Reolink Duo 2 test: a dual sensor surveillance camera that dazzles
The Duo 2 has the particularity of offering a horizontal field of vision of 180°. It not only surpasses all its competitors on this point, but achieves it with a relatively contained distortion. To do this, it assembles the images from two sensors placed side by side, and can thus make do with 90° lenses, when competing fixed cameras use lenses covering up to 130°.
However, the distortion is not completely avoided and there is a slight crushing of the images. They also have a very stretched ratio in width, which is not necessarily practical on the small screen of a smartphone, but you can easily zoom in thanks to the total definition of 4608 x 1728 pixels. As with the Argus 3 Pro, it is not possible to reduce the definition of the images in writing to save space on the memory card, but they can be consulted and downloaded in 1536 x 576 pixels if the connection is bad ; a lower quality will then make it possible to benefit from faster access.
Reolink of course also offers a night mode and even two, in black & white and in color with the spotlights, as well as a brightness and darkness adjustment to adjust the display of light and dark areas of the image for different modes available night and day. What compensate for the absence of HDR mode strictly speaking. It is even possible to adjust the brightness threshold which switches the Duo 2 from day mode to night mode; an operation that takes about 5 seconds, which is quite long.
Let’s not beat around the bush: the Duo 2 offers excellent image quality. No other model in our comparison offers such a level of detail, not even the HB8 2K+ which, while it certainly does not demerit on this point, uses accentuation to give the impression of capturing more detail. In addition, the automatic white balance works well and we have little to complain about the exposure. It will nevertheless be necessary to take care to regulate the junction of the two starting images well to avoid losing ends in the center.
To cope with the darkness, Reolink’s dual-lens camera can first rely on infrared leds. The image obtained is then in black & white, but still just as sharp. The HB8 2K+, however, does better on exposure, but we can lighten the dark areas using the settings available in the application for the Duo 2 and thus correct its underexposure problem.
When it detects movement, the camera can also trigger its projectors and then return to color images. The result is again quite impressive, both in terms of the level of detail and exposure management. And the Duo 2 projectors are powerful enough to maintain good image quality up to several meters.
This was confirmed during our identification test. The Duo 2’s projectors allowed us to identify an individual up to 6 meters away, compared to “only” 5 m with black & white night vision. It also supplants all its competitors on this test.
It offers with this a very effective motion detection, a little too much. In any case, it is impossible to use the highest sensitivity level, otherwise you will receive continuous alerts. Our first test unit also continued to send with the lowest level when it switched to night vision, and when it worked very well in daylight. The second unit received did not confirm this abnormal sensitivity and it seems that our mishaps were rather due to a software problem.
In any case, we managed to stop the unwanted alerts by lowering the sensitivity from 50 to 48 on this second unit, but also to make the artificial intelligence work, which ultimately did not have time to express itself on the first. As often, the range is a little lower for intelligent detection, but the Duo 2 was still able to recognize a human silhouette at nearly 7 meters, while we were able to trigger it from the other end of our lab. , about 10 meters away, by disabling the AI; and therefore setting the sensitivity to 48.