Advice needed re security camera options

cerebros

Active Member
Hi everyone

Hoping someone can provide some advice or point me in the direction to go for advice on the subject...

TL/DR
I need to look at security camera options to cover my back garden. This will need to also cover the top of my neighbour's conservatory as we (myself and the neighbour) believe, due to a couple of recent incidents, someone may have been climbing up on that during the night.


Background

Incident 1
I live in a mid-terrace house (B in the picture) in a short terrace, friendly with the immediate neighbours either side (A and C). A couple of months back someone broke into one of C's sheds, taking some tools he had in there. He suspects that someone in one of the neighbouring houses (either D or one of the houses backing on to our gardens) is responsible, given how soon the break-in was after some new tools were being stored in there and the fact that there didn't seem to be any signs of an attempted break-in on the sheds either side of the one the thieves got into.

While he has a security light (2), the two sheds furthest from the house are smaller than his main shed and the backs of them all line up. Where his security light is on the wall of his conservatory means his main shed actually blocks the light from it covering part of the garden, including the fronts of the two smaller sheds and some of the right hand side of the garden, so following this break-in (which was reported to the police who gave him a crime number eventually but as far as I know haven't been in touch with him about it since) he had a security camera installed outside his back bedroom window (4), covering most of his back garden (if I remember correctly from what he's shown me of the footage, there's a blind spot still by the smaller sheds but the camera's motion sensor should be picking up anyone climbing over the fence there to get into the garden).


Incident 2
A couple of weeks ago I came downstairs in the morning to find a fluorescent light fitting, plus a couple of the tubes, hinges, bottles and other things had been thrown into my back garden during the night. C had a fluorescent light fitting in his garden as well, plus a brick had been thrown which split one of his fence panels and there was a blob of ice cream on his conservatory roof; we found the tub in the gap between his conservatory and the fence. Neighbour A reported finding beer bottles in his garden, as did the houses E and F.

Looking at what we know for sure, either these things were thrown into the gardens by the people living at D (or someone who got into their garden) or someone came along the gap between houses C and D with all these things, climbed up onto the outdoor toilet roofs and then started throwing things into the gardens of houses A, B, C, E and F but not D.

Given that my neighbours living in C and E are aware of other incidents to do with D over the past year and a bit we lean towards the former explanation, especially as looking over E's fence no sign of any bottles or other things having been thrown in there could be seen.

Unfortunately, C's security camera didn't pick up anything of the incident (it did have a few nice clips of a cobweb blowing in the wind in front of the lens...) so although the police came round to speak to me they've basically said there's nothing they can do.


Incident 3
Just over a week ago a plant pot full of soil was thrown into C's garden. Again, we're not quite sure whether that was from within D's garden or from on top of the outside toilets - C showed me photos he took of a slight scattering of soil on his bathroom windowsill as well as a more substantial amount scattered over his outside toilet roof. It could be that when the pot was thrown it hit the edge of his outside toilet roof causing soil to be thrown out of it onto the roof and windowsill before the pot landed in his garden, although he didn't say if he'd found any soil on the ground by his outside toilet which I would have thought he'd find if that's what had happened.


Thoughts

These incidents have highlighted that the current security lights I and my neighbours have isn't proving much of a deterrent to thieves and anti-social behaviour and C's camera hasn't made much difference. Thinking about this issue has also made me realise that it's possible to gain access to the my back garden nearest the back door without triggering any of the security lights, which would mean anyone trying to break into my house via the kitchen or to try and break into the entryway I share with B could do so unobserved.

I'm therefore wanting to look at security camera options (presumably you can get ones with lights in them) to help cover off the two routes that currently wouldn't trigger the lights, namely up between houses C&D and across the conservatory roof or up the gap between G and the next house along and coming over A's conservatory roof. (I'm not sure how feasible the latter would be as the people who live at G keep themselves to themselves so we don't know if there's anything in their garden to obstruct someone getting up on A's conservatory. I've never seen a security light shining in their garden at night so I don't think they have one)

Ideally I want to avoid any cloud based systems for storing footage - I've got a Synology NAS in the loft with a few TB of space spare so don't see the point of paying for space elsewhere - but I would want to be able to receive notifications of activity being detected, especially if I'm away on holiday.


House Rear.jpg
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Firstly having cameras pointing too much into your neighbours property is never a great idea. Even with their permission their are GDPR issues and if for any reason the relationship turned sour this may provide you with added complications. That said Id focus on your own property to start with. I think that I would start with a single camera, at eaves height, focussing down onto your back garden, I would be tempted to use something like a 5MP 4MM Acusense that would trigger if anyone was intruding on your garden space. I would use an Acusense as these are very good for false alarm rejection for line or space crossing. I would mount a second Colourvu 2.8mm providing a much wider coverage of the general gardenscapes of yours and your adjoining neighbours gardens which would provide general coverage with colour images at night. You could use your NAS but I would actually use a dedicated NVR as it provides better overall functionality..
 
