Let's talk about defense. A different kind!
I'm not quite sure where this would best be except for the Armory since, well, it's about defense using some sort of object that may vaguely fall under the category of being a "weapon."
So I've been recently on a binge that focused a whole bunch on camera systems. This is a very important self-defense tool for your home or business. I don't know why, but I've had a recent increase in the demand for installation of cameras ranging from cheap Linksys cameras to something as spectacular as Pelco's Spectra IV.
Whatever the case, I'm here to educate you folks and maybe learn some things on them myself.
I'm sure that at one point or another, you've given thought to camera systems. Maybe for your business or even your home. Hell, I've installed cameras into vehicles and RC cars. Whatever the needs, Cameras are a great weapon against those who intend to do you harm.
Here's some basics on what you need to think about when you buy cameras for whatever your application:
Digital or Analog?
This is a rather hot debate amongst surveillance folks. The difference? In analog, the picture is interlaced across a bunch of vertical and horizontal lines that have odd and even numbers assigned to them that refresh at a certain rate. This creates a problem when objects move too fast, such as a car or a person running, as only half of the lines are recording the image because the other half aren't really "working." Though there are some advances in the technology that have more or less lessened the strain on the image. Not to mention the fact that the image deteriorates as the signal length gets longer.
Real digital cameras are decidedly (my opinion anyway) much better as they are constantly recording and use picture elements that are more commonly known as pixels. They use what's called "Progressive scanning" which essentially captures an entire image and scans each line every 1/16th of a second. This brings a better picture to the table. This produces better quality images and there's no "flickering" as opposed to analog cameras.
However, most real digital cameras that use progressive scanning rather than just interlaced video that's converted into digital images are either expensive or hard to get a hold of. The majority of "digital" cameras such as linksys and d-link cameras are actually interlaced images converted to digital. But as we go along, the technology for Charged Coupled Device (CCD) over a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) sensor gets cheaper and better.
Brands? Which one do I choose?
Do brands matter? Decidedly, yes. From my current understanding and experience, brands do matter. So which ones are best?
The only cameras I've ever really used are Pelco, D-link, Linksys and Axis. The rest of the camera brands I don't really bother with. I hear that Sony, Toshiba, Canon and other Japanese cameras are also very good, but I haven't had the time or money to bother with them.
D-link and linksys are cheap as ****, but they have horrible quality. Axis and Pelco are very very very nice. Pelco especially. The Spectra IV pretty much is the most badass camera I've ever used. I can zoom in on a store 1000 feet away and see the numbers on the telephone of the attendant is using behind his counter and have an incredibly clear image.
It is always important to find cameras with at least these few basic features:
- Low lux rating. This is important, you want a camera that can capture images in low light and be able to reproduce them. This will usually show on the cameras.
- Network capable. You'll want to be able to view your property from anywhere in the world and to do that your camera NEEDS to have the ability to network itself. Most network cameras have their own built in web servers and all you need is to be able to make sure you have the IP address and you can VPN in from anywhere or log in via a web browser.
- Mounting. What are you mounting to? A drywall? Metal? Stone? Think about what you're mounting to and if your camera can handle that kind of structure or element abuse.
- Coaxial and CAT5/6. You'll want cameras that have the capability to be wired directly into your network. Wireless cameras will eventually shut down your wireless router because of the huge amount of data that you'll be streaming. Being wired is always going to be best until they perfect wireless technology.
Thanks! Questions, comments, corrections, post them up. I'm pretty experienced in this area, so ask away, if you know more than me and spot something wrong, point it out. Thanks!
yes arn't you worried about outside intrusion to a networked wired camera system? FO instince a local gentalmans bar here that was managed by afriend had there cameras net worked. After afew friends of mine saw the cat-5 we infomred them that they wher waisting there time. they thought we where nuts. With permission my firend was able to narrow down the IP of the club from there webpage and crashed there system shutting down the cameras. then to further show how vulnerable they where we crashed them from just out side thru the phone line.
Why would any one open there security to the out side world? i could under stand a camera or two for distance monertering but your entire system why not just leave the doors open and cameras turned off.
If you are interested in meeting people who can do this resorces would include 2600, l0pHT, or Defcon. Defcon is held every year in Las Vegas NV you can find people with these skill sets there every year mingling with local police departments NSA military etc. Only group i have never seen there was CIA.
I'm not worried because I'm not so stupid as to make the cameras public. Secondly, if you can see the CAT5 cabling, then the install was shitty. Sounds like the pub just has a really terrible and shitty setup.
Originally Posted by mad_malk
There isn't much of a problem to keeping yourself open to the outside world if you go about it the right way. 90% of the setups I do involve VPN's and cabling that is inside of the walls, battery backups, isolated data lines, etc. etc. There's a way around EVERY system, but I've found that if you make it very annoying to get around and not worth someone's time, they won't do it.
Have you had much experience with the "commercial grade" systems? The reason I ask is that there is a HUGE gap in the quality of evidential tapes I seize and typically most will not playback on any other systems (even with a multi-system decoder).
Any moves within the industry towards some form of "standard"?
Not that I know of. The whole security system thing is still in its baby stages and people think they can do it all on their own.
Originally Posted by Hanniballistic
I've experienced a lot of commercial style cameras. Mostly Pelco's stuff. Their systems are AMAZING and I wish everyone would just use theirs. The software is pretty good and the installation isn't bad at all. The cameras are great and overall are worth every penny you put into them.
Standardization is a long way from being a reality, unfortunately.
used to do security for a bank. they used all Sony HDD CCTV cameras, backed up daily on DVD. great system, very high definition images. just have to have an arsenal of them on tight angles, the cops don't like small grainy images. cameras are basically useless unless you get a full-on face shot.
in case you didn't know, i've been working in the security industry for over a decade. the only thing most exterior security is good for is getting coverage from an insurance agency.
Last edited by Neildo; 11/05/2007 1:23pm at .
It also makes it not worth it to most criminals. Which is why Pelco designs their cameras so menacingly and noticeable.
Originally Posted by Neildo
I wounder how mnay systems run a live backup so if pressured some one can give up a real tape and still have a conceled backup recording? I know people run dummy tapes.
most of the recording these days is on DVR.
Dear SUSHI, do you install security systems, and if so, could you please post some of the default codes? I already tried 1397 on this box and it's not taking it, I would like to know more about security alarms so I may explore a certain residence without disturbing the police!
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