Deconstruction of a dangerous misleading youtube review "Finding the BEST 4K Security Camera NVR Package (Reolink vs Amcrest vs Swann)"

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I rarely use IR from the cameras themselves unless I need illumination right near the camera where an external would be over kill or if I want "fill" when there's a visible light source in front of the camera. In this case, there is a street light, screen left, that's about 200 feet away and really doesn't provide a whole lot of light where the fox was. The 3241T-ZAS doesn't have that street light in its view and needs some IR for good motion video. I just haven't found the round tuit to mount an external for that particular camera, too many other warm weather projects going on.

The point being that a camera with a decent sensor that can be "dialed in", which Reolink can't be, will produce clear, sharp, motion video under low or minimal light conditions. That fox was trotting across the lawn on his way home.
 

Parley

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I rarely use IR from the cameras themselves unless I need illumination right near the camera where an external would be over kill or if I want "fill" when there's a visible light source in front of the camera. In this case, there is a street light, screen left, that's about 200 feet away and really doesn't provide a whole lot of light where the fox was. The 3241T-ZAS doesn't have that street light in its view and needs some IR for good motion video. I just haven't found the round tuit to mount an external for that particular camera, too many other warm weather projects going on.

The point being that a camera with a decent sensor that can be "dialed in", which Reolink can't be, will produce clear, sharp, motion video under low or minimal light conditions. That fox was trotting across the lawn on his way home.
Same here. The only place I use IR is on my 4 licence plate cameras.
 

mat200

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The second one i stopped for a second and paused the video. I did pausing to capture it on both but i was barely walking on the one that i am looking like i am standing. The way i have it set up, except for second photo, person would be captured minimum on 2 cameras anytime and at possible even 3 depending from where they would come. Also keep in mind on the second photo, i would be getting closer to the camera if i keep walking straight.
Hi @iivisionii

Can you afford another camera?

I would recommend getting one decent camera to compare and contrast the Reolink cameras you have.

Amcrest had a 5MP 3.6mm which was affordable and imho useful for a comparison. Looks like only the 2.8mm is available now ( which I do not like as much ) - look for models IP5M-T1179EW-28MM or IP5M-B1186EW-28MM if interested.

The 4MP 1/1.8" sensor models are preferred, however you will need a bigger budget for those ( note, Andy EmpireTecAndy does have a memorial day sale going on... )

I do not know how well the Amcrest cameras will work with the Reolink NVR, the cameras iirc are ONVIF spec .. so perhaps worth trying one and see how well it goes.
 

iivisionii

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Hi @iivisionii

Can you afford another camera?

I would recommend getting one decent camera to compare and contrast the Reolink cameras you have.

Amcrest had a 5MP 3.6mm which was affordable and imho useful for a comparison. Looks like only the 2.8mm is available now ( which I do not like as much ) - look for models IP5M-T1179EW-28MM or IP5M-B1186EW-28MM if interested.

The 4MP 1/1.8" sensor models are preferred, however you will need a bigger budget for those ( note, Andy EmpireTecAndy does have a memorial day sale going on... )

I do not know how well the Amcrest cameras will work with the Reolink NVR, the cameras iirc are ONVIF spec .. so perhaps worth trying one and see how well it goes.
Thanks for recommendation, I will be probably be adding a camera in to my garage and might just move one of the Reolink to their. Depending how quality is on what you suggest, i'll probably slowly be changing them in the future
 

austwhite

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Thanks for recommendation, I will be probably be adding a camera in to my garage and might just move one of the Reolink to their. Depending how quality is on what you suggest, i'll probably slowly be changing them in the future
Do try a better quality camera if you can. I use to have a few Reolinks. Made the mistake of believing several youtube videos that did not test properly.
I have replaced my Reolinks with Dahua's. Not even expensive Dahua's. Difference is incredible.
Reolink colour capture is decent. Not saying perfect, but decent. It can be acceptable and can standup, but night vision would never standup to ID someone in court.
Admittedly the Dahuas I got are about 30% more expensive than Reolinks (Dahua IPC-HDW2831T-AS-S2) but that was well and truly worth it when I was able to identify a person at night time and have it hold up in court. The Reolink (which I ran besdie the Dahua for a time) had the same footage and couldn't make out the person at all.

Sorry I don't have actual images to share so this is just my view. When buying CCTV / IP Cameras it is well worth paying extra to get the clarity. Like they say, you don't miss it until you need it, and when you need it unfortunately it is too late to say "I should not have bought the ........ "

Edit: As a note, the Reolinks I had were RLC-520's and RLC-820's, 5MP and 8MP respectively, The comparison footage mentioned for the court was comparing the Dahua model listed above to the RLC-820 (4K, 8MP). All recorded on Blue Iris via RTSP feeds.
 
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mat200

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Note: Another mentions issues with the Reolink cameras they picked up..

