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Crime brief: Gyro House burglary caught on video

Original post made on May 30, 2014

Police are looking for a man who burglarized the Gyro House restaurant in downtown Mountain View on May 23.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 29, 2014, 11:43 AM

Comments (4)

Posted by Whiskers, a resident of another community
on May 30, 2014 at 12:17 am

Why is it that TVs and computers can have crystal clear pictures but bank and other crime-fighting cameras can barely make out an object is human?


Posted by dc, a resident of North Whisman
on May 30, 2014 at 3:38 pm

It's call night vision monitor camera (they take 540000 pictures an hour). If you use a flash the thief might steal the camera too and lose your monitor. A Motion senor light might be an alternative to get a better picture without alerting anyone you are being monitored.


Posted by Scott Lamb, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 3, 2014 at 10:08 am

Scott Lamb is a registered user.

@Whiskers: A few reasons:

* Mostly because the security industry is stodgy. A lot of companies are still selling overpriced "coax" / "analog" cameras based on the '40s and '50s NTSC technology of that old television you gave away years ago. In some cases they're sold as "super-high" resolution, which might mean 650 horizontal lines, interlaced (more like 325). That compares poorly to the 1080 horizontal lines of your HDTV.

* TV shows and movies have camera operators who zoom in on the interesting parts. Security cameras usually don't. They're set up in a fixed direction with a wide zoom to cover the whole property. This exacerbates the low resolution. The photo here was probably cropped from a larger image.

* Unfavorable lighting. TV crews carefully arrange the lighting for each shot. Security cameras mostly work with what's there. In low light, they have to choose between noise and motion blur. In direct sunlight, they get bad glare. When there's portions of light and shadow, they might capture one well, and it probably won't be the one you want.

There are definitely better cameras on the market than the ones this place was using. You can buy full HD cameras at $300 for a pair. Web Link In a few years, they'll probably have good HDR cameras at the same price.

@dc: "Night vision" means "infrared". These cameras run at the usual frame rate. I'm not sure where you heard 540000 pictures per hour. They usually have their own infrared light source, which also produces some visible red light. (The one I mentioned above has a ring of red dots around it when in infrared mode.) They don't have to be hidden. The video is usually not stored on the camera, so if the thief takes the camera, you'll likely keep the nice close-up of the thief's face.


Posted by dc, a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 6, 2014 at 11:45 am

Typo correction 15 fps x 60 sec 60 min = 54,000 images to store each hour the problem is without extra light the IR pictures are still low resolution


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