Posts Tagged ‘ pan-tilt-zoom camera’



PTZ Camera Security

Written By:
Sunday, October 16th, 2011

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/.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Network PTZ Dome Surveillance Camera

Written By:
Monday, April 25th, 2011

If you are looking for an Internet based camera you should consider one of Security Camera King’s Network PTZ Dome Surveillance Cameras.  These cameras are very versatile with lots of additional features than just Pan-Tilt-Zoom.  In the following article, we’ll take a look at how these cameras work and give an overview on each of these types of cameras that Security Camera King has to offer.

First let’s talk a bit about the camera.  There are IP or Internet Protocol ready dome cameras that may or may not have the ability to pan, tilt, and zoom.  Like wise there are dome cameras that are not IP ready that do have the ability to pan, tilt, zoom.  The dome cameras we discuss in this article are IP ready AND have the ability to pan, tilt, and zoom.  Often times they may be referred to as Network PTZ Dome Surveillance Cameras.

IP cameras are regular digital video cameras with extra electronic circuitry built inside.  The extra circuitry is what is needed to support the camera on the Internet; in other words these cameras do not directly plug into a Digital Video Recorder or DVR.  What they do connect to is a broadband internet connection, usually through CAT5 Ethernet cable.

The camera contains its own Web server technology and once a few pieces of information are provided to the camera’s setup program, the camera begins streaming video via the Internet to either a Network server or to your PC.  You may see an overwhelming amount of 3 and 4 letter initials mentioned under network protocol.  Don’t let these bother you, this is merely a list of the different network protocols that the camera is compatible with.

One acronym that we should mention is PoE.  If the camera is PoE capable (and most, but not all IP cameras usually are) that means the camera can obtain the power it needs to operate with the Ethernet connection, hence the term PoE stands for “Power Over Ethernet.”  This means it is not necessary for you to install a power cable for your camera.

While PTZ camera don’t have to be Internet ready cameras, many IP ready cameras do have “Digital PTZ.”  PTZ or Pan-Tilt- Zoom are movement terms somewhat unique to the photograph and film industry.  Pan means the camera can move horizontally.  Tilt means the camera can move up and down.  Zoom is a function that narrows the FOV and enlarges the appearance of individual objects.

Security Camera King offers four different network PTZ dome surveillance cameras.  The following list those cameras and provides a short summary of their features.

Product# VDIP-D1L312 Indoor IP Network Dome Camera

  • Dual CODEC (H.264 and MJPEG)
  • Digital PTZ
  • Poe
  • Two-way audio communication
  • 3G mobile A/V surveillance
  • Multi profile streaming
  • 520TVL resolution

 

Product# VVIP-D1L312 Vandal Resistant IP Network Dome Camera

This camera is basically the same camera as above with the exception that this is constructed in a special way as to make it vandal resistant.

  • Dual CODEC (H.264 and MJPEG)
  • Digital PTZ
  • Poe
  • Two-way audio communication
  • 3G mobile A/V surveillance
  • Multi profile streaming
  • 520TVL resolution

 

Product# VDIP-2L316 2 Megapixel Infrared IP Network Dome Camera

This camera is basically the same as the first camera listed above with one exception.  This camera is capable of producing images at a full resolution of 1,600 x 1,200 pixels, also known as UXGA.

  • Dual CODEC (H.264 and MJPEG)
  • Digital PTZ
  • Poe
  • Two-way audio communication
  • 3G mobile A/V surveillance
  • Multi profile streaming
  • 2 Megapixel resolution

 

Product# VVIP-2L316  2 Megapixel Infrared Vandal Resistant IP Network Dome Camera

This camera is basically the same as the one above that is listed just before this entry (Product# VDIP-2L316) with the major difference being that this camera is constructed in a special design to make it vandal resistant.

  • Dual CODEC (H.264 and MJPEG)
  • Digital PTZ
  • Poe
  • Two-way audio communication
  • 3G mobile A/V surveillance
  • Multi profile streaming
  • 2 megapixel resolution

If you have any additional questions about a Network PTZ Dome Surveillance Camera that have not been answered by this article or the Web pages that these cameras are on, contact one of our security specialists today.   There are two ways to contact them, on-line Live Chat or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

PTZ-TOOL Programming Module

Written By:
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

The PTZ-TOOL programming module makes programming PTZ cameras a cinch.  Security Camera King offers this for sale for customers because there are many people that have more than 1 PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) camera in their system.  In fact, this tool is only required if you use more than 1 PTZ camera in your system, but it can be used to control a standalone PTZ camera as well.

PTZ cameras make for a powerful addition to a digital video security system.  Often times, these cameras can take the place of two or more stationary cameras making them very cost effective as well.  These cameras usually come with factory pre-settings and it may be useful to “tweak” them a bit; that’s where the PTZ-TOOL programming module comes in.

