Best Pan Tilt Zoom Camera – Top 3

by | Aug 3, 2018 | Home Surveillance

Would you like to be able to completely control a camera from distance? Would you like to be able to zoom in, follow a moving target? Well if yes, PTZ cameras are made for you.

Many different options are available on the market concerning pan tilt zoom cameras and it can be difficult for you to choose the appropriate camera. This is why, at SCR.COM we conducted some research and put together an article that reviews the 3 best PTZ security cameras for you.

Our ranking
Editor's choice
#1
#2
#3
Product name
Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ Outdoor Security Camera
Sunba 601-D20X IP PoE+ High Speed PTZ Outdoor Security Camera
Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ Indoor Security Camera
Product image
Amcrest 1080P Outdoor PTZ POE + IP Camera Pan Tilt Zoom (Optical 12x Motorized) ProHD POE+ Camera Security Speed Dome, Sony Starvis Sensor, 328ft Night Vision, POE+ (802.3at) - IP66, 2MP, IP2M-853EW
SUNBA 601-D20X IP PoE+ High Speed PTZ Outdoor Security Camera, 20x Optical Zoom HD 1080P ONVIF with Audio and Night Vision up to 800ft
Amcrest ProHD Indoor WiFi PTZ (4x Optical Zoom) 1080P Wireless IP Camera, 98ft Night Vision, Pan/Tilt/4x Motorized Zoom, Wide 116° Viewing Angle, 2-Megapixel (1920TVL), Sentinel Wi-Fi, IP2M-846 Black
Price
$289.99
from $323.99
$179.99
Weatherproof
Resolution
1080p
1080p
1080p
Viewing angle
Pan: 360° / Tilt: 90° tilt with auto-flip at 180°
Pan: 360° / Tilt: -15° – 90°
Pan: 360° / Tilt: 0-90° with auto-flip at 180°
Zoom
12x optical zoom / 16x digital zoom
20x optical zoom
4x optical zoom / 16x Digital Zoom
Editor's choice
Our ranking
#1
Product name
Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ Outdoor Security Camera
Product image
Amcrest 1080P Outdoor PTZ POE + IP Camera Pan Tilt Zoom (Optical 12x Motorized) ProHD POE+ Camera Security Speed Dome, Sony Starvis Sensor, 328ft Night Vision, POE+ (802.3at) - IP66, 2MP, IP2M-853EW
View Product
Price
$289.99
Weatherproof
Resolution
1080p
Viewing angle
Pan: 360° / Tilt: 90° tilt with auto-flip at 180°
Zoom
12x optical zoom / 16x digital zoom
Our ranking
#2
Product name
Sunba 601-D20X IP PoE+ High Speed PTZ Outdoor Security Camera
Product image
SUNBA 601-D20X IP PoE+ High Speed PTZ Outdoor Security Camera, 20x Optical Zoom HD 1080P ONVIF with Audio and Night Vision up to 800ft
View Product
Price
from $323.99
Weatherproof
Resolution
1080p
Viewing angle
Pan: 360° / Tilt: -15° – 90°
Zoom
20x optical zoom
Our ranking
#3
Product name
Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ Indoor Security Camera
Product image
Amcrest ProHD Indoor WiFi PTZ (4x Optical Zoom) 1080P Wireless IP Camera, 98ft Night Vision, Pan/Tilt/4x Motorized Zoom, Wide 116° Viewing Angle, 2-Megapixel (1920TVL), Sentinel Wi-Fi, IP2M-846 Black
View Product
Price
$179.99
Weatherproof
Resolution
1080p
Viewing angle
Pan: 360° / Tilt: 0-90° with auto-flip at 180°
Zoom
4x optical zoom / 16x Digital Zoom

First what is a PTZ Camera?

There are many different uses for Pan Tilt Zoom CCTV surveillance cameras, some are made for indoors whilst some outdoors. But before you choose this type of CCTV surveillance camera, you need to be certain on what you want to achieve with it.

Pan Tilt Zoom otherwise known as PTZ, is a camera that is capable of moving from left to right, up and down with zoom control. PTZ cameras are commonly used in applications such as video surveillance, video conferencing, live production, lecture capture and distance learning.

PTZ cameras are ideal for live monitoring applications, that require wide overview surveillance, and sharp zoomed in views for identification purposes, such as at large retail stores, airports, train stations, logistic centres, and museums.

Fixed lens CCTV cameras are stationary, and their field of views are determined at the time of installation, and will not change without manual modification. Using a PTZ surveillance camera to support the existing fixed lens cameras, will allow more coverage areas.

PTZ cameras can direct the attention to suspicious events. They will only work efficiently, leveraging on the already installed fixed lens cameras. In the event of unusual activity, they can pan and tilt to the required position to observe, and/or follow target movements.

Over the years, there has been an enormous development in PTZ cameras, and clients have realized the flexibility a Pan Tilt Zoom camera has to offer them, over fixed lens cameras.

