Trying to determine my path into cameras around my house

kolbasz

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I started a post on Reddit and in the end, I was sent here for more direct advice on my needs.

Below is my post from Reddit as I feel there is no reason to re-write it.

Been thinking recently about cameras around the house. Originally I was thinking nest or ring, but I don't want the added subscription model.

More recently I saw eufy, but don't know if it allows room for growth and expansion, or am I locked into a single camera?
I also thought I would be with unifi but it seems they are eliminating the on-premise nvr.

My neighbor has blink, but it doesn't appear to allow on-premise storage yet.

I ultimately want something with on-premise nvr options like shinobi. Perhaps even home assistant. I want to be notified of activity, etc and want a history when desired, without any subscriptions.
(after looking through the wiki a bit, there seems to be strong support for blue iris here)

My first thought was a doorbell camera as step 1. But more recently I was thinking about just a normal camera by the door since I have a functional wired doorbell and solutions like eufy replace it with a wireless chime.

In most locations, I can get Poe, but also need the option of battery if push comes to shove, but my goal is fully wired, even if it means upsetting the wife bashing holes in the wall.

I figure if I finally get the camera at the front door, this will more easily lead to the camera by the garage and then the back patio etc. My issue is I have absolutely no idea where the best place to start is, so I am looking for some assistance to help navigate through the weeds.
I have seen some posts about hikvision, but then I learned there is a lot of rebranding with them, so while good, maybe that is not the best place to start.

Another I have seen is amcrest from a guy I follow on twitter, but that is really where my knowledge sort of ends. I am a blank slate and want to do something, so just some guidance will go a long way on this subject.

Thanks!
 

samplenhold

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So you have looked through the WIKI. Make sure you read the Cliff Notes and checkout the post below.


Where to start. Once you have become familiar with the Cliff Notes and Newbi Guide subject matter, you need to make a plan. Start simple. The first question you would have to decide is what are your objectives for a cam system? After that you list requirements. You kind of have started that but need to get more detailed.

I would not start with a doorbell cam. Most are not very good and are problematic. I do hear that one of the members here is testing out a new one that may be acceptable. Hope to hear something soon.

Starting with a single cam by your front door is a good idea. Buy a single, varifocal cam that is a good quality. The cam of choice these days in the prosumer line is the Dahua IPC-HDW5442T-ZE. This cam is also known as IPC-T5442T-ZE. This is a varifocal 4MP cam on a 1/1.8" sensor that has great low light color performance. The lens is a 2.7-12mm varifocal which allows to go from wide angle to reasonable narrow view to bring the subject much closer. Use this cam to learn with. Set it up on a test rig as described in the Cliff Notes. Do not run cable or mount the cam until you test out the locations during the day and at night.

Please stay away from kits, Ring, Arlo, Nest, Reolink and all other stuff one finds at Costco.

You will have to decide if you want to go the route of a PC running Blue Iris or an NVR. They are both good choices. If you decide on the NVR route, it is wise to pick the brand of the NVR based on the brand of cams you will use. So if you use Dahua cams, get a Dahua NVR. Hik is a great set of cams also. Yes Hik makes cams for others, so does Dauha. But you are not buying those cams.

Do a search here on the word Review in the subject line. You will see lots of reviews, including for the cam I mentioned above.
 

kolbasz

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Awesome, thank you.

With a camera like that, where do you place it on an entry way like this? Walkway is to the left.
 

mat200

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Awesome, thank you.

With a camera like that, where do you place it on an entry way like this? Walkway is to the left.
Hi @kolbasz

In terms of which model, and where to place a camera - a lot depends on what you functionally want to do with the camera.

Do you want to ID cars in front of your house in the day? at night?
People walking up to your front door?
People walking up to your garage?

Pick up one of those varifocal cameras and a small PoE switch and play around with it a bit. Look for the test rig.. then you'll have a better idea of what you can do with a good camera.

Once you have that knowledge I would pick up a couple more cameras to give you better coverage. ( you'll get to decide if you need more affordable fixed lens cameras then.. )
 

samplenhold

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With a camera like that, where do you place it on an entry way like this? Walkway is to the left.
Do what @mat200 stated above.

