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Best Value DIY Reolink vs Hikvision Professional Security Cameras

Are major vendors like Hikvision typically more successful in capturing the middle class business market compared to mid-sized vendors like Reolink, even if their products are similar in quality?

If your security camera budget is limited to options from a major vendor like Hikvision, you may want to consider Reolink’s similar products, which offer comparable specs and features at a more affordable price point.

In This Article

Hikvision vs Reolink

Hikvision is a Chinese company that specializes in video surveillance products and solutions for both residential and commercial use. They offer a wide range of security cameras, including dome, bullet, and PTZ cameras, as well as specialized cameras for facial recognition and license plate recognition. Hikvision’s products are available globally and are commonly used in both homes and businesses.

Reolink is also a Chinese company that produces security cameras and related products. They primarily focus on providing affordable and user-friendly options for home security. Their cameras include wireless, wired, and battery-powered options, as well as options for outdoor and indoor use. Reolink products are also available globally, but they are generally marketed towards home users rather than businesses.

See also new products offered by Reolink with large channels, Reolink 36channels kit.

One of the main differences between Hikvision and Reolink is their target market. While Hikvision provides security solutions for both residential and commercial use, Reolink primarily focuses on home security. Additionally, Hikvision offers a wider range of specialized camera options, including those designed for facial recognition and license plate recognition.

Another difference between the two companies is their pricing. Hikvision cameras are generally more expensive than Reolink cameras, but they also offer more advanced features and are often used in commercial settings where high-quality surveillance is required.

Ultimately, the choice between Hikvision and Reolink will depend on your specific needs and budget. If you are looking for affordable home security options, Reolink may be a good choice. However, if you require more advanced features or need cameras for a commercial setting, Hikvision may be the better option.

Comparison models

Now let’s see few flagship products offered by Hikvision security camera models including PTZ camera, dome, and surveillance kits and find comparison products offered by Reolink. Hikvision is a security camera brand that becomes reference product for professionals and you can choose products with the category value series, professional or products with special functions. Let’s start by comparing PTZ security camera offered by each of the vendors.

Hikvision makes a variety of security cameras, including PTZ cameras, dome cameras, and surveillance kits. They offer products in different categories for professionals or those needing special features. Reolink also makes similar products. Let’s start by comparing their PTZ cameras.

See also Reolink 8 channel vs Lorex NVR system kits.

1. Reolink vs Hikvision PTZ camera

To provide a fair comparison, I’ve selected two PTZ camera products from different categories: the Reolink RLC-523, which is a user-friendly, DIY camera designed for home or small office surveillance, and the Hikvision DS-2DE4215IW-DE-T5, which is a feature-rich, professional-grade camera. While these two cameras are designed for different purposes, comparing them can help us understand the differences between consumer and professional surveillance systems.

Hikvision vs Reolink PTZ Camera
Hikvision vs Reolink PTZ Camera

While the recording resolution offered by Hikvision is lower than that of the Reolink RLC-523, it’s important to consider the optical zoom of each camera. A longer-range optical zoom allows you to view objects in the distance more closely and with more detail, as compared to digital zoom. This should be a key consideration when choosing a PTZ camera with either 5x or 15x optical zoom, depending on your specific needs.

For monitoring a smaller property such as a home, a PTZ security camera with 5x optical zoom and 5MP resolution may be sufficient. However, for a larger business property that requires tight security, the Hikvision PTZ camera with 15x optical zoom may be a better choice. In addition, Hikvision’s complete set of security features make it a great option for businesses in need of a robust security system.

Night vision

Unlike the Hikvision camera, the Reolink RLC-523 is equipped with three spotlights that provide bright and vivid color night vision (up to 900 lumens). These spotlights are automatically triggered by human or vehicle detection, but can be turned off at night to take advantage of the camera’s IR LEDs for black-and-white night vision

Go to the menu select Advanced > Click Spotlights > you can choose “Night mode” and select “Close” to turn off spotlights to use IR LEDs only, the default is auto.

You can also turn the spotlight On mode when you perform live view at night by selecting “Auto-On for Live View” in the Spotlight menu.

With Hikvision cameras, it’s important to ensure that ambient light levels remain above the minimum illumination threshold at all times to prevent the camera from switching to its IR LEDs. In contrast, when installing the Reolink RLC-523, it’s important to position the camera at an appropriate height to maximize the effectiveness of its spotlights for color night vision. If the camera is placed too high, the spotlights may not effectively illuminate the surrounding area. Alternatively, you can rely on ambient light for color night vision and turn off the spotlight using the camera’s menu.