You are a complete newbie to the security camera business and you don’t know/understand what’s important for a security camera?

Check our complete guide with its infographic to easily understand which features you need to prioritise.

How is a Pan Tilt Zoom Camera Designed?

Pan Tilt Zoom cameras are built to operate on mechanical components such as dc motors to perform its remote directional and zoom control. The pan (horizontal), tilt (vertical) and zoom (magnification) are being controlled by three different gears.
Inside a PTZ camera
  • Motorized Optical lens or Optical lens gear allows the optical lens to perform as parfocal lens (changing in focal length) which is calculated in millimetre.
  • Tilt gear allows the PTZ camera to move up and down between 0⁰ – 180⁰ vertical angle.
  • Pan gear allows the PTZ camera to rotate on horizontal angle between 0⁰ – 360⁰

The Benefits Of Pan Tilt Zoom Camera

Large Area Monitoring: this is one of the important features that make a Pan Tilt Zoom camera different from other CCTV surveillance cameras, for its ability to monitor a large area that a traditional fixed lens CCTV camera would not cover.

Motion Tracking / Auto Tracking: an invention to the PTZ camera is a built-in firmware program that automatically detects motion of a person or object. This feature allows the PTZ camera to automatically chase the object in its view by panning, tilting or zooming as the object moves.

Auto-Focus: this is another advance feature that enables a PTZ security camera to remain in focus during panning, tilting and zooming without pixel distortion or image quality degradation in focal length adjustment.

Weatherproof: unlike indoor PTZ security cameras, outdoor PTZ cameras are completely protected from dust, oil, and other non-corrosive material. Outdoor PTZ cameras are manufactured with IP66 rating to withstand tough and harsh weather conditions.

Night Vision: another important feature of Pan Tilt Zoom security camera, is the ability to provide clear image under low or no light condition with its infra-red LEDs.

There are tons of Pan Tilt Zoom security cameras on the market today, but after conducting our extensive research, we were able to narrow it down to Top 3 by going with the features, and carefully considered customers’ reviews and many other factors.

Top 1 – Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ Outdoor Security Camera

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ outdoor Camera
Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ outdoor security camera made it to our number 1 on Top 3 Best Pan Tilt Zoom camera. This PTZ security camera is more than just size and good looks, it’s equipped with multiple features such as PTZ, night vision, and motion alerts.

With the latest Sony STARVIS CMOS IMX290 2MP image sensor and Ambarella Chipset S3L55M, Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ outdoor security camera is able to deliver stunning full HD 1080p 30fps footage.

Employing the pan tilt zoom feature with 12x optical motorized zoom and 16x digital zoom to experience impeccable close range detail as well as continuous 360° pan, 90° tilt capturing every angle.

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ outdoor security camera’s features are listed below:

  • Observe footage in Full 1080p HD
  • Night vision up to 328 ft. (100m)
  • Complete 360° Pan, 90° tilt with auto-flip at 180°
  • Get a closer look with 12x optical zoom, 16x digital zoom
  • Equipped with a 5.4mm (up to 64mm) focal lens
  • Heavy-duty housing and IP66 rating

Breakdown of the Features

The IP66 enclosure rating enables Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ outdoor security camera, to endure rain or sun during day or night. At dusk, innovative starlight technology from Sony Starvis sensor and IR LEDs, help the camera to see up to 328 feet (100m) in ultra-low light.

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ outdoor security camera, utilizes intelligent alert to send notifications to your computer or smartphone, via the Amcrest view app.

You can record events on this PTZ camera as they happen and store them on your computer, Micro SD Card (up to 128GB), NAS (Network Attached Storage) or Amcrest cloud.

With advanced zone detection, it is easier to create distinct motion detection zones in a customised way to control what you are monitoring, this is an effective way to ensure you only record what you need when it is important.

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ outdoor security camera comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, as well as 1 year replacement warranty.

The Advantages

  • Overall  picture quality is very good including the night vision.
  • The user interface via web browser is very good.
  • The camera has great controls that allows user to adjust many important things.
  • The optical and digital zoom work perfectly.
  • 4 hours free storage and unlimited live streaming per camera.

The Disadvantages

What’s included?

  • Manual CD + Quick Start Guide
  • Amcrest ProHD IP2M-853EW PoE PTZ IR Speed Dome (White)

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ security camera review on Fakespot

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ security camera review on Fakespot

Top 2 – Sunba 601-D20X IP PoE+ High Speed PTZ Outdoor Security Camera

Sunba 601 - D20X review
Our number 2 pick on Top 3 Best Pan Tilt Zoom camera is Sunba 601-D20X PTZ outdoor security camera (601 series) which has 20x optical zoom to provide crystal clear details on the image. With 20x optical zoom, you are equipped with eagle eyes that capture activities hundreds miles away.

