New guy - basically clueless :)

Medium-Jim

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Just over 2 years ago I got a Ring doorbell camera and never thought it was really great. Recently my lens started clouding up and long story short Ring stated it was “ Normal UV degradation of the lens” and I was just out of warranty period. They gladly offered me 30% off a new ring doorbell to which I stated they can kiss 100% of my rear end.
So I started looking for alternatives and realized I was using trash products and living in the dark when it came to CCTV/home security camera systems! I’ve found you can get a ridiculously better set up for not much more money. That being said I am quite new to this stuff and a lot of it is over my head. I’ve been reading a lot and THINK I’ve settled on a POE 4 camera system with 2TB hard drive. I’ve read camera comparisons from Reolink to Lenox etc and THOUGHT Reolink was the way to go but on my welcome messages recommendEd NOT using Reolink...
I'm gonna stick around a while, ask a bunch of dumb questions, and try and absorb information from people that know far more than I ever will if that’s ok?!
so hello from Southern Ohio!
 
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:welcome:

If you haven't already done so be sure to look in the WiKi, in the blue bar at the top of the page. There's a ton of great information and tips in there regarding cameras, NVRs, VMS, PCs and keeping everything secure. The cameras mentioned are the last generation, but will provide a starting point and good references for the current crop of even better performing cameras.
 

SouthernYankee

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:welcome:


tread study plan before spending money......
Test do not guess.
===========================
My standard welcome to the forum message.

Read Study Plan before spending money
Cameras are for surveillance to get information for after the fact.

Please read the IP Cam Talk Cliff Notes and other items in the IP Cam Talk Wiki. (read on a real computer, not a phone). 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) If you do not have a wired monitored alarm system, get that first
2) your first camera should be a good variable focus camera to check camera placement and the correct lens.
3) Use Dahua starlight cameras or Hikvision darkfighter cameras if you need good low light cameras.

4) use a VPN to access home network (openVPN)
5) Do not use wifi cameras.
6) Do not use cloud storage
7) Do Not use uPNP, P2P, QR, do not open ports,
8) More megapixel is not necessarily better.
9) Avoid chinese hacked cameras (most ebay, amazon, aliexpress cameras(not all, but most))
10) Do not use reolink, ring, nest, Arlo cameras (they are junk), no cloud cameras
11) If possible use a turret camera , bullet collect spiders, dome collect dirt and reflect light (IR)
12) Use only solid copper, AWG 23 or 24 ethernet wire. , no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum)
13) use a test mount to verify the camera mount location. My test rig: rev.2
14) (Looney2ns)If you want to be able to ID faces, don't mount cams higher than 7ft. You want to know who did it, not just what happened.

15) Use a router that has openVPN built in (Most ASUS, Some NetGear....)
16) camera placement use the calculator... IPVM Camera Calculator V3
17) POE list PoE Switch Suggestion List
18) Camera Sensor size, bigger is general better Sensor Size Chart
19) Camera lens size, a bigger number give more range but less field of view. Which Security Camera Lens Size Should I Buy?
20) verify your camera placement, have a friend wearing a hoodie, ball cap and sunglasses looking down approach the house, can you identify them ?

Cameras to look at
IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED . Review IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED (Full Color, Starlight+) - 4MP starlight
.................... Dahua IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED review
IPC-T5442TM-AS ..... Review-OEM 4mp AI Cam IPC-T5442TM-AS Starlight+ - 4MP starlight+
IPC-HDW5442-ZE ..... Dahua IPC-HDW5442T-ZE 4MP Varifocal Turret - Night Perfomance testing -- variable focus 4 MP Starlight
IPC-B5442E-ZE ...... Review - OEM IPC-B5442E-ZE 4MP AI Varifocal Bullet Camera With Starlight+

