LPR / Security Cam duty

pbc

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So I am the first house in on a neighbourhood that has experienced some breakins lately. Most folks here have settled on Ring cameras being setup for whatever reason (a neighbour swears that there the best thing since sliced bread and insists all home owners to switch to them...but I digress).

I'm looking to replace my existing driveway cam with one that has good LPR and I'm setting up a Blue Iris server. You can see the pic below with my existing DS-2CD2142FWD-IS 4mm cam that cars basically stop at the stop sign just in front of my house so would seemingly be great for LPR. I don't use IR's on the camera given the light is decent.

Thoughts on LPR cameras for this setup that I can also use to capture of course anyone approaching my house (i.e., don't "just" want it for LPR!). Not sure what price range yet but certainly do not want to break the bank!

192.168.1.21_02_20200607082903758.jpg
 

biggen

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You would need two cameras. One for LPR and one for generally viewing. You won't get satisfactory results trying to get one to pull double duty.

The newer 5442 is excellent for general viewing. I have one of those myself. It's night vision performance is excellent. I'll let others chime in on what LPR camera would be best as I'm also in the process of doing the same thing. But I'm leaning toward IPC-HFW5241E-Z12E or IPC-HFW5231E-Z12E.

Do cars have to enter/exit your view from that road directly in front of you or can they also enter from the left/right of your driveway? I ask because you will miss plates from cars that enter from left/right since all you will see is their side.
 
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samplenhold

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You will not be able to have an LPR camera that gives you an overview. A true LPR camera, one that gives consistent plate IDs, needs to be dedicated for LPR.

A lot of folks here use the Dahua IPC-HFW5231E-Z12E or it's newer brother the IPC-HFW5241E-Z12E (I have two of these for LPR). They have great zoom. You will want to zoom into the view such that only the width of the road, or a little less, is in the view. That way you get the most pixels on the plate.

LPR-E-N rt turn sharp.jpgLPR-E.w2.jpg
 

biggen

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Zoom difference. The Z12E allows you to zoom closer since its max focal length is 60mm while the one you linked has a max focal length of 12mm.
 

pbc

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Not sure why he would recommend that one for LPR. It has a 2.8-12mm lens and the IPC-HFW5241E-Z12E has a 5-60mm lens, much better zoom.
Would I need much more than 12mm given how close the stop sign is to my house? Maybe he recommended it because it can provide more coverage for closer to the house as well given the lower starting zoom? Not sure.

Havent used a varifocal before so I'm not even sure how one would work or the advantages of it (eg it is locked into the zoom that you set it to?). Will see if there is a dummies guide to that on the site!
 

coney27

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A bit pricey if the $400+ priced I'm seeing are correct (hard camera to find).
Well worth the price; the built in AI does all the recognition, reading, and logging. Unlike the Dahua that everyone recommends here.

Its basically a set it and forget it camera once you have it set up and dialed in.
 
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coney27

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@coney27 I've heard that camera is great, but where can you get it and how much?
The camera is great. I love mine. I have an extra one im selling right now but im also trying to make a profit off of it. B&H sells it too.
 

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Varifocal is nice because you never know how far you need to zoom in until you do some testing. Better to have too much zoom and back off then not enough and not be able to zoom forward any more.
 

pbc

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Varifocal is nice because you never know how far you need to zoom in until you do some testing. Better to have too much zoom and back off then not enough and not be able to zoom forward any more.
Okay.. So you do basically figure out the zoom you want and leave it at that sort of thing?
 

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Yes. It will take you a few days to fine tune it. Playing with the zoom, camera settings, etc.... But once your are happy with the zoom settings, you leave them alone.
 

pbc

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I was hoping 4mm would be enough as it gives me a decent driveway and would seemingly capture LP's. Though even in daylight I can't read the LPs...not sure if that's a settings issue though as I would have thought a 4mp camera would have better resolution vs what I'm getting.192.168.1.21_02_20200607083129860.jpg
 

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You need waaay more zoom. At night you might as well turn it off if that is the FOV you would be working with.
 

pbc

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You need waaay more zoom. At night you might as well turn it off if that is the FOV you would be working with.
Ah, got it. So would be useless for LPR at 4mm, so presumably I would need two cameras then? Edit: As you originally suggested of course!

If so, and i only have one CAT cable run to that location, is it possible to run two cameras off of the same POE CAT cable via a splitter?
 

pbc

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You will not be able to have an LPR camera that gives you an overview. A true LPR camera, one that gives consistent plate IDs, needs to be dedicated for LPR.

A lot of folks here use the Dahua IPC-HFW5231E-Z12E or it's newer brother the IPC-HFW5241E-Z12E (I have two of these for LPR). They have great zoom. You will want to zoom into the view such that only the width of the road, or a little less, is in the view. That way you get the most pixels on the plate.

View attachment 63318View attachment 63317
Do you have any night time pics similar to the above? How far away is that car from the cam?
 

biggen

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Ah, got it. So would be useless for LPR at 4mm, so presumably I would need two cameras then? Edit: As you originally suggested of course!

If so, and i only have one CAT cable run to that location, is it possible to run two cameras off of the same POE CAT cable via a splitter?
You need to run another drop for a second network cable unless you have a way to install a PoE switch at the camera location, put it in an enclosure, and run power to it. Then you could run a single back haul cable from that new switch to your router/switch inside your home.

Probably easier to run a second network cable.
 
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