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Security cameras

Discussion in 'The Family Room' started by djgra79, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    I've had a bit of a search through the forums and security cameras have come up a couple of times, but not with a lot of detail.
    After reading a recent post on the xlights FB page about someone's display being damaged and party stolen before they have even switched it on, is a timely reminder that in this day and age the security of our $$$ investments just sitting in our yards should be carefully considered. There are other threads with alternative measures for security like zipties, locks, concrete poles and trip wires for alarms etc, but seeing as we live in a digital age and we are (mostly) working with digital lights, I feel it's important to have a discussion and shared knowledge base on security camera options.

    I assume that like most things in life you get what you pay for, but I was wondering if some of the experts wouldn't mind sharing some links or suggestions of gear to consider for the wider group?

    Is there a budget option that will do a decent job in identifying faces in the dark or do you need to spend the big bucks for this type of detail? And if so, what kind of big bucks are we talking? $1000 for one person could be small change, for others it could be a year's play money gone.

    Do they need to be constantly recording? If so what size/type drive(s) required? How many channels? Wireless/wifi options? Remote control from a phone app? Other features that are a must? Audio? B&W vs colour?

    aaaaaaand go! (asking for a friend...) :)
     
  2. WKM

    WKM New Elf

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    I have recently done a little research into security cameras, I must say its a little overwhelming with the amount of different brands features price and quality. In the end I used and old Iphone and run a free app called alfred. It works ok although I haven't yet set it up properly but it seems to have most of the features you need.
     
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  3. Verb75

    Verb75 New Elf

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    There are defiantly some budget camera that are really good. For under a $200 you can get a wireless camera that will connect to your home wifi. You can enable it to trigger for movement and send you an email, plus you can check on all the footage via a smart phone or browser.
    I have personally tested this range for a few days at my place : http://surveillance.zmodo.com/home-wifi-camera-1.html
    Now some of these, do require a memory card if you want it to record.
    This isn't the best solution out their, but it can be a good starting point
     
  4. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    You can get wired outdoor IP cameras for well under $100. I'd always go wired over wireless.

    The indoor ones I got earlier this week weren't PoE, but for $40 delivered the image is surprisingly good.
     
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  5. Verb75

    Verb75 New Elf

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  6. danv

    danv Full Time Elf

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    yes David is correct, dont go wireless, wired is a lot better IMO.

    I have them for many reasons and they work great. Analog HD (AHD) and/or IP are both good.

    I use 2MP and 4MP cameras are get good results day and night from both.

    I have a 3TB drive in my DVR and it provides a month or two or continuous storage (I record 24/7 and also trigger time stamps on motion).
     
  7. danv

    danv Full Time Elf

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    Most of them (Chinese and all) can have the ability to use a cloud service for remote viewing via mobile (good when you are behind a CGNAT on NBN) or if you have a static and public IP you can open the appropriate ports on your router (if upnp doesnt work) and view them that way.
     
  8. Bumpy2020

    Bumpy2020 New Elf

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    I have some hikvision ones connected to my Synology, thinking of adding an 8mp (4k) one next
     
  9. ryanschristmaslights

    ryanschristmaslights Senior Elf Administrator Generous Elf

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    Some random comments...

    I've gone through a few kinds of CCTV cameras over the years. I've even had the unfortunate experience of cameras being stolen! Moral of this story is don't buy cameras with thumb screw adjustments or with exposed data/power wires at the back. Easy to install, but also easy to steal.

    My first camera was wireless, bought 10 years ago, IIRC! Everytime the microwave was used the image would go fuzzy. You'll need power anyway, so just go wired. Plus, if you have POE cameras you'll only need the one lead (Ethernet RJ45).

    Don't bother with older analogue systems, IMO. AHD systems might be good, but as I haven't seen or used them, I can't comment. The non-HD analogue (420TVL, 700TVL, 960H) is a waste of time, as the image quality isn't good enough. I prefer IP cameras these days, since you can log into each camera and change settings remotely (e.g. no need to climb a ladder to change picture brightness/contrast). I'd get at least 2MP cameras... possibly 3MP or 4MP. Things to look at when buying are the sensor: 1/3" or 1/2.5" are better than 1/4". Poorer sensors have difficulty seeing all the detail in a high contrast picture ... e.g. bright cement on a sunny day and the shadows from your house at the same time. EXIR type nightvision appears to provide a more evenly lit image. Consider turret-style cameras, they are a dome-like form-factor without the problems of dome cameras (IR reflection at night, dirty domes etc). I've bought a couple of 8MP turret cameras to experiment with and use with existing lower MP cameras.

    Regarding audio... in South Australia at least, audio from cctv is generally not recognised as evidence, unless you ask for consent from everybody your system can hear. You can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for up to 2 years for recording private conversations:
    Blue Iris is a software-based NVR (Network Video Recorder , for IP cameras) which works well for a few cameras if you have a secondary Windows machine available. It costs $60 US though. Cheaper than a dedicated hardware-based NVR, but you may eventually want an NVR depending on how many cameras you end up with.

    Record all the time, as motion detection recording isn't reliable. If your system allows, you might like to 'break' the recording on motion (Blue Iris can do this). I use a WD Purple hard drive for cctv storage. Purple drives are marketed as surveillance drives and the price of them is comparable to WD Red NAS drives.

    Well that is my 2c :)
     
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  10. OP
    OP
    djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Thanks all for the feedback so far.
    @ryanschristmaslights i know we discussed this a few weeks back in chat but I lost the notes I took down including links.
    Was Hikvision the brand we were discussing?
    Thanks for the tip about the audio too.
     
  11. ryanschristmaslights

    ryanschristmaslights Senior Elf Administrator Generous Elf

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    Yes it would be been Hikvision. The 8MP turrets I bought are the DS-2CD2385FWD-I, one with a 2.8mm lens (the road is closer to this camera's location) and the other 6mm (longer distance between camera and the road). In retrospect, 4mm and 8mm might have been better but I erred towards a wider view (more zoomed out) just in case. 2.8mm is the most zoomed out.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Wendys

    Wendys New Elf

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    Aliexpress, XinRay Store.

    That's where I got my HIKVISION System,
     
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  13. Bumpy2020

    Bumpy2020 New Elf

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    That is the one I'm looking at, but in 4mm
     
  14. foodi

    foodi New Elf

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  15. marmalade

    marmalade cats & pixels

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    Cameras are a deterrent at most. All a determined thief has to do is chuck on a hoodie and some black trackies and mission accomplished. And 'if' they are identified, the chances of recovering your goods is next to zero, and most will get off without a conviction (stealing a christmas light or a reindeer would probably give the judge a giggle more than anything). Their only real use is to alert the owner via their motion sensing and you are able to get out there to scare them off.

    As proof somewhat, my work has cameras everywhere and the yard gets broken into at least once every few months (even with the back to base security system). Nothing ever recovered.

    Much easier to secure your props, build so they will need to bring tools to remove them. Don't make it obvious how they are secured. Put up some motion activated floods (out of reach of course). Amazing how thieves hate working under lights. And a few dummy dome cameras might add that extra oomph if they are going to be out there for a while.

    I had someone have a go at my arches last year and they only managed to bend them, each end was bolted to a 12" ground screw below grass level. Wanted them so much they climbed a high slatted fence and tilted the motion sensors of the floods towards the ground. They'll probably try again this year I imagine!
     

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