Shootout: 4K vs PTZ Cameras

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 19, 2015

Resolutions continue upwards, with 4K cameras hitting the street. Meanwhile, PTZ usage continues its downward trend, with fewer and fewer integrators choosing them.

The question is: how does this increase in resolution compare to the optical zoom of HD or even SD PTZs?

Test Area

We tested these cameras day and night in an outdoor parking lot, to ~500' range. Light levels at night varied from about 0.3-0.5 lux, from building and ambient lights.

This image shows the overall scene from a wide FOV taken from a 4K camera. The angle of view in this image is ~70°.

Cameras were tested side by side, with the fixed cameras maintaining the same angle of view regardless of distance to target, while the PTZ cameras were optically zoomed in to a 15-16' field of view at each point (30', 100', 250', and 500'). At 500', both 1080p PTZ models' field of view was slightly wider, as we reached their maximum telephoto zoom range, while the SD PTZ was narrower and able to maintain the same field of view width.

Axis, Bosch, Canon and FLIR Cameras Tested

To find out, we tested three PTZs (from Axis, FLIR and Canon) against three multi-megapixel (Axis 4K, Bosch 4K and Bosch 5MP) cameras in our outdoor test scene at ranges up to 500', day and night.

*********** ******** *******, ****** ************** *** ******. *********, *** ************** *** ******** *****, **** ***** *** ***** *********** ******** ****.

*** ******** **: *** **** **** ******** ** ********** ******* to *** ******* **** ** ** ** **** ** ****?

Test ****

** ****** ***** ******* *** *** ***** ** ** ******* parking ***, ** ~***' *****. ***** ****** ** ***** ****** from ***** *.*-*.* ***, **** ******** *** ******* ******.

**** ***** ***** *** ******* ***** **** * **** *** taken **** * ** ******. *** ***** ** **** ** this ***** ** ~**°.

******* **** ****** **** ** ****, **** *** ***** ******* maintaining *** **** ***** ** **** ********** ** ******** ** target, ***** *** *** ******* **** ********* ****** ** ** a **-**' ***** ** **** ** **** ***** (**', ***', 250', *** ***'). ** ***', **** ***** *** ******' ***** of **** *** ******** *****, ** ** ******* ***** ******* telephoto **** *****, ***** *** ** *** *** ******** *** able ** ******** *** **** ***** ** **** *****.

Axis, *****, ***** *** **** ******* ******

** **** ***, ** ****** ***** **** (**** ****, **** and *****) ******* ***** *****-********* (**** **, ***** ** *** Bosch ***) ******* ** *** ******* **** ***** ** ****** up ** ***', *** *** *****.

[***************]

Key ********

**** *** *** *** ******** **** **** ****:

******* ***********

  • ** ***** *****, ***** ** *** *** ******* ***** * wider *** ******* ******* ******* ** ***** **** ****** **** the ******* ** * ********. *** ** *** ******** ***** details ** **** *****.
  • ** ****** ** **** *****, *** *******, ********* *** ** model, ******* **** ****** ******* ** *** **** ******* *** chart ******** ** ***** ** *******.
  • *** ** *** ****** ********* ***, *** *** *** ******** better ******* ** *** ******* ** ***' **** *** ***** non-IR ***, ****** ********** ***** **** *** ** ***.

***** ***********

  • ** ***** ***** (~**'), *** ** *** *** ******* ********** all *** *** ********** ** ***, **** ****** ******* ** our **** ***** *** *******.
  • ****** **** (***'+), *** ********** ** *** ****** *********** *** other ******* ******, **** ******* ** *** ******* ** **** 250', *** ********* **** ***'.
  • *** ** *** ************ *** ***** ***-** *** ***** ** medium ****** (***-***'), ********* ********* ** *** ******* ***** *** 1080p ***** ******** ** ****** ******.

