Improving nighttime B/W recording. IPC-T5442TM-AS 2.8mm

astroshare

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This will explain H264 versus H265 a little better.

H265 in theory provides more storage as it compresses differently, but part of that compression means it macro blocks big areas of the image that it thinks isn't moving. However, it also takes more processing power of the already small CPU in the camera and that can be problematic if someone is maxing out the camera and then it stutters.

In theory it is supposed to need 30% less storage than H264, but most of us have found it isn't that much. Mine was less than few minutes per day. And to my eye and others that I showed clips to and just said do you like video 1 or video 2 better, everyone thought the H264 provided a better image.

The left image is H264, so all the blocks are the same size corresponding to the resolution of the camera. H265 takes areas that it doesn't think has motion and makes them into bigger blocks and in doing so lessens the resolution yet increases the CPU demand to develop these larger blocks.

In theory H265 is supposed to need half the bitrate because of the macroblocking. But if there is a lot of motion in the image, then it becomes a pixelated mess. The only way to get around that is a higher bitrate. But if you need to run the same bitrate for H265 as you do H264, then the storage savings is zero. Storage is computed based on multiplying bitrate, FPS, and resolution.

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In my testing I have one camera that sees a parked car in front of my house. H265 sees that the car isn't moving, so it macroblocks the whole car and surrounding area. Then the car owner walked up to the car and got in and the motion is missed because the macroblock being so large. Or if it catches it, because the bitrate is low, it is a pixelated mess during the critical capture point and by the time H265 adjusts to there is now motion, the ideal capture is missed.

In my case, the car is clear and defined in H264, but is blurry and soft edges in H265.

H265 is one of those theory things that sounds good, but reality use is much different.

As always, YMMV. But do not use Codec with BI or you may have trouble.
Just as a follow up, I did switch to H264 @ 8192kbps and the file size stayed about the same.
 

wittaj

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Just as a follow up, I did switch to H264 @ 8192kbps and the file size stayed about the same.
That is what many of us have experienced as well! I literally was a few minutes difference, so at that point I am going with the image that looks the best.

And of course, it is always YMMV and some may have situations and field of views where H265 is the better choice.
 

astroshare

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Wanting to improve my image quality from the driveway cameras also, I'm thinking of adding a motion activated flood light. Which part of the driveway would you add it so it can benefit both cameras? Or maybe add two, one on each corner?

drivewaycams.png This capture is with the driveway LED lamps on.

driveway.png
 

wittaj

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The cameras have got better, but it is better to either not have flood lights or leave the floodlights on.

The camera adjusting from B/W to color when the flood light comes on can momentarily blind the camera right at the money shot.

I would put it on the soffit in the middle of the garage door with two or three bulbs.
 

Mars Bar

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Wanting to improve my image quality from the driveway cameras also, I'm thinking of adding a motion activated flood light. Which part of the driveway would you add it so it can benefit both cameras? Or maybe add two, one on each corner?

View attachment 132231 This capture is with the driveway LED lamps on.

View attachment 132232
I purchased two solar led motion sensor lights from amazon. Works well.
 

astroshare

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The cameras have got better, but it is better to either not have flood lights or leave the floodlights on.

The camera adjusting from B/W to color when the flood light comes on can momentarily blind the camera right at the money shot.

I would put it on the soffit in the middle of the garage door with two or three bulbs.
What if I just leave the camera on B/W mode? Will the extra light blind it when it comes on?
 

wittaj

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It can but probably not as much as if it were switching to color.

I would suggest experimenting to see if you can find the right balance. For me, I found if I run a faster shutter when the floodlight is off (the image is a little darker) that when the floodlight comes on it doesn't get immediately blinded.

Here is usually what happens when a motion activated floodlight comes on - it just about completely blinds the camera right at the moment of optimal opportunity to get the picture. There are 3 deer in this picture and two of them are lost in the blinded white while the camera's exposure adjusts to the rapid change in available light:



1649380885121.png
 

astroshare

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I went ahead and purchased a varifocal 5442-ZE and I'm not sure if the last capture below is the best image I can get out of it. I've watched @Wildcat_1 video on night testing of this camera, and my caps are not even close to the quality he shows on those videos.
There's a lamp under and to the right of the camera (see pic above) with a 60W Led bulb. (I have some 150W led bulbs on the way)

My goal here is to try and get the best ID caps around the VW for now, since we've had a few break-ins in the neighborhood. (the Camry is next, probably with another new 5442-ZE camera as well)

I'll leave a few caps here, as well as my settings on the new camera. Any advise would be appreciated.

Picture settings are all default. Backlight is Off

setting1.png setting2.png setting3.png

Still captures.

snip1.png

snip2.png

snip3.png

snip4.png

snip5.png

Thanks again for any tips.
 

wittaj

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Nobody is as good at getting optimal performance out of these cameras as @Wildcat_1 !!!

I would max out the IR to 100 and see what it looks like then. I think you are far enough away it won't wash out, if it does then turn on Smart IR.

