Camera recommendations

bluebat

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hi folks! I've been reading the forums and learning a LOT about cameras, Blue Iris and setting them up. I am getting ready to design my camera system. I was looking for recommendations for cameras. Ideally, I would love to target the performance & value sweet spot but I don't want to be cheap. In the past I spent $800 on a Arlo Pro 2 system and I hated it. I would like to get good cameras which are around ~$150-250 each. I can go beyond $250 if there is a compelling reason. I have a single story home and its layout is fairly straightforward. I likely need 7 cameras to monitor various locations. Here are the locations & number of cameras I am looking to install -

1. Drive Way - 1
2. Front Entrance - 1
3. Side Entrances - 2
4. Patio door - 1
5. Backyard - 2

For the Drive Way and Backyard, I am interested in acquiring a wide FoV camera. I am concerned about someone jumping the fence and making their way into the home from the backyard. Other cameras will face doors & windows.
 

wittaj

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Without knowing more specifics, the 5442 series cameras by Dahua and sold by our trusted vendor @EMPIRETECANDY here and on his Amazon store are great selections. It comes down to what distance do you want to IDENTIFY and then selecting the appropriate focal length for the job.

Another key is to chase sensor size and focal length and not MP.

Keep in mind that the wider the camera view, the closer the object needs to be in order to IDENTIFY. So a 2.8mm great camera will not be able to IDENTIFY someone jumping a fence at 45 feet away as an example.

Here is a thread that discusses that in more detail.


And Andy is having a Black Friday sale:

 

mat200

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hi folks! I've been reading the forums and learning a LOT about cameras, Blue Iris and setting them up. I am getting ready to design my camera system. I was looking for recommendations for cameras. Ideally, I would love to target the performance & value sweet spot but I don't want to be cheap. In the past I spent $800 on a Arlo Pro 2 system and I hated it. I would like to get good cameras which are around ~$150-250 each. I can go beyond $250 if there is a compelling reason. I have a single story home and its layout is fairly straightforward. I likely need 7 cameras to monitor various locations. Here are the locations & number of cameras I am looking to install -

1. Drive Way - 1
2. Front Entrance - 1
3. Side Entrances - 2
4. Patio door - 1
5. Backyard - 2

For the Drive Way and Backyard, I am interested in acquiring a wide FoV camera. I am concerned about someone jumping the fence and making their way into the home from the backyard. Other cameras will face doors & windows.
Welcome @bluebat

I also started with Arlo before coming here .. needed to setup something quickly .. turned out not to be good enough, so here I am ..


Many of our members really like the Dahua OEM 4MP 1/1.8" sensor models - so if you have to jump in and buy without testing they should be good choices ..

For me I like a 2.8mm lens face level by the front door .. mini-dome wedge .. and also another camera to watch the package drop area ..

most of My other cameras are 3.6mm or varifocal ..

in general I like 2 cameras covering the driveway, one on each side of the garage door ..
 
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The current "goto" crop of cameras -

8MP Review

Dual Lens

180 Degree FOV 4K

5442 Reviews

3241T-ZAS Review

2231 Reviews

Dahua 4MP cube camera

Dahua Doorbell (Villa) Kit

Dahua PoE Doorbell


Boobie camera
 

bluebat

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Thank you for the great recommendations. I had my eye on the 5442 and the newer IPC-4K cameras. As I am new to this, I would likely go for varifocal cameras for flexibility. I am terribly confused with various form factors. I like the Turret and Bullet cameras. Cameras that are placed near ingress points - Doors / Windows should be able to identify people at about 10-15 feet distance as they approach in night or day conditions. The cameras monitoring the fence do not need to identify but detect & observe at ~40 feet distance. If the subject jumps the fence and comes to an ingress point, one of the other cameras can identify so I am fine with it. Given these requirements, I am planning on putting maybe two overview cameras in the backyard and two in my front yard. Then add one camera at each door / window. For the overview cameras I was looking at the dual lens cameras. But I can't seem to find them in Andy's Amazon store. For the rest, I was hoping there was a varifocal version of IPC-Color4K-X/T but I don't think there is one.
 

bluebat

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Thanks, I will definitely consider the IPC-T5442-Z4E. I am so confused with all these model numbers. For example, I did look at IPC-B5442E-ZE which has a very close model number as the one you posted. However, there are big differences in the focal length and lux between the two. Is there a cheat sheet for these model numbers?
 

wittaj

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Generally a ZE is a varifocal up to 12mm and a Z4E is up to 32mm. The ZE is a turret style with a microphone and the Z4E is a bullet format.

The more you optically zoom, the larger the focal length gets and the more light that is needed.
 

wittaj

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The 4K/X is a great camera IF you have enough light or are willing to run with the white LEDs on.

If you do not have enough white ambient light or do not want to use the built-in LEDs, then this isn't the right camera.

Further the 4K/X doesn't see infrared, so you cannot add infrared later.

But if you have enough ambient light or are willing to use it with the built in white LED, then yes for the same distance, it will beat the 5442 of the same fixed lens.
 

wittaj

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It really comes down to your field of view and needs.

The 5442TM--AS-LED is a full color camera that cannot see infrared either, so the 4K/X or 4K/T would be the better choice between the two.

The 5442-ZE is a varifocal designed to get IDENTIFY captures at distances beyond what the fixed lens can do. But there is also a good chance you will need to run it in B/W with infrared.

Realistically, the fixed lens cameras, regardless of MP, are good for IDENTIFY in the 10-20 foot range.

The ZE varifocal extends that range to about 40 feet or so.

But the more you optically zoom, the tighter the field of view gets.

If you truly want OVERVIEW capabilities and recognize that the camera will not IDENTIFY beyond 10 feet or so, then the 4K/X or T is a great choice if you have the light or are ok with running the built-in LEDs. Otherwise a fixed lens 5442 is the better choice.
 

bluebat

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thank you all for your excellent input. Can someone please point me to any documentation that will help me understand the difference between starlight and starlight +?

edit: found this
 

Flintstone61

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From what I hear in the forum it's somewhat of a marketing terminology
probably gonna be sensor size somebody will pop in and fill you in hopefully
 

wittaj

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Starlight is a meaningless marketing phrase. The words Accusense, ColorVu, Dark Fighter, Starlight, etc. are simply marketing hooks and do not represent a specific technology advancement or feature....it is simply a marketing term used to supposedly sell the consumer on the ability to have good night vision. The actual sensors and capabilities of the camera is more important.

But there are so many games that can be played even with the how they report the Lux numbers. They will claim a low lux of 0.0005 for example, but then that is with a wide open iris and a shutter at 1/3 second and an f1.6 - as soon as you have motion in it, it will be crap. You need a shutter of at minimum 1/60 second to reduce a lot of blur from someone walking. So the "specs" don't mean much. It is why you need to look at reviews here where people actually show what the cameras can do with motion. Unlike Amazon reviews that are based on static images. You are already looking at the best in class 4MP and 8MP camera...

To prove how meaningless Starlight is, this is an example from Reolink's marketing videos of their Starlight camera - do you see a person in this picture...yes, there is a person in this picture. This is why you cannot buy a system based on marketing terms like Starlight.... Could this provide anything useful for the police? Would this protect your home? The still picture looks great though except for the person and the blur of the vehicle... Will give you a hint - the person is in between the two columns:

1668832168737.png



Bad Boys
Bad Boys
Watcha gonna do
Watcha gonna do
When the camera can't see you
 
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bluebat

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this makes a lot of sense. So I am leaning towards the 5442 instead of the 4K/X. I am just curious if there are any opinions on turret vs bullet?
 

wittaj

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That comes down to your preference.
 
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