Advice on Camera Choice - 2 Cameras, 180 degree FOV

Paul G

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I am totally new to all this. Below is my scenario.

I have a single long exterior wall facing a parking lot.
I currently have a PTZ camera which covers the lot, but really doesn't do the job as i don't get 24/7 coverage of the full area.

So, i wish to provide 2 fixed cameras to cover the full 180 degree FOV.
Other things to consider.
1) running Blue Iris (have a couple of reolink cameras, but i'm not attached to them necessarily), and i'll record everything. I'll probably use BI motion detection as well.
2) Since, I'll be recording everything, and am not likely to be futzing and zooming in and out in real time, so not sure optical zoom is as important.
3) So, i guess i'm looking for something that will allow reasonable zoom after the fact (digital?) and give me the coverage i need.

My thought was that to get to 3) above, i should look at higher Pixel support. However, higher mp seems to lower the FOV
so, in the end, 2 cameras which will get me 180 degrees and as much decent zooming after the fact.

OTOH, i could be way off in my thinking

any suggestions?
 

wittaj

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First off avoid Reolinks unless you only care to know what time it happened, but not be able to get clean captures to IDENTIFY.

Second, if you want to see things far away, you need optical zoom, digital zoom only works in the movies and TV...And the optical zoom is done real time - for a varifocal it is a set it and forget it. You cannot go to recorded video and optically zoom in later, at that point it is digital zoom, and the sensors on these cameras are so small which is why digital zoom doesn't work very well after the fact. You might get away with a little, but not a lot.

It is simple LOL do not chase MP - do not buy a 4MP camera that is anything smaller than a 1/1.8" sensor. Do not buy a 2MP camera that is anything smaller than a 1/2.8" sensor. Do not buy a 4K (8MP) camera on anything smaller than a 1/1.2" sensor. Unfortunately, most 4k cams are on the same sensor as a 2MP and thus the 2MP will kick its butt all night long as the 4k will need 4 times the light than the 2MP... 4k will do very poor at night unless you have stadium quality lighting (well a lot of lighting LOL). Starlight, ColorVu, Full Color, etc. are simply marketing terms, so don't be sold on those names.

To identify someone with the wide-angle 2.8mm lens that most people opt for (and what is in most kits), someone would have to be within 13 feet of the camera, but realistically within 10 feet after you dial it in to your settings.

1634143258272.png

Here are my general distance recommendations, but switch out the Dahua 5442 series camera to the equivalent 2MP on the 1/2.8" sensor or equivalent Hikvision works as well.
  • 5442 fixed lens 2.8mm - anything within 10 feet of camera OR as an overview camera
  • 5442 ZE - varifocal - distances up to 40-50 feet (personally I wouldn't go past the 30 foot range but I like things closer)
  • 5442 Z4E - anything up to 80-100 feet (personally I wouldn't go past 60 feet but I like things closer)
  • 5241-Z12E - anything from 80 feet to almost 200 feet (personally I wouldn't go past 150 feet because I like things closer)
  • 5241-Z12E - for a license plate cam that you would angle up the street to get plates up to about 175 feet away, or up to 220 with additional IR.
  • 49225 PTZ - great PTZ and in conjunction with an NVR or Blue Iris and the cameras above that you can use as spotter cams to point the PTZ to the correct location to compliment the fixed cams.
You need to get the correct camera for the area trying to be covered. A wide angle 2.8mm to IDENTIFY someone 40 feet away is the wrong camera regardless of how good the camera is. A 2.8mm camera to IDENTIFY someone within 10 feet is a good choice OR it is an overview camera to see something happened but not be able to identify who.

 

mat200

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I am totally new to all this. Below is my scenario.

I have a single long exterior wall facing a parking lot.
I currently have a PTZ camera which covers the lot, but really doesn't do the job as i don't get 24/7 coverage of the full area.

