PTZ vs 360 Security Cameras: When and Where to use them in your business (2024)

December 21, 2023

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

PTZ vs 360 security cameras which is better? There is no one type of business security camera that can be used in all situations. The best video surveillance setups have multiple different types of cameras deployed where their advantages are best exploited. Here’s what you need to know about PTZ vs 360 security cameras to best place them in your business.

See how Solink maximizes the security value of your PTZ and 360 security cameras.

What is a PTZ security camera?

PTZ stands for pan, tilt, zoom, and that’s basically what they can do. Instead of viewing the same location like a bullet or turret camera, you can remotely pan PTZ cameras left and right or tilt the angle up and down to cover more area. Once you find something of interest, you can then zoom in for a better view of what’s happening.

Note that, even though you can pan and tilt the camera to see different locations, only images in frame are recorded. This limits the value of PTZ cameras compared to 360 cameras.

PTZ cameras give security and asset protection professionals more flexibility in camera placement. For example, thanks to the handy zoom function, PTZ cameras can be placed further away from the point of interest. Furthermore, while PTZ cameras can be more expensive than dome or bullet cameras, a business may be able to use fewer security cameras, thus saving money overall.

PTZ security camera pros and cons

Overall, PTZ security cameras show a lot of advantages compared to other types of business security cameras, such as dome, bullet, or turret cameras. However, 360 cameras are better in nearly every respect.

PTZ security camera advantages

PTZ security camera advantages:

  • Able to pan left and right as well as change the angle up and down to scan a wider area.
  • Can zoom in on specific activities for a better look.
  • Requires fewer security cameras to surveil a given area.

PTZ security camera disadvantages

Here are the main disadvantages of PTZ cameras:

  • Must be manually controlled.
  • Only records what is currently in view of the camera lens.
  • Only records what is currently in view of the camera lens.
security camera illustrations in row

What is a 360 security camera?

Sometimes called fisheye cameras, 360 security cameras use ultra-wide lenses to provide a complete view of an entire area. They are referred to as 360 cameras because they provide a 360° by 180° view of an area. Unlike PTZ security cameras, 360 security cameras record everything happening in this area at all times, making them more effective video surveillance equipment.

These security cameras can provide complete coverage of an open area, often replacing four to six standard security cameras. However, the image can be highly distorted when viewed on a flat screen, reducing their security value. Solink solves this problem with modern cloud-based video surveillance technology. The Solink platform stretches the image out, giving a fully immersive view of the area.

Similar to dome cameras, 360 cameras are usually protected by a plastic dome, which is an excellent anti-vandalism measure. It makes it difficult to tamper with the camera, and because of the wide field of view, it is difficult to deface the camera without being in the camera’s view beforehand. 

Fisheye cameras come in high definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) versions, as well as 4K and higher resolution versions for higher security needs.

360 cameras are important security tools because they can cover large areas with a single camera, reducing the number of cameras that need to be purchased and the amount of Ethernet cabling required.

While 360 security cameras are more expensive than typical dome or bullet security cameras, by replacing four to six other cameras and requiring a simpler installation, they usually save businesses money.

Solink allows you to view 360 camera feeds in several ways. You can view the original, distorted video feed. The feed can be split into multiple images to mimic the view of several cameras in an area. Finally, using modern AI video analytics technology, the Solink platform can provide a full immersive view, mimicking the feeling of being in the middle of the covered area.

360 security camera pros and cons

Overall, 360 security cameras can be considered the most advanced type of business video surveillance camera. However, they cannot be effectively deployed in all locations.

360 security camera advantages

Here are the main advantages of 360 cameras:

  • Provide a full 360° by 180° view of an area.
  • Can replace four to six standard security cameras.
  • Can protect entire wide open areas with a single camera.
  • Reduced need for PoE cabling, making installation of a business security camera system less expensive.
  • Offer high resolution and frame rate video recordings.

360 security camera disadvantages

Here are the main disadvantages of 360 cameras:

  • Distorted “fisheye” image that requires video analytics to make usable.
  • Can’t get the full value of 360 cameras in narrow areas.

Are PTZ vs 360 security cameras better?

PTZ security cameras brought a lot of value to loss prevention when they were first released. However, since then, 360 security cameras have mostly replaced the technology. That’s because a 360 camera records video in all directions at once.

Where should I use PTZ vs 360 security cameras?

PTZ cameras are still useful, so it isn’t recommended to rip and replace them with newer 360 security cameras. PTZ cameras usually don’t have full 360° swivel capabilities, so they can be deployed in narrower areas than 360 cameras. 

In businesses, for example casinos, that hire a lot of on-site security guards, PTZ cameras are a great option. While they require live monitoring to get the most value out of their capabilities, in these situations, the zoom ability especially can provide superior evidence to other camera types.

Where should I use 360 vs PTZ security cameras?

Overall, 360 security cameras are a great part of your surveillance infrastructure. However, they lose a lot of their value in smaller or narrower areas. They are most valuable when provided a complete view of a large wide open area. 

Here are some examples of where 360 cameras can be deployed to maximum effect:

Solink is your one-stop shop for commercial security cameras. We can source business security cameras at competitive prices and then have them installed.

The Solink platform comes with helpful features that lower costs, save you time, and improve revenue. 

If you are looking to install or upgrade your security cameras, sign up for a demo today.

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Timothy Ware is Solink’s Content Manager. He brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to the job. When he isn’t writing about security, loss prevention, and asset protection, he’s enjoying his newest board game. His work has appeared on many B2B SaaS websites including Baremetrics, Security Today, TeamPassword, Cova, and SignTime.