IPC-HFW7442H-Z ..... Review - Dahua IPC-HFW7442H-Z 4MP Ultra AI Varifocal Bullet Camera -- MP variable focus AI
IPC-T2347G-LU ...... Review of the Hikvision OEM model IPC-T2347G-LU 'ColorVu' IP CCTV camera. (DS-2CD2347G1-LU)
IPC-HDW2231R-ZS .... Review-Dahua IPC-HDW2231RP-ZS Starlight Camera-Varifocal
IPC-HDW2231T-ZS-S2 . Review-OEM IPC-T2231T-ZS 2mp Varifocal Starlight Camera
IPC-HDW5231R-ZE .... Review-Dahua Starlight IPC-HDW5231R-ZE 800 meter capable ePOE
IPC-HFW4239T-ASE ... IPC-HFW4239T-ASE
IPCT-HDW5431RE-I ... Review - IP Cam Talk 4 MP IR Fixed Turret Network Camera
IPC-T5241H-AS-PV ... Review-OEM IPC-T5241H-AS-PV 2mp AI active deterrence cam
IPC-T3241-ZAS ...... Review-OEM IPC-T3241-ZAS 2mp AI Lite series Varifocal -- 2mp AI Lite series Varifocal
IPC-HFW2831T-ZS ... Review-Dahua IPC-HFW2831T-ZS 8MP WDR IR Bullet Network Camera -- 8MP Bullet 1/1.8” sensor variable focus.
DS-2CD2325FWD-I
N22AL12 ............ New Dahua N22AL12 Budget Cam w/Starlight -- low cost entry
IPC-T2347G-LU....... Review-Loryta OEM 4MP IPC-T2347G-LU ColorVu Fixed Turret Network 4mm lens & Junction Box -- 4MP ColorVu
.................... Review of the Hikvision OEM model IPC-T2347G-LU 'ColorVu' IP CCTV camera.

Other dahua 4MP starlight Dahua 4MP Starlight Lineup

My preferred indoor cameras
DS-2CD2442FWD-IW
IPC-K35A
If interested in Blue Iris and other setup items see the following post

Before asking a question search the forum first...
The best way to search the forum is to use Google
In the google search window enter.. site:ipcamtalk.com ?????? ..where ?????? is the items/terms you are interested in.
Example site:ipcamtalk.com PALE MOON BROWSER

Read,study,plan before spending money ..... plan plan plan
Test do not guess
 

Medium-Jim

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So. I want to make sure this is complimentary.
I’ve read a decent amount and you guys are amazing. Your knowledge and dedication to this stuff is truly incredible.
That being said I think some of this blurs the lines of security and hobby which there is nothing wrong with at all. I totally get that security is important and kudos to you guys for being security setup gurus!
All that being said...I don’t really want separate laptops running Blue Iris with tons of money spent on a badass setup. I neither have the computer knowledge to do this stuff and to be totally honest I don’t think I need this stuff.
I don’t think I own anything worth protecting to this level and don’t have confidence I could set this kind of up in the first place.

I joined looking for recommendations on a Cheap but decent plug and play system but can clearly see I’m out of my element here. I came from a piece of trash Ring doorbell so pretty much anything is a huge upgrade to me at this point.
I was honestly looking for a 3-4 camera setup and a hard drive so I can eliminate cloud storage fees. I was hoping to put 1 camera out front, maybe 2. One camera in my backyard and my extra camera pointed at the night sky to catch weird stuff ( yes I’m a UFO nut ).
I guess if anybody is willing to give me a recommendation on a “Costco” setup or similar and maybe a little assistance at what camera to use for looking at the night sky ( if it’s even feasible ) I’d very much appreciate it.
Im level 1 here and you guys are level 99. I’m honestly looking for like 500$ max with a simple UI as I’m not tech savvy.
As you read this please respect the fact I’m being honest as to my needs and wants and again,
You guys are truly brilliant with this stuff! I had no idea.
 

samplenhold

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I don’t think I own anything worth protecting to this level and don’t have confidence I could set this kind of up in the first place.
Most folks here are as you stated security concerned. It is hard to give a recommendation to purchase a system that one would not purchase one's self. How can I tell you to buy X if I would not buy it myself? That being said, stay away from ReoLink. The Lorex kits from Costco are probably the best you are going to get for your "Cheap but decent plug and play system" as Lorex is OEM Dahua I believe.

BUT DO NOT COME BACK HERE COMPLAINING ABOUT IT'S LACK OF ABILITIES IF YOU BUY ONE.

As far as turning a cam to the night sky in SETI mode, you will probably not be happy with anything cheap.

I was hoping to put 1 camera out front, maybe 2. One camera in my backyard
Why? What are you hoping to get from these cams? If you end up installing these and have an incident, but the cams do not give you good enough video, how was it worth the purchase?

Do a search here for Lorex and for Costco. There are numerous threads discussing these. As far as giving a recommendation for a specific kit, most here can't do that as we have not used one.
 
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Well, you're right about most here being into video surveillance either as a hobby or a real security feature. As a result I don't think you'll find many recommendations regarding a four camera, $500, NVR based setup. I will say you should still read through the WiKi because it will help you make the most informed decision and help avoid buying real junk like Reolink, Foscam and such. You could also contact Andy at Empire Tech and see what he can do for you. He is very responsive and has access to Dahua and Hikvision cameras and NVRs. His pricing is excellent, especially for IPCT members plus his service is superb.