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RobinDB

Active Member
I have just upgraded my video camera system, well extended it.
I have 3 reolink argus 2 cameras, these are outdoor, wifi with solar charging.
I have now added 4 reolink 4k IP cameras which connect to NVR. Power to cameras is POE.
The NVR system can do continuous recording if required or motion recording, which I have gone with. The cameras I have gone for can detect person or cars. One think is good is these cameras flood the garden with invisible IR so great to see whats going on. One of the main reasons for the NVR system is to have a local storage that is not in the camera itself. The app (iOS / Mac or other) can see all cameras. One thing you can do is enable electronic blanking to part of image if you have problems with neighbours complaining about cameras seeing them. Also its very easy to block out certain areas to ovoid false detections.
 
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mushii

Distinguished Member
I think for most domestic applications 4k - 8MP is overkill and places way too much burden on the NVR. 4 -5MP is a good balance of image quality and overhead. Its a pretty rookie mistake to jump into 4k where it isnt needed and is typical of AVFitis. I seldom install 4k cameras, better that you choose the correct camera and correct focal length for the job.
 
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RobinDB

Active Member
I think for most domestic applications 4k - 8MP is overkill and places way too much burden on the NVR. 4 -5MP is a good balance of image quality and overhead. Its a pretty rookie mistake to jump into 4k where it isnt needed and is typical of AVFitis. I seldom install 4k cameras, better that you choose the correct camera and correct focal length for the job.
Yes I looked at that one as well but found price difference for kit so small I went for 4K version. Found great price off AliExpress direct from reolink in germany
 
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mushii

Distinguished Member
Most NVRs will struggle to record 4K and process line crossing. None under a couple of grand will display multiple 4K camera streams well or at all. You always have to display sub-streams or totally dial back resolution and frame / bit rate. It’s a common problem when people automatically jump to 4K without establishing g what the NVR is capable of managing.
 
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ashenfie

Well-known Member
Firstly having cameras pointing too much into your neighbours property is never a great idea. Even with their permission their are GDPR issues and if for any reason the relationship turned sour this may provide you with added complications. That said Id focus on your own property to start with. I think that I would start with a single camera, at eaves height, focussing down onto your back garden, I would be tempted to use something like a 5MP 4MM Acusense that would trigger if anyone was intruding on your garden space. I would use an Acusense as these are very good for false alarm rejection for line or space crossing. I would mount a second Colourvu 2.8mm providing a much wider coverage of the general gardenscapes of yours and your adjoining neighbours gardens which would provide general coverage with colour images at night. You could use your NAS but I would actually use a dedicated NVR as it provides better overall functionality..
There no George issues for private property, agreed respecting people’s privacy is important. So car placement is vital.
I have use good quality hikvison cameras well place to get a ex brother in law arrested for property damage. Never had any issues again.

the key points are the cameras need to be good. They need to out of sight and and never reveal how you know what happened. Else they will be useless.
The big issue for you is that you have to get on with your neighbours or move.
 
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RobinDB

Active Member
Most NVRs will struggle to record 4K and process line crossing. None under a couple of grand will display multiple 4K camera streams well or at all. You always have to display sub-streams or totally dial back resolution and frame / bit rate. It’s a common problem when people automatically jump to 4K without establishing g what the NVR is capable of managing.

Well my NVR records in 4k quite happily and came with 4 4K cameras and cost £500
 
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cerebros

Active Member
Firstly having cameras pointing too much into your neighbours property is never a great idea. Even with their permission their are GDPR issues and if for any reason the relationship turned sour this may provide you with added complications. That said Id focus on your own property to start with. I think that I would start with a single camera, at eaves height, focussing down onto your back garden, I would be tempted to use something like a 5MP 4MM Acusense that would trigger if anyone was intruding on your garden space. I would use an Acusense as these are very good for false alarm rejection for line or space crossing. I would mount a second Colourvu 2.8mm providing a much wider coverage of the general gardenscapes of yours and your adjoining neighbours gardens which would provide general coverage with colour images at night. You could use your NAS but I would actually use a dedicated NVR as it provides better overall functionality..

Hi, this answer may be coloured partly by the fact that I can't seem to find a "5MP 4mm Acusense" camera when I search on Google* to look at the specs, especially field of view, but surely having a camera mounted as high as you're suggesting is going to cover more of my neighbours' garden than something lower down?

In order to cover approaches into my garden across the conservatory roofs either side, I was imagining something mounted not far above the level of the windows (so about 3-3.5m - haven't measured up so that's a rough estimate) so sight into neighbours gardens would be mostly blocked by the fences.

