> Pan/Tilt/Zoom - All About Camera Movement

Surveillance systems are at top functionality when proper camera placement is of prime priority. Understanding the cameras' movements is therefore essential to determining the cameras' location. Installing a combination of various type and movement cameras in strategic locations ensures your security systems to operate at maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

Pan defines rotational movement in the horizontal plane. This primarily refers to movement in the plane perpendicular to the field of gravity, or in other words, parallel to the earth's ground. Often, pan movement is often also called sides-to-side movement. The below picture indicates pan movement.
Camera Pan

Tilt defines rotational movement in the vertical plane, which is movement perpendicular to pan movement. In simpler terms, this is called up-and-down movement. The below picture indicates tilt movement.
Camera Tilt

Brief Camera Placement Overview
When placing a camera, it is ideal to locate the camera in a position that will provide maximum coverage with minimal movement. As in most commercial surveillance applications, placing the camera in an elevated place, such as the ceiling, allows a bird's eye effect, giving much coverage to the surveillance area. Furthermore, it is most strategically wise to place the camera in a corner. This allows for the perfect balance between pan and tilt to minimize camera movement; therefore, maximizing motor lifetime. However, often, in especially large rooms, even cameras in many corners will not suffice. As seen often in large department stores and casinos, mounting a dome camera on the ceiling in an open ceiling area (not corner) gives extra surveillance to your security premises. Depending on the proximity of the camrea to the wall, or how isolated the camera is in the open, you can choose cameras up to 360° pan capability.

Next time you step in a supermarket, take a careful and inconspicuous look around at their camera placement. By observation, you can learn much about proper surveillance system setup and maintain a strategic advantage against unwanted visitors or surveillance targets.