Reading license plates with your cameras

Great place to get words, pictures or letters printed for shirts or other things.

So on this picture you get a nice view of the front of the store and the cars and even when you zoom in you may not be able to read a plate so this article will help you understand some of the factors you will need in order to view license plates with your cameras.

Contact Larry Love at Peak Alarm for more information or if any corrections need to be made to this blog. (801) 428 1384 Larry@peakalarm.com http://www.peakalarm.com

So you want to read plate numbers from cars with your camera system. There are several factors that will determine if you can do this with your current system:

DISTANCE TO THE CAR – Using a lens calculator we can determine how wide a view you will need and the lens
LIGHTING – IR LED system on your cameras (check the rating- often it will say 30 feet but will only work at about 20′)
ANGLE OF CAMERA(S) and how high the camera is mounted – If the camera is mounted high on the building and the cars drive into the driveway on an angle or in a dip this could cause issues
MP RESOLUTION OF YOUR CAMERAS (2MP, 4MP or 4K cameras are all great cameras, understand that the higher the MP the more storage they use)
LENS ON THE CAMERA – most cameras are fixed at 2.8 or 3.6mm and some are verifocal 2.7-12mm and other more expensive cameras have higher mm adjustment capability.
HOW FAST IS THE CAR GOING
There are other factors but for this article I will keep it simple

IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW:

EXAMPLE

I have a customer that wants to see plate numbers 120 feet from his building at the driveway entrances. Lighting and the proper choice of camera is essential.

Using a 2MP High Definition camera you will need a 28mm lens on your camera at 120 feet and your camera view will be 22 feet across and 12 feet high and you will get 85 pixels per square foot.
If you don’t have the right IR and lighting then it may be difficult at night to see plates. Using a 4MP camera would require a 13mm lens to see 44 feet across to view a plate. Keep in mind that you are not guaranteed to see plate numbers even when you use the right lens and do the calculations properly since most cameras are not license plate cameras. We can install actual license plate cameras that are made for this purpose and then you have a much better chance of seeing plate numbers. In the above situation it would be much better to move the cameras closer to the cars and move the camera down on a pole looking directly at the plates rather than mounting the cameras on a building at 13 feet in the air.

You will need a minimum of 60 pixels per square foot to view a plate number and it would be much better at 100.

Purpose Min. Required px/ft
Detect activity 8
Observe behavior 16
Recognize person 30
Identify person 60
Read license plate 60
Identify USD 150
Read 10pt text 1200

Most cameras from big box stores now are fixed lens cameras at 2.8 or 3.6mm giving you a very wide view. Using them in residential application is ok but looking 120 feet away would give you a view of 80 feet across and 60 feet high so you would not be able to see a plate number.

My cameras at my home are 500 TVL and 700 TVL or 700,000 lines and the newer 2.1MP cameras are 3 times the resolution so your chance to see plate numbers is better with a 2MP or 4MP camera but there are other factors.

With the understanding of the different factors please know that a $30 or $50 dollar camera is not going to cut it. Hikvision has a great camera that starts at $850 and the Q Series AXIS camera starts at $1,850 for the camera, you would then need to purchase the NVR that has the ability to log plate numbers. We have less expensive cameras that very well could see plate numbers that are much closer to the home or business and it also depends on how fast the cars are going as to which cameras you decide on.

Understand that you can purchase cameras just for reading plate numbers and the NVR recorders have the ability to log those plate numbers and you can actually buy a list of plate numbers that your system can compare the data to in order to determine if a stolen car is in your area or lot or if they are behind on their car payments. Some tow companies use these programs to repossess cars.

This may seem complicated and sometimes it can be but just call me (Larry Love) and I will walk you through it. If you want to see plate numbers that are say 50 feet away in your parking lot you can do so for much less money using a high definition camera (2MP) with a 6mm lens that will give you a view of 40 feet wide and 30 feet high. Often I recomend verifocal cameras that are 2.7 to 12mm allowing the tech to adjust to your needs. So if you need to look at a parking lot that is 100 feet wide then you would need 3 cameras to do it well depending on what you are looking at. If you want to recognize a face you need 60 pixels per foot which is the same as a plate number. You could go from a 2MP to a 4MP and widen the view a bit and use less cameras but it also depends on the angles. A nice verifocal camera costs about $400 and that is a 2MP and nice 4MP camera costs about $600. Then you need to add the cost of the wire, installation, recorder, monitor, UPS and network connection to have a complete system but remember you get what you pay for. Call an expert when you want it done right. (801) 428 1384 Larry Love – cell is 801 898 6003

https://www.axis.com/us/en/
http://www.hikvision.com/us/index.html?jmode=j1
http://www.flir.com

Fire Alarm Intrusion Security Access cameras Utah Idaho

Quality food is not cheap nor are the systems we install.

