Rent Surveillance For An Event?

I was just asked recently to propose a camera system for an outdoor event. The town was requiring it as a condition of the permit. They want to rent and not buy, but are willing to sign a contract for the next 3 years. So I am wondering if anyone else on the site does this. A quick check on the web proved to be un-helpful. If any one does rent do you have any suggestions or advice? What about equipment choices? Any input would be great. I had the idea of using 128gb cards in IR cameras to avoid a dedicated recording device but that’s only if they don’t want to view during the event and the record time would be short but long enough for the event.


Jerry, renting month to month is fairly uncommon - high setup costs, etc.

However, if they are willing to sign a contract for 3 years (fairly long), I think that's viable. It's basically a 3 year lease to own, except theoretically you can take the equipment back at the termination and resell it or use it for spares, etc.

I think recording on board is worth considering though most cameras only support 32GB or 64GB cards today. Even if they want to watch live during the event, on board recording really makes things simpler because you don't need to worry about connections to NVRs dropping and setting up that piece of equipment, etc.

If it's an outdoor event, how big? Is it just one camera or multiple? PTZs probably if someone is going to be watching during the event, HD fixed otherwise, etc.

The event I was asked to cover was a party tent. They wanted only to record the street approaches and entry. The longest view was 150ft. but you had to pass right in front of the cameras at some point. They only used 2 cameras this year but want 3 next year. Maybe more.

I was thinking the following to make it viable but I haven’t worked it all out yet. I figure the more input the better.

  1. Use cameras with onboard storage. I’m looking at GeoVision. They claim 128GB. That would give a 1MB camera about 24 hours recording at 20FPS. Since the towns request was in case of another Boston situation, I figure 24 hours is good. I could do 48hrs maybe if I use 10FPS.
  2. I would like to find a portable camera pole of some sort that could be set up quickly and be located where needed. Possibly a battery built into the pole base to supply power. Since I’m at it, a wireless access point to connect to the web or a dedicated DVR.
  3. For ease of set up I would guess a PTZ is the easiest. Once mounted there is no need to aim and focus. Just PTZ to get the image needed.

Of course this all depends on cost.

These towers are becoming quite common for <outdoor> event surveillance:

Ok, now you are starting to ask for a lot, lol!

A few thoughts:

  • Do you mean 1 megabit or 1 megabyte? Either way, I think you'll get at least a day. Even at 8Mb/s (1MB/s), that's 84GB over a day.
  • We haven't ever covered Geovision but, by reputation (lower end), I'd be nervous to use it at an outdoor event. One thing to check, even if they support 128GB (which is high), how do you retrieve it?
  • Portable camera poles are fairly easy. We use a tripod lighting stand, with PanaVise camera mounts attached for our portable kit (though you may want to consider something more rugged).
  • Battery and wireless makes it tougher, not just because it increases weight but because it gets a lot more complex and likely to fail. I've done events in the past and nothing is more frustrating to everyone involved than last minute troubleshooting. If possible, run wires or stick the cameras at the site of the booth / admin area.

I ran across Reconyx on the internet but don't have any experience with them. Look like fancy portable deer hunter cams but they appear to be cost effective. They have a model with cellular transmission that looks interesting.

There are a few companies, like Cameras On Site, that have made a decent business in that market.

Brian that looks like the ticket! Too bad its cost is probably too high but it looks awsome.

Jerry -

Where are you located? I know a few guys who do systems like that, maybe I know someone in your area. FWIW, we do a fair amount of "quick deploy" systems of that nature, since we have up to 750GB in our cameras. Granted *most* of our deployments are about the analytics, but small site/rapid deployment stuff like this is a fairly decent market for us as well.

I came across this today. Maybe someone in your area offers a service like this. I don't see any camera specs on it though. Maybe you can attach anything you want?