So, i wish to provide 2 fixed cameras to cover the full 180 degree FOV.
Other things to consider.
1) running Blue Iris (have a couple of reolink cameras, but i'm not attached to them necessarily), and i'll record everything. I'll probably use BI motion detection as well.
2) Since, I'll be recording everything, and am not likely to be futzing and zooming in and out in real time, so not sure optical zoom is as important.
3) So, i guess i'm looking for something that will allow reasonable zoom after the fact (digital?) and give me the coverage i need.

My thought was that to get to 3) above, i should look at higher Pixel support. However, higher mp seems to lower the FOV
so, in the end, 2 cameras which will get me 180 degrees and as much decent zooming after the fact.

OTOH, i could be way off in my thinking

any suggestions?
Welcome @Paul G

Decide what you want functionally from the cameras
To see if there is parking available?
To watch for accidents?
To identify cars?
To capture license plates?
To identify thieves in the parking lot?
To watch during the day time? Night time?
At what distances do you want to do this?

Really a lot depends on what you functionally want from the cameras, as each requirement may result in a different camera selection.

Do see the DORI section of the cliff notes if you want to ID someone .. I've recently updated it.
 
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Paul G

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thanks for the input from both and so quickly too. So, yeah - i could/should have provided more information.

Issues we have are,

plows plowing into our house and fence.
* so here, just need to see that it happened, as we know what company plows, and i can show them evidence.

People coming up right next to the house, and let's say desecrating our large flower pots, or possibly lifting items from them.
* The pots are at the foot of the house. Identify would be good.

That's really it. We do have the local neighbors and sometimes even the police ask if we "saw" anything on a particular night. I'm not doing this for them, in particular, but i'll supply whatever clips i have.

The only reason why i use motion detection would be, of course, to zero in on a time in which there was activity allowing me to find the above issues more quickly. right now i only record when there is motion - and it doesn't serve me. I will be recording everything going forward.

So, again - i feel like PTZ cameras are cumbersome for me. They don't work well with motion detection, and by virtue of the fact that they are swiveling they don't catch the whole area at any one point in time. Placing 2 of them would handle that, but it just seems that if i could get 2 fixed cameras that deliver what i need - it would be easier.

So to re-iterate, if it's possible. 180 degree horizontal FOV, Vertical is interesting, as i'll need to see the foot of the house where the camera is mounted and out maybe 10 or 15 feet so not sure what the FOV would be. They are mounted about 10 feet up.

And, note that i will not be using them real time, or very rarely - set it and forget it. I suppose optical zoom would be handy to "set" it how i want it, which is okay - as long as it serves the above purpose. But i don't see me necessarily futzing with it full time. A nice to have, but not a requirement ...

wittaj: Thank you for the information, it is really helpful. A quick look at the cameras and most of them are PTZ cameras, I think. Perhaps the thought is that i would simply set them precisely how i want them, and not have them go into sentry mode or anything. It does get interesting attempting to create BI masks for motion detection as they are tied to a single camera position. Doable, but a little painful. Still hoping for fixed cameras
 

wittaj

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Only the 49225 is a PTZ camera. The other ones I referenced are varifocal, which means you set it to the optical focal/length distance you are hoping to cover and then set it and forget it - this one does not move around constantly like a PTZ. Meaning for example the ZE varifocal has focal lengths from around 2.8mm to 12ishmm, which means you would hang it up, then zoom it to the area you want and then never touch it again. It is a way to get the precise area you want covered that isn't available in a fixed lens camera.

Personally, I love the booby cam AKA as IPC-HDBW5441F-AS-E2 (this is the newest one with AI) or the older model HDBW4231F-E2-M (without AI) as an overview camera - one "camera" with two lenses. With the right placement and house configuration, you can see two sides of a building with one cam. If all you care to IDENTIFY is out to about 10-15 feet, this will do it. You will have much better time being able to IDENTIFY someone with this camera than a true 180 degree fisheye camera.
 