Quality food is not cheap nor are the systems we install.

Contact Larry Love at Peak Alarm

(801) 428 1384 Larry@PeakAlarm.com Access Control, Fire Alarm, Security, Cameras, Intercom and AV systems

Peak Alarm installs Mircom, Hochiki, DMP, DSX, Silent Knight, Firelite, 2GIG and other quality systems.

Larry Love has been in the industry for over 20 years and has stayed current with his certifications with Cameras, Fire Alarms and Security systems. Don’t settle for low bid and have buyers remorse later on. Hire a company that is licensed, insured and that has the experience to do the job right the first time. Recently a company told a customer that cameras could not be installed in her home, last week we arrived on site and install the cameras that they told her could not be installed and we did it buy running wires in the attic and she is very pleased. We strive to do our best to please our customers.

The least expensive options are often poor business decisions

American Security & Fire Installs Camera Systems

Camera Systems in Utah

Cameras are like cars they come in different brands, different qualities and prices ranges. Price will vary with warranty or lack thereof.

All the following examples may look very similar to the picture but the prices are all different the the functionality will vary greatly. Get help from an expert rather than just buying from a big box store. Would you buy your new I-PHONE from a swap meet for $100 even thought it said new in the box?

1. Analog camera 420 lines resolution 4mm lense (Dome)

2. Analog dome camera 700 TVL lines 2.8-12mm lens

3. Analog dome camera 700 TVL lines 2.8-12mm lens with vandal resistant outdoor housing. (Some come with heater and blower)

4. 2.1 MP IP camera dome (Takes up 3-4 or more storage space on your DVR/NVR)

Camera will look the same but the four options can vary greatly in price although the labor and wire will cost the same so it is best to have a decent camera installed the first time.

Keep in mind that you can even match the above specifications and have a large price difference if you buy from a no name brand compared to a good name brand like Axis or Bosch. Not only is the price different but the quality is different as well.

Don’t go with the least expensive purchase and make a poor business decision. Get your options and make a good decision. You may not purchase the most expensive but it is best not to purchase the least expensive option either.

You have heard the saying “You get what you pay for” In Spanish they say “Lo barrato siempre sale caro” Or the least expensive things always cost more in the long run. (Not exactly but similar). Cheap always come out expensive.

Learn about what options are the better choices for your facility. I would suggest a midrange camera not the $4000 dollar Bosch unit but not the $50 dollar camera either. Just holding the $50 dollar camera in your hands and the $350 dollar camera you can feel a difference in weight and in how it is built. Then there is a marked difference in the $600 or $700 dollar camera from how the $350 one feels.

camera cost + cable cost depends on length and cable type (CAT6 verses RG59 with power wire) + labor cost to install camera
Add cost of Power Supply or switch/router etc..
Add cost of drilling if we need to mount outside
Add cost of wiremold or conduit if needed to hide or protect cable
Add cost if you need heater blower in outdoor cameras. (Some come with a heat strip)
Add to cost if you need a vandal resistant camera
Add to cost if you need day night capability
Add to cost if you need other special features
Avoid going with just a 4mm camera especially if it is outside. Best to go with a 2.8 to 12 or even a 5mm to 50mm so you can adjust the camera after installation.

If you get PTZ then understand there is a price range from about $1000 to $8000 depending on your needs and brand and features 10 times zoom or 36 times zoom and day night options or tracking options or if you need a camera that can read license plates and enter the plate numbers into a computer program then that will cost more.

Add the cost of a DVR or NVR. Make sure it is expandable if you need to cameras. Make sure you get enough storage to save what you need

Setting the cameras to record on motion will help save some storage capacity as will planning on the camera resolution.

Do you need to see faces and zoom in after the fact? If so then IP Mega Pixel cameras would be best.

What is the distance you are looking at and how far across? I have a special program and a hand calculator to figure out lense sizes and there are even verifocal lenses on IP cameras.

Larry@PeakAlarm.com can help you find a good solution for your home or business. 801 428 1384

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FLIR Camera system

This is the view of our office cameras here at PEAK

This is the view of our office cameras here at PEAK

Peak Alarm can propose an entry level camera system that you can view off your smart phone or we can bid a system that is a bit more expensive that will be higher quality and PEAK can also bid out a high end system that will be an enterprise system. We will meet with you at no charge to determine your needs and budget then we will propose the best options. Peak has been in business for over 45 years. Peak is a locally owned and trusted security company. Call Larry Love at 801 898 6003 or 801 486 7231 x384 at the office. Larry@peakalarm.com