IP Camera Specification / RFP Guide 2017

By: IPVM Team, Published on Aug 14, 2017

RFPs are hard.

Do them 'right' and it takes a lot of knowledge and time.

Do them 'wrong' and you can be (a) unwittingly locked into a specific vendor or (b) be forced to accept inferior quality products.

This guide helps IP camera purchasers better specify, including developing Request for Proposals. Note - this guide only covers IP cameras, as they are the most common type specified in RFPs. However, learn more about HD Analog vs IP Cameras in this IPVM guide.

In this 30+ page guide, we look at top issues impacting specifications, camera specs that cause the most trouble, and give recommendations for over 20 different spec areas.

The Big 3 Issues

We find 3 general issues that all specifications need to address:

  • Avoiding high level specifications
  • Avoiding copying of vendor specifications
  • Analyzing pros and cons of specifying specific products

Top Issues for 2017

The following are the most difficult elements to specify for IP cameras in 2017, areas we explain in-depth in the guide:

  • Cybersecurity, due to its rapid increase in prominence and difficulty of specifying it as a 'feature'
  • Integrated IR, due to its now near ubiquitousness but with variations in performance
  • Fast Motion WDR, due to gains in WDR capabilities but variations in handling fast motion

Key Specification Trouble Spots

Then we examine the seven most troublesome areas of camera specifications, including:

  • Why specifying target and FoV dimensions are key
  • Understanding the benefits and limitations of using pixel density (PPF/PPM)
  • Evaluating what resolution to specify
  • Specifying low light performance
  • Factoring in imager size
  • WDR right and wrong
  • Factoring in the complexity behind storage duration

Finally, we provide recommendations and template for over 20 other common specifications impacting camera hardware and software features:

  • Form Factor
  • Frames Per Second
  • Codecs
  • Smart Codecs
  • Minimum Illumination
  • Maximum Exposure Setting
  • Audio
  • Outdoor Rating
  • Temperature Range
  • Vandal Resistance
  • Multi-Streaming
  • Streaming Mode
  • Recording Mode
  • On Board Storage
  • VMS Compatibility
  • Power Supply
  • Auto Focus
  • Iris Type
  • Lens Type
  • PTZ Optical Zoom
  • PTZ Pan Range
  • PTZ Tilt Range
  • Digital Zoom / Total Zoom
  • Panoramics vs PTZs 

Big Three Issues

1. Avoid High Level Specs

Many specifications are vague, for example requesting "a high resolution low light IP camera." This type of specification generally leads to poor selections. At least some responders will pick the lowest cost model possible that could arguably meet the vague specification, obtaining a significant price advantage, a key problem when many RFPs are either solely or significantly decided by price.

In the rest of the guide, we detail the 20+ most common parameters and how to explicitly specify them to avoid vague specifications. 

2. Avoid Copying Vendor Specifications

The opposite side of being vague is copying a vendor's specifications. This will result in locking out all others. Most large manufacturers write AE specifications with the goal that specifiers will copy and paste those specifications directly into the RFP. Manufacturers spend money and time doing this because they know once their AE specification is in, even if the RFP does not require only their product, no other manufacturer is likely to meet the exact combination of features that their model has. The problem is many of those features in the manufacturer specification are low-level and likely irrelevant to what the buyer needs or wants.

3. Specifying Exact Models 

Some buyers can simply and explicitly declare they want to buy a certain product (Widget XYZ or Camera 6013W, etc.). However, many organizations have procurement rules that do not allow them to do so or force them to defend such specifications with sole source justifications. This is a difficult area. Organizations that have restrictions on explicitly requiring products are often, and understandably, concerned that an 'open' specification will result in them getting an inferior product that passes the specification given. By replacing high level specifications with more detailed ones as we describe in this guide, this can help ensure quality products are selected in an open bid.  

Consider Acceptance Testing

Since most specifications are feature based only (e.g., must have resolution of X, frame rate of Y, codec Z, etc.) instead of performance based (e.g., must be able to read a license plate at X distance from the camera at Y light level with a 1/30s or faster shutter), they can lead to disappointing real world results. The responder of a feature based only specification will rightfully argue that they delivered the features / technical specifications requested, even if the underlying need was not met. 

To overcome this, include a requirement for acceptance testing, during which video from each installed camera is reviewed, to ensure that the camera can deliver the details you need in the areas and times that are most critical to you. Those which do not meet your specifications must be reconfigured, or, at worst, replaced. The main downside is this exposes more risk to the responder because now they need to meet a tougher standard. However, you can overcome that by properly describing what you want.

Even Better - Initial Testing

To avoid disappointment at the end, you can run essentially the same tests before the installation is even started. There are a number of low cost portable power / IP camera setups that allow integrators to take proposed cameras to the exact spot one wants to monitor, quickly and easily verifying that it delivers the details and image quality you need.

Cybersecurity - 2017

Specifying cybersecurity for IP cameras is hard. The main risk are vulnerabilities that are publicly unknown, since publicly disclosed vulnerabilities are typically fixed. The publicly unknown vulnerabilities, by definition, cannot be used in specifications.

**** *** ****.

** **** '*****' *** it ***** * *** of ********* *** ****.

** **** '*****' *** you *** ** (*) unwittingly ****** **** * specific ****** ** (*) be ****** ** ****** inferior quality ********.

**** ***** ***** ** camera ********** ****** *******, including ********** ******* *** Proposals. **** - **** guide **** ****** ** cameras, ** **** *** the **** ****** **** specified ** ****. *******,***** **** ***** ** Analog ** ** ******* in **** **** *****.

** **** **+ **** guide, ** **** ** top ****** ********* **************, camera ***** **** ***** the **** *******, *** give *************** *** **** 20 ********* **** *****.

The *** * ******

** **** * ******* issues **** *** ************** **** to *******:

  • ******** **** ***** **************
  • ******** ******* ** ****** specifications
  • ********* **** *** **** of ********** ******** ********

Top ****** *** ****

*** ********* *** *** most ********* ******** ** specify *** ** ******* in ****, ***** ** explain **-***** ** *** guide:

  • *************, *** ** *** rapid ******** ** ********** and ********** ** ********** it ** * '*******'
  • ********** **, *** ** its *** **** ************** but **** ********** ** performance
  • **** ****** ***, *** to ***** ** *** capabilities *** ********** ** handling **** ******

Key ************* ******* *****

**** ** ******* *** seven **** *********** ***** of ****** **************, *********:

  • *** ********** ****** *** FoV ********** *** ***
  • ************* *** ******** *** limitations ** ********** ******* (***/***)
  • ********** **** ********** ** specify
  • ********** *** ***** ***********
  • ********* ** ****** ****
  • *** ***** *** *****
  • ********* ** *** ********** behind ******* ********

*******, ** ******* *************** and ******** *** **** 20 ***** ****** ************** impacting ****** ******** *** software ********:

  • **** ******
  • ****** *** ******
  • ******
  • ***** ******
  • ******* ************
  • ******* ******** *******
  • *****
  • ******* ******
  • *********** *****
  • ****** **********
  • *****-*********
  • ********* ****
  • ********* ****
  • ** ***** *******
  • *** *************
  • ***** ******
  • **** *****
  • **** ****
  • **** ****
  • *** ******* ****
  • *** *** *****
  • *** **** *****
  • ******* **** / ***** Zoom
  • ********** ** **** 

Big ***** ******

*. ***** **** ***** Specs

**** ************** *** *****, *** example ********** "* **** ********** low ***** ** ******." This **** ** ************* generally leads ** **** **********. At ***** **** ********** will **** *** ****** cost ***** ******** **** could ******** **** *** vague *************, ********* * significant ***** *********, * key ******* **** **** RFPs *** ****** ****** or ************* ******* ** price.

** *** **** ** the *****, ** ****** the **+ **** ****** parameters *** *** ** explicitly ******* **** ** avoid ***** **************. 

