Need Help With Purchase Of Web Cam

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by MrAl, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. MrAl

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 17, 2014
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    Hello there,

    I hope someone out there will have some ideas about this I looked and looked on the web but had trouble finding a web cam with true NIGHT vision.

    The problem is, many of the web cams advertised with "night vision" do not really have night vision, they have WHITE LED's to illuminate an area close to the camera. True night vision can sense IR light and so dont have white LED's they either have no LED's or IR LED's on the camera.

    This is a big problem as i cant seem to find one that specifically says "night vision senses IR light" or "with IR LED's" or something to that effect.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks very much.
     
  2. AlbertHall

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 4, 2014
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    Search ebay for IR web cam.
     
  3. MrAl

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    Jun 17, 2014
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    Hi again,

    Thank you, but do you know of any already that work like this?

    Thanks.
     
  4. MrAl

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    Jun 17, 2014
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  5. DNA Robotics

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    Jun 13, 2014
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  6. MrAl

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 17, 2014
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    Hi,

    Well actually the last one i got was 8 dollars USD some years ago and dont remember what site i got it from now, i think i bought it from a friend actually.
    They are cheap but the real problem is trying to find one that actually can be used for IR detection.
    From what i understand, even cheap ones like $2 can do color and supposedly if they are taken apart you can remove the IR filter and make it IR sensitive, but i dont want to have to take it apart. The last one i got years ago did not have to be taken apart as it already had IR sensitivity and has 6 IR LEDs mounted on the front. I want to replace that one.

    What i was hoping was that someone here had actual experience with buying one, and tried it, and it worked with IR detection and they could tell me where they got it. So no guessing games for me :)
     
  7. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    I installed security cameras for a friend that use IR LEDs when ambient light falls too low. The image then goes from color to black and white. But these were more than $20 apiece.
     
  8. MrAl

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 17, 2014
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    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply. I was thinking about that option too, but was not sure about how some of these systems worked. That would of course take me from USB and computer to a stand alone recording DVR and regular IR security cameras.

    For example, once you record a session with the cameras and i guess hard drive recording unit, can you fast forward to view the security cam recordings? For example, say you go out for 2 hours and come back and want to review the recording, you dont want to have to sit through 120 minutes of boring television where nothing is even moving most of the time (except maybe squirrels) so you want to be able to fast forward and view in accelerated time yet still not miss any frames if possible. Going 10 times faster would save a lot of time for example.
    Also, how good are the 20 dollar cameras? Do they show the picture clear enough?

    Thanks again, this is fairly important.
     
  9. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    The system I have experience with is similar to this one. The quality of the recorded video is quite good. Not great, but decent resolution and color. (IR video is black and white. The IR LEDs glow red when on.) The central unit talks to the cameras over wifi and records video to a hard drive. There are models from other manufacturers that can record directly to the cloud over wifi, which seems like a nice feature.

    There are a wide range of programming options to control what gets recorded. We set my friend's system to only record when motion is detected. This dramatically reduces the amount of footage to review. It gets fooled by snow, birds and such, but it's not too bad. You can even program where, within the camera's frame, to look for motion. You can program the cameras to record on a schedule if you want.

    You can access recorded video from a computer connected directly to the central box, using an internet browser if you're on the same home network subnet as the central box, or there is a custom app lets you access the recorded video over the internet. My wife uses her iPhone to take a look at the video from time to time. The software for this particular system is not the most elegant software I've used, but there are a lot of features and it does get the job done.
     
  10. MrSoftware

    Senior Member

    Oct 29, 2013
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    There is a LOT of info to go through for security camera options. What you want is motion detection with continuous recording. This way the camera is always recording, but flags motion events so you can jump to exactly where the motion occurs when watching the video. If you want to slap it together for a very low budget, get your web camera and check out the Zone Minder security camera software (free, open source). Zone minder will save the video as a stream of mjpeg images, and flags motion events. There is a LOT of other software to check out and if you end up with an HD IP camera that can stream mpeg4 then you'll probably want different software (most camera makers offer free software these days) or a dedicated NVR, but if you want to do it on the cheap then check out ZoneMinder, it works really nicely for what it is.

    As for the camera; there are very sensitive night vision cameras, but they are not cheap. I have one that sees color at night in light so low that you can hardly see with your own eyes, though its frame rate is slow in those conditions, and you get motion blur from the low shutter speed. Many cameras have mechanical IR filters over the lenses. Many of the security cameras have the ability to remove the IR filter from the lens automatically when the ambient light gets low (at dusk). If you find a camera with a mechanical IR filter that can be removed, then that will help your light sensitivity in low light conditions.
     
  11. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    What about those night cameras that they market to hunters and nature lovers?
     
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