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

austwhite

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There is no F-stop/aperture setting in these cameras like there is in normal picture cameras. However it is an important element of the total performance and it shows up in the "gain" setting of these cameras. The larger the aperture (smaller f-stop number), the more light the camera can pull into the system. This results in a brighter image with a comparable gain setting that a camera with a smaller aperture.

PS - I noticed the Youtuber recently posted another video - this time on AI capable NVR systems. He talks about a Reolink NVR, the Unify Protect System, and BlueIris. He still seems to think Reolink is great even though he reiterated that "there is a ghosting problem with the Reolinks at night." I don't understand how you can recommend a product that doesn't work at night, but I'm sure the reality is that it is more about making revenue on Youtube than actually talking the truth with people. He knows that there are a lot more potential viewer from people that use or are in the market for a Reolink system than there are people who are going to want to tackle setting up a BI system.
Unfortunately the YouTuber in question looking more at still images and how simple a system is to setup rather than the thing that really matters, which is motion images. All the good reviews about Reolink focus in still images at a distance and never do look at the motion. I guess the they all thing that your local criminal is going to stand still and let the camera get a good image???
Reolink does win on simplicity. It literally is just plug and play. It just can't get anything else right.
As a note, the guy recommending Reolink actually uses Blue Iris and non-reolink cameras mostly in his own setup.
Blue Iris is a bit more complex to get up and running for your average home user because it does take a little fiddling to get it right. Once it is right though, you can forget about it and know it will capture what you need, with the right cameras attached of course.
 

mat200

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Thanks to @MikeLud1 sharing his recent capture of a door checker with the new 4MP Starlight+ Dahua OEM cameras he upgraded to

See the following thread:
Caught My First Door Checker With My New 5442 Andy Cams

Mike also included a quick comparison of the Reolink camera's he was replacing ( RLC-411S ).


Loryta IPC-T5442TM-AS 3.6mm
View attachment 88068
Reolink RLC-411S
View attachment 88069
 

wittaj

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Yet another member getting burned by reolink to add to the Master Thread:

"Like many others on here, I made the mistake of purchasing a full set of Reolink cameras (mixture of RLC-820a and RLC-520a) to use with Blue Iris. I chose the Reolink cameras based on recommendations from 2 popular YouTubers, and while the quality of the cameras out of the box are acceptable to me, the compatibility with Blue Iris is quite the opposite. Another IPCT member said it best when they posted, "... I realize I made an error." A very expensive error. I just wish I had found this forum prior to planning out my system.

I ordered the cameras first, but due to a major winter storm affecting postal and parcel deliveries and the computer manufacturer losing my order, by the time I received the Blue Iris server and PoE switch and got it all setup the return window for the Reolink cameras had expired. So I've spent the last 2 months making adjustments, updating firmware, complaining, etc., all of which haven't helped yet. Just so I have "something" working I setup each of the cameras with only their substreams in Blue Iris but even that is choppy so it's clear to me now that choosing the Reolink cameras was indeed a mistake.

I contacted Reolink support and explained the situation. Their response: update to this new firmware. Ok, did that, and it actually made it worse (lower fps/key). I responded to them that it didn't fix the problem and asked them what exactly was changed in the new firmware, but I got no response to that question, and instead was asked why I wanted to manually adjust the iframe rate. Even though it seems like it might be a waste of time, I'm willing to continue to push for a resolution with Reolink since I can't get my money back (I guess it's possible but doesn't seem likely), so any advice for what to tell them in my emails back and forth would be very appreciated.

Meanwhile, I'm continuing to browse this forum to try all the different workarounds and optimization tips as I find them. I appreciate all the tips and suggestions already posted in other threads, and look forward to contributing to the community as well."

 

addos94

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Hello

Looking at buying a 8ch NVR system, what brands do you recommend? Not after the cheapest, but something decent without the huge price tag.
POE compatible, decent night vision with mobile app for remote viewing
What is Amcrest or Duhua like?
Also looking for a ptz for indoor use
 

mat200

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Hello

Looking at buying a 8ch NVR system, what brands do you recommend? Not after the cheapest, but something decent without the huge price tag.
POE compatible, decent night vision with mobile app for remote viewing
What is Amcrest or Duhua like?
Also looking for a ptz for indoor use
Welcome @addos94

There should be a lot of threads covering the question you're asking, and this thread is meant not to be a place to cover ",, what brands do you recommend?"