Exact placement will depend on actual testing and ability to run the cable.

Personally, I believe that a front door deserves more than one cam. If you can get the cable there, two feet above the doorbell would be a good place to test. That would be about face height and looking towards the walkway.
 

kolbasz

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Hi @kolbasz

In terms of which model, and where to place a camera - a lot depends on what you functionally want to do with the camera.

Do you want to ID cars in front of your house in the day? at night?
People walking up to your front door?
People walking up to your garage?

Pick up one of those varifocal cameras and a small PoE switch and play around with it a bit. Look for the test rig.. then you'll have a better idea of what you can do with a good camera.

Once you have that knowledge I would pick up a couple more cameras to give you better coverage. ( you'll get to decide if you need more affordable fixed lens cameras then.. )
Good point, me standing and looking is different from the camera.

As for what I want, I don't totally know. I want to see who comes to the door as a start, from there I probably want to see things in the front yard, then driveway, then patio.

I don't think I can ever have full coverage of the front as the wiki says try yo stay under 8 feet. My eve I have access to is like 20 feet, so is that unfeasible then?

Do I need full coverage, I don't know. I'll probably want it in the future, when immediately I just want to start seeing the fro t door and walkway.
 

mat200

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Good point, me standing and looking is different from the camera.

As for what I want, I don't totally know. I want to see who comes to the door as a start, from there I probably want to see things in the front yard, then driveway, then patio.

I don't think I can ever have full coverage of the front as the wiki says try yo stay under 8 feet. My eve I have access to is like 20 feet, so is that unfeasible then?

Do I need full coverage, I don't know. I'll probably want it in the future, when immediately I just want to start seeing the fro t door and walkway.
Hi @kolbasz

You can make a sturdy test rig with a few 2x4 to test that high and see what you're getting.

Take the time to test things out, typically possible to find places to put cameras lower than 20 feet if you're willing to take the time to figure it out.
 

SouthernYankee

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:welcome:

Test do not guess
read study plan before spending money.... plan,plan,plan
===========================
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) Use Dahua starlight cameras or Hikvision darkfighter cameras if you need good low light cameras.
3) use a VPN to access home network (openVPN)
4) Do not use wifi cameras.
5) Do not use cloud storage
6) Do Not use uPNP, P2P, QR, do not open ports,
7) More megapixel is not necessarily better.
8) Avoid chinese hacked cameras (most ebay, amazon, aliexpress cameras(not all, but most))
9) Do not use reolink, ring, nest, Arlo cameras (they are junk), no cloud cameras
10) If possible use a turret camera , bullet collect spiders, dome collect dirt and reflect light (IR)
11) Use only solid copper, AWG 23 or 24 ethernet wire. , no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum)
12) use a test mount to verify the camera mount location. My test rig: rev.2
13) (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.
14) Use a router that has openVPN built in (Most ASUS, Some NetGear....)
15) camera placement use the calculator... IPVM Camera Calculator V3
16) POE list PoE Switch Suggestion List
17) Camera Sensor size, bigger is general better Sensor Size Chart
18) Camera lens size, a bigger number give more range but less field of view. Which Security Camera Lens Size Should I Buy?


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-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
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
 

samplenhold

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As for what I want, I don't totally know. I want to see who comes to the door as a start, from there I probably want to see things in the front yard, then driveway, then patio.

I don't think I can ever have full coverage of the front as the wiki says try yo stay under 8 feet. My eve I have access to is like 20 feet, so is that unfeasible then?
There is nothing wrong with having overview cams mounted high. The Idea of keeping cams lower than 8 feet is for face ID purposes. You put those in places that are choke points and areas where a person would go to do something, like your front door or driveway. Twenty feet is pretty high, but if that position is horizontally far enough and you have sufficient zoom, you might make that work.

