IP Cam Talk

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What camera for front door?

Hi all...

I am the process of building a carriage house as temporary living while we decide on a plan for our permanent residence. I have purchased several Duhua cameras and a NVR from Andy and thought I had run enough cat6 for good coverage of the property, but I decided that I need a camera at the access door. As you can see from the pic, there is no cover at the door, so it will be fully exposed to the elements. I have decided to place a camera at ~eye level by the door (where marked in the pic) so it would be easy to identify visiters. The IPC-HDW5231R-ZE cameras that I have I feel are too big to put in this location,so I am looking for suggestions for a smaller camera that will produce quality video. I would prefer a POE IP camera that will work with the Duhua system that I have.

I would be grateful for any suggestions.



IPCT Contributor
This one is popular for front doors/porches:
Front door ID camera IPC-HDBW4231F?

Also I think the 1831C-PIR is interesting. The PIR sensor can reduce false motion events a lot, it has optional alerts (bright led light and a speaker that can sound files), and it allows decent 2-way conversations via the Dahua smartphone app. The style may not be to everyone’s liking though. It’s also not a Starlight model but my experience is that when used as a door camera the built-in IR is bright enough to make things work.
Review-Dahua IPC-HFW1831C-PIR 4k Mini Bullet


IPCT Contributor
Really nice view. Love the location.

Depending on the neighbor hood, (which looks really good) I would mount a starlight camera on the far left (assume garage door), no higher than 8 ft.


Known around here
Really nice view. Love the location.

Depending on the neighbor hood, (which looks really good) I would mount a starlight camera on the far left (assume garage door), no higher than 8 ft.
I hope the view is photoshopped in :p Otherwise the view from this lot is priceless!!! Great find!

<on-topic>: what kind of type of camera did you have in mind? Do you want a "seperate" camera from a (potential) doorbell? Do you want a cam with audio? If the HDW5231 is "too large" for you, if I remember correctly, the HDBW is a bit smaller (and provides more/less vandal proof casing).

What do you think of a "small print" doorbell-with-camera (on top of your exterior wall):

Or do you prefer a "professional" with-metal-casing thing - can be "drilled in" your wall, or installed on-top in the metal casing with little roof):

The latter can be even extended with RFid tagging (eg to open an electric door), the camera lens inside the little dome can be angled into the preferred direction - eg door to the left).

In my personal experience, doorbells tend to be a WAF maker/breaker. Do not expect to have fullHD footage (especially not from the wifi ones), but try to stick with the wired cameras so you're not up for a weekly change of batteries.

In a nutshell your homework:
Q1: which features do you need at the door:
  --> only visuals? --> single cam will be fine
  --> also audio? --> select cam with mic!
  --> you need interaction with a electric door:
      --> yes: --> select door with IO for external Relais
      --> no: all others will do fine
  --> you need mobile phone interaction or a fixed indoor terminal?
      --> yes: if you prefer Dahua, you have to browse their catalog for "VTO" devices (doorbells) and "VTH" devices (touch screens with voicemail capabilities and possibility to hook up your NVR screens to this fancy device - handy for the maid!)
Hope this helps!

PS. do not forget to hook your doorbell camera to your NVR too!
PPS. can I deduct from your initial photo that your driveway comes down from the right hand side of that photo? The vantage point where you have taken this picture would be splendid for a (hidden) camera to spot visitors license plates coming down (right shot) and parking in front of your house (straight ahead shot).
Thank you for the replies.

The view is real and the picture doesn't do justice to it. We are very lucky to have found the property before it was actively being advertised. The surrounding property was sold within 2 weeks of our handshake to buy. We were able to get right at 10 acres and it took a lot of tree clearing to get the view.

Regarding cameras, I wired for two cameras at each corner of the house and one in the garage, and now one at the entry door. I have been lurking here for a while and actually moved the camera locations a couple of times due to the information shared here. I have purchased 8 starlight cameras and my wife is not liking the idea of having another one at the main door.

CC, you are correct, the driveway winds down from the right side. The cameras on that side will have a great shot at plates coming and going. I'm not opposed to adding more cameras, but I think my wife is at her limit..

I have looked at Ring doorbells (a relative has one), but I don't want to pay a subscription and the video is underwhelming. I will look into the Duhua version and do some more homework on other options.


IPCT Contributor
Welcome to IPCT, fellow Alabamian ! :wave:
I'm about 500 yards uphill from Smith Lake myself....but your view is spectacular, I'd have to clear too much of my 6.5 acres to achieve one like yours.

Anyway, if that gravel drive/road at upper right of the image is the only way in/out, I'd consider a camera like @catcamstar looking at it, at the very least a low-light, 2MP vari-focal turret on that side of the house. Run 2 CAT-6's just in case.

Edit: I meant to say TWO CAT-6's in case you want another cam for LPR. Also, a view like that deserves a PTZ!
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Young grasshopper
@Arokcrwlr - Welcome to the forum.
When I look at your house pic I think "Sweet Home Alabama, Where the skies are so blue". Wonderful view.
Best of luck with your carriage house build. Looks great!
Thanks for the welcomes.

@TonyR - we're above Guntersville Lake. Smith Lake is a really nice lake. I looked at some property around there, but the commute to work was a little more than I could handle. The house is spray foamed and the sheetrock is up, so I think I'm done wiring. I did all of the low voltage wiring and tried to plan for anything I could possible want/need. I did run a couple of CAT6's from my equipment rack to the demarc panel and there's a few demarc CAT6's poked outside, so I could do another camera somewhere if needed. There will be two vari-focal turrets at each corner of the house and one inside of the garage looking back at the doors.

After looking at several options for the door camera, I think I may just go ahead with another turret there - still waffling between it or the IPC-HFW1831C-PIR mini bullet...

@windguy that's a classic - one of my favorites back in the day. The house is moving along - roof is on, brick is done, spray foam insulation done, sheetrock is done, siding is scheduled...