In my years of experience with CCTV cameras, it seems as if pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) cameras are still highly in demand. PTZ cameras work really well for remote applications. For instance, if you have an area that you are trying to view that is 100-200 feet away from the nearest power source, a PTZ camera is the way to go. They also work really well for large, open properties.
Although PTZs provide a lot of functionality, they tend to be rather large and bulky. They also use a lot of moving mechanical parts, which means that they can be noisy, and they can be rather pricey to boot. They also require extra cabling for the PTZ controller.
Fortunately, there is an alternative informally known as a fisheye camera. There are four reasons why one should choose a fisheye camera over a PTZ:
The first reason is that the fisheye camera is a whole lot smaller in size compared to a standard PTZ camera. The smaller size means that there are no moving mechanical parts. No moving parts means low maintenance and no noise!
The second reason is that the fisheye offers some of the same PTZ features. The NVR software provides a feature known as electronic pan, tilt and zoom (ePTZ). Simply put, pan, tilt and zoom with this feature is performed through the software instead of mechanical moving parts. The software allows for multiple PTZ views of the same image. You can auto track an object in one view and watch the same image in normal view mode simultaneously.
The third reason is that it is an IP camera. Being that it is an IP camera, this camera will require Cat 5e cable, which is immensely more cost effective than the standard coax cable that is used for PTZ cameras. Also, you don’t have to worry about running an extra cable to connect the PTZ controller. Everything is controlled through a single Cat-5e cable.
Since the fisheye camera is an IP camera, a DVR capture card is not required. Therefore, the cost of the PC that the fisheye will record to will be drastically less than a PC-based DVR. Overall, fisheye is the way to go – hook, line, and sinker!