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My brain hurts now.

Todd Schmidt

Getting the hang of it
hey everybody,

My family is getting a swimming pool and pool house put in our yard so I figured I’d just pick up a camera kit and keep an eye on it.

Well, like everything I buy, I tend to do a bunch of research before I purchase. So I found myself looking into kits, but it was hard to find a review of the components in certain kits. I was on Backstreet Surveillance looking at their stuff, but couldn’t find any reviews of them except what was on their site.

Somebody on reddit suggested I check out this forum, and now my head hurts. There is a ton of information to take in.

So that being said my research continues. I think I need roughly 9 cameras to cover my whole yard rather thoroughly. I have motion activated spotlights all around my house (some need replacement as they don’t ever shut off). I don’t really have a set budget, but I don’t want to spend too much. Was looking at the Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-ZE (edited model number from 4-2) as they seem like they’d fit my needs the best, but I haven’t figured out anything beyond that yet. Suggestions are very welcome.

I'll be running the Cat6 myself so they can be put pretty much anywhere.

Photo attached is overview of house. Pool is blue rectangle, pool house is black one. Not to scale.
 

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aristobrat

IPCT Contributor
I'd suggest taking a look at the 2MP Dahua Starlight models (or Hikvision Dark Fighter models, .. they're just harder to source, IMO).

Don't let the 2MP part of these cameras put you off. They use an awesome image sensor that's only found in . 2MP + this big image sensor makes the physical size of each pixel large, which allows more light in every pixel. The image sensor has a newer back-illuminated design, which allows more of that light to be captured by the sensor. End result is low-light image quality that's about as noise/grain free as you can get (with as little motion blur).

The usual issue with trying to use higher MP cameras that don't do as well in low-light with spotlights is that when the spotlight is off at night, the cameras image quality is usually grainy and things in motion blur a lot more. When the spotlight comes on, it can take the camera a few seconds to adjust, during which the image quality may not be usable. So by the time the camera adjust, if the person that triggered the spotlight is smart, they're probably on their way out, and if you're lucky, you'll get the back of them as they leave. With the 2MP Starlights, you're more likely to get usable images/video before the spotlights come on (and after they turn off).

Give the IPVM Camera Calculator V3 tool a spin. Type in your address, let it pull up a Google Map image of your property, add a camera/set the model, position it around your house then check out the simulated image. Great way to test stuff off.
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
hey everybody,
..
I was on Backstreet Surveillance looking at their stuff
...

Somebody on reddit suggested I check out this forum, and now my head hurts. There is a ton of information to take in.

... Was looking at the Dahua IPC-HDW5431R-ZE as they seem like they’d fit my needs the best, but I haven’t figured out anything beyond that yet. Suggestions are very welcome.

I'll be running the Cat6 myself so they can be put pretty much anywhere.

Photo attached is overview of house. Pool is blue rectangle, pool house is black one. Not to scale.
Welcome @Todd Schmidt

Excellent job, you've already have your thinking cap on.

You're going through the same path that many of us started out.

A couple of quick pointers:
1) Take your time, the cliff notes and forums are here to help you and others out.
2) Back Street - I've watched enough of their videos, and found them being deceptive at times comparing their brand with others. ( example their higher end camera with a super cheap plastic cased Lorex camera.. and the presenter broke the Lorex camera to illustrate a point - when in truth they should have compared like cost cameras. ) THUS I say DO NOT trust them.
3) 4MP - the older sensor models reviewed here on ipcamtalk did not impress members - so do double check that. I understand newer 4MP sensor models are coming out which we expect to be perform well. We're still waiting on reviews.

Have fun!

 

SouthernYankee

IPCT Contributor
:welcome:

My standard welcome to the forum message.

Please read the cliff notes and other items in the wiki. The wiki is in the blue bar at the top of the page.

Read How to Secure Your Network (Don't Get Hacked!) in the wiki also.

