Opinions on Ubiquiti (Unifi) Cameras?

Discussion in 'IP Cameras' started by nbstl68, Jul 26, 2016.

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  1. nbstl68

    nbstl68 Getting the hang of it

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    Hi,
    Does anyone have any personal experience with or opinion on the cameras from the Ubiquity line? ( I'm just now seeing these..so guessing not so popular at least not on this forum maybe?)

    I know they make good wireless connection products for long range but was not aware they had a camera line.

    I like the look and what appears to be a small form factor for ceiling\wall use, especially if I put them inside, I'd prefer a cleaner smaller profile like this...but looking for any info on hardware, firmware, video, build quality first.
    I have read all the specs but pref if someone has some real world use opinions.


    Specifically:


    Unifi ceiling mount dome. (Model: UVC‑Dome)
    https://www.ubnt.com/unifi-video/unifi-video-camera-dome/


    Data Sheet: https://dl.ubnt.com/datasheets/unifi/UniFI_Video_DS.pdf


    or


    UniFi G3 dome. (Model: UVC‑G3‑DOME)
    https://www.ubnt.com/unifi-video/unifi-video-camera-g3-dome/


    Data sheet: https://dl.ubnt.com/datasheets/unifi/UniFi_Video_G3_DS.pdf




    I assume these would work ok with BI like most other cams?
     
  2. Del Boy

    Del Boy Getting comfortable

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    It appears to be the same sensor as the Hikvision and Dahua 4MP cameras so I expect the image quality would be very similar.

    They are ONVIF so will work with BI.

    Can't help with hands-on experience as have never seen one before.
     
  3. nayr

    nayr Known around here

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    Avoid at all costs, they are horribly pripotary, and expensive for what they are.. I am a big fan of Ubiquiti and especially Unifi, but I'd never pay for one of there cameras.. 720p? please, nobody should be buying anything less than 1080p now days.
     
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  4. Del Boy

    Del Boy Getting comfortable

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    Agree with the 720p thing except that the 2nd camera spec sheet is 4MP. I made that mistake checking at first.
     
  5. nayr

    nayr Known around here

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    it dont matter if it has a 4MP sensor in it, the spec sheet also says the max resolution is 1080p.. so you get all the shitty low light performance of 4MP and the poor resolution of 2MP, instead of using a 2MP sensor that has better low light capabilities.

    I also dont see any claims to ONVIF compatibility, where did you see that?
     
  6. nbstl68

    nbstl68 Getting the hang of it

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    4MP sensor but only allowed 1080 res?..that's odd.
     
  7. Redemption

    Redemption Young grasshopper

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    I seen lots of complaints on the 720's. But have seen no complaints from the people owning the new G3's, however while I do not know much about specs. I do know this about unifi, go to their forum and share a problem with a camera and they address it. I do not work for them by the way. I have never owned any of their cameras and came here to get opinion's as well. Be nice to hear from an expert that has actually used one of the G3's. Maybe some expert from here can contact them and get a demo for review?

    Maybe the camera's are too new to judge how good or bad they are? Never the less, it is good to see people comparing specs.
     
  8. nayr

    nayr Known around here

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    last time I looked into Unifi cameras, they only worked with UniFi NVR's and other cameras did not work with there NVR.. basically vendor lock in to a very limited choice of devices, mostly designed for indoor and office use..

    since they ignore all industry standards and went there own way, I cant really see any point in using UniFi cameras unless you've already invested very heavily in the entire UniFi product line (Software Defined Networking, Wifi, VoIP, IPCameras) and just want to keep everything on the same system.

    The'd give me units for free to test out if I simply asked em, they have before.. but about 10mins of research into UniFi cameras was more than enough to make me walk away and never look back.
     
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  9. Redemption

    Redemption Young grasshopper

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    I just looked into their forum and saw that someone recently put in a request to have [FONT=Open Sans, sans-serif]ONVIF implemented. So they must still not have it. I was under the impression that the cameras where RTSP compliant but they may not be either. Now that I have been learning about IP cameras, I must admit that for that reason alone I could not purchase the Unifi cameras. I do own their switch and their router, but neither is the Unifi version. The only thing Unifi in my case is the access points. But that is not enough to compel me to purchase the cameras, if I am going to be locked to their NVR or strictly their proprietary software.I hate proprietary stuff, that is why do not own any apple products :)[/FONT]
     
  10. Redemption

    Redemption Young grasshopper

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    Editing my post, RTSP seems to be available from the cameras.

