PTZ Camera Guide 2016

Author: 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

***/****/**** ******* ****** ******** ***** ** **** ************ *******, ********** in ***** ******** **********. ******* ** **** ** ** ********* to ********** *** ******** *** *** ******** ** ********* *** using *** *******.

** **** ***** ** ***** *** ****** ** *** ******* and ***** *********, *********:

  • ***/****/**** ***** *****
  • **** ****** *********
  • ***** ***** ** **** ******* ** **** ******
  • *-**** ********
  • ********* *** *********** *** ***** **********/*************
  • **** ****** ********* (**********, **** ****, ***********)
  • ********** ** ****
  • *** **** ******
  • ****** ****** ********* ***
  • ******* *** *****
  • ****** ************

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

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

**** ******* * ****** **** * ********* ********* ***** ****** it ** **** ** ******** **********. ***** ********* *** ******** to **:

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

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

**** **** *** ****** ** ***** ******* *** ** ***** varies. **** ****** *** ** ******* ** ***° *******, **** may **** ***** **********, *** **** ****** *** **** **** only ****** ************* ** ********* **** ********. ***** ***** ****** on *** **** ** *** (******** *****) *** ********** ************/*****.

*-****

**** **** ******* * ******* ****** "*-****" ***** ************* ******* the ****** ***° **** *** ******** ** ********* * ******* directly ******* **. **** ** * **** ********* ******* ****** than ****** ***** ** *** ******* *-****, ** *** **** must ******** ****** *** ****** ** ****** *** ******* ** they **** *****.

**** ******* ***** *** ****** ******** ** ** ** ****** down ** *° *** ******, ***** **** *** **** **** control ** *******.

Zoom *****

************* **** ***** ********* **** ***** ***** ******* **** *****, e.g., ***, ***, ***, ***. **** ***** ** ****** ****** by ******** *** ******'* ******* ***** ****** ** *** *******, such **:

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

*******, ***** **** **** ***** ** ** ********* ** *** zoom *********** ****** **** *** *******. ***** ****** **** ********* wide/telephoto ***** *******, *** ******* **** *** **** ***** *** have **** ********* ****** ** ****.

*** *******, ******* ** *** ***** ** *** *** **** cameras, ** *** *** **** *** *** * ********* ***** of **** ~**% ******** (*** **** ****** ***) **** *** other *** ** ******* **** *****. *** *** ******* ** also ****, **** *** ****** ** *** ***** ****** * wider ******** ***** ** ****, ***** *** ** **** ****** in **** ************.

***** **** ****** ** ***** ****** **** ********* **** *** choose ***** ** ***** ******** ***** ** ********.

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

**** *** ****** ******* ******* **** ** ******** ** *******, even ** **** ***** *********** *** *** ** ****** * deceptive "***** ****" ******, **** ** **** ******:

*******, ******* **** ** * "****" ****, *** ********* ********** details, **** ********* ****** ******** *** ***** ***** ****** *********** be ******* ** ***** ** ***** ** **** ** ********* above.

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

Resolutions *********

**** *** *** ********* ** ******* ** ***********, ** **** as ******** **********. ************, **** ****** *** ********* ******* **** not *********, ****** ** *** **** *** *****, ***** **** with *** **** **** ****** ******* *********, **** ****** ******* *********.

**** **** ** ** *** *********** ********** ** *** ************, due ** ***** ** **** ***** ****** ********* ******, ******** later ** **** ******.

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

***** *** ***** ******* ***** ** *** ****** ** *** today, **** ********* ********* *** **********, ********** ** **** ***** and ******** *****:

*********

*** **** ****** **** ** *** ** *** ** *** speeddome, ***** ******** *** ******/**** *** ***/**** ********* ** * dome **** ******, ********* *-**" ** ********. ********** **** ******* advantages:

  • ***-********:*** ** ***** ************, ********** ********* ******* **** **** ** mount **** *********** ******* (*****), *** *** ** ******* ** a ******* ** *********. ****, *******, ******** *******, *** ***** mounts *** *** ******* *********.
  • ********** ** *********:******* ************* *** ***** ********** **** ********** ** (******** ******* below), ***** ******* ******** ***** ********** ** *** *****, ** speeddomes ************ **** **** ********** *****-**********, **** ** **** ******.
  • **** *** ******:********** *** *** ******* ******* ******* *********. ****** **** ***º per ****** *** *** ********, *** **** ***º *** ****** is *** ******* **. **** ****** ******** ** ******-****** ********, and ******* ******** ***** **** ********* ******* *******, ***** * fraction ** * ******.
  • ***/**** *****:********** ********* ******* **** ***º *** *****, ******* *****, *** 180º **** ***** **** *-****, ** ***** ******** ** ******** as **** **** ******* *** ******. **** ******* **** ******** tilt ****** **º, **** **** ******** ** ** **º ** up-tilt, ***** *** *******. **-**** ********** ******** * ***/**** **********.
  • **** **** *******:******** ** ***/**** *********** *******, ******** *****, ********** ** *** have ** **** ****** ** ****** *****, ***** *** ***** vibration ** ***/**** *******.

