PTZOptics PTZ Camera Review and Comparisons


Pan-tilt-zoom cameras, or PTZ cameras, come in a variety of purposes and functions, and PTZOptics makes all types of them for the professional and semi-professional to use. As with everything the company manufactures, these PTZ cameras are high-tech cameras that are great for people on a budget. They include SDI, USB, NDI, standard Z-cams, and dual SDI/EPTZ Z cams. Below are descriptions of each of the cameras that they have on the market.

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PTZOptics PTZ Camera Review and Comparisons 1

SDI PTZ Cameras

These are second-generation PTZ cameras with optical zoom lenses in 12X, 20X, and 30X, which means that you can choose the one that best suits your needs. They are high-definition cameras that are built to accommodate professional video productions. In fact, PTZOptics allows you to customize your SDI camera so that you get the perfect camera regardless of the type of production you’re working on.

Some of the many features in the company’s SDI PTZ cameras include:

  • A wide dynamic range that allows for high performance even in low-light scenarios
  • 2D and 3D noise reduction, thanks to their low-noise CMOS sensor
  • Broadcast frame rates of 1080p59.94/29.97, 1080i59.94, and 720p59.94
  • Full-frame rates of 1080p-60/50/30/25, 1080-60/50, and 720p-60/50/30/25
  • A simple one-push and new Kelvin temperature scale for expert white balance modes

Finally, you also get a three-year warranty on the parts and labor, which gives you great peace of mind while you work with the camera on your various projects.

This SDI camera also offers remote robotic control that includes smartphone capability on your Android, iOS, or Kindle; an IP joystick controller; software options such as Wirecast, Livestream Studio, vMix, Tricaster, and OBS, among others; a serial joystick controller; and advanced control software for both PCs and Mac computers. You get a field of view that ranges from 75.5° for the 12X to 60.7° for the 30X as well as discreet mounting options that allow you to mount them almost anywhere without being discovered.

USB PTZ Cameras

Built with USB 3.0 connectivity, their plug-and-play capability means that you can easily use these cameras for various video-recording, conferencing, and streaming applications. The USB connectivity has options for both IP and HDMI streaming and the combination of great high-definition video outputs and flexible camera control options makes this camera one of the best on the market. You can use the camera with Android, iOS, joysticks, PTZ controllers, and much more.

This remote camera can be used by both iOS and Android smartphones as well as Kindles. Its software capabilities include PTZOptics software for both PC and Mac, any modern web browser, and even video conferencing software that includes Zoom Video Conferencing. You can get either Serial or IP control systems such as Extron and Crestron. You even get benefits such as a serial joystick controller, SteamDeck integration, an IP joystick controller, and open-source control software on GitHub.

And if you’re concerned about getting the camera set up or taking care of any problems along the way, do not worry because PTZOptics provides an excellent support team that allows you to contact them through email, phone, or chat as well as through their online Udemy course, their reliable support ticket system, a Facebook user group, weekly live shows, and more.

The PTZOptics USB camera with plug-and-play capability is super easy to use and gives you great options when it comes to video communication installations and excellent, high-quality optics. You also get features such as high-definition capacity, a wide angle lens, and a three-year warranty that gives you the peace of mind you deserve from day one.

This USB camera is also available in 12X and 20X designs and it can be easily mounted on the ceiling, wall, pole mounts, or a variety of outdoor enclosures. It is perfect for collaboration and video conferencing software such as WebEX, Skype, GoToMeeting, and Zoom as well as computer-based live streaming applications such as xSplit, OBS, and Wirecast. You can even upgrade the USB 3.0 models to the NDI system and the 12X model starts at around $1870.

NDI PTZ Cameras

The PTZOptics NDI cameras are actually SDI cameras with built-in NDI functionality. With IP technology and models with 12X, 20X, and 30X optical zoom lenses, these NDI-compatible PTZ cameras support power, video/audio, and control over a single Ethernet cable, which makes installing the system and setting up for live streaming a whole lot easier. With these cameras, you get broadcast frame rates and NDI video outputs that video production professionals will find easy to deploy.

In addition, the cameras feature NDI, HDMI, SDI, and multiple standard IP streaming formats for your convenience. They are equipped with the latest PTZ camera control technologies, which means that operating the camera remotely cannot be easier. You simply connect it to an IP network and then broadcasters can choose from options such as Ethernet-connect NDI workflows, professional 3G SDI-connected workflows, and traditional HDMI workflows simultaneously.

You can also accommodate a variety of web- or software-based streaming applications including OBS, xSplit, MimoLive, Tricasters, vMix, and Wirecast, among others. You can set the camera up and have everything to go in no more than ten minutes. You even get PTZ camera control integrations such as the NDI Studio Monitor, which gives you instant access to the camera’s video and control. You can utilize the PTZ joystick and you can even control the pan, tilt, and zoom functions right from your smartphone, including both Android and iOS models, thanks to the free software for Mac and PC supplied by the company.

PTZOptics Z-Cam Cameras

The PTZOptics Z-cam cameras are network-connected SDI cameras designed with built-in SDI and PoE (power over Ethernet) and they are designed for professional video streaming jobs. If you wish to add more options for your video production team and you’re on a budget the PTZOptics Z-cam models are a great solution. The Z-cam 20X camera offers seamless color matching, and you get super-easy setup, integration with PoE, and advanced remote control options, all of which are crucial when you want professional results in the end.

