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PTZ Dome Surveillance Camera

PTZ stands for Pan, Tilt, and Zoom.   PTZ dome surveillance cameras differ from a fixed dome camera in that it can move left and right (pan) or up and down (tilt).  These surveillance cameras can also zoom in and out, making it very feature-rich.  These domes require a keyboard and a receiver to operate PTZ functions.  Most PTZ dome surveillance cameras have receivers built in to them, however.  Using the keyboard, PTZ domes can be programmed to view an area and/or can utilize alarm triggers to induce movement by the camera.  A series of motions can be programmed by the user for the surveillance cameras to follow.  For example, PTZ surveillance cameras can be programmed to sweep a parking lot every 10 minutes.  Additionally, triggers such as motion detection or door contacts can alert the camera to reposition itself.

The total zoom capability of PTZ surveillance cameras is actually a combination of digital zoom and optical zoom.  Digital zoom uses electronics to zoom in and out while optical zoom uses lens motion.  The total zoom of a camera can be calculated by multiplying the digital zoom by the optical zoom.

Like fixed domes, PTZ domes often are smoked or otherwise obscured, making it hard for people to tell if they are being watched.  PTZ domes also come in a variety of configurations, including weatherproof and day/night.  Day/night capability means the surveillance cameras are color by day and black and white at night.  They can be mounted almost anywhere using a variety of dome mounts, such as pendant and recessed mounts.  A pendant mount allows the camera to hang from the mount arm as a pendant does on a necklace.  A recessed mount hides the entire camera except for the dome.  Cameras using these mounts usually are mounted in drop or tile ceilings.

PTZ domes surveillance cameras have several advantages over traditional PTZ surveillance cameras.  Domes can efficiently move in all directions, including 360 degree rotation and viewing straight down.  Dome cameras utilize auto-flip to view something directly below it.  Auto-flip allows the surveillance cameras to rotate automatically when something passes directly below it, ensuing that the object or person remains upright on the viewing screen.

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Gerald Urban

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