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PTZ Speed Dome Cameras for IP Surveillance

Security cameras are crucial to any type of surveillance system. Camera footage is extremely useful in criminal investigation and evidence taking to prevent activities like illegal poaching. It’s a helpful tool to safeguard your property and business, but the question is “which camera is the best for your surveillance system?”. The most commonly used security cameras are bullet cameras, dome cameras and PTZ cameras. The bullet camera comes with a bullet-shaped housing, a fixed lens, etc., and is ideal for monitoring larger areas. The dome camera is more low-profile and has a tinted casing that prevents intruders from recognizing in which direction the camera is pointing. But sometimes, we don’t want to be limited to a camera’s field of view, and here’s where the PTZ camera comes in. It provides more comprehensive coverage and gives us more freedom to customize our surveillance needs.

What is a PTZ Camera?

The PTZ camera is a kind of security camera that can pan side-to-side, tilt up and down and zoom in and zoom out. It is typically used to provide surveillance for wider areas that require a 180°-360° view and 24/7 continuous monitoring. It can be operated in remote locations via the internet from the control room. Compared with the traditional IP cameras, the PTZ camera has a highly movable lens while the camera stays completely stationary within its housing. It can capture footage at various angles and can zoom in and out to capture more details and cover a larger area. It’s commonly used in business and commercial surveillance systems like office buildings, factories, and some public areas such as schools and hospitals. And it can also be seen in railway stations and intersection traffic monitoring.

The Functions of PTZ Cameras in IP Surveillance

Here, we’ve summarized the basic functions of PTZ cameras in IP surveillance.

Optical Zooming: One of the biggest advantages of using PTZ cameras is their ability to zoom in and zoom out, which can be of great help to capture faraway or small objects like license plates. There are two basic ways of zooming: optical zooming and digital zoom. Optical zoom physically adjusts the focal length of the lens, while digital zoom uses magnification technology to make a subject appear close-up by enlarging pixels in the center of the image. In digital zooming, resolution and image quality will be greatly compromised, while optical zooming will keep image resolution the same no matter how far you zoom in.

Motion Tracking & Auto-focus: Although a great number of IP security cameras support motion tracking functions, the PTZ cameras offer a more powerful and reliable motion-based auto-tracking to target the moving subjects (even a high-speed moving vehicle) automatically and more freely with the Pan-Tilt-Zoom capacities to cover a larger area. Additionally, nearly all PTZ cameras can auto-focus: they can automatically adjust the focus while tilting, panning or zooming until you get a clear image and can make out all necessary details of the scene.

Automatic Tours: The PTZ camera can be configured or preset to patrol or scout pre-determined areas automatically and repeatedly at a certain speed and interval. For instance, the PTZ camera can be configured to pan, tilt, or zoom every one minute to capture different areas of interest within the camera’s overall surveillance area. But since it is programmed to change its facial view and camera angle now and then, scientifically speaking, a PTZ camera cannot guarantee a 360-degree perspective in actual applications——there’s and always will be a dead zone or blind spot, and it’s also the reason why you need to set up multiple security cameras at a time. What’s more, you can also manually control the camera to turn and rotate to provide a constant view of an area if you spot any suspicious activities at the scene.

How to Install the PTZ Camera?

A functioning surveillance system offers full property coverage around the clock, and it’s normally composed of different types of security cameras, a router, a power device like a PoE switch, an Network Video Recorder (NVR), and proper cabling.

Mounting the Camera

There are many ways to mount the PTZ cameras but choose one that works best for your situation. Avoid placing the camera in places where they will face direct sunlight, which will jeopardize the visibility. Fastcabling’s PTZ cameras are all designed for wall-mounting: 1) mark the areas where the wall-mount bracket will be placed and drill some holes accordingly; 2) Attach the bracket to the wall and tighten it with screws; 3) feed the pigtails of the PTZ camera up into the bracket and slide the camera up into place until you feel the camera lock into the bracket; 4) tighten the bolts on the bracket arm to secure the PTZ camera.

Wiring the Cables

After you’ve mounted the PTZ camera to the wall, you should consider how to get the power and network. Since our PTZ cameras are compliant with IEEE802.3 standards, you can send power and data to the cameras simultaneously via the same cables. Follow the procedures here to complete the connection: 1) plug the PoE switch into a power outlet; 2) take a short patch cord, connect one end to one of the uplink ports on the PoE switch and connect the other end to the router; 3) take another cable, connect one end to the other uplink port of the switch and connect the other end to the NVR; 4) take an Ethernet cable, connect one end to one of the PoE ports on the switch and the other end to the pigtail of the PTZ camera. When the PTZ camera starts to activate, then the connection is completed.

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