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Thread: Web camera home setup

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_Six

    I've found the Panasonic BL-C10A ethernet camera has great bang for the buck as far as options, clarity, low light viewing, and ease of use.
    I agree, at least from what I have seen, nothing comes close to this camera for the price ($199). For another hunderd bucks they have the BL-C30, which is wireless. You can stick one of these cameras under an eve outdoors, even though they are "indoor" cameras I have found as long as they stay relatively dry, they operate well beyond operating specs. Mine has worked fine well below zero.

  2. #22
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    Can I ask which type of camera you use at MWO?
    The one atop Wildcat is (was?) a Canon VC-C4. See here for the setup & hardware used.

  3. #23
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    I have 2 of the old Linksys 802.11b wireless cameras. They are indoor cameras and have worked for years without a hitch. I paid about $165 for them way back when.

    The newer versions (one has audio included) can be viewed at http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satel...VisitorWrapper

    If I were to look for a camera today, and it were for indoors I could seriously look at the Linksys or the Panasonic low end cameras. Outdoors the Panasonic has a nice interface and seems to be easy to control. And it has a great zoom capability. For higher resolution the Toshiba is very nice. Reading the owners manual on the Toshiba and Panasonic show they have very similar capabilities.

    I am going to find an owners manual for the Mobotix and see what it is like. Some of the spec's are nice.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
    http://bradstreet.zenfolio.com Personal Photo sales site
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    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

  4. #24
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    I just checked out some of the new Canon network cameras. They have one with a 340 degree pan. this would be flat mounted or mounted to a ceiling. That ability could be very nice in some situations. The cameras were not great on low light and the marketing materials were weak on other features I would expect.
    Last edited by Brad; 05-26-2007 at 06:06 PM.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet Personal photo web site
    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

  5. #25
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    What are some of the features to look for? Some of this depends on where you will be mounting the camera. We were aiming for the side of a tree. So, a ceiling mounted camera would have meant having to build a box and cover. The Toshiba can be ceiling or wall mounted.

    If it is to be outside do you want exposed moving parts? Or should they be inside a weatherproof dome? We went for the inside a weatherproof dome for our outside cameras.

    In another post I stated you need a network or IP based camera to do the things we have been discussing.

    Do you need Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ)? What are the ranges for the pan and tilt? How many levels of zoom are available - or needed. A position like "6288" has does not need a lot of zoom as it is in th yard. But, checking out the ducks on the float requires a good zoom - which the Panasonic has. We could use a lot of zoom being out on the lake. The northern end of the lake is 2 miles away. friends live 1 mile away on the other side of the lake. The summer camps do their sailing 3/4 mil away.

    Can you restrict user access to the camera? Do you do this through one "guest" ID as with the Toshiba? Or can you set up a list of IDs with their own passwords - like the Linksys? Is there a way to bypass the guest login process? The Panasonic seems to have the ability. The Toshiba does not.

    Can an e-mail be sent when motion is "seen" by the camera? Can the camera support required login to a SMTP mail server to send the e-mail?

    Can the camera FTP images to a site? What is the shortest and the longest time intervals? The Toshiba can go as fast as every 1/30th of a second. The longest interval is 180 seconds. If you are doing fast FTPing you will want the camera to log onto the FTP site and just send (as opposed to log on - send - log off). This is a lot more efficient. The Toshiba can be set for "re-connect" or "continuous". Plus, it can send images to two FTP servers. If one is not available it can shift to the back up server.

    Can the image to be FTPed be a different resolution than the images users are viewing? This is a nice feature of the new Toshiba. I normally have the viewing running at 960x480 - but the images being FTPed to my Fotki site are 1280x960. Then I can use the higher resolution images to save or produce my little sunrise videos.

    Can the camera have a schedule for FTPing that varies by day of the week? The Toshiba can do "all day", schedule 1 or schedule 2 for any day of the week. However, if it is not "all day" then the start and stop times must be on the hour.

    If the FTP function is turned on, can the camera also send e-mails when there is motion. I have had several cameras where this is one or the other is available - not both at the same time.

    How many presets are available? The wider the pan capability the more presets you may need. The Toshiba supports 64 presets.

    Can you give some of the controls to guest users? Like pan/tilt/zoom, change the image resolution, adjust the color balance, turn on the mic to listen to whatever the camera sees, etc. The Toshiba has a list of these functions and you can enable or deny each to guest users.

