Recommended IP Cams for Home and outdoor usage with HA?

I am taking possession of my first house in 4 days, and looking to start automating the entire house.

I am looking for suitable cameras that would allow me to hook everything up through central interface (HA) along with everything else like sensors, lights, switches etc - and watch in real time from work, for example.

The Wyzecam seems interesting, but apparently cant be paired to HA.

Any other recommendations, for at least similar quality, ideally capabilities (like camera pan and tilt, audio)?

This summer I will have an older child watching a toddler, so I need to watch the watcher from work :sunglasses:

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Zoneminder is the application for that.

HA isn’t really a security camera application.

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I use foscam cameras which have a component for HA. But like @nickrout says HA isn’t meant to be a camera app. For that I use blue iris. I tried out zoneminder but couldn’t get the hang of it. Blue iris isn’t free but its pretty cheap at $50 US. And its pretty straight forward.

But if you don’t want the recording capability all you need to see a (sort of) live view is HA.

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I 2nd the Blue Iris vote. You’ll need a dedicated Windows PC to run it, but once it’s running, it’s rock-solid. And you can interact with Home Assistant by having Blue Iris motion triggers activate binary_sensors in HA. You can also interact in the other direction, starting recording using HA triggers.

Although you can have video feeds directly in HA, I was underwhelmed. They are updated at intervals, unless you click on the thumbnail to view the live feed. I like being able to have my Blue Iris webpage open all the time with true live feeds.

Is there any Blue Iris linux equivalent? I am going to run a NAS and other servers stuff, BUT not windows!
Ideally open source, but dont mind it - as long as its Linux based for server.

Something with a nice Touch based UI for client so that I can put a tablet (eg: My Surface Pro 4) at work next to my monitors, and monitor all cameras - and if needed, I could tap icons, enlarge etc?

What about cameras? Any suggestions for good quality video? Preferably to support tilt and pan which would reduce the amount of cameras I need to install to have 360 coverage…

Yes, zoneminder.

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Alright, will try it - Thanks!!

But any suggestions on good but cheap Full HD ONVIF IP cameras?

A friend recommends “HIK 8mp CCTV Camera Updateable DS-2CD2085FWD-I IP Camera High Resoultion WDR POE Bullet CCTV Camera With SD Card Slot”

They seem to be low quality: 1-4MP? really? :roll_eyes:

really… sounds a little condescending…unless I’m misreading that eye roll

I don’t know what the pixel specs are but I have no complaints about the quality. the video feeds are pretty clear and run at 1080p or 720p. Why would you need more for security cameras? It’s not like you need a 4k security camera that you can use to read the fine print on a label at 100 yards.

I could post screen shots but…no.

I apologize if it came off as condescending.

What I mean is, that I have experience with those “web cams” of 1-4 MP 10-15 years ago for Skype etc… so when I see a product listed as “FHD” with “4MP” right next to it - my first response is “WTF? lol…” Even our phones today have more, so this doesn’t sound like a good camera.

Am I wrong? Why?

accepted…:wink:

For the price they are pretty good cameras. they aren’t “webcams” in the commonly accepted form of the phrase.

here are some screen shots:

My diningroom:

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Here is my outside camera using night vision. (I do have a deck light on causing the tree up front to be a little washed out):

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Here’s one with the deck light off showing the night vision LED range. Interestingly, you can even see the night vision LEDs from the garage camera glowing and lighting up the inside of the garage from this camera, too:

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This is the oldest foscam I own and it’s probably 5 years old and in 4:3 aspect ratio

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Here is my really cluttered garage:

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the most expensive of these cameras was only $70 I think.

They work really good as far as I’m concerned.

All of the screen shots are taken from Blue Iris.

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Thanks for sharing!
Interesting, this is pretty good quality, is that 4MP cameras doing that??

Could you please share the exact models for the dining room and back deck ones?

Foscams has wide range as well as prices are 55-230$ (CAD), and I am not sure which models would give this results… I don’t want to overpay for more than I require.

I’m running two outdoor Foscams and I’m pretty happy with them, although the resolution is only 1280 x 960.
I wanted them to be PTZ which made me end up at a higher price point.

@ReneTode built some pretty impressive controls for them and I’ve been thinking about using some of it but haven’t gotten around to it just yet:

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Their website is pretty bad, very hard to filter the products to find PTZ cameras.

Without knowing the exact model, the lowest 1080p priced is https://foscamcanada.com/Foscam-indoor-IP-camera/C2-White?sort=p.price&order=ASC
But it seems not to be ONVIF, or PTZ :frowning:
This is the closest I find to your resolution:
https://foscamcanada.com/Foscam-indoor-IP-camera/FI9816P-White?sort=p.price&order=ASC
But again, not ONVIF? And really, 1MP can do that quality in your pictures? it is very hard to believe, can you please confirm which model exactly you have?

I think I finally found the perfect one!

What do you guys think? Slightly more expensive than your Foscam I think, but ONVIF, true 1080p and is explicitly supported:
https://wiki.zoneminder.com/Amcrest

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I run a combination of Foscam and Amcrest (and 2 Fire Tablets) into Zoneminder (standalone Ubuntu server) and then linked to HA. I prefer the Amcrest. I’m up to 13 cameras if you don’t count the pi Zero’s that I just play with.

Here are the exterior ones; Looks like my front port got shifted a little:

On software there’s at least 3 decent/good options apart from Blue Iris:

  1. zoneminder
  2. Motioneye
  3. Shinobi

I’ve used zoneminder and once you pass the initial learning curve it’s pretty robust. Im now experimenting with Motioneye, and it’s good as well.

There’s even a Hass.io add on for Shinobi.

So if you dont want to have a separate server for Blue Iris, one of these options will definitely do the job.

the diningroom and garage camera’s are both FI9821P (~$50 on amazon right now). the deck camera is FI9900P (~$80 on amazon).

‘HD’ is often 1080x1920 resolution, this is 2073600 pixels or when divided by 1 million (mega) 2.0736 megapixels.

‘4K’ is often 3840 x 2160 resolution, this is 8294400 pixels or 8.2944 megapixels

Now that being said, there is a lot more to a cameras ability to resolve detail than the megapixel rating they provide for the sensor. I could go on for days on this but your best bet is to get some recommendations and look up sample images (not from the manufacturer)

You also need to pay attention to what video resolution these cameras can output and at what framerate. A 4K image may be worthless if it can’t provide a decent frame rate so you can actually see what is happening. A lower resolution is often fine for general use.

Finally, keep storage in mind. 4k at 30 FPS would be great, however, you are going to eat up a lot of storage with that kind of data coming out of your camera.

Finally, look into what your network can handle. Most wired connections should handle most cameras. However, wireless, especially when signal strength comes into play, may not allow 4K or even 1080P to be reliably pushed to a recorder if multiple cameras are present.