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Focus Recall: The New Axis Q60 Series IP Cameras

Axis continues to push security camera technology with a new feature: focus recall. Axis, the leading manufacturer of network security cameras, recently announced six new models that expand their Q60 Series of dome IP cameras: Q6052/-E, Q6054/-E, and Q6055/-E. (The -E models are for outdoor placement, the others for indoor placement.)

These new cameras are the first Axis cameras to include focus recall, which lets the user save up to 20 instant focusing areas.

What is focus recall and when is it useful? Read on!

Security Camera

Focus recall from Axis

Focus recall is a feature that seems so obvious you’ll wonder why it took so long for it to be integrated into a security camera.

With focus recall, you’re able to easily save up to 20 areas with a set scene and focus. This saves the all-important second or two that security cameras typically take to focus using traditional autofocus technology. As you can imagine, when it comes to surveillance, a second or two makes a huge difference. It also prevents autofocus from over compensating when there are many moving objects in the scene.

Focus recall is easy to use. Setting and dismissing areas is as easy as selecting a scene and focus, then clicking on a + or – sign in the computer interface. When you’re panning or tilting the camera and pass over a saved focus recall scene, the camera automatically snaps to the saved settings. When you zoom in and out using the 30-36x optical zoom functionality that the Q60 Series cameras have, the saved focus will stay.

Focus recall solves two problems that disrupt traditional autofocus: low-contrast situations and chaotic scenes.

Blurry Lights

When is focus recall useful?

As you know from taking pictures with your smartphone, autofocus doesn’t work very well in the dark, or when you try to take a picture of something that’s uniform in color, like a wall.

Autofocus uses contrast to determine depth. In the dark or with uniform scenes, there’s very little contrast for the camera to use.

This can be a big problem for security cameras, particularly darkness. If the camera can’t focus except in optimal lighting conditions, then its usefulness will be limited. Since 2011, Axis has included a proprietary technology called Lightfinder in their cameras. Lightfinder, which is a combination of sensitive sensor, lens, and image processing, greatly extends the capacity of an Axis security camera to work in darkness, but focusing has been a sticking point. There’s only so far you can push the technology.

Focus recall solves this problem, because you’re able to set a focus that will work for a specific task, avoiding the low-contrast problem altogether. You can set the focus in daylight, then use it whenever you need.

Similar to low-contrast scenes, scenes with bright lights, such as car headlights, can also trick autofocus. Focus recall solves this problem as well.

Chaotic scenes are the other distinct situation when focus recall comes in handy. Autofocus is a brilliant technology, but when there are many bodies in motion in a scene, it can have a hard time choosing what to focus on.

Say you have a camera pointed at a road. If many cars drive by, the camera might not choose the correct one to focus on. In fact, it might not focus properly at all, completely ruining your security video feed.

Focus recall lets you set a focus that gets the information you want, like license plates. You don’t need to worry about autofocus going wild.

Indoor Security Camera

Focus recall: combining manual and autofocus

The new models in the Axis Q60 Series are a step-forward for IP security camera technology. They combine the best of both worlds: manual and automatic focus.

Manual focus is a set-it-and-forget-it solution. Focus recall builds on this classic technology, but gives you 20 set-it-and-forget-it settings.

Autofocus saves you a ton of work. Focus recall works with autofocus to establish proper focus. If the situation demands it, you can disable the stable focal-point of focus recall to use autofocus.

The Q60 Series cameras adapt for real-world use-cases of network surveillance technology.