Though available for many years, Auto-Tracking PTZs are generating renewed interest with Axis' recent release of their 233D camera. The claim is that "auto-tracking enables a single PTZ dome camera to cover a large area and to automatically detect, follow and record video of moving persons or vehicles."
Auto-Tracking has never become an widely adopted feature despite its introduction and marketing by various manufacturers. The question then becomes: should you use it and where should you use it?
Below view a video of Axis demonstrating auto-tracking PTZ functionality or download the clip. After, we will consider its value.
The demo provides a very honest portrayal of the key issues involved in setting up and using auto-tracking PTZs. Essentially, the tracking is designed to track the object with the most movement or greatest size. There are some major drawbacks including:
- The feature can track irrelevant objects like flags or other uninteresting moving objects.
- The feature can switch tracking from a relevant to an irrelevant object simply because the second object was bigger.
- These problems increase as the size of the area and the amount of activity increases. For instance, this would likely work extremely poorly in a football stadium parking lot during game day as hundreds of cars and people move around.
As such, it seems this feature is likely most useful in small areas with light traffic. This is where I have used this feature with other camera manufacturer's in the past. Often, we wind up turning it off because the camera made mistakes and the security manager found setting a wide field of view preset or a continuous pan to be the least confusing setup for the PTZ.
Today, I would prefer to use a 2MP - 5MP camera for the type of scenario pictured in this demo. Rather than risk the problems of incorrectly tracking, the megapixel camera guarantees evidence across the entire area. Operators can then use digital zooms either in real time or for investigations to get exactly the image they need.
Even on a cost basis, a megapixel camera plus the addiitonal storage is no more expensive than a PTZ. For instance, the 233D costs about $3,000 USD while a megapixel camera costs around $1,000 with an extra $2,000 or so for more storage.
I see this as part of the general trend why megapixel is gaining rapid acceptance and positive satisfaction while video analytics are still dealing with accuracy and optimization issues. While megapixel does not offer as much as video analytics, what it does it does well. The reduced risk and increased simplicity spurs uptake. I see this as the better choice to auto-tracking PTZs. Thoughts?
Related Reports on PTZs
Camera Course Winter 2019 - Last Chance
on Jan 24, 2019
This is the last chance to register for the Winter 2019 Camera Course.
This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth...
Milesight Company Profile
on Jan 22, 2019
Milesight Technology, a Chinese company building an International branded business, says they are slowly building their presence through a series...
Axis First IR PTZ Tested (Q6125-LE)
on Aug 21, 2018
Axis is very late in releasing IR PTZs. While competitors such as Hikvision and Dahua have offered them for years, Axis has just released their...
Axis Launches Mini Concealed IR PTZ
on Apr 11, 2018
Axis has been a laggard in releasing IR PTZs. While the company released a laser focus PTZ (the Q6155-E tested) until now Axis has had no PTZs with...
Axis Z-Wave IP Camera Tested Poorly
on Mar 20, 2018
Z-Wave is drawing notable interest for video surveillance use. In IPVM's initial coverage, 84% expressed interest in it, with nearly half being...
Camera Form Factor Guide
on Mar 16, 2018
When selecting surveillance cameras, users may choose from a number of different form factors, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses,...
Dahua 4K IR PTZ Tested
on Aug 21, 2017
4K has made its way to IR PTZs. In this report, we examine the Dahua 6AE830VNI, a 4K PTZ with 30x optical zoom, 200m (~650') integrated IR, and...
Axis Laser Focus PTZ Tested (Q6155-E)
on Aug 14, 2017
Axis has been touting its new Q6155-E laser focus PTZ as 'always in focus' and 'always in color'.
Does it really deliver?
We bought and tested...
Most Recent Industry Reports
Hikvision Chairman Praises United Front
on Feb 14, 2019
Hikvision’s controlling shareholder held a meeting last month praising the United Front, a Communist Party organization known for its secretive...
Sales Turnover At Anyvision
on Feb 13, 2019
Anyvision raised a $43 million Series A and according to their newest investor:
what you need to do is push the gas pedal and build an...
Cisco Meraki Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested
on Feb 13, 2019
Cisco Meraki says their cameras "bring Meraki magic to the enterprise video security world".
According to Meraki, their magic is their management...
Uniview / UNV Favorability Results 2019
on Feb 12, 2019
Uniview / UNV, the self-proclaimed #3 China manufacturer, while starting late, has been working to make inroads internationally. In IPVM's 2019...