Angle of attack.jpg

Do not try and install everything at once. Get your front door taken care of. Like I stated in post #2, get a single varifocal cam and test ideas. Are you able to get to the soffit on your front porch?
 

kolbasz

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There is nothing wrong with having overview cams mounted high. The Idea of keeping cams lower than 8 feet is for face ID purposes. You put those in places that are choke points and areas where a person would go to do something, like your front door or driveway. Twenty feet is pretty high, but if that position is horizontally far enough and you have sufficient zoom, you might make that work.

View attachment 67646

Do not try and install everything at once. Get your front door taken care of. Like I stated in post #2, get a single varifocal cam and test ideas. Are you able to get to the soffit on your front porch?
understood. Thinking about it, I would have 75% coverage with a camera at the door and one near the garage. However, if someone came from the left of the yard, I would have no coverage.

At the same time, I have nothing at the moment, so as you note, get the door covered and figure it out from there.

If I am using cat5e and I am to run it under/behind my vinyl siding, do I then need to use outdoor rated cat5e?
 

kolbasz

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If I did something like the dahua dual camera and moved it forward in my front step, what is the theoretical left to right coverage I could gain? I know some people use it for identification and then package monitoring, but If I was only after seeing who approached the house would this be a good idea? Or should I just take a step back, get the single varifocal (stop over thinking this), cover the door and part of the walkway and call it a day? Then, once I am happy and get the itch just add the extra cameras where I can get cat5e?
 

samplenhold

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If I am using cat5e and I am to run it under/behind my vinyl siding, do I then need to use outdoor rated cat5e?
If the cable is not exposed to the sun or rain, then no.

If I did something like the dahua dual camera and moved it forward in my front step, what is the theoretical left to right coverage I could gain?
Good question but it would be better to get a varifocal cam and use a test rig at that position to see exactly what you get.

I over think things a lot. But it is good to rethink plans often. You need a plan and it sounds like you are getting there. But the plan can be executed over time. It will evolve as you gain knowledge and experience. My plan has been evolving for two years. I am up to 18 cams with five more on the bench waiting for me to install cable. Don't be in a rush to do it all at once. Get that first varifocal cam and use it to test ideas BEFORE you mount it. You wont regret doing that, but you could regret buying a bunch and installing them without testing them out at the locations you are installing them.

The five waiting for me to install, I have used a test rig to decide EXACTLY where to place them. But as issues have happened in my neighborhood, that has caused me to rethink the plan. Those five were originally four. I added a fifth due to an incident and may add one more in a different area.
 

kolbasz

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So you have looked through the WIKI. Make sure you read the Cliff Notes and checkout the post below.


Where to start. Once you have become familiar with the Cliff Notes and Newbi Guide subject matter, you need to make a plan. Start simple. The first question you would have to decide is what are your objectives for a cam system? After that you list requirements. You kind of have started that but need to get more detailed.

I would not start with a doorbell cam. Most are not very good and are problematic. I do hear that one of the members here is testing out a new one that may be acceptable. Hope to hear something soon.

Starting with a single cam by your front door is a good idea. Buy a single, varifocal cam that is a good quality. The cam of choice these days in the prosumer line is the Dahua IPC-HDW5442T-ZE. This cam is also known as IPC-T5442T-ZE. This is a varifocal 4MP cam on a 1/1.8" sensor that has great low light color performance. The lens is a 2.7-12mm varifocal which allows to go from wide angle to reasonable narrow view to bring the subject much closer. Use this cam to learn with. Set it up on a test rig as described in the Cliff Notes. Do not run cable or mount the cam until you test out the locations during the day and at night.

Please stay away from kits, Ring, Arlo, Nest, Reolink and all other stuff one finds at Costco.

You will have to decide if you want to go the route of a PC running Blue Iris or an NVR. They are both good choices. If you decide on the NVR route, it is wise to pick the brand of the NVR based on the brand of cams you will use. So if you use Dahua cams, get a Dahua NVR. Hik is a great set of cams also. Yes Hik makes cams for others, so does Dauha. But you are not buying those cams.

Do a search here on the word Review in the subject line. You will see lots of reviews, including for the cam I mentioned above.
i feel dense at times.

