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Reolink RLC-822A 4K Security Camera Review – 3x zoom & wide angle make this superior vs RLC-820A & RLC-810A

Reolink is quickly padding out their smart detection camera product line-up. I have previously reviewed:

The new Reolink RLC-822A is a 4K dome camera with the addition of 3x optical zoom. This additional feature incurs a small premium of £10 compared to the two other 4K models.

Table of Contents

Reolink RLC-822A vs RLC-820A vs RLC-810A – Some other differences

The other 4K models, RLC-820A and RLC-810A, are identical apart from the design, one is dome, one is bullet. Dome vs bullet tends to be a personal preference, I have noticed a lot of people complain of spider webs with a bullet, but its lip over the lens also offers some rain protection.

The Reolink RLC-822A is a little different, while it is still a 4K sensor it has changed to accommodate the 3x zoom. So this is now a 1/2.8″ CMOS sensor compared to 1/2.49″. The lens is no longer fixed at 4.0mm with F=1.6 , it can now go from 2.8-8mm and has F=2.0.

For me, a key difference is the field of view, this has improved with:

  • Reolink RLC-822A
    • Horizontal: 94°-50°
    • Vertical: 53°-30°
  • Reolink RLC-810A / RLC-820A
    • Horizontal: 87°
    • Vertical: 44°

There are some negatives to having an increased field of view, but I prefer the wider viewing area, and I would bet the same is true for most home or SMB users.

Reolink RLC-822A Specification

A quick overview of the spec:

  • Image Sensor : 1/2.8″ CMOS Sensor
  • Lens: f=2.8-8mm, F=1.6, with IR cut
  • Field of View
    • Horizontal: 94°-50°
    • Vertical: 53°-30°
  • Video Resolution: Default: 3840X2160 (8.0 Megapixels) at 25 frames/sec
  • Video Format: H.265
  • Day & Night: IR-cut filter with auto-switching
  • PoE: IEEE 802.3af, 48V Active
  • DC Power: DC 12.0V⎓1A, <12W
  • Ethernet: One 10M/100Mbps RJ45
  • Audio: Built-in microphone
  • Storage: Micro SD card slot (Max. 256 GB)

Set up

Set up is identical to all the other cameras, it is quick and simple. I use the Netgear GS110TUP[1] 240W fanless POE++ switch to run my test cameras, with it powered up I scanned the QR code with the Reolink app then went through the basic initialisation process.

With the camera set up in the app, I also added it to the Reolink NVR[2]. All I needed to do here was select the camera and type in the password I had created.

I have not installed a microSD during this review, but they have worked well with my previous reviews, and you could happily use a Reolink system without an NVR. You would need a high endurance card to avoid corruption, and if you want 24/7 recording, you may want something like the SanDisk Max Endurance[3] which is rated for 120,000 hours recording.

Blue Iris & setting up the sub stream

Reolink RLC-822A 4K Security Camera Review – 3x zoom & wide angle make this superior vs RLC-820A & RLC-810A

I typed the main stream URL manually to check it works

The Blue Iris[4] set up is the same as the other cameras too, Reolink makes it nice and easy. You can set up a unique user, or use your admin user. With the IP and user details inputted, I scan hit search, and Blue Iris does the rest.

You can reduce CPU load by declaring the sub-stream and using it for motion detection. In my earlier review of the 12MP model, a Reddit user tried to call me out for using the h264Preview_01_sub saying this is incorrect. However, it is not, I double-checked this time.

Reolink RLC-822A 4K Security Camera Review – 3x zoom & wide angle make this superior vs RLC-820A & RLC-810A

For the main-stream you use:

rtsp://admin:password@192.168.1.XX:554//h265Preview_01_main

For the sub-stream you use:

rtsp://admin:password@192.168.1.XX:554//h264Preview_01_main

This is different from the Reolink documentation[5], so it may not apply to every camera. Using h265 generates a failed to start error.

