Why is digital zoom part of an RFP?

If you are going to be doing any kind of surveillance, the digital zoom factor in the camera, seems completely irrelevant to me. I know that some cameras have a transparent switch-over from optical to digital PTZ, e.g. when the optical system has zoomed in as far as it will go, it starts to do digital zoom, causing the feed to get pixelated and blurry.

I guess it’s pretty convenient, but you are really just throwing away information that might be useful later, and the NVR client software surely can do digital zoom at any level you may desire, and hopefully do as good a job as the camera itself.

Doing 1000x digital zoom in software is completely trivial, it is as easy as doing 2x or 8x. In the bad old days, people seemed to believe that “digital zoom” was similar to what they might have seen on CSI, and that the digital zoom would allow you to basically record at 320×240 and then, using a magic algorithm, you could yell “ENHANCE” at the screen, and suddenly clear, crisp facial features of some perp would emerge as if you had recorded at 5MP in the first place.

Now, you can actually “deblur” an image, but it requires that the blurry image was high resolution to begin with and that the blur is motion blur, or that the object you are analyzing only has a limited number of possible outcomes (letters, numbers, that kind of thing). But that’s not really what the RFP’s are asking for. Furthermore, I imagine it would make more sense to simply export the blurry images and use a commercial editing tool to process the frames.





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