With the Reolink RLC-81MA and Reolink RLC-812A, you are dealing with two very versatile and contemporary IP cameras. Now imagine this; you’re sitting at work or out running errands when you get an alert on your phone from your home security camera, you quickly tap on the alert notification and see a clear image of someone walking up to your front door. Instantly, you can take preventive measures if this person is an intruder. Thanks to smart security devices and technology that enable you to keep an eye on your home and loved ones from anywhere in the world.
However, with so many options on the market, choosing the right security camera for your needs can be a hassle. This is why in this article we’ll be comparing two remarkable, versatile, and contemporary models from Reolink; the Reolink RLC-81MA and the Reolink RLC-812A. Both cameras boast impressive features such as smart AI person and vehicle detection, customizable motion zones, high-quality night vision, and 8 Megapixels beautiful imagery, amongst other captivating features.
We’ll take a close look at each camera’s features and specifications to help you decide which one is the best fit for your home or business.
So, let’s dive in and find out which camera reigns supreme!
Reolink RLC-81MA Review
The Reolink RLC-81MA is a dual-lens camera. One lens is a wide-angle lens and the other a telephoto lens (zoomed-in lens). With this, you get two views at the same time, and you can also choose to view both feeds as one. With the wide angle lens, you have 8 Megapixels, 3840 x 2160 at 20 fps. It is capable of 109° horizontal field of view, and a 58° vertical field of view. Then with the telephoto lens you have it in 2K, 2304 x 1296 at 15 fps. It has a 43° horizontal field of view and a 25° vertical field of view.
When you receive the Reolink RLC-81MA, you will find everything you need to get it up and running which include; mounting screws and anchors, a surveillance sticker, a quick start guide, mounting template, waterproof lid, the camera itself, and a 1-meter network cable.
Looking at the front of the Reolink RLC-81MA, you will observe a spotlight at the very top, then its dual lenses below with the daylight sensor in between, and then its two infrared LEDs and microphone. At the back you have an enclosure that houses the camera’s SD card slot (supports up to 256GB), then below the camera is its loudspeaker. The Reolink RLC-81MA is in a round form factor, with an aluminum casing, and is an IP66-rated outdoor camera.
This camera is a PoE camera. This means that you can simply plug one end of the included network cable to the camera, and the other end to your switch or router, and if this switch or router is PoE Enabled, the camera will receive power to come ON and also receive network connectivity. Also, if your switch or router is not PoE Enabled, you can use a PoE Injector (sold separately). With this device, you need an additional network cable. You can take out the other end that’s plugged into your switch or router and plug it into the PoE port on the PoE Injector. While one end of the second network cable plugs into the LAN port on the PoE Injector, and the other end plugs into your switch or router.
Alternatively, you can purchase a D.C adapter (With 12 Volts Output), and plug it to the camera to power it ON. Then, use only one network cable that should be plugged to the camera, and the other end to your switch or router. Lastly, you can use a Reolink NVR. To understand these types of connections, take a look at our review of the Reolink RLC-1212A as this is very well taught.
With an understanding of how to connect your PoE camera, let’s now move further. Setting up and mounting the Reolink RLC-81MA is a very easy and straightforward process. But before mounting the camera, insert your SD card and integrate the camera in the Reolink app. Now, since your switch or router broadcasts your network, simply connect your mobile phone to this network, download and install the Reolink app. Open it, click on the + sign to add a camera, and scan the QR code at the bottom of the camera. Then, create a username & password, and give the camera a unique name.
At this point, the Reolink RLC-81MA is completely integrated. You should then see the live stream from both lenses and can begin to play around with the features and settings of the camera.
The primary selling point of the Reolink RLC-81MA is its dual lenses with exceptional image and video quality. If you are new to Reolink, their camera images and video quality is one of the most important reasons why consumers prefer them. With the Reolink RLC-81MA, you even get dual lenses.
Another standout feature of the Reolink RLC-81MA is its Smart AI Motion Detection for persons, vehicles, and pets (beta testing). With an onboard AI, the Reolink RLC-81MA does not require cloud computations to carry out motion detection. It delivers near-instant motion detection notifications and accurately differentiates between different types of movements, minimizing false alarms from things like insects and leaves.
You also have the ability to customize motion zones, ensuring that you only receive alerts when there’s actual activity in the areas you care about. In addition to its motion detection capabilities, the Reolink RLC-81MA boasts a dual warning feature that sends you a message and automatically activates the siren and spotlight to scare away intruders. This feature is especially useful for anyone who wants to deter potential criminals from breaking in.
With motion detection, you get pre-recording and post-recording. You also have 24/7 recording, motion-triggered recording, and scheduled recording. Apart from recording to an SD card, the camera supports recording to an FTP Server and Reolink NVRs.
That’s not all. With two-way audio support on your Reolink RLC-81MA, you can communicate with anyone who might be approaching your property. The sound quality is good enough to clearly communicate with anyone.
Another great feature of the Reolink RLC-81MA is its high-quality colored night vision with just one spotlight (6500K/450 Lumens). Even in low light conditions, this camera can capture clear and detailed footage, making it an excellent choice for outdoor surveillance. And if motion is detected, the spotlight mode automatically activates, further enhancing the visibility of the area.
