Tag Archives: cameras

10 Recommended IP Cameras 2018

Here are our camera picks for 2018. They are listed in no particular order (they are quite varied in terms of cost and feature set, which makes them difficult to rank as a “top 10″ list), however they are all cameras that, due to their impressive features, we recommend to our customers for use with our SecuritySpy CCTV software for the Mac.

Some abbreviations used below are as follows:

  • MP – Megapixels – the number of millions of pixels in the image sensor. The higher this number, the more detailed the image, but resolution isn’t everything: the optical quality of the lens system is also extremely important.
  • PoE – Power-over-Ethernet – when using a PoE switch, the camera draws power over the ethernet cable and therefore doesn’t need a separate power supply. This is very useful for easy installation and ongoing reliability.
  • IR – Infra-Red – some cameras include Infra-Red LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) for night vision. Usually the manufacturer will specify the maximum useful range of the IR in meters.
  • P-Iris / DC-Iris – These features allow the camera lens to automatically adjust its aperture size, based on the amount of incoming light. P-Iris is more sophisticated and will give better results than than DC-Iris, but both are far better than a Fixed-Iris lens, especially for outdoor applications.
  • Varifocal – most lenses have a fixed focal length, whereas varifocal lenses allow you to zoom in and out somewhat (sometimes manually, sometimes motorised), to adjust the field of view. A focal length of 2.8mm is very wide-angle; 4mm is standard; 8mm is moderately telephoto.
  • PTZ – Pan, Tilt, Zoom – motorised remote control of the camera’s horizontal and vertical angle, and focal length.

INEXPENSIVE OUTDOOR BULLET: REOLINK RLC-410

Reolink RLC-410

Reolink is a relatively new manufacturer in the CCTV space with a small range of cameras, but their products are all well-designed, well-specified and extremely well-priced. The RLC-410 is a waterproof 4 MP bullet-type camera with 30m IR night-vision, PoE support, and (unusually for an outdoor bullet) a built-in microphone that can deliver high-quality AAC-encoded audio. It is impressively small and discreet, and retails at $65, which is great value.

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Case Study: The Raven Hotel

For any organisation still using analog cameras, SecuritySpy offers an easy upgrade path to a digital solution, allowing you to keep your analog cameras while gradually moving to a system based on megapixel IP cameras.

The Raven Hotel was in exactly this situation, and used SecuritySpy as their video surveillance solution. Below is their experience of SecuritySpy, in their own words.

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10 Recommended IP Cameras 2015

Since our initial 10 Recommended IP Cameras post, network cameras have been improving steadily, with many new models released. Therefore it is time to update the list with our picks for 2015. As before, the cameras listed here are in no particular order (they are quite varied in terms of cost and feature set, which makes them difficult to rank as a “top 10″ list), however they are all cameras that, due to their impressive features, we recommend to our customers for use with our SecuritySpy video surveillance software for the Mac.

Some abbreviations used below for camera features are as follows:

  • MP – Megapixels – the number of millions of pixels in the image sensor. The higher this value, the more detailed the image, but note that optical quality of the lens system also makes a huge difference, so resolution isn’t everything.
  • PoE – Power-over-Ethernet – when using a PoE switch, the camera draws power over the ethernet cable and therefore doesn’t need a separate power supply. This is very useful for easy installation and ongoing reliability.
  • IR – Infra Red – some cameras include Infra Red LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) for night vision.
  • PTZ – Pan Tilt Zoom – mechanical movement of the camera that can be controlled by SecuritySpy.

Dahua Technology IPC-HFW4100S

dahua-ipc-hfw4100s

For a simple high-quality 1.2 MP outdoor bullet camera, this model is ideal. It features PoE and good night vision thanks to its bright IR LEDs, and it is outstanding value at only USD $100. Minor downsides include the lack of audio, and somewhat awkward initial setup (due to pre-set static IP addresses – but we have instructions for the setup in these cases). For a higher-resolution model, have a look at the 2.1 MP IPC-HFW4200S or the 3.1 MP IPC-HFW4300S. Continue reading

SecuritySpy Screensaver Tutorial

The SecuritySpy screensaver allows you to view live video from one or more SecuritySpy servers, as a full-screen screensaver on your Mac. This can be a convenient and useful way to monitor your cameras, and this tutorial will show you how to set this up.

The screensaver works by connecting to SecuritySpy’s web interface to obtain the video streams. If you are connecting over a local network, you simply have to enable the web server feature within SecuritySpy, via the Web Server Settings window. If you are connecting over the internet you will first have to set up SecuritySpy for remote monitoring.

Once you have enabled SecuritySpy’s web server, download the SecuritySpy screensaver, double-click on it, and you will be asked to confirm that you want to install it on your Mac. Once installed, you will see a SecuritySpy item in the list of available screensavers in the Desktop & Screen Saver system preference. On the right side of the Desktop & Screen Saver window, click the Screen Saver Options button to configure the screensaver:

 

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