I am searching for this camera, IPC-T5442T-ZE

Is the only way to purchase it, is via @EMPIRETECANDY or aliexpress? I see it on aliexpress, but was hoping there were more vendors to choose from. For instance, I do not see it in the ipct store either, unless I am doing it wrong
 

kolbasz

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If the cable is not exposed to the sun or rain, then no.


Good question but it would be better to get a varifocal cam and use a test rig at that position to see exactly what you get.

I over think things a lot. But it is good to rethink plans often. You need a plan and it sounds like you are getting there. But the plan can be executed over time. It will evolve as you gain knowledge and experience. My plan has been evolving for two years. I am up to 18 cams with five more on the bench waiting for me to install cable. Don't be in a rush to do it all at once. Get that first varifocal cam and use it to test ideas BEFORE you mount it. You wont regret doing that, but you could regret buying a bunch and installing them without testing them out at the locations you are installing them.

The five waiting for me to install, I have used a test rig to decide EXACTLY where to place them. But as issues have happened in my neighborhood, that has caused me to rethink the plan. Those five were originally four. I added a fifth due to an incident and may add one more in a different area.
got it. I am convinced, going to get a single camera (if I can figure out how to buy it) and test. then, install, use and eventually expand.
 

looney2ns

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i feel dense at times.

I am searching for this camera, IPC-T5442T-ZE

Is the only way to purchase it, is via @EMPIRETECANDY or aliexpress? I see it on aliexpress, but was hoping there were more vendors to choose from. For instance, I do not see it in the ipct store either, unless I am doing it wrong
You can always email andy directly. It's a brand spanking new cam, so supplies may be limited still.
See this:
Review-OEM Loryta IPC-T5442T-ZE Varifocal 4mp camera (Dahua) | IP Cam Talk
 

samplenhold

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Is the only way to purchase it, is via @EMPIRETECANDY or aliexpress? I see it on aliexpress, but was hoping there were more vendors to choose from. For instance, I do not see it in the ipct store either, unless I am doing it wrong
The IPC-T5442T-ZE is the same as the IPC-HDW5442T-ZE. The T5442 is the Loryta model number (which is @EMPIRETECANDY 's branding for use in Amazon) but is exactly the same as the HDW5442 model that is labeled as Dahua brand. See Andy's explanation in the below link. Also, for links to his Amazon and AliExpress storefronts, see the links in his signature in that thread.


Now I have bought all of my cams directly from Andy by sending him an email and paying through PayPal. I know it seems a little weird as a new person here, but I have never had an issue and every time I have had the cams arrive in a week or less, coming all the way from Hong Kong. The last cam I bought was about 3 weeks ago and it arrived in less than 48 hours from the time I sent the first email.

If you send him an email (kingsecurity2014@163.com) and tell him you are an Ipcamtalk member, you will get the best price possible. I prefer to buy this way so that I do not deplete his Amazon store.
 

kolbasz

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The IPC-T5442T-ZE is the same as the IPC-HDW5442T-ZE. The T5442 is the Loryta model number (which is @EMPIRETECANDY 's branding for use in Amazon) but is exactly the same as the HDW5442 model that is labeled as Dahua brand. See Andy's explanation in the below link. Also, for links to his Amazon and AliExpress storefronts, see the links in his signature in that thread.


Now I have bought all of my cams directly from Andy by sending him an email and paying through PayPal. I know it seems a little weird as a new person here, but I have never had an issue and every time I have had the cams arrive in a week or less, coming all the way from Hong Kong. The last cam I bought was about 3 weeks ago and it arrived in less than 48 hours from the time I sent the first email.

If you send him an email (kingsecurity2014@163.com) and tell him you are an Ipcamtalk member, you will get the best price possible. I prefer to buy this way so that I do not deplete his Amazon store.
No turning back now. First camera ordered. Now it is time to determine how I'm getting a wire to the front door
 

kolbasz

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Dumb question, reading about some of the security concerns with hikvision and other cameras. Is that still a concern with the camera I ordered? Or is it as simple as a firmware patch?
 
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