PTZ Camera Guide 2016

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Sep 15, 2016

Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras remain critical parts of many surveillance systems, especially in large security operations. Because of this it is important to understand and consider the key elements in selecting and using PTZ cameras.

In this guide we cover the basics of PTZ cameras and their selection, including:

  • Pan/tilt/zoom basic terms
  • Zoom ratios explained
  • Using angle of view instead of zoom rating
  • E-flip examined
  • Available PTZ resolutions and their advantages/disadvantages
  • Form factor selection (speeddomes, mini PTZs, positioners)
  • Integrated IR PTZs
  • PTZ lens issues
  • Actual versus effective PPF
  • Presets and tours
  • Common applications

Pan/Tilt/Zoom ****** ******

**** ******* * ****** with * ********* ********* which ****** ** ** move ** ******** **********. These ********* *** ******** to **:

  • ***:****/***** ********** ********
  • ****:**/**** ******** ********
  • ****:**** *** *** 

**** ******* ************ **** of ***** *********:

**** **** *** ****** to ***** ******* *** be ***** ******. **** models *** ** ******* to ***° *******, **** may **** ***** **********, and **** ****** *** vary **** **** ****** magnification ** ********* **** distance. ***** ***** ****** on *** **** ** PTZ (******** *****) *** individual ************/*****.

*-****

**** **** ******* * feature ****** "*-****" ***** automatically ******* *** ****** 180° **** *** ******** is ********* * ******* directly ******* **. **** is * **** ********* control ****** **** ****** which ** *** ******* E-flip, ** *** **** must ******** ****** *** camera ** ****** *** subject ** **** **** below.

**** ******* ***** *** camera ******** ** ** is ****** **** ** *** ******, ***** only *** **** **** control ** *******.

Zoom *****

************* **** ***** ********* PTZs ***** ***** ******* zoom *****, *.*., ***, 26x, ***, ***. **** ratio ** ****** ****** by ******** *** ******'* maximum ***** ****** ** its *******, **** **:

Use **** ***** *******

*******, ***** **** **** ratio ** ** ********* of *** **** *********** misses **** *** *******. Since ****** **** ********* wide/telephoto ***** *******, *** cameras **** *** **** ratio *** **** **** different ****** ** ****.

*** *******, ******* ** *** specs ** *** *** zoom *******, ** *** see **** *** *** a ********* ***** ** view ~**% ******** (*** thus ****** ***) **** the ***** *** ** varying **** *****. *** the ******* ** **** true, **** *** ****** on *** ***** ****** a ***** ******** ***** of ****, ***** *** be **** ****** ** some ************.

***** **** ****** ** these ****** **** ********* PTZs *** ****** ***** on ***** ******** ***** of ********. 

Ignore ******* ****

**** *** ****** ******* ******* zoom ** ******** ** optical, **** ** **** cases *********** *** *** to ****** * ********* "total ****" ******, **** as **** ******:

*******, ******* **** ** a "****" ****, *** providing ********** *******, **** enlarging ****** ******** *** these ***** ****** *********** be ******* ** ***** of ***** ** **** as ********* *****.

*** **** ******* *** examples, *** *** ******* **** ********.

Resolutions *********

**** *** *** ********* in ******* ** ***********, as **** ** ******** definition. ************, **** ****** for ********* ******* **** not *********, ****** ** the **** *** *****, 1080p **** **** *** zoom **** ****** ******* available, **** ****** ******* *********. 

**** **** ** ** not *********** ********** ** PTZ ************, *** ** ***** in **** ***** ****** megapixel ******, ******** ***** in **** ******.

