Cameras w/ decent or any sound? Looking at options/upgrades

Cleck

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I set up my system a while ago and am running smoothly on BI for the most part, always playing w/ a setting or two here and there. I'm running (4) SV3C 2-12mm VF 2mp cameras to an Amcrest NVR, with BI on my pc, and for the bad rap they get for being Chinese (even I admittedly had some issues w/ fogging for a little bit, but none anymore), they've actually done the job and allowed me to get a system up and going. They've actually done well deterring thieves too, had one guy nope right out of my driveway after seeing one.

I'm looking to upgrade. The day footage is fine, I can read plates when they come in the driveway, and the vf lens allows me to zoom more if I really wanted to catch a spot better. I have one of them permanently zoomed in. Problem is, since it's a 2mp camera, night footage isn't great, unless I have a ton of light. Not an issue in the backyard with multiple led flood lamps, but the front is an issue. I've got a pretty bright light on the front door now and am going to add a light right near the camera I have shown to cover the driveway and front walk better, but I think I'd like to explore an upgrade anyways. People walking at night look like ghosts sometimes, and it kinda burned me when my neighbor's Christmas lights got stolen and I got an ok description of the guy, but I think better cameras would have been more clear.

I'd also like sound, or like to explore options with sound. Doesn't have to be 2-way, I don't need to talk to them, but just something I'm interested in. All I've found in my early research so far are the Reolink cams that have built-in mics. I don't know anything about them, but they seem cheap. Slightly more expensive than the ones I have now, but I don't know anything about them. I'm ok staying w/ the bullet style cameras, they're high up enough and mounted under the eaves so I am not worried about field of view, damage, or weather.z

Looking at the Reolink RLC-511 (because mic), it's 5mp. Figure that's at least an upgrade as far as video goes. New cam doesn't have to zoom, as only 1/4 I have now is actually zoomed.

Open to suggestions/feedback/reviews


 
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The problem is not that they are 2MP cameras, they are 1/3" sensors. Get some Dauhua Starvis, Hikivision (can't emember what they call their low light stuff) or IPCamTalk DarkFighter cameras and you'll be tossing the SV3C junk. I did as soon as I got a Dahua. Look for sensors of 1/2.7 or 1/2.8 for a 2MP or, if you want better resolution, look for 1/1.8 sensors in a 4MP. Another problem with SV3C is that they vary their own frame rate and the iframe rate to whatever they feel is "acceptable" unlike Dahua, Hik or IPCT cameras which hold at the setting you select.

Keep in mind a varifocal camera is not a "zoom" camera. It is designed to be set at a specific focal length when installed and left that way. The zoom/focus drive is not meant for continuous use.

Before worrying about audio, read the Cliff Notes in the WiKi in the blue title bar at the top of the page on a real computer, not a phone or tablet.
 
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Cleck

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Will do, thanks for the heads up!

As far as the zoom/varifocal goes, how you described it is how I have it set/have been using it since I set it up. Put it on the farthest camera down the driveway pointing towards the road, with a slight zoom on it so I can see plates better when they pull in. Has been working pretty well, I just frame by frame the video if need be and I haven't seen one I can't read yet. Thanks for the clarification though.

When I get home, I'll read the wiki.
 
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VorlonFrog

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Please don't buy any Reolink cameras. They're terrible with night vision, they're terrible with their lack of customer support, and their quality is suspect at best.

Dahua or Hikvision are your best bets. The older 2MP Dahua 4231 Starlight camera has a microphone. Some of the newer 4MP Starlight cameras probably have microphones. 5442 is the Dahua model number, if I'm remembering correctly.
 

DouglasteR

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The problem is not that they are 2MP cameras, they are 1/3" sensors. Get some Dauhua Starvis, Hikivision (can't emember what they call their low light stuff) or IPCamTalk DarkFighter cameras and you'll be tossing the SV3C junk. I did as soon as I got a Dahua. Look for sensors of 1/2.7 or 1/2.8 for a 2MP or, if you want better resolution, look for 1/1.8 sensors in a 4MP. Another problem with SV3C is that they vary their own frame rate and the iframe rate to whatever they feel is "acceptable" unlike Dahua, Hik or IPCT cameras which hold at the setting you select.

Keep in mind a varifocal camera is not a "zoom" camera. It is designed to be set at a specific focal length when installed and left that way. The zoom/focus drive is not meant for continuous use.

Before worrying about audio, read the Cliff Notes in the WiKi in the blue title bar at the top of the page on a real computer, not a phone or tablet.
Noob question.

Do sensor sizes matter in the acquisition of light ? And this is why you are saying that the 1/3 sensors are worse then the 1/2.8 ?

