I got robbed, now I'm buying cameras so I can watch them do it again

Nov 1, 2018
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Hi, look at my post count, I'm new!

I read an awesome post from Mat on another post about what to look for:

Welcome CJ555,

For your zillions of questions:

It's easy to get swamped with information here, so I wanted to share some notes with you

Please check out @giomania 's notes:
Dahua Starlight Varifocal Turret (IPC-HDW5231R-Z)

I have also made notes which are a summary of a lot of the reading I've been doing here,:
Looking for some advice and direction!

Have fun joining us here.

PS - look at Cat5e or Cat6 solid copper wires from Monoprice

From my notes at another site:

Cat 5e / Cat 6 ethernet cable:
DO NOT buy CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum) wire - it is a fire hazard
  • Recommended that you buy buik cat5e/cat6 cable and not use the cable which comes in the kit, as if you need to return it you will have to also return the cables.
  • Recommended vendor for bulk Cat 5e / Cat 6 cable is monoprice, they often have sales during the weekend.
  • Either Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable will work with these cameras. Normally Cat6 cable is a bit thicker due to the plastic separator in the cable. Also Cat 6 cable often has wires slightly thicker than what you see in Cat 5e cables. While a thicker copper wire means less voltage loss over the run, it may not be significant for most of us. Note the spec for ethernet and PoE is 100M / 328 feet.
  • If you are pulling multiple wires through 1/2" EMT pipes or other tight spots it maybe better to use cat 5e.
  • If you are only buying one bulk box of cable you may want to get cat6 in case you would like to wire up other locations.
  • There are numerous types of Cat 5e / Cat 6 cable, you want to get Solid unshielded cable, either for in-wall installation or plenum rated cable ( better for multistory buildings and business type buildings ).
  • If you plan to have the cables exposed to direct UV get a UV rated cable or place the cable in conduit. Otherwise, the cable will degrade over time.
  • Also get RJ45 ends which are rated for solid wires, as well as a crimping tool.
  • Remember to cut the cable longer than you think you will need, and leave some extra length in case you need to adjust the location a bit.
  • Recommend pulling N+1 or more cables to each location, where N = number of cameras you plan to have. This way if you decide to add an additional PoE or ethernet device nearby you can in the future.
  • If your attic is too short to easily work in recommending using Grey PVC pipe 3/4"+ and pushing the sections to the locations you want to run the cat5e/cat6 cabling to.
  • Have a friend help you pull the cabling so you can reduce snags and knots which may cause breakages. Also, remember not to pull the cable with too much force as it is more delicate than electrical cables that you may be used to pulling.
  • You can use the pull tools which electricians use to help with the wiring pulls.
  • Unshielded vs shielded cable - typically you can avoid using shielded cable, just try to keep the cable 1 foot or more from electrical lines, fluorescent lights, and electrical motors. If you must pass by something which produces EMF / electrical interference you can use a section of EMT pipe in that location to pass the cat5e/cat6 cable through.
  • Thieves have been known to cut telcom cables to houses as well as cat5e/cat6 to cameras - if you feel the need to protect your cables do consider putting them in conduit or run the lines inside the wall. ( Metal EMT works well in most cases, in humid environments, you may want to consider less strong non-metal conduit. )
  • I like using the 568-B standard: http://www.incentre.net/wp-conten...le568b.gif If the link is not working please see the attached gif at the bottom of the wiki
  • Here's what looks like a good write up on crimping the ends: https://www.warehousecables.com/l...-cable.php

- Mat, if you are reading this, I gave you a like. Will read the links later.

Right now to the meaty bit.

As I said, I got burgled the other day, I was celebrating my 5 year anniversary with my fiance, we will call her Steve.

So Steve and I were out celebrating at a nice restaurant she wanted us to go to. I have a smart home setup, however, I don't have any cameras, I just recently bought some motion sensors in the living room and kitchen, but Batman needs a face and mine is for radio only.

So I'm going to break my requirements down to component parts, I'm still a handsome newb to cctv so please bear with me.....:slap:

IP Camera
I'm hoping to get a 4k starlight sensor camera with 60fps (I'm not a fortnite gamer.) The 60fps requirement is because I want a crisp image against motion as burglars are sneaky and fast, but I weigh 18 stone and have gout. so need to get a nice crisp image for Batman.

