IP Cam Talk

Welcome to the new IPCT! If you are having an issue logging in, please clear your cookies / cache.

Looking for some advice and direction!

Tgreen

n3wb
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Hi all! New to the site. Just starting to cruise looking for what I'd like to build for my house. Are there any good brands I should be looking at?

What I'm doing is video surveillance at my home. I did some prewiring when I built, so I have 4 outside locations with 2 x cat5e, coax, and 2/14 at each. In the garage, I just ran double cat5e. I also have 3 bundles of the same in the house, but I'd look at using those in the future, not now.

Just so many options, and of course they all seem like good choices. I just don't work with cameras at all. Technically sound in a lot of other things though, so I don't mind reading and sorting things out if someone can save me some hassle by pointing me to the good stuff

Not sure on budget yet, I want quality otherwise I don't see the point of it. One thing I would like is to have the camera feeds accessible to an html call or similar so that I can display them within my home automation system (using key digital). Also, I live in Canada so I'll need stupid cold weather rating ;p

Any help would be greatly appreciated! For now, I'll keep skimming the forum

Cheers!
 

aristobrat

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
2,344
Reaction score
2,104
Check out the Dahua sub-forum, esp the sticky about the Starlight models. They kick-ass in low light, and have some varifocal models which let you get the exact view you need (vs getting a fixed lens and being stuck with that non-adjustable view). Hikvision is another good brand (IMO), but they're just now starting to make cameras that match Dahuas Starlight models. No reviews on those yet.

I've got the "New Posts" URL bookmarked and use it a few times a day. Great way to see trending threads across the entire site, which leads to learning a lot.
 

Tgreen

n3wb
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Check out the Dahua sub-forum, esp the sticky about the Starlight models. They kick-ass in low light, and have some varifocal models which let you get the exact view you need (vs getting a fixed lens and being stuck with that non-adjustable view). Hikvision is another good brand (IMO), but they're just now starting to make cameras that match Dahuas Starlight models. No reviews on those yet.

I've got the "New Posts" URL bookmarked and use it a few times a day. Great way to see trending threads across the entire site, which leads to learning a lot.
Perfect, I will start reading in there. Thanks!

Varifocals sound interesting for sure.
 

Tgreen

n3wb
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Check out the Dahua sub-forum, esp the sticky about the Starlight models. They kick-ass in low light, and have some varifocal models which let you get the exact view you need (vs getting a fixed lens and being stuck with that non-adjustable view). Hikvision is another good brand (IMO), but they're just now starting to make cameras that match Dahuas Starlight models. No reviews on those yet.

I've got the "New Posts" URL bookmarked and use it a few times a day. Great way to see trending threads across the entire site, which leads to learning a lot.
Lots of info in the forum, most seems like sales rather than non-biased discussion. That's ok though, I can sort through that
What's the better NVRs? Is that the consensus to go with or is it just better to build your own machine? I think it would be hard to beat the price of NVRs as I see them. just looking at the 8 channel Dahua Lite and Pro. Both seem like good units (spec wise anyway)
 

aristobrat

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
2,344
Reaction score
2,104
IMO, the most popular cameras for the last few months here have been the Dahua Starlight models here:
Dahua 2MP Starlight Lineup

Here's a link to the review thread of the most popular Starlight, which is the varifocal turret:
Dahua Starlight Varifocal Turret (IPC-HDW5231R-Z)

The thread is ungodly huge, but probably worth starting on the 1st page and fly through, just looking at the pictures and videos folks have uploaded. You should get a pretty good idea if this camera would be a good fit for you. If your browser lets you hit the space bar to advance down a page, you should be able to get through a lot pretty quickly.

Hikvision is the other manufacturer I'd feel OK with using, but they're just now starting to produce cameras that match the low-light performance of Dahua's Starlight series. So no real reviews of them yet.

For your NVR question, there are pros and cons for both.

To me, the biggest pro for buying a NVR that matches your cameras is that the NVR can record the extra motion detection events (like tripwire, intrusion detection, missing object, etc). If your NVR brand doesn't match a camera brand, as long as both of them support Onvif, you can record the basics, like on a schedule (24x7, 8x5, whatever you want) plus record on basic motion detection. Onvif doesn't support the extra motion detection events (tripwire, intrusion detection, etc). Personally, I get a lot of use out of intrusion detection zones, so I got a Dahua NVR to go with my Dahua cameras. I also have a single Hikvision camera. It records to the Dahua just fine, but I can't use Hikvision's extra motion detection events to kick off recordings. I still use them, I just have the camera send me an email with a photo when those rules are triggered.

If you build your own NVR, it seems like Blue Iris is the most popular software. There's a whole forum (with subforums) on here dedicated to Blue Irish. It seems to have a whole lot more options/tweakability than regular NVRs, but it's up to you as to how deep you want to go with it. I don't have any personal experience with it, but a lot of folks here do. As of now, Blue Iris can't record the extra motion detection events from cameras (like tripwire, etc). That's what ruled it out for me.

If you chose an off-the-shelf NVR (like the Dahua models you mentioned), do a search on here for their product numbers and see if there's any review/owners threads. I have a Dahua 5216-4KS2 and it has a few glitches that I'm really hoping a new firmware irons out.
 

Tgreen

n3wb
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Sounds good. I'll get reading in that thread and see where it takes me. Thanks for the insight!
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
4,743
Reaction score
2,610
Sounds good. I'll get reading in that thread and see where it takes me. Thanks for the insight!
Welcome! I too am new here and been reading a LOT, thus I would like to share with you what I have learned here and elsewhere.

Tgreen said:
I did some prewiring when I built, so I have 4 outside locations with 2 x cat5e, coax, and 2/14 at each. In the garage, I just ran double cat5e
1) Excellent job! This is the hardest part for most - installing wires in a building already built.

2) Since you have coax and power you can even install a super cheap coax based system - from the research I have done: you will want to avoid that if you can afford to get a nicer system.
Thus, I came here to read more about IP security cameras.

