PTZ Security Cameras FAQ Everything you need to know about your PTZ Security Camera PTZ security cameras are a very unquie class of security cameras. They feature the ability to pan, tilt, and zoom. There are many different types of ptz cameras. Most classify by their optical zoom capabilities. There are 10X optical zoom ptz cameras, 18X, 27X, 32X and 36X optical zoom ptz cameras. The optical zoom that ptz security cameras have are very powerful and they can see at very vast distances. In fact some of these cameras with 36X optical zooms can see out to 500 yards. That is very powerful. There are many different models though. There are mini ptz security cameras, auto-tracking ptz cameras, infrared ptz security cameras, progressive scan ptz cameras and many more. They all have a very unqiue features and can by used in very creative setups. PTZ security cameras are powered by AC current and need a 24AC power supply. View our Most Popular PTZ Security Cameras. Types of PTZ Security Cameras PTZ Security Cameras FAQ Learning About PTZ Security Cameras What does the "PTZ" in "PTZ security camera" stand for? This acryonm stands for pan, tilt, and zoom. Pan means how you can pan to the left and right. Tilt means you can move the camera up and down. Zoom simple stands for the camera's ability to see farther. All options can be manually adjusted with a PTZ joystick or DVR software interphase. What is a baud rate? A baud rate is a protocol (set of instructions) that your security dvr and ptz security camera is set on to communicate. This enable the two devices to communicate back and forth. The goal is to have them on the same baud rate, there are some switches on your PTZ security camera that you would need to set. Usually there is a standard from the DVR software that will tell you what baud rate it needs from the camera. What is an RS485 connection? RS485 connection is a connection where you integrate your CAT5 twisted pair cable into the "green" positive and negative ports. You will have to strip your ends on the twisted pair and make sure you have the right wire into the right port. After successfully making your connection, your PTZ security camera will be ready for instructions from the DVR. The RS485 conection is important, because it is how your data is transfered from your PTZ security camera and to your security DVR. There is a RS485 connection for the ptz security camera and there should be a connection on the side of the dvr too. However, the RS485 connection is absolutely necessary in order for your PTZ security camera to function correctly. What is meant by "Optical Zoom" in "Optical Zoom PTZ security cameras?" Optical zoom is a zooming that is controlled by the manipulation and positioning of the lens inside the PTZ security camera. This process uses a few different refractionary methods that allows light to come the way the light comes in helps magnify the distance you need to be able to see. This is independent from any digital zoom, which is software enabled. Digital zoom is purely a software function that blows up the image rather than zoom mechanical devices like an optical zoom does. What do 10X, 18X, 27X, 32X, or 36X optical zoom PTZ security camera mean? Those numbers indicate what the zoom time is for any PTZ security camera. The numbers usually represent the optical zoom capabilities of the PTZ security camera. 36X optical zoom is the highest zoom possible in the CCTV market right now. Although this zoom is thought to have an extra digital zoom that blows up the picture even more. How to Integrate and Use Your PTZ Security Camera How do I connect my PTZ security camera to my DVR? There is really only one way to do this. It is different depending on the type of CCTV dvr you have. If you have a standalone security dvr, there should be a green "RS485" connector on the back of the machine, that input has the inputs for your twisted pair. You simply just screw down the wire in the correct socket. If your standalone dvr does not have that, then you can buy a PTZ controller and integrate that with your standalone dvr. If you have a PC based security dvr, then you are going to have to have an RS485 to RS232 connector. The RS485 input is where you connect the data part of your PTZ camera. Most PC's do not have serial ports embedded onto the mother board. If not then you will need to find the card (PCI RS485 port) or get a USB to serial adapter so that you can connect your RS485 connector to the serial connection and then run your twisted pair into the approiate slots. Sounds complicated, but all you need to do is have the right setup and just plug and play. How do I control my PTZ security camera? Well there are two ways that you could control your PTZ cameras. One way is by a PTZ controller with joy-stick. The second option is through the security dvr's software or interphase. If you have a PC based security dvr, then you will have a software that you can interact with to control you camera. If you have a standalone you may or may not have the "green" RS485 port on the back of the DVR that will allow you to run your CAT5 or twisted pair into. But these are two main ways to control your PTZ security camera. What type of power supply do I need to make my PTZ security camera work? PTZ cameras need an AC24V power supply in order for the camera to work properly. Most CCTV dealers will provide the power supply with the camera, if not then you want to make sure you get a 24ACV power supply. What is a RS232 to RS485 connector and why do I need it? An RS232 to RS4285 connector is really an adapter to convert your PTZ's data connection to your PC based DVR. Some computer motherboards have a serial port, this is also known as an RS232 port. If you have a serial port then you need to purchase or order an RS232 to RS485 connector. Can I use my PTZ security camera outside in the cold? If the PTZ camera has a heater and blower you can use the camera outside in very cold and snowy temperatures. When purchasing a PTZ camera make sure you get the IP rating for the camera in order to make sure it can survive harsh abuse from wind and rain. If you live in an area where there are extreme temperatures make sure you know before you purchase the camera.