Performance

With this review, I tweaked some of the default settings to improve the quality of the video. February in the north of England is dull, and during the night I have very bright street lights.

So, for this camera, I switched the automatic IR lights off but had the backlight setting to dynamic. This resulted in brighter clearer images during the daytime, then at night, there was no IR reflection of street signs and number plates.

As usual with my reviews, the camera is placed precariously on my window sill, so the cameras are in the same place, but the angles are different. With this being a dome, it was hard to face the lens downwards into my garden.

Day time – Zero zoom & 3x zoom

Reolink RLC-822A 4K Security Camera Review – 3x zoom & wide angle make this superior vs RLC-820A & RLC-810A

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Zoomed in but with no backlight on so a little dull (YouTube is still be processing the 4K footage)

I took several video samples for this review. The zoom samples were done before I tweaked the image settings. The zoom lens works as you would expect, allowing me to zoom right up to the street sign for clear coverage of across the road.

Most of my reviews have the words on the street sign as either barely legible or a pixelated blur. With this camera, the lettering is easily readable at all zoom lengths.

Night time – Zero zoom & 3x zoom

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With my street lighting, I could just about get away with leaving the camera in colour, but there is considerable noise.

Reolink RLC-822A 4K Security Camera Review – 3x zoom & wide angle make this superior vs RLC-820A & RLC-810A

Colour works but very noisy

With the IR lights switch off, the street sign becomes easily readable, and parked cars also have visible number plates. However, car lights immediately cause too much glare.

With the IR lights off, and dynamic backlight on, overall night footage is excellent for my well-lit road. It will never be quite as good as full-colour offer by some competing brands but a camera with 4K colour night vision with smart detection[6] is going to cost you £200+.

Motion detection

Motion detection is identical to the other cameras, with the angle I have the camera facing it constantly detects things, but with it faced down a garden path, it is superb for finding footage of people.

Price and Alternatives

The Reolink RLC-822A[7] has an RRP of £93.99 on the Reolink website[8], £10 more than the RLC-810A and RLC-820A, which would be the obvious alternatives. There appears to be no current stock for the 4K cameras on the site at the moment.

It is worth noting the RLC-810A is available on Amazon with 20% off, so about £67, which is an amazing price for a 4K camera.

The RLC-1220A could be a consideration, it has a narrow viewing angle, but if you want to monitor a specific spot on your property, the 12MP sensor may offer some advantages.

PTZ cameras offer greater flexibility, and the RLC-423 goes up to 4x zoom, it is only 5MP though and will set you back £227.99.

If this camera’s features have piqued your interest, there are not really any comparable alternatives from other brands worth mentioning.

Overall

With this costing just £10 more than the other 4K cameras but offering 3x zoom and a wider viewing angle, I would say the RLC-822A is better than the already excellent RLC-810A/820A.

3 times zoom gives you a lot more flexibility where you place the camera, this could be used for a higher more secure and convenient placement (I place mine near windows for easy access). Or you can use it to zoom into entranceways with the hope to capture more details of a person entering or even car registration plates.

Overall, this is a superb camera from Reaolink, I’d say it is my favourite out of the new smart detection range, and I will likely use it full time, swapping one of my other cameras out.

Reolink RLC-822A 4K Security Camera with 3X Optical Zoom Review Rating
  • Overall – 95%

Summary

With most of the Reolink cameras costing below £100 there is little out there that can compete with them on value for money for home or small business owners. The RLC-822A continues this trend and so far is my favourite out of the recently launched smart object detection cameras.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Excellent 4K image 
  • Works with microSD/Onvif/NVR etc
  • 3X zoom offers excellent flexibility 

Cons

  • No much at this price

Last update on 2021-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

References

  1. ^ Netgear GS110TUP (mightygadget.co.uk)
  2. ^ Reolink NVR (mightygadget.co.uk)
  3. ^ SanDisk Max Endurance (amzn.to)
  4. ^ Blue Iris (mightygadget.co.uk)
  5. ^ Reolink documentation (support.reolink.com)
  6. ^ 4K colour night vision with smart detection (mightygadget.co.uk)
  7. ^ Reolink RLC-822A (mghty.uk)
  8. ^ RRP of £93.99 on the Reolink website (mghty.uk)

Annke NC400 IP Security Camera Review

Recently I have reviewed a lot of the superb Reolink cameras camera, which I think are a range of cameras that offer some of the best performance for your money on the market.

