PTZ Camera Review

This is a brief PTZ Camera review. The purpose is to highlight some of the key advantages and disadvantages of using PTZ cameras.

A PTZ (Pan, Tilt and Zoom) camera is a mechanically operated camera. The user typically has the ability to control the pan (left and right), tilt (up and down) and zoom of the camera with a joy stick or another software or hardware device. Most small businesses would not need a PTZ camera while malls and large public areas would find a good use for them. Many of the big box retailers use PTZ cameras in their operations.

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So what are the advantages of using PTZ Cameras?

As we have mentioned they are great forcovering very large areas. Which is something that a fixed camera would not be able to do.

You can program tour functions into PTZ Cameras. For instance for a one minute interval you could have the camera automatically focus on a different door, windows, parking area, etc., and continue repeating this tour over and over again.

Also the operator of the camera can track a suspect or respond to a threat and follow it much more closely. They could zoom in and capture key information that can be used to help in loss prevention. As we mentioned before many of the big box retailers use PTZs for this very thing.

Now for the disadvantages of PTZ Cameras.

One of the big disadvantages of PTZ cameras is that they can only record where the camera is pointed and focused. The problem with this is if the camera is pointed away from where an incident is happening it could potentially miss the event entirely.

Also since PTZ cameras are mechanical devices there are issues with servicing the cameras. The factors of heat and friction apply to the gears and motors within the camera and they will wear out and need repaired eventually resulting in much higher service costs over time compared to a fixed camera.

Then there is the issue of the extra video storage that a PTZ Camera will take up. Most recording on camera systems is based on motion detection. Every time the camera moves the system will be recording so careful consideration of storage space needs to done.

Finally there is the issue of poorer image quality compared to fixed cameras. The CCD sensors on PTZ cameras are smaller than fixed cameras in order to fit the additional mechanics into the housing. Therefore the image quality will suffer some because of this.

Some best applications for PTZ cameras.

Most organizations today will use PTZ cameras in conjunction with fixed cameras. The fixed cameras will be positioned to cover the entire area all the time and the PTZ camera will be used to supplement the view. This is particularly true when used video analytics as a part of the system.

To benefit from a PTZ camera you definitely need to have a live operator who is dedicated to monitoring the system. Also, as mentioned before, they are best used when covering a very large area.

If you have comments or questions about this article feel free to reach us via our contact us page.

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