Fisheye vs. Pan-Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Cameras

September 14, 2012 by
Filed under: CCTV Articles, Comparisons, GeoVision, IP Cameras, Quick Overview 

Since I have been involved with CCTV, I have had countless customers tell me that they need a Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera for their application. While PTZ technology certainly has a place in the industry, we are now finding that in many instances, the user’s goal can not only be achieved, but actually improved upon, by utilizing a fisheye camera instead.

Let’s first look at a few of the disadvantages of PTZ Cameras:

  • In order to utilize PTZ technology, an operator is required at the monitoring station to physically aim the camera at the point of interest.
  • PTZ cameras only record what is being directly viewed. In other words, if the operator zooms in on a given point within a field of view, all other activity goes unseen, and thereby unrecorded.
  • With moving parts comes a greater chance for equipment malfunction.
  • Cost. PTZ cameras tend to run at a higher price point than other types of CCTV cameras.

All of these disadvantages can be improved upon by utilizing a single fisheye camera. Let’s again address the four items that are listed above, and discuss why a fisheye camera might make more sense for your application.

Advantages of Fisheye Cameras over PTZ Cameras:

  • No operator is required. Fisheye cameras have the ability to capture a 360 degree field of view, and with the functionality of the GeoVision software, the user can go back to the data they need to review, and by simply manipulating the images on the screen, they can isolate areas of interest without having to utilize a person at a monitoring station.
  • The fisheye camera records everything it sees in its 360 degree field of view. Again, by simply manipulating the image on the screen, the user can see exactly what he wants to see, either live or on the recorded footage. Regardless of what you may focus in on, nothing is missed, and everything is recorded!
  • No Moving Parts! There isn’t a moving lens in the fisheye camera. As with any mechanical equipment, the fewer moving parts that exist provide a lesser likelihood of failure.
  • Cost – ApexCCTV has fisheye cameras that begin at $339. This is certainly a modest price given the advanced functionality of this technology; PTZ cameras start at a higher price point for the same specs.

There are several great video and photo examples of the fisheye camera that can be found on the ApexCCTV website, GV-FE110, or you can view the video below. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a qualified Account Manager @ 800-997-8460 or visit!


6 Comments on Fisheye vs. Pan-Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Cameras

  1. IT Support Services Sydney on Fri, 14th Sep 2012 10:52 pm
  2. Thank you for publishing these details online.

  3. Tyler on Mon, 17th Sep 2012 9:56 am
  4. All signs point towards the fisheye camera. How can you pass up 360 degree viewing capabilities for a cheaper price and less work? PTZ cameras have their place, but for home security fisheye takes the cake on this one.

  5. KD on Mon, 17th Sep 2012 4:59 pm
  6. All I got to say is AWESOME BLOG Brian! I have personally worked with the fisheye cameras and I thinkl they are some of the best cameras on the market.

  7. Eric on Tue, 18th Sep 2012 7:07 am
  8. We had a 100′ x 400′ warehouse that we got COMPLETE coverage of with 3 Fisheye cameras! We would have had to use 14 or more traditional CCTV cameras and still would not have covered the whole area with as much detail.

  9. tim on Thu, 27th Sep 2012 10:10 pm
  10. Fisheye is great for getting full view of almost any large area which can help you save on installation & camera cost by not having to install the extra 2-3 cameras you would need to get the area covered by one fisheye.

  11. Jonathan on Wed, 24th Oct 2012 4:28 pm
  12. Great information. The Fisheye incorporates everything one could want out of a full scale surveillance camera. The square footage coverage, the price being half of an IP PTZ camera and non-moving parts make this camera the standard.

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