Few questions before ordering!

mercfh

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So Im going to finally be purchasing a few cameras from Andy (Can't beat those prices). From what i've gathered the IPC-HDW5231R-ZE seems to be such a good deal (Btw what does the 'E' at the end mean? I notice Dahua's website doesn't have the E)

But before I order I want to make sure im not making a bad decision.

I'll have 2 cameras (im sure more later on), that'll be going back to US-8-60W Unifi Switch (Will probably be expanding that later). They support af but not 802.11at (Not sure if that matters for these).

They will both be under covered areas outside. (One on front porch above front door which has a covered section and one on the back porch under the ceiling covering). They won't be looking at a particularly wide area, so I really wonder if varifocal makes sense?

The front porch camera also has a flood light near the garage which keeps the area pretty brightly lit. Would maybe a 4mp be better for this?

Also I do plan on eventually adding a couple of cameras on the 2nd floor to look down at the wider area view of the house (driveway/backyard). Which ones make sense for this (Ideally bullet cams and I actually want them to be more obvious, plus they are on 2nd floor so no-one will really have access to them easily).

For now they'll be going back to a blue-iris desktop PC but i'd eventually like to get an NVR (Suggestions for that? I looked into Synology but i've heard not great things).

Thanks! (Also just to verify, I can update the cameras from Andy with English firmware right?)
 

awsum140

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If you don't want audio have a look at the 2231R-ZS. It doesn't support as many streams or have audio, but is still a varifocal which can be handy and uses the same sensor as the 5231.

The "E" stands for extended PoE, up to 800 meters, I believe, but it will drop to 10mbps at those kinds of distances.

Don't rely on a porch and/or flood light. 4MP cameras will not perform well at low light levels. Remember, you're not producing a Hollywood epic, you're trying to be able to identify who did what.

While bullets might be nice for being "more visible" to miscreants, they are also way more prone to spiders and insects. I routinely have to clean off spider webs that relentlessly keep re-appearing on the few bullets I have left while rarely, if ever, have to do that with the turrets. If the bullets are on a 2nd floor eave you're going to need a dust mop with a really, really, long handle.

As the "looneyism" goes, do you want to see what happened or do you want to see who did it? 2nd floor mounting, unless you're using cameras with decent zoom capabilities, aka more expensive, you're probably only going to see what happened and not a who did it.

I'd stick with BI on a PC over an NVR any day, but I am biased and never bothered with an NVR. BI is far more flexible.

The cameras come from Andy with English firmware so that's not a problem. As an aside with that, PAL will work just as well as NTSC since the cameras are actually producing a digital image and BI, or an NVR for that matter, could care less what the format is.

Check the WiKi in the blue title bar and be sure to read the Cliff Notes there.
 

mercfh

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Thanks for the notes, for the 2nd floor camera it's more just for an overhead view aka "What happened", the 2 closer ones will be more for "Who did it". I do need audio unfortunately so the 2231R isn't an option. I have access to the locations on 2nd floor (via walk in attic, ill be putting them above the roof attic vent). If you "Had" to recommend a bullet for this purpose, what would you recommend. Otherwise for an "overhead" view should I look for 4mp? or? (any suggestions). I don't need to identify them but more-so just for a larger view of around the house.
 

mat200

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Thanks for the notes, for the 2nd floor camera it's more just for an overhead view aka "What happened", the 2 closer ones will be more for "Who did it". I do need audio unfortunately so the 2231R isn't an option. I have access to the locations on 2nd floor (via walk in attic, ill be putting them above the roof attic vent). If you "Had" to recommend a bullet for this purpose, what would you recommend. Otherwise for an "overhead" view should I look for 4mp? or? (any suggestions). I don't need to identify them but more-so just for a larger view of around the house.
Hi @mercfh

It's not just about pixels, but also about the quality of the sensors, dsp, .. all which combine to make a better image capture.

In general the 4MP camera models are using an older sensor chip and thus the results have not been as impressive to members compared to some of the newer models that have come out.

