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Before the release, I was provided with the new Reolink Keen camera for extensive testing over several weeks.This camera is based on the Reolink Go PT Plus and the full product name is Keen Ranger PT. The name alone already reveals in which direction the rabbit is running: Trail camera.Note: all photos and videos taken with the Keen are based on the software version as the camera was shipped. During my test, the software was improved several times (including night vision).Beautiful filming with the Keen of our squirrels.movAppearance:One of the main features that meets my high standards is the camouflage pattern, which is just sensationally well done! Although the pattern is actually smoothly applied and also feels like that, it looks like in 3D optics. The design of the camera is based on a tree, which thus also fits absolutely inconspicuously in its attached environment.Besides the camera, the solar panel and the mounting equipment are also designed in camouflage.As a small minus point, only the mounting strap has to be mentioned, since it deviates optically from the pattern and color. I'll discuss this further in a later point.
IR-LEDs:The next feature is the invisible IR-LEDs, which neither humans nor much of the wildlife can detect. I was thus able to see animals moving around my property undetected. This has presented me with fascinating videos and impressions of foxes, martens, hedgehogs and squirrels. Without this camera, I would have been unaware of what was happening on my property at night.To return to the point „human“, I am convinced that the camera can be used incredibly well, due to its camouflage thus for monitoring the property.
GPS:Another feature is supposed to be GPS. However, this feature was not yet implemented in the software due to my early version.In principle a very good idea. When the camera is installed deep in forests for wildlife viewing, the GPS coordinates are absolutely very useful and the camera can be found again later.Battery and solar panel:Before the first use, I charged the camera to 100%. It was then used with a solar panel. During my testing period, I had to charge the camera once via the micro USB port in the home power supply. This was due to ongoing frequent use and weak sunny days.In general, a positive trend can be seen in terms of usage and charging when used with the solar panel. The solar panel is perfectly enough to power the camera and recharge the battery.
Accessories:The Reolink Keen has the usual known accessories on board. The mounting strap is something Reolink should revise in my opinion. It is also in camouflage look, but not the same color as the camera. The plastic buckle broke when I attached the strap to a tree and pulled it tight.I used a standard lashing strap with a sturdy, robust metal buckle in my further testing. This allowed me to secure the camera really tightly to the tree, as it should be for a trail camera.A lashing strap with metal buckle, which is designed in the camouflage pattern of the camera, would raise the quality of the accessories to the next level.It would also be nice to have such an attachment strap for the solar panel in addition to the one that comes with the camera.
Software (iOS, Mac client):At the time of testing, AI "Pet/Animal" recognition was not yet implemented. Therefore, I had to set all movements in the menu in order to observe animals.Of course, this affected data consumption when watching as well as power consumption, among other things.Person and vehicle detection worked very well. Only sporadic false detections occurred here.Startup:It is worth knowing that the Reolink Keen cannot be operated in the WLAN, but only in the mobile network. Thus, it needs its own SIM card.It should be noted that not all networks are supported by the camera. In Germany, only the „D- network“ (Vodafone and Telekom) comes into question.I recommend to remove the SIM PIN before use and to read the user manual about the insertion directions of the nano-SIM and the Mirco-SD card.The rest worked as usual by scanning the QR code.I always remove the sticker of the QR code from the camera and stick it in the box or the manual. The QR code can also be saved digitally as a screenshot for safety. The removal is recommended because of the weather, the intended use (trail camera) and because of theft. Thus, the UID does not fall into foreign hands.I made a test setup to be able to change the location on my large property regularly fast. Normally, the camera should be mounted higher to prevent the reflection of IR light from the ground. In my case, the IR light was regularly reflected from the ground at night, which appeared as a bright area in the close-up range.
Quality of the image material:The Reolink Keen is a 2K camera. It records video at a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels (1440p) with a frame rate (FPS) of 15.This results in detailed and razor-sharp images at close range. Still images are recorded in analog with the same quality (4 MP, 2560 x 1440 pixels). In my opinion, the Reolink Keen has a clear advantage over other 2K cameras in terms of image quality.At night in low light conditions, the Keen, like many other cameras from well-known manufacturers, has problems with moving objects. This presents itself as blurring ("ghosting") and occurs especially when using the IR LEDs. To avoid this, the lightning of the monitored area can be improved by e. g. external spotlights.
Video quality Reolink Keen in daylight.movVideo quality Eufy Indoor Cam 2K in daylight. "Ghosting" to be seen..mov
Reolink Keen Video daytime shooting.movReolink Keen Video night shooting.movSummary:In advance of my summary, it must be mentioned that I have never used a trail camera before. I can therefore neither give a comparison to other trail cameras nor speak from experience. My summary is therefore based only on my current test.With the help of the camera, questions of many years have now been answered for me:- I now know where the fox enters my property,- that the neighbor's cat has its hunting ground in our garden,- the raccoon regularly tramples our flower bed,- the martens live in our garden,- squirrels play on our trees and steal our walnuts and- when the hedgehogs search in autumn for food and we have to start feeding them.My conclusion is quite positive.The Ranger Keen can be used not only for watching animals, but also as a normal security camera. Well hidden, discreet both during the day and at night on the property, it can provide a little more security.
I strongly believe that Reolink will continue to develop the Ranger Keen in the same way as the Argus series.
Thank you so much for the detailed review!
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