Recommendations for a security camera system

I am interested in building a camera network for my home. I’m planning on starting out small with a few cameras but I’d like to have room to grow.

I know openHAB itself doesn’t automate cameras, so my plan is to develop a standalone system that runs in parallel with openHAB. I’ve been thinking about running it off a dedicated Raspberry Pi 3, perhaps running something like eyemotionos.

I wanted to solicit input from the community. I’ve found other threads that center on “does xyz camera work with openHAB?” However, since I’m starting from the ground floor I’d like to start with something that really works well with the rest of my smart home.

I don’t have any experience with CCTV cameras; however, I’ve hacked together some far more complex hardware and think it’ll just be a matter of figuring out how the pieces go together. I’m leaning towards wired IP cameras, probably powered by POE. But, that’s not set in stone and is far from everything I need to make it work.

My wish list:

  • Motion events should be accessible as a switch/contact item via a binding
  • Video and stills available to the basicUI / iPhone app and HABpanel. Bonus points if this can be routed through myopenhab, so I could use the same interface when not home
  • Ability to control PTZ cameras from the UI
  • A decent web UI for the actual camera software

What have you all done that you liked?

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I’ve been using Zoneminder and it should cover your wish list. There’s a Zoneminder binding that connects to the zoneminder API which gives you access to motion alarms etc.

Regarding cameras, I’ve been using some “cheap” China Hikvision cameras with PoE. They have been working fine…

Sounds good, I’ll check it out. What hardware do you run Zoneminder on?

I too is looking for a camera. What cheep one’s you using with Zoneminder

Did you find a good / cheap camera for that purpose?

I set up an Amcrest IP3M-943B camera (re-branded Dahua’s) recently with the excellent IP Camera binding from @matt1. It works great.

The only advice I have is to try to get high end camera that has a lot of different alarm types (face and vehicle license recognition, motion sensor). The simple one that I had only have motion alarm, and that seems to be done based on image differences. It’s very sensitive to environment factors such as rain/snow, or even when the light in the adjacent room is turned on, causing changes in brightness (light reflected through windows). I got flooded with false positive alarm alert. Having multiple types of alarms with let you make further adjustment on when to send the alerts. Otherwise, you will have to tune the rules much more (e.g. do not send alerts if it is snowing/raining or if the adjacent room’s light state just changed). Better yet, see if you can get a camera with actual motion sensor.

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hm, I see.
Would ZoneMinder fix this issue with the false alarm?

Sorry I have no experience with ZoneMinder. I use the binding directly.

@Stefan83 I actually started using Shinobi. It’s easier to spin up and use than ZoneMinder and we figured out openHAB integration. Shinobi has its own forum and has a responsive developer. I actually haven’t gotten it set up again since I moved last summer (lots of home projects), but it’s pretty high on my list.

[Shinobi - CCTV video software]