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Using two 5442s for overview and adding a 49225, triggered by the 5442s, would allow both good overview and provide ID at much longer distances. That assumes you purchase the 49225 from Andy from EmpireTech who is a member here. Dahua has stripped autotracking out of the 49225 but Andy supplies firmware with autotracking built in.

Relying on BI motion detection using a Reolink camera is a hit and miss thing. The frame and iframe rates of Reolink cameras drop far too low for reliable detection. BI relies on a ratio of 1:1, IE 15 FPS with a key frame (iframe) rate of 15 as an example. Reolink, especially at night, can drop as low as 4FPS and an iframe of .25.
 

Paul G

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My head is kind of spinning with all of this good info. I'm looking for something moderate. Perhaps a couple of 5442 ZE cameras. I still need to figure out how or where relative to each other to mount them to get the best horizontal FOV of 180 degrees. Also, whether mounting under the soffit (ceiling) or against the side matters.
Lastly, I keep reading about the intelligence they have built I for identificatiin and motion. Does that preclude using BI for such functionality as well as recording all data somewhere... Do they have their own software and additional hardware for that? I guess generally, how well does it integrate with BI as regards this functionality.

Thanks for all the helpful input
 

wittaj

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Yes, the 5442 series has AI built in, so to start you could simply put an SD card in the camera and set it up to record there and then view the recordings over the camera gui (you do not need to take the card out). Start there and then build from there as you learn. If you go the BI route, it works very well with these cameras.

The ZE cams are not domes but turrets (big distinction).

Whether you get the bullet or turret comes down to personal preference until you get beyond the focal length that cannot fit in a turret. Some will say the bullet can provide a slightly better image as everything isn't all cramped together. The turret is smaller and a lot harder for someone to reach up and move, although the locking on the bullets tighten it down fairly well.
 
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First the advantages of the 5442. It has superior "AI" compared to the 2231 as well having a significantly larger sensor than the 2231. Plus it has built in audio, assuming the turret model. That's not to knock the 2231 which is a very capable 2MP camera in its' own right.

I have two 5442s on the front of the house, one on the east end and one on the west end. They look toward each other to the can "protect' each other. That gives full, 180 degree view with no problem. They're mounted to the soffit but if I had it to doo all over again I'd probably mount them lower on the front wall of the house. The way the front door is offset does make it possible to get good facial ID of anyone approaching the front door with either camera. The one closest to the door is a 3.6mm and the one further away is a 6mm.

The problem I had with that arrangement was that I had no early warning for approaches directly to the front. I added a 3241T-ZAS in the middle, looking straight out and moderately zoomed in, to fill that gap in coverage.

If you're using BI it can be set to record 24/7. Either camera model will take an SD card and they can be configured to record continuously or only when triggered by their AI. They will overwrite the oldest video first once the card fills up.
 

Paul G

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Yes, the 5442 series has AI built in, so to start you could simply put an SD card in the camera and set it up to record there and then view the recordings over the camera gui (you do not need to take the card out). Start there and then build from there as you learn.

The ZE cams are not domes but turrets (big distinction).

Whether you get the bullet or turret comes down to personal preference until you get beyond the focal length that cannot fit in a turret. Some will say the bullet can provide a slightly better image as everything isn't all cramped together. The turret is smaller and a lot harder for someone to reach up and move, although the locking on the bullets tighten it down fairly well.
thanks for the distinction. the first is smaller!

So BI becomes superfluous..., except to record much more than the SD card can hold. I'd like to keep 30 days of recording if possible, no less than 2 weeks. I have a couple other small cameras, one inside.. it's nice to use one app to view then all... but I guess I can live with jumping between apps.
 

Paul G

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First the advantages of the 5442. It has superior "AI" compared to the 2231 as well having a significantly larger sensor than the 2231. Plus it has built in audio, assuming the turret model. That's not to knock the 2231 which is a very capable 2MP camera in its' own right.

