Best outdoor PoE dome camera under $400? Hikvision or another brand?
  • Hi there! I'm new to these forums but have used Indigo for home automation for a while. I'm in the end stages of a home addition/remodel in the SF bay area and was hoping to get advice on the best outdoor cameras to use with SecuritySpy. I have a mid-2016 iMac to dedicate to Indigo and SecuritySpy.

    I'm planning on eight outdoor cameras and have run Cat6 wires to the locations for PoE. Most cameras will be wall-mounted and two will be mounted upside-down from a second story overhang that's parallel to the ground. About half of them will have adjacent IR motion detectors to trigger recording. Here's a photo showing the white Cat6 pigtail for a wall-mounted camera above the garage door:

    I'd like to standardize on one model, which seems to mean finding a three-axis camera. I'm looking at dome cameras--I think they'll be less visually intrusive than bullets and will make my wife happier!

    Browing through SecuritySpy's list of supported cameras and a discussion here last month, it looks like three-axis contenders are the Vivotek FD8367-TV (~$350), the ZAVIO D6330 (~$400), and the Hikvision DS-2CD3145F-IS (~$100) and DS-2CD2532F-I (~$150). ACTi also makes a bunch (D72A, D82A, E72A, E74A, E82A, E86A) of 3MP three-axis cameras and seems to have better support than Hikvision. But they're closer to $300 to $600 and I'm not sure if they all work with SecuritySpy. :(

    Does anyone have any recommendations for under $400? The Hikvision DS-2CD3145F-IS something like a third the price of the ACTi cameras, so that seems to be a good default, but maybe I'm missing something! I'm happy to share the results once we move back into the house and I install and test out the new system...
  • Hello there, I'm a fan of Hikvision. For horizontal applications, dome cameras are great; Vertical wall mount not so much. When you try to get the downward angle on the dome you will cover some of the IR lights behind the camera housing and you will get ghosting. Vertical wall mounts Bullets are good but can be subject to being hit with a bat or rake so keep them mounted higher up. Having an adjustable focal length 2.8 - 12 mm is super handy to fine tune your sweet spot. Stay away from fixed 2.8mm cameras. All you will get is a wide angle of low resolution at any Mega pixel.
    Do Not buy your cameras from Amazon. There are No Authorized Resellers on Amazon. That means no warranty. All you will find there are Hacked Chinese firmware or "International Versions" and a Firmware upgrade could Brick your cam. I know this through experience :(… 3 Mega Pixel should be fine. In your price range i don't think there is an advantage in going 4 Mega Pixel, at least in the Hikvision realm they're not that much better. For a dome cam you could look at the DS-2CD2732F-IS and for a bullet cam the DS-2CD2632F-IS. This is just humble opinion. There are a lot of Hikvision Haters out there; they probably made their purchase at Aliexpress or Amazon. I think they are the best bang for the buck.
  • We like Hikvision too - a wide variety of cameras at reasonable prices. Have a look at Dahua Technology too, they have many suitable models under $400.
  • I am using a few Dahua SD22A204TN-GN PTZ cameras outdoors at my office building in Minnesota. They work beautifully with SS and only cost $254.95. So far they handled -11ºF weather just fine. I will see how they handle -24ºF this weekend.
  • Oh wow that's cold! I just checked the specs and the SD22A204TN-GN has an impressive operating range: -30°C ~ +60°C (-22°F ~ +140°F) as well as good resolution and low-light sensitivity. Looks like a very nice camera.

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