Security Camera System

Cougar281

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Sep 11, 2006
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Take a look at Dauha's Starlight+ and Night Color cameras. I have several Starlight+ and a bunch of Speco O4D1 cameras, all 4MP, going to a machine running Blue Iris abd the Starlight+ cameras blow all of my non-Starlight+ cameras out of the water in daytime quality, night IR quality and low light color quality. The main difference between the Night Color cameras and Starlight+ is the Starlight+ have IR, the night color do not. When there was snow on the ground, there was enough ambient light that my Starlight+ cameras stayed color pretty much all night.

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Bdsankey

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Feb 1, 2018
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Neenah, Wisconsin
Take a look at Dauha's Starlight+ and Night Color cameras. I have several Starlight+ and a bunch of Speco O4D1 cameras, all 4MP, going to a machine running Blue Iris abd the Starlight+ cameras blow all of my non-Starlight+ cameras out of the water in daytime quality, night IR quality and low light color quality. The main difference between the Night Color cameras and Starlight+ is the Starlight+ have IR, the night color do not. When there was snow on the ground, there was enough ambient light that my Starlight+ cameras stayed color pretty much all night.

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Lorex cameras are rebranded Dahua. The ones I’m looking at would be Dahua PN A82AF53.

https://us.dahuasecurity.com/product/4k-ir-3-6mm-hdcvi-bullet/
 
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jrkrace

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May 4, 2008
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I'll be the lone dissenter here...for me Hikvision is the goto.....I have three of their systems set up and completely happy with them. My one app controls all three systems and it was easy to set up with a Hikvision DVR. Pretty much plug and play...

I would also set up a Ring system to alert you to look at your other camera system. Nothing worse than seeing it after the fact...
 
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DAVe3283

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I run an Amcrest system (also just rebranded Dahua) that I am quite happy with. I run their NVR, but behind my firewall and blocked from the internet. I VPN in to my home network and run their app, everything works great, but entirely on-premises. I looked at Blue Iris, but it bothered me with how it worked internally (decode h.264 stream, do image analysis, then re-fricking-encode it to save to disk). Maybe they've gotten better since them (couldn't have gotten much worse), but it was eating a huge amount of CPU with just 2 4k cameras. I found some other software that I liked, but the good stuff was all expensive. For now, the NVR is working fine.

I will echo what everyone is saying, get 4k cameras. I have four 4k cameras, and two 2k cameras (which are better than 1080p), and the difference is stark. By carefully laying out where I put the cameras, I have visibility to every door & window on my house, so unless someone hops the back yard fence and cuts a hole in the wall (or roof LOL), they will show up on at least one camera to get in to my house. I use the 2k cameras to watch my trash cans & shed, which are naturally low-value targets :p

That all said, I'm not sure the way I did things would be viable for normal people. I'm a computer engineer, and play with networking stuff for fun. I suspect most people don't have a VPN to their house they can run from their phone, which is a key part of all this. And a good enough router to be able to clamp down on the NVR traffic to their satisfaction.
 

Bdsankey

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Neenah, Wisconsin
I run an Amcrest system (also just rebranded Dahua) that I am quite happy with. I run their NVR, but behind my firewall and blocked from the internet. I VPN in to my home network and run their app, everything works great, but entirely on-premises. I looked at Blue Iris, but it bothered me with how it worked internally (decode h.264 stream, do image analysis, then re-fricking-encode it to save to disk). Maybe they've gotten better since them (couldn't have gotten much worse), but it was eating a huge amount of CPU with just 2 4k cameras. I found some other software that I liked, but the good stuff was all expensive. For now, the NVR is working fine.

I will echo what everyone is saying, get 4k cameras. I have four 4k cameras, and two 2k cameras (which are better than 1080p), and the difference is stark. By carefully laying out where I put the cameras, I have visibility to every door & window on my house, so unless someone hops the back yard fence and cuts a hole in the wall (or roof LOL), they will show up on at least one camera to get in to my house. I use the 2k cameras to watch my trash cans & shed, which are naturally low-value targets :p

That all said, I'm not sure the way I did things would be viable for normal people. I'm a computer engineer, and play with networking stuff for fun. I suspect most people don't have a VPN to their house they can run from their phone, which is a key part of all this. And a good enough router to be able to clamp down on the NVR traffic to their satisfaction.
I’m planning on running a robust commercial router in the next year or so to help make things a little more secure.
 

Cougar281

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Sep 11, 2006
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St Louis, MO
Lorex cameras are rebranded Dahua. The ones I’m looking at would be Dahua PN A82AF53.

https://us.dahuasecurity.com/product/4k-ir-3-6mm-hdcvi-bullet/
That's not surprising. I have a few Vitek cameras for a few random, low priority things that I'm pretty sure are re-branded Dahuas.

Something to keep in mind though, as the number of pixels go up, the nighttime sensitivity tends to go down. My 4MP Speco cameras are noticeably darker at night than the previous 1080p cameras I had. The exception to that being the Dahua varifocal camera I have (which I believe uses the same image sensor as the Speco cameras). That one has pretty good nighttime illumination, however, the IR is set up quite a bit differently than the Speco cameras, so that probably plays into it.

