The 5 Best PTZ Cameras

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best PTZ camera is then I’d recommend the PTZOptics 30X-NDI Broadcast and Conference Camera as the best one. 

Churches worldwide now practice live streaming as part of their evangelization strategy. They record sermons, worship concerts, and even entire masses. Then they put church services up on YouTube, Facebook, or their website for the whole congregation to see.

Suppose your church considers live streaming as necessary to spread the Word of God. You should invest in an efficient camera system. It’s not enough to put one camera in front of the clergy to record their speech and songs. Not only will that be awkward, but it will also affect the vibe of the service.

Nor should you have cameramen walking around the church. This activity is not an efficient use of their time. And this can distract the parishioners attending the mass. You should avoid doing this if you have a large church.

Instead, you should get a camera system that can capture the action on a broader coverage, and you can control it without disrupting church services. One such camera is a PTZ Camera.

Here are the best PTZ Cameras we will be reviewing:

What is a PTZ Camera?

A PTZ camera is a type of camera that can capture the action at different angles. It got its name from its movements: pan, tilt, and zoom. It works with sensors, lenses, and servo motors to offer this flexible camera action. You can easily mount them onto any flat surface through their flat base. They are also non-intrusive due to their remote operations.

However, getting PTZ cameras is a considerable investment for your church. They cost from $600 to over three thousand bucks.

Features of a PTZ Camera

PTZ cameras work with the following features:

Large Coverage

Manufacturers such as PTZOptics, Sony, and Panasonic design PTZ cameras to cover large areas. These cameras capture action in locations that fixed cameras cannot monitor. They can move anywhere between 0 to 360-degree pan/tilt angles. It’s as easy as swiveling the camera left or right or up and down. 

Optical Zoom

A PTZ camera works with high zoom capacity (e.g., 20x, 30x, 40x). So this camera can record objects from afar. The higher the optical zoom, the more distance it can cover.  

Remote Controls

PTZ cameras are renowned for their remote control. You can use apps or manufacturer-designed remote controllers. And you can monitor and program the camera action without disrupting church services.

It also has auto-scans and preset viewing patterns, so the camera moves automatically and covers different objects. This feature also works with auto-tracking, wherein the PTZ camera adjusts its viewpoint to follow moving objects efficiently.

Why Get a PTZ Camera for Church Services?

Live streaming is now a necessity to keep an engaged congregation.

According to Church Technology Superstore, 1/3 of all people surveyed by PTZOptics first went to the web to find their church. In the same survey, it found that 46% of parishioners use the church website to decide which church to join. 

With this data, investing in a PTZ camera system is very compelling.

PTZ cameras have many other benefits:

  • Programmable to follow specific view patterns on custom timing
  • Robust connectivity to other gadgets, including motion detectors
  • Work with night vision
  • Projects live streaming in real-time 
  • Offers multi-POV angles
  • Multipurpose

When to Use a PTZ Camera

PTZ Cameras are very versatile. Here are the many situations when you need to use such cameras.

Monitoring and Surveillance 

Unlike fixed cameras, a PTZ camera covers a wide range of distances. So this can help a lot in checking and tracking people and objects in crucial areas. Here are some places where PTZ Cameras work well:

  • Traffic areas 
  • Malls
  • Airports
  • Church

Live-streaming

A PTZ Camera also has a live streaming capacity. With their connectivity to different devices, you can record anything and put it up online. This feature makes investing in such a camera beneficial to these situations:

  • Virtual meetings
  • Musicals
  • Court hearings
  • Online masses

Building a PTZ Camera System for Church

In live streaming worship services, building a PTZ Camera system should be a careful and precise process. These two steps hinge on finding the best PTZ Camera for your church. Here are the steps on how to build a PTZ Camera system:

Survey your church

Here, finding the areas of your church where you safely install the camera is crucial. You need to eliminate blind spots. Your church must place PTZ cameras in areas that are out of the way and cabling hidden strategically.

The possible areas to install your PTZ Cameras are walls, ceilings, poles for churches with vaulted ceilings, and recessed cubbies. The walls can offer views above the parishioners in the pews. Cameras mounted on the ceiling show overhead and angled views of the church. 

