Got to love a PTZ security cameras. You can remotely operate the camera to pan, tilt and zoom wherever you like in the area. You can strategically cover the areas or people of interest via a web interface, all in real-time, and all on the fly.
They’re fast too. And they can be quite a money saver – just one PTZ camera can cover an area that would have to otherwise be covered by several static surveillance cameras.
And the good news is that these days PTZ cameras are very easy to get hold of. And there are loads on the market to choose from. So much so in fact, that it can be hard to settle on which one to buy.
But, there’s no need to worry about that. We’re here to make your choice easy for you. We’ve been checking out some of the best PTZ cameras that are out at the moment, and we’ve handpicked our top 5 favorites to show you.
We tried to include some for every budget.
Our reviews on those are coming up very shortly. And after that, we’ve got a handy buying guide for you. It walks you through everything you might want to think about before you buy.
|#1||• 1/2" progressive CMOS sensor, 1080P high resolution,blacklight full color|
• Built-in solar energy and chargeable battery(6pcs included)
• Super low power consumption
• Built-in microphone and loudspeaker,support two way audio,Alarm by voice and lighting
• Full-color night vision Support
• 1080P Full HD Resolution
• Night vision up to 66ft
• Motion detection & motion tracking
• IP65 weatherproof
• TF Card Storage & Cloud Storage
• Works with Alexa (Echo Show)
• Works with the Google Assistant (Google Home Hub)
|#3||• 360° Pan/tilt & Weatherproof IP65|
• 1080P HD Images & Night Vision
• Motion Detection Alarm & Automatic Tracking
• Two-way Talking & Work with Alexa
• Easy to connect
|#4||• 5MP High Performance Resolution|
• camera can pan 355 degrees and tilt up to 90 degrees
• 20x optical zoom
|#5||• 1080P HD & 360°FULL COVERAGE|
• Allows you to View the Live Video Remotely Anytime and Anywhere by Phone and Pad(Available for Android & IOS system)
• Motion Detection,sound & Light Alerts
What we love the most about this outdoor PTZ camera is that it is, as the name suggests, solar powered.
And this has loads of positives. There’s no wiring to install, it won’t add to your utility bills, running it costs nothing, and it’s better for the environment. And you never have to remember to turn it on.
But that’s not all we love about it, not by a long shot.
This wireless PTZ camera not only sends you picture perfect, high resolution video to you on your iOS or Android device, but there’s also two way audio, so you can communicate with whoever happens to be visiting. This is thanks to the built in microphone and speaker.
The compatible smartphone app, UBox, is not just free to download, but there are no subscription fees to worry about whatsoever.
As a PTZ camera, it pans 360 degrees, tilts 90 degrees, and it has a 4 times digital zoom.
It has a clever motion sensor, which only picks up motion when there’s a human or animal in the vicinity. How clever is that!
It also has night vision, thanks to the built in 2 infrared and 4 floodlight LED lights.
There’s a built in microSD card slot, so you can take recordings of everything the camera picks up.
It has a great weatherproof rating, coming in at IP65, so it can handle rain and dust no problem.
Although there aren’t too many customer reviews to be found on the Amazon page, you’ll find that customer feedback has been very positive, and at the time of writing this article, the Amazon average rating is a full 5 stars out of 5.
Sure it costs a lot more money than your more basic PTZ outdoor camera, but if you’re going to use the other functions, it will be worth the extra money.
This is a great PTZ camera, and again one that has a lot of great features, but is set at a very reasonable and affordable price.
The camera has a great resolution, coming in at 1080P, which is full high definition. It pans to an almost 360 degree rotation, leaving no blind spots. And it has a 90 degree tilt function, plus a 4 times digital zoom. Be in no doubt, your images will be crisp and clear.
But what we really love about it is the voice control facility. It will work with Echo Show, Alexa-enabled devices, Google Home Hub, or Chromecast-enabled devices.
Another stand out feature is the video storage options. You can either store the footage on a 128GB TF card, or make the most of the cloud storage available (or both if you wanted a back up).