The outlier there though is the Starlight+ cameras - their IR sensitivity is great, and the image is far crisper than 'regular' 4MP IR, due to the sensor being much bigger and also of a different overall design. My regular 4MP Dahua varifocal looks good during the day, but at night, it gets a little fuzzy, which is something I've seen in nearly all cameras. But the Starlight+ varifocal, which is overlooking the same area from a different angle, is far crisper than the regular one. You can make out individual blades of grass far better than the other one. And like I said, the Starlight+ cameras light sensitivity is outstanding. I can look out my window and it looks almost pitch black, but look at the camera and it looks like daytime. The low light color is NOTHING like the Speco Intensifier that looks great with a static image but if something moves across it, it looks like a ghost. If you have one or more areas that have a decent, constant source of illumination, the night color cameras are really nice. In my case, I don't have enough illumination, so they won't work for me, which is why I went with the Starlight+ as it's pretty much the same camera but with the addition of IR.

The camera you linked has a sensor that appears to be the same size as the Sony StarVis sensors found in the Starlight+ cameras, but being it's 4k, I don't know if it is a StarVis sensor or not.

Just my opinion here, but while I'm sure 4k is great, 4MP cameras are quite good - especially the StarVis equipped Starlight+ cameras. My current 4MP cameras are leaps and bounds ahead of the old 720TVL coax cameras I originally had 🤣. If someone were to give me some 4k cameras, I'd give them a whirl, and might even like them, but to be totally honest, for my intended purposes, the 4MP cameras give plenty of image quality. If I were to go out and replace any of my cameras, I'd replace my Speco O4D1's with Dahua N45DM62. The cameras I have in use are Speco O4D1's, Dahua N45DM62, Dahua N44BN52, Dahua N45DL7Z and Dahua N45CL5Z.

As far as BluIris, I'm personally quite happy with it. I like the alerting capability and the overall flexibility. It's FAR more flexible than any DVR or NVR I've ever used. It does need a fairly beefy machine to run it though. But it does blow my mind that a NVR running most likely an Atom CPU can run 32 channels of 4MP at 30FPS without issue, but BI needs quite a beefy system. I have 14 cameras all at 4MP, and some at 30FPS and the rest at 15FPS (for most cases, you really don't need to be running more then 15FPS). My BI is running on a PowerEdge FC630 with 14 cores of a E5-2699v3 enabled and it runs at around 25% CPU usage. One thing someone mentioned about decoding and re-encoding to save to disc - You can enable direct to disc and it'll just stream the video right to the disk and the decoding that's done is just for motion analysis. You can reduce the CPU usage if you have a machine with Intel QuickSync or the NVidia counterpart, but when I experimented with it, I wasn't overly impressed. It reduced the CPU usage some, but I also had some quality issues with it. And I believe if you're just straight recording all the time and recording straight to disk with no motion analysis, that would probably also reduce CPU usage.
 

Bdsankey

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Feb 1, 2018
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Neenah, Wisconsin
That's not surprising. I have a few Vitek cameras for a few random, low priority things that I'm pretty sure are re-branded Dahuas.

Something to keep in mind though, as the number of pixels go up, the nighttime sensitivity tends to go down. My 4MP Speco cameras are noticeably darker at night than the previous 1080p cameras I had. The exception to that being the Dahua varifocal camera I have (which I believe uses the same image sensor as the Speco cameras). That one has pretty good nighttime illumination, however, the IR is set up quite a bit differently than the Speco cameras, so that probably plays into it.

The outlier there though is the Starlight+ cameras - their IR sensitivity is great, and the image is far crisper than 'regular' 4MP IR, due to the sensor being much bigger and also of a different overall design. My regular 4MP Dahua varifocal looks good during the day, but at night, it gets a little fuzzy, which is something I've seen in nearly all cameras. But the Starlight+ varifocal, which is overlooking the same area from a different angle, is far crisper than the regular one. You can make out individual blades of grass far better than the other one. And like I said, the Starlight+ cameras light sensitivity is outstanding. I can look out my window and it looks almost pitch black, but look at the camera and it looks like daytime. The low light color is NOTHING like the Speco Intensifier that looks great with a static image but if something moves across it, it looks like a ghost. If you have one or more areas that have a decent, constant source of illumination, the night color cameras are really nice. In my case, I don't have enough illumination, so they won't work for me, which is why I went with the Starlight+ as it's pretty much the same camera but with the addition of IR.

The camera you linked has a sensor that appears to be the same size as the Sony StarVis sensors found in the Starlight+ cameras, but being it's 4k, I don't know if it is a StarVis sensor or not.