*. ***** ******* ****** **************

*** ******** **** ** being ***** ** ******* a ******'* **************. **** will ****** ** ******* out *** ******. **** large ************* ***** ** specifications **** *** **** that ********** **** **** and ***** ***** ************** directly **** *** ***. Manufacturers ***** ***** *** time ***** **** ******* they **** **** ***** AE ************* ** **, even ** *** *** does *** ******* **** their *******, ** ***** manufacturer ** ****** ** meet *** ***** *********** of ******** **** ***** model ***. *** ******* is **** ** ***** features ** *** ************ specification *** ***-***** *** likely ********** ** **** the ***** ***** ** wants.

*. ********** ***** ****** 

**** ****** *** ****** and ********** ******* **** want ** *** * certain ******* (****** *** or ****** *****, ***.). However, **** ************* **** procurement ***** **** ** not ***** **** ** do ** ** ***** them ** ****** **** ************** with**** ****** **************. **** ** * difficult ****. ************* **** have ************ ** ********** requiring ******** *** *****, and **************, ********* **** an '****' ************* **** result ** **** ******* an ******** ******* **** passes *** ************* *****. By replacing **** ***** ************** with **** ******** **** as ** ******** ** this *****, **** *** help ****** ******* ******** are ******** ** ** open ***.  

Consider Acceptance *******

***** **** ************** *** feature ***** **** (*.*., **** have ********** ** *, frame **** ** *, codec *, ***.) ******* of *********** ***** (*.*., must ** **** ** read * ******* ***** at * ******** **** the ****** ** * light ***** **** * */*** or ****** *******), **** can **** ** ************* **** world *******. *** ********* of * ******* ***** only ************* **** ********** argue **** **** ********* the ******** / ********* specifications *********, **** ** the ********** **** *** not ***. 

** ******** ****, ******* a *********** *** ********** testing, ****** ***** ***** from **** ********* ****** is ********, ** ****** **** the ****** *** ******* the ******* *** **** in *** ***** *** times **** *** **** critical ** ***. ***** which ** *** **** your ************** **** ** reconfigured, **, ** *****, replaced. *** **** ******** is **** ******* **** risk ** *** ********* because *** **** **** to **** * ******* standard. *******, *** *** overcome **** ** ******** describing **** *** ****.

**** ******- ******* *******

** ***** ************** ** the ***, *** *** run *********** *** **** tests ****** *** ************ is **** *******. ***** are * ****** ** low ************ ***** / ** camera ********** ***** *********** ** take ******** ******* ** the ***** **** *** wants ** *******, ******* and ****** ********* **** it ******** *** ******* and ***** ******* *** need.

Cybersecurity - ****

********** ************* *** ** cameras ** ****. *** main **** *** *************** that *** ******** *******, since ******** ********* *************** are ********* *****. *** publicly ******* ***************, ** definition, ****** ** **** in **************.

[***************]

********** *********** ** **** ** an indicator ** ****** ******. To **** ***, *** IPVM's ********* ** ***** ************ Cybersecurity *************** *** ********. ** **********, * metric **** *** ** used *** ************** ** to ********** ************* *** have ******* ******** *.* ** ****** (rated ** *** ** DHS) ** *** **** 3 *****. **** ***** disqualify ***** *** ********* who *** *************.* (*****)*****.* (*********)*************** ** ****.

******* ************ ** **** ** qualifier ** ************. *** example, ***** ********** ******** routinely ***** ** ******* Chinese **** ** ******* for ************* ********. ** contrast, ******* ********** ** critical ************** ******** *** disqualify ********* *** ***********'* ***** ********** *******.

*************** ************* **** ** * specification ****** ***** ***** essentially ************ **** **** having **************** *** ** *** is ***** ** *** future, **** **** **** likely ***** **** ** is * ****** *****, not ***********.

*********, *** *********** ******** resets, *** ** **** as * ************. ******* vendors ******** ****** ***** that ***** **** ** anyone *** *** ****** to ***** ***** ** login ** *** ******, regardless ** *** ***** password. ***** **** ** certainly **** ** * technical ******* **** (*.*., user ******* ***** ********), it **** *** ** misused *** ******* ******** risks. 

*******, ***** *** * number ** *********** ******** that *** ** **********:

  • ***** ******* *** ** specified, ****** **** ** not **** ** * differentiator ***** ****** *** professional ******* ******* ***** (notable ********* - *******).
  • ********* ****** ********* *** be ********* ** ****** default ** ***** **** common ********* *** *** used. **** ** ****** manufacturers ** *** ******* strong ********* ** **** should ** ********* **** care.
  • ******* ****** **** ****** logins *** ** ********* to ****** ********* ******* ** IP *******. *******, **** above, **** ** ****** manufacturers ** *** ******* locking ****** **** *******. For ****, *** ****'* ** ************ ***** Security ********.

Integrated IR - ****

** ************ ********** **** cameras has ****** ****** ********** in ****, **** *** overwhelming ******** ** ******* being ******* ****** ********** IR. **** ** *** do *** **** ** use *** ********** **, it *** ****** ****** be ******** ** ** rarely ***** ***** ** exclude ********** **.

********** *** ********* ** integrated ** ** **** difficult ***** *** **** consistent ****** ************* ******* is ******** *** ** covers (*.*., *****, *.*., 10m, ***, ***, ***.). However, ***** *** * performance ****** (*** *** ** ************ guide *** **** *******) **** ****** ** considered *** ****** ** reliably ******* ** * technical *************, *********:

  • ** ********** / **** coverage - **** ******* deliver * ****** '*** spot' **** *** ***** under-illuminated
  • ** **** ***** ************ - **** ******* ************ subjects **** *** ******
  • ** ***** ** ******** to ******* - ******* vary ** *** ******* they ****** *** ******** levels **** ******** ***** / **** * *****
  • ** *** ******** ******** (i.e., *****) - ** our *******, **** ******* now **** ***** ** meeting ***** ***** ************* but *** *** **** even *** **** **** do *** ********* ****** dim ** *** *** distance.

** *** * *****, the ***** * **** ** parameters ** * ************* sheet **** ***** ******** note **** *** *** 4th ** ********* ******** but ** ********* *****. To **** ***, ** one ** ***** ** use ** *** ***** about *** ***** ***********, they ****** ******* ********** testing ** ****** ***********.

***** ********* *********** ***** in ********** ** ******* but *** ******* *** found **** **** ****** be ******** **** ** qualify / ********** *******, including:

  • ****** ** ** **** - **** ******* *** a *** **** ******** IR ****, ****** *** up ** ****** ** less ******** ** ****. We ******** ********* *** specifying * ******* ** IR **** (*.*., ****** must **** ** ** 24 ** ****) **** will ********** **** ******* cameras. ****** ****, ** believe ** ** **** to **** ****** ******** since ** *** **** correlation ** ******* *** performance.
  • '********' ** '*****' ** - **** ******* ****** abilities ** ***** ************ / ********** ********* ** what ** ******** ** the *****. **** **** works, ** ** ********** an *********, ************* ** is *** ******** ** specify ****, ***** ****** performance ****** ************* **** among ******* *** ***** this.
  • ********* ** ** **** - **** ******* ***** the ** **** ****** the ****, ****** ***** the ** **** ** the **** ** *** lens. ****** *** ** LEDs *** ***** ******** on **** *******, ********* on *** **** ******* the ** *** **** reflecting ****. *******, ***** are **** ******* ***** both ********** ********** ******* illumination. * ****, ** do *** ********* ********* one ** *** ***** approach.

Fast ****** *** - ****

*** *********** *** ******* improved ************* ** *** past * *****. ** we ********* ***** ** the *** *******, '****' WDR **** ******** ********* whereas '****' *** **** not, **** ***** ********** enhancements. *** ***** *********** has **** **** ***** cost ******* ******* **** WDR. **** *** **** it *** ****** ** find / ****** ******* with **** ***.

