We are looking to possibly add video to our Meraki stack. What is the best camera for allowing optical zoom. It will be used as a real time viewing of devices being assembled on mfg floor. Ability to zoom to specific regions and allowance for play back of NVR needed as well. Please recommend a model.
Optical zoom is supported by the MV22 indoor camera and the MV72 outdoor camera.
The camera itself will be fixed in your chosen position, at install time, so while you can zoom in and out 'straight ahead', you won't be able to optically zoom in on a particular location, like you would with a PTZ camera. You can digitally zoom in on a particular part of the field of view though. More importantly, having a fixed field of view allows for a number of powerful features which PTZ cannot cater for; the ability to reliably detect motion, for example - to quickly find and distinguish between historic events. You're also always sure of having coverage of the area you are interested in, at any one point in time. (no good having a PTZ if it's pointed the other way from the activity you want to look back on). No PTZ = far fewer moving parts = fewer camera failures too. Having the right blend of cameras usually removes the need for PTZ.
You may also be interested in the MV32 fisheye camera, which provides 'digital PTZ'. This allows you to cover 360 degrees, from a ceiling, but focus back in on the area of interest, after the event, with the footage 'de-warped' from its original fisheye type view. No optical zoom with a fisheye though, of course.
I think maybe you should research the general Meraki approach to security cameras too - Meraki needs no NVRs..! Meraki simplicity = MV cameras + the Meraki Dashboard & nothing else to buy or manage. https://meraki.cisco.com/products/smart-cameras/
Ultimately, I'd recommend getting in touch with your Meraki rep or Cisco partner to maybe free trial some cameras for your use cases. You can access these via 'Get a demo' on the webpage above.
@Mevion1 the models with optical zoom are the MV22 and MV72 the difference is that the MV22 is for indoor use and the MV72 is for outdoor use, a manufacturing floor may be better served by the MV72. However, unless others know better, the MV models are not optimised for real time viewing, more playback. Also the optical zoom is only x3 and there is no pan or tilt.
If that means that these cameras are no use then I'd look at other IP camera vendors like Axis, Bosch or Hikvision depending on your budget and any restrictions you may have to account for.
With the latest firmware (4.8) 2nd-gen cameras now support low-latency HLS; a couple of seconds delay now only; makes near real-time applications (like reception allowing door release, based upon who's visible) much more feasible.