Quick start
1) Use Dahua starlight cameras or Hikvision darkfighter cameras or ICPT Night eye cameras (https://store.ipcamtalk.com/) if you need good low light cameras.
2) use a VPN to access home network (openVPN)
3) Do not use wifi cameras.
4) Do not use cloud storage
5) Do Not use uPNP, P2P, QR, do not open ports,
6) More megapixel is not necessarily better.
7) Avoid chinese hacked cameras (most ebay, amazon, aliexpress cameras(not all, but most))
8) Do not use reolink, ring, nest cameras (they are junk)
9) If possible use a turret camera , bullet collect spiders, dome collect dirt and reflect light (IR)
10) Use only solid copper, AWG 23 or 24 ethernet wire. , no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum)

Read,study,plan before spending money ..... plan plan plan


If you are interested in Dahua cameras a forum member, Andy, from china is a reseller @EMPIRETECANDY , he provides excellent product and SUPPORT . He selles international version of the cameras, not the hacked chinese versions. You can email him at kingsecurity2014@163.com , he has two stores one on aliexpress and one on amazon. If what you want is not on the web email him.

Buy Products Online from China Wholesalers at Aliexpress.com

Kingsecurity2018 @ Amazon.com:
 

Todd Schmidt

Getting the hang of it
Thanks for the warm welcome. I’ve been over the wiki several times now. And sorry for confusion I was originally looking at the 4mp camera but switched to the 2 after reading up. Just put the wrong model in my initial post.

There is so much info on this site.
 

aristobrat

IPCT Contributor
There is so much info on this site.
Kind of like drinking from a fire hose, ... at first, anyway... :)

The site had a lot of great folks willing to give advice/opinions, so def. post them up on your thread here are you go along.

IMO, the 5231 varifocal turret you're looking at is probably the most popular model that folks here use. If you're not in a hurry, you could always do an initial order of two of those, get familiar with them (which will probably give you a little more personal insight into how best build a system for your place), and then order more down the road. IMO, probably one of the tougher initial decisions that you'll probably have to make is whether to use a NVR or an inexpensive Windows PC running Blue Iris (software NVR) and a PoE switch. That's its own debate. :)
 

Todd Schmidt

Getting the hang of it
Kind of like drinking from a fire hose, ... at first, anyway... :)

The site had a lot of great folks willing to give advice/opinions, so def. post them up on your thread here are you go along.

IMO, the 5231 varifocal turret you're looking at is probably the most popular model that folks here use. If you're not in a hurry, you could always do an initial order of two of those, get familiar with them (which will probably give you a little more personal insight into how best build a system for your place), and then order more down the road. IMO, probably one of the tougher initial decisions that you'll probably have to make is whether to use a NVR or an inexpensive Windows PC running Blue Iris (software NVR) and a PoE switch. That's its own debate. :)
Good advice.

I already have a switch (TP-Link 24 Port Gigabit Switch | Unmanaged Ethernet Switch | Shielded Ports | Metal | Desktop | Fanless (TL-SG1024S) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0779R9LJ3/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_EnZ3Cb73TEEXK) that I used to run Ethernet from my Apple router, and to my NAS. But I don’t think it has PoE on it so I can’t really use that for the cameras. I’m leaning towards an NVR as I only have Macs in my home. So I’d have to get a 16 channel one as I need 8-9 cameras to get complete coverage of my yard.
 

Todd Schmidt

Getting the hang of it
So is the Dahua N54B3P too much NVR? And how many days do you recommend recording? 7? 14? A month?

can somebody do all my thinking now?
 

TL1096r

IPCT Contributor
Welcome @Todd Schmidt

Excellent job, you've already have your thinking cap on.

You're going through the same path that many of us started out.

A couple of quick pointers:
1) Take your time, the cliff notes and forums are here to help you and others out.
2) Back Street - I've watched enough of their videos, and found them being deceptive at times comparing their brand with others. ( example their higher end camera with a super cheap plastic cased Lorex camera.. and the presenter broke the Lorex camera to illustrate a point - when in truth they should have compared like cost cameras. ) THUS I say DO NOT trust them.
3) 4MP - the older sensor models reviewed here on ipcamtalk did not impress members - so do double check that. I understand newer 4MP sensor models are coming out which we expect to be perform well. We're still waiting on reviews.

Have fun!
Good info! This is good to know as looking to redo everything but I have been hesitant as last few times I purchased something a new model came out a month later like buying IPC-HDW5231R-Z when IPC-HDW5231R-ZE came out a month later. My luck of course.
 

