How Does an Auto Tracking Camera Work?

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This article was syndicated from our sister website Church Technology Superstore.

How Auto Tracking Cameras Work

When it comes to advanced features of a pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras, few are more important or more popular than the auto-tracking feature. This feature can be programmed in by the user and enables the camera to cover a certain area and automatically detect, follow, and even record a specific item or person. In houses of worship, the feature is normally used to detect the preacher or the leader of the class or other event. Using the auto-tracking feature gives the recording a more intelligent and personalized look and feel, and it is one of the features houses of worship count on the most when installing PTZ cameras.

How Do The PTZ Functions Work?

Pan/tilt/zoom cameras offer these three functions with all of their cameras, and it’s good to know what each one means so that you can set up your PTZ camera properly. Here is a brief description of each of them:

  • Panning means the camera is moving horizontally or left to right. If you are staring straight ahead and move your head from left to right, or vice versa, you’ll see the same motion and type of view that PTZ cameras “see” when they are panning. Professional photographers use this function when they are filming city skylines or landscapes, and in fact, the term “panning” comes from the word “panoramic.” When PTZ cameras are panning, it’s a good way to get a true picture of everything going on ahead of you.
  • Tilting means the camera is moving vertically or up and down. Tilting motions have a starting and stopping point so that the movement is more smooth and not jerky or robotic. There are actually numerous advantages to the tilting function; for instance, you can get views from above the stage, as well as downward when you want to show the preacher and then part of the audience. It is a truly versatile feature.
  • Zooming simply means the camera is zooming in for a closeup of something. There are two types of zoom lens: optical, which changes the focal point of the lens and can show up to 36 times the size of the original image; and digital, which does the job via software. Some people like digital zooms and others don’t. They serve a few purposes but they can rarely get as close up as optical lenses do.

How Do The Tracking Functions Work?

Auto tracking uses advanced technology that consists of both detection and tracking. The pan/tilt function will adjust the direction of the camera so that moving objects can be tracked automatically, while the zoom function automatically adjusts according to the distance of the moving object. The way the camera detects and tracks things is complex, but a simpler version goes like this: the camera starts by comparing an image with the previous image of that target to note the difference between the background and any moving objects. Next, it picks a target it wants to track based on this information. The camera will extract any traits of the moving objects that are unique, as well as use the pan/tilt/zoom function to track those objects and search areas that have a lot of similarity.

It sounds complicated, but these cameras are so advanced they complete all of these tasks in seconds and, therefore, they can detect and track any object you want them to on a continuous basis, providing you with the results you’re looking for.

How Does Signal Tracking/Face Recognition Tracking Work?

When it comes to detecting, tracking, and recording moving objects, you definitely need a PTZ camera if you want the job to be done efficiently and accurately. In these cameras, there are special auto-tracking mechanisms that, together with the pan, tilt, and zoom functions, will automatically adjust until they detect what they’re supposed to be detecting. The camera is constantly adjusting in the direction of the moving objects in the frames. Once these objects are finally recorded, the camera returns to the position the user programmed it to return to, where it stays until additional movement is detected once again. When this happens, the entire process starts all over again and the camera begins looking for movement yet again.

Essentially, auto tracking works the same way whether it’s trying to recognize faces or do anything else. For the most part, the main auto-tracking task is done by specialized software that tells the camera to do this. There is an auto-tracking module that uses software that is based on image frame analysis algorithm. In fact, users can even use a mouse to select and then lock the object to auto-track it, and as a result, inaccurate tracking when there are multiple moving objects can be eliminated. Because of this important feature, PTZ cameras can have multiple tracking modes and track whatever you want them to track, and the optical zoom lens will make sure the images are crisp and clear every time.

When you purchase a PTZ camera, the software you need will automatically come with it, meaning you can be using the camera within minutes of taking it out of the packaging. If you are still not convinced that your house of worship needs a good, high-quality PTZ camera, take a look at the benefits of these cameras, especially as they relate to the auto-tracking functions the cameras offer.

  • The auto-tracking function is efficient and accurate because of the advanced technology used.
  • Only the most important objects, the ones you consider important, are monitored and recorded.
  • There are always multiple tracking modes available, and you can adjust the sensitivity of the tracking function.
  • The optical zoom will make sure your images are clear and easy to see.

In addition to these perks, you can also use a good PTZ camera for other purposes besides live-streaming and recording various events, including using it remotely and even using it as a security camera if you wish. PTZ cameras offer great auto-tracking ability and can be used manually as well as automatically, and it is because of these perks and more that the cameras are always well worth the price you’ll pay for them.

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