***************

** ******** ********** *** *** ***** ******* ****** ***** *** detail **** **** ** ***** ******* *** *******, ******* *** jump ** ********** *** ********** **** **** ********** *******. *** live ********* ************* ***** ******* *** ****** ******, **** * standard ********** *** ******** ****** ******* ** *** *** **** close ****** **** ** *******. *** *******' ********** *** ******* increased **** *** ************ ** ********** ** ****, ***** ******* detection *** **** ******* ** **** ***** ** *** *****, a ******** ******** ** ****.

*******, ** *** ****** **** *** ** ******** ****, ***** cameras ****** ** ****. ******* *** ******* ** **** ********** the *********** **** **** **** ** ***** ** *** ***** direction ****** ** ********, ******* *** ******, *** ******* **** stationary ******* ***** ******* **** ********.

Angle ** **** ***********

** **** * ***** ** **** *** **** ***** ** view ******* ******* *** ***** ************** *** *** ******* ****** here, *** *** ***** *****. *** ***** ** *** *** angles ***** ** *** ***** *******' ***** ** ****, ~**°. By ********, *** ****** ********** *** ****' ***** ** **** at ***** ******* ***** ******, ~*°.

******* ** **** **** ********** ** ***, ** **** ** the *********** *****, **** ***** ***** ***** ** ****, *** fixed *** ******* ******* ***** *******, *** **** ******** *********** of *** ***** **** * ****** *** ********. *** **** provide **** ****** ******* **** ****** ** ****** ******, *** completely **** ******** *********** **** ****** ** ***** ********* ******.

Daytime ***********

********* ** ***** ***** (~**' **** *******), *** ** **** in **** *** **, ***, *** ** *** ******, **** solid ******* ** *** ******* *** *****. ** **** ***** even *** ** ***** *** ******** **** ** *** *** some ******* ** *** *******.

**** **** *** **** *****-* ** ********** ****** ** **** scene, **** ***** ****** *** **** ********, ***** *** ***** in *** ****** ***** ** **** ******, ** ****.

****** ** ***' **** *** *******, ***** ** * ******* drop ** ****** ** *** ***** *******, ** *** ***** below ** ** *** ** ******, *** ***** ** ** the ***. *** ***** ******** ** *** *** ******* ** field ** **** ***** ******* ************* *** **** ** *** cameras ********* ****.

** ***', ** ******* *** ********* ** *** ** *** fixed *******, ** *** ** ****** *** ***. *****, ******* of *** **** *** *******. ***** ** **** ****** **** in ****** *** ** *** **** ****** **** (** ** found ** *********** *****), *** *** ** ***** ********* ****.

*******, ** ~***' **** *** *******, *** ** *** ***** PTZs ***** ** ** ***** ***** ******* ******* **** *****. The ***** *** ***, *******, ********* ** ***, ********* ******* similar ** ******* ******.

Nighttime ***********

** *****, *********** ** *** ***** ************** ****** ***** *************. Some ******* *** *** ***** *-* ***** ** *** ***** are *********, *** *** ***** ** ****** *** **** ** provide ***********.

*** **** *** ******** *** **** ****** ** **** ***** due ** *** ***** ** **. *** ***** *** ***** outperforms *** **** ***** *** *** ** *** ****** *** light ***********, ******* *** **** **** **% **** ** ***.

** ** *** *******, ******* **** ******* ** *** ***** cameras, *** *** **** *** ******** *** **** ******* ** this *****. *** ***** *** ***** ******** ********* ** *** subject *** *****, *** *** **** ***** ** ****** *****, providing ** ****** ******.

*******, ** ***', **** *** **** *** ** **** ** provide ****** ****** ** ***, **** ***** ******* ****** *** dark, *** *** ***, ** ****.

Comments (18)

** **** ** ******* * ********** ** *** **** ***** analog ******* *** ** ******** ** *** ** ******? :*)

****, */** *****.

*** **** ****** *****?

********, * *** ***** (******) *******! ***** * ***'* ******* that *** ** *** ***** ******* ************************* *** **-***. *** ** *** **** *** *** ** better *******, **** **** *** **-*** **** ****** ***** ******, at *** ******* ** *** ** ******.