It’s worth noting that Reolink cameras do not offer lightning protection, unlike Hikvision cameras which include TVS 6000V lightning protection. As a result, Hikvision cameras can be placed at greater heights such as on a tower, allowing them to monitor a wider area. This feature is especially useful when using a PTZ camera with a 15x optical zoom like the Hikvision model we’ve discussed.

Event detection

There is a notable difference in event detection management between Reolink and Hikvision with their PTZ camera products. Reolink’s RLC-523 offers alerts for motion detection or human/vehicle detection, with customizable detection zones and sensitivity levels. On the other hand, Hikvision provides a comprehensive and intricate management system that includes human and vehicle detection, area setting, arming schedule, linkage method, face capture (up to 5 faces), perimeter protection, and alarm output management.

However, it’s worth noting that Hikvision’s PTZ cameras are designed for professional security and require technical expertise to install, set up, and manage. This makes them an ideal choice for high-security surveillance areas, but not necessarily for DIY installations in homes or small businesses.

Overall, the key takeaway is that Hikvision’s event detection management system is much more complex and customizable than Reolink’s, but requires specialized technical knowledge to fully utilize. Reolink’s system is more straightforward and accessible to a wider audience, making it a good option for home or small office surveillance systems.

Table 1 below shows you technical spec and feature differences between reolink and hikvision ptz cameras.

Table 1 Reolink vs Hikvision PTZ Camera

PTZ modelReolink RLC-523Hikvision Ds-2de4215iw-De-T5
Image sensor1/2.7″ progressive CMOS sensor1/2.8″ 2MP progressive scan CMOS
Minimum illuminationUnspecifiedColor: 0.005 Lux @ (F1.6, AGC ON); B/W: 0.001Lux
@ (F1.6, AGC ON), 0 Lux with IR
LensVarifocal lens =2.7 mm ~ 13.5 mmVarifocal lens 5.0 mm ~ 75.0 mm
Zoom5x optical zoom; 16x digital zoom15x optical zoom; 16x digital zoom
View angleHorizontal: 27°~ 96° Vertical: 21°~ 69°Horizontal FoV: 57.6° to 4° (wide-tele), Vertical FoV:
34.4° to 2.2° (wide-tele),
Diagonal FoV: 64.5° to 4.6° (wide-tele)
Max apertureF=1.6 ~ 3.3, zoom moduleF1.6
WDRDigital HDR120 dB
Spotlights3pcs/5700K/945 lumensN/A
Recording resolutionDefault: 2560 x 1920 (5.0 MP at 20 frames/sec1920 x 1080 @30 fps
Night visionColor with spotlights ON B/W with IR LEDs 4pcs/28mil/850nm Range up to 190ft (60m)IR range up to 100 m (328ft)
AudioTwo way audio with built-in speaker and microphoneAudio In / Out: 1/1 audio interface
Local memory storageMicroSD card slot (Max. 256GB)Built-in memory card slot,
support microSD/SDHC/SDXC card, up to 256 GB
PowerDC Power DC 12.0V⎓2A, <24W12 VDC, max. 18 W, including max. 1.6 W for heater and 9 W for IR; PoE (802.3at)
ConnectivityEthernet Port 10/100Mbps Wireless Standard: 802.11a/b/g/n dual band Wireless Security: WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSKPoE
AlarmPerson detection/ vehicle detection/ motion detectionUpload to FTP/NAS/memory card, notify surveillance
center, send email, trigger alarm output, trigger recording, and PTZ actions (such as preset, patrol scan, pattern scan)
Smart featuresHuman and vehicle detectionFace capture up to 5 simultaneously, perimeter protection (line crossing, intrusion, region entrance, human and vehicle detection etc
Camera protectionIP66 waterproofIP66 (IEC 60529-2013), TVS 6000V lightning protection, surge protection and voltage transient protection
DimensionΦ 136 mm x 201 mm (Φ 5.35” x 7.9”)Ø 164.5 mm x 290 mm (Ø 6.48″ x 11.42″)
Weight1.8Kg (3.96lb)Approx. 2 kg (4.41 lb)

See that the price difference is almost double.

2. Hikvision vs Reolink Dome Cameras

Hikvision has been continuously updating their product line and has recently released a new model, the DS-2CD2183G0-I, which offers additional features. To compare, we also looked at a recently released dome model camera from Reolink, the RLC-820a. Both cameras offer 4k resolution, although the frame rates differ slightly. For a detailed side-by-side comparison of the two products, please see Table 2 below.

