Recommendation for indoor WiFi restaurant cameras

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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:09 pm

Recommendation for indoor WiFi restaurant cameras

Post by light,camera,action » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:43 pm

For a restaurant, I want to buy a couple of indoor camera's which, but I don't know which ones yet. However, I have no doubt that some people already have tackled this domain before, so I would like to hear about recommendations. The conditions are that the lighting is generally worse than in a natural environment and I suppose it would be useful if most of the camera's are not easily spotted.

If one camera is easily spotted that just gives away there is video surveillance, but otherwise I don't see the point of telling people more than they already know.

Budget for this would be I suppose 1000 euros for a set of 4 camera's, which should allow for a reasonable camera, AFAIK. High resolution camera's are preferred. E.g., I currently operate a 1920x1080 camera and I think it's quite limited in quality by the time it has been processed by ZoneMinder.

Currently, I am thinking of using WiFi, but I also wonder about security. E.g., if this just runs on a standard open WiFi, the signal can be intercepted, which would be a privacy nightmare, if e.g. the neighbors would just store that same data. Do you run separate networks for these applications in practice? Additionally, I can imagine that with a lot of users, a high bandwidth user (the camera) will face a lot of interference.

It might be that these are mere theoretical concerns, since I don't expect many people to actually use the existing WiFi, because most people have 4G and don't bother to use some random restaurant's WiFi, but it is a concern.

Finally, perhaps there are like standard ways to cleanly install such camera's that they become blended in with decorations for example, such that a normal visitor doesn't see all the plastic directly.

For me this is a hobby, for what it's worth.

Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:36 am

Re: Recommendation for indoor WiFi restaurant cameras

Post by AnotherBrian » Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:10 pm

I like a configuration where zoneminder is connected to a POE switch and each camera is connected to the POE switch using ethernet cable. This has some advantages such as: a) no need to run power to the camera; b) data traffic is kept off your wireless network; c) data traffic kept off your wired router; d) no wireless connection issues such as transient radio interference.

With wireless, you still have to run a power cable. Although that might be easier, think about the fact that your going to have to have a bunch of power supplies, one for each camera, consuming a power outlet. With poe, the power supply is centralized to a single box. POE switches can be had for the cheap on ebay such as passively cooled old linksys poe switches.

Used dell latitude i7 systems (laptop) abound on ebay for the cheap. They have a very small footprint and require a single connection to the POE switch. Also for the old ones, there are dvd adapters which allow you to mount a second drive internal to the laptop. Using logical volumes on linux, the multiple drives appear as a single filesystem - so you can have a huge filesystem for all the zoneminder recorded images. Configured via bios, the system will automatically turn on should there be a power outage.

Haven't looked at cameras in a long time but hikvision 2032 bullet cameras work great set at full HD. Firstly though I nail em down (in the router) so they can't communicate out through the wan. Either mine got infected or the original software likes to communicate out through the wan. Anyway they behave much better by having their communication restricted to the local lan. Stay away from the dome cameras (e.g., hikvision 2132). The dome cover refracts light or shows dirt or something but they make for poor images. Use turret cameras instead of the dome. (I haven't tried em but they have less glass on them (or is it cheap plastic), the source of poor images). Dont use dome, use turret! Look at the field of vision versus lense choice. 2.8mm lense choice may be preferred in an application mounted into a room corner - then you have full 90 degrees of coverage for the whole room. My opinion here but the varifocal length lenses aren't worth the extra money. But you have to research the lense size before purchasing. Buy a 2.8mm (the most common), try it and see if it works for you. I may have used a 4mm but that was it - most of mine are 2.8mm. All have infrared which works well (or well enough).

My guests never seem to see the cameras. If they aren't right there in front of their noses, they dont see em. Sort of look like smoke alarms.

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