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