Hikvision vs Reolink Dome cams
Hikvision vs Reolink Dome cams
Dynamic range

When it comes to tackling challenging lighting situations, Hikvision and Reolink use different approaches. Hikvision’s true 120dB WDR is a superior feature compared to Reolink’s digital WDR (also known as HDR), giving it an edge in producing images and videos with excellent clarity and contrast in high-contrast lighting environments.

Smart features

The Reolink rlc-820 series stands out from the Reolink d800 series as it offers advanced smart features like person and vehicle detection, in addition to motion detection. This feature puts the Reolink rlc-820 series in direct competition with Hikvision products that boast facial recognition and behavior analysis capabilities.

Housing protection

While both Hikvision and Reolink rlc-820 series cameras are weatherproof with an IP67 and IP66 rating respectively, Hikvision cameras offer an added advantage with an IK10 vandal housing protection rating. This feature provides a high level of protection against impact and physical violence, making it an ideal choice for use in public areas like offices, project infrastructures, and process plant areas.

Table 2 Hikvision vs Reolink Dome model cameras

Dome cameraHikvision DS-2CD2183G0-IReolink RLC-820A
ResolutionUp to 3840 x 2160 Resolution @ 15 fps ;
3.6MP (2560 × 1440) @30 fps H.265+/H.265/ H.264+/ H.264 support
4k / 8.0 MP (3840 X 2160) at 25 frames/sec
Minimum illuminationColor: 0.028 Lux @ (f/2.0, AGC on)Unspecified
Lens2.8 mm fixed lens f/2.0 with manual focusf=4.0mm fixed; F=2.0, with IR-cut filter
Field of view anglehorizontal FOV: 102°, vertical FOV: 53°, diagonal FOV: 124°Horizontal: 87°; Vertical: 44°
Night VisionIR range up to 100ft (30m) with Day/night/auto/scheduleNight vision with 18pcs IR LEDs, 14mil/850nm; range up to 100ft (30m)
WDR120 true WDR; 3D DNRHDR
AudioN/AOne way audio, built-in microphone
Smart featureFace Detection, and Behavior Analysis: Line crossing, intrusion detection and RoIMotion detection, Person detection, Vehicle detection and support Google Assistant
StorageBuilt-in microSD/SDHC/SDXC slot, up to 128 GBMicroSD card slot (Max. 256GB)
Power12 VDC ±25%, Φ5.5 mm coaxial power plug; PoE (802.3af, class 3)PoE IEEE 802.3af, 48V Active DC Power: DC 12.0V⎓1A, <12W
Housing ProtectionIP67 weatherproof and IK10
with metal body and plastic bubble
IP66 weatherproof

With the additional features of true 120dB WDR, smart features and IK10 vandal resistant, presumably the price of Hikvision DS-2CD2183G0-I is more expensive than Reolink rlc-820a.

3. Hikvision vs Reolink 16 Ch Kits

Hikvision has an extensive range of NVR systems, with models ranging from 8 channels up to 132 channels or more. In contrast, Reolink has a more limited selection, with only two models available: the RLN8 for 8 channels and the RLN16 for 16 channels, each of which comes in either 4k or 5MP versions. However, Reolink has recently launched its latest model, the RLN36, which supports up to 36 channels and 12MP cameras.

Hikvision Eki-K164d412

If you’re looking for a cost-effective solution for your large office with up to 16 monitoring zones, the Hikvision Eki-K164t412 is a great choice. This new 16 channel security camera kit from Hikvision is part of the value express range and features 12 4MP turret model security cameras, as well as a 4k NVR. It’s an ideal choice for businesses looking for an affordable yet reliable security system.

Storage capacity

To ensure smooth playback of video footage, the NVR system comes equipped with two SATA interfaces that can support HDDs with a maximum capacity of up to 2 x 6TB. This capacity is sufficient for storing video recordings and clips for a certain period, with the ability to roll back when the capacity runs out. Additionally, there’s a USB port interface that allows you to install external storage devices like flash disks, HDDs, or DVD writers to back up data. You can manually select the backup period range from the playback menu and export data to this external USB storage.

For businesses with critical security needs, a high-capacity NVR system like the Hikvision ds-96128ni series is recommended. This professional NVR system supports up to 24x SATA HDs with hot swap HDD system and RAID system, providing up to 256x IP cameras support. This feature is particularly useful for businesses with critical security needs. However, for small to medium businesses with only up to 16 IP cameras, the Hikvision Eki-K164t412 kit’s storage capacity of up to 12TB is adequate.

Back to this value series Hikvision Eki-K164t412 kit which can only store up to 12TB, it is adequate for small to medium businesses that require up to 16x IP cameras. Here are the highlights of this best value series of Hikvision kits.

