Are you a church planter? Would you like to start broadcasting your church service in your sanctuary? What about sharing tutorial videos on YouTube or Facebook? Yes? Then, we believe you’ll like our today’s subject as we look at the best PTZ camera for live streaming.
Unlike the traditional broadcast cameras that need multiple human operators, a PTZ camera for streaming needs only one. And best of all, she or he can manage several cameras at the same time using a single controller. That’s controlling the zoom capabilities or the pan (side-to-side) and tilt (up-to-down) movements.
Can I Use the Surveillance PTZ Camera For Live Streaming?
By definition, PTZ is a camera that has a Pan, Tilt, and Zoom feature. Previously, this name was synonymous with security camera systems that we mostly use outdoors for its extensive coverage. However, the type of camera mostly has a fixed lens that depends on a digit zoom that may degrade the image quality significantly. Thus, not ideal for broadcasting.
On the other hand, many broadcast-quality PTZ camera has a motorized zoom lens that the focal length can be adjusted. Hence, bringing the far objects closer while still maintaining a sharper focus. Furthermore, some of these cameras have autofocus and manual programming as well to ensure a clear-cut capture on every shot.
Traditional Broadcast vs PTZ Camera for Streaming
Well, traditional broadcast cameras are those you mount to a tripod or hold by hands while recording an event. They are mostly applicable in scenes where you need a more accurate caption and “follow” shots. After all, the human operator will have only one task to focus on, which means artistic shots will also be easy to make.
Meanwhile, the PTZ camera for broadcast has auto-tracking technology that enables it to follow the motion on stage. This is done use pre-programmed settings that the human operator can choose to achieve specific panning or zooming shots.
Other advantages of the PTZ camera for live streaming over the traditional broadcast include:
- The cameras have multiple mounting options: wall, ceiling, tripod, or floor
- They help save space in crowded rooms or studio
- Can be placed in locations that are seemingly dangerous for human operators
- The PTZ cameras are more cost-effective to have as they need fewer accessories and operators to work.
What’s the Best PTZ Camera for Live Streaming?
When shopping for any kind of a camera system, we usually tell our clients it’s easy to choose. You just need to know what to look and pay keen attention on the details listed by the provider and previous buyers.
If shopping for the best budget video camera for church live streaming, for instance, you should not just focus on the resolution. Factors like a higher motorized zoom, telephoto shoot, and multiple control options are very crucial.
In any case, the AVIPAS AV-1081G is our overall best PTZ camera for broadcast as it has the highest balance of convenience and reliability we were looking. However, it only has a 10x magnification, which is why we’ve included other alternatives that you can use for larger churches or auditoriums. They include:
- Best for Lecturing: ZowieTek (90482-980) 1080P HD Live Streaming PTZ Camera
- Best for Church: PTZOptics PT30X-SDI-GY-G2 Live Streaming PoE PTZ Camera
- Best under $400: Tenveo TEVO-VHD102U Business Video Conference PTZ Camera
- Best for Business: Logitech 960-001186 Pro 2 Video Conference Full HD PTZ Camera
- Best for Webcasting: SMTAV BA30S Full HD IP Streaming Broadcast PTZ Camera
The 7 Best PTZ Camera for Live Streaming Reviews
Here are the detailed reviews of the various PTZ cameras above. You can contrast the features, pros, and cons amongst them to see which model can serve your situation well.
Editor’s Choice: AVIPAS AV-1081G IP LIVE Streaming PTZ Camera
- Elegant, compact design; super quiet and smooth pan/tilt mechanism
- 1920 x 1080 high resolution output with a frame rate up to 60fps. 60.9° wide-angle high-quality...
- 1080p Full HD videos
- IR remote control
- 60.9-degree field of vision
- 2D and 3DD noise reduction
- 10x optical zoom, 5x digital zoom
- H.264/ H,265 video compression
As was mentioned, this piece is our first recommendation for anyone looking for a good live streaming PTZ camera at an average cost. Yes, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but everything else you need to broadcast live streams is available.
If it’s the image quality, the camera has a superior 2.07MP CMOS sensor that delivers vivid Full HD videos. It supports both 2D and 3D noise reduction algorithms, which enables use in low-lighted environments.
The PTZ camera has a 6.9° field of view that gives a standard wide coverage. But the lens has a motorized design that you can zoom up to ten times without degrading g the image quality. Furthermore, there’s a 5x digital zoom that you can incorporate into your shoot if the target object is farther away.
