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Help/advice with config/choice of cameras [PICS included]

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I'm going to be getting a three camera system for the front and back of my house. After doing some research, I've settled on Hikvision or Dahua, as they seem to be the most highly regarded, have a lot of variety, good NVRs and good support. I would use POE and cameras/NVR by the same manufacturer wired directly to my router (as opposed to powerline adapters). Video stored on motion capture only. Accessing live feed and stored video via my iPhone/iPad (at least live, if stored video not possible to review on iOS) in addition to using the proprietary software on my computer to access surveillance.


The problem is, it's quite a minefield for a newcomer to figure out what might be the best for you without any background knowledge, and comparing cameras with one another can sometimes be impossible if you don't know what to look for.


I'd be grateful for advice regarding the setup/configuration of where I should put my cameras (see pics) and which models/types of cameras you would recommend. I think Id rather go with Turret style cameras (I understand these to be like domes but with an IR emitter separate to the lens) rather than traditional domes or bullets - though feel free to recommend the latter if you feel more appropriate or if I've got some misconceptions about the quality of bullets for example. Turrets/Domes more tamper proof than bullets, right?


Two cameras for the front of my house


This is the front of my house (everything to the left of the orange line). Also annotated are three potential camera placement spots. I would want to choose two of these three for cameras.




1 (green): Will most likely need to have one here. Above doorway so can picture faces of people walking up to the door/trying to break in. Would want this camera to be able to perform well in low light/in the rain/wet and be decent at making out faces so decent resolution ie. at least 3 or 4MP turret etc. Only downside to this position is that it will not capture the whole driveway given that the windows (below balcony) stick out and so some of the view will be obscured (see green lines). So some of the left part of the driveway will be missing in the surveillance from this camera, hence the need for a second camera.


2 (red): advantages are that it would capture the whole driveway, but downside is it won't necessarily see the faces of people trying to break in through the front door, which is why if chosen, would need to be in addition to 1.


3 (blue): advantages - (A) capture the faces of anyone climbing the balcony to break in (next door have been broken into twice through the balcony - so I would be keen to have this option if I can) and (B) captures the whole driveway, but disadvantages - (A) quite high up so probably not good resolution for capturing faces of people on the driveway? and (B) doesn't picture those walking up to the door at close distance



I'm leaning towards 1 and 3. What combination would you guys recommend? Which cameras do you feel would be well suited to the above requirements? ie. face recognition at the doorway and up at the balcony, full (or mostly full) coverage of the driveway, good low light (night time) performance?


One camera for the back of the house


Slightly easier decision I think. One camera to cover the back yard out of these potential placement spots.




1 (green): would be the ideal spot - but only potential problem is that there's not much space between the door frame and the top of the wall, so maybe the camera won't fit - I think it probably will.


2 (red): could go in either of the two positions - what do you guys think would be better?


The requirements for this camera are probably the same as for the front - good low light (night) performance, face recognition for anyone trying to break in through the back door. So I guess I would choose the same for this camera as for the green 1 camera at the front?



Any advice guys? I would really appreciate any help you could give with regards to which cameras would do the job well. Budget is probably ideally £150 or $200-ish per camera. If there's truly something great that slightly out of this budget I'll certainly consider it if it's going to really be perfect.


With regards to the NVR - I can't see needing more than an 8-port NVR, even with future expansion in mind, though I don't think I would necessarily want to add more cameras if these three are decent and get the job done. I was thinking about having some indoor cameras facing the entrances (front door, back door, balcony) in addition to ourdoor ones, but I think I'd rather just spend more on fewer good quality outdoor cameras - does that make sense?


Thanks so much for your help.



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Good way to find the best positions for your cameras is modeling in special CCTV design software. You should draw your building in 3D quickly and roughly without detailing. But you must keep accurate dimensions. It will not take much time.


Then you should place cameras at possible places, enter camera heights and basic camera parameters:

Lens focal length, Image sensor format, Resolution in pixels on horizontal and vertical.


After these actions you will be able to play with cameras, change places and camera parameters and see 3D models of images from your cameras. Thus you will select cameras and position fit your needs. In this way you can achieve better result than by following advices from other persons who did not visit your place. Real dimensions are great important. Your pictures can not contain all dimentions. Other persons have not information you have.


Any demo version from VideoCAD Starter to VideoCAD Lite will be suitable. You can use demo versions for free within 30 days. VideoCAD Professional demo version is not suitable for such tasks. Professional version allows much more but its demo version has considerable restriction (it does not allow to change lens focal length). VideoCAD Professional is intended for professional using. VideoCAD Lite demo version is good free choice for such amateur tasks.

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can you get cables to all your locations? Your ideas look fine the best way to figure out what the picture is going to look like is get a laptop and a poe device, ladder, and plug in the camera hold it in about the right position and see what the picure looks like. If you are not getting the desired pic move the camera around until you get the best possible picture.

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Thanks for the suggestions - I will experiment with the cameras with regards to the best location for the cameras depending on the pictures I'm getting. I suspect 2.8mm or 4mm would be ok.


Any advice regarding type/model of camera? With good low light performance?


Would you recommend something as wide angle as 2.8mm or is there too much distortion, and maybe should stick to something like 4 or 6mm?

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