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Advice wanted on still image capture

N/A

Advice wanted on still image capture

Folks, I'd appreciate some advice on webcams from an expert ... I want to set up a camera in my front window, aimed at the street, to capture a picture of the little B&$&^(*#@$ that's been throwing eggs at my house for the past three nights.

I'm envisaging sticking my laptop on the floor, have the camera pointing out the window, and storing images every few seconds (as fast as the camera can capture 'em).

I'd like to leave it run unsupervised for an hour, since that's apparently the prime vandalism slot - maybe they don't watch the 6:00pm news? I figure about 360 images and I've got 10+gb of free space and more that I can create. My laptop has a spare USB port, a wireless ADSL connection and 512MB of RAM, so I suspect should be ok in terms of hardware support.

Questions -- is this idea feasible?

What kit do I need (as in make model of camera)?

What sort of quality of picture might I get?

E-mail me or reply - these F*&!@%$#*@# eggs are getting right up my nose (colloquially speaking, of course) - up their nose is where I'd like to put 'em if I can identify the perpetrators.

Cheers

A very miffed JR

14 REPLIES
elton
Grafter
Posts: 175
Registered: 30-07-2007

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

> Questions -- is this idea feasible?
>
> What kit do I need (as in make model of camera)?
>
> What sort of quality of picture might I get?
>

The Creative Labs WebCam Plus comes with software that kicks in at the same time as your screen saver. It begins recording video only if it detects movement in the field of view, so you can leave it running for days. You can select the sensitivity to movement. Also, you can program it to upload still images by ftp to wherever you want, so you could view these remotely. The resolution is 640x480, which isn't bad, but the quality will ulimately be determined by light levels. They don't work well in darkness.
I got it from PC World for about £50.


--
Skonko!
N/A

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

> > Questions -- is this idea feasible?
> >
> > What kit do I need (as in make model of camera)?
> >
> > What sort of quality of picture might I get?
> >
>
> The Creative Labs WebCam Plus comes with software that kicks in at the same time as your screen saver. It begins recording video only if it detects movement in the field of view, so you can leave it running for days. You can select the sensitivity to movement. Also, you can program it to upload still images by ftp to wherever you want, so you could view these remotely. The resolution is 640x480, which isn't bad, but the quality will ulimately be determined by light levels. They don't work well in darkness.
> I got it from PC World for about £50.
>
Sounds good - except for the darkness question. Any chance of emailing me a sample night time picture so I can see what I could get from a light road and through a window? Or do you think the quality would be sufficient to identify a face?

jeremy@jeremyrussell.co.uk

Again, thanks
elton
Grafter
Posts: 175
Registered: 30-07-2007

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

Sorry, my usb cable isn't long enough to capture a picture through the window. I don't think it would be much cop though, unless the subject was directly under street lamps. It's a problem with most colour video cameras. I use a good quality analogue ccd monochrome camera into a Pinnacle DC10 capture card to do the same job. But I have PIR activated flood lights too. You can use monochrome cameras with infra-red (invisible) illlumination too, which is quite useful. It all depends how much you're willing to spend.

--
Skonko!
espresso_mick
Grafter
Posts: 225
Registered: 30-07-2007

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

Yeah, the problem you will have with a webcam is the dark.

You would have better results with a CCTV system.


http://www.focusdiy.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Alarms_and_CCTV_Security_57.html


Check out the above link. You could pick up a CCTV system for less than some webcams, but obviously the more you pay...the better results you are likely to get.
elton
Grafter
Posts: 175
Registered: 30-07-2007

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

> Sounds good - except for the darkness question. Any chance of emailing me a sample night time picture so I can see what I could get from a light road and through a window? Or do you think the quality would be sufficient to identify a face?
>
> jeremy@jeremyrussell.co.uk
>
> Again, thanks

Today I noticed that Argos sell a cctv kit for about £80, with a built in pir to activate a vcr if it detects motion. It looked like it also had ir illuminating leds in the camera, but I could be mistaken. If so, it would capture video even in the pitch dark, within a few feet.
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Skonko!
N/A

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

> > Sounds good - except for the darkness question. Any chance of emailing me a sample night time picture so I can see what I could get from a light road and through a window? Or do you think the quality would be sufficient to identify a face?
> >
> > jeremy@jeremyrussell.co.uk
> >
> > Again, thanks
>
> Today I noticed that Argos sell a cctv kit for about £80, with a built in pir to activate a vcr if it detects motion. It looked like it also had ir illuminating leds in the camera, but I could be mistaken. If so, it would capture video even in the pitch dark, within a few feet.
>
> --
> Skonko!
>

Consulting the catalog right now ... or as soon as I can find it.

Again, cheers for the info, everyone.
N/A

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

> Consulting the catalog right now ... or as soon as I can find it.
>
> Again, cheers for the info, everyone.

This is all fascinating stuff - you will post how it all worked won't you?

