Review-OEM 4mp AI Cam IPC-T5442TM-AS Starlight+

Arjun

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That's going to take a while, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the current 2mp VF. :D
That’s great to her that the Smart IR has been fixed. Now we just need a VF of this camera.


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CCTVCam

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Update:
After a new firmware update, the IR issue is solved.
Firmware has yet to be officially released.
The AI and IVS features are now working properly again as well on this cam.

Looney are you feeling well? You seem to have lost all your colour!

On a serious note, IR is now great.
 

aristobrat

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You guys really think this camera not having VF is a deal breaker?
Here are the lens settings from my five 5X31 varifocal turrets that I have perfectly zoomed to cover the areas they're recording:
#1: 9 mm
#2: 6.6 mm
#3: 4.8 mm
#4: 5.1 mm
#5: 2.7 mm

If there weren't vari-focals available and I had to stick with the three fixed-lens options (2.7mm, 3.6mm, 6mm), here's what I'd end up with:
#1: 6mm
#2: 6mm
#3: 3.6mm
#4: 3.6mm
#5: 2.7mm

Replacing #5 for a fixed-lens would have no impact.
#2 would be pretty close.
But IMO #1, #3 and #4 would have a noticeable impact (and not in a good way).

As for being a deal breaker, everyone's different. Knowing me, if the 5231 varifocal turret wasn't available when I was building my system, with as eager as I was to get going, I probably would have gotten the non-varifocal model. But now that I've had varifocals and see how having the perfect zoom can extend the distance of how far out these cameras can ID folks, I'm fine not upgrading to these new 4MP models until a varifocal turret comes out.
 

Arjun

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I think my signature says a lot, lol
A Camera with Varifocal Lens Goes A Long Way...;)

A vari-focal allows me to optimize and choose mounting locations wisely
 

Arjun

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Probably goes either way depending on type of application and whether or not it is being used correctly. Suppose you have a long driveway and you don't want cameras sticking out on the front of a property, you can mount the camera on a pole (or similar appartus) and have it zoomed all the way up to the front for that discrete appearance

Or maybe it allows you to choose mounting locations poorly...?

But seriously yeah I'm a big fan of varifocal.
 

looney2ns

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Here are the lens settings from my five 5X31 varifocal turrets that I have perfectly zoomed to cover the areas they're recording:
#1: 9 mm
#2: 6.6 mm
#3: 4.8 mm
#4: 5.1 mm
#5: 2.7 mm

If there weren't vari-focals available and I had to stick with the three fixed-lens options (2.7mm, 3.6mm, 6mm), here's what I'd end up with:
#1: 6mm
#2: 6mm
#3: 3.6mm
#4: 3.6mm
#5: 2.7mm

Replacing #5 for a fixed-lens would have no impact.
#2 would be pretty close.
But IMO #1, #3 and #4 would have a noticeable impact (and not in a good way).

As for being a deal breaker, everyone's different. Knowing me, if the 5231 varifocal turret wasn't available when I was building my system, with as eager as I was to get going, I probably would have gotten the non-varifocal model. But now that I've had varifocals and see how having the perfect zoom can extend the distance of how far out these cameras can ID folks, I'm fine not upgrading to these new 4MP models until a varifocal turret comes out.
What @aristobrat said.
 

Purduephotog

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bigredfish

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I’m also a fan of VF and recall saying I’d never buy a fixed lens again.....but something that seems to hold true as to low light, the Fixed version seems to have a smidge brighter image than the VF of most series. I know I tested here the 5442 VF vs the 5442 3.6 fixed and there was a clear difference. I’ve seen same with the 5231 series but not as pronounced.

On the other hand the VF seems to give better depth of field as @aristobrat mentioned.

I’m sure there’s some technical logic for this but I’m not smart enough to know what that is.
 

immageek

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Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I can’t get the cams built in IVR to work. I have it on and then set a trip wire, but nothing happens. I uploaded the new firmware right out of the box. I can get BI to send me motion alerts but the cam doesn’t seem to do anything. Thought?


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J Sigmo

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I’m also a fan of VF and recall saying I’d never buy a fixed lens again.....but something that seems to hold true as to low light, the Fixed version seems to have a smidge brighter image than the VF of most series. I know I tested here the 5442 VF vs the 5442 3.6 fixed and there was a clear difference. I’ve seen same with the 5231 series but not as pronounced.

On the other hand the VF seems to give better depth of field as @aristobrat mentioned.

I’m sure there’s some technical logic for this but I’m not smart enough to know what that is.
Generally, zoom lenses have smaller max apertures than so-called "prime" lenses. So it seems likely that the fixed focal length "prime" lenses have larger apertures than the varifocal (zoom) lenses.

Larger apertures let more light in, so they should be better for low light use.

But another characteristic dependent on aperture is depth of field. The smaller the aperture, the deeper the depth of field.

So while we like having a large aperture to get more light onto the sensor, we do get shallower depth of field along with that.

In photography, the maxim is: "There is no free lunch." And by this, we mean that as you juggle various settings, you must always accept the tradeoffs those settings bring.

Interestingly, there is a useful aspect of shallow depth of field. For portraiture, as an example, we often want to isolate the subject's face from the background so the background does not distract, or draw the viewer's eye. So you will often see portraits shot at very large apertures to blur the foreground and background to make a more pleasing image.

This can be used for any photo or video where you want to isolate a main subject. It's often used in cinematography to move the audience's view from one subject to another by adjusting the focus first on one subject, and then onto another so the viewer's attention is drawn to where the director and cinematographer want it to be.

And there's another factor that enters into the equation for depth of field. And that is sensor size.

The smaller the sensor, the greater the depth of field for any given f/number. So photographers who want to achieve shallow depth of field often use the largest sensors they can.

And to achieve small f/number (which is a large aperture) for a large sensor, the lens must be physically larger. So you start to get into large cameras with very large lenses.

Of course for our security cameras, we want deep depth of field. So small apertures give us that, but at the expense of less light striking our sensor.

And as we try to get better low-light performance, we have to use larger sensors. But those larger sensors require larger lenses to get the same f/number as a smaller sensor needs. So everything gets bigger and more expensive. And then, when we have our low-light dream camera and lens, guess what?

The large sensor and large aperture (small f/number) means that we have shallow depth of field!

There's no free lunch! ;)
 

looney2ns

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Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I can’t get the cams built in IVR to work. I have it on and then set a trip wire, but nothing happens. I uploaded the new firmware right out of the box. I can get BI to send me motion alerts but the cam doesn’t seem to do anything. Thought?


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Have you reset thecam to defaults after the firmware upload?
 

immageek

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Have you reset thecam to defaults after the firmware upload?
That I did. I will try it again tonight. The other thing I noticed is that the image/recording has motion blurring issues with left at the default 4MP res during the day. At night it seems fine. it's set to 15FPS, 4096 CBR bitrate.
 

immageek

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Have you reset thecam to defaults after the firmware upload?
Ok, so I went and did the Default option in the cam and the video blurring seems to be gone, at dusk there was some, but that might be because it's at that edge where the cam just doesn't have enough light and that does make sense.

But it didn't change anything from the IVR standpoint, it still doesn't do anything for me. I assume if you select the email option and set everything, it should email you when something is triggered right? I mean I can get BI to do it, if the cam isn't able to, ok. Maybe I don't understand the IVR part much. And under Events, Smart Plan it is set to IVR and saved.
 
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