Security Cameras

timwhit

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I'm looking to get some security cameras for my condo building after two units were broken into last week.

There are four entrances that I would like to monitor. Two of them are outdoors (back) and two are indoors (front). There are two separate buildings and the front and back are probably close to 100 ft apart. I have had terrible luck with anything WiFi in this building.

Advice?
 

ddrueding

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I love AXIS cameras, they aren't cheap, but they work great every time. Many of their IP models have SD card support built-in, so even if they are stand-alone you can retrieve video later. They are all PoE, so cabling is simple. Wireless cameras do suck, but using a wireless bridge between the buildings should be reliable enough (I like Ubiquiti gear for that).

B&H or Amazon is where I get my AXIS gear, and they have any type you could want.
 

Stereodude

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I put some Dahua PoE 2 & 3 megapixel cameras on the front of my house. The work well enough after a firmware update.
 

timwhit

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I did a little more poking around and there is no power nearby. This would mean that expensive conduit would need to be run. We might just have to settle for dummy cameras.
 

ddrueding

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If you run PoE cameras with shielded ethernet you can skip the conduit. It is all low-voltage, and most shielded cable has a UV-resistant shell.
 

Howell

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If you are worried about break-ins as opposed to stoop-theft(tm) you could mount the cameras inside and go with POE. Be sure to hide the video recorder.
 

timwhit

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Just a little background on the building. This is a 100+ year old 3 story brick building with all plaster walls. Running any kind of cabling is going to cost a significant amount of money. I posted this before doing any research or even looking for outlets. I just looked at Amazon and found that some of their security camera systems were relatively cheap and decided to start this thread.
 

time

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In the photo, you have lights. Where there's lights, there's power cables. I know you had a bad experience with Powerline gear, but that seems like an obvious retrofit to me.
 

Howell

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Excellent time, but I'm not surprised powerline wouldn't work. Apparently even the breakers have to be designed a certain way to be compatible. And that generally applies to particular manufacturers from what I've read.
Honestly white Ethernet cable wedged into the grout line high enough that it wont be vandalized might get you what you need if the faux cameras don't.
 

Handruin

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I'm interested in getting an outdoor security camera that can function during the nighttime. Have any of you purchased anything more recent or are there still popular favorites among the ones listed in this thread? I would be installing this in my house, so I have some options for running wiring and internet as-needed.

Where do these camera's typically record their data to? Would it be a piece of software running on a desktop machine that stores the video footage?
 

ddrueding

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My current favorite for that kind of installation is the Axis M2014-E. Small waterproof unit outside, small box inside. Gets power over ethernet, has microSD card slot for local storage, has handy web interface for monitoring, setup, and retrieval of recorded content.

Edit: Note that this unit works decently in low light, but doesn't have any IR LEDs. If you want it to work reliably at night, get a set of IR leds mounted somewhere.
 

Stereodude

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I only have the 3 Dahua models I purchased previously (mentioned earlier in the thread). They save their footage to a FTP server running on my 24/7 "server" in the basement.
 

Handruin

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My current favorite for that kind of installation is the Axis M2014-E. Small waterproof unit outside, small box inside. Gets power over ethernet, has microSD card slot for local storage, has handy web interface for monitoring, setup, and retrieval of recorded content.

Edit: Note that this unit works decently in low light, but doesn't have any IR LEDs. If you want it to work reliably at night, get a set of IR leds mounted somewhere.
Seems nice and also small but it's missing IR which is something I'm interested in and a bit of resolution for that kind of money.
 

Handruin

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I only have the 3 Dahua models I purchased previously (mentioned earlier in the thread). They save their footage to a FTP server running on my 24/7 "server" in the basement.
This Dahua IPC-HFW3200S 2Megapixel looks interesting for the money. Is this the 2MP unit that you bought? The reviews indicate that updating the firmware can be a pain. It's not clear to me if this can just connect to the network or if it needs an NVR.
 

Stereodude

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That's the stubby model. Mine is the longer one. I didn't have any issues updating the firmware, but I have only done it once. The firmware in the units I have can connect to a FTP server to save the footage so you don't need a NVR.
 

ddrueding

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In my experience the IR LEDs built into cameras aren't that great. Using some kind of external light source (IR or otherwise), particularly if it can be closer to the area of interest, is more effective.
 

Handruin

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In my experience the IR LEDs built into cameras aren't that great. Using some kind of external light source (IR or otherwise), particularly if it can be closer to the area of interest, is more effective.
Thanks for the info. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do this kind of hybrid setup but that makes sense. One thing I was reading on the camera you suggested is that it wasn't developed to work specifically with IR lights. What's your experience with using IR lights with a camera like this?

They make a fairly noticeable difference in my experience.
Which does? The built-in or external?
 

ddrueding

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I didn't mean to say that they don't make a difference, just that the result when relying on just them is frequently unacceptable. In most cases I've had to install additional lighting in a follow-up based on the quality of the video on an overcast night.
 
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