PTZ Camera Security

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Do you need a pan, tilt and zoom camera to complete your security system. Pan, tilt and zoom cameras can be an important security tool in a variety of situations. They can be extremely useful in the home, office and in retail establishments. It is important to consider the various options before ultimately making a final decision.

PTZ Cameras in the Home

For the homeowner, these cameras, also known as PTZ cameras, offer the ability to see different parts of a room without ever being detected. This is a great advantage for homeowners who have employees working in their homes. By simply moving a joystick at a remote location, perhaps your office, it is possible to observe all that is going on in a room. The pan will allow you to move the camera back and forth to get the widest available view. The tilt will allow you to move the camera up and down to again get the widest possible view. Once you find action that interests you, then you can use the zoom to get in close to that action.

PTZ Cameras in the Office

The PTZ camera has great applications in the office. The camera can be used to check up on employees to make sure they are not stealing company time. The camera can be used to focus on one particular area of a room or the whole room. Just like at home, once something has your attention, it is easy to zoom into the details of the scene. In the office, they can be very useful in allowing authorized employees and visitors into the building. They can also be useful in monitoring obscure locations with in the office building.

PTZ Cameras in Retail Establishments

The PTZ camera has great applications in retail establishments. These cameras are the best for apprehending evidence against potential shoplifters, as the action never needs to leave the scene. It is easy to pan and tilt under obstacles that may be in the way of traditional security cameras. Images recorded from PTZ cameras make powerful court evidence.

PTZ Camera Features

PTZ cameras come with a variety of features. Each camera will offer different feature packages so understanding what to look for will allow you to evaluate which features are the most important to you.

Optical Connections

Some PTZ cameras rely on a sliding metal-to-metal contact to move the cameras. This can cause problems with the contact wearing out. It can also cause dust to build up in the sliding piece and the camera will not pan, tilt and zoom correctly. Even when working correctly, the sliding piece can be very noisy alerting thieves to the fact that they are being photographed.

Other PTZ cameras rely on an optical connection. This is an advantage because there are no moving parts. Instead, the camera uses a light beam to transfer the photo to video. This allows the camera to operate silently. It also greatly enhances the reliability of the PTZ camera.

Cost of Monitoring

PTZ cameras can be left on all the time. However, as with any security camera, the camera is only as good as the monitoring of the camera. Monitoring the camera 24 hours a day, 7 days a week can be very expensive. Considering the cost of monitoring before purchasing a PTZ camera will help you avoid surprises after you have installed the camera.

Automatic Motion Detection

These PTZ cameras can be set so that the camera turns on when motion is detected in a given area. It can also be set to sound an alarm when motion is detected for a certain length of time. The camera can also be set to turn on a video recorder when certain criteria occur. Other systems will sound an alert, so that the person monitoring the person will know that they need to pay attention. Those purchasing PTZ cameras need to evaluate how the camera will be used and if motion is detected, then what they want the system to do.

Dynamic Range

PTZ cameras have varying dynamic ranges. Look for a camera that has a dynamic range in the range of 128 times that of a normal digital camera. The dynamic range is especially important when lighting is not at its best. Many security cameras have trouble adjusting to harsh lighting conditions. Other security cameras have trouble adjusting to bright light coming into a room from the outside. Still other security system cameras have trouble adjusting to low light conditions.

The very best PTZ camera will capture the lightest parts of a scene in one image and simultaneously capture the darkest parts of a scene in another image. The two images are then instantly combined into a single photo. These cameras are expensive, so the cost of such a camera must be considered.

Digital Contrast Correction

Another great feature on some PTZ cameras is automatic digital contrast correction. The advantage of advanced digital contrast correction is that it automatically provides great definition and balance in the gray scale. Great gray color is the hardest for any black and white security camera to capture and does much to add to the crispness of the overall image.
Auto Image Stabilization

Another feature offered on many PTZ cameras is auto image stabilization. Since this camera is meant to be tilted, panned and zoomed, it is often hard to get a fluid image that easily follows the motion. With auto image stabilization, the person monitoring the system will see an image that is easy to follow. This auto image stabilization is especially important if the camera will be installed in areas where the wind will blow the camera or the camera will be subject to vibrations.

Scene Change Detection Alarm

Some PTZ cameras are equipped with a scene change detection alarm. If the cameras view becomes blocked, then the camera sounds an alarm. Remember that this may be something accidently getting in the camera view. It can also be someone trying to disable the image from the camera.

Auto Tracking

A great feature on some PTZ cameras is auto tracking. When cameras are equipped with auto tracking, the camera follows the action. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that most of the time the camera will choose the right object to follow. Occasionally, however, the camera will choose the wrong item and important details can be lost from the scene.

Adaptive Digital Noise Reduction

When a moving object is being tracked, noise will often appear in the photo. This noise means that the image is not as sharp as the viewer had hoped for. Adaptive digital noise reduction will help to minimize the noise in an image, assuring a crisp image. Noise is particularly a problem when the camera is zoomed in a lot.

Bandwidth

Security cameras rely on bandwidth. All security cameras must use this bandwidth to transfer the images to the recorder. Security cameras have various amounts of bandwidth. The higher the bandwidth the better the camera will operate. However, bandwidth can also be expensive. This is an individual decision that must be carefully weighed.

Zoom

As the name implies pan, tilt and zoom cameras allow users to zoom into a scene. Look for a camera that has an optical zoom number close to 30. Look for a PTZ camera that has an electronic zoom close to 10 times. The more zoom the camera has, the higher the price. Often, when too much zoom is used, the clarity of the image suffers. For some users, the answer lies in buying a PTZ camera with a lower zoom and to install more cameras. Combined the optical zoom and the electronic zoom should offer magnification over 200.

Low Light Sensitivity

Some PTZ cameras are equipped with a better ability to take images in low light than others. Consider where you will place your camera to determine if this is an important option for you. If you will be taking photos in a dark room, then this is an important option. If you plan to use the camera to protect your property outside this may also be an important option.

Digital Flip

Panning the camera to directly under the camera proves difficult for some models. To eliminate this problem look for a camera that has digital flip. The camera will then take the image upside down, but automatically flip the photo before the monitor sees it.

Image Masking

In some areas, it is important to take images only on your property. If this is an issue, look for a PTZ camera that offers image masking. This allows parts of the image that you do not have the right to photograph to be blocked from view.

PTZ cameras come with many options. Weigh each component carefully to decide what the best option is for your home, office or retail establishment. Each added feature may increase the value of evidence that can be obtained from the PTZ camera. Making informed decisions based on knowledge will allow you to provide the best solution to enhance your security system. Contact us for more information at http://www.securitycameraking.com/.

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