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Lets talk ANPR cameras - which of these would you choose?

evan9eleven

New Member
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Hello brain trust!

I've been scouring this forum, the web, and youtube for help picking a ANPR camera. Lets get some basics out of the way:
  • I want to be able to capture number plates in motion, at night.
  • Typical speed of the moving cars is not high, definitely less that 40kmh, and on average probably 20kmh.
  • I understand that ANPR cameras are specialised at this task, and that the images will be dark making them good only for ANPR. I don't need night surveillance of the area in question.
  • My NVR is a DS-7608NI-I2/8P which is said to support ANPR.

Just so it is said-- identifying number plates isn't absolutely critical, so long as I can capture clear images. However, the ANPR cameras do the job so well that it seems foolish not to just make the investment. Furthermore, the more advanced of the two cameras I'm considering can also identify car color and brand to some degree (mostly in daytime though.)

I'm considering the two most available ANPR cameras from Hikvision (also sold here by our host) one of these being 2MP and the other 4MP. Both are physically large, and both are expensive. The 4MP version is double the price of the 2MP and is the larger of the two. Many say that MP resolution is not so significant with ANPR cameras and both of these show good nighttime results in YouTube demos. I'm looking at the 8-32mm lens versions. Distance from camera to cars is around 10m at the ideal read point, the angle is also good, probably not more than 20 degrees. The models are the following (click to see them here on this site):

S-2CD7A26G0/P-IZS

iDS-TCM403-AI


Finally, this is a home security application. We had some attempted burglaries and the police asked "do you have a pic of the number plate?" Next time, I want to have a better answer! If the 2MP version is good enough, then I'd love to save the money, but only if I can count on it to do the job. Opinions welcome!
 

codlord

Active Member
Messages
107
Points
28
On the sites I work at we have a few of the 2MP versions, from that exact model you posted above to older variants.

They seem to work well day or night (I set exposure to 1/2000), although I can't tell how many vehicles are missed during day or night as most of mine are the older ones which do not register "noPlate" reads. The newer ones capture an image with "noPlate" if they think they see a vehicle but don't capture a plate. So with the newer ones you can probably get a better idea of how well they are setup and how many plates are being captured vs how many are missed completely.

Angle does not seem to matter too much, I have some straight onto traffic, some at quite an angle but all "above" the traffic so I don't have problems with headlights glaring straight into cameras at night.

Also the older ones seem to have a couple of bugs
1) Some plates are always missing either the first or last digit of the registration. e.g. if the plate is "ABC 1234" it might be captured as "BC 1234", it's a strange bug as for those particular plates it will capture them wrong 100% of the time no matter how clear the plate is in the photo. Most plates are fine.
2) After a certain amount of time it seems the internal ANPR processing "crashes" - the camera continues to work but no ANPR captures. I have had to set an automated process to automatically re-boot all my ANPR cameras once a day to workaround that issue!
I only recently got newer ones in places so time will tell if the newer ones with newer firmware have those problems or not...

I have no experience with the more expensive 4MP ones - I would say the 2MP one would be fine for your needs, especially if it's only a 10M capture distance.
 

evan9eleven

New Member
Messages
9
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3
Thanks so much for the helpful and detailed answer! Let's hope the newer models solve some of the issues you've experienced.

Looking forward to hearing other experiences as well.
 

evan9eleven

New Member
Messages
9
Points
3
Any other thoughts about which one of these might do the trick? I'm leaning towards the more affordable 2MP version as I think it might be more than enough for the job.

*Note* please tell me if this thread would be better suited to the IP camera selection help forum or elsewhere.
 
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