Pan-Tilt-Zoom Security Cameras are the Bentley's of Security Cameras. PTZ stands for Pan, Tilt, Zoom, which designates that the camera lens are able to be operated from afar and equipped to move and focus on objects far away. PTZ security cameras are used heavily in government properties. PTZ security cameras are the finest in CCTV. Having the ability to manually adjust your field of view is a vital benefit to a security setup. Most can easily capture a a person's face from as far away as 400 yards.800 feet. There are PTZ security cameras that you can manually control (usually with a keyboard and joystick) and some that have self-tracking technology built into the system of the camera. As you might imagine, PTZ security cameras are most of et time only used for large businesses or important government buildings. The are rarely used in residences, mainly due to their size and cost. Having a camera that allows you to control it remotely, panning it left right up and down and having a zoom function to get a close up look at far away subjects. These functions allow one camera to cover a much greater area making the high cost of PTZ cameras more manageable price-wise. There are many advantages to this type of camera, and as you might imagine the main concern is the high cost in purchasing and operating these cameras. Most PTZ security cameras are manually operated, meaning that a full time staff must be included with the cost structure of these types of cameras. Many large discount or department stores use the cameras to watch for theft, reducing losses by more than what it costs to purchase and operate these machines. However, the cost structure is changing, as many PTZ cameras now have the feature to be set on auto panning mode. Many of these auto-panning cameras cost upwards of $1000, but these expenses pale in comparison to having to pay the salaries of security personnel to man the non-tracking models. If you want to see out to 450 yards away, then ptz security cameras are the only option. The technology every year is being refined and these cameras are simply the best at seeing long distances, currently many companies offer a PTZ optical zoom lens with a magnification of 55X. Although some models claim to have zooming greater than 55X, it is important to remember they are speaking of digital zoom. Digital zooming simply enlarges the pixels on the CCD and results in an image that has terrible resolution and is unusable! Stay away from digital zooming in CCTV. Optical Zoom lenses are available in 10X, 20X, 22X, 32X, and 55X. PTZ Security Cameras are the most technologically advanced security cameras on the market and can Pan, Tilt, and Zoom either automatically or by a operator. As such, they are also the most exorbitant and are generally reserved for Homeland Security, governmental estates, and large department stores. PTZ security camera are usually overkill for houses or light commercial areas.