Before we talk about the PTZ-TOOL programming module itself, let’s take a look at what makes up a digital video system and exactly what a PTZ camera can do in that system.

A basic digital video security and surveillance system normally consists of three components; one or more digital video cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR, and one or more monitors (a monitor is needed for the initial setup of the system, but once the system is up and running a monitor is actually an optional choice).

The cameras’ primary function is to “capture” video images created by light that reflects off objects in the cameras’ field of view.  The lens focuses this light onto a small sensor that ranges in size from 1/4″ up to about 1/2″ square.  When light strikes its individual units (pixels for example) the sensor produces an electrical impulse that can be measured.  These electrical impulses are used to create a video image that can be displayed on an electronic monitor and/or compiled into a file that can be stored on the DVR’s hard disk drive.

There are many different ways to increase or decrease the field of view for the camera.  One way is to use a varifocal lens.  These lenses however are often only manually operated and can only enlarge or reduce the field of view.  Another way to increase security coverage is to use more than one camera in such a manner that their fields of view overlap just a little.

The third way to increase coverage is to use a PTZ camera. A PTZ camera can normally pan 360 degrees or a full circle and have a vertical movement of at least 180 degrees.  In other words, picture an object that looks like a sphere cut in-half.  Now imagine the camera lens in that half-sphere; generally this is the area that the camera lens can move/rotate through in order to capture video images.

PTZ cameras have become very popular, due to their extreme versatility and advanced electronically controlled features.  However, there are so many different features and functions that it may seem somewhat overwhelming to the do-it-yourselfer.  The PTZ-TOOL Programming Module helps to make the task of changing PTZ settings easy.

 

The PTZ-TOOL Programming Module is designed for use with Security Camera King’s PTZ-LX550L3X Pan/Tilt/Zoom Camera and our PT-LX540 Pan/Tilt Camera.  If you use more than one PTZ-LX550L3X or PT-LX540 Pan/Tilt Camera you will need the PTZ-TOOL programming module.  One of the reasons that this tool is required when using more than one PTZ or PT camera is so the address of the camera can be changed from the setting of “1.”

The DVR has virtual “ports” that are assigned to the cameras to keep them separate for the DVR’s sake.  These virtual ports or addresses can range from 0-255.  Programming the camera to a different address allows the DVR or other device to control that camera only.  It’s the equivalent of a first name when talking about someone in a particular family.  If you used the surname only, no one would know who you were talking to; mother, father or siblings.  However, when you use a first name, then the individual knows exactly who you are talking to (addressing).

With the Programming Module for PTZ-LX550L3X and PT-LX540, you can assign different addresses (first names) to the cameras so that the DVR can keep track of them.

If you have any additional questions about the Programming Module for PTZ-LX550L3X and PT-LX540 contact one of our security experts today either by on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 1-866-573-8878  Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Motion Activated Security Camera

Written By:
Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

There are many purposes for using a motion activated security camera.  Portably, the most popular reason for using the motion activated security camera is to conserve electronic resources.  On the other hand, these cameras may be used for an entirely different reason; to provide alerts like an alarm system when something is there.

There are also several different types of motion activated security cameras.  In this article, we’ll explore how these cameras work, describe some of the more popular types, and talk about what how they may be used.

Many of today’s digital video camera security systems use wireless cameras.  This option provides great versatility in camera mounting types and locations.  A wireless camera does not require the usual RG-59 or similar type of cable to be run directly from the camera to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR and or monitor.

Instead, the camera has a built in radio transmitter and an on-board antenna.  It converts its video data into a radio signal and transmits it via the transmitter/antenna combination to a corresponding receiver or a DVR that contains a built in receiver.  As noted above, this can provide great freedom in cameral location and mounting choices.

However, the camera still needs a power supply.  So a power supply wire needs to be run from either a nearby outlet plug (if there is one) or from a power distribution box.  Since the wireless camera has gained great strides in achieving freedom from the wireless transmission, the power supply wire could possibly continue to restrict that freedom.  So, enter the new battery operated wireless, digital video security camera.

However, these cameras can place a hefty drain on batteries requiring frequent replacement or recharging.  So what is the solution to unnecessary battery drain?  A motion activated security camera.  These cameras contain an on-board motion detector that turns the camera on when it detects motion.  Since the motion detector itself consumes a fraction of the total power that a recording camera does, battery power is greatly conserved and battery life or recharging periods are greatly lengthened.

This same sort of principle is also used on hidden, disguised, or covert cameras.   Due to the nature of these cameras, they are often subjected to running on battery power.  Once again, a 12 hour recording of an empty room can not only be wasteful, but use tremendous amounts of battery life.  Make the device with a built in motion detector and the camera is now a motion activated security camera.