    NAYR,


    Thank you for helping me make up my mind. Unifi cameras are not for me. Now back to the drawing board, searching for a perfect ip camera lol
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2016
  11. alastairstevenson

    alastairstevenson Known around here

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  12. Owen

    Owen n3wb

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    (Bringing up 6mo old stuff) RTSP is available (G3-Dome) but has to be turned on in the camera configuration on a per feed basis. i.e. 1080p feed, 720p feed, 360p feed. I'll probably end up adding this one to my Blue Iris since the Ubnt NVR can't add other IP cameras.
     
  13. nbstl68

    nbstl68 Getting the hang of it

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    @Owen Did you end up installing a G3-Dome?
    If so, let us know your thoughts.
     
  14. mcdivan96

    mcdivan96 Young grasshopper

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    I have installed over 100 of the cameras so far, big fan, they do what I need them to do, and great software and smartphone app.
    My installs are typically farms, dirty, wet and high up on grain legs. Very few problems and the software if really coming along with updates and getting very good. The stuff just works for me. the resolution is good, ovb there is better but I have had happy customers since I started with them...back in the airview days. they give to software free and the hardware at dirt cheap so I have no complaints on them locking their own cameras into their software... after all they have to make money somhow.. they have a new larger NVR server in the beta store and I've heard great things from testers bout it.. its UVF and Unifi all in one server.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  15. UBNT-TomS

    UBNT-TomS n3wb

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    To clarify, these are 1080p and they will stream RTSP if you want. The 720p cameras were discontinued long ago. Our camera line will continue to grow in the near future.

    I was an IPCamTalk visitor long before I joined Ubiquiti. Much of what I've learned on these forums will continue to feed back in to our roadmap and development processes. I still buy all of the flavor-of-the-month cameras that nayr and others review here so I can stay on top of the latest and greatest.

    We're positioning our camera product line with an eye toward the future. It's fun to play with the latest cheap camera models found on Aliexpress, but eventually the security vulnerabilities, firmware language quirks, questionable browser plug-ins, and lack of support take a toll on all but the most adventurous camera users. Our goal is to provide a secure, supported, warrantied, plug-and-play solution that meets most users' needs.

    I'll check in on this thread from time to time to answer any questions.
     
  16. mr jones

    mr jones n3wb

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    I'm looking at the UniFi® Video Camera G3. It's currently just over 135 USD on Amazon. Anyone have any experience with this camera?
     
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  17. mcdivan96

    mcdivan96 Young grasshopper

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    Yes I have installed many of them
     
  18. Ford

    Ford Young grasshopper

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    Run, run away from ubnt's cams and nvr's. I gave the system 18 months to prove itself in the lab, and the constant crashes, missing features that were coming "real soon now" and dubious roadmap made me give up and move on.

    I gave up on them long before they boughed to the pressure to add RTSP to their cams but I doubt things have substantially changed.

    I still feel guilty when I think about how I sold the lab system on eBay, I should have just thrown the gear away instead of paying my misery forward...

    Blue Iris makes it look easy. ubnt makes it look impossible.
     
  19. UBNT-TomS

    UBNT-TomS n3wb

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    I'm all for honest feedback, but that's a bit hyperbolic given the multiple positive reviews above. We did indeed have some growing pains early on, but the changes you mentioned happening after you gave up on the system were made long before I joined Ubiquiti.

    I'm happy to help anyone who might have issues, and I value the feedback too.
     
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  20. boma23

    boma23 n3wb

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    I have a high end home owner I was just recommending UNiFi to as a wireless "mesh" solution (I understand it's technically not a true mesh), and was suggesting the cams as well, subject to some research. This and other threads of proprietoriness have put me off, or at least left me needing some questions answered:

    This customer has an existing Blue Iris & Foscam installation, but several cams have died. He has just purchased a Synology NAS (decent spec 2 bay model) for all purpose use including CCTV, and we were looking to move to a Ubiquiti UNiFi solution for the WiFi and their cameras also, by moving the either Blue Iris solution onto the NAS, or using the Synology NVR solution, which I like. UNiFi isn't an issue, as can be managed by the cloud, but the cams are, so may stop us buying Ubiquiti cams and switches. In turn this means there's not point in using Ubuiquit UNiFi and just using Ruckus Unleashed instead as otherwise we have to invest in an entirely new

    1. Can the Ubiquiti Cams be controlled by the Synology NAS NVR? (which I had already recommend based on it being ONVIF compliant for every other decent current cam out there). This post suggests not:
    Unifi UVC-G3 and synology surveillance Station - Ubiquiti Networks Community
    Why no "ONVIF" .org ? - Ubiquiti Networks Community
    I'm not clear if the above threads mean i am tied to only using Ubuity's NVR software on the Synology NAS, or that there isnt any NVR solution that will work with them? Unless the Ubiquiti NVR solution supports his existing Foscam Cameras (or Axis, or any other), then the non compatibility menas we either have to junk his remaining working Foscams, and buy all new Ubiquit cams, also forsaking the ability to buy any other brand of ONVIF cam in the future? Insane!

