Fujifilm is getting into surveillance cameras with the SX800, a long-range surveillance camera with a 40x optical zoom that’s designed to offer security at international borders and large commercial facilities. It’s got a built-in lens with a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 20mm to 800mm, and an additional digital zoom of 1.25x. Combined, Fujifilm says this gives the SX800 a total equivalent focal length of 1000mm, which is enough to focus on a car’s license plate from 1km or roughly 0.6 miles away.
We’ve seen consumer cameras with support for more zoom than this in the past (Nikon’s P1000 has a 125x, 3000mm-equivalent zoom lens for example), but the difference here is that Fujifilm has equipped its commercial security camera with a number of features that will make its footage more usable when filming at these extreme distances. It’s got a fast autofocus that can focus in as quickly as 0.3 seconds, optical image stabilization, and an image processing engine that’s able to reduce the effects of fog and heat-haze. The camera also supports ISO levels of up to 819200 for filming at night.
For an idea of what this amount of zoom is capable of, a recent Fujifilm promotional video shows how the camera is able to just about read a handheld sign from 2.2km (around 1.36 miles) away, while the video above shows the camera getting a clear shot of the viewing platform of Tokyo Tower from 3km (around 1.86 miles) away. Another promotional image shows how the camera can focus on a car’s license plate at a distance of 1km (around 0.6 miles).
Fujifilm suggests a couple of different places where a camera with the zoom capabilities of the SX800 might be useful, including international borders, forest areas, or public facilities like airports, harbors, or highways. From a cost perspective, this makes total sense for the facilities themselves since they’ll be able to cover a larger area with a smaller number of cameras. But for everyone else it’s a good reminder that just because you can’t see a security camera, that doesn’t mean one can’t see you, even if it’s multiple kilometers away.
The Fujifilm SX800 will be available to purchase on July 26th at a price that’s yet to be made public.