I have seen the below video and thought Dahua would be the way to go

But I have since seen so many versions and no real sellers. That I am now not sure.​

In total I'm going to get 4 cameras for outside, however I'm wondering if I'll want to expand in future... I'm not saying I'll spam cameras, but I want something future proof, so something that can support around 6 4k cameras, POE, great software that can hook into a smart home system would be great... unfortunately the only stuff I've seen so far is that ubiquiti stuff that just isn't good for 4k setups... nice looking software though... everyone loves bootstrap!
Not sure what else I need, I know Matt said get some sweet cabling for weather, burglers etc so I'll look into the cabling based on his recommendations...(I'm looking at you Monoprice!)

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I haven't decided on a budget yet, nothing cheap, nothing rediculous? I have a girlfriend but she knows when something is fishy....


Known around here
Jan 28, 2018
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Hi & welcome!
Have a close look at IP Cam Talk Cliff Notes | IP Cam Talk, it summarizes lots of the different topics for your bill of material (eg. inside cam, outside cam, night vision, settings etc).

To be decided (and thought through):
- camera placement: ipvm.com outside IPC calculator - which lenses are required versus Field of View
- from #1: where to install wires - POE
- from #2: where to terminate them (technical room / attic / ...)
- what about networking components: POE switch or NVR with POE, VPN infrastructure, integration with alarm, ...
- what about UPS: do you want your gear on steroids or not (don't forget about your ISP stuff too!)
- what about camera configuration (60fps seems way over the limit)
- what about storage requirements (especially at 4k with 60fps you gonna need a large boat)
- what about purchase: which brand? Dahua? Hikvision? For the first, have a look at @EMPIRETECANDY here on the forum, nothing but good experiences here!

Good luck!


Staff member
Mar 9, 2014
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lol, 4k 60fps....i dont think that will be enough...you need at least 120fps for clear images....:rolleyes:
the first thing you need is a proper alarm system that is central station monitored. Then you read the wiki and this forum and learn that 15fps is more than enough and motion blue has nothing to do with frame rates.
The dashcam video link is completely useless.
Nov 1, 2018
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lol, 4k 60fps....i dont think that will be enough...you need at least 120fps for clear images....:rolleyes:
the first thing you need is a proper alarm system that is central station monitored. Then you read the wiki and this forum and learn that 15fps is more than enough and motion blue has nothing to do with frame rates.
The dashcam video link is completely useless.
As you can see I am a pro after 1 youtube video. (Just so you know, I found this website because of a post you made about a 4k dahua starlight cam back in February, so thanks!)

I just read the document provided by catcamstar, that was a big read... but I'm back now. more clueless than ever. but I had a play with IPVM and seen a face get blurry so that was nice...

Yeah I'm hoping I can build my smart home into something of a decent alarm, it's a bit off topic but at the moment I have:
Samsung smartthings
2 google home minis
6 hue smart lights
2 multi sensors (motion, temp, uv etc)
yale keyfree smart door

Need to get some door / window sensors and a siren.... the door has a siren, but I don't have access to it from the api so.... wasted opportunity
I know you are going to say it's not as good as a proper home system, but I'm working on it...

you know, that dashcam - I thought some guy just stuck a dahua cctv camera and just used that.... and about 10% of me still thinks that is the case because of the camera you see in the video.... I thought he was being innovative...

I know frame rate is just for smoothness, which is kinda what I was getting at... but that dashcam video made me think it was kinda the new thing to do... but then I guess not many people stick cctv cameras in their cars.... (nvr in the boot?)

I'll take a look around the site as you say, and hopefully I'll learn something...


Getting comfortable
Dec 26, 2016
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As many have said read the WIKI. 4K is great if you have enough light but in most cases you will not have a enough light for results you are hoping for in low light coverage at least that budgets most of us are working with. My go to cam is the IPC-HDW5231R-ZE turret cam (has many advantage adjustable optical zoom, good low light performance, good IR performance and is more spider web resilient that most. Good price for performance

J Sigmo

Known around here
Feb 5, 2018
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The thing is: Blur in an image captured by a security camera is just the same as blur in any photo taken with any still camera. Blur is caused either by bad focus, OR motion blur. Motion blur is likely what you're talking about, and is caused by movement of the subject (or the camera) during the exposure of that "frame". So it's not the number of frames per second that you're capturing, but the shutter speed for the individual frames that determines how susceptible the setup will be to motion blur caused by the bad guys' movements.

Most of us go with 15 frames per second because things don't usually move all that fast, and the motion doesn't need to look "smooth" when viewing the video. We just need to capture enough frames that we don't miss details necessary to get a positive "holds up in court" identification of the bad folks. Usually, still images taken out of the videos are what people end up using to get positive ID on the subjects.

