The C1 Pro surveillance camera from Reolink looks a bit like Darth Vader’s helmet and its lens is reminiscent of the red shimmering eye of the caring computer HAL from Stanley Kubriks 2001: Odyssey in Space. It comes with all sorts of useful accessories and does its job properly, albeit sometimes somewhat idiosyncratically. The software for the PC is also unconventional and looks old-fashioned. This is mainly due to the fact that it is still based on Adobe’s Flash.
In addition to the camera, a power supply unit with a three meter long cable and a network cable, the scope of delivery also includes all kinds of useful accessories, such as a clamp holder and, of course, a mini CD with the aforementioned software for the PC. Initially, the camera can only be set up via a direct network connection to the PC. Exemplary: A password is required to secure access to the camera. The settings for the WLAN can also be transferred to the camera on the PC. It can then be set up without a LAN cable, but must always remain connected to the AC adapter; the camera does not have a battery. The camera is not suitable for outdoor use.
The corresponding apps for Android and iOS are available in the respective stores and can be installed quickly. At the bottom of the camera is a QR code that is scanned by the smartphone and transmits the settings stored in the camera, including the IP address. However, it was irritating that the app required the re-assignment of a password and not the entry of the already assigned user name and password. The app will reset the username to “admin”. The camera then had to be set up again on the PC.
The configuration options in the app are much more limited than in the PC software, but include all important settings. There, the camera can be aligned, set to scan mode or recordings can be started and stopped directly. However, the camera reacts somewhat slowly to inputs.
Another chic feature is the possibility of establishing a voice connection via the camera’s loudspeaker, for example to tame children who have gone wild with a shout that you have also overheard via the camera beforehand. Access from the app to the camera is not limited to the WLAN, but also works remotely via a mobile phone connection. Unusual events can be sent to the admin via push notifications or email. It is also possible to define a time window when the camera should go into alarm standby.
The functions of the C1 Pro are impressive. For example, it can be configured to start recording when the integrated motion detector hits. The sensitivity of the motion detector can be configured extensively. Recordings can be stored on the 16 GB internal memory. This can be extended by a maximum 64 GB micro SD card, which can be placed in the back of the camera. From there, the recordings can be transferred to a server via FTP. The Reolink C1 Pro also works with Synology’s NAS. Alternatively, the recordings can be stored on the smartphone or PC.
Of course, the camera has an infrared mode that automatically adapts to the existing lighting conditions. The image quality can also be reduced from the highest possible resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. Both audio and video data can be encrypted for transmission. There is also a user administration for accessing the camera.
The Reolink leaves little to be desired. The picture quality is good, the motion detector works just as well as the infrared mode. The camera will react slowly to input even if it is connected via LAN cable. In our test we had to reset the camera after a few days of non-use, whether the software on the PC had forgotten the settings or the camera itself could not be determined.
The software receives a minus point. Not only does it look old-fashioned because it is based on Flash, it also has some flaws in the representation of special characters in German. And because it only works with Flash, current browsers refuse to cooperate, even though the camera has its own web server that can be accessed via the IP address. However, the manufacturer wants to improve here and deliver a more modern version based on HTML5.
- Dimensions: 125 x 20 mm (height / diameter, without antennas)
- Weight: 289 g
- image sensor: 1/3″ inch CMOS
- Resolution: max. 2,560 x 1,440
- Infrared night view: up to 12 meters
- network: LAN and WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz, MIMO, 3G/4G
- Pan & Tilt Function: 355° / 105°
- Audio: microphone and speakers (2-way)
- Memory: 16 GB internal, expandable via micro SD card
- Control: Software for PC, Browser Plugin, App for Android and iOS
- Power consumption: 6 W