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Need facial recognition at night


 
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SnodWog
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Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject: Need facial recognition at night Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I'm new to video surveillance and need some advice.

I have had two recent instances of vandalism to cars in my driveway, the last of which involved a gun shot that went through my car and into my garage. This is getting serious, so I am now looking for a security camera to montior the front of my house in hopes of catching the person responsible. This means I will need positive facial recognition of the subject to provide the police. Unfortunately this has been happening late at night, so I will need an IR camera that has high enough nighttime resolution to accomplish this.

I plan to mount a camera about 10 ft high on the side of my garage to monitor a 40 ft long driveway and the street that runs in front. Fyi...the cars are parked in the driveway, since there is too much crap in my garage. There are street lights up the road from us, so it is relatively well lit at night. If there are any details that I left out, please let me know.

In the research that I done so far, I think I will need a megapixel IP camera with IR illumination. What I have not been able to determine is what level of resolution I would need to acheive facial recognition under my circumstances. I have read about cameras ranging from 1.3 to 5 megapixel. I'm not really concerned about being able to remotely stream the video feeds. I am more concerned with being able to review the captured video later and zoom in on areas of interest.

I would like to stay under $1000 for the camera if possible, because I still have to look into getting a dedicated PC to serve as an NVR as well as software to manage the system.

Any general advice or specific recommendations are welcome. I may be expecting too much from the equipment, if that is so then I would like to know what a reasonable expectation would be.

Thanks!
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buellwinkle
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Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 2504

PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an ACTi TCM-1231 in my driveway. The first 30-40' are IR illuminated by the camera, behind that is a streetlight so at night it's awsome. It's 1.3MP which is decent resolution, but if it's not, it has a varifocal lens (like a 4x manual zoom), so you can adjust the focal length to get facial recognition, albeit at the compromise of the width of the field of view. In comercial situations I use Mobotix, but out of your budget and for all fairness, even though they are 3MP cameras, the night vision is 1.25MP.

What I like about the TCM-1231 for my driveway is that during the day, the sun floods the concrete with too much light, the camera adjusts to compensate but people and cars are then too contrasty, almost like a silhouette. This camera has WDR which makes the image look a little blah, but it compensates for the super high contrast and brings the detail in the dark areas back into the image.

If you don't need WDR or 18 fps, I use the ACM-1231 in other parts of my house and you save about $75, but no WDR and 8 fps. For example, the back side of my house does not get much sun, no need for WDR. As for frames per second, don't get suckered into that one. Some cameras claim 30 fps, but at night, you are limited by shutter speed and most come down to about 10 fps anyway.

To get good facial recognition, figure you need a person's head to be 80 pixels tall. Also, faces have a lot of detail, so turn compression way down, otherwise the compression artifacts make the face not so recognizable. Lastly, keep the max shutter speed at 1/30th of a second. 1/5th of a second makes for a great still night image, but 1/30th to me is minimal for a moving subject or it will just be a blur.
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SnodWog
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Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice!
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SnodWog
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Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey Buellwinkle,

Sounds like you have a good bit of experience at this surveillance game. Just curious what type of hardware/software you use for your NVR at home?

SnodWog
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buellwinkle
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Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 2504

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use BlueIris software, $50, it's cheap, it does the job, it provides an easy to use interface my wife can navigate, has a clever traffic light icon for turning recording on/off so if she doesn't want to be recorded, she knows how to turn it off an it has a good web interface for remote viewing from any device I have (Android phone, iPad, laptop).

For hardware I looked for something effecient, so I got a nettop, a Zotac Zbox but there's plenty of others. What I looked for was the Atom dual core processor and nvidia ion graphic processor. I got a bare box system so I can add my own larger hard drive (most come with 160 or 250gb max) and added my own Windows 7 home premium as many come with Windows 7 basic. The box is about 7" square, about 1 1/2" deep, can be mounted on the back of a monitor or easily hidden. Also has HDMI out, so you can watch it on your TV. I use a wireless mouse so it's easy to use without any wires. Keyboard is only required to configure stuff, other than the mouse is all you need.
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SnodWog
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Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds like a pretty sweet little setup.
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videofairy
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Joined: 21 Oct 2006
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:00 am    Post subject: Re: Need facial recognition at night Reply with quote

SnodWog wrote:
Hi guys,
I plan to mount a camera about 10 ft high on the side of my garage to monitor a 40 ft long driveway and the street that runs in front. I have read about cameras ranging from 1.3 to 5 megapixel.


Dear SnodWog,
It would help if you could attach a site plan.
If your desired field of view is 40 ft at 40 ft distance from the camera (angle is about 55 degrees)
then you going to get 64 pixels/foot (vertical resolution at your target distance) in case of 5 MP camera.

In case of 1.3 MP camera you going to have about 36 pixels/ft. So 1.3 MP camera is not enough for facial recognition nor identification for this area.
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skane
New Member


Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mounting - If the vandalism has escalated to shooting at your home, you might want to have the camera concealed. They might just shoot your camera before they shoot your car/home. Easiest way to protect your cameras is to aim it out a window, and conceal the cam with blinds/drapes.

If you need to cover a wide area with a 80 ppf resolution for facial id, consider using multiple lower res cams with higher focal length lenses as an alternative to one 3.1 or 5 MP cam. The lower res MP cams (1.3 MP, 1 MP) usually have better low light sensitivity as well. If there is a likely area on the street they will vandalize from, you can just focus on the likely target area with one higher res cam.

If you need IR, you'll need to mount the illuminator outside. If you use 850nm ir, the illuminator will be visible. 940nm ir will be invisible, but it is less visible to the camera and you'll need more of it.

For catching dirtbags that vandalize homes from the street with just streetlighting, I've had great results shooting them with Arecont AV3130 and AV3135 (dual sensor cams) with Computar fixed focal length, F1.4, 2/3" machine vision lenses.

hth, good luck.
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SnodWog
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Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi videofairy,

The site plan is pretty simple. The 40 ft driveway is straight and runs perpendicular to both the street and the front face of my house. Since I also need to see a person in a car parked in the street, I would add another 10 ft to the distance. So lets say I need to capture an area 50 ft long and maybe 20 to 30 ft wide.

Do you have any suggestions for a camera that would have enough nighttime resolution to accomplish facial recognition under these circumstances? I am starting to think that I may also need an external IR illuminator. After I finally get a camera, I will be able to determine that.

Thanks!
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