*** *** ******* *** is ****, ***** **** WDR ******, ***** ******* vary ** *********** **** there ** **** ******. For *******, ** * camera ** ******** ******* opening *** ******** * door, **** ** **** challenging **** * ****** aimed ** * ****** with * ***** *****. Some **** *** ******* do ************* ****** **** others *** ***** ** no ****** *** ** specify ***** **** ******* testing ** ********** ******** models. ** **** ***, unless *** **** ** require ******** ******, ** recommend ********* ********** ******* and ***** ************* ***** what *** **** *** specific **** ********, ****-****** WDR ****** / ****** locations.

Key ************* ******* *****

** **** *******, ** review *** **** **** ****** areas ***** ********** ** wrong, *** ****** ******.

Typical - ******* ****** **********

*** **** ****** **** to ******* ****** '*******' is ** ******* * specific **********. ***** **** is **** *** ******, e.g., "*** ****** ******* will ** {*** | 5MP | **}". *** plus **** ** **** is **** ** ******** little ******** ** ****. The ******** ** **** the ***** ***** *** capturing enough ******* *** ******* areas **** *** ***** (e.g., *** ****** **** needs ** ***** **' wide **** ***** ******* needs ** ***** **' wide ****). 

* **** ****** ******** is ** ******* ***** density (*** / ***). The ****** ** **** this ***** ******** *** much ****** *** ***** but ******* **** ******* is *** *****.

Specifying ****** ****** *** ***** *****

**** ** *** *** more **** ********* *** accurate *** ** ** actually ******* *** ****** desired ******** *** ***** width. **** **** ***********, other ******* **** ** PPF, **********, *** *****, WDR, *** ********** ** performance *** ** **** determined. ************** *** ********* this, *** ******* ********* general ** ***** *****, (e.g. "** ***", "******* usable ****** ** ****") may ******* ****** ********* responses **** ***********.

**** ****** ** ******

******** *** **** ******* target ** * ****** is **** **** ******** policy *** ************ ** camera *********. *** **** viewing ****** ** *** most ********* **** **** a ****** ** '******* at'. ** ** *******, a ****** ***** ** covering *** ***** ********. The **** ****** ***** likely ** *** *******. 

******* * **** ****** is ********* ******* ******* cannot ******* *** **** level ** ****** ** different ****** ****** ** image. *** ******* '*******' or ***** ****** **** decline ** * ****** is ******* **** *** camera. ** ****** ** feet **** * ***** camera **** **** '******' than **** **** ****** ** feet **** **** **** camera - ********** ** the ****** ****. *** example, ** *** **** barely *** ****** ****** to ******* * **** clearly ** ** **** from *** ******, ** will ** ********** ** see * **** ******* from **** **** ****** at ** **** ****.

*******, ** ******** * main ******, *** ********** can ** * ****** job ** ********** *** ensuring **** **** **** the ******** *****.

********** ***** ** **** Width

******* *** **** ****** of *** ******, *** specifier *** **** ********* how **** *** ********* field ** **** **. Along **** *** ****** and ******* ******* ** the ******, *** ****** can **** ** **********.

*** *******, * **** decides ** ** ****** per **** ** ******* clear ****** ** * person's ****** *******. *******, the **** **** *** specify *** **** * Field ** **** **** quality ***** ***** ** cover. ******** * ** foot **** ***, ** resolution is **********, *** ****** 20 *** ** ***** 1MP ** *********, ****** 30 *** ** ***** 2MP ** *********, ***. This ** *** ** is ********* ** ** explicit.

****** ****, ******** ********** pixels *** ****, ******* the ********** *** ***** to ** *******. **** is ********* **** ** front **** *** ** this ** *** ****, the **** ** ************ and *************** ** ****.

********* ****** *** ***

******** ****** **********, *** *** ********** FOV ***** *** ** determined ****** ****** ****** using **** *** ******, **** PPF ******** ******* *********** in **** ****.

*** *******, *** ***** below ***** * ****** ~30' **** *** ******, with * **' *** on ******, ******** *** front ******** ** * building, ********* ** ~** PPF ***** * ***** camera. ********* **** ****** with ****** **************, ***** more **** ** *****, will ******* **** ********** responses **** *******.

Using *** ********

***, ** ****** *** Foot, *** ***** ** popularity ** * ********** agnostic *** ** ******* quality. ** ***** **** in **** ***** ******** conditions *** ******* **** *** scene *** ****** ******** or *** ******* ******************** *** *********.

** *** ********* *****,******** ***** **** *** conditions, **** *** *** ******* we ***** *** *** they ***** ** ** image *******:

  • ********* ** ****** ******: < * ****** *** foot
  • ***** ***** ** ****** (age, ******): * - 12 ****** *** ****
  • ****** *********** ***** ** person (****, ***********, ***.): 15 - ** ****** per ****
  • ****** **** (***** ******** if *** ******* **** the ******): ** - 50 ****** *** ****
  • ***** **** (***** ******** a ********): ** - 80 ****** *** ****
  • **** ** ******* (**** sharp ******* ** **** and ****): **+ ****** per ****)

****** *** ******** ********* ***** *** ****** images ** **** ****** *** foot *****. **** * number **** ******* *** level ** ******* ******. For ****, *** ****** *****. **** *** *** *** ****** *** ***, Text, ***** **** ** ***** ***** must ** ****.

*** ***** = ****

*** ** **** *** estimating *** **** ******* you **** *** ** you ******* * *** PPF, *** ****** *** risk / ******** ** the ****** **** *** deliver ** ***** ** dark ****** (*.*., *** responder *** *** "*** you ***** *** ** PPF *** * ********* it, *** ******* ***** be **** *** *** pixel ******* ** *****").

Selecting **********

** ****, ** ********* using ***** ** ****** resolution *******. ********** *** evolved **** ***** ******* are ********* ** * minimal **** ******* **** lower ********** ******* *** with ******* ********* ***** low ***** *** *** performance *** ********* ** 1080p *******. ********, ***** resolution ******* (************ **** and ***) ******* *** less ********** *****, **** in ****** ******** ***** (e.g., ***** ** **** / * ******) **** result ** *********** **** of ******** ******* ** people *** ****.

***** ****** *****, **** are *************** *** ********** other ***********:

  • *** ******* **** ******* over ***** ******* ** a ****** ******** ***. 3MP ******* **** **** deliver * ******* ******** in ***** ******* ** horizontal ***** ***** ** nearly ********* (***** = 1920 ********** * **** vertical ** *** = 2048 ********** * **** vertical). *** *** ****** ***** ******** *** ********* ******** ** differences ** ******** ***.
  • *** ******* **** ****** a ******* ***-**** ***********. Their *** ********* ** **** pixel ******* ********* **% relative ** *****, ***** means **% ***** *** of ***** **** *** same ***/***. ***** **** disadvantage ** **** *** imagers ********* **** (**********) are**** ** *** ******** ***. *** **** even, ***** ******** **********, 4MP *** ** * good ****** ** **** cost.
  • *** / *** ******* are ****** ** ******* since **** ** ***** cameras *** ***** ********** imagers **** * - 5 ***** *** ***** others *** *****, **** higher ******* ****** ******* (see***'* ***** *** *******?). ** ****, ** *** want *** ** *** cameras, **** ********** **** specify * ******* ****** size ** */*.*" ** exclude ***** *** / 6MP ******.
  • ** / *.*** ******* have ********* ************* ** availability. *******, **** ** these ******* *** ********** poor ** *** *****, often **** ** **** have ********** ** ************. Additionally, *** ******* **** multi-exposure ***. ***** ******* should ********* ** *********** to ****, **** *** conditions.
  • **** ******* ****** ** avoided. ** ***** ****, a ******* ** ************* released **** ****** *** there **** **** ** recent ******** ** **** resolution, ******* **** ******* dated *** ******** ** newer ** / **** models.
  • **** *******: **** *****, most *** ** ******* that ******* * '******' vertical *** ** ******* frame **** (***** *****). Guidance ** ******* ** 4K ******* *****.
  • ****** **** **** *******: There *** *** ******-****** cameras ********* ***** ****. The **** **** *** *********** sensors (*.*., ****) **** to ******* **** **** quality ****** *** ** far ****** *****, *** our ******** ****** *** ***** *** ***** ************ Guide *** **** ** ****.

