Reolink Duo 2 Review – A definite improvement thanks to a stitched image

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Reolink Duo 2 review

summary

The Reolink Duo 2 is the camera people were expecting when the original Reolink Duo was launched. Two cameras work together to provide a high-quality field of view of almost 180°. They also have the benefit of only one video feed, which might be important for some NVRs and software licenses like Surveillance Station.

advantages

  • Images stitched together on device to create a feed with a resolution of 4608 x 1728 and a field of view of 170°
  • A channel feed avoids the need for additional camera licenses (or losing an unnecessary NVR channel)

Disadvantages

  • More expensive than the original

Almost a year ago, Reolink launched its quirky Reolink Duo camera. I’ve been very impressed with it, it’s helped me simplify surveillance of a wide area without having to set up two cameras and I always like it when companies are willing to try something different.

One could argue that it didn’t quite live up to expectations. It worked like two independent cameras; The only image stitching done was within the app. I didn’t have too much of a problem with it, but there was clearly a bit of room for improvement.

Reolink has now addressed most of these issues with the Reolink Duo 2.

Reolink Duo 2 vs. Duo What has changed?

Reolink Duo POE vs. Reolink Duo 2 WiFi

The specification table below shows a full comparison of specifications. The main things that have changed are:

  • Reolink Duo 2 now shows a stream for both cameras, with the images being automatically stitched together. This applies to everything, in the app, in the web browser, with RTSP streams and all recordings.
  • Reolink has improved the position of the cameras (or the stitching). Previously there was a very noticeable break in the image when you showed them side by side. Now it’s almost perfect.
  • You can adjust the stitching settings to improve performance depending on how you set up the camera.
  • Although this is advertised as a 4K camera I’m not sure but I think that’s only because the output resolution can be classified as 4K (4608 x 1728). It’s not two separate 4K cameras, whereas the original duo delivered two separate 2K feeds at 2560 x 1440.
  • The field of view has been increased to 170° versus 150° and vertically to 60° versus 44°.
  • The video format is H.265 – which I think they did because of the higher resolution feed.
  • Standard frames per second have been increased, but technically lower than the maximum the original duo was capable of.
Reolink Duo POE vs. Reolink Duo 2 WiFi

Reolink Duo 2 vs. Duo specification

Reolink Duo 2 Reolink Duo
sensor 1/2.7″ CMOS sensors 1/3″ CMOS sensors
resolution Standard: 4608 x 1728 (8.0 megapixels)
at 20 frames/sec
Standard: 2560 x 1440 (4.0 megapixels)
at 15 frames/sec. (2x)
field of view Horizontal: 170°
Vertical: 60°
Diagonal: 180°
Horizontal: 150°
Vertical: 44°
lens f=3.2mm solid, F=2.0 f= 4.0 mm fixed, F= 2.0
night vision 30 meters (LED: 6 pieces/20mil/850nm) 30 meters (LED: 6pcs/20mil/850nm)
color night vision Headlights: 8pcs/5W/6500K/560Lumens Headlights: 8pcs/5W/6500K/560Lumens
Audio Two-Way Audio
Built-in microphone and speaker
Two-Way Audio
Built-in microphone and speaker
storage Micro SD card slot (max. 256 GB) Micro SD card slot (max. 256 GB)
Video format H.265 H.264
frame rate Mainstream: 4 fps – 20 fps (Default: 20 fps)
Sub Stream: 4fps – 15fps (Default: 10fps)
Mainstream: 2 fps – 25 fps (Default: 15 fps)
Sub Stream: 4fps – 15fps (Default: 10fps)
code rate Mainstream: 1024Kbps -5120Kbps (Default: 4096Kbps)
Substream: 64 Kbps – 512 Kbps (Default: 256 Kbps)
Mainstream: 1024Kbps -5120Kbps (Default: 3072Kbps)
Substream: 64 Kbps – 512 Kbps (Default: 256 Kbps)
Smart alarm clock motion detection; person recognition;
vehicle detection; Pet Detection (Beta)
Motion Detection/People Detection/Vehicle Detection
recording mode Motion-triggered recording (default)
planned admission; 24/7 recording
Motion-triggered recording (default)
planned admission; 24/7 recording
Protocols & Standards HTTPS, SSL, TCP/IP, UDP, HTTP, IPv4, UPnP
RTSP, RTMP, SMTP, NTP, DHCP, DNS, DDNS, FTP, P2P
HTTPS, SSL, TCP/IP, UDP, HTTP, IPv4
UPnP, RTSP, RTMP, SMTP, NTP, DHCP, DNS, DDNS, FTP, P2P
IP rating IP66 IP66
operating temperatur -10°C~+55°C (14°F~131°F) -10°C~+55°C (14°F~131°F)
Dimensions 195x103x56mm 195x103x56mm
weight 650gr 680gr

Setup / Settings

The setup procedure is the same for all Reolink cameras. Add it through the app and set an admin password.