Regarding NVR vs NAS, what essential functionality would I be missing using the Surveillance Station software on the NAS?

I think this is starting to sound potentially a lot more expensive than I was thinking/hoping...


* I get plenty of 4MP cameras returned in that search but no 5MP. As all the results returned seem to be Hikvision ones I tried looking on the Hikvision website but Acusense seems to cover a lot of cameras and there doesn't seem to be the facility to search by focal length... Any chance you can give me a link to a product page or give me a model number I can search on?
 
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cerebros

Active Member
One thing you can do is enable electronic blanking to part of image if you have problems with neighbours complaining about cameras seeing them. Also its very easy to block out certain areas to ovoid false detections.
Is that functionality on the NVR side or built into the camera?
 
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RobinDB

Active Member
Do a search for Reolink Argus 2.
Amazon sell them.
self contained units, positioning is very important, option of solar panel to keep them charged.
turn off the indicator lamp to make less obvious.
 
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cerebros

Active Member
the key points are the cameras need to be good. They need to out of sight and and never reveal how you know what happened. Else they will be useless.
self contained units, positioning is very important, option of solar panel to keep them charged.
turn off the indicator lamp to make less obvious.

I'm not sure I follow the logic of the cameras not being noticeable - surely you want them noticeable to deter theft/antisocial behaviour?
 
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RobinDB

Active Member
I'm not sure I follow the logic of the cameras not being noticeable - surely you want them noticeable to deter theft/antisocial behaviour?
I guess it depends on location of camera.
if the camera is easily accessible without ladders then probably best to keep them invisible, if however they are mounted out of reach then not important.
I have real and fake cameras
 
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cerebros

Active Member
I guess it depends on location of camera.
if the camera is easily accessible without ladders then probably best to keep them invisible, if however they are mounted out of reach then not important.
I have real and fake cameras
Ah right, with you now, looking at the specs of the Reolink and that there's no cloud storage available in the UK yet, so it'd be on device storage only.

Trying to think where I'd be able to position those particular cameras where they would be inaccessible without a ladder... (this is probably where it would have helped if the Sketchup model of the houses I put together for the image in the first post was to scale rather than best guess). I'd probably have to install centrally next to the downpipe and be a bit higher up than I'd have thought otherwise in order to stop someone climbing up onto the kitchen windowsills to get at it (well, I'm guessing "them" as I think I'd need 2 cameras to cover both routes into the garden).

Not sure if I'm now going super paranoid about how much time an intruder is likely to spend trying to tamper with the cameras...
 
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mushii

Distinguished Member
The Acusense show as 4mp but they actually give you the option to run in 5MP mode (I run 4MP Acusense at home). My advice is dont get too hung up on the numbers. 4MP 4mm Acusense

4MP DS-2CD2346G2-ISU/SL Hikvision AcuSense 4mm 83° IP Turret Camera with Strobe & 2-Way Audio

Which is still better than 1080p If your 'intruder' is that close to the camera you are going to have HD full screen of his face.

Nobody said that this would be a cheap solution, decent CCTV costs around £100 a camera and £300 for an 8 Channel NVR.

If you have an intruder climbing onto roofs to tamper with security cameras I would suggest that you need to be talking to the Police NOW!!! That is not the behaviour of your average burglar and I would suggest something much more insidious.
 
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RobinDB

Active Member
Cloud adds cost and monthly fees in most cases.
I have 3 WiFi cameras covering front of house and wired ones coverping each side.
 
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mushii

Distinguished Member
10 years of fitting domestic CCTV and I have seldom come across domestic cameras being attacked. One of my cameras is at ground floor eaves height - its at that height for a reason, but anyone looking to attack it cannot get to it without being caught on at least on other camera. If I have a burglar that is that determined to disable my CCTV then I have much bigger problems as normal burglars do not behave like that.
 
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RobinDB

Active Member
10 years of fitting domestic CCTV and I have seldom come across domestic cameras being attacked. One of my cameras is at ground floor eaves height - its at that height for a reason, but anyone looking to attack it cannot get to it without being caught on at least on other camera. If I have a burglar that is that determined to disable my CCTV then I have much bigger problems as normal burglars do not behave like that.

the trick as you say is trying to catch face of persons doing bad.
 
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mushii

Distinguished Member
Well that depends what you want your cameras for. Not all cameras are installed to catch peoples faces. Some cameras are set up to observe people entering or leaving an area, you don’t always want to catch faces. Again it’s important when installing CCTV to understand the purpose of the camera. A 2.8mm camera is unlikely to resolve a face accurately at 15m but it’s great to monitor a wide area and observe activity. Even if you capture a face, what are you going to do with it? Unless a crime has been committed the Police won’t be interested. Now one of the cameras that covers my driveway won’t resolve a face at the end of the drive but it will capture number plates and resolve the type and colour of car. Again when placing cameras it’s all about purpose. My door cameras are all about capturing faces.
I installed some warehouse cameras last month, not to capture individuals but for monitoring activity and for safety for lone workers. When I am working in my office I like to have my cameras on a monitor or the TV so I can see what is happening outside, when couriers arrive or if there are people hanging around where they shouldn’t be. Not everyone is pixel peeping sometimes the big picture is just as important.
 
