reolink vs hikvision

Best Value DIY Reolink vs Hikvision Professional Security Cameras

Do big vendors like Hikvision always win the middle class business share when compared to similar DIY products from mid-sized vendors such as Reolink?

If your budget is limited to purchase security camera system like the one offered by major vendor such as Hikvision, you may consider similar product offered by Reolink which mostly offer DIY consumer products. With specs and features that are almost the same as those offered by Hikvision, reolink provides solution with more economical budget.

See also Dahua vs Reolink vs Hikvision varifocal lens cameras.

In fact, almost the security camera products released by Hikvision are sold at higher price than some products with similar specs and features from other vendors such as Reolink. Although this is not always true, because most Hikvision cameras have couple of specs and features that are not available in similar DIY products offered by Reolink, so the price is higher.

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.

See also Reolink 8 channel vs Lorex NVR system kits.

1. Reolink vs Hikvision PTZ camera

I took one of the newest PTZ camera products offered by Reolink, the Reolink RLC-523 and will compare it with Hikvision ds-2de4215iw-de-t5. This looks unfair comparison, that’s right because Reolink rlc-523 is DIY product for homes or small offices surveillance system, easy to setup for consumer.  Meanwhile, for more professional security system with very rich features, I took one of the latest PTZ camera products offered by Hikvision in the professional product category.

Hikvision vs Reolink PTZ Camera
Hikvision vs Reolink PTZ Camera


The recording resolution offered by hikvision is indeed half the resolution of the reolink rlc-523 and of course you will choose a camera with a higher resolution. However, pay attention to the lens mounted on each of this security camera, different optical zoom. The longer range the optical zoom, the closer the object in the distance you can view and more details with optical zoom instead of digital zoom. And this should be your consideration in installing a PTZ camera either with 5x or 15x optical zoom feature, it depends your business requirements.

To monitor your property at home which may not be too large, ptz security camera with 5x optical zoom is sufficient, especially with 5mp camera resolution. To monitor a very large business property and require a very tight security system, the Hikvision PTZ camera with 15x optical zoom should be your choice. Moreover, the features for the security system that we will discuss below are very complete for your business needs with hikvision camera.

Night vision

Unlike Hikvision, the Reolink rlc-523 is equipped with three spotlights (around 900 lumens) that provide bright enough light to render color night vision. These three spotlights will turn on when there is human or vehicle detection (default). You can also turn it off all night and take advantage of the IR LEDs for b/w 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, you need to keep the ambient light exists throughout the night. Keep the ambient light not to drop below the minimum illumination because the camera will switch to IR LEDs when no ambient light.

Note that you should place the rlc-523 not too high because the spotlight will not be able to illuminate the surrounding effectively to render color night vision if the camera is at a height eg on a tower. Unless you rely on ambient light to render color night vision and turn off the spotlight in the menu as discussed above.

Moreover reolink does not provide lightning protection like the hikvision. Hikvision provides good protection to this PTZ camera including TVS 6000V lightning protection so it is very good to be placed at the height of the tower so that it can monitor a wider area especially since it has a 15x optical zoom.

Event detection

A very significant difference between reolink and hikvision with these two PTZ camera products is in the event detection management to trigger an alert. Reolink only provides alerts when there is motion detection or the smarter detection with its human or vehicle detection, starting with the detection zone setup and sensitivity level.

Compare this with Hikvision which gives you a very comprehensive and complicated management, not only human and vehicle detection, but you can setup starting from setting area, arming schedule, and linkage method. Not just that you still have lots of options to configure including face capture up to 5 faces, perimeter protection and how you manage the alarm output.

 This hikvision PTZ cameras is not a DIY product for homes, it’s really a professional security camera that requires professional technical person to install and setup and ongoing management for high security surveillance area.

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 much.

2. Hikvision vs Reolink Dome Cameras

Hikvision has released many replacement products with fresher models and there are one or more additional features, one of which is the Hikvision DS-2CD2183G0-I. As a comparison, we take a similar product recently released by Reolink, the RLC-820a dome model camera. Both cams come with the same 4k resolution; however the frame rates are slightly different. Please refer to the following table 2 that represents spec comparison table between the two products.

Hikvision vs Reolink Dome cams
Hikvision vs Reolink Dome cams

Dynamic range

To challenge the contrast lighting environment, each cameras use different approach to challenge this lighting situation for perfect image / video clarity. Hikvision with true 120dB WDR is much better feature as opposed to digital WDR (aka HDR).

Smart features

Unlike the Reolink d800 series which only provides motion detection, the Reolink rlc-820 series provides additional smart features with person and vehicle detection, not just motion detection. Of course, this is another great feature to be able to compete with Hikvision products that comes with face detection and behavior analysis features.

Housing protection

In addition to the IP67 weatherproof rated, Hikvision also features an IK10 rated housing protection that provides strength against any impact and physical violence to the camera. This is very good for placement in public areas such as offices, project infrastructures and also process plants areas. Compare with Reolink rlc-820 that only comes IP66 weatherproof housing protection.

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 released various models of NVR systems ranging from 8 channels up to 32 channels and even more channels. Meanwhile, Reolink has just released two models of NVR systems: RLN8 for 8 channels NVR and RLN16 for 16 channels, each of which has two versions, either for 4k and 5MP versions.

Hikvision Eki-K164d412

Let’s take new 16 channel security camera kit offered by Hikvision – the Hikvision Eki-K164d412, a new 4k NVR value express kits which is a cost effective solution with 12pcs 4MP security cameras. To support your large office up to 16 monitoring zones, this value series of Hikvision 16 channel system kit is appropriate.  

To facilitate playback of video footage, the NVR system provides two SATA interfaces that support HDD with maximum capacity of up to 2 x 6TB hard disks. It is adequate to store video recording files and clips for up to a certain period and then roll back when capacity runs out. If you want to backup data, this NVR comes with a USB port interface you can install USB external storage in the form of a flash disk, HDD, or DVD writer. From the playback menu you can manually select the data backup period range and export the data to this external USB storage.

For critical business security system needs, of course you need to use an NVR system with a large storage capacity, for example the Hikvision ds-96128ni series which supports system storage up to 24 SATA HD with hot swap HDD system and support RAID system. This high capacity professional NVR supports up to 256 IP cameras, which is great for security critical business needs.

Hikvision with ERI-K216-P16 NVR + (12) ECI-D24F2 Cameras
Hikvision with ERI-K216-P16 NVR + (12) ECI-D24F2 Cameras

Back to this value series Hikvision Eki-K164d412 kit which can only store up to 12TB, it is very adequate for small businesses with support for up to 16 IP cameras only.


  • 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

 Now, let’s compare with affordable Reolink RLK16-800D8 that comes with 16 channels RLN16 4k NVR system with preinstalled 3TB hard disk, plus 8pcs of 800D dome 4k security cameras. You still have 8x more POE ports when you need to add more cameras to meet your business need.

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

This Reolink kits costs around $ 900 in Amazon, half the price that the Hikvision kit offers with 12pcs dome 4MP cameras. With Reolink kits, when you add 8 more cameras to full 16 cameras deployment, you will save up to $ 400 more compared to Hikvision with 12 cameras.

Unlike Hikvision that gives you professional NVR series with large channels of up to 256 IP cameras, Reolink has only released NVR system up to 16 channels so far. So for small and medium business needs that are not too complicated, Reolink is very adequate. In this rlk16 system kit, the nvr system also supports 2 SATA ports maximum up to 12T storage. For backup needs, it also provides USB port for external hard disk storage.

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 dome 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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