Oct 29, 2012 11:54 AM, By Bennett Liles
Just as with their view of the world, PTZ cameras seem to have gotten a piece of the action from every direction with each new wave in technology. Even back in the days when coax, power, and separate control lines had to be strung to their mounts, the usefulness of these gadgets was never questioned. High-definition video and improvements in optics have brought amazing clarity, while IP transmission and compression advances have enabled the higher data rates to be carried over a worldwide span. Now, Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) in its increasingly capable iterations has applied more juice for more features such as two-way audio, multiple event triggers, and IP notifications from and to anywhere. They have brought economical video production to churches, security to homes, and videoconferencing to businesses and schools. The models we’ve gathered here are typical of the usefulness in application and creativity in design that the world of PTZ cameras has enjoyed.
Designed by Acti Corporation with a 1/4in. interlaced scan CCD, two-way audio, and video motion detection, the ACM-8511 IP PTZ camera can provide video with lighting down to 0.07 lux at F1.8. Equipped with a 10X optical zoom and selectable MPEG-4 SP or MJPEG compression, the camera does 25/30fps at full D1 resolution and incorporates auto iris, auto focus, and a horizontal viewing angle from 48 degrees to 5 degrees with a signal to noise ratio of more than 44dB. It can pan from 20 to 90 degrees per second and tilt from 20 to 70 degrees per second. Class 3 PoE powers the ACM-8511 and features IP address filtering, HTTPS encryption, and password protected user levels, along with an alarm trigger and alarm response.
The P5544 PTZ dome network camera from Axis Communications is IP51-rated for protection against dust and dripping water and provides a 360 panoramic view with 18X optical zoom for monitoring large indoor areas. Equipped with Automatic Gatekeeper, the camera can detect motion in a predefined area and respond by moving to a preset position. With an optional multi-connector cable, the unit can provide two-way audio, audio detection, and input/output for external devices. A single camera uses two separate lenses. The zoom lens provides normal PTZ coverage, but the camera can also tilt straight down and shoot through a wide-angle converter for a 360-degree panorama. A mouse click on any spot in the panoramic view zooms the camera to that spot for a close-up.
Featuring Intelligent Video Analysis (IVA), the Bosch AutoDome 800 series HD PTZ camera can detect and analyze moving objects as well as loitering, multiple line crossing, and trajectories. It also supports Birds Eye View (BEV) people counting. Using 1080p resolution and sensitivity to below 1.0 lux, the camera supports 99 preset positions and two types of guard tours: preset and record/playback. Its pan/tilt speed ranges from a slow crawl at 0.1 degree per second up to 120 degrees per second, and the controls include Autoscaling (proportional zoom) and Autopivot. The video system uses H.264 encoding for streaming bandwidth efficiency, and there is support for a range of resolutions and frame rates. The ONVIF conformant system is interoperable with those of other manufacturers.
Canon designed the XU-80 HD remote control PTZ HD camera for indoor or outdoor use in generating a 16:9 aspect ratio using a CMOS HD 2.1 megapixel imaging sensor. The camera has a Canon 20x HD zoom lens and it incorporates several broadcast features, including a genlock input and HD-SDI output. These broaden the unit’s application range from surveillance to Internet streaming and venue IMAG. It can pan up to 60 degrees per second, and the housing is IP55 rated to be waterproof and dustproof. The XU-80W model adds a wiper and a servo operated neutral density (ND) filter. The black and white mode allows the system to shoot in near darkness, and dynamic range compensation makes better images in high-contrast environments. Users can select either 1080i or 720p HD output.
Longtime leader in document cameras and other imaging devices, Elmo designed the PTC-400C PTZ camera with 270-degree tilt and 250-degree pan flexibility with eight selectable speeds and a maximum pan/tilt speed of 100 degrees per second. This can be controlled either through an RS-485 daisy chain by setting the unit to one of 223 addresses or through the IR remote for up to nine cameras. The IR sensor on the front of the camera mount can detect control signals at 60 degrees to either side of center and between 10 degrees above and 30 degrees below the mounting location. The unit uses a 1/4in. color CCD to generate 470 TV line resolution with a 12X optical zoom at a minimum light level of 1 lux. Features include backlight compensation, auto iris, auto/manual focus, area masking, and image flip. Users can adjust AGC gain, hue, detail compensation, and high-speed shutter.
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