Knowing your lenses: Fixed Vs Varifocal Vs PTZ
What are the differences between fixed, varifocal and PTZ cameras?
A fixed lens camera operates, as its name implies, using a nonadjustable lens. You have a fixed focal length and you are unable to adjust the field of view. These tend to be the cheapest option because of the simpler lens mechanism. They also tend to provide a better picture quality because there is no zoom adjustment occurring. For general surveillance needs or if you know you are installing multiple cameras on your property fixed cameras will serve you just fine.
A varifocal lens camera allows the user to adjust the zoom and angle of the lens. This is done on the camera unit itself and cannot be adjusted remotely. This is primarily for users who don’t care to constantly adjust the angle to check in on things. Instead it functions well in locations where traditional fixed lens cameras will not fit discretely and still be able to record an optimal view. Users can install a varifocal camera and then adjust the view to the desired location.
PTZ stands for “pan, tilt, zoom” This is a more advanced form of varifocal lens and adjustments may be made through an external device. Users are able to move the lens around to focus on different aspects around the property. PTZ cameras tend to be the most expensive due to the more complex motorized mechanism which allow it to move. Although, with the increase in cost, you gain the ability to control your cameras from any location. For many users these features are worth it. Whether you are a contractor checking up on progress on work sites or management checking in on employees, PTZ cameras provide an effective option.