3) DORI - Detect, Observe, Recognize, Identify ranges and resolution - to ID someone you will need something like 80-100 horizontal pixels across the suspect's face. Thus you will need to adjust the focus and placement of cameras you wish to use for ID purposes to ensure a good facial image capture. [ Edit: 8/6/2017 - 8 feet or less should be the height for installing cameras to get a good angle for a potential facial image for ID purposes ]
https://www.axis.com/files/feature_articles/ar_perfect_pixel_count_55971_en_1402_lo.pdf

@nayr posted a good chart for Dahua cameras - hint you'll want to checkout a lot of the posts from nayr as he is sharing some really good knowledge from his experiences.
Dahua 2017 International Product Catalog (Q1)

4) I learned that Hikvision and Dahua were some of the top OEMs for security cameras - however, as pointed out by @aristobrat Dahua is currently in the lead with their "starlight" models which work very well for nighttime images. Thus I am currently getting Dahua products.

5) Dome cameras do not work well outside due to UV degradation of the domes, as well as glare issues external to the dome, as well as IR lights internal to the dome. Domes can be useful if it is a very dusty environment to protect the camera.

6) Junction boxes maybe useful so that you can put the bundle of PoE wires in the box. Some people are able to put the wire bundle within the walls, or other options.
Here is a discussion of sourcing Junction boxes... note you can sometimes modify junction boxes sold in places like home depot. [ edit 8/6/2017 - I really like junction boxes now that I have used the Dahua ones associated with the cameras I installed. Installed properly they help weather proof your install - I used silicone stretch tapes to help weather proof the PoE connection and then put the wiring pig-tail / connect into the junction box - worked very nicely. ]
Buying Dahua Junction Boxes locally... just DON'T do it
UPDATE: 11/30/2017
Dahua has a new water proof junction box for the turrets, even better than the PFA137 junction box ( which while very nice was not water proof )
Water-proof Junction Box PFA130-E
PFA130-E - Dahua Technology
data sheet:
http://www1.dahuasecurity.com/download/DH-PFA130-E_datasheet.pdf
accessory sheet:
http://www1.dahuasecurity.com/download/Accessory_Selection_20171123.pdf

7) I was looking for a front door area camera and this model turns out to fit my requirements well for my place: Dahua IPC-HDBW4231F-AS
Here is the discussion which lead to my decision - note Nayr does not like door bell cameras, thus I have opted not to get one and am getting this instead.
( I will be getting a 2.8mm lens as the suspects will be right in front of the camera, and I will be installing it in a location to minimize UV exposure. ) [ edit: 8/6/217 - the cover comes off so you can paint it to match your building ]
Is there a good small camera for front and rear doors?
[ update: 01/25/2017 ]
A second camera can help increase the chances of a good ID image for those coming to the front door, this camera is placed low to look up and get that image.
Is there a good small camera for front and rear doors?

8) Aristobrat has already pointed out the most popular camera for this forum as well as a link to the super long discussion:
Dahua Starlight Varifocal Turret (IPC-HDW5231R-Z)
Dahua Starlight Varifocal Turret (IPC-HDW5231R-Z)

Summary: Best price / night time performance currently on market, also it is varifocal ( you adjust the focus typically done only during installation to cover your view )

9) Avoid Dahua Chinese market cameras - while very affordable - you may have issues updating the firmware, and some cameras have various services running which appear to "call home" - thus if you do get them you will have to be certain to properly secure them. [ edit - 8/6/2017 - you should expect to have daylight saving time issues with the Chinese market cameras as China does not have a day light saving time adjustment ]
Discussion regarding one such model: Need Feedback/Opinions on IPC-HDW4431C-A
Need Feedback/Opinions on IPC-HDW4431C-A
[ edit - 12/18/2017 - possible code signing by Dahua may make English language hacks unsuccessful ]

10) NVR options:
NVR should be picked to match the cameras you plan to purchase, as each vendor has advanced features which go beyond the ONVIF spec.
A) NVR w/ integrated PoE ports - will be the easiest and quickest to setup ( basically plug and play if you matched the brand / vendor ). This will also typically be the most affordable for new equipment.
B) NVR w/ separate PoE switch - allows greater flexibility and makes it easier to directly access cameras. Expect to spend more time and funds.
C) PC running VMS ( Video Management Software ) w/ separate PoE switch. A number of power users really like the flexibility and features. If you're willing to take the time and source a good used Windows PC w/a CPU that has h.264 hardware features you can find a nice system at a decent price that can do this for you. Example: Blue Iris software is well liked - runs on a windows PC, do buy it if you plan to use it as the demo version is limited in functionality and performance. Others are picking nvrs purpose built for security cameras.​
After reading and looking at the PCs I have available I've chosen the following Dahua NVR5216-4KS2 / NVR5216-16P-4KS2
Dahua NVR5216-4KS2 / NVR5216-16P-4KS2
( if I already had a good windows machine available at home I would have tired Blue Iris )

11) PoE power - or PoE power sourcing equipment. Reading the options here alone is enough to make your head spin.
If you plan to have a lot of PoE cameras or PoE devices [*] it looks like one of the cost effective options maybe getting the Dahua nvr5216-16P-4KS2 ( includes 16 ports of PoE ) or a used PoE/PoE+ switch from ebay. There are advantages to having a separate switch - it allows you to more easily access each camera's interface separately using a computer on the same network.
[ * - edit 8/6/2017 - for non-camera PoE devices you probably want to look at a good managed PoE switch so you can segment your various devices and camera ]

12) VPNs and IP Camera / NVR security issues:
ALL security camera companies have significant Internet Security issues - Hikvision and Dahua both have issues, here is an example for Dahua which @Zeddy posted:
Dahua Backdoor Uncovered
Dahua Backdoor Uncovered

THUS we have to take some time to properly secure our security cameras - or else they will be used to attack others on the internet, and perhaps even used against us.