You can manage the camera either from the mobile app, web browser or Windows application.

In the settings, you can set the camera switch to always use color, always black and white, or auto.

You can also customize the headlight setting, including brightness and how it turns on. For my location, I had it set to only turn on when people were detected.

You then have various recording options, including Pro recording movement (useful when using microSD) and schedule.

There are fewer settings than Reolink cameras used to have. You have a day/night and infrared light option, but no dynamic backlight options. You can tweak the various brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness settings. Then you can manually adjust the brightness and shadows with each mode.

Blue Iris / Synology Surveillance Station / Third-party NVR

If you are using a third-party NVR such as Blue Iris or Synology Surveillance Station, you need to enable RTSP/ONVIF in the network settings under the “Port Settings” option.

Blue Iris should be able to automatically detect the feed. This eliminates the need to set up a second channel, and there is no second channel at all.

The format for the main RTSP feed should be:

rtsp://admin:[email protected]:554/h265Preview_01_main

And for the undercurrent it is:

rtsp://admin:[email protected]:554/h264Preview_01_sub

motion detection

Motion detection is basically the same as on all recent Reolink cameras. Due to the very wide field of view, I would recommend setting up the detection area. I didn’t, and the camera was recording to my microSD card pretty much 24/7 because of the cars in the background.

If you find it too sensitive or not sensitive enough, you can adjust with the sensitivity options, alarm delay and object size.

There’s also the new pet detection, which is still in beta. I don’t have any pets, nor is the camera mounted anywhere to see them.

For my sample daytime footage, I again position the camera on my window sill just outside my office. It’s not perfect placement, and at some point I’ll set up some sort of easy one-spot mounting solution for all the cameras I review. With this review, I had scaffolded before I had a chance to get some decent night shots with the spotlight. So I had to move the camera to my back garden to provide this footage.

The Reolink Duo 2 now produces just one main feed, consisting of the images from the two cameras, which are automatically stitched together to give you an image with an almost 180° field of view.

Reolink Duo 2 with two automatically merged feeds (via the Windows app)
Original Reolink Duo stitching created by the Reolink Android app

They got rid of most of the quirks that the original duo had as well. The two feeds fit together almost perfectly. In my daytime shots you can see it’s not 100% perfect. The street sign in the distance has a little ghosting. I suspect this has something to do with the difficulty in getting the near and far images perfectly matched. You can change the seams manually and I may be able to fix them, but it’s such a minor issue it’s hardly worth it.

Also, the older camera often had very different lighting between feeds because the cameras were literally pointing in different directions. Reolink has managed to balance the lighting uniformity of the two cameras.

Original Reolink Duo with imperfect stitching and exposure differences between the two cameras

One thing I noticed about this camera was some sun glare. I’ve never experienced this, but I suspect the wide field of view makes it difficult to position the camera to avoid the skyline. The glare only occurs in the morning when the sun rises over the house across the street.

Annoyingly, I only recorded to microSD at first when I reviewed it, and it didn’t capture anyone walking down the garden path at night to activate the spotlight before I had scaffolding set up. So there are two videos, one with night shots and no headlights, then a second one that was moved to my backyard.

Price and alternative options

The price of the Reolink Duo 2 WiFi is estimated at $159.99 (US) / £154.99 (UK) / €189.99 (EU).

Buy the Reolink Duo 2 WiFi from Reolink

For the POE version, it should be a bit cheaper at $149.99 (US) / £144.99 (UK) / €179.99 (EU).

Buy Reolink Duo 2 POE from Reolink

At the time of writing, the original Reolink Duo is priced as follows:

  • Reolink Duo WiFi: £125.99 MSRP currently £107.09
  • Reolink Duo POE: £114.99 MSRP currently £103.49 or slightly cheaper on Amazon

As always, Reolink is in a world of its own when it comes to these quirky cameras. There are no comparable competing products.

There are a handful of mediocre rated fisheye security cameras available on Amazon.

Not quite the same, but most Arlo cameras have a very wide field of view. These are all single lenses so I doubt it will deliver the same quality.

In total

I think the Reolink Duo 2 is the camera people were expecting when the original Reolink Duo was launched. Two cameras work together to provide a high-quality field of view of almost 180°. They also have the benefit of only one video feed, which might be important for some NVRs and software licenses like Surveillance Station.

Basically, that’s the only difference, but it’s a big difference. I already really liked the original Duo because it was an innovative product and made it easy to monitor a large area by allowing you to have two cameras but without the mess of setting up two separate cameras.

Therefore, the Reolink Duo 2 is excellent. Due to the volume of deliveries, I regularly monitor a camera feed on a side monitor so that I can get from my office to the front door faster. The ultra wide angle is perfect for this scenario, making it easy to see vans pulling up from either side and people walking down my path from either direction.

However, I would say that the original is still worth considering. Being an older product, there’s a significant price difference, and you don’t lose much (or anything) in the actual quality of the monitoring.

Last update on 07/24/2022 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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