As sam[lenhold said, a cheap camera will be totally useless looking at the night sky. That will take a camera with a 1/1.8" sensor which is in the $150-$200 range, or up, depending on the lens.
 

Holbs

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Out of curiosity... how does Dahua NVR's compare to a dedicated Blue Iris server computer? I have the Blue Iris computer. But I do come across folks IRL who ask how they can get the images I display from my cam's when they have Ring or such. I assume Dahua NVR and camera system would be easier to setup/config & cheaper? What of the quality?
 

Medium-Jim

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Thanks guys for being helpful and patient.
I will absolutely keep reading I just wanted to be honest about my wants/needs. I’ll contact Andy before Buying anything

part of the issue is I am not tech savvy. At all. which is why a “plug and play” seems like the best option for me.
i start reading some of this stuff and my eyes cross and I forget who I am for 10 minutes like eddy from Vegas vacation.
I could piece a system together over time and probably be much better off but I have zero confidence I could understand or actually run it.

as Far as what I’m looking to get out of my system...not much really. Just seeing who’s dog is pooping on my lawn or maybe a better view of my wife backing her car into another car on the street Then the ring doorbell showed me.
about the most exciting thing that’s happened was the USPS guy throwing our packages.
 

mat200

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Just over 2 years ago I got a Ring doorbell camera and never thought it was really great. Recently my lens started clouding up and long story short Ring stated it was “ Normal UV degradation of the lens” and I was just out of warranty period. They gladly offered me 30% off a new ring doorbell to which I stated they can kiss 100% of my rear end.
So I started looking for alternatives and realized I was using trash products and living in the dark when it came to CCTV/home security camera systems! I’ve found you can get a ridiculously better set up for not much more money. That being said I am quite new to this stuff and a lot of it is over my head. I’ve been reading a lot and THINK I’ve settled on a POE 4 camera system with 2TB hard drive. I’ve read camera comparisons from Reolink to Lenox etc and THOUGHT Reolink was the way to go but on my welcome messages recommendEd NOT using Reolink...
I'm gonna stick around a while, ask a bunch of dumb questions, and try and absorb information from people that know far more than I ever will if that’s ok?!
so hello from Southern Ohio!
Welcome @Medium-Jim

1) “ Normal UV degradation of the lens” - typical issue with dome cameras... sometimes you can find replacement domes.

2) Just covered some on Reolink...

Reolink: many members do not like reolink. Various reasons.. search the forum for threads on it.

3) most Lorex kits sold at Costco are Dahua OEM - we have various threads here on Lorex .. search the titles for Lorex

4) Amcrest is also a Dahua OEM

..

lots to learn, biggest questions to ask yourself is what you want to functionally do with the cameras...

recommend taking some time before jumping in on any deal you see...
 
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Thanks guys for being helpful and patient.
I will absolutely keep reading I just wanted to be honest about my wants/needs. I’ll contact Andy before Buying anything

part of the issue is I am not tech savvy. At all. which is why a “plug and play” seems like the best option for me.
i start reading some of this stuff and my eyes cross and I forget who I am for 10 minutes like eddy from Vegas vacation.
I could piece a system together over time and probably be much better off but I have zero confidence I could understand or actually run it.

as Far as what I’m looking to get out of my system...not much really. Just seeing who’s dog is pooping on my lawn or maybe a better view of my wife backing her car into another car on the street Then the ring doorbell showed me.
about the most exciting thing that’s happened was the USPS guy throwing our packages.
Welcome to the forums. I appreciate your sense of humor, you sound like a non tech person like my aunt and my sister each of whom i installed there systems for them. You must also consider that with any system you get, you will have to run the wires from the camera locations to the NVR or computer. So make sure you have someone that could do that for you as well. You would probably do better with the NVR and camera setup as they do not require as much patience as setting up a computer, if you are not computer literate. There will still be a learning curve with the NVR but you can do it. You said you only need 4 cameras well i thought the same thing 13 cameras ago, and i need (want) 3 more and will be adding them in the future. So when you begin to purchase make sure to get an NVR with more than 4 channels as you will be getting more cameras trust me. I studied the wiki and cliff notes and asked questions for 3 months before i purchased my first camera. Good luck
 

CCTVCam

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My advice if choosing a Lorex kit is take the time to identify the cameras behind the deals as even cameras from quality manufacturers such as Hikvision and Dahua can vary a lot in quality between the models, expecially when it comes to nightvision. Luckily, deals often get posted on here by members who will identiy the cameras being sold with the OEM's. I don't know if Andy sells DVR's but the safest way is to put together your own system from tried and tested cameras. Traps to avoid are more MP is not necessarily better (often worse after dark) and dome cameras and bullet cameras are better suited to indoor use with turrets being the format of choice. Alos if going the DVR route, don't try to mix cameras / DVR brands. It will only cause your problems. Keep everything the same brand. If your budget is constrained it's better to buy the better kit and buy say 3 cameras instead of 4, than to buy all 4 of lower quality. You can always add another camera or two if you find you need them at a later date, as and when budget allows (subject to their being available channels when using a DVR - make sure you have sufficient when choosing the DVR model).
 