There’s night vision, thanks to the 4pcs infrared LEDs and 4pcs white LEDs, which let you see as far as 66ft perfectly clearly at night. It can throw out a really powerful spotlight at night.
When the motion sensors detect movement you can get an alert through to your smartphone. But don’t worry, if it’s just leaves in the wind, then you can adjust the sensitivity so you don’t get false alarms.
The built-in microphone and speaker make for clear two way audio so you can speak directly to visitors in real time.
It has a great weatherproof rating, namely IP65, so the resin’s not going to be a problem for it.
This little beauty may not be solar powered but it has all of the other features of our number 1 pick, and is available at a fraction of the price.
The camera can rotate around almost a full 360 degrees. 355 degrees to be exact. It can also tilt, and offers 4 times zoom. And the picture is great, it comes through in, 1080P, which is a high definition resolution, able to pick up every detail.
When it gets dark, it uses infrared lights to give a superior night vision than the one you’d get with regular LED lights.
It uses motion sensors to pick up any movement in the vicinity, and when motion is detected an alert will be sent to your device, and the person or object detected is automatically tracked by the camera.
And when someone does come to the door, not only you can view them, but you can also speak to them through the device for a two way, real time conversation. Great for when the post arrives!
The real stand out feature though, is how it works with Alexa. You simply ask Alexa to show a particular area of interest, and the camera will automatically pan, tilt etc, accordingly. You don’t even have to be near your smartphone to operate the camera!
We like that it’s in black, we think it looks more smart and sleek.
It has a great weatherproof rating, coming in at IP65, so you know it will keep working whatever the weather conditions.
A lot of PTZ cameras out there only offer digital zoom for the zooming function, but this PTZ camera goes one better and offers optical zoom. And at quite the magnification too, coming in at a whopping 20 times. As you may expect though, this does come at an increased cost.
It’s pan rotation is almost a full circle at 355 degrees, while it’s tilt is 90 degrees. So you won’t get any blind spots. You get a super high resolution too – the 5 megapixel camera sends images of a resolution of 2560 x 1920. Images are crisp and crystal clear.
It uses motion sensors, and when motion is detected an alarm is triggered to your device. But better yet, you can set the sensitivity of the motion sensors, so that you don’t get an alarm sounding off every time debris is blown through in the breeze.
The camera does not stay static (unless you want it to). There are 16 different automatic cruising routes you can set it to, so you won’t miss a thing.
And it has some other great features besides. For example, it offers two way audio, so you can communicate directly with whoever happens to be near the camera. And there’s night vision, thanks to 6 pcs infrared LEDs, to display an area of nearly 200 feet around the camera.
The camera can connect to your devices over wifi, or if you prefer there’s also an ethernet connection included to hardwire it. If you’re not too impressed with the dedicated app for this camera, then you can hook it up to some 3rd party software (examples given on the Amazon page) or you can monitor the camera’s video through internet browsers such as Google, Firefox, or internet explorer.
There’s a slot for an SD card if you want to take any recordings (SD card not included).
It can stand up to the elements with a weatherproof rating of IP66. (More on IP ratings in our buying guide.)
And there’s great after sales tech support available too, covering a full year from date of purchase.
This is a really good mid price outdoor PTZ camera.
The images come through in 1080P HD, and there’s a 78°wide-angle lens with 320° horizontal and 90° vertical rotation available to achieve a range of 360° viewing. Every conceivable space and angle is covered, and there’s zero blind spots.
All images captured are sent through to you wirelessly to your iOS or Android compatible device, using the free app.
When the motion sensors pick up movement, you can get an alert through to your device, or if you would like, you can also set it up to activate a strobe light or a sound alarm as well. That should certainly scare off a would-be intruder.
There’s also night vision and two-way audio, so you can speak directly to whoever arrives. So handy.
So, in short, this one ticks all the boxes that you’d get with a $50 outdoor PTZ camera. But it also has some nice extras…
The digital zoom comes in at 5 times, rather than just the 4 times digital zoom you’d get with a $50 PTZ outdoor camera.
And that’s not all the night vision is different too. There are 3 different night vision modes. You can pick from full color, infrared, or smart night vision.
