IFSEC PTZ dome cameras

PTZ dome cameras at IFSEC  2011

PTZ….as the acronym stands, Pan Tilt and Zoom

PTZ dome cameras at IFSEC

Years ago it was confined to huge behemoth camera housings, with large cameras and even larger optical zoom lenses……mounted on gigantic P&T units that rumbled and groaned at snails pace to get to their intended targets……..try tracking a WALKING man with one of those and you’ll know what I mean

And presets? Nope, only the REALLY expensive units offered those, upping the speeds slightly to enable something close to reasonable movement speed

Washers and wipers helped clear away the residue of a typical British day (please substitute ‘British’ for any rainy region!!! Except sunny ones of course!)

And night time use? IR lamps hung from the sides like huge ears, glowing faint red, or, if you invested more, completely invisible with 930nM+ bulbs

And bulbs……no warranty, could blow in 3mins, 3hrs or 3 years – no way of knowing until the time you needed them……and then the cost to replace…..

Roll forward to the 90’s…..great companies like Pelco, VCL, Ultrak, Vicon etc switch their attention to Dome based PTZs……quick, discreet, covert, presets…… Operators loved their ease of control, day/night capabilities offered great pictures day or night, rapid response to alarms to give near instant access to alarm presets

Dome drawbacks? No IR….where would you fit them?…..no wipers……no washers…..and by design, their covert appearance conspired against them in a deterrent requirement

Early 2000’s saw the introduction of the new age of PTZs….the ruggedised ‘bad boy’s of PTZ…..Bosch (formerly the great pioneers, Forward Vision) release the MIC range of units……unfairly, catching the imagination by it’s use on the Big Brother TV show….but hey, advertising nonetheless…….. Strong, quick, offering IR, wiper, washer etc etc….

Followed by Ganz with its AllView…..and others

High ticket value but specialist…….

Now, companies like Bosch, Ganz and the likes of UK Manufacturers 360 Vision Technology, are producing more and more innovative PTZ units that somehow complement domes, yet give the deterrent reassurance back to PTZ units…. 360 recently introducing a completely innovative and patented Dual White Light And IR unit to give colour images at night……discreet it is not, effective it most certainly is!

And rapid deployment companies are embracing these ruggedised units in their quest for the ultimate ‘tough’ unit to, well, rapidly deploy!

Go take a look at IFSEC 2011 and see the amount of overt, loud and proud ruggedised PTZ units are on display

And the future? Well my sources at one manufacturer suggests that HD and Megapixel will replace the ageing analogue camera units, offering HD quality that far exceeds even the highest resolution offered by today’s camera blocks…..

At the end of the day, it is indeed horses for courses…….but PTZ units are here to stay….and really, can a single static megapixel REALLY replace a PTZ with all it’s moving, zooming talent.


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