Start With A Dahua 4MP Starlight IPC-HFW4431M-I2 ?

abrogard

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I am just about to buy my first 'real' ipcam (instead of the foscam clones I've always used) and I wonder if the Dahua 4mp starlight IPC-HFW4431M-I2 I've found on ebay is a good starting place?

Because it is not unusual on eBay, of course, to find things being sold off because they've been replaced in the market or that model has been found to have problems and so on..

I'm too new to the game to know so I'm just asking..

I don't even know how to identify the models - I need that full number IPC-HFW4431M-I2 or a '4MP Starlight' would have done?

:)
 

fenderman

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I am just about to buy my first 'real' ipcam (instead of the foscam clones I've always used) and I wonder if the Dahua 4mp starlight IPC-HFW4431M-I2 I've found on ebay is a good starting place?

Because it is not unusual on eBay, of course, to find things being sold off because they've been replaced in the market or that model has been found to have problems and so on..

I'm too new to the game to know so I'm just asking..

I don't even know how to identify the models - I need that full number IPC-HFW4431M-I2 or a '4MP Starlight' would have done?

:)
no...its a hacked china region non upgradable camera with subpar performance...its not a starlight...
 

c hris527

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well there you go, ain't it good I asked...

if that's right.. this one: Dahua 4MP Starlight Camera IPC-HFW4431M-I2 Network IP IR Bullet Waterproof 80M | eBay

and what's 'non upgradable' mean? do they get software upgrades or they get new lenses can be added or what?

the ad seems very kosher, Dahua logo and all...

'hacked china' - Dahua is chinese after alll...
I get the feeling this form is getting trolled, IF you have done any digging on these cameras (and I mean the Chinese market). I have bought them and kept 1 and sent one back. The Hacked firmware to english is buggy as shit, I had focus issues on both where part of the picture was in focus and the right side was blurry, it would reboot, my Dahua NVR hated it,they never ran well and I wished I never bought either one of them. The IR was REALLY crappy and was totally useless at night for my needs. Now you can do what you want with my two cents but save yourself some grief and read between the lines here. I believe these cameras are seconds or rejects that are being dumped into the chinese markets then making their way here through ebay, amazon and Ali.
Nuff Said.
 

abrogard

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well it ain't me trolling... i'm looking a camera and to gain knowledge about the whole scene... looks like it's going to be bit of a climb.... what about these D-Link products then?

Dahua reseller I found in Aus. doesn't stock them any more.

He's got this Hikvision thing: 2MP DS-2CD2T22WD for about $200 which is about my price point. They okay? He's got tons of stuff way over $1000. Not going there today.
 
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fenderman

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well it ain't me trolling... i'm looking a camera and to gain knowledge about the whole scene... looks like it's going to be bit of a climb.... what about these D-Link products then?
oh god...start reading the forum...dlink is crap..
 

tigerwillow1

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I've had an opposite experience with the 4431M-I2 than others have. I've got a few of them. They perform well, work perfectly with the Dahua nvr, and I haven't had a lick of trouble with them. The not upgradable part is about the firmware. If you load new firmware, what I've heard is that the camera will revert to chinese language. There's a forum member who has modified the western language firmware, and from what I've read, this firmware can be loaded onto this camera. There's some suspicion that the hackers might be using this firmware on the cameras they are selling. I have to present all of this as second hand because my 4431Ms are all working well and I don't want to fix what ain't broke. Image-wise, I have only two comparisons to offer. One is against an official USA version rebranded hikvision 4MP camera that cost double what the 4431Ms cost, and the 4431M just mercilessly "beats the pants off of it" in terms of image quality, stability, and features. The other comparison is against a 2MP Dahua starlight. With its higher pixel count, the 4431M gives a sharper daytime image. With night images, the 2MP starlight is clearly better. I can't explain why my experience is so different from others. I've seen the same thing with a vehicle I have that's been fairly trouble free while others have been cursed with multiple very expensive repairs. I was willing to roll the dice with the 4431M because the worst case downside was about 90 bucks, and have done well with it, and also with the 4431C-Z. I also took a chance on a hacked chinese region hikvision 4MP camera and lost on that one. It's really bad and is sitting on the shelf gathering dust. I'll caution you about the specs published on the ebay and ali express pages for the hacked chinese cameras. Don't believe them! If you look at the pages for the same camera from 5 different sellers you could end up with 5 different sets of specs. I've suspected that when they put the pages together, they just add the specs from any old random camera. You have to do a bunch of digging to find what you think the correct specs are, and even then, it's a bit iffy.
 
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looney2ns

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abrogard

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Thanks for all this, guys.