Here is a good reference on VPNs thanks again to Nayr:
VPN Primer for Noobs
VPN Primer for Noobs

13) IR illumination for dark - sometimes the cameras themselves do not provide enough, OR to get a better image we want to disable the camera IR to get a better picture.
Here is an example of IR use - just checkout the first post... note this particular product link is no longer available, but you can find similar products by searching.
IR Cannon w/Adjustable Focus
IR Cannon w/Adjustable Focus

There are other posts in IR lighting which are useful.

Note: 850nm lights glow red - and give off the best results for night time / darkness view of security cameras. IR emitters in the 940nm range do not provide as much useful illumination for security cameras but are not visible to the human eye. ( Cell phone cameras maybe able to detect both )

Also IR may attract bugs, and thus spiders may want to set a web by the IR emitter - typically the Camera

14) Other starlight cameras to consider if you need a better longer distance view, and worth considering:

This one will give you an even better night view.. but will cost about 2x what the Dahua Starlight Varifocal Turret (IPC-HDW5231R-Z) does.
Dahua Ultra Starlight Varifocal Bullet (IPC-HFW8232E-Z)
Dahua Ultra Starlight Varifocal Bullet (IPC-HFW8232E-Z)

Dahua Starlight Varifocal Bullet Z5 7-35mm (IPC-HFW5231E-Z5)
Dahua Starlight Varifocal Bullet Z5 7-35mm (IPC-HFW5231E-Z5)

[ edit 8/8/2017 - other starlight models have since come out, do search the forum for more discussion ]

15) There is one vendor which participates in the discussions here and which the members have found to be reliable and thus recommend, his name is Andy @EMPIRETECANDY
I've had a chance to converse with him and found that he was very helpful, and if you mention you are a member of the forum here he will give you a small discount, which when combined with DHL shipping options is well liked by members here. [ edit 10/31/2017 - email kingsecurity2014@163.com ]
New from Pennsylvania - setup questions
update 12/09/2017:
Important:About making order for dahua From Empiretech Andy

16) ALPR - automatic license plate reader - some are installing a dedicated camera to do this. I have not yet decided to do this, but it is an interesting discussion.

17) SD micro cards in cameras - some models have SD micro card slots - which can be very useful for local storage during times when there maybe issues with the NVR or network. [ edit - 8/6/2017 - Samsung evo branded ones are well liked by some users, reporting them to be more reliable than other brands they have tried. ]

[ updated part follows 4/14/2017 ]
18) DO take a look at thomaswde's comparison of a phone taken from his 16MP cell phone and a 2MP dahua starlight turrent. This is the best visual example of a 2 quality photos - and a good example of MegaPixels being just 1 factor to consider when looking at security cameras.
Great example of Dahua Starlight 2MP Verifocal Performance in low light

[ updated 4/27/2017 ]
19) You can do a really nice job and get your cameras to match your house nicely, do take a look at the great job @jayson436 did for his entry way:
Wanted to Buy - IPC-HDBW4231F-AS - (Mini Wedge)

[ updated 8/10/2017 ]
20) 8MP / 4K cameras - sometimes you need better resolution during the day and under other well lighted conditions. A 4K camera can give you that, note they are not optimized for low light conditions. Examples:
Any 4k cameras (or > 2MP) with good night Image Quality?
Dahua 8mp NON-Starlight HDW5830R-Z review
FYI - Some local Costco B&M have a Lorex / Dahua OEM 4K 6x camera kit and 8 port NVR for $800

[ updated 8/10/217 ]
21) Website to test possible camera locations and various camera models for FOV coverage
Camera Calculator / Design Software
update 12/10/2017: New IPVM Camera Calculator V3

[ updated 8/10/2017 ]
22) Equation to calculate the theoretical ID distance. Note this depends on effective pixel resolution, typically in low light or other conditions which reduce the effective resolution the ID distance will be less.
Radius = (( Horizontal Res / 100 ppf ) * ( 360 / Angle ))/2*Pi
( Radius = distance in feet to ID at 100 ppf )

[ updated 9/10/2017 ]
23) New House? Great advice from @Fastb
Camera/Setup Recommendations

[ updated 9/11/2017 ]
24) Great review on IPC-HDW4231EM-AS - highly recommended read for all, as you will learn a lot even if you do not plan to purchase this particular model.
Dahua IPC-HDW4231EM-AS review

[ updated 9/18/2017 ]
25) 3 image captures of the same suspect - which one do you think is most valuable?
HOA Approvals for camera installation

[ updated 9/22/2017 ]
26) Blue Iris - hardware, if you are interested in using Blue Iris this is the recommended hardware:
Choosing Hardware for Blue Iris | IP Cam Talk

[ updated 10/5/2017 ]
27) Perhaps picking up a cheaper camera and a more expensive one like a starlight to play with is a great way to determine what you want.
2nd and 3rd cam choice ?

[ updated 10/5/2017 ]
28) Some great notes on tuning camera parameters, adding illumination, as well as cameras compared.
Posts
Sanity Check - Better cameras, IR Illuminators or tweak Blue Iris?
Sanity Check - Better cameras, IR Illuminators or tweak Blue Iris?
Thread
Sanity Check - Better cameras, IR Illuminators or tweak Blue Iris?

[ updated 10/6/2017 ]
29) Dense persons guide to the Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z
Dense persons guide to the Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z

[ updated 10/6/2017 ]
30) Bullet Camera Mounting Box
How to make a mounting box from home depot parts
Bullet Camera Mounting Box

[ updated 10/9/2017 ]
31) If IVS is not working in Dahua NVR system - double check that Smartcodec ( encode mode H.264H ) is selected OFF

[ update 10/14/2017 ]
32) EmpireTecAndy shows how to tell if you have an Original English model:
"I always recommend original English models which can be found on" Search - Dahua Technology

[ update 10/15/2017 ]
33) Did you overlook running enough cat5e/cat6 lines to a location? Try a 1-4 PoE extender/splitter.
1 to 4 PoE Extender

[ update 10/16/2017 ]
34) List of suggested PoE switches collected by Giomania
PoE Switch Suggestion List

[ update 10/24/2017 ]
35) bp2008 states:
"Note that to capture license plates at night you need to set the shutter speed manually to a fast enough value that you get a sharp picture of a moving vehicle and do not overexpose the license plate. This will make the camera mostly useless for anything else at night, because everything else will be too dark. For this reason, starlight models aren't terribly important for license plates and you may be better off finding a 4MP or 8MP model with a similar amount of zoom."
and
"Faster exposure time is the key to sharper images. Usually requires more light to keep the noise down and image quality up.
WDR and 3D noise reduction can both introduce a little ghosting/trailing particularly on a fast-moving subject. I'd suggest keeping WDR completely off at night and reducing 3D noise reduction as far as you can stand to do."