To further enhance the camera’s night vision quality, the Reolink RLC-81MA supports the addition of the Reolink Stand-Alone Floodlights. Now, these stand-alone floodlights are powerful (2000 Lumens/4000 Kelvin), motion-activated floodlights that work in sync with your Reolink RLC-81MA and other supported Reolink cameras to further enhance night vision image and video quality.
Then again, the Reolink RLC-81MA is also equipped with a time-lapse recording mode, allowing you to capture hours of footage and condense it into just a few minutes. While this mode is only available when using the wide-angle view, it’s a great option for anyone who wants to review footage quickly without having to sift through hours of recordings.
The Reolink RLC-81MA supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa smart controls. It is also designed with durability in mind. It’s rugged and waterproof, with an IP66 rating, making it resistant to harsh weather conditions. And with real-time alerts and live view capabilities, you can always stay on top of what’s happening around your property.
While the Reolink RLC-81MA doesn’t have PTZ capabilities or auto-tracking features, its maximum 109-degree wide-angle view is still more than sufficient for you. And with the smart playback feature and ability to filter feeds or recordings using criteria like timeline and event type, reviewing footage is a breeze.
Overall, the Reolink RLC-81MA is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a reliable and high-quality security camera. With its advanced motion detection, customizable motion zones, dual warning feature, high-quality colored night vision, and time-lapse recording mode, this camera is packed with features that can help keep your property safe and secure. And with its flexible storage options, compatibility with the Reolink Stand-Alone Floodlights, and easy installation process, it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to enhance their home or business security without breaking the bank.
Full Specifications of the Reolink RLC-81MA
Reolink RLC-812A Review
The Reolink RLC-812A is another impressive security camera that boasts a 4K UHD resolution, providing clear and detailed footage of your property. The camera is equipped with a 1/2.49″ CMOS sensor, offering a horizontal field of view of 85 degrees and a vertical field of view of 44 degrees. With a frame rate of 25 frames per second, this Reolink RLC-812A camera can record smooth and seamless footage.
Looking at the front of the Reolink RLC-812A, you will observe the camera’s ultra-high definition 8 Megapixels lens in the middle, surrounded by 4 spotlights, and the camera’s microphone at the bottom. Similar to the Reolink RLC-81MA, the camera’s SD card compartment is at the back, with the loudspeaker below. The Reolink RLC-812A is in a round form, with an aluminum casing, and it is an IP66-rated outdoor camera. This camera is also a PoE camera and you can simply connect it with any of the methods we’ve taught.
All that you need to get the Reolink RLC-812A camera mounted is provided, and integrating it with the Reolink app and your network is as simple as it was with the Reolink RLC-81MA. If you would like to use a Reolink NVR, you can conveniently do so with this Reolink RLC-812A. Once you’ve successfully connected the camera to your network, the NVR will automatically detect it. All you need to do is enter your password, and you’re good to go. This makes setting up and managing multiple cameras much more manageable, especially if you have a large property or multiple locations to monitor.
The primary selling point of the Reolink RLC-812A is its 4K Ultra High Definition resolution. Secondly, its colored night vision performance aided by its spotlights. The spotlight consists of four 3.5W LEDs that emit 400 lumens of light with a temperature of 6500K, which is bright enough to illuminate the area being monitored by the camera. It is also worth mentioning that the Reolink RLC-812A does not support the Reolink Stand-Alone Floodlights.
This camera is also equipped with Smart AI Motion Detection for persons, vehicles, and pets (beta). Just like the RLC-81MA, this feature ensures that you’re only notified of relevant events, minimizing false alarms and unnecessary notifications.
With the Reolink RLC-812A, you also have pre-recording, post-recording, 24/7 continuous recording, motion-triggered recording, scheduled recording, motion zones, and time-lapse.
As expected from a versatile and contemporary security camera, the Reolink RLC-812A also has a built-in mic and speaker, allowing for two-way audio communication. This feature enables you to listen in and speak to anyone that’s around the camera. Along with this is the camera’s siren to scare away intruders.
Then you have flexible storage options. While the camera doesn’t come with a microSD card, it supports cards with up to 256GB capacity, allowing you to store large amounts of footage. Along with this is the support for an FTP Server, and Reolink NVRs.
Another notable feature of the Reolink RLC-812A is its IP66-certified weatherproof rating, making it suitable for outdoor use. Whether it’s raining, snowing, or hot outside, you can be rest assured that your camera is protected from these elements and continues to function optimally. Then you have support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa smart controls.
Full Specifications of the Reolink RLC-812A
So which camera is the superior choice? Evidently, the Reolink RLC-81MA is the superior choice but again, making a decision about both ultimately depends on your specific needs and requirements. If you need a wider field of view and the ability to capture more details in a single frame, then the RLC-81MA is the way to go. Then, if where you want to monitor is not a very large area, the Reolink RLC-812A may be the better option due to its field of view.
The Reolink RLC-81MA and the Reolink RLC-812A are excellent choices with their own unique features and capabilities. You can’t go wrong with either one, but it’s important to assess your needs and requirements before making a decision. By doing so, you will get the best value for your investment.
Get the Reolink Stand-Alone Floodlights (Wi-Fi or PoE) on the Reolink Official Website
Get the Reolink NVR’s (RLN8-410, RLN16-410, RLN36) on the Reolink Official Website
You may want to see our review of the Reolink Duo Floodlight Cameras, the Reolink TrackMix Series, the Reolink Duo 2, the Reolink RLC-823A, or the Reolink 12MP RLC-1212A.