PTZ Cameras are Not Necessarily Better than Fixed Cameras

Generally speaking if you’re installing a new security system that involves cameras then you’re going to have a choice between putting up fixed cameras, or PTZ cameras. Assuming you know nothing about these cameras, you might be inclined to pick the latter option simply because it sounds more versatile – but that isn’t always the best decision.

While it is true that a PTZ camera has the advantage of being able to pan, tilt and zoom and can thus maneuver itself to focus in on particular targets, the fact of the matter is that these cameras generally cost more.

Not only does that increased cost apply to the cost of purchasing the camera, but the cost of installation is also generally higher because it requires an interface that allows the user to manipulate its movement.

Although the technology used in these cameras is ever improving, the fact of the matter is that a PTZ camera is still best when operated manually. After all – you’re going to need security personnel to be monitoring the video feeds anyway, and so providing that person with the ability to use the pan, tilt, and zoom functions to focus on any suspicious activity is the main advantage of this type of camera.

One of the common misconceptions that people have about pan, tilt and zoom cameras is that they assume that just because it has the ability to cover a wider area that means that they needn’t install additional cameras to cover those views.

The reason why this is a mistake is the fact that despite a PTZ camera’s ability to move around and scan over a wider vision area, it still can only point at a single place at a single time. So what if while it is pointing in one direction an intruder is passing by the opposite direction?

More often than not the assumption that PTZ cameras will allow you to install less cameras than if you opted for fixed cameras can lead to gaping holes in your security. When you factor in the additional cost of such cameras as well, you may very well find that your security would be tighter if you purchased more fixed cameras for the same cost as it took to purchase a few PTZ cameras.

All said and done, your choice of the type of camera that you install should be based on your needs. Bear in mind that just because a camera has additional capabilities it does not necessarily mean that it is the best option – and you should evaluate how all the cameras you’re installing link up to provide a good coverage of access points into the building that you’re attempting to secure.

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