What does PTZ stand for?

PTZ stands for pan, tilt, zoom. You might have also heard of ePTZ which stands for electronic, pan, tilt, zoom.

PTZ cameras have the capability to move up and down and swivel left to right. On the other hand, ePTZ cameras can physically move but have software that allows you to zoom and gives a pan / tilt effect.

Features of PTZ cameras

  • Motion Tracking: Some PTZ cameras will follow the motion. This reduces the risk of blind spots and allows you to maximise the evidence in the event of criminal activity on your property.
  • Field of View (FOV): By being able to pan, tilt and zoom your security cameras you improve the field of view of cameras and cover more of your property with fewer cameras. 
  • Time-based scanning: Many PTZ security cameras can be used with a timer, and will rotate based on your time specifications.
  • Remote camera control: The majority of PTZ cameras can be accessed remotely allowing you to change the position of your cameras from the comfort of your own home.

Disadvantages of PTZ cameras

  • Shorter lifespan: Mechanical parts wear down over time and eventually break entirely.  Because PTZ cameras require moving parts they often have a shorter life span than a regular security camera.
  • Expense: PTZ has much-sought features and is more expensive to manufacture bringing a higher upfront to the consumer. That being said, the greater field of view with PTX cameras might reduce the number of security cameras you need.
  • Blind Spots: Despite PTZ cameras being designed to improve the field of view, when set to auto or home, they are well known for pointing in the wrong direction.
  • Latency: Because PTZ cameras operate over a network, latency is common when remotely adjusting the angle of your cameras.

Types of PTZ cameras

  • POE PTZ Cameras: POE stands for power over ethernet, these cameras are powered through the ethernet cable, the same cable that transfers both video and audio. 
  • Analog PTZ cameras: These PTZ cameras transfer analog signals through a cable rather than over a network.
  • IP PTZ cameras: Most PTZ cameras are internet protocol cameras and transfer video and audio to a cellular or other wireless networks.
  • Outdoor PTZ cameras: As the name suggests, outdoor PTZ cameras are for outdoor installations. These cameras are designed to withstand the outside elements.

Where should you use PTZ cameras

Pan, tilt, and zoom cameras are especially useful in open, wide spaces because of their improved field of view. PTZ cameras are commonplace at grocery stores, museums, churches and construction sites.