True Innovation? Sharp Electronics Bold New Security Camera

Color / Infrared. Pick one, right?

Sharp electronics now says you can have both. Recently they announced the LZ0P420A 720P, SDI bullet camera, with Infrared illumination and real color image. Price: around $1350. From the lavish marketing brochure comes this:

and also this real-world cartoon example to show the difference between Sharp's camera and a conventional security camera. (Hint: Sharp is on the left).

For any of you damn intellectuals out there, here's the theory:

First of all, just what is color? When visible rays of light strike an object, the light reflects at the wavelength of each particular color, and our vision recognizes this as the color of the object. In a setting of 0 (zero) lux, in other words an environment of absolutely no light, it is necessary to produce light rays that reflect the color of an object without being bright. Such light rays are called near infrared light rays.

But because near infrared light has a completely different composition than visible light, these must be reconstructed as colors close to those that we can see. In other words, in the theory of capturing color at night, an object is irradiated with invisible near infrared rays—not the visible light we normally see. Light reflects back off the object and the colors of this light’s various wavelengths are analysed and subsequently reproduced as the colors we can see.

Our solution was to try developing a single-CCD chip system that would read the three primary colors simultaneously. In order to bring the colors of near infrared rays close to the actual visible colors, we developed a special pixel structure for the CCD. While enabling a single CCD to read all three primary colors (RGB), this also solved the practical problem of creating a sensor that would contribute to more compact cameras.

What do you think, Great Innovation or Great Imagination?

One thing curious is that, AFAIK, none of the security trade rags have reported on this model yet. Maybe that's because Sharp, being new to security, isn't familiar with the marketing model in this industry.

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