Christy, thanks for sharing and welcome!
Can you clarify how far and wide an area you want to cover? It impact resolution choice, IR range, etc.
Also, is the whole system 3 cameras or are there more inside? And anything in particular you are monitoring or want to do?
I'd say definitely not Dropcam / Nestcam. Those are best for small indoor areas. Given the relative low resolution / high compression and pitiful IR range plus your need for multiple cameras, there are definitely better options out there.
Also, gut feel is to use integrated IR cameras rather than adding in IR flood lights. They will likely perform better, look better and cost less.
Provide us feedback on the questions above and we can provide more feedback.
Thanks for the warm welcome! I was worried I was trespassing on pro-only territory.
I'd like to start with 3 cameras at the front, but have intention to add 1-2 more in the backyard. I don't intend to add any cameras inside the house.
My overall purpose is to be alerted to any suspicious activity, have enough detail to catch the criminals & ideally use the video footage as evidence. Some neighbors a couple houses down were burglarized & they have Dropcams. The footage is so poor that it will only serve as a memory of what happened. I don't want that to be me.
The total area is 50' deep & 900' wide, so a width of approximately 300'-350' per camera assuming some overlap. At night the area is in total darkness. It would be my preference to have IR integrated cameras & not use the IR floods, but don't mind adding them if necessary.
"I was worried I was trespassing on pro-only territory."
Of course not, IPVM is for anyone who is serious about doing video surveillance well.
"Some neighbors a couple houses down were burglarized & they have Dropcams. The footage is so poor that it will only serve as a memory of what happened. I don't want that to be me."
Sad but true!
"The total area is 50' deep & 900' wide, so a width of approximately 300'-350' per camera assuming some overlap."
That's not very far, but it is very very wide.
Here's an idea of what that looks like using our Calculator:
A single camera over that area (specifically 300' wide) is going to deliver very poor image detail.
This is what roughly it will look like (night may be better with the right IR):
Your dimensions really demand more cameras if you want to get any reasonable detail (instead of 3 in the back, 6 or 9). The good news is that there are many low cost, high quality outdoor cameras to choose from with integrated IR (in the $150 range per).
Let me know what you think. I will email this out to members and I am sure they will have advice as well.
John does not need any help, and he is correct Mrs. Lawrence, welcome. Think of the area you are asking each camera to cover as a football field, because the dimensions you offer equal that almost exactly. Also keep in mind that video is very much a two dimensional view. If you have any trees or other landmarks that block the view, you will not see "around" them. Depending on your budget, you have some tough decisions to make, but at a minimum, I would consider something that covers my driveway/garage area if you have one.
If you have a good interior security system, that is a positive. If not, consider using the cameras to "watch" your windows or places of ground entry, closer to your home. You might have to forego something for now. Feel free to come back anytime.
Ok. I'm an idiot & misread the prints. I have no doubt I proved most of the end-user stereotypes right in my first few minutes... sorry about that. The total width is 107' feet.
Thanks for the list!! I was curious how the list would change with a budget of $1000 per camera, and I was surprised that were only 4 cameras between $301-$1000, with all your other parameters the same. I was also surprised that no 5MP cameras were listed. Are they not worth the investment? Is the day/night support also more hype than substance?
The Flir FX
Record to SD card or use cloud recording with it. Flir uses Briefcam for the cloud. The FX also comes with a nifty outdoor cover.