I wouldn't have high expectations of the cameras that are supplied with the
Q-see or SVAT packages, Jedd.
My advise on any of the stuff you're considering is to make certain tht the
seller has a good return policy for a reasonable amount of time for you to
try the equipment out, or determine if you have a purchase satisfaction
feature on your credit card.
The details for the cams shows 420 lines for the video, and that isn't
actually high resolution, even though they state it.
High resolution would be above 470 lines for good detail.
Also, the 30 ft range for the IR B/W black and white mode is most likely
grossly exaggerated. You may be able to see something colored white at 30
feet, but there probably won't be enough detail to distinguish what it is,
such as a white tennis shoe or a white cat.
Anything darker than white probably won't be distinguishable from the rest
of the scene, unless it's moving.
I don't know about that recorder, but with most system packages sold for
consumer use, you would probably be better off buying a recorder that has
the features you want, and then buy separate cameras which can provide high
detail in the video, not just vague representations of what you're trying to
A generic camera won't be universally acceptable/suitable for numerous
locations which may have different scene lighting characteristics.
Most of the cams on the market for home use are generally worthless at
providing any good detail, whether monitoring daylight or IR-assisted night
Many sellers try to imply that their gear is commercial grade, when it's
performance is actually no different than any generic China mini board
Cameras without automatic iris lenses (mechanical lens iris, not electronic
iris)generally provide very poor performance when there are wide
changes/differences in lighting. Any kind of backlighting or reflection from
a bright light source makes most plain CCD or CMOS cameras worthless for
Unless the area to be monitored is without any big changes in lighting, most
cameras without AI lenses will give very poor scene detail. Such an area
might be a warehouse with no windows, because sunlight in a scene will wash
out most of the scene detail.
An experienced prowler can easily defeat most inexpensive cameras with
light. Unless the recorder or camera have built-in detection capabilities,
all the recorded video will show is a washed-out scene.
The SVAT system package details contains the same info regarding the cams..
high resolution 420 lines (bogus) and 15 feet IR range in darkness, which is
a little more realistic, but still pretty much a gross exaggeration.
Their cams also have 12 IR LEDs, but their claim is only half the distance
of Q-see's cams.
IR LEDs don't emit a lot of illumination for cameras, unless the sensor is a
true night vision scope. A first generation NV scope is very sensitive to a
very small amount of IR illumination, but camera CCD and CMOS image
devices/pickup sensors are generally not.
I have a 140 LED IR illuminator and it doesn't do a decent job of lighting
up a 20 ft hallway for several video cameras.
I'll be replacing the IR LEDs with 940nm emitters (got a bag of 1000 new
Lite On LEDs about $20 on eBay).
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