Still, the PTZ camera supports both the standard H.264 and advanced H.265 video compression technology. So, you can efficiently work with lower internet bandwidth or storage available. It also has VISCA Over IP protocol (RS-232) that makes controlling the various functions with a Joystick controller or the provided IR remote a breeze.
- It has a decent and durable design
- Delivers sharp and crisp images
- Pans/ tilts smoothly and quietly
- Straightforward to operate
- Has multiple controlling options
- It’s compact and portable
- The provided remote control has limited applications.
- It has a pretty poor audio function. Thus, you might need an external input
Best for Lecturing: ZowieTek (90482-980) 1080P HD Live Streaming PTZ Camera
- Vivid Images: The PTZ streaming camera offers perfect functions, superior performance and rich...
- Compression: Support H.264/H.265 video compression; AAC, MP3 audio compression; Support compression...
- 1080p Full HD video quality
- Telephoto view angle
- H.264/ H.265 video codec
- Auto/ manual focus and aperture
- 20x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom
If you’re looking for a nice PTZ camera that you can use for tele-education, this model might have the capabilities you need. First, it consists of a well-made, light, and compact design that you can easily take with you anywhere.
The video production camera has a superior sensor that enables you to show live and detailed images in full HD. It has a 20x optical zoom lens that you can vary between 3.3° (telephoto) to 54.7° (wide) viewing angle. So, both the near and far students can see your presentation without struggles.
Speaking of the presentation, the PTZ camera has both manual and automated focus, and so is the electronic rolling shutter. This means you could use the camera for a “traditional” broadcast in case you need to create a more accurate shot.
Moreover, the camera has a variable pan/ tilt control speed and up to 255 presets. However, the infrared remote controller is only limited to ten presets, plus you have to be in the line of sight to operate them. So, if you would want to use the device for events like church streaming or auditorium, you might need another control means.
Thankfully, the PTZ camera also supports RS-232 and RS-485 signal transmission. So, you can also use the VISCA joystick controller or software.
- It’s so easy to setup
- Captures amazingly vivid images
- Supports numerous functions
- Moves around so smoothly and quietly
- It feels sturdy and durable.
- Like AV-1081G, the IR remote has limited applications
- Doesn’t support audio via HDMI or SDI (only on PoE)
Best for Church: PTZOptics PT30X-SDI-GY-G2 Live Streaming IP POE PTZ Camera
- Zoom: 30X optical zoom
- Resolution: 1920x1080
- PoE connection
- 30x optical zoom
- 1080p Full HD
- IR Remote, VISCA controls
- 60.7° (standard), 2.28° (telephoto)
- H.264/ H.265 video compression
PTZOptics is one of the most-talked providers of PTZ cameras for live broadcasting. So, it shouldn’t be surprising to find the model PT30X-SDI-GY-G2 as our choice for the best PTZ camera for live streaming church service. Yes, the brand has a wide variety to choose from, but this particular piece has some interesting specs you might love.
First, the PTZ camera has a sleek design that you can blend with your church décor without being intrusive. It’s slightly larger than the AVIPAS model but still, you could mount to wall, ceiling, or place on the floor without any issue.
Second, the PTZ camera gives your audience 1080p Full HD video quality, all thanks to the built-in 2MP image sensor. The interesting part, though, is that the lens has the standard field of view but could also achieve up to 132.6mm medium telephoto shooting. So, you can magnify your subject (altar maybe) for the audience further away to see well.
Moreover, the video production camera has the VISCA protocol RS-232 ports and infrared remote control interfaces. And if you’ve linked your system to the internet, you can wirelessly control the various features via your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
- It produces crystal-clear and true videos
- Easy to set up and operate
- Supports H.264 and H.265 video codec
- Has OSD menu for upside-down mounting
- Can pair with various video production software
- It has an optional DC power input (in case of blackout).
- It’s quite expensive
Best under $400: Tenveo TEVO-VHD102U Business Video Conference PTZ Camera
- 【1080P FHD Video Conference Camera】The VHD102U USB PTZ Camera is equipped with a 10x optical...
- 【Smooth and Silent Pan/Tilt Movement】Tenveo PTZ Webcam can be controlled remotely to rotate...
- Pan 340°, Tilt 120°
- 10x optical zoom
- 720-1080p HD video quality
- USB 2.0 video output
- Auto/ manual focus
- 256 presets control terminal
If you need a cheap PTZ camera for live streaming business meetings, this design could be a great option. Of course, we didn’t expect much at the kind of budget, but it even comes with more than you might need.
