Complete Guide to the Best PTZ Webcam

Editor’s Choice

  • It has multiple and discreet mounting options (wall, ceiling, pole, and outdoor enclosures).
  • Allows live streams directly to content delivery networks such as Facebook and YouTube.
  • It is with up to 30x zoom capability.

Best Overall

  • You can zoom it in 15x without losing image quality.
  • The remote control is compact and the signal is transmitted via radio frequency so there’s no need to aim at the device for it to work.
  • It is compatible with accessories and support devices of different brands or manufacturers.

Budget-Friendly

  • The image quality still looks good and clear even under low light.
  • It is one of the most affordable PTZ cameras available in the market with decent features.
  • The video output quality is fluent and clear even under low bandwidth conditions or poor internet signal.

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out the best PTZ webcam, then I’d recommend the Logitech Rally Plus Video Conference Equipment as the best one.

Almost everything is done remotely now from project management to administrative work, even church services. Mobility has decreased while electronic communication became widespread, making work and other events more convenient.

Along with these changes, equipment and accessories for remote work have been digitized and enhanced. Webcameras, in particular, have drastically improved, making video conferencing and broadcasting a much better experience.

Here are the best PTZ Webcams we will be reviewing:

What is a PTZ Webcam?

PTZ web cameras play an important role in most of these online tasks. Meetings and interviews are mostly done through video conferences. Events and worship services are broadcast online as well. But with a PTZ camera, you can do all these and more.

What does PTZ stand for?

PTZ is an acronym for pan-tilt-zoom. Pan means to move from left to right, while tilt means to move up or down. To zoom in or out is to make the image bigger or smaller, respectively.

Difference between PTZ and ePTZ

The functions of both PTZ and ePTZ are the same, but the E in ePTZ means electronic. Meaning that an ePTZ can be operated digitally.

A PTZ has motors that help in its physical movement by use of remote control. You can adjust its focus using software installed on a computer or a smart device.

An ePTZ on the other hand does not need mechanical parts for its movements. It remains static since pan-tilt-zoom is done via digital simulation or a sensor. The same technology can be found in our smartphone cameras.

What are the Features of a PTZ Webcam?

To make the best out of its main functions, a PTZ camera can be operated by the use of remote controls in three ways. It could be via a serial controller, such as a USB connection, which is connected to a serial port on the camera. Another way is by an Internet Protocol (IP) controller where the camera can be controlled over an IP network. The third option is via IR remote control, better known as infrared, similar to the TV IR remote.

PTZ cameras have a variety of lens options depending on your need. Some have built-in audio input, while others have options to add a microphone or audio mixers for better results.

Recording of video plus audio is a useful feature of PTZ cameras. Since they are plugged into a computer, recording is just one click away via video conferencing or streaming software.

What are the Disadvantages of a PTZ Webcam?

Since they don’t pan, tilt, or zoom automatically, PTZ cameras have limited view. Even the zoom range is limited. If unmanned, this results in surveillance blind spots.

With that said, they may not be the most ideal for security surveillance use. Fish-eye cameras are better options for this in terms of coverage and economy.

Due to the many moving parts that serve the pan-tilt-zoom features, the failure rate is higher than in static cameras. This makes the PTZ camera-less durable but costly.

PTZ cameras work better if their remote control is closer. The farther they are from the control systems, the more the lag worsens.

Where are PTZ Webcams Commonly Used?

Because of the pan-tilt-zoom features, the camera can be directed via a remote control towards suspicious activities or objects. This can be helpful for a surveillance system of a small area.

PTZ cameras are recommended for IP streaming. This means the television content is delivered over Internet Protocol networks.

The specifications of PTZ cameras are not to be taken lightly. Some of these have 4k video quality. If you’re watching a live event, it feels like watching a movie. If you can’t leave home due to valid reasons, but still want to attend church service through an online broadcast, the visuals won’t disappoint.

It’s an advantage also if you need to speak in an online meeting that your video quality is good. Thus, they are preferred for video conferencing like interviews and huddles.

