PoE Security Camera for timelapse

With winter finally winding down, I’m looking at ways to document the construction of my workshop (more details coming soon). One easy way is to install a camera device and capture a snapshot at fixed intervals, allowing for easy creation of timelapses.

Here’s a list of my initial requirements :

  • Affordable ( 50-150$ / camera)
  • Prefer a digital system over an analog (actually, avoid analog!)
  • Weatherproof cameras
  • Must be reusable in the future for an upcoming security system
  • Camera must expose the captured image in a documented way : allow for integration in custom software
  • No battery-powered device
  • If possible, HD picture

With this idea in mind, I started to look at what’s available. I dismissed prosumer / professional PTZ cameras (over 300$). It’s been a few year since I took the time to evaluate available technologies and I must it was a welcome surprise to find that what was once considered high-end is not available for the mass market. I easily found a nice segment for HD PoE weather proof cameras priced between 80 – 140$.

After reading reviews for various models \ brands, I settle on Reolink which seems to pack a lot of functionnality for the price. Their products are PoE enabled and over optical resolution of either 4MP or 5MP (2560 x 1920) which is actually better than FHD (1920×1080).

Reolink RLC-4xx serie

Reolink RLC-420 Dome 5MP Camera
RLC-410 Bullet 5MP Camera

 

  • Maximum Optical Resolution of 2560 x 1920 (4.91MP)
  • Still and motion streams. H264 up to 8192Kbs
  • Manual (non-motorized) Pan / Tilt position
  • Infrared LEDs for self-illuminated night vision (100′ max range)
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled, can be powered from an external 12Vdc power supply (not included)
  • Documented API to capture images at full resolution
  • 100/1000Mbs Ethernet port (weather-proof)
  • Dome and Bullet models available
  • Built-in microphone

 

Unpacking

I ordered one camera (dome) for testing along with a 4 Ports PoE gigabit switch from Amazon. The order was delivered 2 days later, thank you Amazon!

The camera is well packaged and includes the following :

RLC-420 box content
  • Camera
  • User guide
  • Mounting bracket holes template
  • Screw Driver for adjustment
  • Security System Sticker
  • 1M network cable
  • Weather-proof cap for network connection

The PoE switch feels solid and well made.

TP-Link PoE switch

First images

Here’s a few captures that I took (camera is inside the house on a window frame.

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