Member Discussion

What PTZ Should I Use For An Indoor Pool?

I have a customer who wants a PTZ camera inside the pool area to watch for 'stolen' articles.. It is very very humid in the location so I need something that can handle that sort of climate.

AXIS is my go to Camera also.

Any ideas?

Pictures make it more fun, not much more useful.

Pool. Old Analog PTZ

Is the existing camera that is located near the exit not getting the job done, or is this new camera going to monitor the "sitting area" more closely?

The PTZ has stopped working. It is a 20 yearold Analog camera that is only black and white. He wants hi res PTZ color to secure the pool better...

The one in place right now is to the left of the exit sign.

You will have to save the image to see the full size.

Since lighting shouldn't be a problem, have you considered using a > 5MP fixed camera from  Avigilon or Arecont? Axis' 4K entry seems pretty awesome though it might be summer til it ships. In addition the housing requirements should be easier to meet with no moving parts... 

It seems to me that a high megapixel fixed camera would normally be superior to a mechanical PTZ, in forensically determning how/who/when a theft occurred, since it would record the entire FOV 24/7.  You normally aren't witnessing theft in progress, and after the fact, all you will know is where the ptz should have been pointed... And even in the case where you are watching a theft in progress, a quick mechanical camera pan might give you away, no?

However if your client is overly smitten with the idea of the PTZ, to watch 'articles' in the 'sitting area', as Derek suggests, a demo might convince him that the digital PTZ on a 4K camera will provide satisfactory detail.  Also, digital PTZ, could limit his liability if a rogue J.R. lifeguard were to be fall prey to the ever present inappropriate zooming temptation, made more enticing by the location itself...

Also, digital PTZ, could limit his liability if a rogue J.R. lifeguard were to be fall prey to the ever present inappropriate zooming temptation, made more enticing by the location itself...

Something tells me that inappropriate zooming is the entire point of the camera. At least, I don't see any other reason to get a PTZ for this application, and made my product selection accordingly.

{insert discussion on the ethical responsibility of the surveillance integrator here}

Does a certain photography site you're familiar with stock a large variety of 'inappropriate zoom lenses"? Ranging from maybe, 'Mildly' up to 'Way over the line!'?


Too bad we no longer carry this monster. We actually had it on display in our Manhattan showroom for a while.

f/32. lol.

Glass gonna do what glass gonna do.

Totally inappropriate find! Mother-of-all-lenses, eh? Did you come up with that?

Too bad we no longer carry this...

'Carry' though implies that you sold some, as in:

Ari: MF! Don't tell me we are all out of 'Big Mothers' again?

Boss: Ari, can you chill out, we got the 'Mothers' Load coming on Tues...

Ari: Do you have any idea how many of these 'Mothers' I sell every week?

Though its probably overkill for the pool scene, since that's for someone whose main concern is the snatching of watches, as stated in the OP.

We sold (or more accurately resold) two of them. They came to us used. We bought them, cleaned them, and sold them. Not a lot of places buy these things, because 1) not a lot of places could afford to, and 2) not a lot of places could be assured of being able to unload it at a profit.

They were always special order and custom made. The front element is the size of a dinner plate, and that kind of glass takes a long time to grown. While the total amount made is a secret, that number is probably less than twenty. It used to take almost two years for Canon to deliver one. They don't even accept orders anymore.

This lens also has its own Wikipedia page.

Something tells me that inappropriate zooming is the entire point of the camera...

In all seriousness now aside, inappropriate zooming or IZ, for lack of a better term, is definetly on the rise lately, and it is simply outrageous that cameras aren't built with any safeguards against IZ'ing, when we cleary have the means to provide such relief using off-the-shelf components.

As anyone who keeps abreast of the modest developments in Video Content Analysis knows, we have custom analytics for cross-a-line detection, object identification, shape detection, volumetric estimation, spectral composition and others even far more specialized.

How much trouble would it be to write rules for use with for the OI, SD, VE modules? It's an idea whose time has come. With these rules in place, when an IZ violation would occur, a dynamic privacy mask would obscure the most inappropriate pixels. An cautionary audible warning could warn a inexperienced operator of impending inappropriateness and issue a mild situation-specific reprimand. In addition, if it be desired, an alert would be generated to either LE or a supervisor indicating a situation exists requiring their immediate attention and/or action.

Also, there would be a disabling release mechanism (but logged of course), for those cases when tracking someone that is fleeing at a high rate, and an occasional alert can't be avoided, and anything therefore that would be tagged normally as IZ would be reclassified as justified Inadvertant Zooming.

What would it take for a project like this to get off the ground?

