How do the experts dial in new cams?

whoami ™

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I've had SecCams for couple years now but just recently started taking them off auto to try and dial them in.

I've realized that when you start playing with exposure, backlight, picture, illuminator, encoder mode, fps, bitrate iframe, ect one change can have an effect on them all.

I'm wondering in what order you guys start changing settings and what settings you start dialing in from.
 
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I set encoding, bit rate and iframe rates first. From there I go to video and put the shutter on manual and set a range I think might work for the camera/location. From there it's a balancing act for brightness, contrast, saturation, gain, whether or not to use any form of back lighting, gain on that. I set the day and night modes separately and use the sunrise/sunset utility. I do use "auto" on the day setting for B&W switchover sometimes, depending on location, to allow for some wiggle room when it gets too dark for good color.

By the way, I'm no expert and end up playing with settings, sometimes for a month or more, to get everything where I want it. If you want a real expert ask @Wildcat_1
 
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wittaj

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+1 above!

I have found H264 to look better than H265 and I did not see a large savings in storage space (literally a few minutes) so I go with which one appears to my eyes to give a better picture.

I then set FPS and iframes (usually match them). 15 is more than enough for surveillance cameras. I have some cameras at 8-10 FPS. Depends on the field of view.

Bitrate demands are getting higher with higher MP cams. My older 2MP cams I could run 4192 bitrate at VBR and it would be fine. My 4MP need at least 8192 and CBR. Same with this one - start at 8192 and then go up and down until YOU notice an appreciable change in the picture quality. The lower the bitrate, the less storage needed and less CPU on the chip in the camera (and whatever recording device you use).

After that, shutter and gain are the two most important and then base the others off of it.

Many people do not realize (for Dahua OEM anyway) that there is manual shutter that lets you adjust shutter and gain and a shutter priority that only lets you adjust shutter speed but not gain. The higher the gain, the bigger the noise and see-through ghosting start to appear because the noise is amplified. Most people select shutter priority and run a faster shutter than they should because it is likely being done at 100 gain, so it is actually defeating their purpose of a faster shutter.

Go into shutter settings and change to manual shutter and start with custom shutter as ms and change to 0-8.3ms and gain 0-50 (night) and 0-30 (day)for starters. Auto could have a shutter speed of 100ms or more with a gain at 100 and shutter priority could result in gain up at 100 which will contribute to significant ghosting and that blinding white you will get from the infrared.

Now what you will notice immediately at night is that your image gets A LOT darker. That faster the shutter, the more light that is needed. But it is a balance. The nice bright night image results in Casper during motion LOL. What do we want, a nice static image or a clean image when there is motion introduced to the scene?

So if it is too dark, then start adding ms to the time. Go to 10ms, 12ms, etc. until you find what you feel is acceptable as an image. Then have someone walk around and see if you can get a clean shot. Try not to go above 30ms as that tends to be the point where blur starts to occur. Conversely, if it is still bright, then drop down in time to get a faster shutter.

You can also adjust brightness and contrast to improve the image.

You can also add some gain to brighten the image - but the higher the gain, the more ghosting you get. Some cameras can go to 70 or so before it is an issue and some can't go over 50.

But adjusting those two settings will have the biggest impact. The next one is noise reduction. Want to keep that as low as possible. Depending on the amount of light you have, you might be able to get down to 40 or so at night (again camera dependent) and 20-30 during the day, but take it as low as you can before it gets too noisy. Again this one is a balance as well. Too smooth and no noise can result in soft images and contribute to blur.

Do not use backlight features until you have exhausted every other parameter setting. And if you do have to use backlight, take it down as low as possible. HLC at 50, unless for LPR, will certainly degrade the image with motion.
 

biggen

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I have found H264 to look better than H265 and I did not see a large savings in storage space (literally a few minutes)
That actually surprises me. Visual differences aside, I’ve found h.265 to be close to double the efficiency than that of h.264. Hmm… I'm sure it dependent upon what the camera is actually looking at however.
 

looney2ns

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That actually surprises me. Visual differences aside, I’ve found h.265 to be close to double the efficiency than that of h.264. Hmm… I'm sure it dependent upon what the camera is actually looking at however.
Same here, going to h265 on 10 cams, added 6 more days storage to my 4tb drive.
My old eyes don't see any difference between 265 and 264.
 

biggen

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Guess it depends on what specific CPU you are speaking of.
 

looney2ns

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is there a point at which too many cams on h265, over tax the CPU/GPU ?
With my 13 cams, My i7-7700, runs at about 2-3% with the console closed, and 5-7% with the console open, but not doing anything active. That''s with using substreams.
That raise's to 10-12% when reviewing one cams video.
At this point, I'm not using Deepstack.
 
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Yeah I'm about 9%-11% with Console open, if I get 1 motion...it'll jump 14-19% and up to 23%41% with multiple motions. Using substreams as well. Intel is the default hardware decode in global settings. I don't know what the cpu is doing when I review one cams video. Not using Deepstack. It's been remarkably good this week. and a Joy to use.
 
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