6mm lens for driveway - too agressive?

EyeOfSauron

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I ended up going with 6mm lens 5442's to cover my drive (currently one installed, more to come).
This was done for aesthetic reasons, as box the PFA139 junction box and the turret itself are significantly smaller than the varifocal counterparts. I was actually shocked at how much nicer that looked.
So while I am sticking with varifocals for less conspicous mounting locations, I could not stomach them in that particular location.

That being said, I am wondering if 6mm was perhaps a tad too aggressive of a choice? Shorter focal length I would get less of a blind spot and probably still decent ID 1/3 of the drive. But sidewalk would likely be lost cause.
Right now, I am getting great detail, and will be installing 2-3 of those fixed cams, in addition to the varifocal 5442 I have mounted in an eave.

Drive-6mm-Left 2021-06-03 08.39.35.353 AM.jpg

IMG_0064.JPG

IMG_0062.JPG

Without cars in the drive if I tilt the cam up just a bit, I should be able to get decent ID all the way out to the sidewalk.

But obviously I will have a sizeable blind spot under the cam.

One thing that impressed me was how good the focus was all the way up to the camera - even though the minimum focus distance is advertised as 10+' ( from what I recall), it still does a great job up close (or at least decent enough to get a decent mug shot).

The one thing I noticed is the "Smart IR" almost seems too aggressive in the firmware I have installed. It dials back the illumination quite a bit whether it needs to or not.
To my disappointment I don't know if I can get away with keeping the cams in color at night AND maintain acceptably fast shutter/low noise, so I might have to tweak the IR some more.

Here is a bonus vari shot from my eve mount. Yes, it's too high - I might move it to another location, that is TBD.

DrivewayLeft 2021-06-03 09.08.09.738 AM.jpg
 

EyeOfSauron

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I thought the 5442 (fixed or varifocal) use the PFA130-E base. Are these the EmpireTech 5442's?
Yes, they're from @EMPIRETECANDY's Memorial Day Sale :D.

You can use PFA130-E. But you can also use PFA139, which is much smaller (both radius and depth) and fits the fixed lens camera body perfectly for a sleeker look.
 

wittaj

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I think the 6mm looks perfect. You get nice clean caps of people near the cars. You don't care about seeing the whole neighborhood LOL and at those further distances, it would only be observation and not identify anyway.

You then put up a cheaper 2.8mm for overview if you like. Either close by these cameras or a different spot.

Andy sells adaptors that you could use just the one cable run and split it to two cameras at the same location. Many here, including myself, have used them with great success.
 

EyeOfSauron

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Thanks for the validation guys! I still need to mess with the night image a bit. Even though I get a large (in pixels) shot of the faces, there is some ghosting/blurring going on. This is despite setting manual shutter.
Especially with the SmartIR the image seems to darken way too much and too agressively, which is opposite problem of the old firmware lol.

I am hoping I can get away with just adding one more 6mm, but my 3rd garage is set back so I'll have to see how that works out.

@wittaj I looked into those PoE multiplexers before. Since the Dahua cams are 100Mb only it should be fine to use. I saw some from some Texas company before, seemed decent quality. I will look at Andy's as well.
I have a conduit going into garage attic from the basement, so I will see if I can just run additional cables up. It's filling up, so it's getting tricky lol.
 

wittaj

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I have found with the 5442 series that you can drop the NR a lot lower than other cams. And I can then offset any noise by dropping the sharpness and find that balance.

What manual setting are you running? A fixed like 1/60 shutter or a ms range?

Can you adjust the gain in the setting you are on? If not switch to manual shutter to get access to the gain. I have found that you can run with a higher gain as well and with how close the person would be to this camera, you could probably run 70ish or so that would allow an even faster shutter.
 

EyeOfSauron

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What manual setting are you running? A fixed like 1/60 shutter or a ms range?
This is what I have right now. Still work in progress. I did lower the NR from 50 to 35. And bumped gain up to 70.

