I'm Delphinus I mounted a Blue Iris server and want to expand my system with more and better cameras, after testing a reolink I conclude they are not safe and need the knowledge of the community to help me found cameras.
Welcome to the enchanted land of video surveillance lunatics, good guys, nut jobs and miscreants (yes, I fit into at least three categories). There are a lot of knowledgeable people on here and knowledge and experience are shared constantly. That's how I got to be a lunatic (already a nut job and miscreant).
Start out by looking in the WiKi in the blue bar at the top of the page. There's a ton of very useful information in there and it needs to be viewed on a computer, not a phone or tablet. The Cliff Notes will be of particular interest although the camera models listed there are a generation old at this point. The best way to determine what kind of camera you need in each location and where each location should really be is to buy one varifocal camera first and set up a test stand for it that can be easily moved around. Test using that, viewing using the web interface of the camera, during the day and at night. Have someone walk around behaving like a miscreant and see if you can identify them. There is also information for choosing hardware and securing the system along with a whole bunch of other good stuff.
Don't chase megapixels unless you have a really BIG budget. Chase sensor size and bigger is better. To confuse you more sensor sizes are listed in fractions so do the basic math to be sure, 1/2.7 is bigger than 1/2.8 or 1/3. General rule of thumb is that a 4MP camera will easily outperform an 8MP camera when they both have the same sensor size. Reason being that there are twice as many pixels in the 8MP versus the 4MP. This results in only half the available light getting to each pixel in an 8MP that a pixel in the 4MP "sees".
A dedicated PC doesn't need to be either expensive to purchase or to run. A used business class machine can be had from eBay and various other sources. The advances made in Blue Iris make it easily possible to run a fairly large system on relatively inexpensive hardware which also makes power consumption low, as in under 50 watts in many cases. The biggest expenses turn out to be hard drives for storing video and a PoE switch to power the cameras and, of course, the cameras themselves.
The three basic rules of video surveillance cameras-
Rule #1 - Cameras multiply like rabbits.
Rule #2 - Cameras are more addictive than drugs.
Rule #3 - You never have enough cameras.
Quick guide -
The smaller the lux number the better the low light performance. 0.002 is better than 0.02
The smaller the "F" of the lens the better the low light performance. F1.4 is better than F1.8
The larger the sensor the better the low light performance. 1/1.8" is better (bigger) than 1/2.7"
The higher the megapixels for the same size sensor the worse the low light performance. A 4MP camera with a 1/1.8" sensor will perform better than a 8MP camera with that same 1/1.8" sensor.
720P - 1/3" = .333"
2MP - 1/2.8" = .357" (think a .38 caliber bullet)
4MP - 1/1.8" = .555" (bigger than a .50 caliber bullet or ball)
8MP - 1/1.2" = .833" (bigger than a 20mm chain gun round)
Don't believe all the marketing hype no matter who makes the camera. Don't believe those nice night time captures they all use. Look for videos, with motion, to determine low light performance. Any camera can be made to "see" color at night if the exposure time is long enough, as in half a second or longer. Rule of thumb, the shutter speed needs to be at 1/60 or higher to get night video without blurring.
Read the reviews here, most include both still shots and video.
Avoid Reolink, Foscam, SV3C, Nest, and all the other consumer grade cameras. They all struggle mightily at night and never get anything useful on video. Here's a link to a whole thread debunking Reolink in particular.
Executive Summary: DO NOT be a sheep. Ask what a reviewer can be missing, ask if a reviewer is using hype words to sell the cheapest product. Test your cameras and kits right away. Just do a bench test. Test real world conditions. Test moving suspects. Test at night, test at day. Use a test rig...
Avoid WiFi cameras, even doorbell cameras. WiFi is not designed for the constant, 24/7, load of video that a surveillance camera produces. At best, with two cameras on WiFi, they will still experience dropouts multiple times daily. Murphy's Law says that will happen at the worst possible moment.
Lens size, focal length, is another critical factor. Many people like the wide, sweeping, views of a 2.8mm lens but be aware that identification is problematic with a lens that wide. Keep in mind that it may take two cameras, or more, to provide the coverage you need or desire. Another factor that effects view angles is the sensor size. Typically larger sensors will have a larger field of view in any given lens size.
The 5442 series of cameras by Dahua is the current "king of the hill". They are 4MP and capable of color with some ambient light at night. The 2231 series is a less expensive alternative in 2MP and does not have audio capabilities, no built in microphone, but is easier on the budget. The 3241T-ZAS has similar spcs as the 2231 and has audio. There are also cameras available from the IPCT Store right here on the forum and from Nelly's Security who has a thread in the vendors section.
Intro I’m excited to be doing another Worlds First Review. this time as I mentioned in the full color thread, I’ve been testing the new Dahua full color 4K camera. This was provided courtesy of @EMPIRETECANDY for a fair, honest, no holds barred, unbiased review. I’ll attempt to answer any and...
Hey guys The full color 2.0 has been released. Most cams I already posted here. Like: IPC-Color4K-X Bullet 4MP Motorized Full color. Today I bring a secret model, 1st release for the Dual-Lens Full color model in the world. Dual-lens Camera( Sample at Early Sep ) Ø Dual light fusion...
