PTZ, or pan-tilt-zoom cameras, are devices that do exactly as their name implies: pan, tilt and zoom. Though these cameras are a bit more expensive than others, they can do the work of several fixed ones. For this reason, many home and business owners use these types of cameras when building their security systems. Instead of relying on multiple devices to catch some action, they can rely on one and set it to move in the direction of motion whenever motion is detected. If you’re in the market for new security cameras for your home or business and want to know more about PTZ—including the benefits and pitfalls of the technology—this post was made for you.
One of the best features of PTZ cameras is their motion tracking feature. Intruders who want into your property bad enough may figure out where your cameras are placed and try to avoid each one’s line of vision. With fixed cameras, they would be successful, but with PTZs, they may be highly disappointed. If there is motion within a certain distance of each camera, the lens wills swivel towards it and zoom in for more accurate viewing purposes. If theft or vandalism does occur, you can be sure that the perpetrator will be clearly visible in the footage.
These devices can cover a 360 degree area, which is nearly four times the amount of coverage that a fixed device can achieve. You can either preprogram your devices to focus on certain areas at certain times of day or you can control it remotely and change the field of view whenever you feel it is necessary to do so. Consequently, this makes installation easier, as instead of having to have your cameras placed in precise locations, you can have them installed in general areas, and then focus them wherever you want whenever you want.
Because PTZ cameras are meant to be placed in areas that can achieve the greatest ranges of vision, they are generally placed out in the elements and up high. For this reason, they are designed to be both weatherproof and vandal resistant. As a result, you can capture footage in rain, sleet, snow or hail, and can rest assured that while you’re away, no vandals will be messing with your security equipment.
PTZ cameras are already pretty spectacular as is, but they can be made to be even better with high definition options, alarm outputs and night vision. Most modern cameras come with resolutions that range from 720i to 1080P, high definition video, HD-SDI technology, advanced PTZ domes and much more.
One of the greatest disadvantages of PTZs is their blind spots. While this technology is designed to achieve a greater field of view, that greater field of view can only be achieved once you manually move the lens or set it to automatically move at a certain time of day. In the interim, you have to hope that the lens pans and tilts fast enough when it detects motions, otherwise you risk missing an important incident or event.
In all honesty, eliminating blind spots is the only thing we’d change about PTZ technology. Fortunately, we may not have to do much, as multi-sensor cameras have made their debut.
Again, the description is all in the name. Multi-sensor cameras are devices that incorporate multiple sensors in a single housing unit, thereby giving devices all the benefits of a PTZ but without the lag time or need for adjustment. All you have to do is set your sensors to suit your exact coverage zones, angles and needs, and then start filming. Whereas typical PTZ cameras do the work of several devices, multi-sensor cameras actually are four cameras in one. To learn more about multi-sensors and why we love them, check out our blog, Multi-Sensor Cameras: The PTZ Camera Killer.