Pan–tilt–zoom camera

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A modern PTZ camera

A pan–tilt–zoom camera (PTZ camera) is a camera that is capable of remote directional and zoom control.

In television production, PTZ controls are used with professional video cameras in television studios, sporting events, and other spaces. They are commonly referred to as robos, an abbreviation of robotic camera. These systems can be remotely controlled by automation systems.

controller for ptz cameras
A PTZ controller

PTZ is an abbreviation for pan, tilt and zoom and reflects the movement options of the camera. Other types of cameras are ePTZ or virtual pan-tilt-zoom (VPTZ) where a high-resolution camera digitally zooms and pans into portions of the image, with no physical camera movement. Ultra-low bandwidth surveillance streaming technologies use VPTZ to stream user-defined areas in higher quality without increasing overall bandwidth usage. Surveillance cameras of this type are often connected to a digital video recorder which records the full field of view in full quality.

PTZ Cameras are commonly used in applications such as surveillance, video conferencing, live production, lecture capture and distance learning.


Some brands of PTZ Cameras are PTZOptics, a US-based media company headquartered in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.[1][2] There are also several companies that manufacture other brands of PTZ Cameras like Everet in the EU and across the globe.[3]

Auto tracking[edit]

Some PTZ cameras have the ability to detect movement within their field of view. This can then be used to move the camera to keep the target in the center of the video frame.[4] Once the target exits the camera's field of view, the camera returns to a pre-programmed position until further movement is detected.

Video surveillance[edit]

Pan-tilt-zoom cameras can be an essential part of modern surveillance systems. They can direct the attention to suspicious events. One method of surveillance with such cameras is based on master cameras monitoring a wide area that provide information so the PTZ camera can pan and tilt to the required position and observe and/or follow target movements.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PTZOptics full featured camera line exceeds expectations". Retrieved 4 February 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Broadcast Pix Upgrades Software". Retrieved 4 February 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Global PTZ Cameras Market 2020 Top Industry Players – AXIS, Canon, Panasonic, Hikvision, Dahua Technology, FLIR, Honeywell, Logitech". Retrieved 4 February 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Real Time Target Tracking with Pan Tilt Zoom Camera" (PDF). 2009 Digital Image Computing: Techniques and Applications: 492–497. 2009. doi:10.1109/DICTA.2009.84.
  5. ^ A. Del Bimbo, F. Dini, F. Pernici Multi-Camera Networks, Principles and Applications, Academic Press, Florence, 2009, p. 189-211