How ** ******* *** ***** ***********

*** **** **** *** low ***** ************* ** that, ******* ** *** rise ** ********** **, minimum ************, *** *** ratings, *** ********* *** inapplicable. *** ********** ** cameras, ******* **** **** their *** '*****' ******, have ******* ************ ******* of * *** (*.*., they ** *** **** light ***** **** ******* their ***). *** ****** is **** *** *** rating ************* *** ** dropped. *** ******** ** that **** **** *** tell ******** ***** ***** integrated ** ******* ** better.

*** **** ******** ***** considering ********** ******* ************ ********* ***** ** ** you ********** ******** ** IR ************ (*.*., ** you ****** ********* ***** ****** at *****). *** ******* is*** ******* *** *********, ***** ************* **** ****** them *** **** ****** very *********** ****** (** more *******, **** **** up).

******* ******** *******

** *** ****, ******* a **** ******** ******* was * ****** ***** in '*********' *** ***** performance *** ***** ****** that **** ****** ******* blurry. *** *******, **** is *** **** ******, set ** */** ******** (shutter *****) *** **** at */***:

** *** **** ** avoid ****** ***** **** images, ******* *** ******* be *** ** */*** maximum ******** ***** ** avoid **** ******. *** more, ****** *** ****** on *** ******** ******* *** light ************ *****.

***** *** ***** *******

*** '****' ******* ******* in *** *****, ******* using **, *** ********* called'*****' *** ***** *******. *************, **** ** these **** ** ** difficult ** ******* ***** the ********** **** ** not ******* ** ****** quantified (********* **** ******* illumination ******* *** *** to ** *******). **** can ** ** ********** the ****** **** *** these **** ** **** be *** **** ********* cameras **** *** ****** 1/2" ****** ** ****** for ***** ********** ** use *********** *******.

Imager ****

*********, ** ********* ******** imager **** ** * specification *** ** *******. The ****** ** **** specifying * ****** ****** size (*.*., */*", */*.*", 1/1.9") *** ************* ***** product ********* ****** *** understands ******* *** ********* and *** ********** **** a ******** **** ****** imager **** ** **** for ***** ***********.

**** ***** ***** ********** a************* **** *** **** sense:

  • ********* ***: *** **** ** **** an **** ********* ************* but **** ** ********* smaller, ***** *******. ** this ****, *** *** to ***, ** ********* specifying ** ***** */*" imager ***** ******* ****** are ****** ** ** many ***** *** *** deliver ******** *******.
  • ****** **********: *** *** ********** a ****** ********** ****** (e.g., **/*.***) *** *** want ** ***** *********** from ******** ***** ** lower ******* ******* (********* that *** ******* ***** count ******* ****** ****** sizes ** ******* ******* pixel ****). ** ********* specifying * ******* ** at ***** */*.*" ** even */*" ** ****** this.
  • ***** ***** *** *****: ** *** ******* quality *** ***** *********** is ********* *** *** want ***** ******, ********* both *** ****** **** and *** ********** (*.*., 1080p, ** ***** */*" imager **** ** ** , ** ***** **** imager ****).  

WDR ***** *** *****

******* **** ****** ***** and ******** ********* ** a ****** ******* ** surveillance. ***, ** **** Dynamic *****, ** * feature *** **** **** to ******* ****.

** *** ******* ** dBs, **** ****** **** is *** **** ****** way ************* ****** *** performance. ** **** *** *******, manufacturer **** ****, ** it ** *** ********** that * ***** *** better *** **** * 60dB ****** (***** **************, if *** ******* ***** be *******, ** ******). 

** **** *** *******, from *** *****,****'* *** *** ************************'* ***-****, ******* ***** ********* at **** ******* ***** vs. ***** ** *******.

*** **** ***********, ******* multi-exposure ***, ** **** is '****' ***. ** not ******* '**********' ** 'digital' *** ********* ** these *** ****, *** performance ************. ****, ** not ***** * ****** to ******** *** **** BLC ** *** **** as ***. ** ** not. *** ****, *** our*** ********.

*******, ** ** ********* earlier ** **** *****, if ****** ** ******** are ****** **** ******* a *** ***** (*.*., a ******* *******), **** specifying **** *** **** not ** ****** ** ensure **** *********** ***** variations ***** **** ****** be ********* ***** ** clearly ****** ********* ********.

Compression *** ******* ******** *****

****** **** ******** ********* the ******* ******** (*.*., 2 *****, ** ****, 3 ******, ***.). *******, a ***** ********** ** what ********** / *********** ********* **. **** ****** that ** **** ******* the ********** (*.*., **** be *** ** ***) **** is **********. *******, **** just ******* *** **** pixels **** ** ******** / ********. ** **** not ********* *** ******* of ***** ******. *** example, ** *** ********** below, ****** ** ********** compression ** * ***** camera, ***** ** ******** similar ** ****:

** *** ******* ******** targets, ********** *** (*** have) ****** *** ******** lower *** ******* / compression ****** ******* ** can ***** ******* *********** by ** ** **% or ****, ******** **** to *** *** ******* duration ****** **** **** equipment. *************, **** ******* *** ************ useless *** ******* ******* for ******* ** ***** FoVs. *****, ************* *** different metrics (**** ***** ** low/medium/high, ****** *** * scale ** * - 100, ***.), ** ** is *** **** ** specify * ****** *********** level ** ** ****.

*********, ******* ******* ** the ************ ******* *********** / ******* *****. **** will **** *** **** common *****. *******, **** manufacturers******* ** **** *** quality ****** *** **** default ** **** ****. ** *** *** more *********, *** *** measure ***** ****** ****** manufacturers ** ********* ***** to *** *** ***** an **** ****** *********** tool (*** *** ******** of*** ** ******* ***** quality / *********** ******). ** *** **, we ********* * *** / ************ ***** ** 27 - **.

III. ***** ********

**** ******* ******* ******** features, ********* ***** ******* (***, multiple *******, ***/***/***, ***.), audio *******, ***** *********, and ****.

******

** ****, *** ****** for ***** ** *********** between *.*** *** *.***.

*.*** ** *** **** term '*********' *****, ********* nearly ************. *.*** ** the ******** ***********, **** growing ****** ******* *** still ** *** ******* stages ** ********.

*** **** ****** ** requiring *.*** *** *** H.265. ** *********** **** H.264, ** ******** ********* requiring ***** ****** (******** further *****).

** ****.*** ******** *******, *.*** ***** *** issues **** (*) ******* VMS *******, (*) ****** resource *********** *** ******** / viewing, *** (*) ****** ********* ********. ********, *.*** ******** smart ***** ******* ** be ****** **** *** increasingly *********** ***** *.*** camera *********. **** '*****' H.265, ********** ********* ******* are ******** **** ***** H.264, ****** ***** **** the * ****** ****** above.

***** *******:

  • ***** ** ***** ********* in **** ******* *** for ***** *** *** adamant (** ********) ***** image ******* *** *** spend *** *-*** **** on ******* ** *****, MJPEG ** ** ****** *** not ***********.
  • ****-* *** *** *********** to *.*** ***, ** production, *** **** ******** replaced ** *.*** *** years. ****-* *** ** benefits ******** ** *.*** and ** ************ *** supported ** *** ******* and ********* ****** *** be *********. 
  • *******, * ***** ****** ** note *** ********** ****: JPEG2000 *** **** ******* and ******** ** ******** but ******** *** ****** this *** *** *.***. MxPEG ** * *********** codec from ******* *** ******* has ******** ***** ******** cameras **** *.***. 

