The Typical picture of a Perp we capture with better cameras than the consumer grade camera images we tend to see on Nextdoor

wittaj

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A while back I started the thread for us to comment and point out the issues and problems with consumer grade cameras and the images that people have posted to the NextDoor type apps.

That thread has been a great resource to send the NOOB to in order to see what quality they don't get from those consumer grade cameras.

I thought it would be good to also have a thread to point to of the images of perps we have captured with our systems to show a compare/contrast and also be a great reference to the NOOB of the differences between the cameras.

While many of us have done great reviews and video links of reviews of cameras we have done, nothing beats real world catching a perp on cmaera.

I will post mine, and I know @samplenhold has a great example comparing his camera to his neighbor's Ring, and @Flintstone61 and others have some great examples as well that are buried in other camera and i hope they post them here. So let the posting begin so we have another one-shop resource to provide people coming here looking for cameras!

The thread on consumer based quality images:
 
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wittaj

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My neighbor was bragging to me how he only needed his four 2.8mm fixed lens 4k cams he bought at the big box store to see his entire property and the street and his whole backyard. His car was sitting in the driveway practically touching the garage door and his video quality was useless to ID the perp not even 10 feet away.

Meanwhile my 5231-Z12E 2MP varifocal optically zoomed in to the street at 80 feet provided the money shot to the police to get my neighbors all their stuff back
.

2am perp.png

Nobody else had video that could provide anything useful, other than what time this motion blur ghost was at their car. That neighbor with the 4k cameras started to replace their big box store cams with my 2MP models based on what he saw my do compared to his.

I also created this thread that shows the importance of focal length over MP:

 
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mattp

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I have one 5241 set up and I need to install a couple more (thanks @EMPIRETECANDY) . I know you've posted elsewhere the 5231 is better. Do you think if you'd have used a 5241 to get that video you'd have got the money shot? The reason I'm asking is that you can't buy the 5231 anymore.
Also, it looks like there was a lot of ambient light, otherwise the picture would've been in B&W. Can you share the shutter speed? The guy was obviously moving, but that's a good still image you were able to grab.
 

wittaj

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The 5241 is fine for regular tasks. Where I said the 5231 was better is in reference to using it for LPR. Many of us for LPR get a light trail like a comet off the head and tail lights. It doesn't affect the plate, but it isn't what we were used to with the 5231.

Personally I feel the infrared isn't as powerful in the 5241 as the 5231. I can get 200 feet away plates with the 5231 but the 5241 was struggling at 170 feet.

I don't have as much light as it looks. I have spent a ton of time tweaking the settings to get a color image and have to force the camera into color. Like literally if I took the gain up 1 more number, it goes to crap. I am running it right at the edge, but I also have other cams going in B/W in the event that camera struggles for a particular incident.
 

mattp

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Thanks for the summary. I'm sure others will find it useful, too. I'm not sure I'll be pushing my 5241's past 100 feet. So, I probably should be fine.
 
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wittaj

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Thanks for the summary. I'm sure others will find it useful, too. I'm not sure I'll be pushing my 5241's past 100 feet. So, I probably should be fine.
Yeah, under 100 feet for trying to catch people to IDENTIFY shouldn't be a problem. I have tried mine at 190 feet for people and it struggled at night at being able to get IDENTIFY captures.
 

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Yeah, under 100 feet for trying to catch people to IDENTIFY shouldn't be a problem. I have tried mine at 190 feet for people and it struggled at night at being able to get IDENTIFY captures.
Maybe you should talk to @EMPIRETECANDY about a refund...I mean a $250 camera should be able to identify people at 200 feet in any light conditions...What's that guy selling you?...

Kidding aside, if they'd make an affordable 2MP camera with a 1/1.8" sensor in it with the same zoom, I think we'd get even better results...But, I guess you're getting into Pro grade equipment at that point and spending thousands, instead of hundreds.
 

wittaj

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Maybe you should talk to @EMPIRETECANDY about a refund...I mean a $250 camera should be able to identify people at 200 feet in any light conditions...What's that guy selling you?...

Kidding aside, if they'd make an affordable 2MP camera with a 1/1.8" sensor in it with the same zoom, I think we'd get even better results...But, I guess you're getting into Pro grade equipment at that point and spending thousands, instead of hundreds.
LOL - it shows what we have been saying that the DORI numbers are ideal conditions and at night should cut at least in half or 75%. If the person isn't moving I can get IDENTIFY at 200 feet at night. And if someone has some light they might be able to at night.

There are a few models out that are 2MP on the 1/1.8" but not many people buy because they chase MP lol. I think there are a few reviews and images here from some of those cameras.
 

wittaj

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Here is another example from my Z12E and Z4E cams.

This perp was good so I didn't get a super clean image, but good enough for the police to ID him.

2am thief2.jpg 2 am thief.jpg

Meanwhile, this was the best image any of my neighbors could get:

1655783015998.png

But this also shows the importance of having at least one camera in color even if it produces a blurry image.

Based on the description from the B/W, they probably would have let this person in the color image go as the pants are black and the top is all black too. It must have some black material on it that made it really reflective with IR.

Most would not say this is the same person. Plus the B/W image doesn't even give much detail to the face.
 

wittaj

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Here is a thread by @Holbs that details his experience and camera captures of a tire slashing stalker that he had:

 
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ah, yes....this is a good forum posting showing the image / motion difference between $35 eBay cameras and $100+ Dahua/Hik/upper quality cameras.
I shall post various pictures here, over the weekend. Also important is even though having a quality camera, still have to configure above and beyond default settings.
 

wittaj

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Compliments of @jd415 we have a great comparison of a quality camera (unknown brand but one can tell from the picture quality) compared to the consumer grade camera for some catalytic converter thefts in his area.