PTZ **** *******

***** *** ***** ******* types ** *** ****** in *** *****, **** different ********* *** **********, ********** in **** ***** *** detailed *****:

*********

*** **** ****** **** of *** ** *** is *** *********, ***** packages *** ******/**** *** pan/tilt ********* ** * dome **** ******, ********* 8-10" ** ********. ********** have ******* **********:

  • ***-********:*** ** ***** ************, speeddomes ********* ******* **** work ** ***** **** positioning ******* (*****), *** may ** ******* ** a ******* ** *********. Wall, *******, ******** *******, and ***** ****** *** all ******* *********.
  • ********** ** *********:******* ************* *** ***** speeddomes **** ********** ** (detailed ******* *****), ***** greatly ******** ***** ********** in *** *****, ** speeddomes ************ **** **** relatively *****-**********, **** ** **** scenes.
  • **** *** ******:********** *** *** ******* movable ******* *********. ****** over ***º *** ****** are *** ********, *** over ***º *** ****** is *** ******* **. This ****** ******** ** faster-moving ********, *** ******* movement ***** **** ********* between *******, ***** * fraction ** * ******.
  • ***/**** *****:********** ********* ******* **** 360º *** *****, ******* stops, *** ***º **** range **** *-****, ** allow ******** ** ******** as **** **** ******* the ******. **** ******* **** extended **** ****** **º, with **** ******** ** to **º ** **-****, above *** *******. **-**** previously ******** * ***/**** positioner.
  • **** **** *******:******** ** ***/**** *********** systems, ******** *****, ********** do *** **** ** many ****** ** ****** winds, ***** *** ***** vibration ** ***/**** *******.

Mini ***

**** *** ***** *** a ********** ****** ***********, with ******* ************* *** offering ****** (*** ************ **** *** **** *** *******). ***** ******* PTZs **** *** *** advantages:

  • *** ****: **** **** *** **** less ********* **** **** size **********, ***** ~$*** USD ** ****, ******** to $***-**** *** * speeddome.
  • ***** ****:***** ****** *** **** smaller **** ******* **********, close ** *** **** of * ******* ***** dome ****** (*-*" ********) and **** ******* ** height.

*******, ***** *** ************* to **** **** ** well:

  • ******* ****:**** **** *** ********* limited ** *** ******* zoom ****** **** ** 3x, ****** **** *** be ***** ** ** ~10x. ******** ** ***** PTZs, ***** *** ** more, **** ** **** low.
  • ******* *********** *****:**** **** ********* ** not ******* **** ***° panning, *** *-**** ***** in **********.
  • **** ***/**** *****:******* ***** ** * mini *** ** ********* very ***, **-** ******* per ******, * ******** of ********* ******* *****.

Pan/Tilt ***********

***/**** *********** *** *** oldest **** ** ******* camera ******, ********* ***** to ********** *** **********. These ******* ************ ********* of ******** *********** ***** were ******** **********: *** positioner ******, * ******** camera, *** **** ****. 

*******, **** ************* *** offer ***-******** ** *********** systems, **** ** *** **** ***/*** ******** ******.

*** *** ********* ** pan/tilt *********** ** ***********. Users *** ****** **** multiple ******* *** **** lenses, ******* ** ***** limited ** ********* ********* options. **** ** ****** when ********* ****-***** **** lenses *** ********, ** ****** over **** **** *** available.

*********** **** ********** *** **** option **** ******** ************ were ******* ** * PTZ ******. *******, ********** with ********** ** **** now ******* ****** **, offering **** ***** ********.

***** *** *** *** drawbacks ** ***********:

  • *** *****:*********** ***** **** *** pan/tilt ******, *** ** the ****** *** ******* of ******* ******* ** them. ********** ****** ***** lead ** ********* ********* and "******" ** ******* started *** ******* ******, making ******** **** *********.
  • **** *******:*** ** ***** ********* profile, *********** ******* ** exposed ***** *** ****** from ********* *** ** wind, ***** ** ******* or *** ******* **** using **********.

***/**** *********** ******* *** a ******* ***** *** readers ****** *** *** *** **** ********** ******** *** **** *******.

Integrated ** **********

*** ****** ******* ** PTZ ********** ** *** addition ** ********** **, previously ****** ***** ** positioners ****. **** ************* now ***** ********** ** speeddomes, **** ** *******************, *** ******* [**** ** ****** available].

