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:

Related Reports on PTZs

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...
May 2018 Camera Course on Mar 16, 2018
Our next course starts on May 8th. Register now for the Spring 2018 Camera Course This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based...
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,...
Hikvision 4K IR PTZ Tested (DS-2DF8836IV-AELW) on Nov 10, 2017
The IR PTZ trend continues, now with 4K resolution, with Hikvision releasing its DS-2DF8836IVAEL-W camera, a 4K 1/1.9" PTZ model specifying 200m IR...
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 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...
IP Camera Specification / RFP Guide 2017 on Aug 14, 2017
RFPs are hard. Do them 'right' and it takes a lot of knowledge and time. Do them 'wrong' and you can be (a) unwittingly locked into a specific...
IR Surveillance Guide on Jul 31, 2017
Infrared (IR) has become an increasing core component to video surveillance systems. In particular, the expansion of integrated IR cameras that...
PTZ Usage Declines 2017 - Statistics on Jul 03, 2017
PTZ usage is declining, now at ~6% of all cameras integrator use, down from ~10% of cameras used in 2014, according to new IPVM...
Panoramic Camera Usage Rising 2017 on May 08, 2017
Panoramic camera usage (including fisheye and multi-imagers) continue to rise rapidly. However, the race to the bottom is hindering even stronger...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Top 4 Biggest Problems Selling Access Control on Mar 23, 2018
We received 150+ responses from integrators when we asked them "What is the biggest problem you face when selling electronic access control?...
US / China Tariffs Impact on Video Surveillance on Mar 23, 2018
On March 22, 2018, the US issued a Presidential Memorandum on the Actions by the United States Related to the Section 301 Investigation, with 3...
Final Day - Save $50 - April 2018 IP Networking Course on Mar 22, 2018
Today, March 22nd is the last day to save $50. Register now and save. NEW - 2 sessions per class, 'day' and 'night' to give you double the chance...
Favorite Access Control Credentials 2018 on Mar 22, 2018
In this 2018 access integrator statistics result, which credential type holds the favored spot to unlock access doors? More than 150 integrators...
ISC West Bans Booth Babes on Mar 22, 2018
Booth babes, goodbye. Technically, ISC West banned them 2 years ago with a 'staffing attire' requirement but it looks like ISC West is going to...
Network Racks For Surveillance Guide on Mar 21, 2018
In this guide, we look at network rack infrastructure, one of the fundamentals of IP video surveillance. Inside, we cover: What is a rack unit...
Security Robot Sales Struggle on Mar 21, 2018
2 year ago, PSA Security CEO Bill Bozeman called security robots one of “the biggest game changers” in decades for security integrators. Just over...
Dahua Global Launch LeChange on Mar 20, 2018
Dahua is getting into the consumer video surveillance market globally, with "LeChange", an offering long available inside of China is now being...
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...

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