It’s easy to set up, and you can in fact find all the set up instructions right on the Amazon page.
It has a great weatherproof rating, namely IP66, so the resin’s not going to be a problem for it.
Best PTZ Camera Outdoor Buyer’s Guide
The following sections will walk you through all the different things you might want to think about before your buy. Here goes..
First Things First:
When you search the internet for outdoor surveillance cameras, even if you type in “outdoor PTZ cameras” you may still get a lot of cameras showing up that aren’t necessarily PTZ cameras, since many of them can pan and tilt ok, but not all of them will have that zoom feature you may be looking for.
However, you can be assured that all of the cameras in our top 5 picks do have this zoom feature, as well as the pan and tilt functionality.
Digital vs Optical Zoom:
With an optical zoom, the camera’s lenses are used to magnify images in the distance, and as it magnifies an image, it can fill the entire image sensor before capturing the image or video.
Digital zoom on the other hand does the zooming after the image has been captured, and just takes just the center portion of what the lens throws on the sensor, thus capturing fewer pixels, and ultimately providing less detail and clarity in the image or video.
PTZ cameras have really kept up with advances in modern technology, so much so in fact, that we would recommend only looking at PTZ cameras that have the same resolution as your HD TV, coming in at 1080P, to give you nice, crisp images and clear details.
If you’ve really been paying attention to our reviews before getting to this section, you will have noticed that sometimes a PTZ camera can do a lot more than simply pan, tilt and zoom.
These features may seem like nice little extras, but once you have them in place, you’ll soon wonder how you got by without them.
We’ll go through a few now.
All of the PTZ cameras in our top 5 picks come with motion sensors. Sometimes however motion sensors can pick up every little detail, and in other words trigger innumerable false alarms. The good news though, is that the sensitivity of these sensors can be adjusted so that such things don’t keep happening.
Some PTZ cameras also offer motion tracking besides, so when it picks up movement, it will automatically track the movement of the object/animal/person.
A good surveillance camera will be designed to be effective in the dark of night as well as during daylight hours. To that end, it should have some lights, and preferably some infrared LED lights too, to help light up the surrounding area.
If you get an unexpected visit, say for a parcel delivery that you forgot about, then it can be really handy to not just receive a notification that someone is there, but also to say hello, say that you’re unable to get to the door, and make arrangements for the parcel.
And then if there’s any issue with your instructions, that can be reported back in real time.
Other Special Features:
You can also get PTZ cameras that work with Alexa, or other voice assistants. Comes in super handy when your hands are full and you just can’t get to the smartphone.
If that might be of interest to you, you should definitely check out our number 3 pick, the MECO Home Surveillance Camera, or our number 2 pick, the Dragon Touch OD10 Security Camera.
If you live in an area with regular or periodic rain, then you’re going to need your outdoor PTZ camera to be weatherproof, and able to stand up to the elements. To that end you should look at the camera’s IP rating.
IP stands for ingress progression. The first digit represents how resistant the object is to dust, while the second digit represents how resistant the object is water. The higher the number the better on both accounts.
For an outdoor PTZ camera, you should look for an IP rating of at least IP65 or higher.
If you’ve been checking the prices as you made your way through the product reviews you scrolled through earlier. You will have noticed that they can vary quite significantly in price.
You’ve got more basic types that can cost under or around $50, and at the other end of the spectrum if you’re going to go for one with all the bells and whistles, then you could be looking at closer to $200 or even $300. That’s quite a difference.
So, as you can see, there are quite a lot of features you can look out for in your outdoor PTZ camera. But what we will say is that some features are more important than others.
Firstly, being waterproof is an essential quality. No matter how sunny your particular area, you will see rain at some point.
Secondly, you need to have a good resolution on the camera to make people easily identifiable, and to that end we would recommend one at 1080P.
Thirdly, we would argue that night vision is also essential.
Any additional feature is a bonus, whether it’s motion sensors, two-way audio, or solar power.
We made the Altop 1080P PTZ Camera our number 1 pick purely because it’s solar powered, however all of the outdoor PTZ cameras in our top 5 picks would make a good choice for most people.