Types of PTZ Cameras

Last Updated: June 20, 2022
In the market for a PTZ camera? Learn about the different types of PTZ cameras, including 4k PTZ cameras, and their uses.
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If you’re just getting started with live streaming or video production, you may be wondering: What is a PTZ camera? Used for video conferencing, live streaming and even security purposes, PTZ cameras have mechanical parts that allow them to pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ).

In addition, these cameras can be controlled remotely, which is a big part of their appeal.

If you’re thinking about investing in a PTZ camera, it’s important to understand the types that are available.

Knowing your options will help you choose the best PTZ camera for your needs and budget.

PTZ Cameras with HDMI

Many PTZ cameras have HDMI connectivity, which is convenient. In addition, most consumer electronics (televisions, monitors, capture cards, etc.) have HDMI ports, which makes it even easier to use these cameras.

HDMI can support resolutions up to 4K, but there are limitations. For example, after 50 feet, the signal starts to degrade.

PTZ cameras with HDMI outputs are ideal for video conferencing, but they can also be used for classroom instruction and even live streaming.

4K PTZ Camera

If you want to film in ultra-high definition, you’ll need a 4K PTZ camera. These cameras are capable of live streaming in 4K, and they typically support the NDI-HX video standard.

Many also allow you to capture live RTMP streaming and stream on multiple outputs simultaneously.

For crystal clear videos, 4K is the best choice. You can find 4K variations of many of the types of PTZ cameras on this list.


PTZ Cameras with USB

Plug-and-play PTZ cameras have USB connectivity, which makes it easy to connect to virtually any device.

As a result, they work with most video production programs and live streaming platforms.

With a USB-enabled camera, the Universal Video Codec, or UVC, protocol allows you to control the camera. Unfortunately, UVC doesn’t work with live streaming or video production software.

While easy and convenient, USB also has other limitations.

For example, USB ports have very limited bandwidth, so they’re not ideal for high-definition video.

PTZOptics with IP Connectivity

PTZ cameras that don’t have HDMI connectivity usually have IP connectivity. They can use WiFi or Power over Ethernet (PoE).

  • PoE cameras offer a longer connection distance. In addition to low-latency IP video, an ethernet cord will also power your camera (using a PoE switch) and give you greater camera control.
  • WiFi cameras connect wirelessly, but you’ll need a strong WiFi connection to prevent lag and preserve video quality. WiFi PTZ cameras are ideal for situations where you cannot run wires, such as in an outdoor space.

Many PTZ cameras have a new video standard called NDI, which allows for easy IP video connectivity with live streaming solutions like TriCaster, MimoLive and more.

This is the ideal type of PTZ camera for live streaming. Ideally, you want a model that’s capable of streaming in 4K for a crystal-clear picture.

PTZ Analog

PTZ cameras also come in analog format, or CCTV. As you may have guessed, these cameras use analog video signals and connect to DVRs (digital video recorders) using coaxial cables.

Analog PTZ cameras are usually used in security because they’re incapable of transmitting data on their own and must be connected to a DVR to capture the footage.

cctv camera

Outdoor PTZ Camera

An outdoor PTZ camera is built to withstand the elements, so it can handle extreme temperatures, rain, snow – you name it.

These cameras usually have protective casings. It’s important to pay attention to the IP rating, as this indicates the level of protection against the elements.

Outdoor PTZ cameras are typically used for security purposes, but they’re also used when filming sports events, wildlife and other outdoor filming.

Some people place broadcast-quality cameras inside of camera enclosures to protect them during outdoor use.

But it’s important to remember that these cameras weren’t designed for this purpose, and you’ll need a reliable, durable and quality enclosure to give your camera the protection it needs.

Final Thoughts

When buying a PTZ camera, you’ll find that you have many options. Most importantly, you’ll need to determine which type of connectivity you prefer.

You’ll also need to consider whether the resolution will meet your quality standards. Finally, if you’re live streaming, the camera will need to be capable of connecting to your preferred live streaming solution.

If you enjoyed this article on PTZ cameras you’ll probably enjoy our extensive technology section which covers everything new in the world of technology.

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Written by Geoffrey Poole

Hey Geoffrey here, I’ve been into technology and the internet ever since I can remember. I enjoy writing articles about emerging technology, social media and business. But sometimes feel inspired to cover other topics too. My aim is to make complex topics digestible and easy for anyone to understand.