    Can you get a single image? Is this produced by CGI or is it a JPG file that can easily be saved. If it is a normal JPG file then the web camera should be able to be viewed on a cell phone - and the image be saved on the phone. I have been able to see the image on 6288's camera, but can not save it. Seeing and saving the Toshiba images on a cell phone work well. Once I save it I can then e-mail the image to my Fotki web site and it is added to one of my albums. I can not see a way of doing this with the Panasonic.

    To get the single image on a URL do you have to be "admin" or can anyone get it? On the older Toshiba anyone could get it. With this newer one you have to know the admin ID and password.

    Does the camera have audio? Is it built in - or do you need to buy an external mic, for example.

    If the power goes off, can you designate which preset to go back to when the camera is turned back on? The Toshiba can go to the first preset "home" or the center of the pan/tilt range, or start a scan or autopatrol through the presets.

    What is the refresh rate of the images. The better cameras seem to get to 30 frames per second. This can be achieved when inside the house. Normally it will be slower coming in from the Internet. The Toshiba also allows you to give a maximum refresh rate (which I have set to be 7.5fps). And there is a setting for maximum bandwidth used by the camera (across all viewers).

    Does the camera support higher resolutions? Many seem to stop at 640x480. The Toshiba also supports 1280x960. Plus, it have 5 levels of compression allowed to reduce the bandwidth impact. I am going one level higher than "no compression" as I see no difference in the images.

    How well does the camera handle low light. Some will allow switching to black & white when it gets dark. I have not turned that on my cameras, but the image is brighter. The Toshiba allows you to slow the shutter to get in more light at night and still be in color. This gives okay night viewing and far better sunrises. (I have been known to watch the Maine sunrise over the lake from my lakeside camera while driving to work in NC - sssshhhhhh). The camera's ability to handle low light is measured in LUX. The Toshiba goes down to 0.18 LUX.

    Does the camera support Power over Ethernet (PoE)? This is very handy meaning you do not have to string power to the camera as well as network (ethernet) cable. Does the camera support wireless (802.11b or 802.11g)? This also means there is no power supply transformer outside.

    If you have multiple cameras from the same manufacturer can you display them in one window? I can put my driveway camera and the lakeside camera images up at once in one browser window - that can be resized.

    My "Toshiba" answers are for the current IK-WB15A camera we have at the lake. Maybe others can highlight key differences the Panasonics or other cameras have.

    For you - think about which of these features are important based on what you need. then see which would be nice to have. Then do your research and ask questions here on which cameras can meet your requirements.
    Last edited by Brad; 05-26-2007 at 06:17 PM.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
    http://bradstreet.zenfolio.com Personal Photo sales site
    http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet Personal photo web site
    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad
    I just checked out some of the new Canon network cameras. They have one with a 340 degree pan. this would be flat mounted or mounted to a ceiling. That ability could be very nice in some situations. The cameras were not great on low light and the marketing materials were weak on other features I would expect.
    You can download the full manuals online, which should provide all the info you want. For me, the key features of the Canon VC-C50i are the optics and 26X *optical* zoom. It is a pricey camera though, but if you need/want the zoom ...

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbes
    You can download the full manuals online, which should provide all the info you want. For me, the key features of the Canon VC-C50i are the optics and 26X *optical* zoom. It is a pricey camera though, but if you need/want the zoom ...
    The Mobotix is interesting in that some models have 2 lens. One is for daytime and other other for night. But, they seem to have a LUX of 1 which today is quite high. Their enclosures are nice for northern New England weather if you are to use them in the winter outdoors.

    The Canon's zoom is wonderful! The price on Amazon.com is not all that bad - $955. Outside my price range, but I expected them to cost more.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
    http://bradstreet.zenfolio.com Personal Photo sales site
    http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet Personal photo web site
    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

  8. #28
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    Talking

    Webcams let you know where your birdseed budget is really going.



  9. #29
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    Oh dear - Oh deer.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
    http://bradstreet.zenfolio.com Personal Photo sales site
    http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet Personal photo web site
    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

  10. #30
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    I picked up a BL-C131A to replace one of my indoor Linksys cameras. At this point it is set up wired in NC and am playing with it. This was easy to set up and get configured. I just set the motion detection to send a few images before and after the motion was seen. They get sent to my e-mail address and come in as individual e-mails with one image attached to each.

    Steve, do you have trouble with sections of the screen disappearing? The part with the audio volume control appears and then changes to a pink line like "page not found".

    When I get the camera to Maine over vets Day weekend I will set it up for real in wireless mode and see how that works.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
    http://bradstreet.zenfolio.com Personal Photo sales site
    http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet Personal photo web site
    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

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