Posts Tagged ‘ pan-tilt-zoom camera ’

Basics of the Colorado Marijuana Law about Video Recording for Retailers and Growers

Written By:
Monday, November 24th, 2014

Colorado was the first state to officially make the retail sale of Marijuana legal for recreational use, possession and retail sale. This was made possible due to Colorado Marijuana Law Amendment 64. Other states and U.S. territories such as Oregon, Washington state, Washington D.C., Alaska, and Guam have recently followed suit, all with varying laws and statutes in place (some like Washington have made possession of the substance legal but not yet the retail sale). 23 other states have legalized marijuana for strictly medical uses, and that number seems to be growing slowly, yet steadily every year.


The times are indeed changing, but with legalization comes inevitable regulation. To ensure that all growers, distributors, and retailers are operating within the boundaries of the new laws this article is a simplified overview of Video Recording and Storage Requirements. For the full list of laws and regulations, please consult the website.

The Colorado Amendment 64 law now requires that any retail establishment involved in retail Marijuana sale has to have 24 hour digital format video recording on the premises, and the footage recorded must be located in a secure location (under lock and key) that can only be accessed by management of the establishment. The typical method for physically securing video recorders are DVR Lock boxes. Lock boxes are tamper proof steel housings that enclose your DVRs and NVRs, and come equipped with a fan to keep the recording devices cool.

All footage recorded on DVRs or NVRs must be stored for a minimum of 40 days According to Colorado Amendment 64, and the video captured by the proprietor’s cameras and Digital Video Recorders / Network Video Recorders must be sufficiently high enough resolution to be able to accurately identify any entering or exiting the premises. While the Colorado law doesn’t specifically state a minimum required resolution for identification purposes, we recommend at least a 720p HD resolution to ensure that you’re capturing enough detail to be able to make accurate identification and detail enhancement possible if necessary. Keep in mind, depending on how close the camera is to the area being filmed, lower resolution cameras may work just as well as high definition camera. But, for a camera that’s farther away, a higher resolution gives you the ability to zoom in on the smallest objects yet still be able to resolve detail.

To give you a general idea of the different levels of detail you can see with different resolution security cameras, compare this analog 700TVL (T.V. Line) pan tilt zoom camera footage:

to a similar camera with a 2 megapixel (or 1080p HD) resolution.

Additionally, higher resolution cameras have an added benefit for growers, because they offer not only the ability to prevent possible theft of their plants, but also allows use those extra pixels for constant monitoring of growth rates, pests, growth abnormalities, providing instant visual assessment, as well as a time lapse view of the health of the crop that can increase overall yields.

Growers can use security cameras to monitor their crops

Figuring out how much hard drive space you need is easy. As an example, if you’re recording footage from one security camera at a resolution of 2 Megapixel (1080p High Resolution) with a frame rate of 30fps, and you’re recording video 24 hours a day for 40 days, you’ll need at least 2.44 terabytes of hard drive space to meet that demand. At 720p (or 1 megapixel) camera filming for the same amount of time will require at least 1.67 TB. To calculate exactly how much disk space you’ll need for any given number of cameras or resolution we have created an Online CCTV Hard Drive Calculator.

As for camera placement, security cameras must be placed showing twenty feet of all entry and exit points (on both sides of those doors). Camera coverage is also required for cash registers (point of sale areas) with enough resolution to make out facial features, as well as any areas where retail cannabis product is on display. Or, in the case of growers, complete video coverage of (including entry / exits) any areas where the plants are growing, being tested, cured, or being stored.

Any installed cameras must be able to film in any lighting conditions, so cameras with infrared (IR) are highly recommended. Cameras with built-in IR capability are able to film with sufficient clarity in total darkness by shining an invisible infrared which allows the camera to “see” in complete darkness. The higher the IR rating, the further they can see into the darkness. For example, in this video, you’ll see a pan tilt-zoom camera equipped with a 250 foot IR distance, first in a fully lit room, and then in complete darkness. You’ll notice that even in a complete absence of light, you’ll still get miniscule details when you’re zoomed in 20 or 30 times.

