"Least Damaging" installation method?

mercfh

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Hi all,
I had (in our previous home) 3 Dahua Bullet cameras (I forget the model name) installed in the soffit's. It worked ok as we don't have crazy high winds.

However I hated drilling out gigantic holes to mount the cameras. Anyways, we moved to a much newer house (only around 3 years old) and i've been kinda OCD about keeping it in it's very best shape (The older house was worn, so I wasn't "as" concerned) but this being our "new nice home" I am trying to prevent minimal damage.

Is soffit still the best way? or is there a way to drill a smaller hole? I can't really think of a better way as I want them to be visible....but not exactly right on the side of the house. This house should at least be easier to wire CAT6 cable (it was a PITA in the other house since the attic had "2 sections" so I couldn't easily get to where I needed)

Thanks!

sidenote: Is Dahua still the way to go?
 
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Depending on your soffit, it's possible to mount without making any holes. It the house has vinyl soffits held in place by aluminum channel you can bend the channel and remove a piece of soffit to snake the wire and make a notch for the cable. A mount can be made using aluminum flat stock to span the soffit and the camera can be mounted to the flat stock. No holes that way.

Alternately, you can use an appropriate mounting box that is designed for the camera you choose and drill a 3/8" hole through the soffit for snaking the cable. This will require terminating the cable after it's pulled since an RJ45 won't fit through a 3/8" hole.

Dahua is a popular choice. Here's some links to the most popular "king of the hill" series, 4MP on a 1/1.8" sensor -

5442 Reviews
 

mercfh

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IPC-HDW2231R-ZS was what I had before and I liked it. Seems like they no longer make that maybe?

Originally I didn't want audio...but with a string of car break in here lately maybe it's not a bad idea? I just know some "laws" are kinda grey about recording and such. Any advice on audio vs not?

I figure i'll stick with 2MP starlight or 4MP. I do have soffit lights around the house so it's actually well lit. And yeah I think getting the mounting box may just make things cleaner. Worst case I have to replace/plug a single soffit panel....that's pretty inexpensive.
 
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Generally speaking audio on your own property is OK in most jurisdictions, but you could check that wherever your are.

Here's a 2MP and I believe it has a built-in mic. It is a Dahua OEM and has upgradeable English firmware -


You can check with Andy at EmpireTech. The 2231 may still be available if you really liked it.

Andy's Store

Email
Andy Wang kingsecurity2014@163.com
 

mercfh

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Looks like Kentucky is a one party consent state for recording (audio) so I should be good there. And I don't necessarily need the 2231 if there is something better out. Since that one didn't have audio and with all the recent break-in's here it may not be a bad idea to be able to record audio to identify voices.

Is Loryta just dahua rebranded?

As for as MP size/cameras, from what I gather (correct me if I am wrong):

  • 4K is basically sort of a waste
  • Higher MP is great BUT you need much more light to be able to use it, so higher MP isn't necessarily better
  • Sensor size is important (is that what 1/1.8 means?, I don't really know what is considered 'good' here)
  • I don't really know whats better in 2MP vs 4MP. but My "guess" is that 2MP cameras would be better for closer locations in the dark and 4MP might be a better overview camera.

Tell me where I am off here lol! Cause this is just what I've gathered.
 
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The basic best resolution versus sensor size is 1/2.8" on a 2MP camera and a 1/1.8" sensor on a 4MP camera. So a 1/2.8" sensor is .357" in diameter and a 1/1.8" sensor is .555" in diameter. That keeps the amount of light that reaches each pixel of the sensor sufficient enough in low light conditions. There will be a new camera out, very shortly, that is a 1/1.2", .833", sensor on an 8MP camera that is very promising in low light conditions. If you really want good night vision there are cameras with 35mmx35mm and 1" diameter sensors, but bring your checkbook, a spare arm and your first born to the checkout counter.

I have a number of 2MP and 4MP cameras and while the 2MP are good, the 4MP are even better. It all comes down to budget and how critical you are of your own video. A 4MP will produce more detailed video, especially when using digital zoom, than a 2MP but digital zoom has its limits before detail is lost due to pixilation. The 5442 series is a very good camera without question.