    2. Can the Ubiquit cams be controlled by his existing Blue Iris NVR software. Then we can at least try a couple and see how we go? Cams he was considering are these UVC G3:
    Amazon.com : Ubiquiti UVC-G3 UniFi Video Camera : Camera & Photo

    Thanks for any help/clarification - UBNT-TomS your opinion in particualr would be good to hear.

    Dom
     
  21. UBNT-TomS

    UBNT-TomS n3wb

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    The Ubiquiti cameras don't support ONVIF, but we do have RTSP streaming. Many of our users use RTSP streaming from G3 cameras with 3rd-party software, including Blue Iris. The key is to switch the camera to "Standalone" mode instead of "UniFi Video" mode.

    The Synology station also supports RTSP cameras. In fact, our last-generation cameras are in their supported list already and the current cameras should be no different. I sent Synology a message to see if we can get the new cameras on their supported list as well.
     
  22. boma23

    boma23 n3wb

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    Thank you Tom, that is really useful info. So assuming we don't need any PTZ or Zoom controls, I can assume adding last generation Ubiquit cams will be no hassle to add streams from. I'm thinking we only need provide IP and viewing credentials for the cams to be entered into the NVR and away we go. (Am i missing any nasty suprise e.g. the Ubuiti cams cannot be setup manually in standalone mode?) .

    I'm assuming that motion detection, dead areas or anything like that will also have to be done by the NVR itself, or directly on cam (no control of the cam from the NVR).

    So the simplest setup for compatability would be to leave all Ubiquiti cams recording and streaming permanently, and set event monitoring and alarms from the NVR. Which sounds like the bulk of most small CCTV system setup TBH...

    It also would be great to hear from anyone directly that has actually setup a recent ubiquit cam on a Synology backend, using either Blue Iris or Synology Surveillance Station 8.
     
  23. Ford

    Ford Young grasshopper

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    hey boma23,

    I know Tom is trying to push his company's products, but....

    No one ever got fired for spec'ing out dahua or Hikvision, I can't say the same for ubnt's NVR/IPcam solutions.

    Respectfully, you can try to veer from the tried and true best practices on a surveillance system, but if you are charging for your time and skills, you may find you have painted yourself into a corner that is expensive to get out of.

    ubnt makes some great routers and access points but there are better (and cheaper) enterprise-grade solutions for IP surveillance out there.

    Not to mention the width of products available from dahua and Hikvision is huge in comparison.
     
  24. mcdivan96

    mcdivan96 Young grasshopper

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    I an currently in the middle of trying out dahua cams as I have been a UBNT guy from the start of my company-About 5 years old. While I will agrwe on the number of cameras that dahua and others have..like seriously wow. Love me some fisheeye and ptz... but when it comes to interface software UBNT wins for me hands down. Now I understand that yours plan for using other software and tht is an area that I have not ventured out to yet. But as basic cams.. they just work I've got a lot of cams out on farms, and unless it's lighting. I hardly have problems. They just work.
     
  25. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    This is why the cameras dont sell in volume...most users need onvif support...providing onvif support would also help assure users that a firmware update wont remove rtsp support at some point..
    Here is the recipe for a camera that will sell like crazy.
    Turret design, sd card, good low light capability like dahua starlights, build in mic, mic input, audio out. $250 price tag.
    Charge another 100-150 for varifocal and/or built in speaker. You will not be able to keep them on the shelf.
    EDIT: forgot to mention alarm in/out...
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
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  26. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat n3wb

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    Being in IT for over 20 years, I've done quite a few camera brands in recent years. Although we are primarily IT consulting/support/MSP for SMBs (small to medium business)...we frequently work with security/alarm companies with integrating their camera systems into our clients networks, I work with a couple of security companies helping them integrate their systems into their clients networks, and our wiring guy has a side business installing cameras as he does alarms also. And..a few years ago we started doing camera installs ourselves.

