Help improve my 2 MP starlight footage

Discussion in 'Dahua' started by aabs, Aug 11, 2017.

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  1. aabs

    aabs Young grasshopper

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    Hi All,
    My rig is
    3 x IPC-HDW5231 RP-Z
    1 x IPC-HFW5231 E-Z
    NVR4108-4KS2

    The first time I have had to review an incident in anger and I cannot get a good face shot of culprit.
    Thankfully on this occasion I didnt have anything taken but its served as a warning to improve my night footage.
    Please view attached file for pointers on how to improve my recorded stream
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bug99

    bug99 Getting the hang of it

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    I think one big deal is the stuff to the left and down (fence etc). it is defining the focus for the frame. for ID, you are going to need 2x the pixels per foot. zooming in 2x will get rid of a lot of the fence so two birds one stone. Angling right should get rid of the rest. I think you need a faster shutter speed as well, which will drop the light, unfortunately, so you will need to play with that.
     
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  3. bigredfish

    bigredfish Getting comfortable

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    Agree with @bug99 on the focus.
    Really with the camera that high up and not enough zoom, you're not going to get any real good ID. The angle is good for overview, but just isnt ideal for close ID. A lot of folks mount their cameras too high IMHO.

    Forced color at night takes a lot more concentrated white light than most think to really be effective and not have a lot of graininess or motion blur.

    Unless you can lower the camera, I think you're gonna have to decide whether you want best ID at the cars or on the sidewalk/street. I'd zoom tighter on the cars and add white light or maybe just let the camera go to B&W/IR which will likely give you better definition than you have now.

    Here's some examples of my Starlights. Mounted just 8' with 1200 lumen white lights in the carriage lights on either side of the garage. Like you I have street lights, but I'm not going to get the same facial clarity out 40' in the street as I do at 15' at the vehicles. The image depth gives me a pretty good overview anyway primarily because of the height its mounted at. I keep one in forced color and one in Auto letting it go to B&W/IR

    (Remember to change the youtube video to 1080p)

    Burglar- Skip to 0:42


    Testing forced color


    Testing Sister cam in B&W/IR





    DNR and WDR are not your friends in forced color at night. Turn WDR off and DNR as low as you can get away with.
    As @bug99 says, faster shutter speed will help, but you'll get less light/color.
     
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  4. aabs

    aabs Young grasshopper

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    Thanks for the input guys.
    I guess I need to lower the camera and then play around a little with different settings
     
  5. RafflesNH

    RafflesNH n3wb

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    What do you guys mean by "shutter speed"? Can only find Frame Rate(FPS) or Bit Rate in the Web Settings for my NVR, which incidentally, is the same model as the OPs (NVR4108-4KS2).
    Also, in my Image Setup section, the only reference to DNR (Dynamic Noise Reduction?) for my starlight (HFW5231E-Z12) is something called 3D-NR, and you can only set it to either ON or OFF. If I use 'Colorful' mode for night recordings, I must use 3D-NR or the image is unacceptably noisy.

    Regards
    Nigel
     
  6. bigredfish

    bigredfish Getting comfortable

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    Shutter speed is going to be a setting on your camera not the NVR. Look for settings like 1/30, 1/1000 etc. Basically the smaller that number (1/1000 in that example), the faster the shutter, ie, the less time the shutter is open. This allows you to "freeze" movement but the downside is that because it's open less time, it lets less light in. So faster shutter speed helps cure motion blur.

    As to the grainy image for the OP, thats mostly lack of light. There is also a setting called "Gain" which introduces more light but with more noise. If you lower the Gain, you will lower the noise, but again you also lower the light.

    3DNR can help reduce the affects of noise. When you start getting motion blur, especially at night, try backing off the 3DNR (though motion blur doesnt seem to be the biggest problem in the OP's sample). Once you set 3DNR to "On" you should be able to select it again and set the strength of the DNR.

    As to FPS, at night, I like to run as high as possible (30), though many will tell you 15fps is enough. Also match your iFrame setting to your FPS- so if your running 15FPS, set iframe to 15.

    Bitrate does have an effect on image quality. Try running at least 4096, 8192 will produce an even better image.

