Affordable Security Camera System?


  #1  
Old 02-28-20, 10:04 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 93
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Affordable Security Camera System?

Hello All,
Can anyone recommend an affordable/budget Outdoor POE Security Camera System? I want to be able to access the cameras myself for free (no paid subscriptions) with live viewing ability. My budget at the moment is around $220.00.

Criteria:

1) I desire 1080p (2mp) cameras at the minimum but would prefer 3mp or 4mp.

2) I need cameras that will deliver excellent image/video quality at night. So it will need LED's and/or IR-cut. I only need 2 outdoor cameras to start with but would look to add a few more later on.

3) I desire 24/7 recording. So I will need either an NVR (recorder) or cloud service, as you recommend. I prefer an NVR with 8 ch but I could settle for 4 ch.

4) It would be great if the system were ONVIF capable? Otherwise, the manufacture App must be excellent and reliable. The reason being is most of the affordable systems get very poor App reviews. Whereas I can use other third party Apps that get good reviews but it seems those require ONVIF support? Your input here would be helpful because I do not know anything about accessing security cameras.

I really do not need a camera system that sends alerts or that has audio, even though the later would be nice. I have a separate security system already. I just need some security cameras that I can access on occasion and that can save 3 or 4 days worth of video recordings.

The systems I have been looking at are Sannce (mediocre reviews) and Reolink (good reviews but no ONVIF support). The Reolink systems seem to get very good reviews but they do not support ONVIF. Does anyone have experience with those and is that a real issue?

Thanks,
Ralph
 
  #2  
Old 02-29-20, 02:03 AM
pugsl's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 9,029
Received 76 Votes on 69 Posts
I use blnk cameras but they are motion activated not 24/7. Seem to work well for me.
 
  #3  
Old 02-29-20, 10:12 AM
F
Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 516
Received 36 Votes on 28 Posts
I have two Wyze Cam V2s on my carport, $20 each from wyze.com. These have an articulating base that allows exact height and tilt to be manually adjusted. They also sell a $30 model that can pan 360° by remote control in 3 seconds. Not ONVIF compliant, possibly because it's such a low profit margin item and a basic ONVIF subscription costs $2000/annum. There has been discussion of it in their forum, and it is on the "official" customer's "Wish List." Wyze did respond that their engineers are investigating the possibility but I have no idea what progress has been made. That said, they do have a track record of meeting 'reasonable' customer requests, and they're definitely hobbled if they don't adopt ONVIF.

Record quality selectable to SD or HD (1080P). Has four built-in 850nm IR illuminators, claimed to be good for 30 feet. In my use that seems a fair approximation. They are not weatherproof so if you use them out of doors you have to at least shield them from rain and direct sunlight. I've got mine mounted where exposure to wind and mist also is minimized but I'm probably still taking a risk. You can't put them in a weatherproof enclosure because the IR illuminators will bounce off it and all you'll see is flare from the IR lights.

Sensitivity of the motion and audio sensors is configurable. If you have a sensor enabled, when it's activated it automatically sends 12 seconds of video to their free cloud storage (each video is maintained for 14 days). It's configurable whether it also sends an alert to their smartphone app (Android or iOS). After an alert event there's a 5-minute "cool-down" period when the another alert can't be triggered. For a subscription fee they will give you the option to record more than 12 seconds on each alert to their cloud server.

Using their smartphone app requires you register for a free account with Wyze. You cannot access the control interface for the cameras without their app (unless you switch to the 3rd-party firmware, mentioned below).

The camera also can be configured to record continuously to the user-provided micro-SD card. When the card is full the camera records over the oldest videos first. According to Wyze (I haven't confirmed but have no reason to doubt), a 2gb SD card will hold two days continuous recording in 1080p, eight days in SD. I'm running 64gb SD cards but I don't know what the largest card it will accept is.

