Camera System around House

I’ve seen a view discussions here on which cameras to get and so on, but I’m quite interested in the whole package and come with a few questions. Would really appreciate help with this!

  1. Do I go DVR or NVR? I like the PoE idea of NVR and the fact that it is more flexible and also have audio.
  2. I want to integrate with Home Assistant, should this influence my purchasing decision or and any camera feed be integrated relatively easily?
  3. I need remote viewing access, should this influence my decision?
  4. Where is a good place to shop for the parts? I see some stuff on takealot, but it looks to be a bit limited.
  5. Are there any brands I should avoid like the plague or any brands that I should absolutely get?
  6. All my cameras (initially) will be outdoor, only need 5 for now. Is there a specific camera “form” I should get? I see there’s domes, bullets, etc. and it confuses me a little… Is the shape really just the “look” you want, or are there practical considerations?
  7. Two of my cameras should be able to see at least 20m far. Is this an issue?
  8. Is it worth it to get an installer?
  9. If I go NVR (and PoE), what are all the components that I need to get to have it up and running?

I recently looked into this as well and talked to a friend of mine that installs security cameras.

The thing to remember is that if you go IP cameras, then the camera itself has to have all the features you need, while if you go DVR the DVR has all the features and you can get a cheaper camera with less features.
For instance if you want people tracking, then either the IP camera needs that feature and sends the data to the recorder, or the recorder has that feature and can apply that to all the cameras (that are not IP)

Almost everything has remote viewing (IP cameras directly or the other through the DVR or NVR). But you need to set that up securely else anyone on the internet could access them and/or hack them. You will need some sort of DynamicDNS if the data is not on the cloud.

Most cameras work pretty well in the daytime. His experience was that the Dahua cameras was better with their night vision against a similar one from the other brands (and was mostly cheaper as well)

Dome works better if you will mount it on a roof, while bullets are better for mounting on a wall. It has to do with the angle the camera can bend to get the direction you want it to look at. Not really useful if the camera is pointing at the ground. Otherwise they are mostly the same.
There are different lenses and they give you a wider or more narrow viewing angle, but you don’t want to look like a fisheye if you don’t have to.

Wat do you want to see at that 20m distance? If you want to recognise number plates at 20m it would be better to get a camera with a good resolution (5MP or more).
If this is 20m at night then you better make sure the IR lights for the camera can reach that far. Most IR lights won’t do great at 20m distance (this is more the upper limit for very good cameras).

It’s always worth getting a good installer. It’s never worth it to get a bad one. :smiley:

For components I would suggest look at a kit and either buy the same components that would be in a kit or get the kit. is a great source of multiple brands if you can register with them. I’n not sure if they sell directly to the public, but you can phone your nearest branch and ask.


Thanks! This helps a lot. There as an installer here just now. He pretty much convinced me to go DVR, but higher end.

He also suggested the IR to be properly specced, said I need at least 30m, but 50m would be best. I don’t need to recognise number plates that far.

He also suggested the Dahua brand!

I looked at this all and decided to skip the DVR/NVR option for now and just get 2 IP cameras to test with. I don’t need long recordings.
And if that does not work out I can always upgrade to the DVR and add those IP cameras. All the Dahua XVR models can handle a few IP cameras as well as their normal analogue camera inputs.

Ah! That is an interesting approach! I also don’t need recordings really… Didn’t actually realise this was an option!

Some of those more expensive IP cameras has an SD card slot for local recordings and can push to the cloud (some paid service, others free) or you can add it to your DVR.
EZVis link this one is a good brand. I went with a cheap Chinese one to test. They also have push notifications to your phone app which will be nice. It should arrive in the next 2 weeks then I can give you more information.

It seems that the biggest feature you need if you want push notifications is human recognition, else the camera notify you if the wind start to blow in the trees.

I bought a couple of PTZ Cameras for Bang good and a few things to consider.

  • Try and buy the same brand of Ip cameras , else you end up with 3 different brands of apps on your phone.
  • Accept that the remote connection will be slow as it get streamed form china.
  • Make sure that they support ONVIF , at least then you can have access to the camera should their server go belly up. I expect it will do in future.
  • Hope that there is enough of the super smart people that buys them so that the firmware will be customized :slight_smile: .

Image quality is quite good for the price and with all the rain currently they have held up. So they do seem to be water proof.
I paid R 600 per camera so the price wasn’t too bad.
I did try motion eye and Hassio but it could not handle the streams , shot up to 100% cpu so I am still looking for a alternative to have all the cameras in one spot.

Oh other thing that I have noticed is that even if they do have ONVIF support not all the functions will necessary work. My “Main” ptz works very well and you can have presets saved on the camera.
The new ones the presets is saved on the app so you cant call a preset from a SOAP command.
All of them do have a rstp steam so at least you can view them in Hassio.

1 Like

I quite like the Reolink 5MP cameras, I have 8 of them up and another 4 in boxes that still needs to be fitted. They are often on special for under $50 each

I use Blue Iris running on a windows PC for recording; it supports a staggering list of camera brands so you can mix and match to your heart’s content.

It supports main and substreams, substreams are ideal for displaying many cameras in a multi pane view on a tablet, using a lower resolution image when display images are small. It helps keeping cpu usage way down. It can still record at full res though.

Just ordered mine today, good prices. Worked out to R532 per camera. Free delivery to SA

@mongooseman told me about Blue Iris, you buy it for a once off payment and then run the service locally it seems. Got all the functions of a DVR, but runs on a PC. Handles the recordings and uses motion and audio to trigger the recording.

Can also be integrated with Home assistant to send you notifications when motion was detected.

Where did you order from?

1 Like

Cool , thank you!!

Thank you Jaco

Plus 15% VAT :slight_smile:. Still an excellent price.

I could not quite figure out whether they courier or use Post Office. But I also did not spend a lot of time looking…

I think it varies, but mine came to my door

I guess since this is an energy website also, you might appreciate my next question…

What is the power draw of these systems? The installer that was here said for the 5 camera system I need, power draw will be between 70W to 90W continuously.

This doesn’t sounds like a lot, but when your house idles at less than 300W at night, it is a pretty large amount to be adding on top of it, especially given my current battery capacity…

The power consumption on the cameras that i ordered is rated at <8watt. So 5 of them should draw less than 40Watt. I am not sure what the power consumption of the DVR is… They normally come with a 12V 3 A power supply, so I guess the absolute maximum should then theoretically be 36watt. In total you should be below 70watt, 90 seems a bit high for a 5 camera system.

Looking at this HikVision PDF its seems like 90 watt is reasonable for some cameras so i guess it depends on the cameras you chose. The DVRs draw 10 watt excluding the hard drive…

These are the ones…

Received a tracking number in my mails this morning and the shipment is handled by these guys…