Looing for a reliable 4G, Motion activated Rural deployment camera with good low light capability?
I have recently been using on a rural deployment job a Reolink Go PT camera with a V-Sim. Images are pretty good and the range for movement is 33ft as opposed to 17ft for my Arlo. I have found that the link for live viewing is more stable than Arlo with a simple option of recording live images to your Smart device.
One benefit the Arlo has over the Reolink is post recording time. I have found this critical as quite often subject movement or activity continues beyond the 33ft detection range. With Arlo you can set 2 mins max post detection recording however with Reolink the max post activity record time is 10 seconds. I have confirmed with Reolink support and this cannot be changed.
The Pan tilt option with Reolink is a benefit as often happens with early hours deployments once the sun comes up you realise that you could have done with changing the camera angle slightly and you have this option. However, beyond this the use of PT is limited as the lag time makes it difficult to follow any subject activity.
The Reolink Go PT has an advantage over the Reolink Go as it has a compatible camera screw thread (see photo), the downside to this is that as the camera is designed for upside down use on a building when rotated 180 degrees for ground level deployment on a spike is need protecting from potential water ingress. With the Arlo I added camo directly to its exterior but for the Reolink PT I have to build a waterproof housing with drain out holes in the base, ultimately both were equally as covert once deployed (see photos)
The Reolink PT does have a flat aerial which neither the Arlo Go or Reolink Go have. This is related to the additional requirements of the PT (Pan Tilt) function. However the hide I built out of two 4 pint milk containers disguised this aerial more than adequately (see photos).
I have found that the night image on both cameras are more that adequate when there is minimal ambient light but on balance I have found slightly better clarity from the Reolink in both Day and Night viewing. Both have the same issue with regards to providing sufficient clarity for facial ID in day or night at anything more that 15 metres (50 foot).
The most significant downside for the Reolink relates to its use with V Sim, I have discovered that when there is more than sporadic activity recorded as a result of movement activation you are unable to view the recording remotely via your Smart device. After multiple emails to and from Reolink support I received the following response: ‘We met some problem with the V-SIM card. If possible, could you please use another SIM card from O2, EE, or JT to have a try?’ I know the footage will be recorded on the SD card but when the device is deployed remotely for 6 weeks as it has been with a Ridge monkey power source I need the footage as it happens on a daily basis. The frustrating thing is that the Reolink and the V-Sim are sold as a package via Amazon so many other users will eventually discover this lack of compatibility. As most of you will be aware the other SIM card options are considerably more expensive that the V Sim and to be honest I’m not inclined to offer Reolink free product testing as they suggest.
So, in conclusion my search goes on for a PTZ that I can deploy in rural locations, gives me good low light capability, 4G capability, Movement activation with push or email notifications and is most importantly cheap enough that if it is discovered I can afford to write it off so somewhere in the region of £200-£300.
So, if anyone has any suggestions I would welcome them and if not I hope this info is of use to you should you be thinking of buying either a Reolink or an Arlo.
CMS Investigations https://cmsinvestigations.com/