Also remember that every camera needs to be tuned to produce the best possible video for the location and lighting conditions in that location. That means setting exposure (shutter speed), gain, and a bunch of other settings. I have the same model cameras in different locations and each one is set differently to get the best video possible, blur free at night. There is no one template that will work in every case.
 

looney2ns

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The king of the hill at this time is the Dahua 5442 series of cams, as @sebastiantombs already noted in post #2. They do the best all around after dark. Note that ANY camera will not do it's best, unless you manually set up, IE dont leave it on auto.
A 4mp on a 1/1.8" sensor is very good.
The 5442 4mp are best at night.
 
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Here's a link to the new 8MP camera. It's a rather long review because the reviewer worked with Andy, EmpireTech, and Dahua, to get bugs out of the firmware before it was released. It's worth the read to see how it evolved and how it performs with the improved firmware.

 

TVille

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While folks on here repeat the mantra "Don't chase MP!", it is only partially true. What it means is do not chase MP without looking at other features, particularly night vision, and sensor size is the prime indicator of that.

For some asinine reason, sensor sizes are listed as fractions. As in 1/1.8", 1/2.7", etc. Which means that the 1/1.8" sensor is 0.56", and the 1/2.7" is 0.37".
 

NickTheGreat

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I don't know much about specific cameras, but I have two of them on my soffit using the aluminum flatbar method. I wish I could get wider flatbar, as the widest Home Depot had was narrower than the camera bases. But I made it work someone.

One of them I drilled a small hole, just big enough for the Cat-6. The other one I did more of the "tucking" method. I prefer drilling the small hole, just because it looks a little cleaner, IMO.
 

mercfh

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Thanks for the info. As far as settings I imagine i'll try and "test" outside at night to ensure I get good images. I assume focal distance is a main factor of course (zooming in on certain spots that are more "pinpoint" cameras. But I am pretty ignorant with the rest of the settings.

Is there a good "guide" somewhere on this site? Are are there any specific "Big X" settings I need to be focusing on (Like Focal Distance/Shutter Speed/etc..)

Also there are quite a lot of different 5442 cameras linked above.

This one looks good: Review-OEM 4mp AI Cam IPC-T5442TM-AS Starlight+ but I am guessing it's not varifocal.

I don't mind spending 200 bucks or so. So both
and


Seem like good picks too. Assuming "Starlight+" is worth it.

I assume the 5442 series is "relatively" new/stable firmware? I do actually like the "bullet" look better (I know spiders and such) but I've never heard of "loyryta"
 
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Loryata is actually Dahua OEM. Amazon and Dahua make it necessary to have a different name. Contact Andy from EmpireTech if you want the best prices and service. I've bought all my Dahua cameras from him, 20 at this point, and he's very good to work with.

If I were you I'd buy one 5442-ZE then set it up on a test rig. A test rig is a 5 gallon bucket of stones with a 2x4-8 stuck in it to mount the camera to. Alternately a step ladder will work with the 2x4-8 clamped to it. Check each location for view and focal length. There's a focal length calculator that will give you the approximate mm of zoom for the camera. That way you can estimate the equivalent fixed focus length, 2.8, 3.6 or 6mm, and save a few bucks. Alternately, stick with the ZE for every location.

The key to good video at night is shutter speed, exposure in video camera parlance. That needs to be set to manual. From that menu you can pick a shutter speed from a list or select "custom" and set a range. The range is low to high, left to right, and is measured in milliseconds. 1/60 second is about 16.66 milliseconds and 1/100 is 10 milliseconds. From there gain and exposure compensation can be adjusted to further improve the video but you need to be careful with them because they can introduce noise and blur. Testing each setting is the key to success.

In terms of spiders, I have a 5442ZE bullet and really don't have much of a problem out here in the country. The LEDs are not in a ring around the lens and there's only two of them, one for near and one for far. They can both be controlled independently which is handy, too.
 

mercfh

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Cool thanks. I am looking at this, and it seems ideal as far as price range. From what I can tell the only difference between that and Amazon.com : EmpireTech IPC-T5442T-ZE 4MP IR Vari-Focal Eyeball Starlight IP Camera Support POE and ePOE White : Camera & Photo

Is one is bullet and the other is starlight+. Is starlight+ worth the extra 30 bucks I guess is what it comes down to.

You mention ZE but it seems like there are SO many so I am not sure which ones you a referring to. (Dahua doesn't make their "model #'s easy to understand")
 
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