Need suggestion for cheap simple outdoor NVR

Hey Guys,

I’m looking for suggestions on how to setup a simple outdoor security camera system to put on an outbuilding on my property. Connectivity will be through a powerline adapter. (build in progress, I’m aware of the limitations of this. Have not installed permanent burried cable runs yet)

I have several outdoor zmodo poe camera’s from an older (yay planned obsolescence) system that could be used if need be. old cam

I have a freenas system that I can load a vm to run any software management program. Plenty of storage and power available.

Due to the current situation of human malware, my budget is much more limited than usual. Not against buying new equipment but trying to limit expenditures. Would also like to avoid proprietary circle traps and be able to manage and access from linux. (phone apps not a requirement)

camera requirements:
Clear image up to 25 meters
outdoor weatherproof
One harder spec… we get -50C in the winter here

TLDR: Suggestion for a single outdoor camera video surveillance system of lower cost, diy or prebuilt

Buying from or amazon would be preferable

Thanks for the help everyone

1 Like

This is ambiguous. What level of detail do you need at that distance?

Clear enough image of the face at 25 meters to be able to identify (from a known list). Day/night at a walking pace.

This facial recognition at 25m distance could be a problem.

The face needs to be at least 20pixels tall for really good software to be able to do something with multiple consecutive frames.

If a face is ~30cm tall. That’s either a very narrow field of view or a very high resolution camera. Doing the math in my head - so I’m probably wrong, but 4k/8MP probably won’t cut it and you may end up having to go with 12MP. Which is then hard to keep in budget and hard to keep sharp in low light.

Not to mention expensive, and even then it hinges on someone who known what they’re doing having trained high quality models for you that you can use in some install it yourself software (I’m assuming you’re not “one of those people” who’ll train their own DNN for this).

Nothing wrong with narrow-field cameras, they’re usually a good choice for outdoor surveillance (excluding doorbell/intercom cams). Might need more of them to cover a wide area but most often not… people don’t usually need a fish-eye that’ll show an incoming helicopter. Can find good ones at low prices:

That brings forth a valid point.

I have a 5 meter wide stretch about from 15 to 25 M i need to cover.

And from previous reply, It is not for facial recognition software. Needs to be clear enough to show to a judge, without question, that the individual before you is the same as in this video. (Recommendation from law enforcement)

Any functional ideas I can look into for software ? I’ve read things about zoneminder but have never used it myself.

Thanks for the help guys. As much as I’d love to pull a Linus and install 10k worth of security cams, the wallet says no.

Good! Just recording h.265 / controlling cameras via onvif is easier.

4k / 8megapixel for a 5m stretch (even at 15fps) will do well enough for humans. You can take a photo / video with your phone and see roughly what you can expect and if that’s good enough for you.

Not sure if any of these Dahua would work for you, there should be plenty of reviews online.

dahua website

They tend to be easily poe powerable and usable from various software, at least this guy is a fan of those cameras:

The one from the video IPC-HFW2831T-ZS-S2 is about $150 on AliExpress with premium shipping.

This is also a good place to look for information: ; you might find better value models and more information there.

Thank you @risk , that was very helpful. That forum seems to have lots of good info that i was in search of. Seems I have lots more reading to do.