Need help determining which camera(s) I should buy

Discussion in 'Hikvision' started by rajuabju, Dec 28, 2017.

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  1. rajuabju

    rajuabju n3wb

    Nov 2, 2017
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    Los Angeles, CA
    I am building a new home, want to purchase a total of 16 camera's for my security system, as follows:

    5 Exterior Camera's
    11 Interior Camera's


    1) All Camera's must be PoE

    2) For the 11 interior camera's, I want vari-focal dome or turret style style ... something with good resolution, and can do both day and night (lights off) with a quality image. All interior camera's will be ceiling mounted.

    3) For the 5 exterior camera's, I want vari-focal bullet style, obviously needs to be water/weather proof, and both day & night quality image are important. All exterior camera's will be wall-mounted. I am open to a different style (such as turret) cam if better as long as waterproof.

    I dont need the most expensive system in the world, but I definitely do not want a budget camera either. I'm willing to pay for quality of the equipment and quality of the image.

    I also need an NVR, something that can handle the feeds from all 16 camera's, is rack mountable, and at least 4TB of storage.

    The HIK website is confusing as heck to me, so many options, and not easy to tell one camera apart from another.

    Some feedback and recommendations would greatly be appreciated!
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  2. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

    May 12, 2016
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    You really don't need to decide on the exact camera or nvr models yet. It might be helpful to have 1 camera on hand, but don't focus on the electronics fun as they may be. You need to focus on the cabling and installation locations including other interior networking and cabling. The cabling is a big project, don't let the cameras distract you from it. It's easy to change or buy the cameras later, changing the cabling is a pain. Some builders may let you do your own cabling or bring in your own contractor to do it others may insist you use their contractor and potentially charge you exorbitant rates.

    I suggest you search for other similar threads, there's lots of information here you just have to put a bit of effort into finding it. Some are in this subfourm: Installation Pics

    Here's some general commentary:
    • 5 exterior, 11 interior seems backwards. Most people don't like to record that much inside. I'd rather have more coverage outside the house
    • Avoid mounting the cameras too high, bald spot cameras aren't very useful. <10' off the ground is desirable, less than 8' is better.
    • Cameras that are zoomed in enough to get a nice clear face shot are far more useful than wide angle shots that capture no meaningful detail.
    • Dahua makes some good cameras that are worth considering
    • NVRs come in two flavors with PoE and without which require a PoE switch
    • Software like BlueIris on a dedicated PC is can be more versatile than an NVR but will run $200-300 more
    • NVRs are typically BYOHDD
    • Just because the NVR can handle 16 cameras doesn't mean you have to install that number or that a particular nvr will handle that number of cameras well.
    • It can be helpful to hold a camera up and move it around a bit to decide on the location.
    • During construction it's much easier to install cameras in some lower very useful locations. You can put a camera on the eaves after the house is built but a camera or intercom station at the front door is a lot harder.

    As for the cabling:
    • Running spare cables eg. 2 to each drop is very helpful
    • Leave yourself several feet of extra cable at each location
    • prewire additional locations even if you don't use them right away
    • take lots of pictures and measurements before the drywall goes up
    • Don't underestimate your networking needs for computers, tvs, etc.
    • If you're doing the work yourself, be careful of other trades. It's probably best to do it after the electrical, plumbing, and hvac are done.
    • Keep your wires away from electrical, hvac, and plumbing by 12+" wherever possible
    • Prewire for an alarm system at a minimum: get all the doors, a few motion detector/glass breaks, and prewire for keypads. I'd run an ethernet line to the keypad locations for future proofing.

    As for camera locations, if you post some blueprints or photos you'll get more advice.

    General areas that are worth covering include:
    • Garage / Driveway, overlapping cameras and a camera inside the garage near the door to the inside
    • Front door, a small mini dome can work very well. We often refer to this style of camera as a "wedge". 5-7' off the ground is a good mounting height at the front door
    • Each side of the house
    • Gate to backyard
    • Other entry doors in the back yard or to the garage
    • Basement windows / window wells
    There are threads with far more advice on camera installation in new construction.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
  3. rajuabju

    rajuabju n3wb

    Nov 2, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks very much for the feedback. To respond to a lot of your feedback and add some more clarifications-

    The camera system is going to be part of a larger home automation system (Control4). This is a custom home build for myself, so I can do anything/everything I want, exactly how I want. Of course I still have a budget, but its a pretty decently sized budget; home is in Beverly Hills, CA.

    I have specific reasons on why I want so many interior camera's, and locations for every camera has already been determined. 16 just happened to be the right #, not a specific goal I was targeting. But I definitely need an NVR that can handle the load.

    On the exterior camera's, I've noted to mount them at 8' - 10' height on the walls; interior needs to be ceiling mount. Pre-wiring, with 2 Cat6 cables to each location is going to happen soon, then we'll be ready to close up the walls shortly thereafter. Alarm is also part of pre-wire (as are speakers, etc) We're definitely taking some photos, but you make a good point and I will make sure we take many more before walls are closed up.

    The Control4 dealer I decided to work with (after meeting with half a dozen) wont work with Dahua camera's; in fact I found no C4 deal would use them, probably due to unfamiliarity. This dealer gave me a choice of several brands, and we eventually agreed on HIKVISION.

    The question remains for me, on which camera's and NVR to use.... there are so many options on the HIK website, its very confusing on what the higher end vs lower end models are.