PTZ Camera

Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ camera technology enhances the operational effectiveness of any CCTV surveillance system. PTZ cameras allow you to pan (left to right), tilt (up and down) and zoom (in our out) to monitor real-time movement/activity within your CCTV video surveillance perimeter.

PTZ Cameras are more expensive than standard fixed lens, fixed position CCTV security cameras but they provide a huge improvement in the quality of your video surveillance capabilities. The ability to remotely move and zoom the PTZ camera's lens via a motorized controller provides a level of sophistication and detail simply unachievable through stand CCTV security cameras.

We even carry auto-tracking PTZ cameras which can be set to tour a given area, detect movement and lock-on and follow a target until it is out of the PTZ camera's boundaries.

PTZ cameras take video surveillance to a higher level. They are especially useful when close-up detail is a critical aspect of your security need.

We offer a wide range of PTZ cameras. We have many sources and only a subset of all out PTZ camera options are available on our website. If you have a specific PTZ camera requirement, please give us a call and we can help you determine which PTZ camera will best suit your needs.

PTZ Camera Overview

1. The Difference between “optical” and “digital” Zoom on PTZ cameras.

When you see a PTZ Camera that has (for instance) a 27X Optical Zoom and a 10X Digital Zoom, they usually are marketed with a ZOOM factor of 270X. While this is nominally true, the fact of the matter is, at 27X optical, you’re getting as much “clarity” as you’re going to get, and as you begin using the digital zoom on your PTZ camera, your picture will start to pixelate and quickly will be reduced to something you can’t even see.

If you need to reach out long distances, make sure you buy a PTZ camera with the highest OPTICAL zoom that you can. Optical means just that, you’ll be using the camera's LENS to achieve the zoom…that means you’re PTZ camera will be giving you the BEST QUALITY image that it can offer you. Using the Digital Zoom on your PTZ camera means that you’re depending on the electronics to digitally enhance the picture, meaning you’re blowing up (distorting) the pixels. As you do that, the quality of your PTZ camera's image becomes grainy and gets bad rather quickly.

2. PTZ Camera Protocols

Today, MOST PTZ Cameras use a common “Pelco” protocol. The Pelco standard means that most PTZ cameras will work with most DVRs. While there are some unusual configurations out there, ask your dealer if the PTZ camera you want uses a Pelco Protocol. If it does, you’re good to go.

3. PTZ Camera Telemetry

In addition to providing power and a video feed (typically a Siamese cable), you will need to run a wire pair to the PTZ camera so that you can control the telemetry….in other words, the Pan, Tilt and Zoom features of the PTZ camera. This wire will run from the PTZ camera, back to the DVR. If you’re using a standalone DVR, there will most likely be an RS485 Connector on the back of it, this is where you’ll plug that wire in. If you’re using a PC Based DVR, you may need an RS485 to RS232 adapter. This changes the native RS485 that the PTZ camera speaks, into the RS232 Communication that the PC needs to see. These adapters are inexpensive (25.00 or less) and you can connect multiple PTZ cameras to it. Each PTZ camera will be set (via a dip switch inside the PTZ camera) to it’s own unique ID (1-2-3 etc) and then you’ll plug those values into the DVR software. That will allow you to control the PTZ camera with your keyboard and/or mouse.

4. PTZ Camera Controllers

If you want a Joystick Controller for your PTZ camera, you will connect your telemetry feeds back to the controller rather than the DVR. This gives you an easy way to control all of the functions of the PTZ camera with a single joystick.

5. PTZ Camera Makes

If you buy a Pelco PTZ camera….plan on spending 2k plus – OR you can buy a “clone” PTZ camera which is what most people do. You’ll find our COP, KT&C and WATCHNET PTZ Cameras to be every bit as good as a Pelco PTZ camera, at about 1/3rd of the price, and with a better warranty. We sell both the Pelco and clone products, but I’d urge you to look at the clone PTZ cameras…you’ll get much more bang for your buck.

6. PTZ Camera Mounts

Most of our PTZ cameras come with both a wall mount and a ceiling mount bracket. There are other options such as a pole mount, corner mount, etc. Let us know if you need something different or unique as we can build them for you.

If you cannot find a PTZ Camera that meets your specs on our website, please give us a call. We have many sources and can find a PTZ camera that will meet your needs.

Call us today about your PTZ Camera needs. We've got time for you!

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