********** ** ********** **** ************ non-IR ****** ** *** tests ** *** ******, with ************ ** ***' and ******. *** *******, the ********** ***** ***** a ***** ** *** versus * ***-** ***** at ~***' ********, **** the ******* ******* ********* in *** ** *****. The ***-** *** ******** only *****, ** ****** image.

*******, ******* ** **** (but *** ***) ** tested *** ****** ******** subjects ** ***** **** IR **, ****** ***** for * ******* ** more, ***** ** **** video:

PTZ **** ******

**** ******** *** ****** use, ***** ****** ** aware **** *** *** other **** ***** ****** lenses ** *** ******* images *** **** ** shorter ***** ****** ******,********* ** * ********* in ********* ******* ********* (*** *** * ***** **** ** Long ****** *** **** Found ******). ******* ** ****, when *********** ****** *** using *** *******, ***** should ****** * ~**% or ****** ********* ** ********* details.

*** *******, *** ***** below ***** * ******* at ~***' ***** * 1080p ******, ** ** 87 *** *****. *******, details ********* *** ******* to ~**-** ***, **** than **** ** ******.

**** **** ** **** do *** ****** ********* suffer **** ***** *******. For *******, *** *** PTZ ***** ******** * better ***** **** *** 1080p ***** ** *** same *****, ******* *** much ***** ****** ***.

PTZ ******* *** *****

** ***** ** **** PTZ ********* ******, ***** cameras ******* *** ****** to ****** ************* *********, called "*******", ***** *** be **** ** ******* move *** ****** ** a ******** ********. *** example, *** **** ***** shows ******* ******* ******** a ******* ***, ******* called ** ********** ***** a ***.

** ******** ** *******, PTZs ******* ***** (**** called ********) ***** **** the ****** ************* ** a ****** **** ******** (typically ***** *-** *******). Tours ** ******* ******* **** often **** ******* ** a ******** ***** (****** a ****** ****).

*******, ** *** ****, tours **** ********* ******* by ********* ** ******** manually ****** *** ******. This ***** ** **** has ********* ****** *** of *****, ******, ** it ******* **** ********* to **** ***** ******* in ****** ** *** camera ** ******, *** the ******** *** ******** precludes *** *** ********-**** ***** ****** *********, ***** *** ** used ** ****** *****.

Most ****** *** ************

*** *** **** ****, PTZ ***** ** ******** in ***** ** ***** megapixel ******* (*** *** **********), *** ***** *** still ************ ** ***** they *** ********** ****.

  • **** ********** **********:** ******* **** ************ operators, **** *** ***** often ****, ** **** allow *** **** ** more ******* ******* *** follow ******** **** ** possible **** ***** *******. Live ********** ** **** often **** ** ******, higher ******** ********, **** as ********, ******** **************, city ************, ***., ****** many ***** ********* **** employ **** *** *********.
  • ***** *****:** **** ***** *****,**** ** ****** ******** are ***** ********* **** instead ** ***** ********* cameras*** ** *** ****** details **** *** ******* at **** *****. *** example, *** ***** ***** compares ** *** *** cameras ******* ** *** SD ****, **** **** the ****** ********** *** delivering ******* ** *** subject ** **** *****:

Comments (4)

Ethan,

You wrote "For the most part, PTZ usage is dropping in favor of fixed megapixel cameras (see our statistics), but there are still applications in which they are frequently used."

Yes, I've noticed that trend 2 years ago and I made a theoretical comparison between a VGA PTZ x a Megapixel camera. You can see the results here: http://www.cctvinstitute.com.br/megapixel-or-speed-dome.html

Another trend I've noticed about the same time was people started thinking that a fisheye camera would replace a PTZ. Again, the results of my comparison are here: http://www.cctvinstitute.com.br/fisheye-cameras.html

PTZ, Megapixel or fisheye? Which one is the best for all situations? None. It will depend on the application.

Thank you for the great article.

Easy to catch up with the advance information and application of PTZ cameras following this guide.  Good work.