Mini ***

**** *** ***** *** * ********** ****** ***********, **** ******* manufacturers *** ******** ****** (*** ************ **** *** ******* *******). ***** ******* **** **** *** *** **********:

  • *** ****:**** **** *** **** **** ********* **** **** **** **********, often ~$*** *** ** ****, ******** ** $***-**** *** * speeddome.
  • ***** ****:***** ****** *** **** ******* **** ******* **********, ***** ** the **** ** * ******* ***** **** ****** (*-*" ********) and **** ******* ** ******.

*******, ***** *** ************* ** **** **** ** ****:

  • ******* ****:**** **** *** ********* ******* ** *** ******* **** ****** such ** **, ****** **** *** ** ***** ** ** ~10x. ******** ** ***** ****, ***** *** ** ****, **** is **** ***.
  • ******* *********** *****:**** **** ********* ** *** ******* **** ***° *******, *** e-flip ***** ** **********.
  • **** ***/**** *****:******* ***** ** * **** *** ** ********* **** ***, 30-90 ******* *** ******, * ******** ** ********* ******* *****.

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

***/**** *********** *** *** ****** **** ** ******* ****** ******, available ***** ** ********** *** **********. ***** ******* ************ ********* of ******** *********** ***** **** ******** **********: *** ********** ******, a ******** ******, *** **** ****.

*******, **** ************* *** ***** ***-******** ** *********** *******, **** as ******* ***/*********** ******.

*** *** ********* ** ***/**** *********** ** ***********. ***** *** choose **** ******** ******* *** **** ******, ******* ** ***** limited ** ********* ********* *******. **** ** ****** **** ********* long-range **** ****** *** ********, ** ****** **** **** **** are *********.

*********** **** ********** *** **** ****** **** ******** ************ **** desired ** * *** ******. *******, ********** **** ********** ** have *** ******* ****** **, ******** **** ***** ********.

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

  • *** *****:*********** ***** **** *** ***/**** ******, *** ** *** ****** and ******* ** ******* ******* ** ****. ********** ****** ***** lead ** ********* ********* *** "******" ** ******* ******* *** stopped ******, ****** ******** **** *********.
  • **** *******:*** ** ***** ********* *******, *********** ******* ** ******* ***** may ****** **** ********* *** ** ****, ***** ** ******* or *** ******* **** ***** **********.

***/**** *********** ******* *** * ******* ***** *** ******* ****** see ****** **** ********** *********** **** *******.

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

*** ****** ******* ** *** ********** ** *** ******** ** integrated **, ********** ****** ***** ** *********** ****. **** ************* now ***** ********** ** **********, **** *******,*****,*********,**********.

********** ** ********** **** ************ ***-** ****** ** *** ***** at *** ******, **** ************ ** ***' *** ******. *** example, *** ********** ***** ***** * ***** ** *** ****** a ***-** ***** ** ~***' ********, **** *** ******* ******* displayed ** *** ** *****. *** ***-** *** ******** **** noise, ** ****** *****.

*******, ******* ** **** (*** *** ***) ** ****** *** issues ******** ******** ** ***** **** ** **, ****** ***** for * ******* ** ****, ***** ** **** *****:

PTZ **** ******

**** ******** *** ****** ***, ***** ****** ** ***** **** PTZ *** ***** **** ***** ****** ****** ** *** ******* images *** **** ** ******* ***** ****** ******,********* ** * ********* ** ********* ******* *********(*** **** ***** **** ** **** ****** *** **** ***********). ******* ** ****, **** *********** ****** *** ***** *** cameras, ***** ****** ****** * ~**% ** ****** ********* ** delivered *******.

*** *******, *** ***** ***** ***** * ******* ** ~***' using * ***** ******, ** ** ** *** *****. *******, details ********* *** ******* ** ~**-** ***, **** **** **** of ******.

**** **** ** **** ** *** ****** ********* ****** **** these *******. *** *******, *** *** *** ***** ******** * better ***** **** *** ***** ***** ** *** **** *****, despite *** **** ***** ****** ***.

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

** ***** ** **** *** ********* ******, ***** ******* ******* the ****** ** ****** ************* *********, ****** "*******", ***** *** be **** ** ******* **** *** ****** ** * ******** position. *** *******, *** **** ***** ***** ******* ******* ******** a ******* ***, ******* ****** ** ********** ***** * ***.

