Professional PTZ That Looks Up? Options?

Most professional PTZs are speeddomes, which are designed to 'look' down, with the imager / lens built into the bottom part of the unit, like so:

By contrast, a member has asked for recommendations of PTZs that can 'look' up like towards the top of a building, bridge, etc. Sometimes, they are called positioners or turret cameras (see our Pan Tilt Positioner Tutorial). Here's an example of what one looks like, notice it is designed so that the camera unit can turn upward:

Specifically, the member is looking for 10x optical / 20mm minimum focal length, so this means consumer ones are obviously out.

In the old days, I remember people using RVision but I am not sure what improvements they have made in years. I also recall Cohu having some units, though they are likely pricey. Any experience with either of those or other units? What would you suggest?

The only one I'm aware of is the Pelco Esprit SE IP.

But a better option would be a Bosch MIC 550 and an encoder.

I know the Esprit has an option for a wiper, does the Bosch? Seems to me that would be especially important if you want to point a camera up into the sky. I know the one Esprit I installed years ago has one, but we never hooked it up, and it's never been needed... but that one doesn't tilt up past the horizontal either (and its home position looks down at about 30 degrees below horizontal).

There's the WTI Sidewinder (PDF). Their window is allegedly "hydrophilic", which is supposed to cause water to spread out instead of beading, allowing the lens to shoot through more easily.

The MIC550 does have a wiper, but I'm not that pleased with it. It rather smears the water around then actually wipe it and one time it actually got stuck on the glas forcing me to drive to it to get it to move again cause it was sitting dead in the middle.

Hello Luis:

Do you have experience with this particular model?

Hello Ethan,

I have experience with analogue model and it works fine.

More one demo about it:

Bosch offers several options:

1) The AUTODOME 600 (analog) 7000 (IP) can be mounted/controlled in an inverted position
2) The MIC-550 (analog or IP) which has 270-degrees of tilt range
3) The HSPS (analog) which is a more traditional camera mounted on high-speed positioning system and provide 130-degrees of tilt range

Chris, have you ever mounted an Autodome in an inverted position? The though occurred to me before, but I didn't think anyone actually has done it.

I have a cheap offshore PTZ that has a "desktop/ceiling" selection in the menus, where the former option flips the image. However, I can't imagine it being particularly weatherproof in an inverted position, and I imagine that would be the case with most speed domes. Might be fine for indoor use, but outside... I wouldn't risk it with standard dome designs.

While not common, yes we have deployed AUTODOME cameras in this fashion on a number of projects.

Wonwoo will also have some options.

Hello Alex:

Why Wonwoo? Do you have experience the company? What specific model do you recommend here?

Yes I have experence. You never hear of Wonwoo?

You have not explained why you recommended the brand, or which model to consider. Why Wonwoo?

The Metal Mickey MIC1 now from Bosch, (Exterme CCTV, Forward Vision) is worth considering, I do not know if they have an IP version or if IP is a requirment in this situation.



Yes both the MIC-550 and MIC-612 (Thermal/Optical) cameras are available in IP versions.

CohuHD’s 3960HD series camera positioning systems provide 360° continuous pan and +90 to -90° tilt. You not only can see straight down, but also straight up.

The 3960HD series includes a choice of 720p30 or 1080p30 HD cameras with up to 30x optical zoom. An H264/MJPEG encoder is integrated providing multiple video stream capability with H.264 and MJPEG compression. As well, the 3960HD prodides analog video and serial RS422 PTZ control.

For installations subject to wind or vibration, electronic image stabilization delivers a steady, clear images. As well, the 3960HD includes atmospheric interference analytics, enhancing video performance in haze, foggy, raining, snowing and low contrast scene conditions.

Cohu, do not use undisclosed to recommend your own products. This is especially unnecessary since I already cited your company in the opening post here and your response is clearly on target.

Other than all of the usual suspects listed so far... I think the AD speed dome also has 10 deg above horizon. All depends now whether you want a dome or traditional positioning system like esprit, metal micky, cohu etc...

Panasonic specs are -15 to 195 degrees for tilt; Sony states 105 degrees of tilt. Both have programmable settings of up to 15 degrees above horizon in the outdoor versions of their products.

Another option may be able to invert a Videolarm/MOOG housing and install an indoor version of the Axis, Canon, Sony, Panasonic or whatever MFR PTZ inside in the desktop or flip mode. Moog now has an Extreme version of their PTZ unit that may work also.

I'll toss in the PT Series as well as the D Series from FLIR. Both are Thermal/Visible cameras and both allow inverted or views above the horizon. If he needs serious zoom, he could go with an HRC, but it would likely be overkill.