Feel free to check out the other threads here, as well as the cliff notes, and SouthernYankee's welcome message to new users.
 

Mark_M

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I've just seen it now;

From the comments:
I am cringing at this Reolink for installs under 16 cams.
the_hook_up_comment.PNG

(sarcasim) Yay!, ReoCrap has more to please.

the_hook_up_comment2.PNG


Moving aside from comments.
The main disappointment I see of this video is not mentioning the flexibility and updateability of the systems.
Reolink with their NVR is stuck when you've bought it (unless there's a clunky update method) whereas BI and (I presume, given it's cloud based) Unifi have updates.

It's something that never seems to phone home for people. You can update and add functions to BI soooooo easily.


I also recommend reading through the comments on his videos. He replies to many of them, and that's where I have learnt a bit about his thinking.
 

mat200

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Too bad everyone here got rid of YouTube and could ask him questions LOL...I seem to recall @looney2ns posted a question once he didn't answer.

The forum does get mentioned....

View attachment 88524
fwiw: ( text of the above + full image )


Brian Simmons
1 week ago (edited)
The Reolink system is inexpensive and has a lot of features. Picture quality is not one of them however. The "ghosting issue" at night should be a clear turn off for people. The whole point of having a camera system is to get good quality shots that can be used to identify people. If it only works during the day, then the system is pretty pointless. There was one point in this video where the Ubiquity camera had motion blurring DURING THE DAY. This is completely unacceptable. Blue Iris is the clear winner here. It's because of it's flexibility and ability to use any RTSP streaming camera (not just ONVIF). Paring a BlueIris system with cameras like the Dahua IPC-HFW5442H-ZE or the Hikvision DS-2CD2087G2-L(U) ColorVu will give results that are a magnitude better than the results shown here.

reply:
The Hook Up

1 week ago
I’d really like to see Reolink fix the ghosting issue. Contrary to what the IPCamTalk crowd says, I don’t think it has to do with iframes, it is likely the result of shutter speed.

Brian Simmons
1 week ago
@The Hook Up It definitely has to do with the shutter speed and gain settings. Obviously at night, most cameras will default to a very slow shutter speed (1/20th a second for many cameras). This is way to slow and will cause images to be blurry due to motion. However, having the gain settings up too high will also cause ghosting where parts of a person will "disappear" or become transparent for an instant, etc. This is also were using a high resolution (4k/8mp) camera is harmful. If you have the same size sensor (1/2.8" for example) on a 4k camera and a 2k(4mp) camera, the 2k camera will provide better low light performance because the pixels are twice as large and can absorb more light. More, but smaller pixels (4k) is worse in low light than fewer, but larger pixels (2k). The Reolink RCA-820a cameras have a 1/2.49" sensor with 4k resolution. Compare that to the Dahua IPC-HFW5442H-ZE (or others in the 5442 series) camera that have a 1/1.8" (that's a much larger sensor size) with only 2k resolution and the Dahua is going to absolutely dominate the Reolink in low light performance. Sure it gives up a little during the day because arguably 4k is better than 2k, but I'd rather have a camera that performed well in all lighting than one that simply doesn't work in low light. We don't have to be satisfied with blurry, ghostly images in low light. There are actually cameras that perform well enough to get good low light images.

The iframes issue doesn't prevent the camera from getting good low light images, but it does prevent the cameras from working well in BI and other NVRs. This is because without the iframe coming in about once per second, the stream can (and does) become unstable over time. They might work great with the Reolink NVR, but using them with BlueIris can cause stability issues. I actually have an older Reolink (an RLC-410) that I run in BI, but it does become unstable sometimes.


The Hook Up
1 week ago
@Brian Simmons From what I understand, the industry standard is iFrame of .5, meaning double the framerate. On hikvision cameras if you press the auto button for iFrame it gives you .5. I do agree that the reolink substream has too low of an iFrame, but there's no reason the mainstream .5 rate should cause issues in BI, especially if it's using quicksync which can absolutely handle a .5.

As far as resolution, it is an unfortunate tradeoff of increasing megapixels. I am personally not willing to sacrifice as much as I've seen some other people do. I've purchased many of the most recommended cameras from IPCamTalk (which I am banned from by the way, so I can't contribute or stand up for myself when they continue to talk shit), and while the 4MP cameras that they are currently recommending are okay, the 2MP cameras they were recommending 2 years ago were TERRIBLE. They gave a totally blurry garbage image with no motion blur.