I think some of it has to do with IR (or lack of it) at longer distance/with smart IR.

driveway_night.png
 

wittaj

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You have Smart IR off? Is that to test now or was that the settings for the images above?
 

EyeOfSauron

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You have Smart IR off? Is that to test now or was that the settings for the images above?
To test. Images above it was with it on, it was before I even set the camera in BI :D.

I have some recordings after I changed the settings but I did not have IVS set up so I'd have to scroll through the videos to find. I will have more test captures when I have a moment.

One thing I noticed how much nicer the image is directly from the camera vs from BI. The image from the camera has very good contrast and details, and the BI image is "washed out".

This is weird as I am doing direct-to-disk recording in BI.

Left is snapshot from the camera UI, right is snapshot from BI.

snapshot.png
 
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I have a 4k (3mm?) up high for a over view to capture the whole picture, then more for the close up's.
I use the 6mm for one side of my drive way. The other one is a vari focal. I wanted more zoom to get cars / people better
as they enter the drive, it;s about 55' long, so it's different then yours.

I really need a 5442 with about a 10 or 12mm lens.

Side note, the vari focal does not let quite as much light in as the 6mm. With the 2 both on the garage, I can compare night
time. I have to run more gain and a little more 3d nr on the vari focal, and get more motion blur..
 
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EyeOfSauron

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I have a 4k 3mm up high for a over view to capture the whole picture, then more for the close up's.
I use the 6mm for one side of my drive way. The other one is a vari focal. I wanted more zoom to get cars / people better
as they enter the drive, it;s about 55' long, so it's different then yours.
Yeah my drive is around 50' long and 30' wide so it's quite a bit of ground to cover lol. I kind of wish it was a more narrow one, easier to cover with a natural "choke point".

For the fixed, do you have the bullet or turret? I noticed that there is a 5542 fixed ( I think ASE-NI or something) that only comes in bullet from and it has significantly better sensitivity.

In my case, the fixed does seem to do better, but it's not by a crazy amount. I have a challenging scene with tons of lights shining into the cameras, which requires careful aiming and adjustment.
Kind of a bummer with all this light, it's not in the right place so does not help that much at night in terms of keeping the camera in color :).
 

MikeLud1

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To test. Images above it was with it on, it was before I even set the camera in BI :D.

I have some recordings after I changed the settings but I did not have IVS set up so I'd have to scroll through the videos to find. I will have more test captures when I have a moment.

One thing I noticed how much nicer the image is directly from the camera vs from BI. The image from the camera has very good contrast and details, and the BI image is "washed out".

This is weird as I am doing direct-to-disk recording in BI.

Left is snapshot from the camera UI, right is snapshot from BI.

View attachment 91374
I also am see the quality issue with BI see Post. What I figured out if BI is doing software decode the image is washed out if you switch to hardware decode image is back to normal.
 

Old Timer

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Yeah my drive is around 50' long and 30' wide so it's quite a bit of ground to cover lol. I kind of wish it was a more narrow one, easier to cover with a natural "choke point".

For the fixed, do you have the bullet or turret? I noticed that there is a 5542 fixed ( I think ASE-NI or something) that only comes in bullet from and it has significantly better sensitivity.

In my case, the fixed does seem to do better, but it's not by a crazy amount. I have a challenging scene with tons of lights shining into the cameras, which requires careful aiming and adjustment.
Kind of a bummer with all this light, it's not in the right place so does not help that much at night in terms of keeping the camera in color :).
The 4K overview is a amcrest IP8M-T2599 I looked it is a 2.8mm.
One side is the IPC-T5442TM-AS 6mm
The other side is a IPC-T5442T-ZE

I have a gate, so it is a great choke point to catch what's going on, and document what comes in and out.
We use the over view as a quick look on a monitor to see what's going on, then click BlueIris display to go back to outside cameras.
Night time we have a different set of cameras to watch. Camera groups work great for different needs around the place.
 
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