Price (RRP): $Around A$100
Reolink has bucked the trend of using barely capable 2MP cameras in its new C1 Pro – a 4MP, 2560 x 1440, Wi-Fi AC dual band, pan and tilt, two-way audio, indoor security camera.
Over the past few months, I have reviewed several security cameras – all produce a reasonable image in good daylight conditions and an acceptable IR night time, low-light image. The excuse for using low megapixels and resolution was poor Wi-Fi and, slow internet speeds demand low bandwidth cameras.
Fortunately, Reolink said “Screw that” referring to the tendency of households to buy Wi-Fi AC dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and the prevalence of high speed, unlimited data, broadband, like Australia’s ever-increasing NBN coverage (even the middle tier is sufficient for 4MP transmission).
Enter the Reolink C1 Pro
Let’s look at the specifications first – I usually tack these on last, but they tell most of the story. Any relevant comments are in the right column.
|Model||Reolink C1 Pro|
|Image Sensor||1/3″ CMOS Sensor (this is a large sensor)|
|Display Resolution||2560×1440 (4.0 Megapixels – two to three times 1080/720p cameras)|
|Lens||4.0mm fixed, f/2.0, with IR Cut (better for low light)|
|Angle of View||Horizontal: 80° (at first look this looks quite small until you realise it has motorised pan and tilt)|
|Pan/Tilt Angle||Horizontal: 355° (You can set multiple pre-sets to change P/T and, it can almost rotate 360° although it is not designed to take stitched panorama images)|
|Minimum Illumination||0 Lux (With IR Illuminator)|
|IR Distance||12 Meters (This is about two times many IR cameras)|
|Dimension||103×95×117 mm x 300g|
|Power Input||5.0V/2A, <6W (lacks battery backup but this can be done by inline power bank)|
|Ethernet||Ethernet 10M/100Mbps RJ45 (This direct connection to the router is also used for express setup or you can go through Wi-Fi setup – takes a few more steps)|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi AC 2.4 GHz (for long distance to 100m) and 5GHz MIMO (for 50m)|
|Charge||Micro-USB power Interface (USB-C is irrelevant as the additional power delivery is not needed)|
|micro-SD||Built-in Micro SD Card Slot (tested with 64GB – suspect it could use 128GB as well)|
|Microphone and speaker||Built-in Microphone and Speaker for two-way audio (sound quality is quite good – enough to scare someone|
|Protocols & Standards||HTTPS, SSL, TCP/IP, UDP, UPNP, RTSP, SMTP, NTP, DHCP, DNS, DDNS, FTP, ONVIF, P2P|
|Maximal Frame Rate||PAL: 25fps, NTSC: 30fps (True video is 30fps – there is no judder at 25fps)|
|Max. User Access||20 Users (1 admin account & 19 user accounts); Support up to 12 simultaneous video streams (10 sub-stream & 2 main-stream).|
|Browsers||IE, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari (Adobe Player needs to be installed)|
|OS Supported||PC: Windows, Mac OS; Smartphone: iOS, Android|
|Record Mode||Motion Record/Schedule Record (Default: Motion Record)|
Out of the box
- Reolink CP1 Pro camera
- 240V to 5V/2A charger (make sure you specify Australian plug if ordering online)
- Various fixing bolts and a ¼” tripod mount bracket (very handy if you want to put it on a wall instead of a desk or ledge)
First impression is a little R2-D2 like – a cute little robot head like device that won’t scare kids!
Plug the camera to a power point. Download the iOS or Android app.
You can plug it into an Ethernet cable and skip much of the setup (like securing the camera to the router – if you do this by Wi-Fi you use a 3D barcode). Once done you can simply add the Wi-Fi SSID and Password.
The app has lots of flexibility
- Set camera name
- Runs multiple Reolink cameras (important to select cameras from the same brand otherwise you must use multiple apps)
- A simple QR code to enable others to access the camera via the app on their smartphone
- Push notifications and/or email
- Wi-Fi Network setup
- Display setup (can turn on and move around text labels as well as flip or mirror the picture (handy if you mount it upside down or sideways)
- Anti-flickering adjustment (depends on type of lighting)
- A range of camera controls – exposure, white balance, backlight, quality etc – leave these on Auto
- A setting for balanced (best possible quality), fluent (mid-range) or clear (lowers resolution to match lower internet speeds maximum resolution)
- Notification (email via pre-sets Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or custom)
- Web addressable on network if your browser has Flash Player enabled
- QNAP ONVIF compatible for QNAP surveillance station
- Remote view over internet including full PTZ control
You can use email instead of push notifications to a paired smartphone. Email allows for copies to be sent to multiple recipients, but notifications are convenient as you don’t always read emails immediately.
I have the Reolink Argus 2MP outdoor/IR camera. It has a 1080p, 2MP, f/2.2 lens. In theory, it produces images to similarly specified NETGEAR Arlo, Swann and D-Link cameras. But in reviewing reference shots, it is ahead of these in colour and clarity. While the comparison is fair a lot really depends on Wi-Fi speed – all produce good shots under ideal conditions.
The CP1 Pro produces excellent shots under variable conditions – the difference between the 2MP Argus and the 4MP CP1 on the same shot is clear.
Remote view depends on internet quality, but you can switch to a clear or fluent stream if needed.