Need waterproof outdoor security camera system for my family

Recently I made a post regarding a security for a dorm room, and got the information needed (thanks again to the people who posted! :D). Now, my family wants me to setup security for them, however, a lot more "elaborate", with a pretty tight budget.

-Waterproof (will be outside 24/7)
-Upgradable (starting off with 1-2 cameras, with plans to expand to 3+, max of 5)
-Live video output to monitor functionality (cameras constantly displaying what is being recorded to monitor)
-Save recordings only when motion is detected
-High-brightness LED's (will be looking out toward a road+sidewalk)
-Single connection for power+data (POE maybe?)
-High resolution (no 480P, so 720P/1080P)

-Have no plans/needs to access the camera via the WAN. Will solely be used on a LAN network.

My family is a bit cheap (as am I), so they don't want to have more than a $200 initial cost (however, will go higher if really needed).

I've got plenty of server hardware, and have looked online, and it appears that there is a few choices of software to run on a PC (there appears to be some which run inside Windows, and some which are dedicated O.S's just for recording), or I can buy one of the dedicated boxes which does the data storage and output to a monitor. Using my own hardware is preferred though, since I could imagine it being cheaper.

Thanks :slight_smile:

EDIT: Forgot to add, it will need a semi-wide viewing angle, less than 180degree, however, more than 110 degree

There are two options:
- getting a cheap VCR+cams kit, I've seen half decent ones for under 75 EUR with 4-6 cams that connect through PoE
- searching for industrial optical QA cams and changing the lenses on those. The most popular video lenses for these tiny cams are the Pentax 25 mm and similar, and they are abundantly available for about 8-10 EUR per piece used in good nick. These connect through various interfaces, so get the ones that connect through ethernet, preferably with PoE. The housing and fixture quality, but also sensor quality on these things is amazing, and they are in good nick available for 10-15 EUR piece, whereas they might have cost as much as 800-1500 EUR piece new.


Would you be able to link a sample of both suggestions? Tried looking up both but couldn't find either?

Cant find any information on this one either?

You're probably not going to find the latter on ebay, but the first will be there, but much cheaper on Alibaba. The second ones are something you'll only find in factory surplus sales or dumpsters, then buy the corresponding lenses used on ebay (these QA cams have macro lenses which are often worth hundreds to thousands, and you can easily sell them on ebay, I've done that several times back in the day).

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I know I only need 1 camera for now, but this system that I found has 4, and is actually 200CAD. It seems to have the features that I want, but I'm not sure if I should trust it, because it is so cheap?

(I don't tend to believe Amazon reviews because of them giving away free stuff to "reviewers")

That is a system you can get on Alibaba for 50 bucks though. Amazon is very expensive in those things. An intermediate would be ebay. 200 CAD is a lot for a shenzen kit!

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Am I searching up the wrong thing? Did you really mean to say VCR, or something else?

I know Amazon tends to market stuff up, but my parents don't want to wait a month/two for the camera system to arrive from China (they might be fine with waiting a week or two though)

you found one right there no, 100 bucks for 8 cams plus all fixatures and connections and a DVR/VCR seems about reasonable for this stuff. You have to check the specs, whether they suit your needs. You can connect only one single cam no prob, and if it's smashed by a flying branch in a storm, replace it with one of 7 spares left lol. I would silicone kit it up a bit extra to make it better weatherproof, also, things outside are never really waterproof, condensation is the worst, gets cold, then the sun comes out, then it gets cold again, and there will be water inside. You can coat the PCB though, costs nothing, 10 secs with an acrylic clearcoat spray.

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Redneck option:)

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foscam makes some decent cameras. My best suggestion would to have a dedicated PC run the foscam software, or even better blue iris, and have it go to a hard drive and just buy the cameras (for ~100 dollars each) individually.


Alright, I'll definitely be looking into this! Thanks for the suggestions, Zoltan! :smiley:

Sadly, that has too narrow of FOV, and isn't upgradable

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Trying to call them right now to find out about their products and PC software. Thanks for the suggestion! :smiley:

Edit: No answer :confused: I'll try again at a later date. However, I will look into them.

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