    So, I've worked with/installed/support a LOT of different brands of cameras, most frequently Hikvision and Honeywell, as well as other brands, even residential stuff. On top of that I've assisted a local police department in setting up a new pilot system of ultra high end military grade cameras across down, so I've seen the best of the best of the best...those things can lock onto the license plate of a car as it drives away...a half mile down the road, and you can zoom in and tell if the screws holding the license plate on are philips or flathead or hex bolts!

    For the past, almost 10 years now, we've used Ubiquiti networking products more and more....starting with indoor wireless, and outdoor wireless, and I even did a 150 meg shot 6 miles across salt water ocean to an island using their big airFiber radios. We love their network equipment..and use a lot of it now, routers, switches, wireless, etc.

    I know the first generation Ubiquiti cameras were not very good, I started getting interested with their 2nd gen cameras...as those got me to play with their NVR software, Unifi Video. I did a few of those installs, not bad for the price. The cameras were "OK"...but I noticed that their NVR software, and their smart phone software, was EXCELLENT. And then Ubiquiti released their Gen3 cameras....and they are quite honestly good cameras. For the price, I'd say quite comparable to equally priced Hikvision models.

    They are not heavy duty outdoor grade cameras, their domes are indoors, their bullet cam is rated outdoor, and I have a few outdoor, with the additional IR lense option to beef up night power.

    So the cameras are pretty good, especially considering price. Color quality and sharpness are great. Fluid motion is "decent". But Ubiquitis video software is EXCELLENT..the web browser interface does not require any plug ins. You don't even need to open/forward ports on the firewall, you can bind it to a free online account/portal at video.ubnt.com and view it from there. So that keeps your network setup simple and secure, no exposed ports in the firewall. And you can view multiple sites from that same portal. And the smart phone app...heck...that ROCKS!

    The Unifi Video NVR software is FREE, you can install it on any standard PC...I have our office running on a little mini small form factor Dell, I installed Ubuntu on it. You can install on Windows if you want. You don't need to buy their NVR hardware product, but for those that don't want to build their own, that's what it's there for.

    As for compatibility with other products...I know some people need that. I don't like mixing...I prefer to stay within the same manufacturers technology stack, leads to the best end user experience.

    Decent cameras for the price.
    Absolutely top notch viewing software for computer and phone.
    And you can keep your network secured...no need to expose ports on the firewall.
     
  27. wcleme11

    wcleme11 Young grasshopper

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    I installed 6 UVC-G3's at my home for about 3 weeks before returning them and going with Dahua starlights and BI. I really wanted to love the UVC-G3 because I really liked the NVR software and the phone app. Very low CPU utilization and easy to use. Unfortunately the software is pretty buggy and lacking basic features. The NVR software would randomly start recording late on motion detection, requiring a restart to fix. When I started looking into the issue the bug was supposedly fixed in an earlier code release. My main annoyance though was the lack of push notification on Android. I read posts from over a year ago on UBNT's stating that push notification was "coming soon". Considering I run all android phones/tablets this was a deal breaker. Can't believe they didn't have such a basic feature rolled out yet. They even have it for IOS but not for Android.

    Video quality of the UVC-G3's was pretty good overall. Although low light performance was nowhere near the new Dahua starlights. Hopefully they get the bugs ironed out on the software side and add some additional camera options. Maybe I'll take another look at them then.
     
  28. UBNT-TomS

    UBNT-TomS n3wb

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    Thanks for the feedback, all. I'll continue to monitor this thread.

    NVR recording start/stop drift was fixed long ago. Android push notification rollout started earlier today. All Android users should have access to the feature by the end of the week.
     
  29. wcleme11

    wcleme11 Young grasshopper

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    Sadly, I experienced the NVR recording bug with latest code as of April. It only happened twice and after restarting the Unifi Video service it was resolved. Too bad the Android update didn't come sooner or I might still have my UVC-G3's. I even posted a question on the forums asking how close the push notification update was and got no response so I assumed it wasn't coming anytime soon.
     
  30. Ford

    Ford Young grasshopper

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    wcleme11, this is typical of my experience of promises of NVR software upgrades "real soon now" to address multiple bugs that do not actually fix the bugs. I was a beta tester, then an alpha, all in attempt to be able to have enough confidence to deploy a couple of unifi video systems that I had signed but delayed because of concerns ubnt was not up to the job.

    I decided it was not worth the hassle or the risk, especially when you consider how awesome and cheap Blue Iris is!

    Note that the ubnt Gen1 cameras are EOL and the current versions of the NVR software does not support them, the UVC-micro is discontinued (the gen3 model is promised to ship "real soon now"), rstp support by the cameras was not available for years, and that their entire line of camera models is two.

    unifi video is a mess.
     
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