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A guide to drain inspection camera heads

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

In our last post we outlined the key things would-be buyers need to consider before purchasing a drain camera. One of the things we drew attention to was the fact that different types of camera head are available, providing a brief overview of their various features. Expanding on this section and providing a more detailed description of each camera head and what they do was the logical choice for our next article as a result.



There are several types of camera head available and different manufacturers will give different names to the models they produce. Amongst these manufacturers, Minicam produce what are in our view the most advanced and varied selection of camera heads. Rather than identify and discuss the cameras that are offered by each manufacturer (something that would take several months to produce), this article will look at cameras manufactured by Minicam exclusively. This is because, as stated above, we genuinely believe their cameras are superior and that whilst theirs will have different names, all manufacturers offer cameras with virtually identical features. If you don’t own a Minicam system, contact the manufacturer of your system to see if they offer a camera that offers comparable performance.


The axial drain camera


The Axial camera, whilst perfectly capable of capturing a clear picture of a pipe, is the simplest camera head that Minicam manufacturer for their sewer inspection systems. They include self-levelling technology to ensure that the camera remains upright and that the image that is returned is accurate, allowing operatives to determine exactly where any damage or blockage is located. Lights are also included and the camera is constructed from robust materials such as steel and, crucially, scratch resistant glass.


Whilst they are the most basic camera type we’ll be discussing in this article, this does not change the fact that axial cameras are reliable and more than capable of delivering an excellent image.


Axial cameras are available with the Minicam SOLOPro+, the Minicam Proteus Lite and other Proteus systems.


The pan and rotate drain camera


Pan and rotate cameras are capable of rotating 360◦ and tilting plus or minus 135◦. Whilst an axial camera can only return an image of what is directly ahead of it, a pan and rotate camera can focus on specific parts of the pipe and locate cracks, warping and other types of damage. This is particularly useful when conducting surveys as the location of objects, damage, etc. is added to automated reports.


Pan and rotate camera heads are available with Minicam SOLOPro+, the Minicam Proteus Lite and other Proteus systems.


The pan and rotate laser drain camera


Adding lasers to the pan and rotate model, this camera head offers even better automated reporting features. It automatically and accurately records things like the diameter of pipes, the length and width of damage, and the size of any foreign objects like roots. These findings are included in reports, along with the other findings enabled by the pan and rotate features discussed previously. This means that operatives can rapidly create detailed reports following them having finished a survey.


Pan and rotate laser cameras can be used with Minicam SOLOPro+, the Minicam Proteus Lite and other Proteus systems. Two sizes of Minicam pan and rotate laser camera are available: the CAM026L, which can be used in DN90 to DN600 pipes, and the CAM050, which can be used in pipes with diameters above DN60.


The pan and rotate zoom laser drain camera


This camera head is a further variation on the pan and rotate camera. As well as lasers that automatically measure pipe diameter, damage, etc. these heads also feature powerful zoom features. Because of this, operatives can include more detailed images of their findings in reports.


Pan and rotate laser zoom camera heads can be used with all Proteus systems including the Proteus Lite. They are not suitable for pipes with a diameter larger than DN600.


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