[ update 10/26/2017 ]
36) Switch Dahua Day/Night Profile via IPC HTTP API
Switch Dahua Day/Night Profile via IPC HTTP API

[ update 10/28/2017 ]
37) Sony sensor list, or why some sensors better at night vision - part of the answer is larger pixels
Latest Sony Sensor List

[ update 10/28/2017 ]
38) microSD card installation for a Dahua 4231emp-ase
Memory Card Installation

[ update 10/28/2017 ]
39) Dahua Firmware Mod Kit + Modded Dahua Firmware
"I've been hacking around with my Dahua camera and made a script to unpack and rebuild the firmware upgrade images" - cor35vet
Dahua Firmware Mod Kit + Modded Dahua Firmware

[ update 11/2/2017 ]
40) Passive PoE vs Active PoE:
"The difference between passive and active PoE is the auto negotiation. Active devices do a handshake between the Power Supplying Equipment (PSE) and the Powered Device (PD) before it turns on the power. Passive is always on. It’s all about the right tool for the job.

The big benefit of active is not having to think about what you plug in. We recommend active PoE PSE in cases where you might plug something non-PoE into a port by accident, like by your office desk, or the PD requires it, like Cisco WAP’s. There are active PoE injectors if that fits your application: All Products

The benefits of passive PoE are simplicity, reliability, and affordability. In a case like PoE cameras, the passive injectors work great, and Darwin awards go to people trying to plug a laptop into the port on the ceiling and unplugging a PoE camera." - Tyler Andrew

[ update 11/7/2017 ]
41 ) "Water proofed properly, it will be just fine in the ( wall ) mount.
By properly means, use the water proof boot that comes with the cam. Put Die-electric grease into the RJ45 female jack before inserting the male RJ45. Wrap it all with self bonding tape if you feel you need the added protection." - Looney2s

from discussion here:
Passive POE

[ update 12/02/2017 ]
42) Wireless Camera Pole Install
Hook3m's: A wireless camera pole install. (4) 4MP turrets connected via Ubiquiti NanoStation Loco M5
Wireless Camera Pole Install

[ update 12/9/2017 ]
43) Have holes coming in from you cabling from your attic to your data closet / office that need plugging?
One of the best weatherproofing methods I've seen is called "Duc Seal". It's a grey, putty like, product that will adhere to conduit/boxes/cables. It's typically used with power entrance cables, for example. Just pull a piece off the "pug", roll it between your hands to make a rope, then press it firmly into position. It stay pliable for years, as in more than 20, and will keep most any joint, that doesn't move, water tight.

Save you some google fu - https://www.amazon.com/Gardner-Bender-DS-110N-1-Pound-Compound/dp/B000BO8XD6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512850542&sr=8-1&keywords=duc+seal
[ update 12/14/2017 ]
44) Fraudulent activities by some vendors:
Some vendors/brands like zmodo / funlux / annke / reolink are purposefully manipulating Amazon reviews and using astroturfing tactics as well as flat out being deceitful and lying about their products to increase sales. Be aware of this when determining which products you want to invest your money and time into.
ANNKE 1080P 8CH HD POE Security Camera System is best for home safety

[ update 12/18/2017 ]
45) Hikvision OEM doordell discussion - note doorbell products are video intercom products, and thus not a security camera per se, though they may have some security camera features.
Sweet! LTS is releasing an ONVIF compatible doorbell with SD card slot and 940nm IR

[ update 01/08/2018, 04/10 ]
46) Terminating Cat5e/Cat6 cables RJ45
Suggestions on ethernet cable
and youtube videos
how to make good cat6 cables all the time

[ update 01/08/2018 ]
47) Sensors used in Dahua cams, wopi82 made a nice chart documenting this.
Very useful to illustrate some of the better low light performing cameras using the same chips.
( the Hikvision information may not be as accurate as wopi82 made the best guess in some cases )
Sensors used in Dahua cams

[ update 01/09/2018 ]
48) Summary water proofing the connection;
( I like to put this all into a junction box or wall mount )
water proofing cable from ip camera to NVR

[ update 01/24/2018 ]
49) Security Camera Resolution Comparison: 4CIF, 720p, 1080p, 5MP, 4K, and 180 & 360 Panoramic 12MP
Security Camera Resolution Comparison: 4CIF, 720p, 1080p, 5MP, 4K, and 180 & 360 Panoramic 12MP
youtube video in post:

[ update: 01/25/2018 ]
50) Need a good "dashcam" - but mounted outside the cabin to get a better image:
Dahua Mobile Camera video sample

[ update: 01/25/2018 ]
51) Nice example of an outdoor enclosure in NW USA. Notice even has a nice little roof for rain.
Outdoor Enclosures/UPS/Switch

[ update: 04/02/2018 ]
52)
Dahua HDW5831R-ZE review

[ update: 04/02/2018 ]
53)
How to Secure Your Network (Don't Get Hacked!) | IP Cam Talk

[ update: 04/04/2018 ]
54) Dielectric grease, a car mechanic explains
( note, Scotty does get the conductive qualities of the dielectric grease incorrect, it is very useful to keep moister out of the connections. when I find a better video I will update this )

[ update: 04/22/2018 ]
55) Example of why Dome cameras are problematic w/regarding to IR reflection issues
( black foam ring around the lens has degraded and is letting IR light into the lens )
Camera great during day - awful at night
and
https://www.hikvision.com/ueditor/net/upload/2015-06-10/99361bb6-27d5-482a-aaf3-2cdc32f835d1.pdf
and even if new, there could be a poor fit of the foam/rubber seal around the camera lens from the factory:
Could someone tell me what the might be problem be?
Example of replacing the foam ring to help fix a dome camera's IR night bleed issues
DS-2CD2132 w/2.8 mm -> Poor nightime images

[ update: 04/27/2018 ]
56) Conduit can help prevent this
Mr. Mouse Killed the Network

[ update: 04/29/2018 ]
57) Peep hole camera discussion
streaming peephole cam that fits over existing peep

[ update: 04/30/2018 ]
58) Discussion on extending IP PoE network to a separate detached building like a garage or shed.
Hi to all, new member just seeking a bit of advice.