I haven't gone away, I'm busy reading and trying to absorb. There's a lot stuff there.

Here in Aus I've been directed to Rhinoco as rebranded Dahua's. Any comments on that I wonder? I'm thinking of possible downsides such as no access to Dahua software/firmware/upgrades or whatever, that kind of thing...

Dahua has not responded to my emails so they must be making money too fast to worry much about customers. :)

I will stick with non-China models as suggested for the prices seem manageable to me. My first quick looks at the subject showed me cameras costing well over $1000. Not where I want to go right now.

Back to the reading.

I can get a 4MP motorized non PTZ day/night dome for $256 $AU. I thought that might be good? Then I read that domes are prone to deterioration from UV. Hmmm..
 

mat200

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Hi abrogard

I know a lot of us here like to customize our setups to match better cameras with our needs.

We have had good experiences purchasing from Andy and believe you will also. ( I would take it he is able to ship products to Australia )

If you are uncomfortable with purchasing international Dahua OEM models from China another option is to take a look at a place like Costco AU, as I have seen a number of Dahua OEM products there under various brands in the USA. Note, none of the kits sold there have included the starlight series, and the cameras all have fixed lens optics with wide FOV.

Welcome to Costco Wholesale Australia
 

abrogard

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From Andy? I've a memory of a post mentioning someone who sells rebadged Dahua's, would that be it? But I can't find it.

If he's in the USA it's probably prohibitive,the post and pack charges. Most everything is.

Thanks for the Costco link. But I was faced with a request for money to 'join' Costco before i could even see their products - so I'm not certain about that.

It begins to look as though I might be shopping at this Rhinoco.

Couple of things came to mind, I'm still not sure about the whole thing:

IP. Is this wireless IP? With all this PoE it seems to me if you've got Ethernet to the device then the other end of the Ethernet is going to an Ethernet port on your computer? In that case it'd work without wireless...

I think I'd like them to have wireless so's I didn't need to run Ethernet cables around to a computer. It might sometimes, even many times, be easier to find a power outlet and run a power line than run an Ethernet through to a computer.

What is the state with all that?

Are they powered both ways, mains cable and ethernet ?

Are they connected both ways, ethernet and wireless?


And I'm not sure on what 'auxillary' device requirements are. Generally need a computer to feed the output into I think, right?

Or do they make some - I think I've heard they do - that store the input on an SD card or something until you want to come and remove it?

Do they make a sort of dedicated mini computer specifically for this task?

I ought to get an understanding of those things I guess before I go buy something.

I anticipate having say four cameras in an installation. So I was initially thinking they'd go into an Ethernet switch. But now I realise an Ethernet switch wouldn't power them, would it?

So if you have four cameras you need four power cables if it's mains power and four ethernet cables if it's PoE all the way to the computer?
 
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Philip Gonzales

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From Andy? I've a memory of a post mentioning someone who sells rebadged Dahua's, would that be it? But I can't find it.

If he's in the USA it's probably prohibitive,the post and pack charges. Most everything is.
Andy is from China. His company on Aliexpress is Empire Technology Co.

Below should be the link to his store page.

http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/cKQJs7as

I am going to do my best to answer your questions. Please keep in mind I am not an expert at IP Camera's. I have been looking into them for about two weeks so I am very new to this myself.

As far as PoE, most IP camera's offer to be powered by either a power adapter plugged into the mains or by PoE. If you are going to run a cable to the camera you might as well just run the one ethernet cable. You would connect one end to a PoE switch (A switch that provides power to it's Ethernet ports for applications like this) and the other end to your IP Camera. Your switch would be plugged into your internet router so that the IP Camera's could get out to the internet, and could DHCP although you should use a static IP address I believe. This way you can just run the switch to the power outlet and then run all the other Ethernet cables from the switch to the camera's. You can also get a PoE injector but this won't scale well in my opinion. It's basically a power brick with two Ethernet ports. One goes to your switch and the other to your IP camera and it injects power.

Below is an example of PoE switch. There are different standards of PoE, so make sure you get one that suits your needs. The main two are PoE and PoE+. The + provides more power and I believe they are backwards compatible. I think most IP Cams are PoE and not PoE+ but I am still very new to IP Cameras myself.

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Gigabit-Ethernet-Desktop-TL-SG1008P/dp/B00BP0SSAS/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1506216067&sr=1-3&keywords=PoE+switch

Here is an example of a PoE injector.

https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-PoE150S-Injector-Adapter-compliant/dp/B001PS9E5I/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1506216133&sr=1-3&keywords=PoE+injector

IP Camera's many times come with a micro SD card slot, but this should be used as a backup and not the primary means of storage. If someone were to break/steal the IP Camera the SD card would be of no use, and SD cards are not as reliable as other methods of recording. I personally run SD cards in all my IP camera's but I also record to a server using Blue Iris.

