Reconyx Cellular Trail Camera

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Aug 12, 2013

Often businesses or homeowners want to put remote cameras at a distance from their buildings, to spot intruders or see who is entering. One common product used in this situation is a trail camera, as it is low cost and simple to setup. A major problem, though, is having to go to the camera and retrieve the stored video. However, one trailcam manufacturer, Reconyx offers cellular security trail cameras. In this note, we investigate how well they solve this common problem, comparing to other trailcams, QStar and Videofied.

Product Basics

The Reconyx security camera basics are similar to other trailcams: 1080p/3.1MP, 42° FoV, records images to on-board SD card, integrated motion sensor and IR illuminator, 2fps max recording. Additionally, Reconyx offers a separate 720p/1.3MP license plate capture unit that records plate images of passing vehicles at speeds up to 50mph.

Cellular Enabled

What makes Reconyx interesting is their options that include a GSM Quad Band cellular modem, which enables the camera to transmit captured images via text message or e-mail via T-Mobile or AT&T Wireless to 4 cell phones and two e-mail addresses. However, the covert security camera transmits less than SD 512x384 pixel images (while recording to the internal memory card at higher resolution), and the license plate capture camera transmits images at full 720p resolution upon an alarm event. The number of images transmitted per event is set in the camera configuration, Reconyx recommends not more than 5 images per event. This option makes the Reconyx camera a more active solution as compared to the passive non-cellular trailcams where the images have to manually retrieved, usually long after an incident happens. The cellular trailcam is only available in the US.

Communication via cellular is one way, users cannot connect to the camera remotely from a PC or smart phone to "live view" the camera. Battery life of the cellular enabled camera is between 2,000 to 5,000 images, a 12VDC external power connection is included, if necessary. An optional solar power kit is also available for longer duration camera placement.

Reconyx includes the cellular modem with SIM card, it is up to the user to set up the cellular service with T-Mobile or AT&T Wireless. The modem can be added to existing accounts in the same manner as an additional line or mobile device, and plan text/data charges will apply. If creating a new account, it would be best to pick a plan with unlimited texting and data, if possible. The choice of carriers may depend on T-Mobile or AT&T Wireless cellular coverage areas, check first before buying. An optional high-gain antenna is available for remote locations with poor cellular coverage.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Pricing

The cellular enabled Reconyx SC950C covert security and SM750C license plate capture cameras retail for $1,200 each. They can be purchased online direct from Reconyx or they are available from other online stores and security distributors. The non-cellular versions have an MSRP of $650.

Enclosure Accessories

A major concern with using trailcams for security is that they are often stolen by thieves or trespassers to conceal their acts. To combat trailcam theft, Reconyx offers a heavy-duty steel security enclosure that can be anchored to a fixed object and covert kits to disguise the camera as a rock, cable box, or electrical utility box.

Comparisons

Here is how Reconyx cellular enabled cameras compare to similar products IPVM has covered:

  • BuckeyeCam - This product is very similar in form factor and operation to Reconyx, except it uses 900MHz wireless to transmit images back to a nearby base station, which reduces placement flexibility and introduces the complexity of needing a near line of sight wireless path from the camera to the base. The BuckeyeCam Orion XIR camera kit is priced comparably at $1,050 (not including the base unit) to the Reconyx cellular enabled cameras. BuckeyeCam does not offer a license plate capture camera.
  • Q-Star Flashcam - The Reconyx camera does not have the resolution of the Q-Star at 12MP or the ability to play a recorded audio message. Reconyx has the ability to transmit images upon alarm and schedule recordings, which the Q-Star does not. Q-Star sells for $4000-5000, the Reconyx cellular cameras are a fraction of that price. Q-Star does not offer a license plate capture camera.
  • Videofied MotionViewer - The Outdoor MotionViewer is somewhat similar to the Reconyx security camera, except it transmits less than SD resolution video wirelessly to a control panel located within 500 feet, which can limit options for camera placement. The control panel can operate on batteries and can be cellular enabled. In our most recent review, we detailed how the MotionViewer has the ability to transmit video via the control panel to a remote monitoring station and can be remotely viewed via a smart phone app. The Videofied Outdoor MotionViewer has an MSRP of around $600, not including the control panel. Videofied does not offer a license plate capture camera.

