Axis and Kowa introduce a precise iris control that sets new image quality standards for surveillance cameras

Johannesburg, 2009-May-11
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Axis Communications, the global leader in the network video market1 and Kowa Company today introduced P-Iris, a new and precise iris control that allows fixed network cameras to deliver better image quality in both indoor and outdoor applications. A P-Iris lens, together with specialised software, can automatically and precisely regulate the iris opening to enable better contrast, clarity, resolution and depth of field. The advanced iris control will be especially beneficial for megapixel/HDTV cameras and demanding video surveillance applications.

“P-Iris allows fixed network cameras to reach a new level of performance in image quality,” said Roy Alves, country manager, Axis Communications. “This is a revolutionary improvement for video surveillance cameras and for the industry in general as we expect P-Iris to become a standard that eventually replaces DC-iris lenses.”

DC-iris (auto-iris) control for surveillance cameras with fixed/varifocal lenses does not enable the camera or user to know the exact position of the iris opening, which is needed in order to optimise image clarity. Axis saw a need to solve this and found Kowa, an innovative optics manufacturer, to jointly develop a solution.

“The P-Iris lens uses a stepper motor that allows the position of the iris opening to be precisely controlled,” said Tosao Tohjima, technical director at Kowa CCTV Products. “P-Iris is an innovative solution that truly allows a network camera, particularly a megapixel network camera, to perform optimally in all lighting conditions.” A megapixel camera, which generally has smaller pixels than a standard resolution camera, can take advantage of P-Iris to maintain the delivery of crisp, high-resolution images, even in difficult lighting situations.

A P-Iris lens works together with software in the network camera to automatically provide the best iris position for optimal image quality in all lighting conditions. Images will be sharper, with better contrast, resolution and depth of field. Having good depth of field—where objects at different distances from the camera are in focus simultaneously—is important in the video monitoring of, for example, a long corridor or parking lot. In very bright situations, P-Iris limits the closing of the iris to avoid blurring (diffraction) caused when the iris opening becomes too small. This can typically happen in cameras that use DC-iris lenses in combination especially with megapixel sensors that have small pixels. Being able to avoid diffraction and at the same time benefit from an automatically controlled iris is highly valued in outdoor video surveillance applications.

P-Iris will be incorporated in upcoming Axis network cameras, beginning with the 3-megapixel AXIS P1346 Network Camera, which is being showcased at the IFSEC tradeshow in Birmingham, U.K.

Notes to editors
1 Axis Communications is the global market leader in the network video market with a market share of network cameras of 33.5%. The world market for network cameras alone is forecast to be worth more than $2.5 Billion by 2012. The network camera market is set to have a CAGR of more than 35 per cent per year over the next three years, according to industry analyst house IMS Research (www.imsresearch.com) in its latest market report entitled „The World Market for CCTV and Video Surveillance Equipment 2008 Edition’ published in November 2008.

About Axis Communications
Axis is an IT company offering network video solutions for professional installations. The company is the global market leader in network video, driving the ongoing shift from analog to digital video surveillance. Axis products and solutions focus on security surveillance and remote monitoring, and are based on innovative, open technology platforms. Axis is a Swedish-based company, operating worldwide with offices in more than 20 countries and cooperating with partners in more than 70 countries. Founded in 1984, Axis is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, under the ticker AXIS. For more information about Axis, please visit its website at www.axis.com.

About Kowa Company, Ltd.
Since its establishment in 1894, Kowa has grown into a multinational Japanese company actively engaged in various manufacturing and trading activities in the fields of pharmaceutical, textiles, opto-electronics and various consumer products. Kowa has been producing high quality CCTV lenses for some 60 years. For more information about Kowa, please visit its website at www.kowa.co.jp

For further information about Axis Communications, please contact:
Roy Alves, country manager, Axis Communications
Phone: +27 11 548 6780, E-mail: roy.alves@axis.com

For all media enquiries, please contact:
Rochelle de Paiva, account manager, Text 100Johannesburg
Phone: +27 11 803 2800, E-mail: rochelle.depaiva@text100.co.za