When you say "Do they make a dedicated mini computer for this task" (paraphrasing there), I assume you mean that handles the recording and power the device?

Are you familar with an NVR? It's like a DVR but it stands for Network Video Recorder. It's basically a box that has the software for connecting to and recording your IP Camera's. They have an internal hard drive where all your recordings are stored (sometimes you have to buy the hard drives separately), and some of them even have PoE ports built in.

Here is one with built in PoE.

https://www.amazon.com/Amcrest-NV2108E-8-Channel-Network-Recorder/dp/B0719WXZTY/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1506216665&sr=1-4&keywords=nvr+with+PoE

If you already have a powerful computer then you can use a software called Blue Iris or other similar software. This is like a virtual NVR in a way. An NVR is easier and more reliable, but I have multiple servers in my house so I went with Blue Iris.

I think most people would prefer Hardwired camera's vs Wifi Camera's as wifi can be unreliable and hard to troubleshoot. I personally have wireless IP camera's inside but it's because I am just learning about IP Camera's and I bought them as a baby monitor/IP Camera. So they are more of a toy but as a gateway into the world of IP Cam's they are neat. I am currently renting my own house and plan to replace them with real PoE IP Camera's when I move into my own house. One reason is I can't really be running wires through my rental house.

Are your IP Camera's going inside or outside? If they are going outside then the IP Camera below is highly recommended as it is a starlight and it's the best bang for the buck you can get. Basically it's regarded as the best outdoor IP camera in this price range. You would have to pay at least double to get a better performing low light IP Cam.

The model is Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z

I just ordered this one from Andy and I am awaiting shipment.

DAHUA 2.7mm ~12mm motorized lens 2MP WDR IR Eyeball Network Camera IPC HDW5231R Z ,free DHL shipping-in Surveillance Cameras from Security & Protection on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

Let me know if you have any questions and I would be happy to try and help. A lot of these people on these forums are IP Cam snobs (no offense), so they take this very seriously and I think they get tired of answering the same questions over and over (which is understandable).
 

abrogard

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mate, thanks a lot for that reply.

I've scanned through it and I'll go back later when I've got more time and I'll absorb it all.

this just a quick comeback to show I'm listening and appreciate what you've done.

I have foscam clones - been using them for years - but I don't monitor them and don't keep the vids and their resolution is useless for identifying bandits i think. What they have done is keep bandits away just by being there.

I'm looking to improve on that situation.

:)
 

mat200

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..
Thanks for the Costco link. But I was faced with a request for money to 'join' Costco before i could even see their products - so I'm not certain about that.
..
Hi Abrogard,

I see @Philip Gonzales got a lot of great answers for you.

Do look at the links @looney2ns posted, lots of great info here on the forum.

With regards to Costco - if they have a local mega store near you that is great - if not, I wouldn't recommend joining just to see what they have.

Definitely take a look at what Andy has to offer, and note he give slight discounts to members here - so feel free to let him know that you are a member of the forum.
 

gloworm

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Hello all,

I am working on a IP cam system with support for POE and POE +. Like the OP, I am noticing the 4 MP cameras but I need low light outdoor cameras. I have read religiously to go with a starlight camera, however I can't find any 4 MP starlight that seem reputable. Is a 2 MP really sufficient for (longer) driveway viewing or should I go with the higher res? Lastly, I noticed the 2 MP starlights are around $170 though the budget is really only $100 per. I assume the latter is a laughable budget for decent quality? Thanks.
 

mat200

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Hello all,

I am working on a IP cam system with support for POE and POE +. Like the OP, I am noticing the 4 MP cameras but I need low light outdoor cameras. I have read religiously to go with a starlight camera, however I can't find any 4 MP starlight that seem reputable. Is a 2 MP really sufficient for (longer) driveway viewing or should I go with the higher res? Lastly, I noticed the 2 MP starlights are around $170 though the budget is really only $100 per. I assume the latter is a laughable budget for decent quality? Thanks.
Hi Gloworm,

Thiere are no 4MP starlights to date - please see the links which list the starlight models.

WIth regards to your budget, you will have to make a list of your minimal acceptable requirements and make compromises. You may have to decide to put off purchasing a complete setup now, and picking only a partial system.

I know there is a LOT of information here to process so please see looney's post here as well as my previous post and look at the referenced links - post #8 and #10.
 
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