So all of that was to say that what you really need to have if you're trying to eliminate motion-blur in the individual frames, is a relatively high shutter speed (short duration in which the subject can move and create a blurred image). Again, this is just the same as shooting still photos with any still photo camera. High shutter speeds freeze motion. Slow shutter speeds can give you "motion blur" unless the subject (and camera) hold nice and still for their portrait.

So then we come to the question: What should you set as the lowest shutter speed you'll allow?

But, as the old adage for photography says: "There's no free lunch in photography". And by that, we mean that everything is a tradeoff!

High shutter speeds freeze motion. So that's great. But high shutter speeds, of course, reduce the amount of light that reaches the image sensor. So that's not so great!

On the one hand, we want great low-light images. On the other hand, we don't want motion blur. High shutter speeds that freeze action starve the sensor of light. So you can't have everything! And we haven't even talked about aperture settings.

Small apertures (high f/numbers) give you better depth of field. So focus is sharper over a wide range of distances from the camera. But as with high shutter speeds, high f/numbers cut down on the amount of light reaching the sensor!

So for low-light photography, we're usually stuck with slow shutter speeds (susceptible to motion blur) AND small f/numbers (large apertures) which give you shallow depth of field (meaning that things cannot be in sharp focus except in a narrow range of distances from the camera). Bummer, dudes!!!! :)

Now, there's a third factor for exposure: Sensor "gain" or "sensitivity". In a still camera, you can select the ISO number for the sensitivity of the sensor. But again, there's no free lunch! When you turn the gain up so that you have high sensitivity to light, you also end up with higher "noise" in the image. Better sensors can give us lower noise and better low-light images. But the higher the number of "megapixels" they jam onto a sensor, the smaller those individual pixels (sensels) are. And smaller photosensors are less sensitive, and have lower "full well" values. So their dynamic range is worse, and they're not as sensitive to light. Another bummer! :)

Anyhow, you end up having to balance a number of factors and arriving at a tradeoff. The highest megapixel cameras may produce very sharp, clear, and detailed images in good strong daylight. But they may be awful at night (and guess when we often need to get good images)! ;)

And this adds more complexity because while a 4K camera might cover a given area well enough to get good face ID in the daytime, that same camera might produce so much noise in the images at night that the video will be useless.

What most folks here have decided are the best bet as of this moment in time, are the 1080P Starvis Starlight cameras. These sensors are a good tradeoff for what the state of the art is right now. Yes, they're only 2 megapixels. But they do very well in dim lighting, allowing you to use somewhat faster shutter speeds to help freeze movement and eliminate motion blur. But being only 2 Megapixels, you may need more cameras than you thought to cover a large area with enough resolution to give usable face ID over that area and at the distances in question. So there's a whole art and science to choosing the cameras, the lens focal lengths, positions, etc. to get what is necessary.

And that gets to your question of how many cameras you'll eventually need. Probably a LOT more than you're imagining right now! Always get equipment to handle many more cameras than you think you're going to want. Believe me! :)

Finally, there are options regarding lighting. If you've got good light in the area, that helps immensely. And many cameras have built-in infra-red illuminators for night use. But my experience with the built-in illuminators is not so good. Even on good, reputable cameras. They usually light up a small spot in the center of the image, and that means that areas outside of that spot end up underexposed by the camera's auto-exposure. Some Wide Dynamic Range processing can help, but it's no substitute for good, even illumination.

Further, built-in illuminators attract bugs, and worse, because the light is being emitted from right next to (or surrounding) the camera lens, tiny particles, snow, rain, dust, bugs, spider-webs, etc., that are near the camera are brightly illuminated and wreck the overall image as well as triggering motion detection, etc. So the point here is that off-camera (separate) illuminators are often far better, even though the camera has built-in illuminators.

Then we get to motion-lights. The problem there, is that when they switch on, the camera will take a while to adjust to the brighter scene, or switch from black and white to color, etc. And in those seconds, you can easily miss out on getting that all-important face shot as the guy flees the scene or covers his face, etc. So always-on lighting may be a lot better.

And speaking of covering their faces: Always remember that the only thing it takes to defeat a security camera is wearing a hoodie or ball cap, etc., and not looking at the camera. So camera mounting positions are critical as well. Mount them up too high, and you will see my bald spot as I'm breaking into your car, but not my face. So all you know is some old guy stole your stuff!

Anyhow, there's a lot to think about. And that's why everyone recommends that you read the Wiki and the Cliff Notes here. It is worth reading a LOT before buying anything. Lurking here can pay off, and asking questions is great.

Sorry for the long post. And good luck!
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