Surveillance Cameras Are Remote Control
A PTZ surveillance camera is used in an unlikely situation, and is a bullet cam instead of dome cam
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(permanent link) added: 2013-05-02 18:40:28 sponsor: SpiderRider3 (last reply: 2014-06-01 19:54:52)

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Surveillance cameras come in two varieties: fixed, and Pan/Tilt/Zoom. These cameras are Exactly What It Says on the Tin: fixed cameras are permanently positioned and aimed when they are installed and cannot be moved remotely. Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras, known as PTZ cameras in the security industry, have motors which move the camera, providing controls to the operator to allow them to point the camera at items of interest and zoom in on them.

While PTZ cameras are very cool, they are much more expensive than their fixed counterparts. An extremely high end remote control camera can cost up to $2000. (Lower end cameras may cost only a few hundred dollars, but zoom levels, resolution, movement speed, and low light performance decrease with cost.) As such, they are generally limited to high security applications, as well as large department stores who must reduce shoplifting and can afford the high cost.

In addition to their cost, PTZ cameras are only useful when monitored by a human who can move the camera and zoom in on suspect individuals or activities. These two factors make remote control security cameras a bit less common than fixed cameras in real life. Most people don't have the resources to pay for the cameras or the staff to operate them, choosing instead to install fixed cameras. In fiction, however, nearly all surveillance cameras can move. Those without humans to operate them will sweep automatically through a preset pattern. Anyone infiltrating a Supervillain Lair or other secure facility will face the challenge of dodging the cameras to pass undetected.

Subtrope of Insecurity Camera.


Live-Action TV
  • Alan and Charlie's mother has one of these at the front door of her house in Two and a Half Men.
  • Breaking Bad: Gus adds one to the lab Walter and Jesse cook in. The use of a PTZ camera here is justified, since cooking methamthetamine is a complex process and it makes sense Gus would want to zoom in to see what they are doing up close. However, it is still a bullet type camera instead of a dome.
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