Training: PTZ Surveillance Camera Basics

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 12, 2010

PTZ surveillance cameras remain a key tool for surveillance operators, routinely the cornerstone of large security operations that are watching broad areas. It is important to appreciate the key elements in selecting and using PTZ cameras.

Inside the premium section, we provide a 23 minute video that explains and demonstrates the basics of PTZs.

Inside the video screencast, we answer the following questions:

  1. What is the difference between panning, tilting and zooming?
  2. What is the limit in ranges for zooming?
  3. Why is zoom ratios (e.g., 10x, 30x) misleading?
  4. What alternative metric should you use for measuring zoom coverage?
  5. What is the practical difference between a 10x and 40x optical zoom?
  6. What is the difference between a digital and optical zoom?
  7. Which type of zoom is 'truer' and why?
  8. How do PTZs vary in pan range supported?
  9. What is a major limitation in some PTZs pan ranges?
  10. How does pan range limitations impact security monitoring?
  11. What resolutions are available for PTZs?
  12. What limits are common for megapixel PTZs?
  13. What is a preset?
  14. Why are presets valuable?
  15. What is a tour?
  16. When should tours be used?
  17. What is the best applications of PTZ cameras?
  18. What is the value of using keyboard or controllers?
  19. What PTZ protocol issues are common for IP cameras?
  20. How does support vary for IP vs analog PTZs?
  21. What is the tradeoffs when considering megapixel vs PTZs?

This video screencast is designed for those looking at the basics. More advanced users should review our test results on PTZs including:

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