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I have worked in the industry for about 2 years doing mostly commercial work. My knowledge of residential systems and brands is not very good. Im wanting to start doing side jobs and need help finding a solid brand to use. It would be for smaller residential systems (8 cameras or less). I have used Hikvision quite a bit for smaller commercial systems and I have always thought their brand offers a good balance of quality and price. 

What brand(s) would you recommend? I have read that lorex and swan are essentially Hikvision equipment. Is this true? Is it a comparable product? What is the difference between buying OEM vs buying from authorized retailer? I dont want anything gray market. Since this will be for sidework I cant use my company’s distributor.  

I have read some good things about Laview. Has anyone used this brand?

Thanks in advance 

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Most residential brands are just OEM's of either Dahua or Hikvision which are Chinese companies.

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I am a home user.  After trying various brands, I settled on LTS which is a rebranded Hikvision.  LTS has a number of physical outlets in various cities throughout the USA.  They tend to cater to businesses but the real benefit is that they are a USA Company and everything they sell is warranted and without the various international firmware problems that so many of these other suppliers have.  Everything works well with Blue Iris of one of their NVR's.

 

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Hikvision is deffo value for money! Although I have been using for my home security such brand as Milesight. I know it's not well known in the UK, but in Estonia (where I come from) and Finland it's quite popular. Yap, it's a bit more expensive than Hikvision, but omg... You know? When you hold similar cameras - one by Hikvision and the 2nd by Milesight, you feel the difference! Milesight is more about quality, the construction is strong and their CCTV systems are so beautiful! Video quality is also maybe a bit better. So I would really recommend having a look at their camera systems either on Milesight original website or I know Armsec has also Milesight products in their store.

I also know that Dahua is not a bad brand (at the end of the day...all good and bad brands are produced in China :D) but I've never seen that brand in reality.

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