Things to Consider when Choosing the Best PTZ Webcam

Not all PTZ cameras are created equal. With a vast array of models and varying specifications, some are better in certain functions than others. Online canvasing could be quite overwhelming, but not if you know what you’re looking for.

We’ve broken down important elements to consider before buying a PTZ webcam.

By resolution

Quality and specifications differ among brands and models. This depends on the function of the camera. If it’s for personal use like calling family members and friends, a full high definition (FHD) or 1080p, that is 1920 x 1080 pixels, is the decent camera quality. A lower version is the HD or 720p, measuring 1280 x 720 pixels, which is okay if you’re not particular about resolution.

If it’s for business or company use, investing in a UHD (ultra high definition or 4K) camera would be worth it. The resolution for this is 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. Although, the FHD is pretty standard and will work just as well. 

Budget and market availability

It would be nice to own a camera with the highest specifications available on the market, but the economical aspect will reign supreme regardless. For this reason, the camera with FHD resolution will serve any standard purpose. It’s our go-to resolution for web conferencing when in doubt.

There’s also the issue of the availability of your chosen camera and important accessories like a tripod mount.

Build and durability

In choosing a camera, the build and durability will matter according to the usage frequency. That said, PTZ cameras built for outdoor use are sturdier than indoor cameras.

Indoor use

There are PTZ cameras that are built lighter and are much cheaper than their outdoor counterparts. They are recommended for indoor use or surveillance and web conferencing in small rooms. Because of the limited pan, tilt, and zoom, more cameras may be necessary for large meeting rooms.

Outdoor use

Some PTZ camera models are built for harsher conditions. They are mostly used for broadcasting outdoor events and may be used with mounting hardware.

Other added features

The competition in the market for PTZ cameras is high. Therefore, brands are coming up with ways to make their products stand out with additional features.

Accessibility and convenience

The market for PTZ cameras is not entirely tech-savvy, so user-friendly ones are preferred. Find the ones that are easier to install, and if possible and necessary, with fewer complicated accessories. The same goes for the camera control. The remote control, whether they’re via a USB connection, IR remote control, or IP controlled, should be easy to understand and operate.

Aesthetics

It’s not necessarily important for a camera to look good, as the specification and function will matter the most in the end. But if it is used for security surveillance, it helps if it’s subtly designed, or the kind that blends in with its environment. Bulky-looking ones are less preferred as they tend to be distracting.

Logitech Rally Plus Video Conference Equipment

This wide-angle PTZ camera is made especially for video conferencing. The Logitech Rally Plus Video Conference Equipment has two variations when it comes to camera quality. One has a resolution ranging from 60 frames per second (fps) to 1080p. The other serves 30 fps to 4K video quality.

This PTZ camera is compatible with most video conferencing software as long as they support USB cable connections. Pan, tilt, and zoom are smooth and do not lag.

Pros:

  • You can zoom it in 15x without losing image quality.
  • The remote control is compact and the signal is transmitted via radio frequency so there’s no need to aim at the device for it to work.
  • It is compatible with accessories and support devices of different brands or manufacturers.
  • Logitech RightSense technology senses the speaker automatically focuses on the person and optimizes the image. 
  • Logitech RightSense technology also adjusts its pickup according to the active speaker’s voice. The sensitivity increases for softer voices and levels off for louder voices.

Cons:

  • This PTZ camera comes with a lot of stuff like two hubs and cables. It’s kind of a messy setup and could be more portable.
  • Some technical malfunctions were reported such as frequent disconnections in the middle of a call but were not adequately addressed by tech support. The company could improve on their after-sales services as well.
  • This model is among the most expensive ones in the market.

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

This full HD (1080p) PTZ camera is made especially for Internet Protocol (IP) streaming. It uses Serial Digital Interface (SDI), or standard for the delivery of digital video via a coaxial cable. This system is popular in the broadcast industry as it allows the transmitting of digital video signals without losing quality. It has multiple video outputs such as LAN, HDMI, and USB connections. It also has multiple audio input and camera control options.

This PTZ camera promises image output with low noise when used with low light or in a darker room.