1620052949982.png1620052949982.png


Analysis:

"I've purchased many of the most recommended cameras from IPCamTalk (which I am banned from by the way, so I can't contribute or stand up for myself when they continue to talk shit), and while the 4MP cameras that they are currently recommending are okay, the 2MP cameras they were recommending 2 years ago were TERRIBLE. They gave a totally blurry garbage image with no motion blur." - The Hook Up

So the Hook Up has NO issues promoting absolutely crappy Reolink cameras for low light image capture and compares the Dahua OEM camera often mentioned here in IPCamTalk. In fact, even after the video review when the Reolink fails to capture an image in low light of a moving person. In fact the "terrible" camera The Hook UP claims still is vastly superior to those Reolinks in low light image capture. Never have I seen some just disappear at the range and distance which the review from the Hook Up showed the Reolink to mysteriously lose the moving subject. Still The Hook Up still gave the Reolink cameras top recommendations. ( this is a clear indication of a compromised youtube reviewer )

This is the problem, The Hook Up is so clearly a part of the massive deception campaign by Reolink to sell cheap cameras at good profit margins. ( the Cameras have very affordable components, so affordable they must cheat the game to appear to be decent. ).

There simply is no way to make these cheap Reolink cameras take better low light image captures without spending more on the hardware components, and thus Reolink games / cheats the system by:
1) Engineering tinkering, just like the VW Diesel Gate - except this time to deceive the purchaser - not the Government Regulators.
The Engineering team has clearly modified the Reolink cameras to show the best low light image by changing their setting in low light to maximize still image capture quality. ( shutter speed .. )

2) Engineering tinkering to prevent proper use of iFrames

3) Astroturfing forums, like IPCamTalk and others - to plant positive spins on their products.

4) Manipulation of Social Influencers ( This is where the Hook Up becomes part of Reolink Deceptive practices .. )
Usual game, free products for positive reviews...

5) Manipulation of Amazon and the like reviews to maximize positive reviews / ratings.
 
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mat200

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Re: The Hook U
I've just seen it now;

From the comments:
I am cringing at this Reolink for installs under 16 cams.
View attachment 88490

(sarcasim) Yay!, ReoCrap has more to please.

View attachment 88491


Moving aside from comments.
The main disappointment I see of this video is not mentioning the flexibility and updateability of the systems.
Reolink with their NVR is stuck when you've bought it (unless there's a clunky update method) whereas BI and (I presume, given it's cloud based) Unifi have updates.

It's something that never seems to phone home for people. You can update and add functions to BI soooooo easily.


I also recommend reading through the comments on his videos. He replies to many of them, and that's where I have learnt a bit about his thinking.
fwiw the text from that youtube video comments:

DPC Technology
1 week ago
Another great review man!

Reply:
The Hook Up
1 week ago
Hey! I just watched your hikvision vs protect comparison last night!

DPC Technology
1 week ago
@The Hook Up I love it.. I think ur smart to skip it.. I love this roundup, I need to give Reolink a try, what do u thing about it for commercial installs.

The Hook Up
1 week ago
I don't do commercial installs, but my best friend does. Anything under 16 cameras gets reolink, anything above that gets synology.


Warning - Warning - Warning:
If you are paying professionals to install a system DO NOT buy the cheapest PoE system out there to install.

imho anyone recommending a Reolink for a Commercial installation is not to be trusted if there is any need for a low light performance of the camera.
 

Mark_M

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I've purchased many of the most recommended cameras from IPCamTalk (which I am banned from by the way, so I can't contribute or stand up for myself when they continue to talk shit).
So he's been banned from here, understandable if he's promoting crap.

But what did he have to say? I'm now curious what he posted in this forum.
 

Silas

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I've watched a few of his videos and some from the others mentioned, my feelings are that he has now identified himself as an 'influencer' and as such now believes his own rhetoric, I would imagine that he has obtained a cosy relationship with suppliers like Reolink and others, and the lure of free hardware to test and usually keep, has now 'influenced' him !!

Too many people now latch on to youtube as a means of income and have lost sight of what they set out to do, they become ignorant of truth and facts and show little tolerance for those that attempt to bring them back to reality with science and REAL analysis.