    Mostly it all about light. The OP needs to either add white light around thevehicles, or let the camera switch auto to B&W/IR. As it is now, B&W/IR will give the OP a much better image and definition with a lot less noise.
     
  7. RafflesNH

    RafflesNH n3wb

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    Hi bigredfish, many thanks for posting all this. Very helpful!

    Ah yes, I didn't realise until after I had installed the camera on the wall that you can't gain access to the camera software when it's hooked up to the NVR. However, it's fairly readily accessible so will just have to demount it.
    I guess that's another setting in the camera and not NVR.
    Ah no, sorry, not on my system. Only 2 radio buttons, On or Off. Can't click same one twice.

    upload_2017-8-12_13-35-11.png

    I have mine presently set to the Maximum FPS of 50. Perhaps my camera is different spec to yours? Also, there doesn't appear to be an iFrame setting to adjust, or is that another one tucked away inside the camera itself?
    upload_2017-8-12_13-41-27.png

    I was originally running with the H.265 codec, but it only allowed a maximum bitrate of 5632 Kb/s. So I now have it switched over to H.264H codec and I can set it to a maximum of 9472 Kb/s (See screengrab below)

    upload_2017-8-12_13-44-0.png

    Once again, very many thanks for your pointers, and will now set about connecting up the camera directly and trying out those new shutter settings.
    All the best,
    Nigel
     
  8. bigredfish

    bigredfish Getting comfortable

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    I dont have an H.265 capable NVR but I know others have mentioned that when using it you do get some changes in control functionality settings.... Yes your NVR allows you to go to 50 FPS (PAL) mine is limited to 30 FPS (NTSC)

    What model of cameras do you have?

    Have you tried accessing the Web GUI for each of the cameras directly? You should be able to get to them via browser much like your NVR if you use the IP direct for each camera. I think you'll find additional setting on the camera that you dont have on the NVR.
     
  9. RafflesNH

    RafflesNH n3wb

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    I only have the one camera just now, as it is my first professional level cctv system and wanted to learn the ropes first.
    As I needed the decent optical zoom, I got the Dahua DH-IPC-HFW5231E-Z12 Starlight.
    I will explorer the cameras internal settings after I return from an 8 day trip abroad.
    Again, many thanks for taking the trouble with my issues.
    N.

    UPDATE: I should perhaps explain the reason for not investigating the cameras internal web interface when I first took delivery is because with the camera being PoE, I do not have another source of power for it to connect it directly to my computer, and therefore am obliged to supply power to it from the NVR!
    So, if anyone has any suggestions as to how this can be accomplished without buying an injector/power supply set-up, I would be extremely interested! I can't help but feel that this is the Achilles heel of PoE cameras, as you can't access full functionality without first acquiring more hardware. Or can you?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  10. SAVideoman

    SAVideoman n3wb

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  11. RafflesNH

    RafflesNH n3wb

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    That's most helpful. Not quite such good value here in the UK (as always!), but a good investment nonetheless, as you say. Many thanks for the tip.
    N.
     
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  12. mat200

    mat200 Pulling my weight

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    thanks Bigredrish!

    Wow, that's a few LEOs there...

    I'm also in the optimizing / tuning mode right now.
     
  13. bigredfish

    bigredfish Getting comfortable

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    Yeah we're fortunate in that we really dont have too much trouble, but when you call 911 OCSO responds pretty quickly and usually in force. That was a drunk domestic call.
     
  14. Foto

    Foto n3wb

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    H.265 is roughly twice as efficient as H.264 in terms of compression. Or differently expressed, to achieve a certain visual quality H.264 needs twice the bitrate compared to H.265.

    Note “roughly”… there are many encoding parameters to play with, and encoder implementation performance also varies. Use “twice” as a ballpark figure.

    I would not be surprised if the 9472/5632 kbps (H264 vs. H.265) figures are picked to render in equal visual quality.
     
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  15. bigredfish

    bigredfish Getting comfortable

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    Good to know, Id not had that explained to me before either. Thx @Foto
     
  16. RafflesNH

    RafflesNH n3wb

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    Hi, yes I did wonder about that too, and did some research into H265, so was expecting little or no observable difference, except possibly slightly better than H.264. But when I did a quick livestream visual comparison on a nearby stationary vehicle's number plate at night with 'colorful' mode on, I thought the plate's letters were slightly clearer on H.264H/9472. Hence the switcharoo. I may take another look at it though after I've had a play around with the camera's internal shutter settings etc.
    N.
     