Smart ******

***** ****** *** * ***** ********* advance ******* ******* **** the **** *** *****. We ********* *** ******* cameras **** ***** ****** ***** the ********* ******* *** significant (****** **%, ** to **% ** *** motion ******), *** ********* from **** ************* ***, at ***** **** *.***, work ******* *** ***** issues ** ******* ** VMS / *********.

Frames *** ******

********** *** ******'* ***** rate ** ****** ****** included. *** **** ********* question ** **** ***** rate ** ******. **** is * ***** ** great ********* ********** **** two ***** ***** - the '**** *******' *** the '*******'.

*** '**** *******' ***** that ************ ***** **** not **** ** **** like * ***** ** solve *********. ****** ** practical ****** ** ****** in ******* ****** **** at ****. ***** *** better *** ** * low ***** **** **** meet ******** ******** ***** and ***** *********** ******* expenses (****** ***** ****, more ******* - *** linear *** *****).

*** '*******' ***** **** surveillance ***** ****** ** full ***** **** ** ensure **** ******* ** missed. **** **** ***** that *** **** ** storage ********* ** ******* so *** ***** ******* should *** ** ***********.

**** * ********* ***********, a *** ******* ****** impact ******** ** ***** rate:

  • ***** ** ********* ************ - ** ***** *****, obviously ********* **** ** important
  • ********** **** ****** ******* - ***** ********, **** games, **** ****** ****** - ********* ********* ** least ** ** *** 30 ***
  • ******** / ********* *********** - **** ***** **** do *** **** *** stuttering **** ** ***** under *****

** **** ** ***** drivers ****** * ********, ~10 *** ****** ** fine.

*******, **** ** **** that ***** ********* ******* often ** *** ******* 30 *** - **** of ***** ******* **** support * - ** fps. 

****** ******** **** ******** ******** *** *** ******* differences ** ******* ***** rate ********. ****** ******** **** ***** ************ *** **** ****** typically ******. ** *** want ** *** **** 60fps ********, *** ******** ** ***** ********.

*****-*********

********, * ****** ***** stream ** **** **** an ** ****** ** a *** ******. *******, some ******** *** ******* can ******* ******** ***** streams **** * ****** camera ** * ***. This ** ***** **** when ** ************ ***** to **** **** ***** at ********* ******* ****** than ******** ***** ** when ****** **** ***** analytics *** ********.

****, *** *** *** cameras ******* *****-*********. ****, many ******* ******* ******** streams *** **** ** reduced *** ***** (*.*., a *.*** ****** *** support * ******* *** only * ** *.*** and *** ***** ** VGA).

** *** *********** ***** to *** *****-*********, **** this *** ** *** specification. ** *** ******** calls *** ******** **** frame ****, **** ********** streams, ******* **** **********.

*** ****, *** ********-********* *****.

Streaming ****

*** *** *********** ******* for ********* **** *** variable *** **** (***) and ******** *** **** (CBR). **** ** ****** specified *** *** ****** an ********* ******* ** system ******. ******** *** rate ******* *** ********* preferred ** *** ** unreliable ********* ************ (*.*. wireless) ***** ******** *** rate ******* ***** *** best ******* ******* **********.

**** ******* **** ******* one ** ***** *** streaming ***** ** ** this ******* ** *** application, ******* ** ** front ** **** ***** problems *** *******. *** more ** *** ******** between *** *** ***, see *** ********* ******** in ****** ** *** ** MBR - ************ ********* ******.

On ***** *******

********* ****** *** ****** has ***** ** **********. This *** ** **** as ** *********** ** traditional *********** ********* ** for ********** (** **** the ******* ** ***/*** goes *******).

*****, **** ** **** that **** ** ******* do *** ******* **-***** storage *** **** ************* only ******* **** ** premium **** ******.

***** *** * *********** hardware ************** **** *** want ** *****:

  • **** ** ****: *** main ********** ** *** maximum ****** ** ******* supported, **** **** ****** out ** ****. ******* of ********** ****, **** list *** ******* ******* size ****** (**, **, 64GB, ***.) 
  • **** *******: ******** '********', **** *** *****. ******* **** ****** in *** **** ****** they *******. *******, **** is ********* *** ******** for *** **** ********** and ******** ** *** form ****** *** ************* bar ** ********* ****** camera.

*** **** ************* ****** be ** **** ******* size, ******* ** ** the **** ******** ******. First, ****, ** *** most, ** ******* *** SDHC ******* ** ****, topping *** ** **** (the ********** ** * 500GB ** ******* *** - **** ******* *** today's *********). ******, ***** is ** **** ** one *** *********** ** today (********** ** ** 8TB ** ******* *** - ******) *** ***** ~$100 *** **** (*********). 

** *** ****** ** SD ******* ** ********** in **** ** *******, smaller ********** (**-** **) cards *** ** **********. However, ** **** **** recording ** ******** ** the ******, ****** **** cards *** ********.

*** *******

********** ** ****** ** card *******, *** ******** support ** ******* *********. Many ** ****** ************ only ******* *** ********* access ** ********** ***** or, *****, ********** ********** the ****. **** **** the *** *** **** to *** **** ********* with *** ******** ***** you ****. **** ***** do *** ******* ** card ********* *** ***** that ** ******* * limited ****** ** ** *******. Plus, *** ***** *** that **, **** ******* dedicated **** *********, ****** redundant ********* *** *** or *** ******* ****.

*** ****, *** ***** **** ******* *************** ******* / ********* tutorial.

** **** ****

** **** ******* ****** from **** ***** ** trade *****, ** **** brands ** *********** ****** to ************ *********. ***** *****, ***** ** ***** created * *** ** problems (********* **** ******** ******* problems). ** ****, ***** the ****** ******* ******* no-name *** ***** *****, we ********* ********** **** a ************ *** - SanDisk ** *******.

*****

**** ********** *****, ***** are ***** *********** ****** to ********:

  • *** **** ** ***** desired:************* ***** * ***** of *****: ********** ****, speaker ****, ****-****** *** full ****** (**** ****** is **** * ****** talkie, **** ****** ** like * *********). ** not ****** ******* *****. Specify *** ******** **** of ***** ****** *** the ***********.
  • ******* ***** ** ****** needed:***** ** **** ****** used. **** ******** ****** cite ***** ***** ** under *%, *** ***** are ****** ****** **** reality. ********* ***** ********** many **** ********* ******, as ** *** **** few *****, ** ********** trend *** **** ** only ******* ***** ** premium **** ****** *********.
  • ******* ***** ** ******* allowed:**** ********* *** ******* have ****** *********** ** restritions ******* ***** ***** surveillance. **** ** *** US ***** *** *********** on ************ ** ******, 12 ****** *********** ******** audio ************ ** **** parties (*.*., *** ******* doing *** ************ *** the ****** ** *** premises) **** ** ******* consent (*** ********* ** most ************ ************). *** more ******* ************ ******** *** consent ******.

*** **** *********** ** actual ***** *** ***** and *** ***********, *** our ***** *** ************ ******* Tutorial

Recording ****

*** *** **** ****** / *********** ********* ***** are ********** *** ****** based *********. **** ************* choose *** ** ***** options *** *** ******* or *** ******** ****** of ******* (*.*., ****** based ********* *** *** critical *****, ********** ***** recording *** ******** ****).

**** ************* ** *** likely ** ****** ****** selection *** **** ****** storage *********** (***** ******* needed) *** ********* *** section (* *** *** systems ** *** ******* server **** ****** *********). For ****** ***** *********, storage *********** **** ** based ** *** ***** of ****** ******** *** each ******. **** ** very **** ** ******* as ** ******* *** only ** *** ******* in *** ***** (******, cars) *** **** ******** changes, ***** *****, *******, etc. ** ******* **** is *** ********* *** time ********* ** ******* precisely ** *****.

