The new extended range of eight cameras are based on 1/4” CCD sensor technology and will offer a choice of either 18x or 26x optical zoom capability, and provide a unique spherical privacy zone masking (S PZM) function along with a host of other functions setting them apart from other high-end cameras in the marketplace. These feature-balanced cameras are ideal for security domes and general CCTV applications but are also well suited to other applications such as emergency vehicle monitoring, low vision and eye care applications. The four FCB-EX980 Series C cameras feature exceptional performance under low light conditions thanks to their 1/4” CCD sensor, providing significantly increased performance over previous models such as the FCB-EX780, which had lower sensitivity with a 1/6” CCD sensor. In addition, a SMART lens control feature that substantially reduces the lens wear – both features vital in 24 hour monitoring applications. They also deliver reduced smear and provide picture freeze functionality. The compact cameras’ form factor are compatible with Sony’s existing FCB-EX camera range across all new units, where previously higher end models had different footprints. The new devices have effective pixel dimensions ranging from 380,000 to 800,000, and provide the combination of 26x optical zoom and 12x DSP-based digital zoom allows users to home in on small or distant objects with exceptional clarity. The new cameras’ spherical privacy zone masking function ensures conformance to national and international privacy requirements, and is an essential feature for dome cameras used in wide-area monitoring applications. It allows masking to be automatically interlocked with the camera’s tilt, pan and zoom operations, regardless of camera angle. In contrast with competing solutions, the system automatically adjusts the size of the masked area as the zoom is operated, and can keep masked areas covered even when the camera is circling. The FCB-EX980 cameras offer an extremely wide field of view of up to 54°, and can capture images at illuminations as low as 1.0lx, thanks to the use of 1/4” type Ex view HAD CCDs. An image stabilisation function, included in the functionality of the FCB-EX980S model, allows the elimination of image vibration due to the effects of wind or other external factors, and an electronic flip (E-Flip) function can electronically invert an image so that it is displayed correctly. This last feature is particularly useful to obviate the need to provide mechanical flip capabilities for use in situations when a camera dome system is tracking an object which then moves directly beneath it. A high-speed (38.4kbit/s) serial data interface and TTL signal-level control using the VISCA protocol allows easy systems integration. The new devices also offer 16bytes of free internal EEPROM space, allowing the storage of data such as product serial numbers and camera/system ID numbers. They provide electronic shutter/slow shutter features, a choice of internal or external sync, and low power consumption of 1.6W with motors inactive. In addition to the launch of the FCB-EX980-type devices, Sony is also enhancing the existing members of the FCB-EX series – the FCB-EX48 and FCB-EX480 models – with the addition of improved spherical masking and a smart lens control feature have also been added to the Series C range. These new features satisfy the needs of users in applications such as traffic monitoring, emergency service vehicles and eye care, providing image capture at exceptionally low illumination – for some models down to 0.7lx. All of the new FCB Series C models are available immediately.