[ update: 05/01/2018 ]
59) Excellent example of using grey PVC conduit for security cameras
( 3/4" schedule 40 PVC conduit & conduit bodies )
Two cameras up - notes and pics included

[ update: 05/6/2018 ]
60) Fully WAFed certified front door camera:
First cam up HDBW4321FP-AS 2.8mm

[ update: 05/08/2018 ]
61) Member Saltster showed how he setup a Reolink kit, tested it out, and decided to return it and replace it with a solid Dahua OEM starlight setup. Excellent sharing of the entire process. Recommended for those new to setting up a system.
PoE Camera Install and Camera Placement
Dahua NVR / Cameras, Unboxing, Setup and Install...

[ update: 05/11/2018 ]
62) Avoid CCA cat5e/cat6 cable.
PoE IP Cam Install question.

[ update: 05/29/2018 ]
63) Example of a test rig:
My test rig: rev.2

[ update: 06/02/2018 ]
64) Hack your own IP PoE Kuna Maximus lamp camera
Hack your own IP PoE Kuna Maximus lamp camera

[ update: 06/04/2018 ]
65) Why are my custom questions not answered?
Advantages of a NVR Vs. Blue Iris and a PC?

[ update ]
66) Great example of needing a camera which can potentially ID suspects further away as they approach your house. In this case as they approach they tighten their hoodies to minimize chances to ID them.
Neighbor kids getting caught turning off power

[ update: 07/08/2018 ]
67) Example of a defective lens in a Dahua camera
Dahua 2MP Starlight Lineup

[ update: 07/08/2018 ]
68) Links to notes on using a varifocal camera to determine how to what lens to get
Verifocal to Fixed Focal

[ update: 07/08/2018 ]
69) Example of a member defrauded by a Chinese vendor
( Sold a "Dahua Starlight model" instead got a Chinese market hacked camera )
Corridor setup Dahua IPC-HFW4433F-ZSA 4MP Starlight Bullet Varifocal

[ update: 07/08/2018 ]
70) wopi82 explains challenges to determining what sensor is in what camera
Dahua sky watching camera recommendation?

[ update: 07/08/2018 ]
71) Notes for those w/Hikvision cameras
A Hikvision journey of discovery (tips and tricks for the perfect setup)

[ update: 07/10/2018 ]
72) Ideas for what to do when you do not have an attic nor crawl space to route cat5e/6 cables
running cat5 without an attic or basement?

[ update: 07/13/2018 ]
73) 4K cameras - sensor size comparison. Or why megapixels is only part of the story
newest hikvision 5MP mini ptz indoor review

[ update: 07/13/2018 ]
74) Hikvision software mod - sometimes you have to do it.
[MCPAT] IPC_R6_ML_STD_5.5.0_170725 repack +SSH -PSH +BUSYBOX *** UPDATE ***

[ update: 07/21/2018 ]
75) Be careful, updating firmware may cause issues - sometimes removing functionality which we may find useful. Signed code can make it a challenge to work with products.
Dahua Firmware Mod Kit + Modded Dahua Firmware

76) Unbricking a Dahua NVR w/TFTP and a serial connection
Help unbricking a Dahua NVR with TFTP and serial connection.
Have fun and enjoy the forum.

77) Technical reason why Reolink is disliked by Blue Iris fans:
"When using direct to disk, blue iris can only start recording on a new iframe as explained in the help file. 99.9 percent of the cameras on the market allow this adjustment. Reolink does not. So you need to set a really long pre trigger record and hope for the best." - Fenderman
Reolink - good & bad

78) Excellent example of a PFA122 ( similar to a PFA121 ) junction box and a varifocal turret:
Dahua 5231 owners - PFA130-E or PFA137

[ update: 01/03/2019 ]
79) How to deal with HOA:
"We, unfortunately, live in a HOA. The association informed me that my installed cameras were not approved. My response was that I didn’t see any restrictions in the controlling documents and that if they wanted me to remove my cameras that I wanted a letter from their counsel that they would compensate me and my family if a property crime or worse occurred.

Our cameras were approved." -

JNDATHP
EmpireTech Dahua IPC HDW5231RP-Z Starlight - QTY 2 + Dahua Junction Boxes

[ update: 1/15/2019 ]
80) Shutter Speed / Exposure Tutorial
Have issues with "ghosting" / blur - try to adjust the shutter speed and increase light
Shutter Speed / Exposure Tutorial

[ update: 1/15/2019 ]
81) Modding a wall mount to mount a mini-PTZ
"Here's a few photos showing how I attached my SD12203T-GN to the PFB203W Wall Mount."
Has Anyone Here Tested the SD1A203T-GN Yet (2MP 3x Starlight IR PTZ Network Camera)?

[ update: 1/15/2019 ]
82) Opening up a Dahua OEM squarish bullet ( IPC-HFWxxx )
Howto: Open HFW series bullet camera when having condensation problem

[ update: 2/14/2019 ]
83) Tangent shares some very good notes to references on IPCT on running cables, and construction for IP PoE cameras
I want the best Dahua

[ update: ]
84) Reolink decided not to add iFrame interval because it'll cause issues for "some people".
( the smoking gun reference on iFrame issues and Reolink )
Reolink decided not to add iFrame interval because it'll cause issues for "some people".