* ***** ****** ** 'boost' ** '*****-**' ********* which ******** *** *** - ********** ********* ** a *** ******* ***** when ** ****** ** detected, ********* ** * higher ******* **** ****** events *****. **** ** ideal ******* **** **** *** supports **.

*** ************ **** ************* ******** ** *** tradeoff ****.

VMS / ******** *************

**** ******* ** ******* one ******* *** * VMS / ******** ** if ** ** ** be **********.

** *** *** / recorder ** ******* ** place, ********* *** **** of *** ***, ********* the **** ** **** (since **** ***** **** multiple *********, *.*., *******, Professional, **********) *** *** version *** *** ******* (e.g., *.**, *.**, ***) so *** *********** ** verify ******* *** ******* being ******** *** ********* by **** ***** ***********.

** *** *** ** to ** **********, *** most ****** ******** '********' for **** ****** *********** is ***** ******* * (see ******** ******** ****). ** ********, ***** official *********** ************* ***** a **** **** *********** that *** ****** **** stream ***** ** * ********** *** / ********. *******, ***** features **** ***, ******, configuration, *** ********, ***. may **** *** **** a **** ***** ***********.

IV. Camera ******** ********

** **** ******* ** review *** ****** ******** factors ********* ****** **************:

Form ******

********** * **** ****** is ********* ********* **** if *** *** ********* about (*) ********** ** (2) ****. *********, *** other ********** ************** **** naturally ****** *** **** of ****** ** ******. Among ***** *******, *** fundamental **** ****** ******* are ***, ******, **** and ****.

**** ****** *** **** about ********** (*.*., ********** the ************* ** * camera) ****** *****. ************, users *** **** ** make *** ****** ** inconspicuous ** ******** ****** mini-domes. ** **** ** an ********* ****** *** your *** ****, *** should ******* ***** ** mini-domes (**************** *** ********* ******* the ***).

************, **** ******* **** been *** ****** ****** form ******. *******, ******* minidomes *** ****** ******* have ****** **** ******* and ******, ***, **** some ************* *** ******** cubes ** ***. ** interior *****, **** ***** dislike *** **** ** cube ** ****** *******, as **** ***** **** 'cheap.' ** *** **** to ***** ****, ************ exclude **** ******* ** the ***********.

*** ** **-***** ****** of **** ****** *******, see ******* ****** ****** ** our ****** ********* *****.

Environmental *******

**** ************** **** **** if * ****** ** to ** **** ******* or ********. *******, ***** the ************* ****** ******** the ****** ** ** for ******* ***. ** strongly ********* *** ******* specifications ** **** **** an ******* ********** (** rating) *** * *********** range.

*** ****** *** ** IP ****** ** **** some ********* ****** ** ** what ******* ***** ** defines * ****** ** suitable *** *******. *** instance, **** ******* **** mark ***** ******* ** 'outdoors' **** ******* *** IP ****** ** **** 52 ** **. ** contrast, **** ******** ************* agree **** *** *********** minimum *** ******* *** is **** (**** *** IP68 *** **** *********). By ********** * ******** minimum ** ******, *** user ******* **** ***** performance.

*** **********, ****** ***** *****. ** * ***** overview, *** ***** ******* refers ** ********** ******* solids *** *** ****** digit ******* *******. *** instance, *** ********** ******* rating ** *** *** and *** ** **** 50s ** **** **** protected ***** *** *** is **** *****. *******, the ****** *****, *** liquids, ********** *** **** water *** ****** *** withstand. ** **** ****** only ****** ******** ***** while ** **** ****** covers ********* ** ***** up ** * *****.

*********** *****

***** **** ** ** rating, ******** * *********** range ** ********* *** outdoor *******. *** ******* IP ****** ** **** rated *** * *********** range ** * ** 40 ******* ******* (** F ** *** *). This ** **** ** the ****** ** ** a ******* ********** ****** environment. *******, ** ******* are ********* ******** ** in ***** *** ******* controlled (*.*., * *********), it ** ********* ** specifically ******* * ******* and/or ******* ********* ***********.

** ********* ******** **** a ***** ** ******* and ******* ****** ************ in **** ****. ****, factor ** **** ******* areas *** *** **** hotter **** *** ******* air *********** (*.*., * warehouse). *** ***** ************ as * ******* *** setting **** *********** ***** specifications.

****** **********

**** ***** *** ********* about ******* ***** ******* through ******** ***** (*.*., hitting ** ******** * camera **** ** ******). The ****** **** **** in *** ************ ******** for ******* **** *** withstand **** ***** ** attack ** '******' ** 'vandal *********.' **** * subset ** ******* *** vandal ********* *** ***** cameras **** ** ** moderately **** *********. ** a *** **** ***** for **** **********, ******* it **********.

** ****** ******* *** level ** ****** **********, consider ********** *** *********** using **** ******: "** ************* ******* classification *** *** ******* of ********** ******** ** enclosures *** ********** ********* against ******** ********** *******." An **** ****** ** higher ** ********* **** by ******* *** ***** vandal ********* *******.

Lens ****

******** ***** ** *** need ** ******* ******* of ****. *******, *** elements ** **** ************* are *********: (*) *** length ** *** **** and (*) *** ************* of *** ****.

******* *** ****** **** fixed ***** ****** ****** or ********* ****** ******. Fixed ***** ****** ****** support **** * ****** length **** *** ****** be ******** (*.*., * 6mm ****). ********* ****** lenses ******* * ***** of **** ******* *** can ** ******** ** the *****. ********* ****** are ********* ********* ******* they ******* ***** *********** and ***** * ******** to ****** *********** ** the *** ** **** to *** *** ***** right **** *** ***** needs.

** **** *********** ** required, ********* ****** ****** be *********. *********, ******* with ***** ** ***** focal **** *** ** provided **** *** ********** cheaper.

********* ******

************, ** *** **** several *****, ****** **** lenses **** ****** **** common, ******** ***** ** adjust ***** ** **** (and *****) *** *** web ********* ** *** camera. **** ******* ***** costs ** ** ****** or **** ** ******** to ****** *** ****** when ******* **** ** made. *******, **** ****** are ********* * **** end ******* *** *** found ** *** *************, so ********* **** **** likely ******** ******* **** and ***** ****** ******.

**** ****

*** ***** ****** ** lenses **** ** * common ****** ** ******** how *** ******* *** capturing ***** ** ********** (i.e., *** ****). ***** common **** ***** *****: Manual ****, **** **** and * ****. **** manual, ** ********* **** the **** **** **** and ***** ** **. With ****, *** ****** can ************* **** *** size ** *** **** on ******. * **** is ******* ** **** iris *** ******** ***** grain *******.

** *** *******, *********** in *********** ******* *** three *** ****** ******* (e.g., *** ************** **** *******). *******, ** ********* specifying **** **** ****** unless * ******** ****** iris **** ** ********. Manual **** ****** ***** be ************ **** ********* closed, ******** *** ***** performance. *** * **** support ** *** *********, limiting ****** ******. **** iris **** *** ****** from ****** ** ***** limitations *** **** ******* the ******** ****** ** lenses *** *******.

**** *****

**** ************ ******* **** to ** ******** *******. Generally, **** ******* ****** initial ************ / *****. However, * **** **** exist **** * ****** will ****** *** ** focus *** **** '****' or ******. *** **** common *** **** ******* is ** *** ****** being ********** ****** ** nudged, ****** ***** **** shifts **** ******** ******* day *** ***** ****, and *********** *** ** large *********** ******* **** time.

*** ***** ******** ****** of ******** ** **** it *** ** ********* to ******** *****. **** done ********, **** ******** a *******, ****** **** especially **** ******* ***** where ******* *** **** fine ******** *********.