Lots of great reviews here on possible camera by members, so do a search on "review" in the title using the IPCT search.
 

awsum140

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I don't have a bullet to recommend with audio but there is a 5231 bullet with both varifocal and audio. Again I'll stress the idea that on a 2nd floor eave won't work out very well. I know, from my own experiences, that mounting that high turns into "oh crap, this ain't working like I want/need". Also consider having the fields of view looking back at another camera, IE one on each corner looking at each other. Nothing can escape being seen by the cameras that way/

Don't fall into the megapixel trap. a 2mp, Starvis, camera will outperform a 4mp hands down in almost any situation other than full sunlight. It has to do with how much light hits for each pixel...same amount of light on each the one with the lower mp will provide a better picture since twice as much light hits each pixel. I would definitely suggest jerry rigging a temporary mount for those 2nd floor cameras and test carefully before you go to the trouble of mounting something up there.
 

mercfh

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That makes sense, so I guess the better question when is more MP better? or basically never?

So what would you suggest I do for a sort of overview area? I don't expect to be able to identify anyone from that high but just so I can get an overall view. Is there ever a case right now where getting more MP is actually worth it?
 

mat200

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That makes sense, so I guess the better question when is more MP better? or basically never?

So what would you suggest I do for a sort of overview area? I don't expect to be able to identify anyone from that high but just so I can get an overall view. Is there ever a case right now where getting more MP is actually worth it?
Hi @mercfh

Depends on the amount of light and what you want to accomplish with the camera.

I suggest picking up one Dahua OEM 2MP starlight camera and testing possible locations you are considering placing cameras.

Normally until you do that you're only guessing how good the view will be.
 

aristobrat

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For now they'll be going back to a blue-iris desktop PC but i'd eventually like to get an NVR (Suggestions for that? I looked into Synology but i've heard not great things).
I started with Synology but wasn't happy with the motion detection options so switched to a Dahua NVR. Motion detection with the NVR was awesome because the NVR could use the cameras' built-in advanced motion detection features (IVS), something the Synology couldn't do. After a few weeks of playing around with the NVR, I started running into some firmware issues (since fixed). While waiting for the fix, I installed BI on an old PC and really liked it, especially the iPhone app. At that time, like the Synology, BI wasn't capable of using the cameras' IVS features for motion detection, but BI's built-in motion detection turned out to be an even better deal for me. I've been on BI since then, ... sold my NVR on here earlier this year.
 

aristobrat

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So what would you suggest I do for a sort of overview area? I don't expect to be able to identify anyone from that high but just so I can get an overall view. Is there ever a case right now where getting more MP is actually worth it?
I've got both a 6MP (with a STARVIS image sensor) and a 2MP Starlight setup as overview cameras...

During the day, I find the extra MP from the 6MP to be somewhat helpful... that camera's zoomed out pretty wide, so the extra MP help identify folks further away from the camera than if it were a lower MP camera. But man, once the sun sets, the usefulness of that camera <even as an overview camera> quickly goes downhill. I have a 2MP Starlight that covers a much smaller portion of that the 6MP covers... if someone crosses at night and I need details, I have to look at that camera.

The 6MP is the first thumbnail below, covering the side yard... second thumbnail is another of my 2MP Starlight (covering the front yard). The Starlight does so well with only a little light it makes the front yard look like it's brighter than the side yard, which it's not. If you were outside of my house now, you'd find the side yard is actually brighter.

Cam9.jpeg

Cam1.jpeg
 
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mercfh

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Wow the 2MP dark picture is amazing.....honestly almost looks like there isn't much reason to go over 2MP then...

as sidequestion: While I await the hardware for BI on a desktop....is there any reason I can't just continually stream to "nothing" for the time being? ( at least until I have the BI hardware setup)
 

xtropodx

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is there any reason I can't just continually stream to "nothing" for the time being? ( at least until I have the BI hardware setup)
Before I got my BI set up I was doing just that & remoting into the camera itself. So no reason why can't do just that.
 

mercfh

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Do I need to order some sort of bracket or something to connect the camera to my outdoor ceiling/wall/etc?
 

awsum140

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If you buy through Andy he can give you the right mounting box for any of the cameras. They're not actually "necessary" in a lot of installations, but can make mounting on masonry, a pipe or a corner a heck of a lot easier.
 
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