I never dreamed that you could have a career as an 'influencer' when I saw the job counselor 45 years ago :) Wonder how that conversation would have gone?
 
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YouTube is nothing but a revenue generating website. Stop believing the hype. If you want to really get the feel of something, buy it and try it out. If you're not sure, consult the forum. But don't buy something because someone simply told you to buy it. If you don't like it there is buyer's remorse, return it :) First things first, know exactly what you're getting yourself into before commiting to ownership and deployment
 
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wittaj

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++^1

Yep, everyone is 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. 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.

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.

A great camera can be placed at the wrong spot, which then leads to bad reviews on an otherwise great camera. And 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.
 
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Especially when a YouTuber sneaks in a word from their sponsors... :rofl: Linus Tech Tips, I'm looking at you! :lol:
 

Mark_M

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I'm now curious what he posted in this forum.
he has now identified himself as an 'influencer' and as such now believes his own rhetoric,
This is exactly what I was thinking as I wrote my previous comment.

On Youtube he's in his own Bubble, like he's the best out there. On here he's a small drop in the bucket.
Other reasons for keeping to his own bubble is to manage comments. If I recall correctly, he can delete comments at will on his YouTube videos.

He'd probably think twice before posting anything on here, so he thinks it's now alright to say it there?
 

austwhite

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It's a shame Reolink's firmware and sensors are so crap, I have found their support to be pretty reasonable. They obviously know they have issues.
I have been battling with 2 RLC-520's that refuse to play the game with RTSP, but will give a reasonable feed with RTMP. Now Reolink are directly offering me RLC-822A's to replace the RLC-520's at no cost. Bare in mind, the RLC-822A is also the supposed 3 times optical zoom model with person detection onboard. I am considering their offer though as I will just offload the replacements on Ebay. I was about ready to replace them with different cameras, this might just give me the excuse to do it sooner.
 

wittaj

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What they lack in quality, they make up in support LOL.

As most of us here know, the Dahua and Hikvisions of the world do not cater to the "consumer" market - their target audience is professional installers, so we are considered "prosumer" and we are fortunate to get our hands on these types of cameras instead of consumer grade junk and not having to go thru professional installers to get quality gear. Now the downside is we get them at a discount and without manuals and support and thus are on our own to figure it out. We are fortunate a forum like this exists to help with that. We do not exist in their world and that is their business model and they made the business decision to not compete with the Rings and Nests and Reolinks of the world and as such to do offer these cameras at box stores for consumers to purchase directly. They cater to the professional installers...and would tell you to contact the vendor you got them from...

Contrast that with consumer grade cameras. You can call a Night Owl or Arlo or Reolink or Lorex or Amcrest or DLink or Google Nest or Ring and speak to a representative (now whether they can help you or not is another story) and for most novice callers they provide good customer service, but they will not tell you to talk to Best Buy where you purchased it...and several of these cost the same or more as Dahua or Hikvision...

Now most consumers are fascinated with MP more so than they are picture quality, so as long as Rings and Arlos and Reolinks and what not are sold in large quantities and customer service can get them going if they have any issues, people just accept the inferior night images, and then we will continue to see higher MP on smaller sensors to save costs.

After having both, I would rather have quality and no support from the manufacturer - that is what sites like this is for!
 

mat200

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It's a shame Reolink's firmware and sensors are so crap, I have found their support to be pretty reasonable. They obviously know they have issues.
I have been battling with 2 RLC-520's that refuse to play the game with RTSP, but will give a reasonable feed with RTMP. Now Reolink are directly offering me RLC-822A's to replace the RLC-520's at no cost. Bare in mind, the RLC-822A is also the supposed 3 times optical zoom model with person detection onboard. I am considering their offer though as I will just offload the replacements on Ebay. I was about ready to replace them with different cameras, this might just give me the excuse to do it sooner.
Hi @austwhite

Their profit margin per their business model would not work with better quality hardware.

They have a very simple business model:
Sell cheapest IP PoE camera to consumers at significant mark ups without as few middlemen as possible ( i.e. direct to consumer )

This does require the consumer to be "duped" / fooled into thinking they are getting a deal - thus the "can always find a coupon code" to make it seem like a deal, and focus on MegaPixel and tweeking the low light settings to make still images look great at the expense of moving images.

Reolink is basically playing a con game, which few new users really take a closer look at until they have to pull up low light images from a attack / robber / thief...
 
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