You can also enjoy features that include:

  • 3G SDI connectivity up to 1080p @ 60 FPS for video output
  • IP-connected feature that allows for better remote management and control, thanks to software such as vMix and Wirecast, not to mention your IP joysticks
  • An RS-485 serial control for your joysticks

With the PTZOptics Z-cam cameras, you can enjoy capturing unique viewing angles and the ability to deploy cameras up to 300 feet away as long as you’re using regular Ethernet cabling. In fact, each of their compact Z-cam cameras includes an option for NDI integration, which makes integration into video production software smooth and easy. You can connect to high-quality 3G SDI-equipped video switchers, which allows you to access a wide variety of hard video switchers from Roland, Blackmagic Design, and NewTek, among others.

These Z-cam cameras are affordable and offer a practical way to add additional video shots to any production, making them perfect for recording musical performances, school broadcasts, graduation ceremonies, sporting events, and much more. The cameras come in four different options, including:

  • PTVL-ZCAM: 4X (manual), 104°
  • PT12X-ZCAM: 12X, 72.5°
  • PT20X-ZCAM: 20X, 60.7°
  • PTEPTZ-ZCAM-G2 (new): EPTX (3X), 104°

As you can see, you have a lot of options available to you with the Z-cam cameras so whether you’re an individual or a small film company, you’ll find a lot of uses for the PTZOptics Z-cam cameras. They are also very affordable, ranging in price from $549 to $879. (These are the starting prices for the multi-purpose POV cameras that will become higher if you add options such as NDI compatibility.)

With both SDI and NDI Z-cam options, you get a fully functional camera that is great for a variety of video production projects and the most that you’ll pay for any of them is around $1300.

New Dual SDI EPTZ Z-Cam Cameras

These are new wide-angle Z-cams that have dual SDI outputs. They contain 4K video camera sensors that are built directly into the camera and allow you to zoom in while still maintaining 1080p and 720p quality levels. To get the most out of your 4K image, all you have to do is determine the maximum zoom level for the project at hand. Then zoom into your 4K image and create digital ePTZ presets that you can recall at any time afterwards with just a touch of a button, making this feature super easy and convenient. (With this option, SDI outputs are limited to 1080p 30 FPS or lower resolutions.)

The EPTZ will simulate pan, tilt, and zoom operations inside of any large-resolution pixel space; for example, a 4K image space will allow for 3X lossless digital zoom with a 720p output. And because there are two unique SDI outputs, your production can essentially cut between both tight and wide camera views while you’re using just one camera.

With these Z-cams, you can take control of your camera’s EPTZ functionality because you get PTZOptics’s free camera control software with your purchase. And you can control the camera using other software solutions as well, including Wirecast, Livestream Studio, and OBS, to name a few. When you use the NDI model, you can even control the camera with NDI Studio and other NDI production options.

With a large Ultra-HD CMOS image sensor and camera lens, you get a much more detailed and realistic view when you’re shooting videos. If you’re recording something live, all details look crisper when you choose these EPTZ cameras. These cameras come in two different models. The regular Z-cam camera sells for about $550 and the NDI Z-cam camera sells for around $990. Both options are obviously very affordable for most users.

These are two very unique Z-cam models with 4K image sensors for the ultimate in electronic pan, tilt, and zoom (EPTZ) capability. They offer a 104° field of view, a 2.8mm focal length, and other features that make them perfect when you want to capture the action from any angle. You can also control the cameras with either an IP joystick or NDI Studio monitor. Once you connect them to your LAN, you can use the free PTZ control applications for Mac and PC or a compatible video production software such as vMix, OBS, or Tricasters.

PTZOptics Webcam

his webcam is super easy to use and offers plug-and-play capability with USB 2.0 connectivity and power. It has a lot of very useful features that most users will consider vitally important, including:

  • 80° field of view
  • OSD menu software
  • EPTZ control
  • 1920 x 1080p @ 30 FPS

You get an LED indicator that is illuminated during use to make things easier for everyone on the floor, beam-forming microphones for high-quality pickup, a mounting base that lets you mount the camera to either a monitor or a 1/4 20 screw, and a rubber lens cover that fully protects the lens when it isn’t being used.

The resolution on the PTZOptics webcam is 1080p – 30/25, 720p-30/25 and it is also a very lightweight camera, weighing in at only .16 kg, which is roughly five ounces. Its other features include a frame rate of up to 30 FPS (MJPEG), a field of view of 80°, digital noise reduction of 2D and 3D DNR, an EPTZ digital zoom of 1.5x-8x, and even a three-year warranty for your peace of mind.

It also offers dual mics, DRC control, gain control, shutter control, backlight, color-tuning, image flip, contrast control, firmware upgrade capability, and anti-flicker capability. You get all of this and more for a price of around $98, which means that you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck when you buy one of these webcams.

The PTZOptics PTZ cameras are second to none when it comes to their quality and their usefulness. There are many different products to choose from and they even have multi-camera kits for those who need them. As you can see, the prices of these products are very reasonable so whether you’re an amateur or a professional video producer, they will come in handy every time.

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