IPC-T5442T-ZE Varifocal from @EMPIRETECANDY 4MP WDR Turret Varifocal Network Camera Review unit courtesy of Andy (@EMPIRETECANDY) in exchange for a fair and honest review. Andy's ipcamtalk store: link Andy's AliExpress store: link Andy's Amazon store: link Price Approximately US $200.00...
Review - OEM IPC-B5442E-ZE 4MP AI Varifocal Bullet Camera With Starlight+
All, thanks to Andy (@EMPIRETECANDY ) we have a new 4MP AI camera for testing. This camera has been provided by Andy in exchange for a fair and honest review. This camera is using the OEM model number of IPC-B5442-ZE which is the equivalent of the Dahua IPC-HFW5442-ZE for reference. The IPC-B...
Dahua OEM IPC-T5442TM-AS from EMPIRETECANDY 4MP WDR Turret AI Network Camera Review unit courtesy of Andy (@EMPIRETECANDY) in exchange for a fair and honest review. Andy's ipcamtalk store: link Andy's AliExpress store: link Andy's Amazon store: link Price Approximately US $160 Link to camera...
Review IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED (Turret, Full Color, Starlight+)
Dahua OEM IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED from EMPIRETECANDY 4MP WDR Turret AI Network Camera Review unit courtesy of Andy (@EMPIRETECANDY) in exchange for a fair and honest review. Andy's ipcamtalk vendor forum: link Andy's AliExpress store: link Andy's Amazon store: link Andy's Email: kingsecurity2014...
Review: IPC-HDBW5442R-ASE-NI - Dahua Technology Pro AI Bullet Network Camera
Many thanks once again to Andy @EMPIRETECANDY we have for testing the OEM IPC-B5442T-ASE-NI 4MP Starlight+ Full Color bullet. This camera has been provided by Andy in exchange for a fair and honest review. This is a fixed 3.6mm bullet (Pro AI) series with the 1/1.8” sensor. It has no built in...
Review-OEM IPC-T2231RP-ZS 2mp Varifocal Turret Starlight Camera
Again courtesy of @EMPIRETECANDY EmpireTech Andy we have a new cam to look over. Its a new model in Dahua's new Lite H265 Series of cam's. Available for purchase here: Aliexpress.com - Online Shopping for Electronics, Fashion, Home & Garden, Toys & Sports, Automobiles and more Price is approx...
IPC-T3241-ZAS from EMPIRETECANDY 2MP WDR Turret Varifocal AI Network Camera Review unit courtesy of Andy (@EMPIRETECANDY) in exchange for a fair and honest review. Purchase in the IPCT Store Andy's ipcamtalk vendor forum: link Andy's AliExpress store: link Andy's Amazon store: link Price...
Well here we go. I dont see anywhere more approriate to discuss this. Ive been messing around with putting together a cctv system for close to 3 years now. Ive bought everything i needed and also bought 2 cheap cams from a third party seller on walmart. Those cams cost me a grand total of $50...
The internet is a force of nature; no video surveillance system made was designed to be exposed to those forces.. NEVER FORWARD PORTS to your NVR or Cameras, doing such things not only exposes you to severe security problems, but everyone else on the internet too.. Hackers dont want your video...
In making your system more secure this is a great option to eliminate your cameras calling home / connecting to the internet This is a great place to start to setup a bit more secure network and learn more about IP/Subnets etc. before adding dual NICs: Router Security - Subnets and IP addresses...
Thanks for the post is very informative and I will check all the cameras, I have some photography knowledge and hope will help, my first good pocket digital camera was a Sony RX100 Gen1 20Mp few years later I replace it with a Lumix LX100 that has 12Mp, mega pixels are for marketing but if I can afford I prefer 8mp because I don't have storage or switching problems. What I didn't expect was to find so much processing of the images in CCTV cameras that's why I return the reolink 812A that I tested, it's a great still camera day and night and the price is good but intruders are not still they move mostly at night.
Like everything in life we get what we pay so I order an DS-2CD2087G2-LU2.8 that is over my budget for a single camera, my plan is to use 2 wide angle cameras and 3.6-4mm for ID. The problem for home systems is that my CCTV has 4 years, 1080p cameras and now I can buy a 4MP for the same price, if I spend too much now it will have to last longer the difficult part is to know the threshold price/performance for my needs.
I only don't agree with you in one thing 'Avoid WiFi cameras' Like a smart lock a wifi camera is a security threat, it's easy to deauthenticate a wifi network and after they are inside your network to play with your cameras and everything else. Sandbox your cameras at least an intruder won't know your blind spots.
You misunderstood what @sebastiantombs was saying - most of us here are not fans of wifi cams and most of us have our cameras on a completely separate system - dual NIC or VLAN.
You might have to forget what you know about DSLR and high end photography cameras LOL as you play with these. Almost everyone that has come here with experience in DSLR cameras struggle with these cameras, similar to what you experienced with the Reolinks! Every one of these cameras have more processing of the images than a DSLR camera. Some are worse than others. Then there is the compression of the video, etc. Turn off NR on one of these cameras and you will see how much processing is used.