Rukmini, this is way way off topic. Please stop or start a new thread on this angle.

This discussion should be for specific product recommendations for this case.

The Dotworkz Tornado series is the best one for high humidity. Well sealed, very efficient fan.

Any idea on the ball park cost?


A photography website with which I am familiar retails that housing for $539 plus shipping. And then you can use most indoor PTZs, like the Panasonic WV-SC385.

The Axis P5414-E is rated for 100% humidity, but I have no personal experience with that camera. Anyone else want to chime in? Certainly looks nicer.

We re visited the site and the PTZ is a must.. I still am not sure why.. the only thing I saw happening today was a 80 year old woman alone doing aquafit with a cd player by the pool.


Does the customer ever 'man' the PTZ and watch stuff live?

Yes it is linked to TV in his office.

well, ok then... he's not a complete mental case. :)

However, for the reasons Rukmini already mentioned, I would still tend to agree that a high MP fixed camera might be a better solution for this application.

PTZs are well-suited for regions of coverage that expand beyond a fixed view (the P and T). Lots of VMS's employ the Z part - even if the camera doesn't have the ability to Z.

Why does he need to P or T in a wide open room like that pool area?

I do understand how customers can be, and I'm sure you schooled him on all this stuff - but it still bugs me that the dude 'wants' a PTZ. :(

1. There are no obvious obstructions.

2. Based on the VMS used, if he can see it/zoom into it with a PTZ, he can do the same with a fixed cam (as long as the PTZ isn't on rollers or can somehow physically move its own position).

If you concur that those two things are givens, then a fixed high MP camera would:

1. Generally be less expensive (not always)

2. Allow recording of the entire FOV vs only the area the PTZ is looking at in any given moment.

If the solution is intended to help prevent the misappropriation of small objects in a FOV - or provide evidence of such after the fact, using a PTZ is the weaker of the two solutions, imo.

I agree with all the statements. We have told him the cost is not worth what you will see. At the end of the pool their is a hottub that is it. There is no real reason to have the PTZ other then the wrong reasons. But This has to be put on paper for someone higher up to say yes to. Hopefully that is where it gets shut down and that the proper solution can then be put into place.

hmmm... whenever someone wants something that makes no sense, I can't help but start wondering 'why'. There is always a why. Just because I don't know what it is, doesn't mean it aint there.

Based on the location, the only thing that makes sense is that your guy likes to zoom in on things other than wallets and keys (see Rukmini's response to Ari above covering 'IZ') :)

May I say if thermal cams is out of your question from the start? Because that thing shows heat remaining on items just contacting flat on flesh for minutes after with artic colors. Also sees, your metals,(keys, money clip, stolen rings/precocious metals) right thru them trunks they wear, color contrasted by deep body heat! So he might want to do it right this time, try him out. The fliir guy is always around here anyway.

But I am riding my doubt down about his secret thoughts and their intentions. But believe me---Marty is the guy to fall back on when it comes right down to questionable personas and the detecting behaviors that he will know them by, (in multiple,many,posts). This forum is full of it. Here and here are two places that I can demonstrate him teaching us all about them? Who is them, you ask me, who? They are the uncountable scumbaggery.(yes a real word) So watch out and make him sign to any wrongdoing you find! Or do thermal cameras.

Ross, we all gotta make a living, and if someone insists on a black camera on a white wall, how long are you going to try convince them otherwise? I think the slightly sarcastic 'slammer sentiment of YTB ('You're the Boss'), re-expressed at whatever eloquence level you feel comfortable with, should be voiced sooner rather than later here.

I don't think interrogating or acting overly bothered by his need for Indefensible Zooming, is really the best approach. It could make him come clean about the whole thing, and that would just complicate things. Often defense attorneys will stop or redirect confessing clients midstream for just such reasons. You might also resist the natural temptation to reference how even a 0X zoom camera, pointed at a spa, can land you in hot water.

Having said that, I think that this is possibly an excellent use case of real vs virtual ptz, continuing the foundational work already started here in the PTZ vs MP shootout. But now having a much higher pixel density and constraining ourselves to a well lit smallish FOV, it would represent one the most favorable scenarios imaginable for the MP.

@John, in the original shootout, the was some talk of PPF, but I didn't notice anything fully exploring it, i.e. a 5MP with this lens and sensor size should give x, and a ptz all the way zoomed should provide y... Is that because you didn't see any value in determining who would win 'on paper'? What's anybody's guess on 4K vs ptz, at least on spec? Ross, if you know the sensor and the lens of the old B&W camera, please share, we can do the math and see if the MP stands a chance or not....