Tim

N/A

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

Its all good stuff but as daft as it sounds you could be add up for doing this or be called a weirdo. take a look at www.janwright.co.uk/cat.htm

this guy has suffered for 7 years with brick through his window and all sorts. We decided like you a cctv would be the answer but the Police were down on us like a ton of bricks saying its infringing people liberty and you could be arrested for watching people get undressed. The fact that the camera points across the road means it could pick up anyone in the houses oposite.

Its maddening the whole law is in favour of the criminal but the Police will argue throwing eggs isnt much of a crime.


> Folks, I'd appreciate some advice on webcams from an expert ... I want to set up a camera in my front window, aimed at the street, to capture a picture of the little B&$&^(*#@$ that's been throwing eggs at my house for the past three nights.
>
> I'm envisaging sticking my laptop on the floor, have the camera pointing out the window, and storing images every few seconds (as fast as the camera can capture 'em).
>
> I'd like to leave it run unsupervised for an hour, since that's apparently the prime vandalism slot - maybe they don't watch the 6:00pm news? I figure about 360 images and I've got 10+gb of free space and more that I can create. My laptop has a spare USB port, a wireless ADSL connection and 512MB of RAM, so I suspect should be ok in terms of hardware support.
>
> Questions -- is this idea feasible?
>
> What kit do I need (as in make model of camera)?
>
> What sort of quality of picture might I get?
>
> E-mail me or reply - these F*&!@%$#*@# eggs are getting right up my nose (colloquially speaking, of course) - up their nose is where I'd like to put 'em if I can identify the perpetrators.
>
> Cheers
>
> A very miffed JR
>
>

elton
Grafter
Posts: 175
Registered: 30-07-2007

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

>
> Its maddening the whole law is in favour of the criminal but the Police will argue throwing eggs isnt much of a crime.
>

I've had cctv monitoring and recording within the boundary of my property for years, purely for domestic security (mainly to help prevent anyone helping themselves to my motorcycle). There's nothing that anyone, including the police, can do to stop me. Not that anyone has tried. Someone once told me that the data protection act says that I must have a sign saying that the property is under cctv surveillance. But I haven't. If it was against the law, I'd simply use covert cameras throughout. The police normally talk a load of ***** in any case.
--
Skonko!
N/A

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture


> This is all fascinating stuff - you will post how it all worked won't you?
>
> Tim

If I had the balls to do it, I would. Check my reply to the message telling me not to go ahead.
N/A

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

> Its all good stuff but as daft as it sounds you could be add up for doing this or be called a weirdo.

Yep, that's what the police said to me today - YOU are breaking the law by photographing someone without warning them.

Incident #4 occurred last night - today I have peaches to add to the eggs scattered over the front of my property.

My view - if I put a sign up stating that the property is under surveillance, these (?)kids will just take it as a challenge. If I don't have a sign, I'm at fault - guess this country just doesn't want any serious control to be applied.

If I photograph them, I'm breaking the law, apparently. Somebody made a boo-boo giving me the mobile phone # of my friendly local community police officer, sadly. I think I'll keep them up to date - 24x7. Might get some action.

Can you tell I'm not in a good mood??

elton
Grafter
Posts: 175
Registered: 30-07-2007

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

>
> Yep, that's what the police said to me today - YOU are breaking the law by photographing someone without warning them.
>

I suggest you ask your helpful local plod exactly which law you'd be breaking. I believe he's talking out of his hat. What he's suggesting would mean that you couldn't use a camcorder or a camera of any kind in a public place, which is absolute nonsense of course.
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Skonko!
N/A

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

I will - provided they don't come calling on me to arrest me for following the three teens and 15 eggs, which they proceeded to chuck at cars on the Watford town centre ring road 20 mins ago.

The police are on their way ... and I'm gonna get pissed watching TV.

When I get the details of the "law", I'll update ya.

JR
tiffer
Grafter
Posts: 47
Registered: 08-08-2007

RE: Advice wanted on still image capture

Contact me by email and i will explain how easy it is to do. with available software and a cheap web cam


> Folks, I'd appreciate some advice on webcams from an expert ... I want to set up a camera in my front window, aimed at the street, to capture a picture of the little B&$&^(*#@$ that's been throwing eggs at my house for the past three nights.
>
> I'm envisaging sticking my laptop on the floor, have the camera pointing out the window, and storing images every few seconds (as fast as the camera can capture 'em).
>
> I'd like to leave it run unsupervised for an hour, since that's apparently the prime vandalism slot - maybe they don't watch the 6:00pm news? I figure about 360 images and I've got 10+gb of free space and more that I can create. My laptop has a spare USB port, a wireless ADSL connection and 512MB of RAM, so I suspect should be ok in terms of hardware support.
>
> Questions -- is this idea feasible?
>
> What kit do I need (as in make model of camera)?
>
> What sort of quality of picture might I get?
>
> E-mail me or reply - these F*&!@%$#*@# eggs are getting right up my nose (colloquially speaking, of course) - up their nose is where I'd like to put 'em if I can identify the perpetrators.
>
> Cheers
>
> A very miffed JR
>
>


--
tiffer