You will find a BIG difference between your photography equipment and these cameras. Things like trying to match focal lengths are tough because it may be crystal clear on high end DSLR and not be clear with these types of cameras. The sensors and optics just are not at the same level. These cameras are designed for 24/7 use with abuse from the elements. DSLR cameras are designed for a different working environment and purpose. Hang a DSLR camera outside and see how long it lasts LOL! But the quality would be better for the time it was working (but also a lot more storage needed too).
Remember these are surveillance cameras, not DSLR cameras, so you have to check your expectations. For example, you can see individual hairs and skin pores with DSLR photography equipment and you won't with these kinds of cameras. These are for a different use.
If you go by the MP/Sensor size combinations mentioned above, you will find that is the most important aspect and will provide you the longest life from your gear.
Sure a 4MP camera may be the same price as a 1080P camera several years ago, but guess what, that 4MP is on the same sensor size as the 1080P, so at night the 1080P is actually better quality.
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 (8MP) 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).
You need to identify the areas you want to cover and pick a camera designed to cover that distance. In some instances, it may be a 2MP or 4MP that is the right camera. DO NOT CHASE MP!!!
Hopefully your 2.8mm for OVERVIEW and 3.6mm for IDENTIFY accomplishes what you want, but it all comes down to the distance.
To identify someone with the wide-angle 2.8mm lens that most people opt for, someone would have to be within 13 feet of the camera to IDENTIFY them, but realistically within 10 feet after you dial it in to your settings.
My neighbor was bragging to me how he only needed his four 2.8mm fixed lens 4k cams to see his entire property and the street and his whole backyard. His car was sitting in the driveway practically touching the garage door and his video quality was useless to ID the perp not even 10 feet away. Meanwhile my 2MP varifocal optically zoomed 60 feet away to the public sidewalk provided the money shot to the police to get my neighbors all their stuff back. Nobody else had video that could provide anything useful, other than what time this motion blur ghost was at their car.
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 or the 4K/X - 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 auto-track 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.
One camera cannot be the be all, see all. Each one is selected for covering a specific area. Most of us here have different brands and types, from fixed cams, to varifocals, to PTZs, each one selected for it's primary purpose and to utilize the strength of that particular camera.
So you will need to identify the distance the camera would be from the activities you want to IDENTIFY on and purchase the correct camera for that distance as an optical zoom.
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.
I will check the Dahua 5442 series, my first proposal was a 3449 I only went to the Hikvision because assumed they were better cameras, probably I am wrong.
The two 2.8mm cameras are to have a photographic view of the house not from a security point I travel and have dogs and like to see where they are and with a wide angle color Vue can have that. Also need a 2 way audio to watch the main gate and with time will replace the analogic 1080p.
Both are correct about wifi cameras and I understood what was wrote, I have 4 vlans in for my smart home and just realize that they are useless since I start to use home assistant because all they talk to same point.
A newbie like me that came to ask help will always try to use wifi and many don't know what is a vlan so is better to tell them don't use WIFI.
Thanks for the help you guys are giving more literature to read that I was expecting
Yeap, I don't use forums for sometime and I forgot they are the most important feed of good information in the net.
I return the reolink in the last day and I confess it cost me to do it because if worked very well during the day so I could use it in my gate to talk to the courier when I'm not at home but the 2 way sound doesn't work, the sound is very very low the only way that someone can ear something is putting the phone in horizontal and scream to it at night, during day with the street noise without cars passing you cannot ear it. I have 2 Xiaomi cameras that have the double of the volume and they are for indoor use. (and now I just confess that I have wifi cameras )
The reason I said to avoid WiFi cameras is actually threefold.
First there is the security aspect. Even if they are "sandboxed" they can be easily defeated with a simple WiFi jammer from eBay.
Second is that WiFi is not designed to handle the constant heavy load of a streaming video surveillance camera. When you watch, stream, a movie buffering enters into the picture. Download exceeds the playback so download stops for a bit, then restarts when the receive buffer drops below a certain point. A surveillance camera never stops sending data. You may get away with one, or two, WiFi cameras but after that the WiFi channel will saturate with traffic. The result will be constant retries, by the camera(s), to send data. That can, and usually will happen, even with one or two cameras let alone three or more.
Third is that a WiFi camera is not actually "wireless". It still needs a wire to provide power to it. If you can get a power wire to a camera you can get an ethernet cable to the camera and may as well use an ethernet based camera for the vast improvement in signal reliability. Any camera can be made "wireless" like a WiFi camera by using a dedicated, encrypted, wireless link or an ethernet over powerline adapter. Reliability with those techniques is virtually the same as wired.
I manage the servers of a system with close to 400 cameras and I know the capacity that is required but I never bother to do the math without compression and now I understand why the image is so manipulated and why some change the framekey during the night, with color noise the bandwidth almost double,
I bought the reolink because of the hook and regardless had to return the camera I like is channel few can be so informative in such of small time.