I have two 5442s on the front of the house, one on the east end and one on the west end. They look toward each other to the can "protect' each other. That gives full, 180 degree view with no problem. They're mounted to the soffit but if I had it to doo all over again I'd probably mount them lower on the front wall of the house. The way the front door is offset does make it possible to get good facial ID of anyone approaching the front door with either camera. The one closest to the door is a 3.6mm and the one further away is a 6mm.

The problem I had with that arrangement was that I had no early warning for approaches directly to the front. I added a 3241T-ZAS in the middle, looking straight out and moderately zoomed in, to fill that gap in coverage.

If you're using BI it can be set to record 24/7. Either camera model will take an SD card and they can be configured to record continuously or only when triggered by their AI. They will overwrite the oldest video first once the card fills up.
just saw this. thank you, very helpful
 

wittaj

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thanks for the distinction. the first is smaller!

So BI becomes superfluous..., except to record much more than the SD card can hold. I'd like to keep 30 days of recording if possible, no less than 2 weeks. I have a couple other small cameras, one inside.. it's nice to use one app to view then all... but I guess I can live with jumping between apps.
Well BI does a lot more than just record LOL.

You may get by with one camera or two just using the SD card, but quickly you will realize how difficult and time consuming it is to playback and watch stuff. It wasn't long before I made the jump to BI. I had an NVR previously but that was just as cumbersome as trying to watch SD card video.

I can literally scrub overnight video in less than a minute in BI. It takes longer than that to log in to the camera GUI and watch one clip LOL

BI has robust alerts, recording options, quicker ability to review and playback and export out video, among a lot of other things.

An SD card in the camera recording continuously (depending on settings and size of card), may get 36 hours of recording before it records over. With motion could be anywhere from 3 days to months depending on how many triggers it has.
 

Paul G

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Well BI does a lot more than just record LOL.

You may get by with one camera or two just using the SD card, but quickly you will realize how difficult and time consuming it is to playback and watch stuff. It wasn't long before I made the jump to BI. I had an NVR previously but that was just as cumbersome as trying to watch SD card video.

I can literally scrub overnight video in less than a minute in BI. It takes longer than that to log in to the camera GUI and watch one clip LOL

BI has robust alerts, recording options, quicker ability to review and playback and export out video, among a lot of other things.

An SD card in the camera recording continuously (depending on settings and size of card), may get 36 hours of recording before it records over. With motion could be anywhere from 3 days to months depending on how many triggers it has.
I agree. I'm already set up with BI and have used some of that functionality. But, by doing so do I give up the advanced AI that the turret provides and what I'm paying for...
Is really my question.
 
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Not at all BI can be triggered by the AI of the camera. It does take a few steps, checking boxes for ONVIF trigger in the camera video configuration and motion detection, and using "find/inspect" when initially adding the camera is all that's needed. BI is very flexible.
 

wittaj

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And on the plus side, if you do not use motion detection in BI, using the camera AI will save some CPU% - obviously the older the machine the more the savings LOL.
 

Paul G

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thanks all, just purchased one with junction box for soffit and will play with it for a bit, then add the second. Quick shipping.

Thanks to all for the advice, amazing responses
So, I pulled the trigger quickly, then had a couple of questions that stalled it and tried to cancel for now. Installation questions

1) The term turret was used and then I read that it needed manual adjustment in conjunction with the other camera to get the combined horizontal view just right. So, up ladder , hand adjust in two places? kind of awkward, not sure how difficult.
2) The suggested waterproof ceiling mount. Running cat5 along soffit, and into the side... how does that remain waterproof? I posted that question.
Just want to be sure and that I'm ready to install these
 

wittaj

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Either turret or bullet will be a two-hand operation, but I find the turret a little easier to move into place - simply unscrew the locking screw until it is loose enough to move around and then tighten up. The bullet has limited range of motion unless you really unscrew the locking screw but then you have to hold the camera in place while you lock it back down.

You mentioned you are hanging on the soffit - many of us simply waterproof the connection and shove it up into the soffit. You will need a cable gland with the junction box to create that seal if you use the box with just the wire going into it.
 
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