** ******** ** *******, **** ******* ***** (**** ****** ********) which **** *** ****** ************* ** * ****** **** ******** (typically ***** *-** *******). ***** ** ******* ******* **** ***** call ******* ** * ******** ***** (****** * ****** ****).

*******, ** *** ****, ***** **** ********* ******* ** ********* an ******** ******** ****** *** ******. **** ***** ** **** has ********* ****** *** ** *****, ******, ** ** ******* more ********* ** **** ***** ******* ** ****** ** *** camera ** ******, *** *** ******** *** ******** ********* *** use ********-**** ***** ****** *********, ***** *** ** **** ** ****** *****.

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

*** *** **** ****, *** ***** ** ******** ** ***** of ***** ********* ******* (*** *** **********), *** ***** *** ***** ************ ** ***** **** *** frequently ****.

  • **** ********** **********:** ******* **** ************ *********, **** *** ***** ***** ****, as **** ***** *** **** ** **** ******* ******* *** follow ******** **** ** ******** **** ***** *******. **** ********** is **** ***** **** ** ******, ****** ******** ********, **** as ********, ******** **************, **** ************, ***., ****** **** ***** retailers **** ****** **** *** *********.
  • ***** *****:** **** ***** *****,**** ** ****** ******** *** ***** ********* **** ******* ** fixed ********* ********** ** *** ****** ******* **** *** ******* ** **** range. *** *******, *** ***** ***** ******** ** *** *** cameras ******* ** *** ** ****, **** **** *** ****** resolution *** ********** ******* ** *** ******* ** **** *****:

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.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Installation Course - Last Chance on Mar 14, 2019
This is the last chance to register for the March Installation course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
Pelco GFC 4K Dome Camera Tested (IMP831-1ERS) on Mar 12, 2019
Pelco has finally released their first 4K IP camera, after years of competitors' releases. Is this move too late? Or is their new GFC Professional...
Camera Pendant Mounting Guide on Mar 07, 2019
It is often necessary to suspend a camera from a high open ceiling. This is commonplace in retail, warehouse, industrial sites, hangars, and other...
Cable Firestopping Installation Guide on Mar 06, 2019
Installing cables through firewalls is a critical installation issue. Failing to properly seal a penetration can cause smoke and fire to spread,...
Police Department Surveillance Manager Interview on Feb 28, 2019
Former Memphis PD Surveillance Manager, Lt. Joseph Patty retired months ago, but kept busy during his decades on the force, working to build up...
Mobotix Move OEM Camera Line Tested on Feb 25, 2019
Mobotix has long been criticized for not offering integrated IR, mechanical cut filters, varifocal lenses, optical zoom and other features that...
Outdoor Camera Mounting Hardware Guide on Feb 21, 2019
Mounting cameras outdoors can be challenging, requiring understanding different types of equipment and methods. In this guide, we teach this...
Security Installation Tools Guide - 22 Tools Listed on Feb 19, 2019
In this guide, we cover 22 tools that security installers frequently use. This is one part of our upcoming Video Surveillance...
Axis IR Multi Imager Camera Tested (P3717-PLE) on Feb 18, 2019
Axis has released their first IR multi imager, the P3717-PLE, a repositionable model listing 360° IR illumination and flexible positioning,...
Hanwha Smaller Multi Imager Tested (PNM-9000VQ) on Feb 14, 2019
Hanwha's first repositionable multi imager PNM-9081VQ tested well, but was huge, over 12" wide and weighing in at over 10 pounds. Now, they have...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President on Mar 18, 2019
Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman who...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
Hikvision Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 18, 2019
Hikvision favorability results declined significantly in IPVM's 2019 study of 200+ integrators. While in 2017 Hikvision's favorability was...
ONVIF Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 15, 2019
In the past decade, ONVIF has grown from a reaction to the outside Cisco-lead PSIA challenge, to being the de facto video surveillance standard...
Hanwha Aerospace / Techwin Korean Tax Evasion Raid on Mar 15, 2019
A Hanwha group subsidiary was raided as part of a tax evasion probe. While a Korean news media report listed the raided entity as 'Hanwha...
Installation Course - Last Chance on Mar 14, 2019
This is the last chance to register for the March Installation course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....
US Drafting Separate Rule for NDAA Dahua/Hikvision 'Blacklist' on Mar 14, 2019
The most debated provision of the NDAA ban of Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei, et al. is the so-called 'blacklist' provision which would ban any company...
OpenALPR Acquired By Mysterious Novume on Mar 13, 2019
Startup OpenALPR has been acquired by Novume, a company virtually unknown in the industry. While there are many LPR providers (see our directory),...
Milestone Machine Learning Camera Auto-Setting Examined on Mar 13, 2019
Milestone wants to improve image quality using Machine Learning to solve the problem of "a camera doesn't know what it is being used for",...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact