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Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Victor1985, Feb 20, 2019.

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What is a good resolution to use in low light?

  1. 4K

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  2. 2K

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  3. 10180p

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  1. Victor1985

    Victor1985 n3wb

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    I am in market for 12-16 4K-2K Cameras with 16 Channel NVR for newly acquired bar/restaurant in Philly downtown . I read a lot here about Dahua cameras but not sure if it will fit within my budget. I also plan to hire professional to install rather than taking up big task myself.

    I am considering Lorex 9 Camera 4K System with 16 Channel NVR being sold at Costco (Costco Wholesale). Not sure if it will be able to capture good resolution video in low light setting. Being bar ambiance - it will be normally low light situation all the time. I also want to make sure camera will be able to zoom in without loosing quality of video(just in case).

    Looking forward to hear your views. I must admit Mat200 brought me here from Slickdeals forum.
     
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  2. Victor1985

    Victor1985 n3wb

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    @mat200 Looking forward to hear your opinion.
     
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  3. aristobrat

    aristobrat IPCT Contributor

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    These 4K cameras are almost guaranteed to not do as well in low light as the 2MP cameras designed for low-light will do.

    One of the biggest reasons is pixel size. The more area each pixel gets on the image sensor, the more light the image sensor can capture in every pixel, .. the better the low-light image.

    The 2MP cameras designed for low light (like the Dahua Starlights) have a 1/2.8" image sensor. This works out to a pixel size that does well in low-light.
    The 4K cameras in this Lorex kit have a 1/2.5" image sensor. So that's 400% more pixels on an image sensor that's only about 14% bigger. This works out to a much smaller pixel size, which doesn't help the image sensor capture as much light per pixel as the 2MP Starlight model cans.

    IMO, what's cool about this kit is that it's Lorex, which usually means it's usually Dahua equipment sold under a different brand (with a different firmware).
    It's also cool that it's Costco, which allows you to try it out with minimal risk.

    So while these cameras aren't likely to be as good in low-light as the 2MP Starlights, they may still be good enough for what you're looking for. I'd try the kit out. Best case is that all of the cameras do well and you're happy as-is. Worse case is that none of the cameras do well, you have to pull the cameras down (shouldn't need professional help for that, they should come down really easy), then you return it back to Costco. Reuse the wiring run for this kit for any future models.

    And if the results are in the middle ... say most of the cameras do OK, but a couple of the cameras are in especially dark locations and don't do well, I think one option you'd have (@mat200 can confirm this) is to buy 2MP Starlight cameras (as you have budget) and swap them in the those locations where the 4Ks were struggling. Looks like you'll have 7 unused ports on the NVR, which means you could move those 4K cameras that were struggling in the really dark areas to new areas. So your 9 camera system could grow to 10, 11, 12, etc..
     
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  4. Victor1985

    Victor1985 n3wb

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    Thank you for great explanation. I thought more pixel will get me better resolution. Also these cameras would be used indoor therefore active deterrence feature would be an overkill. Also LED light and audio for active deterrence is also kind of a joke. I like this camera only because better FOV (130 Degree) over Lorex Bullet Cameras (89 Degree). I was planning to buy additional Lorex LNB8105X cameras off of the ebay (brand new sells for 105$ there vs 150$ at costco). But now i may buy 2-4 cameras with optical zoom to hang over POS/Cash Register for better resolution (may be 2 MP Starlights). I am also considering Q-See System from Costco. I think its actually better than Lorex System as it's 100$ cheaper, comes with 3 additional cameras. It has 112 Degree FOV compare to Lorex bullet cameras(89 degree).

    I would really appreciate if you could point me to right direction to purchase or get a quote of 2MP Starlight cameras. I would also like to find out if those starlight would work with LNR600X NVR (from Costco).
     
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  5. aristobrat

    aristobrat IPCT Contributor

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    More pixels does give you a higher resolution. In good light, the extra resolution means you can usually enlarge the picture <"zoom in"> to get more details. In poor light, non-low-light cameras usually have a very noisy/grain picture to begin with. If you try to enlarge that (to see more details), you usually only end up seeing more noise and grain. These cameras will often blur motion in low-light too, making trying to get details that much harder.

    Optical zoom (varifocal) is a great way to get more details without needing extra pixels/higher resolution. If you don't need audio, a good Starlight varifocal camera is the 2231 (review thread here). If you could use audio, the 5231 has a built-in mic (review thread here). Both reviews mention Andy (@EMPIRETECANDY), who is a super-reliable reseller that most folks here buy their Dahua stuff from. It can be tricky get to Dahua stuff because they're a professional-grade brand that doesn't sell directly to consumers (like Lorex and Q-See do). Andy rebrands the Dahua equipment under his EmpireTech brand, which allows him to sell the same hardware/firmware for less. He has online stores on AliExpress (mentioned in the reviews), as well as Amazon (2231 5231). You can also shoot him an email with what you want and he can send you a PayPal invoice.

    One thing to keep in mind about FOV is that the wider the angle, the quicker that detail drops. So if you have someone 20 feet away from a camera with a 130 degree FOV, you'll usually see less details than the same person standing 20 feet away from a camera with a 89 degree FOV. Since you're in a bar/restaurant, I'm guessing most of your shots will be pretty close and this won't as big of a deal. But this is one reason why varifocal cameras are popular --- by changing the optical zoom, you change the FOV... you can dial it in just right vs. being "stuck" with the FOV you get from fixed-lens cameras.

    Hopefully @mat200 or someone can answer the questions about if Starlights work with the Lorex or Q-See NVRs... I don't have any experience with those NVRs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
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  6. Victor1985

    Victor1985 n3wb

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    @aristobrat Thank you for all guidance and help. I have PM'ed Andy to request a quote for Starlight Cameras and NVR. Lets see. Based on the prices from Amazon and AliExpress + NVR it is way over my budget.

    Meanwhile, i took your guidance and looked up on Lorex wibsite for Lowlight Cameras. I am thinking to order this bundle with 16 Cameras and 16 Ch NVR.

    Also order these 4 Dome Camera with 3 X Zoom Optical Varifocal Lesnse.

    Swap out 4 bullet camera from bundle (i like dome cameras as they are not very visible however i understand bullet cameras are more versatile and easy to adjust) for 4 Varifocal cameras and use them to capture POS/Cash Register. Sell the left over 4 bullet cameras from bundle to get something back. @aristobrat Do you think these 4 Dome Camera with 3 X Zoom Optical Varifocal Lesnse are comparable to Dahio Starlight (2231 or 5231)? I appreciate all your help.
     
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  7. aristobrat

    aristobrat IPCT Contributor

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    Hey, for the Lorex varifocals you linked to above, I have an non-varifocal camera that uses the same image sensor. A low-light pic looks like this:

    192.168.1.29_Porch_main_20170325232057.jpg


    A low-light pic from a 2MP Starlight in the same spot looks like this:
    2MP Starlight.jpg


    And here's the same spot using the Dahua version of the 4K Lorex in your original post:
    PIR 2019-2-21 09.08.12.95 PM.jpg

    To me, the Starlight looks the best (least amount of noise/grain), the 4K at the bottom second best, and the 3MP (2K) at the top has the most noise/grain. Based on that, I'm thinking you'd have better luck with the first kit you picked than the second. While the second kit has fewer megapixel (which is usually better for low-light), it has an older and smaller image sensor which works against it.

    I'd say that if you look for a kit different than your first kit, if the cameras are listed as having 1/3" sensors, keep looking.

    IMO, Lorex and Amcrest don't make things easy... a lot of the stuff they market as "LOW LIGHT" or "EXCELLENT NIGHT VISION", most folks here would not agree with, at least not when compared to the Dahua and Hikvision low-light models.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
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  8. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    Welcome @Victor1985

    Check out @looney2ns review of the Dahua OEM version of those Lorex 8MP Active Deterrence cameras:
    Review-Dahua IPC-HFW1831C-PIR 4k Mini Bullet

    update: fenderman also posted a thread here IPC-HFW1831C-PIR 8MP WDR IR Mini Bullet Network Camera / Active Deterrence


    Remember Lorex branded versions do not have the "IVS" features, while the Dahua OEM version has a subset of the IVS features iirc ( many of the IPC-HxW1xxxx models have no IVS features, some newer models have a couple of them )

    Otherwise the models are similar in terms of what you should expect for image capture.

    Quick reply - with some configuration work you can get a Dahua OEM 2MP starlight to function with that kit - so one option is to augment the kit with a couple of Dahua OEM starlights ( we prefer Andy, EmpireTech for a vendor who we can trust ). You would need to adjust the IP settings, user / password, so that they are sync'ed on the channel of the NVR that the camera is connected to with the camera.

    That particular Lorex kit sold at Costco: the NVR should be basically the Dahua OEM NVR5216-16P-4KS2x version - with the firmware adjusted to support the "Active Deterrence" functions, and with IVS features removed.

    @aristobrat is one of the top contributors here, and I've learned a lot from him and others who are sharing their experiences and knowledge, so it is good to have him give you sound advice.

    In the end there are a number of ways to come to a solution on security cameras, so imho the MOST critical thing you can do is a good job on the cabling and positioning of the cameras.
    ( check out this thread, @tangent has a lot of great advice there for a member on a new build I want the best Dahua)
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
  9. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    Hi @Victor1985

    I would not get those 4MP cameras, as they are iirc based on the Dahua OEM 4MP which members here were not impressed with.

    Also, at the current prices that Lorex is selling kits for - I would instead ask Andy for a quote on a nice Dahua OEM setup using the 2MP 2231 turret model as the main camera - it is a nice 2MP varifocal starlight model.

    When Lorex had BF-cyberweek deals there were some nice deals - now not so much. ( Montavue also had some nice kit deals which were Dahua OEMs )

    In general the individual / non-kit camera prices at Lorex are too high imho.


    The Q-see kit from Costco - some of the kits are Dahua OEM, and the others iirc are uniview OEM ( so I have read from another forum ).
    I do not know the uniview product line, so I have little info to provide on it ( I'm still learning - so if anyone knows, feel free to share here )
     
  10. Victor1985

    Victor1985 n3wb

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    @mat200 @aristobrat What do you guys think of IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE models compare to IPC-HDW2231R-ZS? The IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE comes in 2 variant - 2.8mm and 3.6mm lense.

    There is also two budget models IPC-K35A 3MP and IPC-HDBW4231F-AS. How much compromise these would be compare to IPC-HDW2231R-ZS. As always thanks for your suggestions and expertise. Andy is really great BTW. No wonder why everybody loves him here.
     
  11. aristobrat

    aristobrat IPCT Contributor

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    IMO, both of the 4231 models should have about the same low-light image quality as the 2231. They're all Starlights, so all three will do well. If you're splitting hairs based on specs, there are slight differences in the aperture sizes between the three models, so the 2231 should do the technical best, followed by the 4231EM-ASE, then the 4231F-AS. I don't think I've ever seen anyone complain about the slight differences, so I wouldn't let that bother me.

    For the IPC-K35... of the three images I posted last night, the one that did the worst in low-light quality came from a camera that has the same sensor as the IPC-K35. if you're looking for something small to put in a better lighted area (like an office or the kitchen) then maybe, but I wouldn't use it in a low-light area.

    Back to the 4231s, one thing to consider about the 4231F-AS (the smaller mini-dome one) is that domes can be the devil at night. If the IR light that camera uses to help illuminate in low-light bounces back into the dome, it can cause spots on the image (or the image to wash out). Turrets don't usually have that problem. Not saying you shouldn't use some 4231F-AS in your build, but if you do, try to position where there's not a wall fairly close in front of them that will bounce IR back...

    I use a very poorly placed (my fault) 4231F-AS (mini-dome) on my back patio. Great during the day, but the way I have it placed, the IR definitely reflects back in causing the image to look pretty bad at night. It's on my "fix one day' list...

    4231F-AS day:
    IMG_0522.JPG

    4231F-AS night (with IR bouncing back):
    IMG_0521.JPG
     
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  12. Victor1985

    Victor1985 n3wb

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    The daylight picture is amazing. Dahua cams doesnt fail to impress.
     
  13. Victor1985

    Victor1985 n3wb

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  14. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

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    Keep in mind that a 2.8mm lens makes it so that a bad guy would need to be 10-13ft from the cam to make a face ID.
    Other than at a door entrance, a 2.8mm lens is not recommended outdoors.
    You want to know who did it, not just what happened.
    Again, avoid domes outdoors if possible.
     
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  15. Victor1985

    Victor1985 n3wb

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    Well i need to use it indoor. I thought these LaView Cams are as similar as IPC-HDW2231R-ZS 2 MP (1/2.8"). They both are domes, 2MP and 2.8 mm. Hikvision are comparable to Dahu, isn't it? Our restaurant has low light setting- so it will be used to capture any incident that may require us to present any footage to insurance or cops. And cameras will be used as survillance after closing (2 AM to 9:30 AM).

    Do you think these may not work out?
     
  16. rizz

    rizz n3wb

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    According to what I just learned ( thanks @looney2ns ). The "1/2.8" designation is for the sensor. From what I can tell the LaView cams have a fixed 2.8mm focal length but the IPC-HDW2231R-ZS have a "2.7 - 13.5mm" varifocal lens giving you a bit more flexibility.
     
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  17. aristobrat

    aristobrat IPCT Contributor

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    @Victor1985, I’m thinking it’s probably a misprint that those LaView cams have a 1/2.8” image sensor.

    The timeframe that model looks to be from is (2016, based on PDF) is right when Dahua was starting their first Starlights. Hikvision was a few months behind them. It was pretty hard to find models "in stock" back then and some forum members here were searching the internet upside down to find them. I don't recall anyone mentioning that LaView had a low-light model.

    For whatever reason, it seems like consumer brands with "known names" (like Amcrest, Lorex, Q-See, LaView, etc) don't have any models with the 1/2.8" STARVIS image sensor. I want to say that Dahua/Hikvision wants to keep that sensor strictly in their pro-version models, but obviously smaller (in comparison) brands like Andy's Empire Tech and the forum here's IPCT brands are reselling them. So I don't know what the rule/logic there is.
     
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  18. Victor1985

    Victor1985 n3wb

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    Interesting. I got a deal which was too good to pass up. I paid 969$ for 16 CH NVR with 6 TB + 8 1080p Bullet and 4 Dome cameras (CMOS Sensor, 1/2.8"). I will return them if dont like it.
     
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