Security Cameras Project

Desired features:
IP-based video cameras
clear audio capture
night-vision capable
motion-detection tagging of video
rugged IP 66 (Ingress Protection class 66)
high-resolution feeds on primary gateways and major thoroughfares
community-submitted video feeds organized from distributed feeds into web-accesible neighborhood watch system
video accessible from smart phones
video feeds archived to one or more video servers
frame rate needs to be 15 fps or greater to be evidence-ready
high-resolution feeds automatically degraded over time so that space does not run out and newest video is evidence-ready
video submitted via local wifi network where available; submitted via resident's internet where neighborhood wifi is not available

quality of service (QoS) issues may be a concern with many cameras storing data to bottlenecked server space where video is archived
network traffic from cameras may saturate available bandwidth with streamed video and may impair normal Internet traffic
storage may be significant and will require archival policies and means of tagging important feeds before they are expunged
storage costs per camera can be from $50 to $500 depending on resolution and frame rate
vandalism of cameras
quality of devices need to be weather-resistant
equipment will need to be regularly serviced, replaced
legal / privacy concerns
video quality needs to be sufficient for use in court to identify license plates and physical features
audio capture may also be very important for capturing evidence, but adds to the technical difficulty and storage

4CIF (640x480 = 0.25 MP; SD) is considered good enough for basic surveillance and fits the standard definition format (SD)
720P (1280x720 = 1 MP; HD) is good choice for detail surveillance; fits high-def format (HD)
1080P (..x1080 = 2 MP) is best for detail surveillance without increasing costs to level of 5 MP cameras
1280P?  (5 MP) is needed to capture license plate details when lighting is at least close to ideal and within 40 feet of camera

An optimal system (regarding storage and network capacity) may involve a mix of 720P/MP and 4CIF cameras.  But, if capacity allows for it, using HD cameras provides a more uniform (ideal) surveillance experience.

Camera Types
Dome cameras - more attractive form factor. typically more expensive than box cameras.  increases deterrent effect since camera target is not clear to outside observers.
Cube Cameras
Box Cameras
Bullet Cameras
PTZ Cameras - best for live surveillance situations; useful in combination with motion detection or analytic alerts; real-time monitoring; most beneficial when monitoring a large surface area; may require additional joystick / controller to be useful; more expensive than a high MP camera; more limited view than a wide-area high MP record