A pan–tilt–zoom camera (PTZ camera) is a camera that is capable of remote directional and zoom control.
In television production, PTZ controls are used with professional video cameras in television studios, sporting events, and other spaces. They are commonly referred to as robos, an abbreviation of robotic camera. These systems can be remotely controlled by automation systems.
The PTZ controls are generally sold separately without the cameras, but can also be sold as a set, as in the case of Fletcher cameras.
PTZ is an abbreviation for pan, tilt and zoom and reflects the movement options of the camera. Other types of cameras are ePTZ or virtual pan-tilt-zoom (VPTZ) where a high-resolution camera digitally zooms and pans into portions of the image, with no physical camera movement.
Ultra-low bandwidth surveillance streaming technologies use VPTZ to stream user-defined areas in higher quality without increasing overall bandwidth usage. Surveillance cameras of this type are often connected to a digital video recorder which records the full field of view in full quality.
PTZ Cameras are commonly used in applications such as surveillance, video conferencing, live production, lecture capture and distance learning.