Unfortunately, while this image is clear, it does show that the Field of View is too wide to be able to get a close enough shot to help IDENTIFY by eyes or some other feature not obscured by their masks.

1656805535900.png

But the image is good enough to be able to make out the getaway cars (but no plate with this camera)

1656805778454.png

Now compare it to the Ring

1656805891120.png

Fortunately, the white car is distinctive and is in both videos, leading to it being the same group, but it was clear they were organized and came in numbers and probably armed if approached.

Both examples show why we constantly tell people they need to get the correct focal length for the area they want to IDENTIFY.
 
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Here is prime example of installing a 2.8mm FOV camera. I initially just wanted to see what's out there when I bought the cameras, without any thought of facial ID. Also, all settings are default and the height of the camera is under the garage roof ease so....9'? Can barely notice tire slasher sweat shirt on the right side. This is a 50' long blacktop driveway. And no external light other than the year 2006'ish installed garage flood light.
6 2020-09-20 02.26.56.566 AM.jpg

I corrected this. Set the camera to 5' height, added small lumen but still lighting for carriage lights on each side of the garage, added additional cameras JUST for this driveway (left/right/center) incase a vehicle is blocking the image due to my....bachelor lifestyle of different visitors parking, change to zoom capable camera (varifocal), upgraded garage floodlight to cabillion lumens, added lamp post for additional lighting upon a face, and spent a couple hours fiddling with the camera image setting above and beyond default. Additional, I have Bosch PIR's covering the front as well (but that is excessive for most folks to go for):
Driveway Right x16 2022-07-03 09.59.10.436 AM.jpgDriveway Center x6 2022-07-03 09.59.30.586 AM.jpgDriveway Left x9 2022-07-03 09.59.41.987 AM.jpg
So... anytime someone purchases a camera, you have to ask yourself what you purchased camera for. I initially thought like a standard homeowner/renter and wanted to see 'something' in a video of something that happened last night instead of it being a mystery. I advanced my thinking. I now WANT facial ID or a good enough video/picture to identify the person (still can be done without facial ID but need good pictures) for the police to act upon. This is important, "for police to act upon". That is the major lesson I have learned with my security events. You have to do the research, search through these forum postings and understand visual imagery and video is a science + engineering. My camera clarity configuration will be different from your's due to the lighting, nearby objects, what I am trying to accomplish with the cameras, etc.
I could not afford all the cameras at once. I started off with 4. I bought additional when finances allowed it. I have the benefit of being a data cabling guy for daytime job so can run Cat6 cable anywhere I want, gladly to help any one who needs advice or suggestions.
Additional note: I still have to fine tune some cameras. They all work 'good' enough for time being. House projects (like solarizing the sideyard with white plastic, landscaping, retaining wall/fence project) have taken priority. But I will revisit fine tuning each camera again.
 

wittaj

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@Holbs - thanks for sharing your experiences!

His journey is like most of us when we started and almost every home owner LOL. And even a good camera being utilized the wrong way will result in poor performance.

Almost every big box store, consumer grade cameras and all-in-one-box kits come with either 2.8mm or 3.6mm cameras. I started with the four 2.8mm camera box kit system and I was like "I can place one on each corner of the house and see my whole property and the whole neighborhood." A newbie loves the wide angle "I can see the whole neighborhood" of the 2.8mm fixed wide angle lens. I LOVED IT WHEN I PUT IT UP. I could see everything that would be blocked looking out the windows.

It is easy to get lured in to thinking the wide angle "see the whole neighborhood" because you are watching it and you see a neighbor go by and you are like "Look at that I can tell that is Heather out walking." and "Yeah I can tell our neighbor 4 down just passed by". Or you watch back the video of you walking around and are like "yeah I can tell that is me".

Little do we realize how much WE can identify a known person just by hair style, clothing, walking pace, gait, etc.

Then one day the door checker comes by. Total stranger. Totally useless video other than what time the door checking happened.

Then you realize that this wide-angle see the whole neighborhood comes at a cost and that cost is not being able to IDENTIFY who did it. These 2.8mm wide angle cameras are great overview cameras or to IDENTIFY someone within 10 feet of the camera. At 40 feet out you need a different camera.

You need to get the correct camera for the area trying to be covered. A wide angle 2.8mm to IDENTIFY someone 40 feet away is the wrong camera regardless of how good the camera is. A 2.8mm camera to IDENTIFY someone within 10 feet is a good choice OR it is an overview camera to see something happened but not be able to identify who.

One camera cannot be the be all, see all. Each one is selected for covering a specific area. Most of us here have different brands and types, from fixed cams, to varifocals, to PTZs, each one selected for it's primary purpose and to utilize the strength of that particular camera.

So you will need to identify the distance the camera would be from the activities you want to IDENTIFY on and purchase the correct camera for that distance as an optical zoom.

If you want to see things far away, you need optical zoom, digital zoom only works in the movies and TV...And the optical zoom is done real time - for a varifocal it is a set it and forget it. You cannot go to recorded video and optically zoom in later, at that point it is digital zoom, and the sensors on these cameras are so small which is why digital zoom doesn't work very well after the fact.
 

wittaj

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Compliments of @IReallyLikePizza2, here are some various threads of action he has obtained that would not be possible with consumer grade cameras:



 
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