******* ** ***** *** factors, **** *** **** cameras *** ******** ***** in **** ******** ************ that ***** * **** of * ****** (** the ****** ** **** a *** *********) ** focus *** ******. *** benefit ** ******** ********* focusing ***** *** *********** future ******* ***** ** manually ***** * ******.

*** ***** ** ********* focusing *****: **** ***** and **** **** *****. The ******* ** *** same *** *** ***** are *********. **** **** focus, *** ******** ** the **** *******. **** auto **** *****, *** position ** *** **** stays ***** ***** *** position ** *** ****** changes.

** **** ********** ** desired *** * ****** premium (******* ** ********** $100) ** **********, ******* automatic ********. ** ********* to ***** **** **** focus ** **** **** focus ** **** ******* the **** *********** *************.

*** ********* ******* ** *** pros *** **** ** using **** *****, ****** our**** **** ***** ********** statistics.

**** **** ************

******** **** *** ****** is ********* ********** ** camera **************. *******, ** is ********* ** *********** the**** ********** *** ***** ********** the **** ** ******.

** *** ****** ** within ~** **** ** *** camera, **** ******* **** be **** ** **** this *************. *******, **** the ****** ** ******* away, * ******* **** may ** ******. *** instance, * **** ****** a ****** ** * wall *** ***** ** see ****** ******* ******* at ** ******** **** 50 **** ****. ******, no ***** **** ******** with ******* **** ***** this ********.

*******, **** ****** *****, such ** **** *****, cannot ********** *** *** larger ****** **** *** ******** for **** ********. ******** possible, ******** *** ******** from *** ****** ** the **** ****** / viewing **** *** *** camera *** ******* ** in *** *************.

** ********* **** **** can ** *********** ***** estimating *** ******** **** the ****** ** *** main ****** ******* ********* of *** *******'* ***********. The ***** ****** *********** may *** **** **** determined ** **** *****. However, ** *** ******* that * ****** **** be ******* *** **** from *** ******, ** is **** ****** ** note **** ** ***** so **** *** *********** product *** ** ********.

**** ***** ****, **** that **** **** **** focal ****** ****** ****** usable ***** *******, **** as **** ** * 50% ********* ** ********* PPF. *** *** **** ****** **. ***** Quality **** *** **** ***********.

Specifying *** *******

********* ***** ********* ** decline, **** *** ***** in *** ** **** applications *** ********** **** can ** ******. ***** are *** *** ************** for ***/****/**** ******:

*** ******* ****

*** **** ****** *** to ******* *** *** a *** *** *** is ** ****** ** optical **** *****. *********, this ******** * **** proxy *** ******* ******** though ** ******* **** 2 ***** *********** - variances ** ******* ***** lengths *** *********** ** resolution.

** ********* *****, ******* zoom ** ************ ********* IP **** ********* ***** from ** ** ***.  These *** ** ********* into * ***** ******:

  • ***** *** ******* ****: These *** ******* ***** inexpensive *** ******* ******** for ********** ***********
  • ******* *** *** *** optical ****: ***** *** mid ***** *** ******* generally ******** *** ************ use ** *******, ********* indoor *****
  • **** *** ******* ****: These *** ********* *** most ********* ******* ******** for *******, **** ***** use.

** * **** ***** a *** **** *** see ** *** ** possible, ** ** ****** specify * ******* ***** length ****** **** ** optical ****. ** **********, optical **** ** ********* of * ******* *** a ******* ***** ******. For *******, * *** optical **** ****** ***** have * ******* ***** length ** *.*** *** a ******* ** ***** (36x ******* **** *** minimum). *******, ******* *** might **** *** **** optical **** ***** *** a ****** ******* *** maximum ***** ****** (*.*., 4mm ** *****). **** second ***, *** ***** things *****, ***** ** able ** '***' *******.

********, ******* **** ****** can **** ** ******** directly *** ******* **** the **** **********. ********* in ********** ******* ******* benefits ** ********* ** optical **** ** **** both *********** ***** ***** to *** *******.

****** ******* **** / ***** Zoom

*** **** **** **** really ****** *** *************** cameras ** ******* ****. Unfortunately, **** ************* ******** digital *** ******* ****. For ********, * ************ might *** * ****** has * **** **** made ** ** *** optical *** *** ******* (i.e., ** * ** = ***). **** ***** on *** ******* ******. Digital **** ** ******* the **** *** *** cameras *** **** '*********' what *** ******* ********.

*** ****, *** ********** **** ********.

*** *** *****

*** ***** ******* *** far ************ (**** ** right) * *** ****** can ****. *** ******** is ******** *** *** possibilities ***** **** * to *** *******. *** is ** ********** ********* level *** *** *** range. **** *** *** range, *** *** *** move ************ ** ***** a *******. ******** **** and *** ******** ***** to ******** **** *** camera **** *** ***** way ** ***** * suspect ****** ** ****. A *********** ********** ****** in ***** ******* **** that ******* *** ****** of *** *** ***** that ******* ***. ** an *********** **** ** actively ********* ** * guard, ** ********* ********* 360 ****** *** *** ranges.

*******, **** ***** **** have *** ****** ** 90 ******* ** **** providing ******* ***************. **** is **** *** ************ where *** **** **** wants ** **** *** camera ******** ** *** left *** *****.

*** **** *****

**** ***** ******* *** far ********** (** *** down) * *** ****** can ****. *** ********* range ******* ** **** 0 ** *** *******. This ********* ** ******** not ********* *** ** important *** ************ ********** applications. *** *** ******** to **** ** ******* the *********** ******** * PTZ **** ***** **** than ** **** **** 180 *******. ** * PTZ ***** **** **** 180 *******, ** ******** will **** ** ********* reposition *** ****** **** a ******* ***** ********** a ****** (******* *** PTZ ****** ****** ** the ***** ****). 

** ** *********** ***** for * **** ******* who **** **** ** track ******** ****** ********** the ******, ** ********* specifying * ******* ** 180 ******* **** *****.

Panoramic *******

********** *** * ******* alternative ** **** **** and ******** ***** *******. Panoramic ******* *** ******* into *** *** ********: single ****** ******* *** multi-imager.

****** ****** ********** *** a **** **** ***** lens ** * ****** image ****** ** ***** the *** ** *** degree ***** ** ****. Because ** **** **** coverage, *** ** *********** reduced ******** ** *** and ******* ***** ******* with ******** ****** ** view. ********* ******* *** also ******* ******** *********** with ***** ** ****** the ******* ***** **** usable **** ******.

*****-****** ********** *** ******** image ******* ** ***** the ***** ** ****, resulting ** ****** ***, as **** ****** ** only ***** **-** ******* instead ** *** ** 360 ** ******* *******. In *** **** *** years, *****-****** ************ ******* have ********* *************.

** *** **** ** maximize ***** ******* *** with * ******** ***** FoV *** ****** ****, favor *****-*******. ** *** want ******* ******** ******** of * ****** ****, favor ******-****** **********. *** our********* ****** ******** **-***** ********.

Power ******

*** *** **** ****** options *** ***** ******** for ** ******* *** PoE *** *** ******* power. *********, *** ** preferred *** ** *******. However,some *** ***** **** low ******* ***** ********* or ******** **********.

**** ********** *** ****, keep ** **** **** some *****, *********** ******* support *** ******* ***** only. ** ********, **** specifying *** ******* *****, keep ** **** **** many *****, *********** ******* now**** ******* ***. **** *** ***** strange, *** *** ***** flipped ** *** **** few *****.

**** ***** *** (***+) is **** ** ******. This ** ********* **** with ** ******* **** consume ***** ******* ** power, **** ******** *** cameras. ** *** *** specifying * *** ******, you *** **** ** allow *** ***+ ** not ********* ***** *******.

*** **** ** ********* power, ****** *********** ****** ** ******** video ************ ****** ***** ********.

VI. ****** ************* ****

*** ********* ******* ******** a ******* ** **** requirement *** ****** ******* to ********. ** ********* you **** *** ***** this **** **** *** documents *** *** ** as * ******** ***** in ******** *** ************ for **** *******.

