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

***/****/**** ******* ****** ******** parts ** **** ************ systems, ********** ** ***** security **********. ******* ** this ** ** ********* to ********** *** ******** the *** ******** ** selecting *** ***** *** cameras.

** **** ***** ** cover *** ****** ** PTZ ******* *** ***** selection, *********:

  • ***/****/**** ***** *****
  • **** ****** *********
  • ***** ***** ** **** instead ** **** ******
  • *-**** ********
  • ********* *** *********** *** their **********/*************
  • **** ****** ********* (**********, mini ****, ***********)
  • ********** ** ****
  • *** **** ******
  • ****** ****** ********* ***
  • ******* *** *****
  • ****** ************

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

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

*** *******, ******* ** the ***** ** *** 18x **** *******, ** can *** **** *** has * ********* ***** of **** ~**% ******** (and **** ****** ***) than *** ***** *** to ******* **** *****. But *** ******* ** also ****, **** *** camera ** *** ***** having * ***** ******** angle ** ****, ***** may ** **** ****** in **** ************.

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

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

**** *** ****** ******* digital **** ** ******** to *******, **** ** some ***** *********** *** two ** ****** * deceptive "***** ****" ******, such ** **** ******:

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

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

Resolutions *********

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

**** **** ** ** not *********** ********** ** PTZ ************, *** ** flaws ** **** ***** length ********* ******, ******** later ** **** ******.

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

***** *** ***** ******* types ** *** ****** in *** *****, **** different ********* *** **********, overviewed ** **** ***** and ******** *****:

*********

*** **** ****** **** 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 ******. **** ******* have ******** **** ****** 90º, **** **** ******** up ** **º ** up-tilt, ***** *** *******. Up-tilt ********** ******** * pan/tilt **********.
  • **** **** *******:******** ** ***/**** *********** 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 *** ********, ** lenses **** **** **** are *********.

*********** **** ********** *** only ****** **** ******** illuminators **** ******* ** a *** ******. *******, speeddomes **** ********** ** have *** ******* ****** up, ******** **** ***** infrared.

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

********** ** ********** **** outperformed ***-** ****** ** our ***** ** *** ranges, **** ************ ** 450' *** ******. *** example, *** ********** ***** shows * ***** ** PTZ ****** * ***-** model ** ~***' ********, with *** ******* ******* displayed ** *** ** model. *** ***-** *** displays **** *****, ** usable *****.

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

PTZ **** ******

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

*** *******, *** ***** 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 ** ******* ******* most ***** **** ******* in * ******** ***** (called * ****** ****).

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

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

Facial Recognition Systems Fail Simple Liveness Detection Test on May 17, 2019
Facial recognition is being widely promoted as a solution to physical access control but we were able to simply spoof 3 systems because they had no...
Maglock Selection Guide on May 16, 2019
One of the most misunderstood yet valuable pieces of electrified hardware is the maglock. Few locks are stronger, but myths and confusion surround...
Panasonic 32MP Multi Imager Camera Tested (WV-X8570N) on May 16, 2019
Panasonic has released their first multi imager models including the 32MP (4x4K) WV-X8570N, claiming "Extreme image quality for evidence capturing...
Hikvision DeepinView Camera Analytics Tested on May 08, 2019
Hikvision is expanding its 'deep learning' offerings with a new camera series called 'DeepinView' claiming false alarm reduction and improved...
Dahua ePoE Long Distance UTP / Coax Tested on May 03, 2019
Dahua's Enhanced PoE (ePoE) line is claiming extended video and power transmission over 600m without repeaters, with devices interchangeable via...
Registration Closed - Spring 2019 IP Networking Course on May 02, 2019
Register now for the Spring 2019 IP Networking course here - Closed. Last chance now.   This is the only networking course designed specifically...
Verkada Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested on May 02, 2019
Verkada is arguably the most ambitious video surveillance startup in many years. The company is developing their own cameras, their own VMS, their...
Subnetting for Video Surveillance on Apr 30, 2019
This guide explains when subnetting is used on security networks, and how it works. We explain how to add or remove IP addresses to your range,...
The HIVIDEO $31 Face Detection DVR Tested on Apr 25, 2019
Face detection in a $31 DVR? That is what "HIVIDEO" (not to be confused with Hikvision, even if the company intends to do that) was promoting at...
Locking Down Network Connections Guide on Apr 23, 2019
Accidents and inside attacks are risks when network connections are not locked down. Security and video surveillance systems should be protected...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Facial Recognition Systems Fail Simple Liveness Detection Test on May 17, 2019
Facial recognition is being widely promoted as a solution to physical access control but we were able to simply spoof 3 systems because they had no...
Inside Look Into Scam Market Research on May 17, 2019
Scam market research has exploded over the last few years becoming the most commonly cited 'statistics' for most industries, despite there clearly...
Maglock Selection Guide on May 16, 2019
One of the most misunderstood yet valuable pieces of electrified hardware is the maglock. Few locks are stronger, but myths and confusion surround...
Panasonic 32MP Multi Imager Camera Tested (WV-X8570N) on May 16, 2019
Panasonic has released their first multi imager models including the 32MP (4x4K) WV-X8570N, claiming "Extreme image quality for evidence capturing...
Trump Signs 'Huawei Ban' - Executive Order Targeting Foreign Adversary Technology on May 16, 2019
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order targeting technology provided by 'foreign adversaries', in what is widely being called a...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
Milestone XProtect 2019 R1 Tested on May 15, 2019
For the past few years, Milestone has released quarterly software updates XProtect VMS platform. What is new and how much impact do the updates...
San Francisco Face Recognition Ban And Surveillance Regulation Details Examined on May 14, 2019
San Francisco passed the legislation 8-1 today. While the face recognition 'ban' has already received significant attention over the past few...
Security Fail: ASISNYC Auto Emails Passwords In Plain Text on May 14, 2019
ASIS NYC automatically emails a user with the password the user just entered, in plain text, when one registers for the site / event, as the...
Hikvision VP On Muslim Oppression on May 14, 2019
Hikvision has won tens of millions of dollars, at least, in direct contracts with the Chinese government that oppresses Muslims, including a forced...

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