(aka "Cyt-Fx4" in Zoom)

The PTZ  camera is the camera to use to show selected, non-moving shots of your classroom.  Contrast this with the Meeting OWL, which is designed to show the entirety of your classroom, with built in AI to zoom in on whoever is speaking.  The PTZ camera also has a very high image quality, bringing a level of quality that your online students will appreciate. Learn more general information about the PTZ camera here.

To use the PTZ camera, follow these 3 steps:

Step 1: Turn it on

Camera ON: Check to see that the green light on the base of the camera is on.

Not green? Turn the camera on by one of the two methods below:

Touchscreen Control Panel:
If the classroom has a touchscreen control panel, press the touchscreen to wake up the control unit and it will display the control buttons on its small screen. (it displays the Whitman College clocktower when asleep).

TIP:  The tip of your finger, where the flesh meets the fingernail, works best when pressing the touchscreen control panel.

Now do this:

    1. Press PTZ Control to display the camera control buttons

    2. Press ON (in the upper right of screen) to turn the camera on - the green light on the PTZ camera base should turn on, and the PTZ camera swivel up into an upright position.

Remote Control:  In rooms without a touchscreen control panel, use the provided remote control for the PTZ camera to turn on and control the camera.  Point the remote directly at the PTZ camera when pressing the buttons on the remote control.

Do this:

    • Press the red Power button in the upper left of the remote control to turn the PTZ on - the green light at the base of the PTZ camera should illuminate, and the PTZ camera will swivel up into an upright position.

Step 2: Get it setup with Zoom*

* or other video conferencing app, instructions are similarly-spirited to the ones below

Once your laptop is connected to the classroom technology, or you have logged into the classroom computer, launch Zoom.  Find and select the settings cog ()  in the upper right portion of the Zoom home screen:


 In the settings section of Zoom, look for and choose the following: 

    • Video

      • Choose Cyt-Fx4 in the Camera drop down menu.

      • Visually check to see that you are getting video from the PTZ-- it should appear immediately above the camera settings.  Make sure the video is actually coming from the PTZ (as opposed to a different camera in the room).

    • Select Mirror my video - this is the most natural way of monitoring yourself/the shot, and is as if you were looking in a mirror.  The shot will not be mirrored for your students.


      • Please don’t attempt to move the PTZ tripod.  If you need help, please contact us.

      • Want a faster, easier way to select the PTZ camera in Zoom?  Press the following keyboard shortcut during a meeting:

        • Windows:     Alt + N

        • Mac:      Command(⌘)+Shift+N

          Note: You may need to press this key combination more than once to get to the camera you want to use. Visually check the Zoom application while pressing the key combination to verify the video it is displaying and stop when you see the desired shot.

    • Audio:IMPORTANT: You will use the Meeting OWL-- not the PTZ-- as your mic and your speaker. 
      However, if you are only teaching students who are online (synchronously or asynchronously), you may opt to use a Samson wireless lapel microphone as the microphone instead.  How?
          • Choose “....(Meeting Owl Pro)” in both the Speaker drop down menu and the Microphone drop down menu.

          • Click or tap Test Speaker. You should hear a chime emanate from the Meeting OWL. Click or tap Stop

          • Click or tap Test Microphone.  Speak a few words. The application will record what you say and play it back to you from the Meeting OWL.  

            • Uh-oh: If you do not hear the chime, or your voice is not played back to you, or you do hear these things, but not coming from the Meeting OWL, check that “....(meeting owl pro)”is selected in both the Speaker and Microphone drop down menus (see above.)

              Also check for the following:

              • Red lights illuminated on the base of the Meeting Owl? This indicates that theMeeting OWL’s is muted.
                You would also see the following icon in the center of the video feed coming from the OWL in Zoom:

      To unmute the OWL walk over to the Meeting OWL and press the following button located on the base of the OWL:

      Done with settings!  Phew!  But don’t close the Settings window yet...

Step 3: Set the camera shot.

Now it’s time to point the camera where you want it.  Still in Zoom Settings, in the Video settings section, use the video preview to help you choose your camera shot.

The PTZ camera has been pre programmed with 6 different types of shots. Select from the six presets on the classroom touchscreen, labeled A-F:

 or 1-9 on the remote control:

Press any one of the buttons to change the camera shot as displayed in Zoom:

A or 1

Close up view of the lectern position

B or 2

Wider view of the lectern position 

C or 3

View of chalkboard/whiteboard closest to lectern

D or 4

Adjacent view of chalkboard/whiteboard

E or 5

Wide view of the room

F or 6

View of a demonstration space or seating location at front of room

NOTE: These programmed camera positions are generally the same in all classrooms with PTZ cameras, but they may differ slightly, depending on the physical layout of the room.  In general:

    • The first pre-set view (A or 1) will always be a close up view of the lectern.

    • The second pre-set view (B or 2) will always be a wider shot of the lectern. 

    • The next  pre-set view(s)  (C,D... or 3,4…) cover chalkboard/whiteboard spaces (from closest to farthest from the teaching station).

    • The penultimate pre-set view will be a wide angled view of the room.

    • The last pre-set view will be a view of the instructor’s seating location.

We recommend you take some time to familiarize yourself with the differing views by pressing the programed buttons.

Fine tune your chosen camera shot:

Once you have chosen a shot as described above, you can adjust it to fit your particular needs (pan right and left, tilt up and down, zoom in or out) with the other control buttons on either the touchscreen or the remote control: 

  • Press the “+” button to zoom the camera view in, OR press “-” button to zoom the camera view out.

  • The left and right triangle buttons pan the camera left and right.

  • The up and down triangle buttons tilt the camera up or down.

  • The center (touchscreen) / HOME (remote control) button will recenter the camera, so that it is facing straight ahead and level.

NOTE: If the pre-programmed camera views are not capturing what you want to show, and you have a persistent need to have a particular camera view, please contact us.

"Why is it pointing down and backwards?"

We hear this one a lot.  It you see the PTZ like this it means it's turned off.  It turns itself  right back around automatically when turned on.

Need Help?

Here's how to get it.