A PTZ camera can be rotated, controlled and zoomed - some can even follow a target, called autotracking.
A PTZ camera is one of the most effective tools in the surveillance industry. Most PTZ cameras have an impressive zoom, which ensures you good pictures at great distances, but things like interacting with other cameras, autotracking, image stabilization, patrols, output relays, etc. are also common today.
PTZ stands for Pan, Tilt & Zoom (turn to the side, drive up / down & zoom in and out)
Read much more about the concept at the bottom of the page.
PTZ / Speeddome camera
What is a PTZ Camera?
PTZ stands for Pan Tilt Zoom, which means that the camera can be moved and zoomed due to the built-in motors, so you do not have to physically do anything yourself. Pan = pan, moving the camera from side to side. Tilt = tilt of the camera, up and down. Zoom = optical zoom.
Why use a PTZ surveillance camera?
Rotary and controllable surveillance cameras have a clear advantage when it comes to monitoring large areas, complex scenes and long distances. An ordinary video surveillance camera sits and "looks" in one direction and has an overview, but when there is a need for razor-sharp details at longer distances, to look outside the "fixed" image or follow a specific target, then moving cameras come into their own .
There are especially 3 types of solutions where you use them:
- Manual operation
- Areas with active guard, e.g. for manual patrolling of construction sites, ports, festivals, pedestrian streets etc. and here you can advantageously use "presets" which are fixed positions which are given a number, so you can just call the number, so you want the camera turned to this point.
- Process control, e.g. see the quantity of goods in larger areas, inspection of production lines etc.
- Fixed monitoring, e.g. for monitoring objects at a very long distance, e.g. number plates of 200 meters.
- Automatic control
- Autotracking is probably the most used form of automatic control, here the camera automatically follows the target.
- Pattern where the camera "records" your camera movements and then repeats the same pattern
- Patrol, here a number of "presets" are selected which the PTZ camera alternately runs to. How fast it should move side over there and how long the camera should stay on each preset can often be adjusted. Zoom is also included in your preset.
- Input where the camera performs an action (go to preset, start patrol or pattern) if a button or relay is activated
- Collaboration with conventional video surveillance cameras
- VCA activated, e.g. if an ordinary camera detects "linecross" or "intrusion" it can call on the PTZ camera so that it assists possibly. with atutracking
- Manipulation / sabotage, e.g. if a camera detects attempted manipulation, a PTZ camera may respond to it.
- Input on 3rd camera is activated, e.g. if a camera is connected to an alarm system and receives a signal from a port or similar. can that camera then call on a camera somewhere else on the network.
What is Autotracking?
If you need a new PTZ camera, choose one with autotracking.
Many newer swivel and controllable cameras are equipped with autotracking. This means that the camera can follow a moving object and often zoom in on the target so that you get razor-sharp images. The trigger for autotracking is typically an intelligent analysis in the camera, which assesses a target to be interesting. It could, for example. be a person staying too long in an area, crossing a line, moving out of an approved area and many other scenarios. Once a trigger has enabled target tracking, the camera stays on target as long as it can see it or until the max time specified expires. Then drive the camera into place and wait for its next target.
Example: A company needs to monitor their large parking lot surrounded by fences. If the fence is forced, they will have clear pictures of the perpetrator, but it is too cumbersome to put surveillance on every 30 meters around the fence. The solution was instead to let a single PTZ camera monitor the entire space, however, it did not give very sharp images, if now you jump over the fence 70 away. Therefore, the fence is drawn in as a line on the camera and if the line is crossed, the camera must zoom in completely and follow the person, as well as send a Push message to the guard.
Depending on which manufacturer you have, it can be named differently: Autotracking, auto-tracking, intelligent tracking, target tracking, target tracking, intelligent target tracker and the list goes on, but common to them all is the concept and large sums are used from the manufacturers for development of this concept, for it has become a huge thing in the security market.
Can a PTZ surveillance camera be controlled from a mobile phone?
Yes it can be controlled from mobile phone but also from
- Tablet, both android and iPad
- Computer (PC and Mac)
- From an NVR (hard disk recorder)
- and even from stand alone joystick like this: DS-1600KI
What is Preset
When you have to steer your moving camera around, it is often because you have to see something in a certain place or in an area and time is often important as the alarm has just gone off or the like. Therefore, you can set some fixed positions on the camera that you can easily turn the camera to and they are called presets.
Example: On a construction site, there is a PTZ camera that the guard has access to. There are 4 entrances to the square and 3 important places where expensive tools are available. The guard has then from his mobile turned the surveillance camera over to each point and saved it as a preset. If the alarm then goes off in entrance 2, the guard simply has to call "PRESET 2" on his mobile, then the camera itself moves to the saved position and even zooms in to what it was on when "PRESET 2" was saved.
Virtually all PTZ cameras, from cheap to expensive, have the ability to set a number of Presets. Most cameras have around 100+ presets available. A preset can be activated from mobile, tablet, computer (PC / MAC), automatically, at input, after time management and directly from hard disk recorder.
Installations-PTZ vs. Operations PTZ
Operations PTZ, also called Speeddome, is a camera you use in the operational phase, ie if you need to focus or track on a target, drive patrols etc. Put another way, a camera you can operate on a daily basis.
Installation PTZ is a camera that can be rotated and controlled, but only during the installation phase. Imagine that some cameras have to be mounted in a high mast and then the cameras have to be adjusted to the desired direction, but you want to avoid having to go up to the cameras during the adjustment phase. See it as a regular surveillance camera, where you adjust it to the desired direction from your computer / recorder.
What is a Multisensor speedome?
A camera that has eyes in the neck! When a moving surveillance camera starts searching for a target, it often loses sight and this is a major drawback as there are then unattended areas. This has often been solved by setting up several cameras that cover the same area, but is no longer necessary if you use multisensor PTZ cameras. Hikvision, for example, calls them tandem views. The camera is often still supplied with just a single network cable.
Multisensor means "several lenses" and speeddome means PTZ, so a rotatable and controllable camera with several lenses.
Can PTZ Surveillance Camera Run PoE?
Yes of course. Most people do it too, either PoE or PoE + and that also does not necessarily require separate power, but simply a single network cable from the switch or PoE injector and up to the camera.
The best cable for these types of surveillance cameras is the network cable CAT6 or above.
What is a PT and ePTZ camera?
PT camera is actually the same as a PTZ camera, but just without the optical zoom and hence the name PT, where Z for zoom is omitted. A PT surveillance camera can often still do digital zoom.
ePTZ camera basically means that the camera has electronic PTZ and therefore has no moving parts. It can be used, for example, on fisheye cameras and cameras with very high resolution.