Heard of Pan-tilt zoom (or PTZ) cameras, but don’t know what they are? Simply put, they are security cameras capable of tilting, panning and zooming (hence the name…) from remote control, allowing you to keep a closer eye on your business or property from afar. Generally, PTZ cameras are connected to your IP network, so you can connect, view and control them, whether from a computer or mobile device on the network.
Pan-Tilt-Zoom Cameras (also called PTZ cameras) can provide a lot of benefits over regular, fixed security cameras. Here are some of the reasons you should equip your building and surveillance system with some of these useful pieces of security hardware.
1. Larger Field of View & Less Blind Spots
This is the largest and most-apparent benefit of pan-tilt-zoom cameras; they allow you to see more than a fixed camera does, as you can pan side to side and tilt up or down to get a full 180-degree view, both side to side and up and down. If properly mounted and located (not up against a wall), some PTZ cameras can give a full, 360-degree field of view. A single PTZ camera can thus provide the coverage of 2 or even 3 fixed view cameras, which is both convenient and virtually eliminates most of the blind spots found on fixed cameras with narrower fields of view.
Remember – when selecting security cameras to provide the best coverage, a wider field of view isn’t always better, if it means you can’t see the places you need to see up close. PTZ cameras don’t have this problem, allowing you to simply pan the camera without needing a wider field of view or smaller image.
2. Powerful Zoom
Larger field-of-view covers the first part of the name (pan and tilt), but then there is the zoom part of the equation. PTZ cameras are equipped with powerful optical zooms, often anywhere from 12x to 36x on high-end camera models. Strong optical zoom allows for clear, sharp images at long distances. Paired with high-resolution HD or UHD recording, this can allow you to see and make out all different kinds of things: license plates, faces, virtually anything. Place PTZ cameras with these specs in important places and large open areas (parking lots, etc) for clear views of everything happening.
3. Motion Tracking
While many traditional, fixed field-of-view cameras come with built-in motion tracking as well, PTZ cameras provide a more complete motion tracking kit; the pan, tilt and zoom functions can work with motion tracking software and intelligent video analytics to automatically follow the target (whether a person, certain item or vehicle) across a much larger area. PTZ cameras are also good for manually tracking targets, as you can control the camera functions and follow the target in real time – even remotely.
4. Auto Focus
While many lower-end and mid-range bullet/fixed cameras can’t auto-focus, virtually all PTZ cameras can. It’s virtually essential; the camera will automatically focus and adjust when tilting, panning or zooming, ensuring you get clear, focused images and can make out all necessary details, people, etc. Fixed cameras generally need to be focused manually, and if they get moved, require refocusing. Many high-end PTZ cameras even come with IR sensors, which are used to automatically focus the camera in the dark.
5. Can Save You Money
PTZ cameras might be more expensive than comparable fixed cameras but give you more flexibility when setting up a system. As a single PTZ camera can often take place of 2 or even 3 cameras in some situations, you may not need to install as many to get the same amount of coverage – provided you don’t need to see all angles and views simultaneously. A PTZ camera could be programmed to automatically turn and rotate to provide a constant, sweeping view of an area, using built-in presets and software functions. This could save some serious money when installing your surveillance system, as well as on upkeep and maintenance, with less cameras to maintain.