PTZ-Optics PT20X-NDI PTZ Camera

PTZOptics PT20X-NDI PTZ Camera:

MSRP: $2,309.00 USD (Stream Dudes priced at $2,099.00 USD)

Key Features:
  • 20X Optical zoom (4.42-88.5mm f/1.8 to 2.8)
  • 1/2.7-inch CMOS sensor(2.1 MP)
  • NDI HX technology
  • PoE
  • Control via IP, RS-232, or RS-422
  • HEVC h.265 encoding
  • Simultaneous 3G-SDI, HDMI, and streaming outputs
Impressions:

For as far back as we can remember, Stream Dudes has always been fond of PTZOptics cameras. We like their build, we like their price, and we especially like Paul Richards. The PTZOptics PT20X-NDI camera takes all that we like about the company and then added NDI HX to make an even more compelling argument. Putting all of that aside, let’s talk about the camera.

When we pulled out the PTZOptics out of the box, we decided we like the compact design and quality build of the camera. Setup was as straight-forward as the other cameras and within moments, we had an image being pumped into vMix via SDI. The compact, but very easy to use, IR remote controller made it easy to focus on the subject. We really liked the factory settings with regards to control, but the image settings were a different story.

“IR remote controller made it easy to focus on the subject.”

Although the PTZOptics PT20X-NDI produced a clear image, we found that the factory default auto white balance setting was easily thrown off. We quickly found that shooting against a green screen proved a bit difficult for the PTZOptics’ sensor. For whatever reason, a greenish “filtering” appeared over the image and the colors looked washed out.

Manually-Adjusted Settings

Switching over to a manual mode did help a bit. We were able to enhance the colors and remove some of the green hue which make the image a bit better. Our biggest issue was that no matter how much we tried to adjust the settings, the color reproduction was somewhat off. At one point, our model was wearing a deep burgundy shirt, and yet- the PTZOptics was seeing more of a “brown.”

“We liked the fact it was straightforward, but we found it lacking in setting adjustments when compared to the JVC or Marshall.”

Moving over to the browser interface, we liked the fact it was straightforward, but we found it lacking in setting adjustments when compared to the JVC or Marshall. This is actually very good for novice streamers and producers and something we always liked about PTZOptics.

For the more advanced users, more in-depth settings can be found within the on screen, in camera menu. We found this a bit clunky as some settings were in the in-camera menu, while others (such as streaming settings) were available via the browser interface. Again, this is good for novice users, but a bit convoluted for video professionals. So, we highly recommend using the PTZOptics application, it’s very nice.

As with the other IP cameras in this test, the PTZOptics PT20X-NDI featured on-board RTMP, unicast, and multicast streaming. The ability to use either h.264 or h.265 encoding is a great feature to have along with the native NDI HX. Like the Marshall Electronics CV620-NDI, you must also download Newtek NDI tools and register the camera online, in order to activate the NDI output.

TL;DR

PTZOptics makes a solid camera with a lot of features but suffers from somewhat inaccurate color reproduction.

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