These recordings must include an on-screen, accurate representation of the date and time embedded in the footage, but not in such a way as to significantly obscure the footage. All surveillance footage must be made readily available to any state or local law enforcement agency that requests it. This must also be in a format that not only be easily accessed for viewing, but also in an encoded format that ensures no tampering or alteration has taken place. The footage can be erased after that time period, and must be if the facility / hardware is to be sold, but cannot be erased if the licensee is facing any criminal or civil investigation.

Additionally, a color photograph must be extractable from any of the footage at any time, so there must be a color printer on the premises, and the security network must be be equipped with a failure notification system that provides the owner advanced notification of any impending network or individual hardware failure or prolonged surveillance interruption.

This is by no means a complete list of the applicable laws regarding video surveillance, but at least this should provide you with a beginner’s guide to what you’ll need as a retailer or grower. If you have any specific questions that aren’t answered by this article or by the the official rules and regulations guide located at, you can speak to someone with full knowledge of the requirements, you can call at 866-573-8878. Were open from 9am to 6pm EST.


How to Configure a PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) Security Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) security cameras have become one of the more popular types of surveillance cameras that are on the market today. There are many different types of security cameras available today which can fill a wide range of the roles that their owners can ask of them. Even with the wide variety of cameras today, PTZ cameras are arguably the most versatile security camera that you can find. This article will go into how to configure a PTZ and what a PTZ can do.

The basic functions of this type of camera enable it to pan horizontally, tilt vertically and zoom in and out to various magnification levels. These cameras allow you to remotely control them from a DVR or over the Internet provided the DVR has been connected to a network. Depending on the particular camera, it can be zoomed in to a maximum zoom level of anywhere between 3x and 40x magnification mechanically. Some of the models of PTZ cameras will even have a digital zoom function built in to them that will extend this range of magnification. These PTZ functions allow the user to be able to log in to your DVR from a computer while away from the location where it is installed and take a look around. This can give you some extra peace of mind while you’re on vacation or just away from the location that you have protected with security cameras. You can also leave the camera pointing at whatever area is considered to be the most likely place for potential trouble.

Different models of these cameras can pretty much offer every feature that you can get in any other security camera in addition to a few that are only available on a PTZ camera. These cameras can include the ability to compensate for every conceivable lighting condition and be mounted to nearly any surface with an array of different types of mounts. Some of the features that are exclusive to PTZ cameras are the ability to automatically track a moving object, have a custom pattern which the camera will continuously follow and they can also be set up to return to a custom home position after a certain amount of inactivity. Many of the newer models of PTZ cameras that are available today will let you modify the settings for these features from the camera’s OSD (On Screen Display). Increasingly you can also adjust the settings for the basic functions of a PTZ camera through the OSD; these settings include the camera’s protocol, address and baud rate.

Installing a PTZ camera is a relatively simple matter that is only slightly more difficult than installing a fixed camera. The majority of these cameras have the standard wires and connectors for power and video transmission that all surveillance cameras have. They also have another pair of wires that either just have bare wire at the end or have a small post connected to the end. The purpose of these wires is to make it possible to establish control of the camera’s movement from the DVR. If you are installing one of these cameras you will need use a pair of wires from a CAT5 cable, 18/2 power wire or another similar cable to extend these wires back to the RS-485 connection at the DVR.

Here at we carry several different models of PTZ cameras in order to suit your requirements and budget. Now we’re going to take a look at how to set up one of more popular models, the PTZ-LX700L12X-E, and access some of the features that this camera has built in to it. The first thing that you should do with any camera is test it by setting up completely while it’s un-mounted and close to the DVR. When you’re doing this it’s a good idea to get the camera to the point where you can see video on the DVR from it. In the case of a PTZ camera you should also get to the point where you can control the camera movement from the DVR.

When you take a PTZ-LX700L12X-E out of the box you’ll notice that there are four wires coming off of it. There is one for power, one for video transmission and two for establishing control of the camera (as shown in image 1).

PTZ Wires
Image 1

The power and BNC video connectors need to be hooked up in the same manner that you would use with most analog security cameras. When you first power a PTZ camera up you should see it automatically rotate though it’s range of motion. The two control wires will need to be extended so that they will reach the RS-485 port in the back of the DVR. If you are connecting this camera to one of our DVRs then the positive control wire will need to be connected to the “A” slot in the RS-485 and the negative control wire will need to be connected to the “B” slot of the same terminal. This type of physical set up is pretty common for the installation of most PTZ cameras.

