A PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) webcam is a great option for a large project or if your camera will be far away from your jobsite and you need extreme zooming to capture distant details. TrueLook PTZ cameras can create gigantic 360° time-lapse images – up to 100 megapixels in size – so no matter how large your jobsite is, TrueLook can capture it in one beautiful, customizable high-resolution panorama. Learn more about our PTZ cams here.
A troubling trend we have seen in the past few years with regard to PTZ webcams is its misrepresentation in the marketplace by vendors who use clever marketing to sell a similar product as a true PTZ. Here is how you can protect yourself from needless markups and less than optimal capabilities.
Know the difference between digital vs. optical zoom
With PTZ webcams, it’s all about the zoom. TrueLook’s PTZ cameras can zoom to incredible distances (10x) with no loss in image quality. This is true optical zooming, which means that the image you see is always at the highest resolution, no matter how far away you zoom. Digital zoom, which is used on fixed-position cameras does begin to lose image quality when zooming. Digital zoom cameras are not true PTZ cams!
Understand the lingo
Some vendors claim to sell PTZ cameras, but are actually selling cameras with digital zoom. Beware, because they may even use phrases like “remote optical zoom,” which is untrue. If the image quality declines while zooming, their camera does not use optical zoom.
Distinguishing between PTZ vs. ePTZ cameras
Unlike true PTZ cameras, ePTZ (electronic pan tilt zoom) cameras have no moving parts but can digitally zoom, then pan and tilt within the image. (All of TrueLook’s fixed-position cameras do this.) The problem with ePTZ (or any fixed camera) is the issue mentioned above—image quality degrades as you zoom in. There is a direct relationship between the webcam’s resolution and the image quality when zooming. If you want to learn more about the differences between PTZ and ePTZ, check out this blog post—it’s older but still a good one!
Do your research
The best way to ensure you are getting a true PTZ camera – besides reading the fine print – is to do your research and be educated. Determining what you need, based on the requirements of your individual job site, and taking the time to research cameras and vendors will go a long way in ensuring you get the best fit for your needs. Need more information? We’re always happy to help, and walk you through the technicalities. Speak with one of our experts
Don’t be fooled by cameras claiming to be true PTZ webcams – ask your vendor for details and be sure to compare pricing and features before making a decision.