( remember, if you have examples of image captures to share, we appreciate having solid comparison images .. )

I appear to have fell for the Reolink marketing thanks to The Hook Up :( I purchased 4x Reolink RLC-420-5MP via the Reolink Aliexpress store. Thankfully they were only $20AU each as they were factory refurbished. I only installed 2 so far on the front of the house and the other 2 were going to go on the back of the house. But now that I am realising the issues with the I Frame interval and also the poor ghosting performance I'm considering getting rid of them and replacing them with something better.

From my reading so far it seems like 4K is overkill and is also worse for night performance which makes sense due to the smaller pixels. I'm happy to go with the 4-5MP as I "only" have an Intel i5-3470 so the extra load of the 4K/8MP is probably not helpful.

I did wonder about the Annke C800 - A Hikvision rebrand? though not sure how good they are - and don't want to be caught out by another Hook Up recommendation...

What camera would you recommend? I'd prefer to keep my costs down to around $100AU max per camera if possible. I was looking at the IPCT store and saw the 4MP Starlight Turret IP Camera for $83.99US. Is that a reasonable camera or is there something better I should be looking at?

I am only looking at 4 cameras at this point, maybe might add a couple more to give a bit more coverage down the track but the 4 should cover the front and back nicely I think.
 

mat200

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Update on some of the comments on the Reolink promotion video


Clearly Reolink fans, even when the facts are presented have a hard time to admit the Reolink is a poor camera for low light and for Blue Iris due to the iFrames issues:


Tomáš Přeučil
1 month ago
I love your videos, they're seriously amazing. However I'm not really happy with the way you promote Reolink without talking about the drawbacks. Like the smeared motion (especially at night and especially when you use RTSP) or the fact that you can't change the keyframe interval. I bought 8 of the RLC-410 cameras based on one of your previous videos and my experience has been nothing but horrible. It takes ages for Home Assistant to get a snapshot because of the long keyframe interval (yes I have preloading enabled), the RTSP stream keeps disconnecting, the frames "fall apart", the ONVIF implementation does not expose motion sensors, ... And it's not like I'm using some cheap HW (the PoE switch is a stackable Cisco with 10g uplinks, HA is running on a x86 machine) and everything is wired ofc. All in all, keep doing what you doing (we love it) but please, please, please tell people about the drawbacks of your picks. :)

The Hook Up
1 month ago
I specifically mentioned the nighttime smearing and showed it at 9:28 . Unless you are talking about 1-2 seconds when you say "ages", I highly doubt your issue is with i-frames. Reolink sets i-frames at 2x FPS which is the industry recommended standard, as far as the RTSP streams disconnecting, that's not an issue that I've had so I can't speak to it. Have you tried using the Reolink home assistant integration instead of what you are using now?

Tomáš Přeučil
1 month ago
@The Hook Up Whoops, my fault, missed the note about the smearing, sorry!
Two seconds can be a lot, but I usually see 3-4. And that is ages when using a security camera. During the night, the i-frame interval drops to as low as a little over 4 seconds per keyframe. I tried ONVIF, pure RTSP, RTMP and the Reolink integration. RTMP is significantly better than anything else (little FW deconstruction reveals a very old version of LIVE555 is used for the RTSP) but still bad. During the night, the exposure seems to be prolonged which probably leads to part of the issues mentioned above. In the end, I usually get a perfect still image during the day but anything else is anywhere from okay-ish to very bad.
Again, I hold no grudge against you and I have zero regrets for using your affiliate links. However, I'm not alone with these issues. Not only ipcamtalk users (but that forum can be taken just like 20% seriously when it comes to Reolink) but also people at the HA Discord server agreed with all these issues.


1622323395022.png



Kevin and Darina S
I bought Reolink RLC-820A cameras based TheHookUp recommendation. They are the worst that I've bought. They work okay as standalone but don't play nice with my LaView NVR and I haven't gotten them to play nice with BlueIris yet. The quality isn't better than my Amcrest cameras, which have been rock solid. Google Reolink ONVIF and you find all sorts of issues. Their support even says they don't have ONVIF support and cannot work with Blue Iris (yet).


1622323861407.png

ref:
 

tcon47

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Thank you for this thread and to everyone that exposed The Hook Up channel and Reolink cameras! I literally had two Reolink cameras at $150 in my Amazon cart based on this shill's recommendation and your comments saved me time and a money.

I'm glad I decided to do more research before I made the purchase.
 

wittaj

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Thank you for this thread and to everyone that exposed The Hook Up channel and Reolink cameras! I literally had two Reolink cameras at $150 in my Amazon cart based on this shill's recommendation and your comments saved me time and a money.

I'm glad I decided to do more research before I made the purchase.
Awesome! Glad you found this thread before you purchased!!!
 

austwhite

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Well for what it is worth, Rob may have a point about the iFrame interval. I set my DH-IPC-HDW3641TMP-AS and compared it directly to a Reolink RLC-820.
Set both to 20FPS, set the Dahua to iFrame interval of 40, so both had keyframe of 0.50. Also set the data rate on both to be the same.
The Dahua still shat all over the Reolink in both day and night scenes and the Dahua is 6MP compared to the Reolink being an 8MP.
So iFrame interval is not the issue with the Reolink Cameras. The Reolinks are just pants all round.......
In comparison, the particular model Dahua I have used is only about 10% more expensive than the Reolink, so bugger all difference in price.
 

austwhite

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It is nice to see that someone looked somewhere other than YouTube for information on cameras and save the headaches of trying to get a Reolink to work on the level of a Dahua or Hikvision.
The trouble with most YouTube reviews is they compare STILL images rather than full motion. Any cheap a** camera can do a reasonable still image. Finding those good reviews that actually use full motion for comparison is difficult. I guess when you compare someone holding a sign up at 25 feet standing perfectly still anything can look reasonable.
 

wittaj

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Well for what it is worth, Rob may have a point about the iFrame interval. I set my DH-IPC-HDW3641TMP-AS and compared it directly to a Reolink RLC-820.
Set both to 20FPS, set the Dahua to iFrame interval of 40, so both had keyframe of 0.50. Also set the data rate on both to be the same.
The Dahua still shat all over the Reolink in both day and night scenes and the Dahua is 6MP compared to the Reolink being an 8MP.
So iFrame interval is not the issue with the Reolink Cameras. The Reolinks are just pants all round.......
In comparison, the particular model Dahua I have used is only about 10% more expensive than the Reolink, so bugger all difference in price.
The iframe issue is only with regard to BI and how BI uses that frame for motion detection. Now at night the iframe of the reo can drop well below 0.5 - many people have posted here their camera status page and some of these reos and dropping down to 0.1 KEY, which could be a 10 second lag before BI motion detection starts - and a lot of motion will be missed in that time!

The issue reos have with video is that they do not adhere to user set parameters but rather the camera overrides those and does what it thinks is best to provide a nice static image, which then makes motion a complete blur mess.
 

wittaj

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Isn't everyone an expert on YouTube LOL...just remember many of those videos are by people being paid promotional dollars by a vendor and/or receiving revenue by YouTube based on number of hits they get. In the past few months we have seen many people come here after being burned by hookup...

Plus, when someone has 200,000+ subscribers, inevitably they will start to push consumer grade stuff that is "plug-n-play" because they do not want to take thousands of posts asking what does this setting do and what does that do...

I would suggest finding the reviews for the cameras here. You will find much better examples here than out on YouTube or Amazon. The members here put them through their paces. Most of the YouTube videos just use auto settings and many do not show motion, so the images look great. It is motion at night that we are interested in, and every review of cameras here have folks providing video clips of their camera in action at multiple settings and shutter speeds, etc. Auto settings results in blur and ghosts during motion at night and is useless. Most Amazon reviews if they include images are static images of no motion.

Plus the YouTube videos tend to be full productions for the likes and thus YouTube revenue, where the folks here post videos for the sole sake of letting others know how well or not the cameras perform. Now some here do an excellent job of post-production of the reviews of cameras with text narrative and overlays of the settings, etc., but most of us just put out raw video for you to see for yourself.

A great camera can be placed at the wrong spot, which then leads to bad reviews on an otherwise great camera. Likewise, a novice surveillance camera user goes by static images and boasts about how great a camera is when it really isn't very good with motion. So if someone calls it a security camera, then maybe do not put much stock in what they say :lmao:

This forum allows others to actually see videos of these cameras at locations and can then make a determination on if that is similar to their situation (lighting, distance, etc.) and would that camera be the right or wrong selection for what they are trying to achieve.
 

fenderman

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Well for what it is worth, Rob may have a point about the iFrame interval. I set my DH-IPC-HDW3641TMP-AS and compared it directly to a Reolink RLC-820.
Set both to 20FPS, set the Dahua to iFrame interval of 40, so both had keyframe of 0.50. Also set the data rate on both to be the same.
The Dahua still shat all over the Reolink in both day and night scenes and the Dahua is 6MP compared to the Reolink being an 8MP.
So iFrame interval is not the issue with the Reolink Cameras. The Reolinks are just pants all round.......
In comparison, the particular model Dahua I have used is only about 10% more expensive than the Reolink, so bugger all difference in price.
This is incorrect. The iframe interval on the reolink is dynamic, so it may be double the fps one minuet and 10 times fps the next. That is the issue.
 

austwhite

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The iframe issue is only with regard to BI and how BI uses that frame for motion detection. Now at night the iframe of the reo can drop well below 0.5 - many people have posted here their camera status page and some of these reos and dropping down to 0.1 KEY, which could be a 10 second lag before BI motion detection starts - and a lot of motion will be missed in that time!

The issue reos have with video is that they do not adhere to user set parameters but rather the camera overrides those and does what it thinks is best to provide a nice static image, which then makes motion a complete blur mess.
Agreed with this. My test was only one specific situation, and even then the Reolink failed badly.

Unfortunately a lot get sucked into the still image quality, and I admit that I was one of them initially. That's why I have 3 Reolink cameras sitting in the cupboard. I don't even feel right selling them on eBay as I don't want to be responsible for onselling crap to another person.
 
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