Hikvision Eki-K164T412
Hikvision Eki-K164T412
  • It comes with 16 channel 4k NVR system plus 12pcs 4MP @30 fps dome Security cameras
  • New model of Hikvision ERI-K216-P16 16-channel 4k NVR system with built-in 16-port POE switch and incoming bandwidth up to 160Mbps
  • Supports 2 SATA interfaces, 6TB each disk
  • All the dome cameras are Hikvision ECI-D24F2 4MP dome outdoor POE security camera
  • Features 120dB true WDR and 3D DNR, fixed 2.8mm focal length f/1.6, 103 degree view angle
  • Minimum illumination Color: 0.018 lux @ (ƒ/1.6, AGC on), 0 lux with IR, night vision range up to 98ft (30m)
  • 1 fixed region of interest with basic motion detection

IR LEDs will be used when the light environment is fully darkness, and you can add illumination not to drop below minimum illumination to keep record color night vision. This Hikvision 16 channel security kit is tagged around $1,960.00 in Amazon.  

Reolink RLK16-800D8

Alternatively, you can consider the Reolink RLK16-800D8, which is a cost-effective option. It includes a 16-channel RLN16 4k NVR system with a preinstalled 3TB hard disk and eight 800D dome 4k security cameras. You also get eight additional POE ports to accommodate future camera expansion. This Reolink kit is available for around $900 on Amazon, half the price of the Hikvision kit that comes with 12 dome 4MP cameras. By choosing Reolink, you could save up to $400 when adding eight more cameras to complete a 16-camera deployment, compared to Hikvision with only 12 cameras.

Reolink RLK16-800D8 16 channels with 8pcs 4k cameras
Reolink RLK16-800D8 16 channels with 8pcs 4k cameras

While Hikvision offers professional NVR series with channels up to 256 IP cameras, Reolink has only released NVR systems up to 32 channels so far. Therefore, for small and medium businesses with uncomplicated needs, the Reolink kit is suitable. The RLK16 system kit includes an NVR system with support for up to 2 SATA ports and a maximum storage capacity of 12T. Additionally, it offers a USB port for external hard disk storage needs.

The Reolink RLK16-800D8 kit features 8 turret model 4k cameras, providing higher resolution than the Hikvision kit which offers only 4MP resolution turret model cameras. This kit also includes a preinstalled 3TB hard disk with the 16 channels RLN16 4k NVR system, allowing for additional cameras to be added with the 8x more POE ports available. At a price of around $900 on Amazon, this kit is a more affordable option compared to the Hikvision kit, saving you up to $400 when adding 8 more cameras to achieve a full 16-camera deployment.

Comparison table

16 System KitHikvision Eki-K164d412Reolink Rlk16-800D8
NVR systemERI-K216-P16 NVR 16 channel 4k NVR with built-in
16-port POE ports
Reolink RLN16 4k 16 Channels with built-in 16-port
Decoding formatSupports up to H.265+ / H.265/ H.264+Supports up to H.265 / H.264
HD storage2 SATA interface up to 12TB2 SATA interfaces up to 12TB, preinstalled 3TB hard disk
Included cameras12pcs Hikvision ECI-D24F2 turret 4MP
outdoor POE security cameras with three axis rotation adjustment
8pcs Reolink 800D 4k dome outdoor POE security cameras
Camera resolution4MP (2688 × 1520) @30 fps3840 x 2160 (8.0 Megapixels) at 20 fps
LensFixed lens 2.8mm f/1.6Fixed lens 4.0mm f/2.0 with IR cut filter
View angle103 degree horizontal87 degree horizontal view angle
WDR120dB true WDR and 3D DNR3D DNR
Night vision850nm IR LEDs range up to 98 ft(30m)18cps IR LEDS range up to 100ft (30m)
AudioN/ABuilt-in microphone for audio recording
Memory storageBuilt-in microSD/SDHC/SDXC slot, up to 128 GBN/A
PowerPoE (802.3af, 36 V to 57 V), 0.2 A to 0.1 A,
maximum 7.5 W / 12 VDC, 0.5 A, maximum 6 W
PoE IEEE 802.3af; 48V Active; DC Power DC 12.0V ⎓ 1A; < 8W
Housing protectionIP67 weatherproof and IK10 vandal resistantIP66 weatherproof
Price in Amazon$1,959.99 (with 12pcs cameras)$899.99 (with 8pcs cameras) / $1,489.99 (plus 8pcs more cameras)

Now you can see clearly that Reolink offers affordable 16 channel security camera kits (with 8pcs 4k dome cameras) compared with Hikvision (with 12pcs 4MP cameras). Click the link below to shop the kits in Amazon (#ads).

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