Just my opinion here, but while I'm sure 4k is great, 4MP cameras are quite good - especially the StarVis equipped Starlight+ cameras. My current 4MP cameras are leaps and bounds ahead of the old 720TVL coax cameras I originally had 🤣. If someone were to give me some 4k cameras, I'd give them a whirl, and might even like them, but to be totally honest, for my intended purposes, the 4MP cameras give plenty of image quality. If I were to go out and replace any of my cameras, I'd replace my Speco O4D1's with Dahua N45DM62. The cameras I have in use are Speco O4D1's, Dahua N45DM62, Dahua N44BN52, Dahua N45DL7Z and Dahua N45CL5Z.

As far as BluIris, I'm personally quite happy with it. I like the alerting capability and the overall flexibility. It's FAR more flexible than any DVR or NVR I've ever used. It does need a fairly beefy machine to run it though. But it does blow my mind that a NVR running most likely an Atom CPU can run 32 channels of 4MP at 30FPS without issue, but BI needs quite a beefy system. I have 14 cameras all at 4MP, and some at 30FPS and the rest at 15FPS (for most cases, you really don't need to be running more then 15FPS). My BI is running on a PowerEdge FC630 with 14 cores of a E5-2699v3 enabled and it runs at around 25% CPU usage. One thing someone mentioned about decoding and re-encoding to save to disc - You can enable direct to disc and it'll just stream the video right to the disk and the decoding that's done is just for motion analysis. You can reduce the CPU usage if you have a machine with Intel QuickSync or the NVidia counterpart, but when I experimented with it, I wasn't overly impressed. It reduced the CPU usage some, but I also had some quality issues with it. And I believe if you're just straight recording all the time and recording straight to disk with no motion analysis, that would probably also reduce CPU usage.

I've looked at the dome cameras and they are what I will use at the doors but for my yard and garage door/driveway areas I think a bullet will be my best bet. I believe I linked the wrong camera. I believe it is the one below. It uses STARVIS sensor so I think I should be in good shape. The second link is specific camera on Lorex's website/lineup.

https://us.dahuasecurity.com/product/product-catalog-3/
https://www.lorextechnology.com/4k-...p-camera-with-color-night-vision/E861AB-E-1-p


I'm planning on building a home NAS out of an old server chassis where I'm hoping to also use it as a robust router as well as a blue iris hub IF the generic NVR can't handle the cameras well enough. I have no problem paying for a solution that works but Blue Iris and POE cameras seems to be one of the easiest/most future proof ways since it uses industry standards instead of company standards.
 

Cougar281

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One thing to note about the camera you linked... As long as you only need 15FPS, you'll get the full 4k/8MP resolution, but if you have one or more spots that you want/need 30FPS, you'd be better off with one of the 4MP Starlight+ type cameras as the 4k one (at least that particular one) only does 3MP at 30FPS.
 

Bdsankey

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Neenah, Wisconsin
One thing to note about the camera you linked... As long as you only need 15FPS, you'll get the full 4k/8MP resolution, but if you have one or more spots that you want/need 30FPS, you'd be better off with one of the 4MP Starlight+ type cameras as the 4k one (at least that particular one) only does 3MP at 30FPS.

Is there much of a benefit to 30fps? I live in the country and my home is quite a ways away from the road. The other cams will pick up anyone before they get to the house.
 

Bdsankey

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Neenah, Wisconsin
Looking at these which are 4k 30fps capable. The first one has variable focus/zoom which I think may come in handy for targeting specific locations like my mailbox but I only need a few of these cameras. Lorex also is running 20% off until 7/5..................

They are supposedly rated -22f whereas the 15fps cams are rated at -40f. It won't get below -22f very often.

https://www.lorextechnology.com/4k-...-system-with-4-ultra-hd-cameras/4KFPS84ZM-1-p
https://www.lorextechnology.com/4k-...y-camera-system-with-4-hd-cameras/4KFPS84-1-p
 

Cougar281

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St Louis, MO
Is there much of a benefit to 30fps? I live in the country and my home is quite a ways away from the road. The other cams will pick up anyone before they get to the house.
Well, it really depends on the situation and your goals or desires. For most cases, 15fps is plenty. Most of my cameras are set to 15fps. The ones that I have set to 30fps are the ones that are more likely to see faster movement, meaning the ones overlooking my front yard and driveway, which cover the street as well, and the one covering my front door, to minimize the chances of motion blur on anyone coming up to my front door. Out of my 14 cameras, four are running at 30fps. So it comes down to what you want for a particular view. If you're pretty sure that you don't need or want 30fps for any view, then the 4k cameras will probably be just fine, but if you think you'll want 30fps for a view or two, then you'd probably be better off with a 4MP Starlight+ camera. For me, where I'd be most inclined to put 4k cameras is where I'm running 30fps. Which would be pointless since the 4k cameras can't do 4k @ 30fps.

Another thing to consider is retention. Out at my sisters house, we have 11 cameras running with BI, all but three cameras running 15fps, most cameras are 4MP ( I think a few are 2MP), and with what a few of the cameras are recording (mostly fluff), we have about two days of recordings before they start dropping off with just a bit over 1TB of storage.
 
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