If it’s the video quality, the camera has a 2.1MP Exmor CMOS sensor, with a 10x optical zoom lens. Hence, providing high-quality pictures at the standard and magnified setting. It does have both manual and automated focus, thus shouldn’t be an issue to operate in well-lighted and low-light situations.
Furthermore, the PTZ camera is straightforward to operate via IR remote or VISCA and PELCO control interface. It’s a plug-and-play tool, with a USB video output like that of a webcam. So, even a non-techie could easily set it up and start live streaming via zoom, Skype for business, amongst other software
Sad to say, though, the video production camera doesn’t have a built-in mic, or else HDMI, SDI, or PoE interface that can carry audio. So, you might need to get a separate speakerphone for conference calls. Also, the device supports only the standard H.264 and MJPG video compression. Hence, might be unstable to live stream in Full HD at low internet speeds.
- It’s very affordable
- Makes decent videos
- Quick to put together
- Effortless to control the functions
- Can save the preset camera position
- It has multiple placement methods
- It has no built-in audio feature
- Pretty unreliable in low lighting and high-contrast situations
Best for Business: Logitech 960-001186 Pro 2 Video Conference Full HD PTZ Camera
- NOTE: No Warranty
- PREMIUM CAMERA LENS: Enjoy bright, clear video with accurate color rendition and sharpness, even...
- 1080p Full HD resolution
- 90° field of vision
- 10x motorized zoom
- H.264 video compression
- Infrared remote control
- Plug-and plug USB connectivity
If you’re looking for the best PTZ camera for video conferencing, this model has superior optics that can bring you a life-like live streaming experience. It has a wider 90-degree field of view and a 2-megapixel image sensor. Thus, captures in high definition while at the same time covering a large scene and offering an extensive magnification.
The PTZ camera has a USB plug-and-play connectivity that makes it a breeze to set up. It’s compatible with a variety of video conferencing applications on Mac and Windows computers, including Skype for Business, Zoom, Broadsoft, amongst others.
Furthermore, the system has an intuitive handheld remote that you use to operate the pan, tilt, and zoom function. The remote uses an infrared signal that requires you to be on a line of sight to operate. But if you would want to control from a remote location, there’s downloadable software for that as well.
- It captures a wide shot for everyone within
- Delivers bright and clear video
- Rotates smoothly and quietly
- Light and easy to move around
- Quick and effortless to set up
- Has multiple mounting options
- It doesn’t have a built-in microphone
- Has limited control options (remote/ software)
- Tricky to configure settings like sleep timeout
Best for Webcasting: SMTAV BA30S Full HD IP Streaming Broadcast PTZ Camera
- Apply 1/2.7 inch high quality HD CMOS sensor and TAMRON Lens offers a wide 60.7 degree FOV and...
- As a PTZ camera,supports horizontal rotation(-170° to 170°) and vertical rotation(-30° to...
- 576i to 1080p HD @60fps
- H.264/ MPEG/ H.265 codec
- 255 preset programs
- Local storage port
- RJ45 network interface (PoE)
IR remote/ software/ Joystick controller panel
If you’re a video production hobbyist and want to start sharing content on YouTube or Facebook, the SMTAV could make a great tool. It not only delivers outstanding details and clarity but also could connect with a Hard drive for local storage.
The PTZ camera can capture up to 1080p full HD at a rate of 60 frames per second. It has a wide 60.7° field of view but could rotate up to 340° and tilt up to 120° to capture other corners of the rooms. More on that, the device has a 30x motorized zoom and 8x digital zoom. So, you can greatly magnify your presentation without losing clarity.
The video product camera supports both 2D and 3D digital noise reduction, in which case you can use up to a 0.5 lux low light situation. It supports MJPEG, H.264, and H.265 video compression technology, making it an excellent piece to maximize bandwidth and storage consumption.
Furthermore, the system has built-in ports for LAN, RS-232, and RS-486, as well as an infrared remote control. It’s also compatible with the PTZOptics mobile app and web address to give you unlimited PTZ control options.
- It has a sleek and durable style
- Has multiple High-Def. video outputs
- Delivers crisp and natural videos
- Supports ONVIF protocol
- Can be mounted upside down (on the ceiling)
- It includes PoE for smoother video and audio share
- It’s relatively expensive
Best Design: Aver Black COM520PRS PRO Conference Streaming PTZ Camera
- HIGH DEFINITION: Full 1080p video at 30 frames per second enjoy highest resolution available for...
- SMART FRAME Automatically frame people based on facial recognition and optimize color and light for...