Medium-Jim

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If my tech was as decent as my humor we’d be in pretty good shape. I’m blessed with an easy going nature and take most everything in stride but admittedly basically live in the year 2000 perpetually :p I’ve spend most my life outdoors and doing stuff involving nature. Unfortunately nature doesn’t have many routers growing on trees or IP cameras found by mining.
I’m not an idiot I’m just bad with computers.
I appreciate your responses

Side note:
For night sky viewing by 1 1/8 camera your saying a huge CMOS lens? Like Atleast 8mm? Or am I confused already
 
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samplenhold

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For night sky viewing by 1 1/8 camera your saying a huge CMOS lens? Like Atleast 8mm? Or am I confused already
Yes you are confused already.

You really need to read the Cliff Notes.

The sensor is 1/1.8" but that is not HUGE in the realm of cams. That is the current 'bigger' sensor in the prosumer grade cams. Two years ago it was the 1/2.8" sensor. Lens size, like 2.8mm, 6mm, or 8mm is the focal length of the lens it's self. That will give you a fixed angle of view. The smaller the number, the wider the view (just like in photography/DSLR cams), the larger the number, the narrower the view and the subject appears closer as in a telephoto lens.
 
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Think of the sensor as the retina of the camera, compared to human vision. The bigger retina gives more space for light gathering so a bigger retina can see better, especially in low light situations. The lens is directly comparable to the lens of a human eye and provides the overall view that reaches the sensor/retina. The higher the number, the narrower but more distant, the primary focal point. A higher number will also have a longer depth of field view, better focus over a longer range.
 

CCTVCam

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If my tech was as decent as my humor we’d be in pretty good shape. I’m blessed with an easy going nature and take most everything in stride but admittedly basically live in the year 2000 perpetually :p I’ve spend most my life outdoors and doing stuff involving nature. Unfortunately nature doesn’t have many routers growing on trees or IP cameras found by mining.
I’m not an idiot I’m just bad with computers.
I appreciate your responses

Side note:
For night sky viewing by 1 1/8 camera your saying a huge CMOS lens? Like Atleast 8mm? Or am I confused already

I think you confusing focal length with aperture (f stop). The aperture determines how much light the lens lets in. The focal length, how much zoom ie how wide the field of view is. If inexperienced, good advice is to get a varifocal cam. That way you can adjust the zoom to give you the perfect picture and then fix it at that. Buy a fixed focal length, and you're stuck with the field of view you've chosen even if it's too wide / narrow.
 

Jessie.slimer

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The beauty of blue iris or an nvr is that you can add cameras as your budget, experience improves. With a boxed kit from Costco, you get what they give you, and you pay for it all now.

I am not very computer savvy either, but I read a ton of threads and watched a lot of YouTube videos from users like HomeTech video when I got started, and asked a bunch of questions here. This forum is full of smart helpful people. You'd be surprised how quick you will get the hang of it.
 

Medium-Jim

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Think of the sensor as the retina of the camera, compared to human vision. The bigger retina gives more space for light gathering so a bigger retina can see better, especially in low light situations. The lens is directly comparable to the lens of a human eye and provides the overall view that reaches the sensor/retina. The higher the number, the narrower but more distant, the primary focal point. A higher number will also have a longer depth of field view, better focus over a longer range.
if it’s not too much trouble maybe give me an example or 2 of the type of camera needed to view the night sky and maybe pickup meteors or planes. That way I can compare them against normal daylight cams and make sure I understand 100%.

from reading and listening I’m guessing I need something similar to these specs?
  • CAMERA RESOLUTION : 2 MP - Image Sensor8 x 1/1.9" 2 MP CMOS sensors
  • 360° panoramic camera with eight 1/1.9" 2MP progressive scan CMOS sensors capture video in two 4096 x 1800 resolution feeds at 25 fps
  • PTZ camera with a 1/1.9" 2MP progressive scan CMOS sensor captures 1920 x 1080 resolution video at up to 60 fps
  • Intelligent Video System (IVS) with tripwire violations, intrusion detection, abandoned/missing object, auto tracking, and face detection
  • WEATHERPROOF IP67- and IK10-rated enclosure for outdoor applications.
thanks everybody for the helpfulness
 
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