In the past, I reviewed the Annke 4K POE camera and was quite impressed with it, at the time it offered a superb spec for the price.

One thing missing from all these cameras is colour night vision recording.  This is a feature I first experienced with the H.View 5MP camera, then later with the Hikvision DS-2CD2386G2-I 8MP Acusense. Low light sensors from the likes of Sony, with their Starvis sensor, offer colour footage with the smallest amount of light available to them.

Reolink have low light colour recording on their Argus cameras, but they need to roll it out for the POE options too.

Table of Contents

Annke NC400 vs NCA500 ACE True Full Color Night Vision Security Cameras

One of the latest cameras from Annke is the affordable 4MP NC400 which claims to offer 0.001 Lux low light recording performance.

There are two cameras in this range, the other being the NCA500 which is a 5MP camera offering 0.0005 Lux and for $40 less RRP. At first, I couldn’t fathom why the NC400 costs so much more for a lower spec.

However, the NCA500 is not an IP CCTV camera but an old fashioned BNC CCTV camera, it then also has much shorter viewing angles at just 80.1° vs 102°,

With a 0.001 Lux rating on the NC400, this sits a little behind some of the options offered by Hikvision which go down to 0.0005 Lux for their various ColorVu and DarkFighter models.

However, Lux levels for IP cameras are generally inaccurate, the  DS-2CD2386G2-I should perform worse than the Annke with its: 0.003 Lux rating, but I don’t find it does.

Specification & Features

  • Image Sensor: 1/2.7″ Progressive Scan CMOS
  • Min. Illumination Colour: 0.001 Lux @(F1.0, AGC On)
  • Video Resolution: 4MP (2560 X [email protected] fps)
  • Video Compression: H.265+/H.265/H.264+/H.264
  • Angle of View: Horizontal FoV 102°, Vertical FoV 54°, Diagonal FoV 121°
  • Ethernet: POE RJ45 X1 (10 M/100 M)
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Dimension (L X W X H) : 68.4 X 65.2 X 161.1 mm (2.7″ X 2.6″ X 6.3″)

Set Up and camera interface

Ignoring any setup instructions in the box, this is easy to set up. With it powered up, I connected to the IP address of the camera. You will need to set an admin password, and when you log in you will be greeted with a blank stream of the camera.

You need to download a plugin to enable the stream. This is called LocalServiceComponents.EXE. This seems to be a harmless application that is used for several cameras. It looks like Hikvision is one of the main companies that use it, and Annke appears to be an OEM of Hikvision, so this hardware is likely from Hikvision, originally.

With all the privacy and hacking issues that have occurred in recent years, this is something I would have preferred not to install. Reolink has recently updated their cameras to work with HTML5, and this is a far superior solution, at least from a trust perspective.

Once installed, everything works fine, I have tested in Chrome and MS Edge. The camera interface is pretty much standard. I tend to use cameras with their standard settings, but you can tweak the image if you find it needs some optimisation.

Under the configuration page, you will need to enable ONVIF under network, advanced settings then integration protocol. You can set up a specific ONVIF user, or a less secure solution is to use your admin username and password.

Under the events page, you have options for motion zones and detection, video tampering and exception. So, it is quite basic compared to some of the newer AI/object detection cameras.

Set Up Blue Iris

Annke NC400 IP Security Camera Review

With the camera set up on the network, adding it to Blue Iris is super easy. Go to add a new camera, type the IP, username and password then scan. It found the correct stream without any issues.