** ** ***********, **** *** **** ** **** ***** ** good, ** ***** ** *** ***, ** *** **-***, *** the ***** *** **** **** **** ****.

*** **** *** ***** ***** *** *** ***** - * am ****** ********* *** **** ** ***** **** * ****** picture, ** ***** ******.

**** ** * ***** ****. **** **** ** **** *** far ***** *** ** **.

***** **** **** ******* *** *** *********, **** **** ** testing **** **** ** **** **** *** *** ****** ** (say) ***', **** **** **.

**** **** **** ********* ***** ****.

****** ***, ****, *** *** ********* ******.

*** ***** ** ****** **** *.*** ** **** ***** ?

**** ** *** ***?

-****

*** ****** *** **** *.*** *******. ** ******** ** ** FPS ** **'* * **** ******* ***** ****.

****** ***** *** **** ****** ********.

* *****, *** **** ***** **** ********** ** **** ******** as **** ****** ***.

****** *****!

* ***** ***** **** **** *** ***** ***** *** ***** provide ***** ******* **** *** ** *** ** *******, **************.* ** *** *****?

* ***** **** ****** **** *** ******** ** ****, *** 29MP ********, ******** **** * ********** **** ** *** ** models (> ** *******?), ***** **** ** ***** ******* *** VGA ***.

**** ***** *** ****** **** **(Fixed ***/*** ***) - (***** *********/*** *** ******). When the result > 0 the PTZ should have a greater PPF. **

** **** * **** ***** *** ** ******** ******* * PTZ ** ***** *** ******* ******?

********* ******** *** > ******* ***** ********, ** ****** *** PTZ *** ** ********* *****.

**** ****** ***** *** ** '**** ****** **** ** ******' due ** *** **** ****.

***, ***** ******, *****. *** ******** ****** **** *** *****.

** *-* ***, ****** **** *** ***** ******* **** ****** unusable, *** **** ***** *** *****? ** *-* ***, *** you ******* *********** **** ********* ** ****** "*** *****?" *********, might *** **** ********* *************** *** *** ***** *** *** ****** *** *** ******* from *** ***'* ****** ******* *****?

"** *-* ***, *** *** ******* *********** **** ********* ** moving "*** *****?"

**** ******* ** *** ******* ** **** ********* ****** ** PTZs, ***:***** **** ** **** ****** *** ****.

*************, *** **** * ***** **** (*.*., **° ***), **** on ******* ***** *** *****, ***, *** ****** ** **** to *********** ********* **** *-****. *******, **** * *** ** its ******* ********* (********* ~*° ***), *** ***** ******* ** significantly ******** ******** ** *** '***********' ***.

*** *** *** ******* ***** *** *********** ****?

*** ******* *** ******. *** ***** ***** *********** ** ************* what *** ***** ****** *********** ** **.

** *** ************* *** **** ** *** **** *** *** **** ** says *** ****** ** ***. *** ****** **** ** ***. Not * ***** ********** ** *** *****, *** ** *** reason **** **** *** ********* **** *** *** ** *** theoretical ***, ** * ** * ***** ********* *****?

*****, *** *** ***** *** ***** ******* *** ****** *** of *** ** *** ** ****** ****** *** ****** *** of *** ****? **** ** ***** **** **** *** **** diagrammaticaliy **** *** *** ********* ** ***.

* ***** ** ***** ** *********** ** *** *** **** overview *** *** ****** *********** ** *** ******* ******, **** using * ***.

***** ****** *** ******** *** **** **** ** ****** **********:

***** ** * ********** ********** ** ***** ** *******. * am ***** ************ ** *** ****** ** *** **** ** vs. *** ***** ** *** **** ***** *** ****** ** the **' ****.

**** ********** ** **** *** ***** * ** ******* ****** than ****** *** ****** ***** ***** ** *** ******** **** blurry **** ** ** *****. **** ** **** *** ************ impressive, *** ***** ** * ********** **********.

**** *** ******* **** ** *********** ** ***** *** ******* field ** *** **** *** ** *******?

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