RoCam

n3wb
Good advice.

I already have a switch (TP-Link 24 Port Gigabit Switch | Unmanaged Ethernet Switch | Shielded Ports | Metal | Desktop | Fanless (TL-SG1024S) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0779R9LJ3/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_EnZ3Cb73TEEXK) that I used to run Ethernet from my Apple router, and to my NAS. But I don’t think it has PoE on it so I can’t really use that for the cameras. I’m leaning towards an NVR as I only have Macs in my home. So I’d have to get a 16 channel one as I need 8-9 cameras to get complete coverage of my yard.
Depending on which NAS you’re running most have some sort of surveillance software option available. I myself am going to follow the Synology surveillance station path, mostly because BI looks pretty homebrew to me and not willing to run a separate machine for it.
 

Todd Schmidt

Getting the hang of it
Depending on which NAS you’re running most have some sort of surveillance software option available. I myself am going to follow the Synology surveillance station path, mostly because BI looks pretty homebrew to me and not willing to run a separate machine for it.
I have a synology 418play. But I’m not sure what it can do. It’s mostly just for backups. Trying to figure out now how to move my Apple photos library to it. I have something like 40k photos and iCloud only lets you download 1k at a time. I’m very new to all this networking stuff.
 

fenderman

Staff member
Depending on which NAS you’re running most have some sort of surveillance software option available. I myself am going to follow the Synology surveillance station path, mostly because BI looks pretty homebrew to me and not willing to run a separate machine for it.
Synology is a joke toy compared to blue iris, you will learn this eventually. Blue iris is exceptional and your comment points to your inexperience. The interface is the LAST thing you should be thinking about, its all about functionality. For what its worth, BI5 is being released with an updated interface. A separate machine for blue iris typically runs 100-200 dollars.
 

fenderman

Staff member
I have a synology 418play. But I’m not sure what it can do. It’s mostly just for backups. Trying to figure out now how to move my Apple photos library to it. I have something like 40k photos and iCloud only lets you download 1k at a time. I’m very new to all this networking stuff.
That unit requires a 50 dollar per camera license after the first two. If you want to pay per camera licensing there are much better ways of spending your money like dw ipvms.
 

samplenhold

Getting the hang of it
Something to think about. Just what are you trying to achieve with your camera placements? What are your goals? Do you just want an overview of the areas to monitor situations? Are you needing to identify actors? Is nighttime identification important? Generally speaking, for the amount of area you are showing, getting close enough video to identify someone that is not known to you may be difficult with just 9 cameras.

Aristrobrat makes a good point: buy two and use them to test placements and then decide what you really need/want. Camera height, direction, field of view, nighttime usage (IR reflection, white light availability) all can be tested by placing the camera on a 2x4 and holding it upright in a 5-gallon bucket with gravel.

I started getting into IP cameras last fall due to an incident at my home while we were away. Bought a couple of cheap LaView cameras before I found this forum. THEN, I started with a plan. Bought two cameras (Dahua HDW5231R-ZE 2MP and HDW5431R-ZE 4MP turrets) and began testing locations. My initial plan has morphed many times since then. Currently have 17 cameras inside and outside. I am still making changes, buying new cameras and changing some models for another. This is due to my understanding changing and getting a better idea of what I want to archive at each placement.

What I and others have purchased may not be the best for your situation. Take it slow. Do a little at a time and monitor your cameras. Your understanding of their performance versus your goals will change.

Listen to what others have done and their advice, especially of the forum regulars. But attempting to define your goals in advance will make it much easier. Good luck.
 

aristobrat

IPCT Contributor
Depending on which NAS you’re running most have some sort of surveillance software option available. I myself am going to follow the Synology surveillance station path, mostly because BI looks pretty homebrew to me and not willing to run a separate machine for it.
You can go through my first posts on the forum here and see where I swore I'd never run a dedicated PC for Blue Iris... but here I am, running a dedicated PC for Blue Iris...

I started with Synology Surveillance Station and then moved to a Dahua NVR. I only setup Blue Iris temporarily (to run in parallel with the NVR while Dahua worked out a firmware bug). But after two or three nights playing around with BI, I loved it enough that I ended up selling the NVR.