Form ******: Choices - Box, Bullet, Cube, Dome, Mini-Dome or PTZ

****************: ************ ******* (** avoid ******) **, ********, a ************ / *** level ** ** - 30

**********: ******* - ****, 1.3MP, *****, ***, ***, 6MP, **/*.***, ****, ***** higher *** *** **** limited ***********. [****: *** be ******* ** ****** per **** *** ********** field ** **** ** specified]

** ** *********** ** resolution, ****** *** **** target, ****** *** **** and ********** ***** ** view:

Main ****** ** ******: Name a single point where each specific camera should focus on, e.g., Camera 2 should focus on individuals entering the main double doors in Building B

Pixels *** ****: Choices - typically from 10 ppf to 100 ppf: use 10ppf if you just want outlines of people and cars, use 50ppf or higher if you want to see details of face / license plates; go even higher if you want a higher margin of error / more robustness to environmental / lighting issues

Horizontal ***** ** ****: Choices - any width you want but must be specified with a pixels per foot metric - critical to defining resolution; common reference widths - double doorway ~6 feet, two lanes road ~ 25 feet

Distance **** ******: Choices - generally 5 - 50 feet; this is an optional specification; however, if provided helps integrator choose the correct lens length

Low *****: Choices- mechanical cut filter or color only; if you have poor lighting at night and need to see, require mechanical cut filter

Maximum ******** *******: Common Choices - 1s to 1/10,000; Recommendations - 1/30s to minimize motion blur at night; up to 1s if you are OK with significant motion blur but want a bright image

Bright *****: Choices: multi-exposure WDR or none; do not specify electronic or digital WDR as they are common and not much better than no specification here

Frames *** ******:  Choices- typically 1 - 60; atypical up to 120; Recommendations - if you do not have regulations or legal requirements, most surveillance video is fine with 10 - 15 fps (*** *****)

*****: *******: ****, ********** Only, ******* ****, ****-******, Half-Duplex; *************** - ** you **** *****, **** to ***** **** ******; also ****** ************* **** VMS *** ***** ************

Integrated ** - Choices: Integrated IR or no Integrated IR

Integrated ** ***** - Choices: 5m to ~500m, though most fixed cameras are between 5m and 50m with a handful of 100m; remember most specifications are accurate, but not all, and even when specifications are accurate at maximum range expect dim images with outlines of objects

Outdoor ****** - Choices: IP65, IP66, IP67, IP68 - if you really want to use a camera outdoor make sure to use an IP rating; can list it as IPXX or higher (e.g, IP65 or higher)

Temperature ***** - Choices: Min as low as , Max as high as

****** - *******: ****** ** not ******; ******** - IK ******* ** ******* the ****** ** ****** protection - **** ****** is ****

*****: ****** *******: *.***, H.265, *****; *.*** ** safe, ********** **** ***** codec ********, *.*** ******* smart ****** ** *** recommended, *.*** **** ***** codecs ***** *** **** of *** *************** *** decoding ******** *********** ********

Smart *****: Common choices are generally based on manufacturer marketing term; Technical elements include dynamic I-frame interval, dynamic scene compression, dynamic frame rate

*****-*********: ****** *******: ****** Stream ** **** ******; Optional - **** ******* at ******** ********** *** frame *****

Streaming ****: Common Choices: Constant Bit Rate, Variable Bit Rate or either

Recording ****: Common Choices: Continuous Recording, Motion Based Recording, Boost / Speed-up Recording

On ***** ******* Size (Minimum): 32GB, 64GB, 128GB (Remember - verify VMS support); Optional - SD Card brand / manufacturer

VMS *************: Choices - Name of Specific VMS Vendor or ONVIF Profile S; Recommended - if a VMS is already deployed or selected, list the name of the specific VMS vendor; ONVIF Profile S should be verified on ***** ******** *******

Power ******: Choices: PoE, Low Voltage or both; Note requiring low voltage will eliminate many newer cameras that are PoE only

Auto ********: Choices: Auto Back Focus, Auto Focus or neither; Recommended - if you want auto focusing list both auto focusing options but remember this will significantly limit camera options

Iris ****: Choices: Manual Iris, Auto Iris, P-Iris or Any; Recommended - use any as the cost variances are not significant; beware of choosing P-Iris as very few vendors support it today and the benefits seem modest at best

Lens ****: Choices: Fixed Focal Lens, Varifocal Lens, or Motorized Lens; Optional - specify lens length for fixed or lens range for varifocal; Recommended - if you want to precisely set up field of view, choose varifocal lens; 4 - 9mm varifocal for regions close to camera; 10 - 50mm varifocal for regions farther from camera

*** ********* ******* *** applicable ** *** ******* only:

PTZ ******* ****: Common Range: 2x to 40x, specify as minimum; Recommendations - indoor/small areas 10x or higher, outdoor/large area 25x or higher

PTZ *** *****: Common Range: 30 degrees to 360 degrees, specify as minimum; Recommendation - live monitoring/ frequent guard use: 360 degrees

PTZ **** *****: Common Range: 30 degrees to 220 degrees, specify as minimum; Recommendation - live monitoring / frequent guard use: 180 degrees or higher

[****: ******* ******** ** 2011 *** **** ***** published. **** **** ******* substantially ******** ***** ******** reflecting ******* ** ********** and ******* *******.]

Comments (9)

Questions? Disagreements? Comments? Feel free to share. There are a lot of options / considerations involved.

John, I think this article is great! Too many design engineers copy and paste manufacturer specifications and do not provide the detailed narratives required for a proper deployment of video surveillance systems (or any electronic security systems for that matter).

Keeping a specification mission-oriented protects the Client if the project gets delayed or construction doesn't begin for some time. 

For a long time, I have written specs using our own RFP template which varies from the MasterFormat version. When we need to write specifications in the MasterFormat Division 28 format as required by an architect, there is such poor flow and narration of systems, it can be very confusing. Unlike concrete or steel, which gets installed and that's that, Electronic Security Systems are living and breathing building systems. The same is true for BMS which struggles with the MasterFormat specification. 

IPVM's notes on pixels per foot for camera resolution are spot on and very similar to what we use in our specifications. 

Other important specifications to include are communications methods (network, wireless, point-to-point) and integrations with other systems. 

I will note that as important as specifications/RFP are, pairing them with quality drawings that provide all required information including plans, elevations, sections, details, and schedules is vital!

Thanks, 

 

JB

Finally, 2 older CODECs to note:

Throwing shade to MPEG4? ;)

Throwing shade to MPEG4? ;)

What is MPEG4? ;)

Seriously, no one has advocated for MPEG4 in many, many years so I did not think it was even worth mentioning. You do get people asking about MJPEG every so often and the MxPEG is still being shipped, etc. 

What is MPEG4?

Its the name of that nearly familiar sounding CODEC that still shows up on RFPs from time to time, due to multi-generational cut and paste.  It's inclusion might be a signal regarding the authors competence.

You're good. I am impressed that you found 2017 specs calling for MPEG-4. I am simultaneously sad for that Florida city's RFP.

To that end, I have updated the guide to include:

MPEG-4 was the predecessor to H.264 and, in production, has been entirely replaced by H.264 for years. MPEG-4 has no benefits relative to H.264 and is increasingly not supported by new cameras and therefore should not be specified.

Would love to see this article updated.

Can you include a section on server and workstation specifications?

Also, would love to see an example of what you would consider a perfect sow for perhaps a small 30 camera IP system using either a real or dummy commercial building. Taking into account cyber security requirements.  Then let the readers of IPVM cretiqe it.

Very good update and summary.

I find myself faced with specs again.  Does anyone have any well written specs they'd like to share?  I have no well written basis to go off of.

 

Thanks,

 

Tom

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