Worship Facility Gear Report: PTZ Cameras

by | Jan 5, 2023 | Gear, Gear Report, Production, Video

Editor’s Note: Welcome to the first installment of Worship Facility Gear Report, our new monthly feature. Each month, industry veteran Bill Di Paolo will present a different category of products in the realm of audio, video, and lighting, and show you a selection of offerings, discussing the strengths of each product from a user’s perspective. Because each church has unique needs, what might work well for one might not work well for another, but this feature will give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) cameras will help boost the quality of your streaming, web conferencing or video production, and what they offer varies greatly. There are now options from full cinema quality, to 4K broadcast standard, and through streaming to security. This guide will help you choose the best Pan/Tilt/Zoom camera for your needs, at the best possible price. 

PTZ cameras come with motorized stands which allow for remote control, or intelligent automatic operation. Their popularity has boomed in recent years, and that’s no surprise. Almost any scenario where a webcam can be useful, including Zoom calls with presentations and streaming content on social media, can benefit from a camera that can follow you – especially if you like to use the whole space. 

So how do you choose the right PTZ camera for your particular needs? Mounting options are one important thing to consider. Resolution is another. Connectivity is critical, too: you’ll want to know what quality video signals you can get out via what sockets, and whether it’s possible to attach a microphone for pro quality sound. This is especially important if you’re using the PTZ camera to create a live stream over IP. 

Below, we’ve listed PTZ cameras available today, for a range of uses. We’ve included the facts you’ll need to choose between them.

PTZ cameras in 2023


1. Panasonic AW-UE50 PTZ

PTZ camera for broadcast

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: 4K or 1080P
  • Zoom/digital: 24x optical, 28x digital in 4K, or 36x in 1080P
  • Frame rate: 25/30fps at 4K
  • Field of view: 74.1˚
  • Size: 92 x 166 x 160mm
  • Connectivity: USB, HDMI, Ethernet, RS-422, SDI-3G
  • Weight: 1.88kg
REASONS TO BUY
  • Built-in web browser control system
  • Can be used as a webcam
  • Widest lens on a PTZ camera
REASONS TO AVOID
  • Most Panasonic software not Mac-friendly
  • IP Streaming is 1080P maximum

2. Sony SRG-300H

PTZ camera for large rooms like theaters or churches

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: 1080P
  • Zoom/optical: 30x
  • Frame rate: 59.94@ 1080p
  • Field of view: 65(wide) degrees
  • Size: 164 x 163 x 157 mm
  • Connectivity: HDMI, Ethernet, RS232 pass, RS422
  • Weight: 1400g
REASONS TO BUY
  • Long throw zoom
  • Elegant design
  • Digital (VISCA) and analog remote systems
REASONS TO AVOID
  • SDI output an optional extra (300SE)

3. PTZOptics 12x SDI Gen2 camera

PTZ camera for connectivity and remote control

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: 1080P
  • Zoom/optical: 12x
  • Frame rate: 60fps at 1080p
  • Field of view: 72.5 (wide) – 6.9 (zoomed) degrees (12x)
  • Size: 320 x 181 x 110mm
  • Connectivity: HDMI, Ethernet, SDI, RS232 pass, RS485, USB
  • Weight: 1.6kg
REASONS TO BUY
  • Excellent lens quality
  • Extremely adaptable
  • Thorough image quality adjustment options
REASONS TO AVOID
  • Resolution dial a little fiddly

4. Obsbot Tiny 4K

The best PTZ camera for value

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Zoom/optical: 2x
  • Frame rate: 30fps (or 1080P @ 60fps)
  • Field of view: –
  • Pan: 290˚
  • Tilt: 90˚
  • Size: 89 x 58 x 58mm (height 142mm with mount)
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Weight: 146g (175g with mount)
REASONS TO BUY
  • Magnetic mount included
  • USB Type-C is MacBook friendly
  • Power drawn from USB connection
REASONS TO AVOID
  • Hand gestures are an acquired taste

5. Sony BRC-X1000

PTZ camera for sports

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Zoom/optical: 12x, digital up to 24x
  • Frame rate: 59.94@ 1080p / 4k@30fps
  • Field of view: 64.6 (wide) degrees
  • Size: 164 x 163 x 157 mm
  • Connectivity: HDMI, Ethernet, RS232 pass, RS422
  • Weight: 1400g
REASONS TO BUY
  • 4k video resolution
  • Large one-inch sensor
REASONS TO AVOID
  • Less zoom range than some

