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What is a PTZ Camera?

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PTZ Camera Overview PTZ stands for Pan, Tilt, and Zoom. These are gold-standard cameras for video surveillance. Unlike less expensive static cameras, there’s no need to limit your view to whatever the camera lens happens to be pointing at. Think someone may be lurking in the shadows, just out of sight of your fixed-focus bullet camera? With a PTZ camera, it’s easy to take charge and instruct the camera to move the camera from left to right (pan), or up and down (tilt), or even to zoom in for a close-up that can provide significantly greater detail. Only PTZ cameras provide you this level of mechanical control, even after the camera is firmly mounted in position. When housed in a hardened, vandalism-resistant dome, and mounted on an indoor ceiling or outdoor overhang, it’s possible to implement discreet, active surveillance of any suspicious activity by questionable individuals. Track a suspicious character’s movements, or zoom in to see what she just put in her purse, for example.

Real-Time Control

Only PTZ cameras allow you this degree of real-time control, taking your security capabilities to a whole new level. Other options include IP wireless transmission of your feed, so you can not only view imagery remotely, you can even control the camera remotely. Alter your field of view from a distant location, at any time of the day or night- some models even offer 360 degree views. All you’ll need is your internet-connected smartphone or other digital device, and the appropriate, free software. Some models come with a handy remote control.

Optical and Digital Zoom

Options on PTZ cameras are numerous. While all PTZ cameras offer optical zoom capability, some also provide digital zoom. Optical zoom is best, but digital zoom can further enhance a given image for even greater resolution of distant objects. Other options include the ability to select pre-programmed patterns of surveillance, so your camera automatically, and repeatedly, scans all areas within its considerable range, without any further instructions from you.

Weatherproof Options

Purchase a PTZ camera with a weather-proof housing for a workhorse camera that can take the elements. Set it up to watch over exterior entrances, exits, and other sensitive areas of your home or business. Motion detection is another optional feature. With these models, the camera is capable of detecting motion within its field of view. Such motion may signal the presence of unauthorized individuals, so rest assured that your camera will take notice and track the source of the movement. Some cameras also offer infrared (IR) capability, and high definition (HD) image resolution.

Night Vision Available

IR or night vision was once cutting-edge military technology, designed to allow soldiers to see the enemy even on the darkest of nights. Now this technology is available to consumers who prefer not to pay for expensive flood lights at night. No light? No problem. IR PTZ cameras allow you to see clearly—albeit in black and white—at night. And of course, we’re all familiar with the unprecedented detail and life-like clarity of high definition video. It’s the new standard that leaves the grainy images of yesteryear in the proverbial dust.

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