I have informed the Property Manager who is a very nice woman.. who is the Boss of Mr PTZ about the other options for viewing that area with thanks to all of who commented with great ideas on here. :)

Ross, here's feedback from Axis: "Any thing -E will be sufficient. The -S is best fit because it's pressurized if they want to go that route ."

I am not sure if you really need -S / pressurized but it certainly comes with a big price premium - in the order of ~$2,000 more.

Thanks John,

In this case, just like you pressurize waveguide for microwave, I would use an outdoor rated pendant ptz camera with a wall/ceiling mount and, with the cable run (or maybe with piping used for the cable run) I would run a fan device to slightly "pressurize" the enclosure with non-humid air (from another room?). Would not take much constant air, probably 5+ PA of pressure in the enclosure. May need to use some silicon or foam on the neck entry.

You can get Vivotek or Hikvision IP PTZ pendants for $800-$1100 integrator cost or Panasonic/Axis for $1500-2000.

This Flir guy wouldn't recommend thermal for a few privacy reasons as well as an inability to see someone under water. I might recommend a 2.1mp PTZ with IR illumination and 30x optical. But.....that's up to the integrator.

2.1mp PTZ with IR illumination and 30x optical.

Agreed about the water, though if its a relative microbolometer, wouldn't it show people that were submerged better than optical, or would you not be able to see anything under 1 foot or so from the surface?

On the other hand, 1080P with 30x and IR illumination when the subject is < 50 feet seems like a privacy violation just typing it. Best measured in PPI, pixels per inch.

Is your PoolTZ suggestion a real box? What's the model number? Fliiir or Lorex or DigiMerger? ;)

Rukmini, First I should say it is a real Flir product but I was kinda kidding. It's way overkill. ;) Second, a thermal will stop seeing at the edge of water for the most part. Third.....many swimsuits would become almost transparent to thermal so it's a bad idea. Wet or dry. Lastly......I would go with HD cameras that were fixed to reduce the likelihood of lawsuits and provide coverage for theft and possibly drowning if a lifeguard isn't present. Maybe Todd has an HD-SDI that would work over the existing cable and monitor? Just my opinion though. Greg

Many swimsuits would be become almost transparent to thermal so it's a bad idea...

Answer to why: Because even at their best microthin swimskins can't keep the heat from seeping from suit flaps gushing with invisible misty steamdata to those watching bolometres from your darkest vantage.

What prevention can be underfoot? And if thats not worse then this is, in the same way BTU's increase warm body raditation, so by your own logics, the hottest bodies must be the most transparentest of all, and this is the undesirous behavoir that you say at the top?

I realise this is not Axis and they probably have a version of this but have you had a look at the Pelco Pressurised Spectra IV SE?

This style of PTZ is pressurised with nitrogen and is good for humid climates (environments) also as the dome is 316L stainless the fumes from the pool chemicals won't melt traditional aluminium enclosures. While their models only show as analogue only they can do what's known as an SMR to get an IP version created. Its standard def.

Just took a quick look on the Axis site and the Axis Pressurised PTZ is Q6042-S and its construction is similar. Sure these dome cost more than regular PTZ's but you won't be dissapointed with its longevity in this environment.

Sure these dome cost more than regular PTZ's but you won't be dissapointed with its longevity in this environment...

Is the pressurized n2 in aid mainly of the moving parts of the turret and lens, i.e., in a fixed MP camera with no mechanical assembly is it still recommended? How is pressure maintained?

The nitrogen pressurised enclosures are to create a dry (no moisture) environment inside. Whether its a PTZ or fixed enclosure they're great for humid climates and harsh environments. Of course because of the higher cost and the fact you have to purge the enclosure onsite the entire experience costs more than regular CCTV enclosures/PTZ's. You need food grade nitrogen in a cylinder, hoses, guages etc etc. Make sure you check your MSDS on the use of the gas and cylinder in your country as I could never the ones we sold from the US factory. As an ex Pelco sales guy I use to sell these products more to harsh environments, humid climates and also to industrial and resource clients. These kind of clients can afford the added costs.

As these enclosures have special seals the pressure is maintained and due to the nature of nitrogen having larger molecules than oxygen it holds pressure and doesn't change temp much. Race cars and some aircraft tyres use nitrogen for the reason of reducing the tyre's running temperature, keeps tyre pressures more constant, slows the rate of pressure loss and doesn't react with the tyre and rim materials (no moisture). Apply this to camera enclosures and you can see the benefits.

I can't comment about the Axis but the Pelco units (including the EH8100 series) have the ability to report low pressure alarms.