Find tech support and train them to run the PTZ Camera system

Once you have installed the PTZ cameras in your church, get your staff and volunteers trained in this system.

The team can control the PTZ camera through these wireless options: IR remote, IP joysticks, Video production software (e.g., OBS, vMix, Wirecast, TriCaster, MimoLive, and Livestream Studio), and Game controllers and smartphone apps.

Factors in Choosing the Best PTZ Camera

Here are the things you should consider when shopping for PTZ Cameras.

Connectivity

As previously mentioned, you invest in PTZ cameras for live streaming. For a high-quality stream, find a camera with robust connectivity to handle bandwidth for HD video, at least 1G network.  

The connectivity of your PTZ camera relies on the outputs it comes designed:

  • HDMI – This output offers limited signal power from your camera
  • SDI – Here, your camera connects directly to your workstation
  • NDI – The PTZ camera operates within your church’s local network. Here you can start, control and send out signals from your camera
  • USB – Cameras with this output do not work well for live streaming

Camera and Video Quality

The second significant factor to consider when choosing a PTZ camera is quality. This involves the lens quality, video resolution, and camera zooming.

Cameras have these basic levels of lens quality: SD (standard definition); HD (high definition); 4K (4,000 pixels across). 

For video resolution, find cameras with a minimum of 1080p and 30-60 frames per second.

For camera zooming, there are:

  • Optical zoom zooms for optimum field-of-view. Options for this include 10x, 12x, 20x, 30x and more. 
  • Digital zoom processes the image digitally within the camera while enlarging the middle and trimming the sides. But this degrades the image quality.

Budget

Whatever you buy, always get it only when you can afford it. Examine your church finances. Discuss with your church leaders how much you can allot for a camera system. Once you know your budget range, you can start looking for the cameras that can fulfill your church’s live stream needs.

Product Reviews

Once you find the cameras that fit within your budget and tick all the boxes for your church needs, the last step for you is to look up the items online and ask around. 

Ask fellow church leaders about what system they use in their services. Doing this helps you know what works and what does not for live streaming church events.

Reading product reviews helps you understand how well each item works in real-life applications.

We can help you find the PTZ camera for your church with our review of some of the best PTZ cameras.

PTZOptics 30X-NDI Broadcast and Conference Camera

Are you looking for a camera for video conferencing and live streaming? Then the PTZOptics 30X-NDI Broadcast and Conference Camera would be a great choice. With straightforward installation and a singular focus on action, you can use this camera for everything from virtual meetings to long masses. 

A pleasing feature of this PTZ camera is its clear capture with perfect zoom. It produces HD 1090p video with 60 frames per second. You also get 30X optical zoom. This NDI camera also works with a broad 106-degree field of view. This feature helps a lot during times like this when governments limit church capacity to only 30-50%. With this camera, my church records daily and Sunday masses and live-streams them on Facebook for the congregation to watch in real-time.

I also love how easy it is to set up. Just plug and play. Then you can live stream directly from the camera. You can do this through HDMI, 3G-SDI, and H.264/H.265/MJPEG IP Streams connections. This PTZ camera also captures and stores images and videos to the camera’s internal memory for later use. The setup takes less than 10 minutes.

Pros:

  • Very clear camera with perfect zoom
  • 60.7 degree wide-angle lens
  • High performance in low light scenarios
  • Intense focus with wide dynamic range
  • Works great for live streaming
  • Easy installation

Cons:

  • Dark video

PTZOptics Live Streaming Cameras

PTZOptics derives its reputation from PTZ cameras. Hence, most of their cameras rank high on our list. If you need a live streaming camera, the PTZOptics Live Streaming Camera might be a good investment. 

One thing to love about this PTZ camera is its 30X optical zoom that delivers crystal clear action. Its 1920 by 1090p resolution offers reliable optics for both recording and live streaming services. It works efficiently for wide, overhead shots and multi-angle capture.

I also like its user-friendly interface with the handy remote control. You can adjust up to 254 presets. And with your other applications, you can integrate this PTZ camera through IP streaming and HDMI.