If so, do we have a rule of thumb for which sensor is ideal for one type of camera ?

Thanks !
 

guykuo

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Tip: All my Dahuas produce MUCH clearer audio if their "noise filter" setting is OFF. Having their noise filter option on turns the sound into something akin to listening with your head getting periodically plunged into water.
 
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The general rule of thumb is the bigger the sensor the better the performance given the same resolution. In 2MP cameras a Starvis sensor of 1/2.7 or 1/2.8 seems to be the "sweet spot" as supported by experience. In 4MP cameras a Starvis sensor of 1/1.8 seems to be pretty much the equivalent. Remember, fractions are inversly proportional, the bigger the bottom number, the smaller the sensor.

Sensor size, available light and resolution are what determine performance. A 4MP camera with a 1/2.8 sensor will not perform anywhere nearly as well as a 2MP camera with the same sensor size. As a reference, you're spreading the same amount of light across double the amount of pixels which equates to half the light getting to each pixel in the 4MP versus the 2MP.
 

looney2ns

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I set up my system a while ago and am running smoothly on BI for the most part, always playing w/ a setting or two here and there. I'm running (4) SV3C 2-12mm VF 2mp cameras to an Amcrest NVR, with BI on my pc, and for the bad rap they get for being Chinese (even I admittedly had some issues w/ fogging for a little bit, but none anymore), they've actually done the job and allowed me to get a system up and going. They've actually done well deterring thieves too, had one guy nope right out of my driveway after seeing one.

I'm looking to upgrade. The day footage is fine, I can read plates when they come in the driveway, and the vf lens allows me to zoom more if I really wanted to catch a spot better. I have one of them permanently zoomed in. Problem is, since it's a 2mp camera, night footage isn't great, unless I have a ton of light. Not an issue in the backyard with multiple led flood lamps, but the front is an issue. I've got a pretty bright light on the front door now and am going to add a light right near the camera I have shown to cover the driveway and front walk better, but I think I'd like to explore an upgrade anyways. People walking at night look like ghosts sometimes, and it kinda burned me when my neighbor's Christmas lights got stolen and I got an ok description of the guy, but I think better cameras would have been more clear.

I'd also like sound, or like to explore options with sound. Doesn't have to be 2-way, I don't need to talk to them, but just something I'm interested in. All I've found in my early research so far are the Reolink cams that have built-in mics. I don't know anything about them, but they seem cheap. Slightly more expensive than the ones I have now, but I don't know anything about them. I'm ok staying w/ the bullet style cameras, they're high up enough and mounted under the eaves so I am not worried about field of view, damage, or weather.z

Looking at the Reolink RLC-511 (because mic), it's 5mp. Figure that's at least an upgrade as far as video goes. New cam doesn't have to zoom, as only 1/4 I have now is actually zoomed.

Open to suggestions/feedback/reviews


Study the Cliff Notes and the Wiki.
DO NOT buy Reolink, Foscam, Nest, Arlo, SV3C, Ring or anything Wifi.
 

mat200

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.. I'm running (4) SV3C 2-12mm VF 2mp ..

I'm looking to upgrade. ..

Problem is, since it's a 2mp camera, night footage isn't great,..
Hi @Cleck

"Problem is, since it's a 2mp camera, night footage isn't great,.."

As others have noted:
It is not the resolution, but the cheaper components in the camera which results in a poor low light performance. ( sensor being one of the main one we look at )

Reolink 5MP cameras do not do that well in low light. Recommend reading the various reolink threads.

@Scott Ritchey just posted some nice comparison shots, check them out ( thanks Scott )
Reolink IP Cameras


Noob question.

Do sensor sizes matter in the acquisition of light ? And this is why you are saying that the 1/3 sensors are worse then the 1/2.8 ?

If so, do we have a rule of thumb for which sensor is ideal for one type of camera ?

Thanks !
HI @DouglasteR

Q: Do sensor sizes matter in the acquisition of light ?
A: YES

Q: And this is why you are saying that the 1/3 sensors are worse then the 1/2.8 ?
A: Math: 1/3" < 1/2.8" hint: 0.333" < 0.357"

Q: If so, do we have a rule of thumb for which sensor is ideal for one type of camera ?
A: There's more to a sensor than just size. New sensor tech ( Starvis for example ) are significantly superior to older sensors for low light performance. There still more to consider - DSP, lens, f-stop, etc.. right now the top performers in low light conditions are using larger sensors from sensor lines like the Sony Starvis. See the reviews by members here on Dahua starlight / starlight+ models.
 

DouglasteR

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Thanks for the clarification !

It is one of those obvious questions.
 
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