Pros:

  • It has multiple and discreet mounting options (wall, ceiling, pole, and outdoor enclosures).
  • Allows live streams directly to content delivery networks such as Facebook and YouTube.
  • It is with up to 30x zoom capability.
  • It can be integrated with Dotworkz camera weathertight enclosure solutions, which offer vandal-proof, IP68-rated, outdoor enclosures. 

Cons:

  • The installation process is complicated, and not for the less tech-savvy.
  • Incompatibility issues with many software and devices such as Mac and iOS applications.
  • Image quality is compromised when zoomed in to the maximum capacity. The lag is most noticeable with large movements.
  • Image quality also decreases with too much light like when directed at an open window, or used outside.

YXMY2020 IP PTZ Webcam for Streaming

This PTZ camera boasts of having the best of both worlds. They claim to be equally efficient for video conferencing and streaming. The image quality of the YXMY2020 camera is up to Full HD or 1920×1080 resolution. It can support LAN cable and USB connections. 

Pros:

  • Auto-focus algorithm is fast, accurate, and stable.
  • It has a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) meaning higher data transmission, thus, better image output. 
  • Noise is reduced, while image sharpness is retained.
  • It has a step driving motor mechanism, therefore, the camera moves quietly and smoothly.
  • Product variations such as 2.0 and 3.0 USB cable connection and joystick IP controller are available options.

Cons:

  • This model is one of the least popular among PTZ cameras with limited information available online.

FoMaKo 20X-SDI Simultaneous 3G-SDI/HDMI PTZ Camera

The FoMaKo 20X-SDI Simultaneous 3G-SDI/HDMI PTZ Camera’s specifications are competitive as compared to other full HD camera brands in its range. It is recommended for IP streaming for church and worship, education and teaching, conferences, esports, and similar broadcasts. The network connection is pretty simple and user-friendly.

It is less complicated than most PTZ camera systems in the market. This PTZ camera is compatible with most video interfaces, except for the USB 2.0 port that can only be used for flash drives. It is compatible with most video converters and other audio input devices. The camera hub can accommodate up to three cameras and can be operated by an IP controller.

This PTZ camera is preferred by many organizations for church service streaming and similar indoor events in a large area.

Pros:

  • The image quality still looks good and clear even under low light.
  • It is one of the most affordable PTZ cameras available in the market with decent features.
  • The video output quality is fluent and clear even under low bandwidth conditions or poor internet signal.

Cons:

  • This PTZ camera doesn’t have an image stabilization feature.
  • It has limited temperature tolerance, therefore, strictly for indoor use only.

AViPAS AV-2000G 20x NDI®|HX PTZ Camera

The AViPAS AV-2000G 20x NDI®|HX PTZ Camera w/ PoE is among the most affordable ones available. The specifications and features are pretty impressive considering that AVIPAS is recognized as a small business brand. This PTZ camera is best used for IP streaming and is compatible with any video conferencing software.

This PTZ camera serves with a full HD resolution and claims to retain vivid image quality despite low light conditions. Wall and ceiling mounts are available options. Its features are ideal for conferences, education, training, church service, and worship. It can be controlled via an IR remote control, LAN, or serial commands.

Pros:

  • White balance, exposure, focus, and iris can be automatically or manually adjusted.
  • The camera hub supports an RS232 daisy chain of up to 7 cameras.
  • Focus and shutter may be adjusted automatically or manually. This feature is preferred by camera pros who have a specific preference for image output.
  • White balance adjustment is automatic, but can also be done manually according to preference. This makes it ideal for use indoors and outdoors.

Cons:

  • This PTZ camera doesn’t have an image stabilization feature.
  • It has limited temperature tolerance, therefore, strictly for indoor use only.

Conclusion

Among the five products we reviewed, I’d recommend the Logitech Rally Plus Video Conference Equipment. This PTZ webcam offers full HD video resolution with low noise and high image quality. This is good enough for worship and web conferencing, and it does not necessarily have to be outdoor-built as most of these activities are done in enclosed areas. 

The installation, camera operation, and network system are user-friendly and simple to understand. 

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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
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.


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