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What Is A PTZ Camera?

What Is A PTZ Camera?
What Is A PTZ Camera?

Protecting your commercial premises is essential in order to keep your business and its assets secure. Theft and vandalism are two threats faced every day that cause significant inconvenience and financial loss. Therefore, it is of the highest priority to have in place a robust security system to watch over your business at all times, especially when it’s vacant.

One of the most popular ways to protect any business is through a commercial CCTV surveillance system. CCTV acts as both a visual deterrent and a proven means of identifying perpetrators of crimes at your premises. However, for your surveillance system to be an effective security measure, you need to choose the right CCTV camera for the job.

One popular type of CCTV camera used by businesses, and which many of us will have heard of, is the PTZ camera, but what exactly is a PTZ camera? How does it differ from others? And what are its benefits, features and uses? In this article we will explain further…

What is a PTZ Camera?

A PTZ camera is a popular type of surveillance camera often used in large commercial premises and public spaces as part of a broader security system. PTZ stands for pan-tilt-zoom, and as the name suggests, PTZ cameras are characterised by their mechanical design, which enables them to manoeuvre both up and down and to tilt from left to right. As well as being able to manoeuvre to capture footage from a range of positions, PTZ cameras can also zoom in and out as required in order to enhance imagery and footage.

As PTZ cameras usually make up part of a more extensive surveillance setup, the cameras are often operated by security guards using remote controls. This makes the cameras a valuable tool for crime detection and identifying perpetrators in real-time.

Types of PTZ Camera

There is more than one type of PTZ camera which means you can select the option that best suits your business. Here are the main types of PTZ cameras:

PTZ Analogue Camera
Analogue PTZ cameras need to be wired to digital video recording (DVR) devices to capture footage.

PTZ IP Camera
PTZ IP Cameras require a power source and WiFI or Power over Ethernet (PoE) connection to operate. If using WiFi, a strong and reliable connection is needed to prevent any unwanted interruptions in your recordings.

Wireless PTZ Camera
If you require a PTZ camera in an isolated position, you may need a wireless PTZ camera. Wireless PTZ cameras remove the need for cables, which is helpful in hard-to-reach spots.

An example PTZ Camera

Clearway offers a unique CCTV solution in the form of the innovative inView CCTV camera towers. The towers connect to multiple remote sensors enabling them to detect activity over even large scale sites, internally or externally, triggering the tower’s mast-mounted camera pan, zoom, tilt and rotate focus and record events in real-time. They also benefit from solar power CCTV options which means they can be used just about anywhere thanks to not needing the requirement for mains power. They are quick to deploy and easy to move around a site and can be left alone onsite for long periods of time without any need for regular maintenance.

Where are PTZ Cameras Used?

Thanks to their ability to cover a wide area with their tilting and moveable actions, PTZ cameras are often used to watch over large spaces. Areas that would be challenging to monitor with other types of CCTV cameras can be effectively observed using a PTZ camera. Examples of places PTZ cameras are often used include the following:

  • Supermarkets
  • Shopping centres
  • Airports
  • Parks
  • Sports grounds
  • Loading bays
  • Construction sites
  • Secure entry points such as guard stations
  • Exit points in busy areas
  • Churches
  • Museums
  • Galleries
  • Car parks

PTZ Camera Features

PTZ cameras are packed with features making them a versatile addition to any security system. Here are the key features of PTZ cameras:

  • PTZ cameras can be used in both indoor and outdoor settings.
  • Ability to record a range of views, and especially good for large areas.
  • Can zoom in and out of an image to capture footage at different distances.
  • Ability to control the zoom and directional functions remotely.
  • PTZ cameras can usually tilt up to 180 degrees, and some can perform a full 360-degree pan.
  • Motion-tracking can be used to capture footage and track unexpected movements.
  • Pre-set programmes are available to scan specified areas at desired intervals.

Advantages of PTZ Cameras

PTZ cameras are a common sight in both public spaces and commercial buildings. PTZ cameras are so popular due to their high level of functionality and the many different features they offer. As they are packed with features, PTZ cameras form an integral part of many commercial and public security systems. Here are just some advantages to be gained from using PTZ cameras as part of your surveillance measures:

Motion-Activated Tracking
PTZ cameras are able to track movement. This feature is helpful for monitoring buildings and outside spaces when they are closed.

Remotely Controlled
Using a remote control to operate PTZ cameras is a significant advantage. This feature enables security guards or other operatives to hone in on areas of interest to ensure they get the best possible view of any suspicious activity. The PTZ camera can then capture footage without alerting the perpetrator to the fact they are being recorded.

Programmed Scanning
As well as being able to be operated manually with remote controls and using motion-activated tracking, PTZ cameras can also be pre-programmed to scan. Programming the camera to scan a predefined area enables the PTZ camera to adjust its position and capture different footage over a set time. So, if you wanted the camera to scan a 360-degree view of your building every 5 minutes, the programmed scanning would make this possible.

Extensive View
Another great advantage of PTZ cameras is their ability to cover a large area, making them ideal for bigger sites where other camera types may not be able to capture the space entirely. The extra functionality that comes from being able to zoom, tilt and pan while also covering an extensive area is a distinct advantage.

Is a PTZ Camera the right solution for your business security?

Now you know more about PTZ cameras, you may be wondering whether they would make a valuable addition to your business security systems. PTZ cameras are a helpful addition to most security set ups and help to provide greater peace of mind that your premises and assets are protected.

PTZ cameras are ideal for businesses that use a monitoring station or Alarm receiving centre to monitor and respond to threats. This is because PTZ cameras give the operator full coverage and flexibility in terms of the position of the camera (i.e. rotate a full 360 degrees or zoom in) reducing blind spots and providing greater peace of mind. As mentioned, these cameras cover a large area too – so they’re often the number 1 choice for those looking to efficiently and effectively monitor large sites.

Want to find out more about the Clearway NSI Gold alarm receiving centre? Our dedicated team of professionally trained alarm responders man our ARC around the clock, 24/7/365. Find out more here: Alarm receiving centre. 

It is beneficial to get an expert opinion to determine whether PTZ cameras are the right choice for your business. Discussing your business security with a specialist security and monitoring company will help establish your company’s needs and the specific security requirements for your site. If you are looking to increase surveillance at your business premises, contact Clearway today. We have a wealth of experience in securing, protecting and monitoring the assets of countless businesses nationally and we will be happy to discuss your needs and advise on the best surveillance options to secure your assets.

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