I check the alert events on my smartphone through the Wyze app. There is a screen capture showing the first frame of each alert event to help me decide whether to watch the 12-second video from their cloud server. If the 12-second clip shows something I think merits further investigation, I open the interface page for that individual camera and click "View Playback." which allows me to scroll back to the specific time to access the continuous recording stored on the SD card in the camera. Or if I know when the event took place I can just go straight to the playback function

The IR lights attract flying insects (most of which can see in the IR spectrum) and if it's warm enough for bugs, they'll be continuously swarming around the IR lights, which continuously triggers alerts. Because of the 5-minute "cool-down" feature, bugs trigger an alert every time the alert feature re-enables so you get continuous bug alerts all night. Users in the Wyze forum who found this intolerable switched off the internal IR lights (through the smartphone app) and positioned a separate external IR light source some feet away from the camera. You might be able to dial back the sensitivity until bugs don't trigger it but a cold snap came on before I could test too see. The continuous recording takes no notice of the cool-down period.

The camera's firmware doesn't natively support real-time streaming protocol (RTSP), which would allow you to watch a live feed with any RTSP-enabled video viewer, like VLC. but Wyze does offer a free add-on firmware module that adds RTSP functionality. I have this added to both of my cameras and it does appear to work as advertised. I can start two instances of VLC on a PC and watch the live feed from both cameras simultaneously. However, VLC Viewer for Android does not support RTSP. Still, you can watch live streaming through the Wyze app but only from one camera at a time.

Wyze claims a 110°FOV, which might be a touch optimistic but it's at least an honest 90°.

I chose a nondescript item to use to illustrate image quality, a 15"x15" Christmas tree stand box.


This is a screen shot taken from video at 12 feet.


And this is from nine feet.

The lime green lines are computer-generated rectangles showing the area where the motion was detected. This is a configurable feature that I find most useful at night under IR mode because it can be difficult to make out where the movement was detected in the monochrome image.

Wyze also sells a sensor kit (another $20) containing one motion sensor and two open/closed sensors (for doors or windows). Their cameras can individually be configured to begin recording (if not already set to record continuously) if any of those sensors is tripped. The open/closed sensors also have a timer function so they don't alert until the door/window is open for a minimum amount of time.

Overall you can pick nits but I don't think you're going to beat it for $20.

There is open source replacement firmware for the Wyze cam (which actually is a re-branded Xiaomi hardware with proprietary firmware) called OpenIPC that offers increased functionality, but when I got my cameras (now several months ago) there had been hardware changes in the cameras that left the 3rd-party firmware behind. I probably should revisit that and see if they've caught up yet.
 
PJmax voted this post useful.
  #4  
Old 02-29-20, 11:15 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 62,192
Received 1,529 Votes on 1,412 Posts
Thanks Fred for that very detailed post. Name:  thumb.jpg
Views: 115
Size:  1.6 KB
 
  #5  
Old 03-01-20, 04:49 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 93
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all the input and details!

I ended up getting a good deal on a Reolink nvr recorder and some Reolink cameras, so I went with that system. I also picked up some quality Cat6 cable so I should see some improvement in image quality with that as well. I will let y'all know how it turns out in a few weeks.

God Bless,
Ralph
 
  #6  
Old 03-02-20, 08:03 PM
F
Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 516
Received 36 Votes on 28 Posts
Just for giggles (and because I was curious about the result), same shots as before, 12 feet and nine feet, only this time in the dark. No lights on on that end of the house and the sky is heavily overcast, nothing but illumination from the four teenie little IR lights built into the camera.




 
  #7  
Old 03-08-20, 10:53 AM
O
Member
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 23
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Security Cameras

I recently bought EZVIZ cameras for inside use. One has face tracking and can follow movements or can be locked. Two others are stationary. All have HD video, night vision and SD card slots. They can be set to alert via text if you want. Been using them for two months with zero problems. Video loads quickly via smartphone or computer. Paid $50. for the movement one at $23. For the fixed.
Good customer service via email. Looking for a outdoor one next. Setup is easy using smartphone
and installing them is real easy using a magnetic disk and double sided tape included.
This shot in inside at night with no lights on.

 
Attached Images  
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: