I've spent the last day looking at Meraki as a replacement option for part of our current CCTV system. One thing I've noticed is the camera range is quite basic, theres no model with PTZ. Even a basic bullet camera for those areas where we want the camera to stand out in an attempt to show that the area is being monitored.
Is there anything on the roadmap for PTZ options?
I don't think @GeorgeB is a huge PTZ fan. They're expensive, there are lots of components that can fail and they don't give you constant coverage of a given area.
We've found that it's been easier to simply add additional cameras to cover a whole area (the MV12W provides a very wide angle view) than what was previously being done with PTZ's. This isn't to say Meraki won't eventually release something to compete with a PTZ, but for now it's a non-issue for us.
In our experience with PTZ, they are inevitably looking in the wrong direction or are left in the wrong direction of where they should be recording. Directional cameras have been far more reliable for us in catching incidents in critical areas. And you are correct, Meraki doesn't have a PTZ offering yet.
PTZ also would interfere with the motion analytics feature of the MV line up. The motion heatmaps really depend on the view being static.
@BlakeRichardson these are all great and correct responses so far. The biggest issues, and reasons why Meraki has not (and likely will not) build a PTZ is... in no particular order...
One of the biggest issues is that they cannot record what they're not looking at. If they are PTZ'd into a specific area, footage can be lost. PTZs can also be 2 to 3 times as expensive, and depending on the situation it may be more cost effective to mount 2 fixed cameras to cover the same field of view. PTZs tend to be larger, heavier, and have have moving parts which tend to break down, and the more you use it, the shorter its lifespan. Some vendors therefore also charge more for support/licensing of PTZs increasing the TCO.
PTZ only makes up perhaps 10% of the cameras out there, I don't know the exact statistic but I know it's small, and by far the most common feature is not the panning and tilting but the zooming, which MV can do to some extent via Dashboard. For example you've got the 3-10mm varifocal lens in MV21/71 and sensor crop on the fixed lens of the MV12 models, and now digital zoom across all models.
PTZs do have their place in the industry. And there will be critics who read this and say I'm just making excuses about an incomplete product line. I have stated in other (older) threads that MV cannot perfectly address every use case. That was certainly true when we first released the MV21 and MV71. It became a little "less true" when we released the MV12. And it will perhaps become even less true or even untrue with additional models.
One example I used before is if you're in retail and want to use PTZ to follow an active shoplifter around a department store, the MV cannot be used for that purpose. But even a PTZ in that case wouldn't provide full footage around multiple aisles and corners. I'd make the argument that with well-placed MV cameras and Dashboard's video wall, you could in fact actively track that active shoplifter, as well as meet all other retail requirements.
It's no secret the MV product line has grown and will continue to grow, but I have no roadmap to discuss, so let there be no rumors we're building a PTZ, we are likely not. But do make your use cases and requirements known to your Cisco Meraki team and they will get this feedback to the product team, who is always listening.
Hope that helps! Let me know your thoughts.