And dialing in the picture settings is needed as well. Leaving all on default can degrade. I have found contrast needs to be 8-10 points higher and sharpness around 42, but of course every field of view is different.
 

DanDenver

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Maybe try exposure comp back at 50, then turn down the shutter time from 8.33 to 6, then 4, etc. and see if that helps to sharpen it up (while not getting to dark)
Funny, I was walking around my driveway tonight doing the exact same thing, trying to tune up a new 4K-Color and seeing if I like B&W or color better at night (color by day is fantastic on all fronts! Crazy clear images even far away.)

I made sure to be walking for this test. When I stand still the image is clear. If you look at my right foot you can see it is not blurred.

My results with B&W seem to be pretty close to yours. I am about 13 feet from the camera. Close focus is about 10.5 feet. So far I am leaning towards the color being on as it may be a little less sharp, but it picks up details all the way across the street as well as close up. The B&W only gets closer info. I think that police would want to know the color of their clothes, tattoos, hair, car in the background (if present) and anything else.
B3826508-3B0C-4A17-A91A-DFEAE5A06CD8.jpeg

No matter what, following the tuning advice in this thread greatly increased my image quality for all 15 of my cameras
 

astroshare

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Nobody is as good at getting optimal performance out of these cameras as @Wildcat_1 !!!

I would max out the IR to 100 and see what it looks like then. I think you are far enough away it won't wash out, if it does then turn on Smart IR.

And dialing in the picture settings is needed as well. Leaving all on default can degrade. I have found contrast needs to be 8-10 points higher and sharpness around 42, but of course every field of view is different.
I cranked up the IR to 100 and no washed out face, so it's good. Looks a bit better with the picture changes suggested as well, thanks.
I'm hoping the brighter bulbs will also help a bit. Those arrive on Wednesday so I'll update the thread.
 
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Dang... this thread had me reviewing my settings-- stayed up too damn late last night.

Questions---

What IS Exposure Compensation?

How does an IR flood light enter the equation?

and lastly--- How many of you have noticed that as more people see your mounted cameras, you have less "activity" going on-- fewer and fewer people where they aren't supposed to be?? That has probably been the best "effect" of having cams for me....
 

wittaj

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Exposure Compensation is one of those what does it do LOL. Not really, but most of us don't see it do anything...why... because in manual mode exposure that most of us run, compensation exposure doesn't run; it only works in auto / shutter priority mode. It basically is another function to brighten the image based on available light if you run auto or shutter priority (it is moving gain up and down).

An IR flood light will provide more light, which will certainly improve a B/W infrared image. Most of these cams only have 2 or 4 IR LEDs, so adding an external illuminator can help tremendously.

Nothing wrong with the deterrence factor of the cams keeping people away from your property!
 

DanDenver

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I went from DS-2CD2087G2-L to the Color4k-X. The latter is almost 2 inches longer. But you can't miss those puppies from the street. I have one on each side of my garage door
(And yes, the color4k-X is better than the 2087 cameras for my situation!)
66D8EDA4-4B24-4DEE-9CF7-1170F088C2B5.jpeg
 

wittaj

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I went from DS-2CD2087G2-L to the Color4k-X. The latter is almost 2 inches longer. But you can't miss those puppies from the street. I have one on each side of my garage door
(And yes, the color4k-X is better than the 2087 cameras for my situation!)
View attachment 132474
Many have not been impressed with the Hikvision G2s. They are not magic and do not defy physics. Many people have come here after buying the Hikvision ColorVu series expressing their disappointment in the picture quality of the camera because they were expecting magic.

Further, it's onboard white LED lights are not as bright as the 4K/X.

There seems to be more complaints about the Hik version at night than the 4K/X.

Glad to hear you are another that believes the 4K/X is better than the Hik equivalent!
 

DanDenver

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Yep, I ran the 2087 for 13 months. Out of the box one was focused far and the other was focused near. So blurry images one way or the other depending on the camera Taking the shot. Bought them at the same time. Also they had no mic.
So for those two reasons only (ok, the 4k-X seemed a lot sexier as well) I replaced them.
They are certainly superior by day and better at night than the 2087.
The software options for Dahua are light years ahead of HikVision as well. Its like being hobbled trying to tune a HikVision. So freakin limited.
 

astroshare

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I went from DS-2CD2087G2-L to the Color4k-X. The latter is almost 2 inches longer. But you can't miss those puppies from the street. I have one on each side of my garage door
(And yes, the color4k-X is better than the 2087 cameras for my situation!)
View attachment 132474
This would equal divorce for me (position of the cameras). I'm still working on "permit" to get a flood light on top of the garage door... LOL
 

DanDenver

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WAF - Wife Acceptance Factor. My wife is not excited about it at all, but she approved the permit due to security concerns.

I have cameras all over my property. If anyone so much as stumbles off the sidewalk or looks over our back fence, I know right away. That alone brings a lot of security comfort to us. Even if I do have to manually call the police. At least we are notified and are unlikely to be caught unaware.

But another shout out to BI on this point, before I had BI none of this was possible. It was just one alert per shadow or breeze, meaning nothing helpful ever happened with my NVR.
 
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