choice is large. the lens is not included, but is offered on the same page. the big downfall of this cam, with a varifocal lens, is that you now have to deal with zoom and focus. it's also the heaviest at 306 g. i think that's pretty much of a show-stopper, so i won't provide more detail.

Edited by eMan

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