It’s a good idea to connect the power to the camera last. Once this camera powers up you will see some information about it displayed over the camera’s view at the DVR. There are three parts of this data that will be useful in the initial setup – the protocol that the camera is set for, the camera’s current address, and the baud rate that camera is set up to use (as shown in image 2). This list of information will also tell you two ways that you can access the camera’s OSD through the DVR – by hitting the plus iris button or entering preset 95 from the PTZ control interface of our DVRs. You won’t need to get into the OSD for the initial set up unless you need to change the protocol, baudrate or address of the camera.

PTZ Baud Rate Settings
Image 2

Once you have the camera connected correctly you will need to make some setting changes in the DVR in order to be able to establish control of the PTZ camera. When you are in front of the DVR this is done by right clicking anywhere on the screen, then select Main Menu. Once you’re on the Main Menu, click on the setting button and then the pan/tilt/zoom button.
It’s important to realize that there is a different version of this page for channel that your DVR has. The first thing that you should do on this page is select the channel where your PTZ camera is connected. Next you will need to set the protocol, baudrate or address of the camera. The will be the same information that was provided on the information screen when you first powered the camera up (as shown in image 2). You will not need to make any changes to the data bit, stop bits or parity settings.

At this point you should be able to control the camera from the DVR’s PTZ interface. To get to this interface you will need to start with just your live camera views on screen with no menus being displayed. Then you right click anywhere on the screen and select pan/tilt/zoom from the small menu that appears. This will bring the PTZ control interface, which has eight outward facing arrows that is arranged in a circular pattern. This is also the menu that allows you to access the camera’s OSD.


How to connect a PTZ to access the OSD and PTZ menus, and how to set presets all at the DVR!

Written By:
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014


Right off the bat, when you here PTZ, you automatically think Pan, Tilt, Zoom. Here at we have plenty of options when it comes to PTZs. This month I will be focusing on one of our PTZs in particular, the PTZ-LX700L12X-E. This 700TVL Security Camera is a great choice for a CCTV analog system. The thing I like most about this PTZ cameras is that it is cost-effect as compared to some of the higher end PTZs that we sell. This is a very popular camera and is very easy to install and use. In this article I will explain how to connect a PTZ to a DVR and access the settings.

PTZ Wiring, the do’s and don’ts!

Once the product has been shipped to your address and arrived, you will be eager to get it hooked up and functioning. Let me start off by showing you what you will be dealing with here to make this possible.

  1. The pigtail of the PTZ will look like the picture below.
  2. This pigtail is where you will hook your Siamese Cable. 12V DC power is the first connector in line, then there is the BNC video in the middle (which is where you will run your RG59 cabling from this connector to any video input on the back of your DVR), then the last two little cables on the bottom are the RS-485 connections.

ptz article 8

The RS-485 is the connection you will need from the PTZ to the back of the DVR. This allows you to access the OSD (On Screen Display) at the DVR. This gives you the access to Pan, Tilt, and Zoom functions. My recommendation for wiring this connection would be 18/2. This is a thick enough gauge cable that you could run over 150 feet from the PTZ to the DVR and still access the OSD at the DVR (or from any computer or smart device). Now, the Purple wire with the red tip will be your positive, and the grey wire with the black tip will be your negative.

The connection at the back of the DVR will look like the picture below. Now, the wire used in this picture is a smaller gauge than 18/2, because this DVR is on a test bench where a camera never needs to be farther than 3’ from the DVR. Don’t worry, the connections are the same. At the back of your DVR you will find a terminal connection that looks like this one. As shown in the picture, the “A” is positive, and the “B” is negative.

ptz article 7

The other end of the wire should look like the picture below, just a simple positive and negative wire.

ptz article 6

Again, the cable is not 18/2 but works just the same. Then all that needs to be done is to connect the positive wire of the 18/2 (Thats not already connected to the DVR) to the positive wire of the RS-485 on the PTZ (The Purple Wire with the Red tip). Now do the same thing with the negative connections, black 18/2 wire to Grey RS-485 wire.