Pros:

  • Crisp, accurate shots
  • Very clear zoom
  • Easy to install
  • Great for recording and live streaming
  • Control Interfaces: VISCA in & out, & IR remote
  • Field of View: 60.7°(Wide) 2.28°(Tele)
  • Audio Embed: Over HDMI & IP Streaming

Cons:

  • Turning it on and off is inconvenient
  • Poor customer support

PTZOptics-20X-SDI GEN-2 IP Streaming Camera

This PTZOptics 20X camera works well for small churches. With a modest budget, churches that installed this camera found live streaming a breeze. This versatile PTZ camera features optical zoom, multiple outputs for flexible connection, and various presets for capturing action.

Its best feature is its top-notch optics. The camera focuses on the objects and people in action through the 20x zoom. You also get fine videos with the 1920 x 1080p resolution of the camera. This camera also captures the action in all environments, including low interior and low-light areas.

Like other PTZOptics cameras, this camera is a breeze to install. Just plug and play. You can do this through IP streaming with RJ45 input, dual streaming with H.264, H.265 & MJPEG (simultaneous high and low bit rate streams), 3G-SDI, IP, and HDMI video outputs, and VISCA RS232 control.

Pros:

  • Works great with a mixer
  • Clear and full-color capture
  • Sturdy
  • Fine remote control
  • Great for low interior and low-light

Cons:

  • Bulky and heavy
  • Does not work as a USB camera compared to what is advertised

AVKANS NDI 30X Full HD Live Streaming PTZ Camera

Need an affordable camera for your church? The AVKANS NDI Camera is a solid buy. This PTZ camera works well for small churches because it offers excellent value for the money.

A fantastic feature of this camera is its top-notch imaging and video recording. Its 30x optical zoom offers capture of action even on low-light locations. My friend loves this particular PTZ camera for his church services because it produces tight shots and pre-set zooms and shots. All this without breaking the bank.

The AVKANS NDI 30X Full HD Live Streaming PTZ Camera is also compatible with the PTZoptics app/plugin/software, same ways to set up and use. And the best thing about this PTZ Camera? AVKANS offers ultra-responsive customer service. When my friend had trouble with his camera, he was able to get the tech support that troubleshot the issue without delay.

Pros:

  • Full HD 1080P Resolution with Full Frame Rates
  • 30X optical zoom lens with advanced auto focus technology
  • Simultaneous 3G-SDI, IP and HDMI video outputs for connection flexibility
  • The video is clean even under low light conditions
  • Supported by the leading IP technology NDI HX2

Cons:

  • Not easy to set up
  • Slow auto-focus

Logitech PTZ Pro 2 Camera

The Logitech PTZ Pro 2 camera offers vivid sharp image resolution, outstanding color reproduction, and exceptional optical accuracy. One great feature of this PTZ camera is its portable frame. It makes this camera perfect for Zoom events such as webinars, virtual training, meetings, and forums. The remote control is also handy and straightforward.

Another thing I like here is its easy plug-and-play installation. With a 3-meter cable, you can attach this camera to computers, smartphones, and other gadgets. It also has fantastic presets programmable through Logitech’s app. Advanced Camera technology frees up bandwidth resulting in a smoother video stream in applications like Microsoft Skype for business.

Pros:

  • Great for Zoom meetings
  • Delivers sharp image resolution, outstanding color reproduction, and exceptional optical accuracy
  • Enhanced pan/tilt and zoom motor performance
  • Zoom wide or Zero in on close-ups to clearly view objects
  • Advanced camera technology for a smoother video stream in applications like Microsoft and Skype

Cons:

  • No mic
  • Poor image quality when zoomed out
  • Sensitive to control
  • Expensive

Conclusion

For live streaming church services, an efficient tool to use is a PTZ camera. This camera captures the action during the service at several angles to give a holistic viewpoint of the experience. It pans, tilts, and zooms to follow the movements of objects and persons within its wide field of view.

The best PTZ Camera I recommend for live streaming church services is the PTZOptics 30X-NDI Broadcast and Conference Camera. This camera captures from a broad viewpoint with intense focus and clear optics. It is also straightforward to install: just plug and play. And best of all, live streaming with this camera is effortless through its multiple internet connectivity options, including H.264/H.265/MJPEG IP streams.

Alex Shute
AUTHOR
Alex Shute
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow. In his free time, he enjoys perfecting pour-over coffee, smoking meats, and discovering new cycling routes around Southern California.