Similarly, this model can make a great addition for sharing live streams on YouTube and other social platforms. Of course, it lacks some touches with the [Upgraded] CAM520 PRO but still has some of the finest features than the rest in our reviews.
One of these specs is the integrated SmartFrame Algorithm that activates facial detection to automatically fit all participants on-screen. If the participants are few, say like two, the system will autofocus and minimize the trigger line. Then, if the participants are more, the camera will autofocus to increase the trigger line for everyone to fit within the frame. Hence, delivering a life-like video chat and with lesser need for the remote controller.
The PTZ camera has a Sony 2-megapixel sensor and a wider 82-degree field of vision. It has an optical zoom function that you can also achieve a telephoto shoot for the subjects at a farther distance. Moreover, the device has a true WDR of up to 120db. So, you can still have a well-balanced colored shoot in high-contrast backgrounds
Still, the video camera has VISCA RS-232 so that you can use an AV control panel in situations where the infrared remote is inapplicable.
- It captures a wide scene
- Delivers smooth and crystal images
- Has PoE live streaming feature
- Straightforward to set up and operate
- Supports various video conferencing applications
- It’s pretty pricey
- Doesn’t include a mic or speakerphone
Buying Guide: 6 Things To Look When Choosing The Best PTZ Camera For Live Streaming
As was mentioned earlier, various PTZ cameras have different features and capabilities. So, it’s not all in the market that will bring you the exceptional live streaming experience you may need for your church, class, video conferencing, or webcasting.
So, some of the features you have to focus on as you shop around are:
Video quality: the higher the camera resolution, the sharper and clearer will the captured videos. It also ensures the live presentation doesn’t degrade significantly when using digital zoom features
Type of Focus: either auto or manual focus is great, but having both can be a bonus. This will ensure you get a perfect focus on every shot, including low-light situations where autofocus tends to struggle activating.
Maximum Pan and Tilt: The whole purpose of a PTZ camera is to make it possible to cover from corner to corner without limitations. So, even if you are looking for the cheapest alternative, make sure it can make the highest possible rotation and tilt.
Motorized Zoom: If you need a camera for the auditorium, church, or lecturing hall, look for the highest optical zoom. This will help ensure you can zoom the distant subjects or magnify the presentation without hurting the clarity.
Audio capabilities: even if a PTZ camera doesn’t have a built-in microphone, any other audio signal transmission can be very helpful. Whether it’s an analog jack input, PoE, or SDI, the function will enhance the efficacy of a live production or broadcast
Control Options: Nearly all PTZ cameras for live streaming have an infrared remote for faster management. However, this remote can only work when in a line of sight with the camera but will be ineffective when at the back or sides. So, for events streaming, you may need to consider a system that also supports VISA over protocol and PoE connectivity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are PTZ cameras worth it?
PTZ cameras for live streaming can be very helpful in churches where the production crew are usually volunteers. The system is straightforward to operate, plus one operator can control several gadgets. Furthermore, PTZ cameras can be mounted to the walls, ceiling, or Scaffold, thus, maximizing the space in a crowded room or studio. So, they’re definitely worth having.
What is a PTZ camera?
A PTZ camera is an acronym for a motorized camera with a Pan, tilt, zoom feature. However, there’s a PTZ camera for surveillance (mostly uses digital zoom) and a specialty design for live streaming. For the latter, the used lens has a motorized zoom to make sure you can zoom/ magnify without hurting the clarity. Some models have up to 30x optical zoom for a telephoto shot when the subject or audience is farther away.
What is a PTZ camera used for?
Put simply, a PTZ camera for live streaming can be used in numerous applications. In many cases, however, the technology is used for video conferencing, webcasting, lecturing, and broadcasting church services. Some video producers also use them during events like music shows (mostly visible on the performance stage).
How far can a PTZ camera see?
Different cameras have varying features and capabilities. So, how far a specific model can see depends on the size of lenses and zoom capabilities. Most of the consumer models in the market record in 1080p HD and with 10x – 30x optical zoom capabilities. Hence, can see objects over 100 feet away (with a 4.0 x 115.0 zoomed width) without image deterioration.
PTZ cameras are the best solution for video production with a small crew. They are very easy to operate and can produce powerful live broadcasts with multiple shots from one device. Hence, one of the many reasons more and more churches are choosing them to live streaming their service.
From the seven alternatives we picked, the models AVIPAS AV-1081G and PTZOptics PT30X-SDI-GY-G2 PoE PTZ Camera are our two favorite choices. YES, the second one is a bit pricey but the pair has PoE technology and VISCA control interfaces that are very crucial to any camera for live streaming.