The end result should look something like the 2 pictures below. The picture on the right is a much cleaner way of connecting wires using Beanie connectors. This way, the wires will not come apart as they might in the picture on the left.


Before you make any final connections, however, you might want to temporarily connect the wires with alligator clips as shown below for testing purposes to make sure you can access the OSD and PTZ controls.

ptz article 3

At this point, given all the connections are made correctly you should have access to the OSD at the DVR. Before we jump into accessing the OSD let’s make sure you have video and power. 12V power should be plugged into an outlet and the camera. Once this connection is made the camera will begin to pan, tilt, and zoom as a setup feature, making sure the camera can operate properly. The video will be connected through BNC. One end of your Siamese cable to the camera, the other to the DVR video inputs (which ever channel you would like this camera to display, use that video input). Once these are all made we can properly access the OSD from the DVR.


Please make sure you DO NOT have any of the positive and negative wires crossed, this will cause the OSD to not be available and you WILL NOT be able to access it at the DVR.

Now that your PTZ is all wired correctly lets take a look at the OSD!

Once your PTZ is connected to the DVR and you can clearly see that you have video, you can begin to access the OSD. First, right click-main menu-login-settings-PAN/TILT/ZOOM. The screen should look like this (Below).

ptz article 2

Basically what we are doing here is configuring the OSD to be operational on a specific channel. My PTZ, as you can see, is on channel 4 so under channel, I will select 4. Select what ever channel your PTZ is connected to, then make sure the protocol is set to PELCOD, and the address set to whatever address you have the PTZ set to. Same thing with the Baudrate, defaulted it will be 9600, but you are just setting these settings to match the settings of the camera, then click save. Once this is done you can right click out of the menus, and double click the channel your PTZ is on. Once you have it blown up, right click, and click PAN/TILT/ZOOM. That should bring up the controller for the PTZ. Go ahead and click the right arrow, left arrow, etc. Make sure the zoom in and out are working. Just play around for a second and make sure the camera is functioning properly. Change the speed that the camera will pan. As long as all those things work you are ready to configure your presets.


To access the OSD of this camera and not the PTZ controller, on this menu you will click the plus sign next to IRIS, and that should bring up the OSD. The arrows are still used to guide through the menus and the plus sign becomes your enter button.

A preset is a spot that the PTZ will stop at when configured and once you get a couple of presets configured you can change between different images of your choice. So you can have this camera on the corner of your home, set preset 1 to look to the right side of the house, zoomed in to the driveway. Then set preset 2 to look to the left side of your house, zoomed out to have a wide shot. If you click on preset 1 the PTZ will automatically pan to the right side of the house, zoomed into the driveway giving you the exact same image you preset before. Now, click preset 2, and the PTZ will pan to the left side of the house at a wide angle as you previously set. This way you don’t have to do all the zooming or tilting to get that perfect image. Do it one time, make it a preset, and let the camera do the rest of the work.

How to set the presets…

Get to the desired shot, click set and another menu should pop up, next click preset and put the number you wish that shot to be as a preset and click set. Right click out of the second menu and do the same thing for each of you presets making them a different number. Once the presets are set to your liking, the way to access them (Call Presets) is as follows: click page switch until you see this screen (As shown below), change the number to the preset you wish to view and click preset. That should be it, it should go straight to the preset you configured earlier, and so on so forth for the rest of your presets. That’s it, that is how easy it is to set up the presets on this particular model PTZ.

ptz article

I Hope this article was of help to you and for additional how-to articles or videos, visit our CCTV learning center.


What is the Best Security Camera Type?

Written By:
Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Security cameras are made and used on a daily bases for a number of reasons. They can be used anywhere from gas stations to military personnel vehicles. Specifically, security cameras are used to view or record any person, place, or thing without being there in person. There are many different types and styles of cameras and they are all used in different settings. Learning about the different types of security cameras available can give you the upper hand when needed for a specific task or location. Deciding which is the best security camera for you will depend on your situation.

Types of Security Cameras

There are many types of security cameras in the security world today. They all fall into a few main categories including Analog, Network IP, and HD-CVI. Even though it might not sound like much, each side offers many different options and capabilities which can affect camera quality and your wallet. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type and overall get the job done.

Styles of Cameras

Cameras come in many different shapes and sizes and, depending on where you place them, can give you better understanding of what you will need.

