IP Camera Info

(Solardave1) #1

I’ve been (I am) involved in some manufacturer testing of various IP cameras. As part of the test scenario, (19 - originally planned on 16) IP cameras have been installed on my property (15 acres, 2 buildings) and we just completed an all-nighter testing both the cameras across a range of parameters and a bunch of different software packages for control, motion detection and recording. The testing is also done here in Florida and its a ideal environment since the temperature over the last week has varied between 98-77 degrees (F) and the RH between 51-92% plus we have been either fortunate or unfortunately depending on your point of view, been experiencing greater than normal rain with greater than normal net site and significant thunderstorm activity. In short, ideal test conditions for outdoor IP cameras. With the exception of some proprietary information, I’m happy to share any info that we have captured so far with anyone interested in any aspect of outdoor IP cameras you would likely think of - the testing will continue through August but I now have a fairly comprehensive set of data, especially after he first all night active monitoring of the system and auxiliary components (and was luck enough to get not 1 but 2 really intense thunderstorms last night. So, n the spirit of “community”, if you want any no on the topic, I’m happy to share - just drop me a line or post. I’ve confirmed that ST has committed to Foscam and Dropbox cameras - ill be adventurous and guess that if they manage integration with those two, the same schema should work with almost any model that meets the basic standards. Testing will continue 24x7 through August and then I get paid and get to keep all the toys (although some will be replaced based on how they actually performed). Roughly half the cameras are Foscam, the other half are from a range of different manufacturers (at least according to the label :slight_smile:

(Brian Fenster) #2

Hey what do you find to be the best outdoor IP camera for the money so far? also looking for wifi enabled if possible.


(Solardave1) #3

That’s a loaded question but “so far” the Dahua IPC-HDB3200C 2MP is giving us the best overall image. The downside is that its not IR sensitive so you need supplemental lighting at night (but not much) and the video is jaw dropping at this price point. Camera is POE so I’m using a Netgear wifi/Ethernet adaptor and a POE injector. It’s 2MP HD. So for image quality this one is way Nd above the rest as long as you provide some light at night. It’s fixed dome, non-ptz and manual focus during setup - that’s the trade off for being able to read a license plate of make out a face at 100 feet. I’ll know more after its been in use for a few weeks. If you meet IR, PTZ, wireless and are willing to tolerate a .3mp image, the Agasio A622W seems to have an edge over the Foscam dome PTZ wifi camera. I trade image quality for PTZ anyway and the Dahua is ally small - the POE injector and WiFi adaptor are housed in a IPV66 box mounted near the camera.

(Solardave1) #4

It’s finally dark and I have the camera pointed at my house from my shop which is about 60 feet away. The only supplemental non-IR illumination is from 2 15W CFL’s I installed at either end of the shop and I can see my cat climbing (trying) up the screen porch on the second floor of my house. I have another (Foscam) camera and 2 480 LED IR illuminators doing the same thing and I can kind of make out some shadow image. If the Dahua had IR, it would be close to perfect. Even with the 2 CFL’s I’m getting color - it hasn’t kicked into low light B&W mode (but the colors are off).

(Kevin Boyles Jr ) #5

I have been using loftek ip cameras. The quality is nothing to write home about - however they tend to be pretty cheap ($60-$90) and can connect via wifi. Ive been using some free wifi ip camera software called icamsource. Works great however I wish it ran on linux - ive used on both pc and mac. By the way - does anyone know how to or if its even possible to implement ip cameras into the smartthings interface? I figured out how to use the smartnest app someone wrote. Now if I could implement my ip cams into the smartthings app that would be awesome.

(Solardave1) #6

First, +1 for all things Unix.
I have 2 Loftek’s in the test mix and they are definitely get what you pay for type of devices. The criterial I’m looking at are ability to read license plates (so resolution in terms of mp’s, sensor quality, dap and lens quality) and WiFi stability which impacts farm rate (although bandwidth/throughput are factors as well). ST has confirmed that they have committed initially to providing support for Dropcam and Foscam cameras although somewhat cryptically qualified the statement as support for single frame captures not streaming. danny@smartthings.com seems to be the point person on this and he and I are both traveling at the moment but on Friday he told me that he would have something this week and I’m hoping to hear something/see something around Tuesday. IMHO adding video capability is a must have for this product and for whatever reason ST is playing their cards pretty close to the best - I did implicitly ask for a roadmap of planned feature/functions in a separate post. Lacking ST making a strategic commitment to video integration, at least in some manner would be a mistake but I am excited about the potential for Canary integration although at the moment ST still vaporware although in fairness, I’ve confirmed that they are further along than one might think and I do believe thy will have a viable product. The when, how and potential for integration with ST (and others who are starting to play in the space) is the wild card at the moment.

The forum software used here leave allot to be desired and an improvement would be to have sections devoted to things like video and other subsets of “connected things” - ST is missing it n an opportunity for greater depth of engagement with the user base IMHO and while I have nothing but good things to say about their support model, I get the impression that allot of other user suggestions/requests, etc. fall on deaf ears. Not a brilliant business move considering its the early adopters that become evangelists and ultimately help your product achieve critical mass and acceptance.