Sunba 601-D20X PTZ outdoor security camera (601 series) comes with a powerful infrared LED that will provide a superior night vision up to 800ft (244m) that is enough to cover your property depending on the scene.

Features of the aforementioned PTZ camera includes the following:

  • Great Vision Quality: 2MP, 1080P, SONY IMX 322 CMOS
  • High Speed Pan Tilt Zoom – Range: Pan: 360 degree endless, Tilt: -15 – 90degree (15 degrees upward tilt and 90 degrees downward)
  • ONVIF Compliant: Blue Iris, Security Spy Compatible
  • 15 degrees upward tilt, a breakthrough for dome cameras
  • Power over Ethernet (802.3at)

Breakdown of the Features

Sunba 601-D20X has extra DC male port designed to power microphone directly from the camera’s PoE power.No need to wire additional cable to power the microphone like other PoE cameras.

The 20x optical zoom lens provides a 1080p Sony CMOS with 30fps @NTSC and 25fps @PAL, it provides crystal clear details on the image.

You can remotely view the camera with your smartphone (iOS & Android) 24/7 and you can also setup email to receive snapshot alerts.

Sunba 601-D20X comes with 2 year manufacturer warranty on parts and lifetime technical support.

The Advantages

  • Operation of the camera is very quiet from 15 feet away.
  • Image clarity and color accuracy is very good especially for a 2 megapixel camera.
  • 20x optical zoom is incredible.
  • The installation is simple and the setup is straightforward.
  • Built-in TF card space (inside the camera) up to 64GB.

The Disadvantages

  • Device does not come with audio mic, you need an external DC12V CCTV microphone to support the audio of this camera.
  • The device software isn’t the easiest thing to use, you may need to purchase blue Iris to enjoy it.
  • The camera cannot be connected to wireless network except with network cable.
  • Does not support two way audio.
  • Does not come with PoE injector, only came with 12V4A Power Adapter for testing purpose.

What’s included?

  • User Manual
  • PTZ Camera
  • Wall Mounting Bracket
  • Complementary 12V4A Power Adapter

Sunba 601 – D20X review on Fakespot

Sunba 601 B Note Fakespot

Top 3 – Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ Indoor Security Camera

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ Indoor Security Camera
Our last pick is Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ indoor security camera, this is another reliable and elegant PTZ security camera that is able to deliver a crisp, clean and true HD 1080p video resolution at 30 Frames Per Second.

The IP2M-846EB’s powerful 4x optical zoom lens also adds the extra sense of security so you don’t have to compromise any details in your image.

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ indoor security camera’s features are listed below:

  • Premium HD 1080p
  • Wi-Fi Setup
  • Amcrest Cloud
  • 360° Horizontal Rotation
  • 4x Optical Zoom / 16x Digital Zoom
  • 116° Wide Viewing Angle

Breakdown of the Features

You can take the full advantage of the 4x optical and intelligent digital zoom with 34.5° – 116.5° adjustable wide angle field of view to take control of your property and reach every angle whenever you need.

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ indoor security camera let you stream live and playback recorded video of your home, your kids, your pets, or your business with Amcrest view app on the go.

The infrared LED provides a clear night vision of up to 98 ft. (30m) in an extremely dark condition, receiving notifications with intelligent motion alerts will never be a problem.

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ indoor security camera also utilizes intelligent alert to send notifications to your computer or smartphone via the Amcrest view app. You can record events on this PTZ camera as they happen and store them on your computer, NAS (Network Attached Storage) or Amcrest cloud.

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ indoor security camera comes with full 1-year US warranty and lifetime support provided directly from Amcrest.

The Advantages

  • It is very easy to set up.
  • High quality images and great night vision is extremely good.
  • Customer and tech support are awesome.
  • Good camera at a reasonable price.

The Disadvantages

  • Power supply and a POE injector are NOT included.
  • This camera does not have audio capabilities.

What’s included?

  • Amcrest ProHD IP2M-846E Vandal Dome Camera (Black)
  • Wall placement sticker
  • A pack of screws and plastic wall anchors
  • Base plate or mounting bracket
  • Manual CD + Quick Start Guide

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ security camera review on Fakespot

Amcrest ProHD IP PoE PTZ Fakespot Note

Final Advice

When looking to buy a Pan Tilt Zoom security camera, you need to make sure you consider optical zoom over a digital zoom. Even though the duo have “Zoom” in common but their technology are totally different.

Unlike optical zoom, digital zoom only works by taking or scaling up a central portion of the final image after it is captured and enlarging it but optical zoom which is also known as true zoom lens works by physically moving the camera lens and changing the focal length.

What should then be the rule of thumb when selecting a Pan Tilt Zoom camera? You should consider more importantly an optical zoom PTZ cameras because this is feature you will be using in the live stream to get clarity, detailed and identify the subject or object.

We are not saying digital zoom is irrelevant, digital zoom are only meant to be considered in playback and NOT live stream.