[ update: 4/18/2019 ]
85) Another reason why domes are not recommended outdoors
Night Vision Cloudyness

[ update: 4/20/2019 ]
86) Flashing Dahua OEM firmware on to a Lorex NVR:
We had a bit of a discussion here on it.
Lorex

[ update: 4/20/2019 ]
87) Reviews - lots of good reviews from members, here's one
Sharing My Thoughts on My IPC-HFW2831T-ZS Cams After 6 Weeks With Them
Sharing My Thoughts on My IPC-HFW2831T-ZS Cams After 6 Weeks With Them

[ update: 4/30/2019 ]
88) Adding Dahua OEM IP PoE cameras to a Lorex Dahua OEM NVR
The multi camera view screen often will be blank for the Dahua OEM cameras on a Lorex NVR, you will need to configure the substreams so that the NVR knows what stream to display in the multi-view
Please see the following thread.. remember search is your friend
Replace my Lorex 4K (lnb8005) with a starlight (IPC-HDW5231R-ZE)
in particular please see the following post:
Replace my Lorex 4K (lnb8005) with a starlight (IPC-HDW5231R-ZE)

[ update: 6/20/2019 ]
89 ) Replace Clear Plastic Dome
mini-dome, may require a bit more foam or an o-ring to help fit it.
Replace Clear Plastic Dome?

[ update: 7/16/2019 ]
90) Yet another example of why dome cameras are problematic:
ADT professional installs dome cameras, wondering if changing the mounts will improve the image quality.
Mounts or no mounts
ADTinstalleddomecamera.jpeg

[ update: 8/4/2019 ]
91) Lightning strike! Holy smoking electrical hit! Seriously, check out the photos in this one
Lightning strike issue

[ update: 8/4/2019 ]
92) When trolls troll and threaten lawsuits
Ref terms: Troll Dsmteaker, someone claiming to be Brandon Hunt
Mid-American Title Company 424 E. Front St. Street, Traverse City, Michigan
BrandonMAT "My name is Brandon Hunt, and I am the president of Mid-American Industries, which includes Mid-American Title, as listed above." Brandon@mid-americantitle.com
Expecting to much
 
Last edited:

Tgreen

n3wb
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Wow, thanks Mat!

Some very good insight here and some good direction. More to it than I initially thought. not just some cameras and a recorder. Lol
 

nuraman00

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Aug 6, 2017
Messages
349
Reaction score
13
Wow, thanks Mat!

Some very good insight here and some good direction. More to it than I initially thought. not just some cameras and a recorder. Lol
What did you end up getting?
 

toastygun

n3wb
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
4
Super helpful and informative! Thanks mat200 for taking the time to put all this info in one place, I really appreciate it! :goodpost:
 

spoonek

Young grasshopper
Joined
Dec 15, 2017
Messages
68
Reaction score
18
Welcome! I too am new here and been reading a LOT, thus I would like to share with you what I have learned here and elsewhere.



1) Excellent job! This is the hardest part for most - installing wires in a building already built.

2) Since you have coax and power you can even install a super cheap coax based system - from the research I have done: you will want to avoid that if you can afford to get a nicer system.
Thus, I came here to read more about IP security cameras.

3) DORI - Detect, Observe, Recognize, Identify ranges and resolution - to ID someone you will need something like 80-100 horizontal pixels across the suspect's face. Thus you will need to adjust the focus and placement of cameras you wish to use for ID purposes to ensure a good facial image capture. [ Edit: 8/6/2017 - 8 feet or less should be the height for installing cameras to get a good angle for a potential facial image for ID purposes ]
https://www.axis.com/files/feature_articles/ar_perfect_pixel_count_55971_en_1402_lo.pdf

@nayr posted a good chart for Dahua cameras - hint you'll want to checkout a lot of the posts from nayr as he is sharing some really good knowledge from his experiences.
Dahua 2017 International Product Catalog (Q1)

4) I learned that Hikvision and Dahua were some of the top OEMs for security cameras - however, as pointed out by @aristobrat Dahua is currently in the lead with their "starlight" models which work very well for nighttime images. Thus I am currently getting Dahua products.

5) Dome cameras do not work well outside due to UV degradation of the domes, as well as possible glare issues.

6) Junction boxes maybe useful so that you can put the bundle of PoE wires in the box. Some people are able to put the wire bundle within the walls, or other options.
Here is a discussion of sourcing Junction boxes... note you can sometimes modify junction boxes sold in places like home depot. [ edit 8/6/2017 - I really like junction boxes now that I have used the Dahua ones associated with the cameras I installed. Installed properly they help weather proof your install - I used silicone stretch tapes to help weather proof the PoE connection and then put the wiring pig-tail / connect into the junction box - worked very nicely. ]
Buying Dahua Junction Boxes locally... just DON'T do it
UPDATE: 11/30/2017
Dahua has a new water proof junction box for the turrets, even better than the PFA137 junction box ( which while very nice was not water proof )
Water-proof Junction Box PFA130-E
PFA130-E - Dahua Technology
data sheet:
http://www1.dahuasecurity.com/download/DH-PFA130-E_datasheet.pdf
accessory sheet:
http://www1.dahuasecurity.com/download/Accessory_Selection_20171123.pdf

7) I was looking for a front door area camera and this model turns out to fit my requirements well for my place: Dahua IPC-HDBW4231F-AS
Here is the discussion which lead to my decision - note Nayr does not like door bell cameras, thus I have opted not to get one and am getting this instead.
( I will be getting a 2.8mm lens as the suspects will be right in front of the camera, and I will be installing it in a location to minimize UV exposure. ) [ edit: 8/6/217 - the cover comes off so you can paint it to match your building ]
Is there a good small camera for front and rear doors?