When a customer asks for a PTZ camera I ask him/her if they will have some one to operate the camera because as you say on a tour setting you can miss a incident unless you have Smart Tracking to follow the person but the customer do not like the increased price.

Read this IPVM report for free.

This article is part of IPVM's 6,534 reports, 880 tests and is only available to members. To get a one-time preview of our work, enter your work email to access the full article.

Already a member? Login here | Join now

Related Reports

Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the...
Multi-Imagers Added to IPVM Camera Calculator on Jun 15, 2020
IPVM has added multi-imager cameras to the Camera Calculator, supporting this...
Euklis Presents AI Analytics on May 05, 2020
Euklis presented its AI facial recognition, LPR, and object recognition...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...
Video Analytics Online Show 2020 - 35+ Manufacturer On-Demand Recordings on Sep 04, 2020
This show featured 35+ Video Analytics providers showcasing their latest...
The Future of Metalens For Video Surveillance Cameras - MIT / UMass / Immervision on Sep 25, 2020
Panoramic cameras using 'fisheye' lens have become commonplace in video...
FLIR Presents Dual Spectrum High Security Focused PTZ on May 01, 2020
FLIR presented its Elara DX-Series bispectral, visible and thermal, PTZ...
Hanwha Presents AI Analytics and First 8K Camera on May 11, 2020
Hanwha presented their AI Analytics and the "Industry's First 8K" camera at...
Vivotek Presents AI Analytics and LPR on May 19, 2020
Vivotek presented its AI Analytics and LPR at the April 2020 IPVM New...
AndroVideo Presents Edge AI Face Recognition Cameras on Jun 26, 2020
AndroVideo presented its AI at the edge face recognition cameras at the May...
Avigilon Elevated Temperature Detection Camera Tested on Sep 17, 2020
Avigilon has entered the temperature screening market with the release of...
Directory of 206 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Aug 04, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers...
Hanwha 8K / 33MP Camera Tested on Sep 14, 2020
Hanwha Techwin has released an 8K / 33MP resolution camera, the TNB-9000 with...
Camera Course Summer 2020 - Last Chance on Jul 18, 2020
This is your last chance to register for the Summer 2020 Camera Course. This...
VMS 101 on Mar 03, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals about video management...

Recent Reports

OnTech Smart Services Partners With Google and Amazon To Compete With Integrators on Sep 25, 2020
A pain point for many homeowners to use consumer security and surveillance is...
The Future of Metalens For Video Surveillance Cameras - MIT / UMass / Immervision on Sep 25, 2020
Panoramic cameras using 'fisheye' lens have become commonplace in video...
Hikvision Sues Over Brazilian Airport Loss on Sep 24, 2020
Hikvision was excluded from a Brazilian airport project because it is owned...
China General Chamber of Commerce Calls Out US Politics on Sep 24, 2020
While US-China relations are at an all-time low, optimism about relations...
IP Networking Course Fall 2020 - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 23, 2020
Today is the last chance to register for the only IP networking course...
Drain Wire For Access Control Reader Tutorial on Sep 23, 2020
An easy-to-miss cabling specification plays a key role in access control, yet...
Norway Council of Ethics Finds Hikvision Human Rights Abuses "Ongoing" on Sep 23, 2020
Hikvision's involvement in "serious human rights abuse" in Xinjiang is...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Sep 23, 2020
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator (updated for Version 3.1). The...
Installation Course Fall 2020 - Save $50 - Last Chance on Sep 22, 2020
This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
SimpliSafe Business Security Launched Examined on Sep 22, 2020
SimpliSafe has launched "SimpliSafe Business Security" that the company...
FLIR CEO: Many New Fever Entrants "Making Claims That The Science Just Won't Support" on Sep 22, 2020
FLIR's CEO joins a growing number calling out risks with fever / screening...
China Bems Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Sep 22, 2020
Guangzhou Bems (brand Benshi) is the manufacturer behind temperature...
Axis Exports To China Police Criticized By Amnesty International on Sep 21, 2020
Axis Communications and other EU surveillance providers are under fire from...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...