  17. SAVideoman

    SAVideoman n3wb

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    But there is a downside to H.265...it requires significantly more computer resources to decode due to it's more sophisticated compression. Some older computers may not be up to the task. If H.265 is supported in your HW acceleration, you should be in pretty good shape.
     
  18. aristobrat

    aristobrat Getting comfortable

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    NVRs with POE create a separate subnet for the cameras, which creates this issue. Stand-alone POE switches do not do that.

    You should be able to plug your computer into an unused PoE port on the NVR and then be able to access the cameras directly.
     
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  19. RafflesNH

    RafflesNH n3wb

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    Aristobrat, you're a star! :goodpost:
    I plugged my laptop directly into the NVR as you suggested, fired up ConfigTool, and BAM....there was the IP Camera listed!

    Suddenly, the scales have dropped from my eyes and a whole lot of stuff now starts to make more sense. Now I can see all those settings (e.g. shutter priority/3DNR sensitivity adjustment levels etc etc) that others in this thread have been referring to but I could not see. And all because I was looking at the NVR Web interface all along. :rolleyes: More importantly, I now know why the NVR sends me alert emails every Sunday morning at 0255hrs saying the camera went offline. After delving into the settings, I found that the camera was indeed set-up to reboot automatically every Sunday morning at 0255hrs, something that I could not see from the NVR web interface.

    I wish I could buy you a beer, but distance I suspect forbids. But I hope you will accept my grateful thanks nevertheless, as you made an old fart very happy and relieved.
    Nigel
    :iloveipct:
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  20. aabs

    aabs Young grasshopper

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    Yeah the footage I posted was from my overview camera. I do have a lower camera just above the cars.
    The reason I have the ir switched off is that I have a floodlight on a passive which lights up the cars if approached. With IR switched on this over exposes the footage when the light is triggered.

    What is the advantages and difference between CBR & VBR bitrate settings?

    Running H.264 as compression on H.265 supplies more judder and lost frames but only tested H.265 on CBR
     
  21. bp2008

    bp2008 Staff Member

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    VBR means the camera will use a lower bit rate than you have set if it thinks it can still meet your desired quality level. e.g. if you enabled VBR mode with quality Medium and bit rate 8000 Kbps then the stream would most likely be a lot lower than 8000 Kbps most of the time.
     
  22. essjay

    essjay Getting the hang of it

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    @bigredfish Would it be possible to see a photo of your house from the road? I'd just like to see the position of the lights.

    Out from I have two 30w LED floods which should be putting out 4800lm but I couldn't get a night image like yours. I wonder do I have them up too high.

    Also would it be possible to list all the settings you have the 24/7 color camera setup with?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  23. bigredfish

    bigredfish Getting comfortable

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    Sure. They're 7.5 high right below the cameras. (see attached pic)

    Remember these are the CVI version (3231) of the 5231 IP Starlight series and dont have exactly the same settings as the IP version.. I record to a Tribrid DVR.

    1080p H264H
    Smart Codec OFF
    Bitrate 6144 CBR
    FPS 30
    Iframe 30
    Backlight OFF
    Day/Night - Color
    Shutter Auto
    Gain 40
    WB Auto
     

    Attached Files:

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  24. bigredfish

    bigredfish Getting comfortable

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    and yes, thats a crappy redneck install with cable coming out of the soffit. I need to get around to tidying that up :p
     
  25. essjay

    essjay Getting the hang of it

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    Yes I think my lights might be too high - they are under the eves at about 16-20ft. The camera itself is at about 8ft but you can see the shadows casting on my face as I get nearer the camera. I might try adding a lower light. Also this is not my 5231 but an 8630 I'm testing in that position.

    This is with Exposure -> Shutter Priority, 1/60 set. 30fps, 10240 bitrate, 2048*1536

     
  26. bigredfish

    bigredfish Getting comfortable

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    My "auto" shutter is I believe 1/30