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Reolink RLC-511: The Best Looking Security Camera Yet (Review and Giveaway)

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Our verdict of the Reolink RLC-511 PoE Security Cam :

The RLC-511 offers fantastic image quality, ease of installation, and rock solid desktop software that can grow into an extensive security system, at an affordable price.

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The problem with security cameras is that you either pay through your teeth for a professional solution, or you’re stuck with budget devices that can’t be integrated and need their owncustom mobile app. But it needn’t be so:Reolinkoffer great value devices without ongoing license fees, with comprehensive software solutions for the home and professional market. The Reolink RLC-511 is their latest security camera, with an absolutely stunning image quality thanks to a 5MP sensor and 4 X optical zoom. It runs on Power over Ethernet, so installation is a breeze.

Read on to take a closer look, and at the end of this review, we’ve got one of the Reolink RLC-511 to give away to a lucky reader.

Design and Specifications

Reolink IP PoE Security Camera 5MP Super HD 4X Optical Zoom Outdoor Indoor RLC-511 Reolink IP PoE Security Camera 5MP Super HD 4X Optical Zoom Outdoor Indoor RLC-511 Buy Now At Amazon $109.99

3 x 3 x 5 inches, not including the mounting arm 5MP sensor, up to 2560 x 192opx maximum resolution 4X optical zoom with focus controls PoE power MicroSD local recording (optional) Desktop and mobile client No ongoing fees Weatherproof
Reolink RLC-511: The Best Looking Security Camera Yet (Review and Giveaway)

Inside the box you’ll find:

RLC-511 camera itself 1m Ethernet cable Waterproof Ethernet connector shield Mounting screws and template Hex tool and mini screwdriver “24 Hour Video Surveillance” sticker, and a quick start manual

Including all the required tools is thoughtful, but probably unnecessary, since you’ll need a larger screwdriver and possibly drill to mount it anyway.


Reolink RLC-511: The Best Looking Security Camera Yet (Review and Giveaway)

The first thing that struck me about the RLC-511 is the size. The main body of the camera is 3×3 inch square, around 5 inches in length, not including the bulking mounting arm. For that reason, it just isn’t practical to use this inside a family home. As an outdoor security camera though, it’s actually much better to have something so obnoxiously bulky to act as a deterrent. Potential burglars certainly won’t miss it.

Of course, the bulky size isn’t just for show. The RLC-511 houses a 4X optical zoom lens and 5MP sensor, offering an unrivaled picture quality. Reolink calls this “Super HD”, though that’s not a technical standard. What is clear, however, is that the image quality from the Reolink RLC-511 is higher resolution than competing devices that cost twice as much. It’s also rare to find an optical zoom at this price point: most offer a digital zoom, where the image is simply blown up and pixelated. The RLC-511 actually moves the lens and allows for refocusing, giving a sharp and detailed picture even when zoomed.


Reolink RLC-511: The Best Looking Security Camera Yet (Review and Giveaway)
Zoomed in fully, it maintains stunning quality detail.

Now for the bad news: there’s no microphone . The RLC-511 doesn’t record audio, nor does it have a speaker for two-way communication. It’s therefore not suitable as a doorbell camera.

What’s PoE?

PoE stands for Power over Ethernet What Is Power Over Ethernet (POE), and How Is It Useful to You? What Is Power Over Ethernet (POE), and How Is It Useful to You? Power over Ethernet, also known as POE, is a kind of technology that allows network cables to also carry electricity in order to power devices. Read More , a method of delivering electrical power to low current devices using standard Ethernet cabling alone, reducing the number of cables needed and making installation simpler.

A breakout cable for a DC adaptor is also supplied should you want to power it through standard means, but a separate power adapter is not included in the package. You can also use PoE with a power injector, which still allows you the convenience of running a single Ethernet cable to the camera, as long as it goes past a power socket at some point where power can be injected. Again though, a power injector is not supplied. Reolink assume you already have the right infrastructure already if you’re purchasing a PoE camera.

If you don’t already have a PoE system, but like the look of the RLC-511, you’ll be pleased to know they also offer a wireless model, the aptly named RLC-511W. It works over Wi-Fi, and needs a more traditional power source.

Installing the RLC-511

As as a PoE device, assuming you have the right infrastructure, installation is a breeze. In my case, that meant running a new Ethernet cable through the loft from my PoE-enabledUbiquity UniFi What is Ubiquiti UniFi, and How Can It Fix Your Wi-Fi Woes? What is Ubiquiti UniFi, and How Can It Fix Your Wi-Fi Woes? Nearly everyone has experienced limited Wi-Fi functionality and poor coverage, especially in crowded areas. An Ubiquiti UniFi network could be the solution. Here's what you need to know. Read More switch, and dropping it through the eaves of the roof. The trickiest part was fitting the waterproof cover for the Ethernet connector, as the cable clip I’d already crimped on was too large.


Reolink RLC-511: The Best Looking Security Camera Yet (Review and Giveaway)
Once plugged in, setup is a simple case of opening the Reolink app, and scanning

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