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cerebros

Active Member
Right, now I've ventured out the back in suitable footwear, I've been able to get a picture of the actual rear of the house rather than going by the Sketchup model made from memory (and which comparing the two shows how iffy my memory and judgement of distances is... anyhoo)

mushii if I were to go with your suggested option camera-wise, would I be mounting both cameras close to the eaves level?

@RobinDB If I were to get Argus 2s, where would I be best placed to put them? Centrally (eitherside of the downpipe) facing out, or one at each property line facing inwards? (Or would the latter cause issues with the IR emitters of the cameras blinding each other?). I'm assuming given the lower resolution of these vs the Hikvision's mushii is suggesting, I'd need them to be lower down to ensure I can identify intruders (particularly anyone who manages to get up to the rear of the house)?

On reflection I don't think there's an awful lot I can do about capturing further instances of antisocial behaviour like I've had recently without having a camera pointed directly at the garden of the house we think is behind it & permanently recording at night, which, barring any further incidents, could look excessive. For now I think my main aim needs to be to be able to get identifiable video of any intruders who get into my garden, whether that's with the aim of getting into my sheds or into the house. (Although I don't recall hearing of any break-ins attempted or otherwise of people's houses on this road, basically just sheds)

photo of house rear.jpg
 
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RobinDB

Active Member
I see your neighbour to right has a camera by bedroom window.

I would be tempted to put above the back door near where the copper pipe is and facing towards the hose pipe. By having at that height you should get good view of garden.
Adjust position so it would see the fence on right. Angled down so it does not look to much over the LH neighbours fence. That should give you good coverage down and around the garden and show your outbuilding.

Its best if any potential target crosses the path of sensor rather than comes directly towards camera. Hence the angle.
Not sure if you would need 2 cameras.

The Argus 2 only activates when it see's motion, I have 32gb micro sd cards in mine and the probably would take a year or so to fill up cards. Then its a simple exercise to delete stored images. Or you can save them onto computer / mobile device if needed individually.
 
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mushii

Distinguished Member
Two problems here. Eaves height cameras are great to provide a good overview of an area, its the advantage that height brings. The downside is that the angle often precludes facial identification. By installing a camera at a lower height (normally first floor, floor level) you get a great view for capturing faces , but you lose some of your field of view, so its often a balance on what you are trying to achieve. Are you looking to monitor a wider area (short focal length, wide field of view) will resolve facial detail close up or are you looking to monitor a specific area and identify individuals (longer focal length 4mm or 6mm but your angle of view is much narrower). Then what kind of camera do you want, good night vision, good line / area crossing. Do you want the convenience of an NVR or are you happy with manually accessing your cameras?

I know its lots of questions, but the are the sort of things that a good CCTV installer should be asking. Sure you can just go any buy XYZ cameras on Amazon and stick them up, but I hold with the old adage.. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Just my penneth worth.
 
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cerebros

Active Member
I see your neighbour to right has a camera by bedroom window.

I would be tempted to put above the back door near where the copper pipe is and facing towards the hose pipe. By having at that height you should get good view of garden.
Adjust position so it would see the fence on right. Angled down so it does not look to much over the LH neighbours fence. That should give you good coverage down and around the garden and show your outbuilding.

Its best if any potential target crosses the path of sensor rather than comes directly towards camera. Hence the angle.
Not sure if you would need 2 cameras.

The Argus 2 only activates when it see's motion, I have 32gb micro sd cards in mine and the probably would take a year or so to fill up cards. Then its a simple exercise to delete stored images. Or you can save them onto computer / mobile device if needed individually.
The reason I'm thinking I might need two cameras is that I want to make sure all routes into my back garden are covered.

My neighbour does have a camera by the back bedroom window but the trouble is that from what I can recall from when he showed me what it picks up (blue triangle in the image... I don't think it has all that wide a field of view), it doesn't completely cover the routes onto his property that could be used to get onto mine, namely coming across the outdoor toilet roof onto his conservatory roof, either from the next door garden or walking between the houses and climbing onto the outside toilets from the front fence. We already suspect from recent history that someone may have gone up on his conservatory roof.

So if I had one camera in that position above the copper pipe looking to the left, I'd assume it'd be quite possible to come over that conservatory roof and down the side of the conservatory and right by my back door with the camera either not picking anything up or not getting a view of their face.
House Rear top.jpg
 
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