The first-ever Digic Net powered unit from Canon U.S.A.

Canon U.S.A. released a new high-performance VB-C500D Fixed Mini Dome Network Camera which features a stylish modern design, a range of advanced features and outstanding image quality, making it a cost-effective means of capturing high-quality video for remote monitoring over IP. The VB-C500D is ideally suited for any location where a fixed security camera is required, including reception areas and convenience stores, tight spaces like elevator/ATM lobbies, and in upscale environments like hotels and condominiums where the camera needs to complement the interior design.  

“The Canon brand and products are synonymous with the highest image quality, and our security cameras are designed accordingly,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager of the Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “An increasing number of professionals are demanding better image quality and more advanced features from their security cameras, and the new VB-C500D certainly meets those needs. The VB-C500D was built using Genuine Canon Optics and our new powerful DIGIC NET Processor, both of which stem from our acclaimed lines of professional camera and camcorder products. The result is an image quality and value we believe is second to none. With the new VB-C500D, Canon has now raised mini dome camera performance to a new level.”  

Central to the VB-C500D’s design are the camera’s Genuine Canon Optics and powerful DIGIC NET Processor. The camera features an 82-degree wide angle lens with 2.4x optical zoom (manual) and 4x digital zoom. When viewing moving objects, images remain clear thanks to a high-sensitivity progressive-scan CCD.  

The VB-C500D includes an advanced Canon image processor which handles the white balance, exposure compensation, shutter speed, and color correction functions to ensure the camera maintains the highest image quality. The image processor also offers two important image enhancement functions, Smart Shade Control (SSC) and Auto/Day Night. Smart Shade Control automatically adjusts the contrast between bright and dark areas of an image for optimum detail display (eliminates “blown-out” images common with the backlight compensation function found on other cameras). The Auto Day/Night function allows the camera to automatically switch day/night modes depending upon lighting conditions. An additional Digital Night Mode automatically switches the camera from color to monochrome video without interruption, which on other cameras is caused by the insertion/removal of an IR cut filter.  

Canon’s proprietary DIGIC NET processor is a powerful hardware-based engine that performs all encoding and transmission. The DIGIC NET processor enables the VB-C500D to perform simultaneous Motion-JPEG (M-JPEG) and MPEG-4 video encoding and transmission in high-quality VGA (640 x 480) resolution at a full 30 frames per second. This combination is ideal as M-JPEG offers higher image quality, while MPEG-4’s compression scheme offers lower bandwidth consumption and less storage space. The camera adds flexibility by allowing the distribution of M-JPEG images in three sizes simultaneously: 640 x 480, 320 x 240 and 160 x 120.  

The VB-C500D can stream M-JPEG and MPEG-4 to multiple simultaneous viewing locations, and offers support for up to 30 simultaneous users to access and view video images at the same time (10 users for MPEG-4). There is also a built-in Web Viewer which allows for live monitoring on the Web without installing any software on to a computer.  

Another key benefit of Canon’s DIGIC NET processor is the camera’s exceptional low-light performance. The VB-C500D will maintain Color Night Mode as low as 0.2 lux (SSC on and 1/30 sec. shutter speed), which enables the VB-C500D to capture color differences even in the lowest light conditions. This color accuracy can be crucial in making positive identification in many security monitoring applications.  

In addition to the advantages provided by the cameras optics and processor, the new VB-C500D Fixed Mini Dome Network Camera also includes Motion Detection, Audio Input/Output, and a Recording Stream Function. The Motion Detection feature enables users to pre-set up to four motion detection areas, allowing the camera to take a picture when motion is detected and e-mail that image file to a designated account, including a cell phone, PDA or other device. This feature also allows the upload of multiple images to an http or ftp server. The Audio Input/Output feature supports full-duplex audio communication, and the Audio Output can be used to play back a pre-recorded sound when triggered by an event, such as motion detection. The camera’s unique Recording Stream Function, which is compatible with all Canon software products, greatly minimizes the possibility of lost frames when viewing recorded video. This is made possible by the camera and software’s ability to communicate and recognize when frames are lost due to brief network congestion/interruptions. The camera’s large buffer, which retains the images captured during breaks in data transmission, will then send the missing frames to the recording server when the connection is resumed.  

Included with the camera is IPv6 and IPsec Support (IP security), a set of protocols for securing IP communications by encrypting data streams while also securing the data flow to and from the camera, ensuring only authorized users have access.  

The camera’s design allows it to be placed in either an upright, ceiling-mounted, or wall-mounted position. For convenience and ease of installation, the VB-C500D supports the IEEE 802.3af standard for Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, which allows both power and data to be carried over a single LAN cable when connected to a PoE hub/switch/midspan. Since a power cable is not required, the camera can be installed at sites without accessible AC outlets.  

In addition to the new VB-C500D, Canon has also released an updated Version 2.1 of its VK-64, VK-16, and VK-Lite Network Video Recording Softwares. These new versions offer full compatibility with all current Canon Network Cameras.  

For even greater value, the VB-C500D Fixed Mini Dome Network Camera is bundled with one license of Canon’s VK-Lite 2.1 Network Video Monitoring & Recording Software, an application that enables the user to monitor, record and playback images from up to four cameras from a single screen (additional licenses are available for $99* each).  

The Canon VB-C500D Fixed Mini Dome Network Camera has a suggested list price of $899, and is scheduled to begin shipping in May 2009. This new product will be on display in the Canon booth #24051 at the ISC West 2009 trade show being held from April 1-3, at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  

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