6. Sony FR-7

The first PTZ camera with interchangeable lenses

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: 4K or 1080P
  • Zoom/optical: depends on lens (Sony FE mount)
  • Frame rate: 120fps 4K
  • Field of view: depends on lens
  • Size: 289 x 227 x 233mm
  • Connectivity: USB, HDMI, Ethernet, RS-422, SDI-3G
  • Weight: 4.6kg + lens
REASONS TO BUY
  • Unique potential for Sony E-mount users
  • 12G SDI supports 4K at up to 120fps
  • TC connector for sync
  • Dual CFexpress A or SD cards
REASONS TO AVOID
  • Potential for high expense
  • Relatively few lenses support powered zoom

7. Datavideo PTC-140

PTZ camera for field operations needing telephoto

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: 1080P
  • Zoom: 20x (+10x digital)
  • Frame rate: 60fps at 1080p
  • Field of view: 55.8˚(wide)-3.2˚(zoomed) degrees
  • Size: 320 x 181 x 110mm
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, SDI, HDMI
  • Weight: 1600g
REASONS TO BUY
  • Dual streaming option
  • Good in low light
  • Good feature set for the budget
REASONS TO AVOID
  • Digital zoom soft

8. Canon CR-N300

PTZ camera for cinematic quality

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Zoom: 20x
  • Frame rate: 60fps @ 1080p / 30fps @ 4K
  • Field of view: 3.6 to 65.6 (wide) degrees
  • Size: 154 x 178 x 164mm
  • Connectivity: HDMI, BNC, Ethernet, RS232 pass, RS422, Canon XC, NDI
  • Weight: 2400g
REASONS TO BUY
  • Hybrid AF
  • PoE LAN
  • Smaller format for easier install
  • 4K UHD recording
REASONS TO AVOID
  • Canon RCI controller is Canon-only
  • 3G SDI not suited to 4K broadcast

9. Logitech PTZ Pro 2

PTZ camera for videoconferencing

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Zoom/lens: 10x
  • Frame rate: 30fps at 1080p
  • Field of view: 90 degrees
  • Size: 130 x 131 x 146 mm
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Weight: 580g
REASONS TO BUY
  • Accessible price
  • USB convenience 
REASONS TO AVOID
  • Autofocus can be distracting
  • Remote of dubious quality

10. MEVO Start

PTZ camera for livestreaming

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Zoom/digital: –
  • Frame rate: 30fps at 1080p
  • Field of view: 84 degrees
  • Size: 34 x 75 x 87mm
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (NDI), USB-C, 3.5mm mic
  • Weight: 232g
REASONS TO BUY
  • Brilliantly realized software
  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Option for software to grow with your audience
REASONS TO AVOID
  • You need Mevo Plus for 4K
  • Paid subscription for some features

11. Obsbot Me

AI powered phone mount for vloggers and phone streaming

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: dependent on phone’s camera
  • Zoom/digital: dependent on phone’s camera
  • Frame rate: dependent on phone’s camera
  • Field of view: dependent on phone’s camera
  • Size: 320 x 181 x 110 mm
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (NDI), USB-C, 3.5mm mic
  • Weight: 200g
REASONS TO BUY
  • Use your phone camera’s quality
  • No app required
  • Ideal for vlogger’s B-roll
REASONS TO AVOID
  • Resolution dial a little fiddly
  • No tilt function

12. AVER VC520 Pro 2

Another great choice for videoconferencing

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Zoom/digital: 12x (18x inc digital)
  • Frame rate: 60fps @ 1080P
  • Field of view: 85 degrees
  • Size: 143x153x182mm
  • Connectivity: USB 3.1
  • Weight: 1450g
REASONS TO BUY
  • Full duplex speakerphone
  • Bluetooth for easier setup
  • Simple USB compatibility
REASONS TO AVOID
  • Potential feature confusion

13. Vikviz HikVision

PTZ camera for outdoor security

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Zoom/optical: 18x (30x digital)
  • Frame rate: 30fps
  • Field of view: 4.7-84.6mm
  • Pan: 355˚
  • Tilt: 90˚
  • Size: 236 x 135 x 135mm
  • Connectivity: Ethernet/PoE
  • Weight: 1330g
REASONS TO BUY
  • Sturdy metal and plastic construction
  • Quicker to focus than some, with less hunting
  • SADP, Danale, Blue Iris & iSpy client compatibility
REASONS TO AVOID
  • Night image 

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