One thing I have struggled to work out is the correct sub-stream URL. The main URL should be:

rtsp://admin:[email protected]:554/h264/ch1/main/av_stream

However, this seems to be incorrect, according to VLC.

With this only being a 4MP camera and me recording directly to disc on Blue Iris, I didn’t really need the sub-stream anyway, the CPU usage remained low.

Performance

The stand out feature of this camera is the low light performance, and as you would expect, this is superb.

A 4MP sensor is a little on the low on compared to what I have reviewed recently, so the overall quality and clarity of the image isn’t quite as competitive as some of the 4K+ cameras I have tested, but the decent viewing angle and low light performance make this a good option for general surveillance.

With my recent reviews, my Hikvision is permanently fixed in position on the wall under my bay window, so it is about a meter away from my test cameras, and the angle is different.

Test cameras are placed precariously on a window sill, that often means the angles are different, but it is the best I am willing to do.

Daytime

Annke NC400 IP Security Camera Review

Daytime footage is good; you have a nice wide-angle, so easy to capture lots of property. The 4MP lens offers enough resolution to easily make out details of people entering my property, as well as things like cars etc. However, finer details such as facial features and car registration plates it suffers with.  The street sign in the background, I can tell what the words are because I already know what it says, but zooming in reveals pixilation that makes it impossible to read properly.

In comparison, my most recent review of the 12MP Reolink camera, you also get pixilation on the letters, but you can just about read it. However, this camera has a much narrower viewing angle.

The 8MP Hikvision, which in theory should have worse performance than the Reolink due to the wider angle, lower resolution and being placed further away, offers comparable if not better performance than the Reolink.

For the Hikvision, where the street sign was legible during the day, the lettering is blurred/pixelated at night. So colour night vision still suffers from deteriorated image quality.

Colour Night Vision Performance

Annke NC400 IP Security Camera Review

Annke NC400

For better or worse, I have stupidly bright street lights, so night time visibility is pretty good on my street regardless. However, the Annke shows a clear advantage over the Reolink counterparts.

Street lights seem to offer a little more glare compared to the Hikvision, but I would say it is similar to the 5MP H.View I also use. With better placement, you could possibly make out number plates, in comparison, Reolink with the IR causes signs and number plates to be totally blank.

For me, the important thing is that I could easily identify clothes, car colours and other features from anyone entering my property or parking up. B&W footage from other brands loses so much detail, even on a good camera, someone walking down the street has no distinguishable features.

Price and Competition

Currently, this is only available direct from Annke for $110.49 with free shipping from late January. This should work out at £81.80.

The 5MP H.VIEW, which I still use, and performs well, typically sells between £99 and £109 on Amazon but is not in stock at the moment.

The Hikvision 5 MP ColorVu Fixed Turret Camera, which offers 0.0005 Lux, is available for £69.

Then the Hikvision 8MP DS-2CD2385G1-I is £169, or the newer DS-2CD2386G2-I model which I use is £213.

Overall

The Annke NC400 is an excellent option to have for a general use security camera. You sacrifice the clarity offered by higher resolution cameras for vastly improved low light footage. Depending on your requirements, this can often be a superior solution to high-resolution B&W footage, providing you with more identifiable features, should you need the footage in case of an event.

The camera itself was easy to set up, though disappointing that I had to install an EXE to get the stream working, made worse by that application then trying to autostart each time I booted Windows. It doesn’t appear to be nefarious, but it is certainly unwanted.

Once running in Blue Iris, it has worked perfectly, there appears to be no issues with disconnections and it is something I would happily continue to use as one of my main cameras.

Annke NC400 IP Security Camera Review Rating
  • Overall – 80%

Summary

A decent affordable POE security camera that offers excellent colour low light recordings and a wide viewing angle for excellent coverage 

Pros

  • Superb low light recordings
  • Wide angle
  • Low price

Cons

  • 4MP doesn’t offer the most detail
  • Annoying EXE installation to get browser stream to work

Last update on 2021-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API