Box Cameras

Box Security Camera

Box cameras are very customizable and offer many different lenses sizes. You can either have them mounted as is, or you can put them in a case called a box, hence the name. Box cameras are also capable of being mounted in extreme weather because some of their boxes have heaters and blowers built in. Most box cameras are dual voltage and have the capability to support alarms and strobes connected. Downsides are they are bulky and require more experience for setup and installation.

Bullet Cameras

800 TVL Bullet Security Camera

Bullets are also a great choice because they have a greater viewing angle then most other cameras. Bullets can also have larger range of different lenses built in so you can zoom in close on a shot or have a wider viewing angle. The downside is they are not vandal proof and very noticeable.

Dome Cameras

700 TVL Vandal Dome Security Camera

The most common camera used is the dome. Domes can be used in many different locations and can take a punch or two. Domes have wide viewing angles for greater versatility. They are also more discreet, when it comes to hiding your cameras, then when it comes to a bullet. They also can take a couple of hits because of their robust structure.

PTZ Cameras

700 TVL PTZ Security Camera

PTZ’s can give you more coverage than a conventional pre-positioned camera. P-T-Z (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras are made for you to control the camera so you can see what’s happening even if it moves out of your typical viewing area. Some PTZ’s can also track objects or people so you don’t have to move it yourself. Downside is that they can be pricy and bulky.

Hidden Cameras

Hidden Mirror Camera

Hidden cameras are made for you to know where they are but no other person will. They can be just about anything: clocks, smoke alarms, phones, mirrors, and many others. Disadvantages are they typically can’t see or record very well at night.

License Plate Cameras

License Plate Camera

License plate cameras are built to capture a license plate at high speeds. These cameras are used for highways, entry gates, business, parking garages, and more. They offer advanced technologies that allow you to focus on the license plate in light or dark conditions.

Thermal Cameras

Thermal Imaging Camera

Thermal cameras are designed to allow you to see heat signatures in any light setting. This can help you distinguish differences between important and non-important things during motion detection. For example, branches blowing in the wind and a person walking. This may not give you the best image but it can trigger a separate camera to record the situation.

What is IR?

There are also other features that security cameras can have. Cameras can be indoor or outdoor depending on the camera. Some Cameras come with IR (Infrared Technology) that allows them to see at night. IR is a light that is invisible to us but is like a flood light for a camera. IR is usually built onto the cameras themselves, but can also be placed separately for cameras that have the capability to view the light. The style of camera can give you your best view and placement for anywhere they need to be.

What is IR

Analog Cameras

Analog cameras have been used for many years and have done its job very well. The way that it works is by the type of signal it sends to its receiving end. It sends an analog picture of what it views and it can either record by tape or by digitally converting it to record on a hard drive. The old way would be the tape, but now we have either a computer with a card that receives the signal and converts it to be stored on a hard drive or a standalone unit called a DVR that does the same thing, just without using your personal computer. DVRs are recommended because they can be hidden and require half the power (electrical and processor). Over the years, analog cameras have improved profusely by increasing frame rates and quality of resolution. The latest technology for analog cameras is called HD-CVI. This is an analog technology that allows you to record 720p-1080p resolution.

Network IP Cameras

Network IP Cameras are starting to become more affordable and practical for business and homes. Network IP cameras are cameras that function all on their own and don’t require any standalone unit to view and in some cases record. The way they work is through your new or existing network and is given a IP address (Internet Protocol) which allows it to be accessed through your network for viewing or recording purposes. Network IP cameras can be controlled also through a web based program for initial set-up and to adjust and control the camera like a PTZ. IP cameras are also usually in High Definition. They can record as high as 10MP (Megapixels) in resolution but average cameras record at 1080p. Megapixel is one million pixels in a specific image, so 2MP is similar to 1080p. The downside to using Network IP cameras is they run through your network to be viewed and/or recorded. This is a problem if you have a lot of cameras or if your cameras are recording in 1080p or above. Networks can only handle a set amount of send and receive data before bogging down. This drag increases when you are recording and viewing simultaneously inside your network and out. There are ways to overcome this problem by either getting a managed switch or making separate networks for specific amounts of cameras.


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.


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.


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