The Benefits Of A Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Camera

We sometimes recommend the use of a PTZ camera to our clients to give them some additional versatility over their static counterparts. A static camera, no matter how good, will only give you the same image all the time.

If you look at the camera views below, you will see that there are 6 images. The first is from my PTZ and the other 5 are from static cameras. The 5 static cameras are perfect for my needs as I want to see specific access entry or vantage points for general observation and I want to monitor them permanently.

A Selection Of Camera Views At Sentinel House

A Selection Of Camera Views At Sentinel House

However the PTZ provides me with the flexibility to monitor a much wider variety of activities that might occur at the front of the property, as the following images show.

What is the number plate number?

What is the number plate number?

In this one I have simply spun (Panned) the PTZ round to give me a view down the road, and I see something of interest, that white van looks a bit suspicious, I wonder what the number plate is!

How a PTZ can give more options

How a PTZ can give more options

And as you can see by Zooming the image, I can quite clearly see and read the number plate. A word of warning though, it is important that the Zoom feature is an optical one. Like a telescope the lenses perform the zoom function, by changing the focal length of the camera they increase the magnification. A Digital zoom will simply increase the existing image size and although this can give the impression of a zoom function, especially with high definition images, it is simply increasing the size of each pixel.

A Client of ours made excellent use of the PTZ camera a few weeks back. They were away from their home and just happened to be looking a their cameras, checking the status of their home. They saw a couple of youths who were showing an unhealthy interest in their home and the homes of their neighbours. So they used the PTZ facilities to observe the activities of these youths, who were certainly acting suspiciously. The images were also being recorded directly onto their DVR hard drive, so they had a permanent record of the who these youths were and their actions.  With our assistance a DVD of the recorded footage was made and passed onto the Police.

The key to this blog is that each CCTV system should be designed to meet the specific needs of the client. A PTZ will not always be the most appropriate answer, but if it can enhance the capability of the surveillance that the client wants, then we are able to advise and design a system that satisfies the most stringent requirements.