Recommended Use of Reconyx Cellular Security Trailcam

The Reconyx cellular security trailcams seem to be a good option for where a conventional video surveillance system is impractical due to cost, lack of infrastructure or location. They can also be useful for law enforcement or private investigations where a camera needs to be installed quickly and covertly. They can be placed anywhere that T-Mobile or AT&T Wireless has cellular coverage in the US. Some practical applications include construction sites, farms & ranches, remote cabins/lodges, illegal dumping sites, warehouses/storage yards, illegal border crossing locations and areas prone to copper theft. Just remember, no live video viewing, only motion triggered alerts.

Comments (7): PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Wireless

Directory of VSaaS / Cloud Video Surveillance Providers on Dec 15, 2017
This directory provides a list of VSaaS / cloud video surveillance providers to help you see and research what options are available. 2018 State...
Testing DMP XTLPlus / Virtual Keypad Vs Alarm.com & Honeywell on Dec 13, 2017
DMP has a strong presence in commercial intrusion alarms, but not in residential. However, the company's XTLPLus wireless combo panel and Virtual...
Nest Secure Alarm System Tested on Nov 16, 2017
Google's expansion continues, this time into home security with their Nest subsidiary's move into alarm systems. They paid more than a...
Selecting Access Control Readers Tutorial on Nov 09, 2017
Given the variety of types available, specifying access control readers can be a daunting process. However, focusing on a few key elements will...
Honeywell Indiegogo-Funded DIY Intrusion System Examined on Nov 02, 2017
Honeywell did $39 Billion dollars in revenue last year, but they are asking the public for $50,000 (.0001% of revenue) to fund their Indiegogo...
Avigilon Access Control 2017 Examined on Nov 01, 2017
For more than 4 years, Avigilon has been in the access control business, since their May 2013 acquisition of RedCloud. Since then, Avigilon has...
ONVIF Wire Free Camera Tested (Netgear FlexPower) on Oct 31, 2017
Totally wire-free cameras are a hot growth market. But they have had one major problem: Proprietary. IPVM has tested Netgear's Arlo and Arlo Go,...
Hikvision vs Dahua Access Shootout on Oct 26, 2017
Dahua and Hikvision have spent heavily expanding internationally in video surveillance. Now, both companies are looking to do similarly in access...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on Sep 26, 2017
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
'Clowns' Allege Ubiquiti 'Completely Fraudulent' on Sep 20, 2017
A short seller has alleged Ubiquiti is 'completely fraudulent'. Ubiquiti's CEO has responded calling them 'clowns'. Here is the short...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Integrator Managing Projects Statistics on Dec 14, 2017
Who actually manages projects for security integrators? Does the average security integrator have dedicated project managers, or are technicians,...
Hikvision NVR Load Testing on Dec 14, 2017
IPVM members recently debated Hikvision NVR's performance under load in Hikvision 30+ Cameras On NVR - Apps And Client Really Slow Down And CPU...
Testing DMP XTLPlus / Virtual Keypad Vs Alarm.com & Honeywell on Dec 13, 2017
DMP has a strong presence in commercial intrusion alarms, but not in residential. However, the company's XTLPLus wireless combo panel and Virtual...
BBC Features Dahua on Dec 13, 2017
Hikvision is not the only mega-Chinese video surveillance manufacturer getting global attention. Last month, the WSJ investigated Hikvision and now...
Hiring Camera Calculator Product Manager on Dec 12, 2017
We are working on making the Camera Calculator even better and hoping you can help us find the right person to join our team. IPVM is hiring a...
Testing $20 WyzeCam, The Money Losing Amazon Vet Startup on Dec 12, 2017
This startup is perfecting the old adage: We lose money on every sale, but make it up on volume But it is no joke. The company, Wyze Labs, is...
Xiongmai New Critical Vulnerability - Same Manufacturer Whose Products Drove Mirai Botnet Attacks on Dec 12, 2017
The Chinese manufacturer whose products were primarily responsible for the 2016 Mirai botnet attack has a new critical vulnerability, confirmed by...
Robot Vandalism on Dec 11, 2017
Vandalism of security systems is a common concern. It is so common that camera vandalism statistics show that designers routinely sacrifice camera...
Access Controller Software Guide on Dec 11, 2017
Properly configuring access controllers software is key to a professional access system. These devices have fundamental settings that must be...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact