Reolink RLC-812A Review – Always on spotlight for colour nighttime surveillance

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Reolink RLC-812A Spotlight Camera Review Rating

Summary

The Reolink RLC-812A is an affordable way to get full-colour night recordings at 4K with the added benefits of object detection. While there are better technologies on the market to achieve this, you would need to spend more than double the price.

Overall
85%
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  • Overall - 85%
    85%

Pros

  • Always on spotlight at night allowing full colour video
  • AI motion detection
  • Wide range of compatibility with ONVIF, MicroSD and Reolink NVR

Cons

  • Always on spotlight may not be ideal for some users

Motion Detection

Motion detection is the same as all the other smart detection cameras from Reolink. It is a significant improvement over the older motion detection and massively reduces the number of events you have to look through to find something.  

One issue I have noticed is that when defining motion zones, the object doesn’t appear to stay within these zones. I don’t think it is a particular problem with person detection, but with my camera facing a road it means that I have almost constant events about car detection.

You can try and dial in the motion settings by defining minimum and maximum object size. I have not tested it properly yet, but it should be possible to reduce vehicle alerts on the main road that the camera faces by increasing the minimum size.

It is then possible to alter the sensitivity, so in my case, it is probably worth reducing the vehicle motion while keeping person high.

Price and Alternatives

Reolink have not set a price for this camera yet as it has not launched. You can expect it to be affordable, though. The RLC-811A is supposed to be £109, and all the other POE cameras they have are below £100, and I would expect this to be under £100 too.

For a lot of the recent Reolink reviews I have done, there have been no alternatives products from other brands. There is here, but with lots of caveats. The following cameras all have low lux sensors allowing them to record colour footage with minimum light. This avoids the need for a spotlight and reduces car registration plate glare, it will also be less annoying for your neighbours or passers-by.

To the best of my knowledge, all of these products are either based on Hikvision technology or even white-label Hikvision.

The Ezviz C3X is arguably a better camera in some ways. It has the colour night vision, and they also have person and human detection, which I found to be more accurate than Reolink. However, this is not POE that has a lower resolution, and more importantly, Ezviz is a proprietary system so you can record to third party NVRs.

Both the H.VIEW ‎HV-500G2V5 for £109.99 and the ANNKE NC400 for £100 both have colour night vision, but again they have a lower resolution. They also don’t have a very good app (not sure if H.View has any) and don’t have human detection.

Annke has the NC800 Acme 4K, which is 8MP with AI human detection and colour night vision, but that will set you back £270. Then at that price point, you could start looking at Hikvision cameras such as the DS-2CD2386G2-I.

So there are plenty of alternative options but none that can quite match up with Reolink at this price point.

Overall

This is another great camera from Reolink. There is barely any competition from known brands at this sub £100 price point, so these review summaries have become somewhat predictable.

Admittedly, it is not perfect, but what do you expect at this price? No other company is cramming this much tech into a surveillance camera for £100, and for home users this is should offer more than enough performance for your needs (or any of the other Reolink cameras if you need different features).

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