Point, tilt and zoom (PTZ) cameras are incredibly advanced pieces of security technology. They offer a high degree of versatility in that they can be controlled manually by an operator and can also be programmed to perform regular movements such as sweeping a large field of view repeatedly – but all these advancements come at a price, both monetarily and otherwise. While most people simply assume that PTZ cameras are a better choice than fixed cameras for surveillance systems, here are some things to consider before investing in one.


PTZ Cameras Are Best When Manned at All Times


PTZ cameras tend to be pointed exactly where you don’t need them to be whenever they’re needed, simply by the virtue of their ability to provide so much coverage. If you decide to use a PTZ camera instead of several fixed cameras, it may save you both time and money initially, especially if you program it to sweep in a pattern automatically, but it won’t be able to stop if it spots movement or something out of order in the same way that a fixed camera with motion detection capabilities would be able to. However, if your camera will be manned by security personnel from a control room at all times, then the full versatility of a PTZ camera can easily eclipse that of even the most sophisticated network of fixed cameras.


PTZ Cameras Work Well with Other Security Systems


In the event that you have more than just one security system in place, your PTZ camera is often a better option than fixed cameras. With alarm systems, access control, and video coverage working together, setting your PTZ to engage whenever another sensor is tripped means you can cover a large area with just one camera. Of course, if something occurs on your property without tripping one of these sensors, even the most sophisticated PTZ camera might not catch it if it doesn’t happen to be pointed in the right direction at the time – or if it’s only set to be activated when one of your secondary security sensors is tripped.


PTZ Cameras Can Be Prohibitively Expensive


A single PTZ camera can cost many times more than even several of the most sophisticated fixed cameras. If cost is an issue, you may get equal coverage – if not better – with three or four fixed cameras set to have overlapping fields of view instead of just one PTZ camera that could cover the same area in theory. Additionally, all the moving parts of a PTZ camera are subject to much more wear and tear than a fixed camera, which means that you’ll have to contend with burnt-out or sluggish motors several years down the line. The maintenance costs of a PTZ camera just add to its expense, so a system incorporating multiple fixed cameras could be much more cost-effective over time.