8) Aristobrat has already pointed out the most popular camera for this forum as well as a link to the super long discussion:
Dahua Starlight Varifocal Turret (IPC-HDW5231R-Z)
Dahua Starlight Varifocal Turret (IPC-HDW5231R-Z)

Summary: Best price / night time performance currently on market, also it is varifocal ( you adjust the focus typically done only during installation to cover your view )

9) Avoid Dahua Chinese market cameras - while very affordable - you may have issues updating the firmware, and some cameras have various services running which appear to "call home" - thus if you do get them you will have to be certain to properly secure them. [ edit - 8/6/2017 - you should expect to have daylight saving time issues with the Chinese market cameras as China does not have a day light saving time adjustment ]
Discussion regarding one such model: Need Feedback/Opinions on IPC-HDW4431C-A
Need Feedback/Opinions on IPC-HDW4431C-A



10) NVR options - Blue Iris software is well liked - runs on a windows PC, do buy it if you plan to use it as the demo version is limited in functionality and performance. Others are picking nvrs purpose built for security cameras.
After reading and looking at the PCs I have available I've chosen the following Dahua NVR5216-4KS2 / NVR5216-16P-4KS2
Dahua NVR5216-4KS2 / NVR5216-16P-4KS2
( if I already had a good windows machine available at home I would have tired Blue Iris )

11) PoE power - or PoE power sourcing equipment. Reading the options here alone is enough to make your head spin.
If you plan to have a lot of PoE cameras or PoE devices [*] it looks like one of the cost effective options maybe getting the Dahua nvr5216-16P-4KS2 ( includes 16 ports of PoE ) or a used PoE/PoE+ switch from ebay. There are advantages to having a separate switch - it allows you to more easily access each camera's interface separately using a computer on the same network.
[ * - edit 8/6/2017 - for non-camera PoE devices you probably want to look at a good managed PoE switch so you can segment your various devices and camera ]

12) VPNs and IP Camera / NVR security issues:
ALL security camera companies have significant Internet Security issues - Hikvision and Dahua both have issues, here is an example for Dahua which @Zeddy posted:
Dahua Backdoor Uncovered
Dahua Backdoor Uncovered

THUS we have to take some time to properly secure our security cameras - or else they will be used to attack others on the internet, and perhaps even used against us.

Here is a good reference on VPNs thanks again to Nayr:
VPN Primer for Noobs
VPN Primer for Noobs

13) IR illumination for dark - sometimes the cameras themselves do not provide enough, OR to get a better image we want to disable the camera IR to get a better picture.
Here is an example of IR use - just checkout the first post... note this particular product link is no longer available, but you can find similar products by searching.
IR Cannon w/Adjustable Focus
IR Cannon w/Adjustable Focus

There are other posts in IR lighting which are useful.

Note: 850nm lights glow red - and give off the best results for night time / darkness view of security cameras. IR emitters in the 940nm range do not provide as much useful illumination for security cameras but are not visible to the human eye. ( Cell phone cameras maybe able to detect both )

Also IR may attract bugs, and thus spiders may want to set a web by the IR emitter - typically the Camera

14) Other starlight cameras to consider if you need a better longer distance view, and worth considering:

This one will give you an even better night view.. but will cost about 2x what the Dahua Starlight Varifocal Turret (IPC-HDW5231R-Z) does.
Dahua Ultra Starlight Varifocal Bullet (IPC-HFW8232E-Z)
Dahua Ultra Starlight Varifocal Bullet (IPC-HFW8232E-Z)

Dahua Starlight Varifocal Bullet Z5 7-35mm (IPC-HFW5231E-Z5)
Dahua Starlight Varifocal Bullet Z5 7-35mm (IPC-HFW5231E-Z5)

[ edit 8/8/2017 - other starlight models have since come out, do search the forum for more discussion ]

15) There is one vendor which participates in the discussions here and which the members have found to be reliable and thus recommend, his name is Andy @EMPIRETECANDY
I've had a chance to converse with him and found that he was very helpful, and if you mention you are a member of the forum here he will give you a small discount, which when combined with DHL shipping options is well liked by members here. [ edit 10/31/2017 - email kingsecurity2014@163.com ]
New from Pennsylvania - setup questions
update 12/09/2017:
Important:About making order for dahua From Empiretech Andy

16) ALPR - automatic license plate reader - some are installing a dedicated camera to do this. I have not yet decided to do this, but it is an interesting discussion.

17) SD micro cards in cameras - some models have SD micro card slots - which can be very useful for local storage during times when there maybe issues with the NVR or network. [ edit - 8/6/2017 - Samsung evo branded ones are well liked by some users, reporting them to be more reliable than other brands they have tried. ]

[ updated part follows 4/14/2017 ]
18) DO take a look at thomaswde's comparison of a phone taken from his 16MP cell phone and a 2MP dahua starlight turrent. This is the best visual example of a 2 quality photos - and a good example of MegaPixels being just 1 factor to consider when looking at security cameras.
Great example of Dahua Starlight 2MP Verifocal Performance in low light

[ updated 4/27/2017 ]
19) You can do a really nice job and get your cameras to match your house nicely, do take a look at the great job @jayson436 did for his entry way:
Wanted to Buy - IPC-HDBW4231F-AS - (Mini Wedge)

[ updated 8/10/2017 ]
20) 8MP / 4K cameras - sometimes you need better resolution during the day and under other well lighted conditions. A 4K camera can give you that, note they are not optimized for low light conditions. Examples:
Any 4k cameras (or > 2MP) with good night Image Quality?
Dahua 8mp NON-Starlight HDW5830R-Z review
FYI - Some local Costco B&M have a Lorex / Dahua OEM 4K 6x camera kit and 8 port NVR for $800

[ updated 8/10/217 ]
21) Website to test possible camera locations and various camera models for FOV coverage
Camera Calculator / Design Software
update 12/10/2017: New IPVM Camera Calculator V3

[ updated 8/10/2017 ]
22) Equation to calculate the theoretical ID distance. Note this depends on effective pixel resolution, typically in low light or other conditions which reduce the effective resolution the ID distance will be less.
Radius = (( Horizontal Res / 100 ppf ) * ( 360 / Angle ))/2*Pi
( Radius = distance in feet to ID at 100 ppf )

[ updated 9/10/2017 ]
23) New House? Great advice from @Fastb
Camera/Setup Recommendations

[ updated 9/11/2017 ]
24) Great review on IPC-HDW4231EM-AS - highly recommended read for all, as you will learn a lot even if you do not plan to purchase this particular model.
Dahua IPC-HDW4231EM-AS review

[ updated 9/18/2017 ]
25) 3 image captures of the same suspect - which one do you think is most valuable?
HOA Approvals for camera installation

[ updated 9/22/2017 ]
26) Blue Iris - hardware, if you are interested in using Blue Iris this is the recommended hardware:
Choosing Hardware for Blue Iris | IP Cam Talk

[ updated 10/5/2017 ]
27) Perhaps picking up a cheaper camera and a more expensive one like a starlight to play with is a great way to determine what you want.
2nd and 3rd cam choice ?

