What is a PTZ Camera?
A PTZ camera is a camera with pan, tilt, and zoom functionality. These movements can be manually controlled by using monitoring software or a joy stick, or automatically set up using camera management software. Being able to move the camera necessary by a security guard allows your security staff to respond quickly to events they spot with the surveillance system.
You can also use camera management software to set up guard tours, where the camera will automatically move to monitor pre-set locations on a schedule. Some cameras can also autotrack movement, following a person or car moving in its field of view.
How PTZ Works
- The camera can swivel to the left and right, allowing it to have a wide area of coverage
- Pan can range from a complete 360 circle to smaller areas
- The camera can tilt up and down, giving it a wide vertical range of coverage
- The amount the camera can tilt will vary by camera model, but goes up to 180 degrees
- Optical zoom physically adjusts the camera lens, changing the focal length to zoom in and out; this allows the camera to maintain image quality
- The amount of optical zoom is expressed as #x, such as 18x, and represents how much the camera can zoom (change the lens focal length)
- Digital zoom blows up the image using software, often resulting in pixilated images when zoomed too far, and is not recommended
How PTZ Can Help You
If you’re monitoring large areas such as parking lots, common areas in school and business campuses, or convention centers, a PTZ camera allows you to both monitor the overall area and focus on suspicious activity. This gives you a more flexible and functional surveillance system, especially when combined with fixed network cameras that track room entrances and exits but cannot monitor the area at large. This allows the PTZ camera to move around as needed while the fixed cameras ensure important locations are always monitored.
PTZ cameras come in a wide range of styles, making them easy to fit into your surveillance system, although the most common form factor is a dome. The cameras are also available in indoor and outdoor models, so you can install a camera in any location.
A variety of leading manufacturers have PTZ cameras, including Axis, Optica, and Vivotek.
Learn more with VideoSurveillance.com
With a team of knowledgeable sales and technical support representatives, VideoSurveillance.com can help you learn more about PTZ and select the best cameras for your surveillance needs. Call us at (866) 945-6808 or send us a message today!