My problem with SS was that motion detection (which is a feature that's important to me because I feed motion events from my cameras into my home automation system to automate lights and stuff) turned out to be pretty horrible. It was OK at first, but once I found the forum here and started reading threads about what the Dahua NVRs (and Blue Iris) could do with their motion detection, ... and I looked at what my SS was capable of, that's when I realized what I was missing. For example, all of my Hikvision and Dahua cameras had "advanced" motion detection features built into them (Hik's is called Smart Events, Dahua's is called IVS), but SS didn't support either. That left me with "basic" motion detection, which was next to impossible for me to tune to avoid a ton of false alerts without also winding up in a situation where the camera started missing legitimate motion. I also found it slow and cumbersome to remotely connect to check in on the cameras or review the recorded motion clips. Maybe that's improved since then.

To me, the BI console looks like it was developed in the Windows 95 days... and maybe it was... the developer releases update after update after update (not unusual to get 2 or 3 a month) with new functionality and fixes. So he puts functionally over form... I'm not complaining about that (and as mentioned, the UI gets a complete overhaul in V5 that comes out next month). Personally, the iOS app (and built-in web interface) are so fast and functional for me that I only use the BI console when I'm changing a major setting, which is maybe once a month. For motion detection, BI is capable of using the advanced motion detection built into Dahua/Hikvision cameras, but it also has its own native motion detection that is extremely capable, which I think most folks end up using over anything built-into their cameras. BI also supports the concepts of profiles. I have two -- normal and "quiet"... the difference being that when the "quiet" profile is on, I don't get motion detection alerts, which I use when I'm outside mowing the lawn, or I'm sitting on the front porch talking with neighbors (two activities that would normally cause a ton of motion alerts to be sent to phone/watch). It's functionality like that that really starts to add up, IMO.
 

Todd Schmidt

Getting the hang of it
Something to think about. Just what are you trying to achieve with your camera placements? What are your goals? Do you just want an overview of the areas to monitor situations? Are you needing to identify actors? Is nighttime identification important? Generally speaking, for the amount of area you are showing, getting close enough video to identify someone that is not known to you may be difficult with just 9 cameras.

Aristrobrat makes a good point: buy two and use them to test placements and then decide what you really need/want. Camera height, direction, field of view, nighttime usage (IR reflection, white light availability) all can be tested by placing the camera on a 2x4 and holding it upright in a 5-gallon bucket with gravel.

I started getting into IP cameras last fall due to an incident at my home while we were away. Bought a couple of cheap LaView cameras before I found this forum. THEN, I started with a plan. Bought two cameras (Dahua HDW5231R-ZE 2MP and HDW5431R-ZE 4MP turrets) and began testing locations. My initial plan has morphed many times since then. Currently have 17 cameras inside and outside. I am still making changes, buying new cameras and changing some models for another. This is due to my understanding changing and getting a better idea of what I want to archive at each placement.

What I and others have purchased may not be the best for your situation. Take it slow. Do a little at a time and monitor your cameras. Your understanding of their performance versus your goals will change.

Listen to what others have done and their advice, especially of the forum regulars. But attempting to define your goals in advance will make it much easier. Good luck.
Right now my goal is to just be able to see (remote viewing) my whole yard and have a recording in case something does happen. I currently have 3 ICamera 1000 through xfinity home 1 outside and two inside (switching to Ring soon) so I want to replace them. (I might actually keep them for inside use as they are decent cameras) And with the addition of a pool I really want to keep an eye on it especially if I’m not home. Beyond that I haven’t given much thought.
 

samplenhold

Getting the hang of it
So is the Dahua N54B3P too much NVR? And how many days do you recommend recording? 7? 14? A month?
How long you keep recordings will depend on what you expect to achieve from those recordings and how often you check them. You can always save/move specific recording of an event such that they do not get automatically deleted. If you check daily for events, then keeping for a few days would suffice. If you do not think you would notice something amiss on your property for a week and then need to check the recordings, then a few weeks worth would suffice. Again, it all depends on what your goals are.
 
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