[ updated 10/5/2017 ]
28) Some great notes on tuning camera parameters, adding illumination, as well as cameras compared.
Posts
Sanity Check - Better cameras, IR Illuminators or tweak Blue Iris?
Sanity Check - Better cameras, IR Illuminators or tweak Blue Iris?
Thread
Sanity Check - Better cameras, IR Illuminators or tweak Blue Iris?

[ updated 10/6/2017 ]
29) Dense persons guide to the Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z
Dense persons guide to the Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z

[ updated 10/6/2017 ]
30) Bullet Camera Mounting Box
How to make a mounting box from home depot parts
Bullet Camera Mounting Box

[ updated 10/9/2017 ]
31) If IVS is not working in Dahua NVR system - double check that Smartcodec ( encode mode H.264H ) is selected OFF

[ update 10/14/2017 ]
32) EmpireTecAndy shows how to tell if you have an Original English model:
"I always recommend original English models which can be found on" Search - Dahua Technology

[ update 10/15/2017 ]
33) Did you overlook running enough cat5e/cat6 lines to a location? Try a 1-4 PoE extender/splitter.
1 to 4 PoE Extender

[ update 10/16/2017 ]
34) List of suggested PoE switches collected by Giomania
PoE Switch Suggestion List

[ update 10/24/2017 ]
35) bp2008 states:
"Note that to capture license plates at night you need to set the shutter speed manually to a fast enough value that you get a sharp picture of a moving vehicle and do not overexpose the license plate. This will make the camera mostly useless for anything else at night, because everything else will be too dark. For this reason, starlight models aren't terribly important for license plates and you may be better off finding a 4MP or 8MP model with a similar amount of zoom."
and
"Faster exposure time is the key to sharper images. Usually requires more light to keep the noise down and image quality up.
WDR and 3D noise reduction can both introduce a little ghosting/trailing particularly on a fast-moving subject. I'd suggest keeping WDR completely off at night and reducing 3D noise reduction as far as you can stand to do."

[ update 10/26/2017 ]
36) Switch Dahua Day/Night Profile via IPC HTTP API
Switch Dahua Day/Night Profile via IPC HTTP API

[ update 10/28/2017 ]
37) Sony sensor list, or why some sensors better at night vision - part of the answer is larger pixels
Latest Sony Sensor List

[ update 10/28/2017 ]
38) microSD card installation for a Dahua 4231emp-ase
Memory Card Installation

[ update 10/28/2017 ]
39) Dahua Firmware Mod Kit + Modded Dahua Firmware
"I've been hacking around with my Dahua camera and made a script to unpack and rebuild the firmware upgrade images" - cor35vet
Dahua Firmware Mod Kit + Modded Dahua Firmware

[ update 11/2/2017 ]
40) Passive PoE vs Active PoE:
"The difference between passive and active PoE is the auto negotiation. Active devices do a handshake between the Power Supplying Equipment (PSE) and the Powered Device (PD) before it turns on the power. Passive is always on. It’s all about the right tool for the job.

The big benefit of active is not having to think about what you plug in. We recommend active PoE PSE in cases where you might plug something non-PoE into a port by accident, like by your office desk, or the PD requires it, like Cisco WAP’s. There are active PoE injectors if that fits your application: All Products

The benefits of passive PoE are simplicity, reliability, and affordability. In a case like PoE cameras, the passive injectors work great, and Darwin awards go to people trying to plug a laptop into the port on the ceiling and unplugging a PoE camera." - Tyler Andrew

[ update 11/7/2017 ]
41 ) "Water proofed properly, it will be just fine in the ( wall ) mount.
By properly means, use the water proof boot that comes with the cam. Put Die-electric grease into the RJ45 female jack before inserting the male RJ45. Wrap it all with self bonding tape if you feel you need the added protection." - Looney2s

from discussion here:
Passive POE

[ update 12/02/2017 ]
42) Wireless Camera Pole Install
Hook3m's: A wireless camera pole install. (4) 4MP turrets connected via Ubiquiti NanoStation Loco M5
Wireless Camera Pole Install

[ update 12/9/2017 ]
43) Have holes coming in from you cabling from your attic to your data closet / office that need plugging?


[ update 12/14/2017 ]
44) Fraudulent activities by some vendors:
Some vendors/brands like zmodo / funlux / annke / reolink are purposefully manipulating Amazon reviews and using astroturfing tactics as well as flat out being deceitful and lying about their products to increase sales. Be aware of this when determining which products you want to invest your money and time into.
ANNKE 1080P 8CH HD POE Security Camera System is best for home safety

Have fun and enjoy the forum.
This is by far the best post for newbs. It should be a sticky in the newb forum.
 

marku2

Known around here
Joined
Dec 23, 2016
Messages
919
Reaction score
256
Location
Australia
Ask fenderman it might save a lot of the same questions being asked over and over again
 

ndstate

Young grasshopper
Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
88
Reaction score
21
FYI, anyone searching about cameras for cold weather: I am running several Dahua Starlight Varifocal Turrets (and a Hik 4mp) and all are doing well below zero degrees Fahrenheit. We got down to -7 F last night and its been below zero for over 24 hours. No issues so far.
 
Top