The types of cameras we’ve mentioned so far work by using a Passive InfraRed (PIR) motion detector.  The PIR has the ability to sample the average heat signature in the field of view of which it is aimed (usually the same field of view as the camera).  When an object with a different temperature than the surroundings, such as a body, a vehicle, etc. passes in front of the PIR it can detect this sudden change in the heat signature of the field of view.

The PIR interprets the heat signature change as an object in motion.  The PIR is connected to an electronic relay such that when motion is detected, the PIR tell the relay to turn the switch on to the camera and start recording.  The camera either stops when the PIR no longer detects motion or at a designated time period when after motion ceases.

There is another type of motion activated security camera that doesn’t work on the basis of Passive InfraRed activity.  This camera is usually left in an “on” state where it is constantly capturing the visual image in its field of view.  Instead of using a PIR, programming analyzes the video image that is being captured to determine if there is a change in any of the basic patters of the current field of view.

When a change is detected, the camera is activated such that although it is already on and capturing video images the camera now initiates processing and recording.  In other words on this type of system, the camera is on an capturing but not necessarily transmitting its video data to a monitor or DVR.  However, when the on-board programming detects a change in the otherwise motionless scenery, the camera initiates full recording and transmitting of its video signals.

This particular type of motion activated security camera is often used as a Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera that can track and follow objects based on the motion that it detects.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

PTZ Security Cameras

Written By:
Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ security cameras can really extend the field of view of an otherwise stationary camera.  There are a variety of PTZ security cameras that can perform many functions in addition to PTZ perhaps making this camera the most versatile in application of all the different types of security cameras.   Security Camera King has a large selection of only the highest quality PTZ security cameras in the business.

A horizontal movement of a camera’s field of view (or direction of aim) is called a “Pan.”  Likewise, vertical movement of a camera’s field of view is called “Tilt.”  Using combinations of telephoto lens moving in and out to enlarge or shrink the field of view or magnify specific objects within the field of view is called “Zooming.”  A PTZ camera of course, can do all three of these actions.

Several years ago, a PTZ security camera was incredibly expensive; especially if it was the older analog type camera.  These cameras were often bullet or box type cameras that were mounted on electric motor operated pedestals to produce the movements necessary to pan or tilt.  They were often awkward, bulky, and bumpy in their movement.

Today’s modern digital video PTZ cameras are very light weight and move with incredible precision and fluidity.  They are much cheaper than their analog ancestors thanks to modern technological improvements in both electronic circuitry and mechanical design.  The majority of PTZ cameras on the market today are the dome type camera.  They can be mounted on the ceiling or on the wall using horizontal mounting brackets.

Regardless of whether the camera is mounted on the ceiling or the wall, the camera itself is oriented in a position that always puts the camera dome opposite the floor or ground.  In this position, the camera has the advantage of being able to pan around in a circle of 360 degrees and tilt in a full semi-sphere of 180 degrees or more.  If possible a ceiling mount or side mount on a pole is more desirable than a wall mount because providing there are no additional objects blocking the view of the camera, it has a greater total viewing area (not being blocked by a wall).

PTZ security cameras are controlled by any a variety of different methods.  They can be controlled using a PTZ controller board which has a joystick and push buttons or they can often be controlled by keyboard buttons alone. Each of Security Camera King’s featured DVR’s the Elite-Mini, Elite, and Ultimate series also offer’s a unique mouse PTZ control.  The camera movements can be controlled by clicking the camera’s view on the monitor screen and pointing and dragging the mouse.  The PTZ camera will follow the mouse’s movement.

In addition, PTZ security cameras can also be purchased with optional auto-tracking features.  Auto-tracking is a special function that enables the camera to detect motion, follow the object, and zoom in on the object automatically to provide the most advantageous view.  This feature is often used by security departments responsible for large retail parking lots or industrial employee parking lots to maintain security coverage in these areas.  When cars or individuals enter or move around the parking lot the camera can keep track of them every inch of the way.

Another common feature of PTZ security cameras is area specific preset patrol.  In this mode the camera is preset to patrol a specified area.  It can be set to track and follow in that specified area or when triggered can be set to pan, tilt, and/or zoom to a pre-determined specified area.

When choosing your PTZ security camera, make sure you purchase the appropriate type for the environment; cameras are either rated for use indoors or outdoors or both.  Next you’ll need to determine if you need the optional auto-tracking feature.

You will also need to determine the magnitude of the zoom function that you desire.  Generally, the greater the magnification of the zoom function, the more expensive the camera due to the precision lenses and electronic circuitry that are required to support it.  Lastly, you will need to determine what type of mount you’ll need for the camera.

Checkout Security Camera King’s full line of PTZ security cameras by clicking on  “Pan Tilt Security Cameras“.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail