Annke C800 IP camera tested: simple 4K security with warnings on your iPhone


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The Annke C800 IP camera prides itself on being the best 4K UHD IP camera. That is not a small claim, and it even opens up the discussion of what “best” means?

What can an Annke C800 do for you?

The C800 uses a Sony CMOS sensor, IR reflection and has a range of 30 meters night vision. It’s also cold and heat resistant, and IP67 for water resistance, which means the camera can work after being submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

Anneke C800 Specifications

  • 4K UHD
  • 100 foot night vision with IR reflection
  • IP67 water resistance
  • iOS app for viewing, recording and push notifications
  • 102 degree field of view

As an Apple user, why do you want the Annke C800?

As an Apple user, you have a few choices for cameras: Arlo, Eufy, and others make systems that are tightly integrated with their own hubs, clouds, and occasionally HomeKit. Once you buy one of their systems, you are more or less tied to that ecosystem.

Since HomeKit uses 1920x1080p, these cameras are typically limited to a maximum of 1080p or 2k resolution.

IP cameras are a little different: they are usually not proprietary and conform to open standards like RTSP for streaming video, ONVIF for better compatibility with network video recorders and standard codecs like h.264, h.265 or h. 264+ and h.265 +.

Since they are not proprietary, you can pick and choose to get the best camera for your needs. However, it tends to exclude you from using Apple HomeKit with no extra work.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t useful, however – you may get a better camera than some of these other home-focused products.

The Annke C800 works with the Annke Vision App available for iOS. With the app you can easily add IP cameras, manage their settings, view and even interact with speakers and microphone. Since these are not PTZ cameras, the pan-tilt-zoom controls do nothing.

What Anne promises

Annke says the C800 is the best 4K camera, which is not entirely wrong. It has a suitable sensor, good night vision, color rendering during the day and a good microphone.

We were able to set up push notifications in the app and receive notifications of motion alarms. The result is an app that is easy to use and can add more cameras, but takes a little more effort to get recordings and meaningful motion alerts.

No wonder, because IP cameras are traditionally a complex product that leads to greater flexibility and functionality.

Camera with microSD slot cover

The microSD card is located under this cover

The app succeeds in capturing film material and still images from the cameras in the Annke Vision app and using the iPhone’s memory to store recordings.

The camera also has an internal MicroSD card slot that can accommodate a 256 GB card. You can schedule recordings on the map in the app or via the camera’s web interface.

How does this differ from other Annke products?

There are five variants of the C800 to choose from: a floor with audio, a floor without, a tower with audio, a tower without and a dome with audio. The difference besides the microphone is that those equipped with audio only use the h.265 / h.265 + codec and the live view of the camera is visible in Safari.

The C800 models without a microphone will not work with Safari for live view as a browser plug-in intended for Internet Explorer is required instead. However, live view is available in Chrome without plugins.

The camera without a microphone has an advantage. It has more codecs: h.264 / h.264 + are available.

It may seem like you want audio, and it doesn’t matter that the audio cameras only support the newer h.265 codec, but that depends a lot on your usage. If you have a network video recorder, the NVR must support h.265 to take advantage of the higher compression.

The cameras share firmware based on Hikvision cameras modified for Annke’s hardware. The interface is well thought out and proven as Hikvision manufactures many cameras for corporate security.

Of course, it can be too complex if you’ve never looked at security camera interfaces, but the default settings are pretty reasonable. You do not have to use the web interface for the basic functions, as all important configurations can be changed via the Annke Vision app.

Remember that cameras have three functions. First, you want to be able to see a live view quickly. Second, you want notifications for motion or tampering warnings. After all, you want a scheduled recording.

The recording can be done through the Annke Vision app and possibly through a dedicated NVR (Network Video Recorder) that Annke is happy to sell, or a software package like Synology’s Surveillance Station that runs on Synology NAS devices. Recording with the Annke Vision App requires inserting microSD cards into the cameras.

The user interface allows you to view multiple cameras at the same time and tap through to view a full screen mode

The field of view can be important when planning where to install cameras. The horizontal FoV for most of the C800 series is 102 degrees (the dome without audio is only 79 degrees, while the dome with audio is also 102 degrees.)

The cameras have 30 m EXIR night vision, an IR cut filter and a large dynamic range. The result is that the night views are a little brighter. In full sun, the colors are bright and not washed out.

Notifications!

The cameras have warnings for different situations. There’s a generic motion alarm, dynamic analysis for motion events, a tamper alarm if someone tries to mess around with the camera, and area of ​​interest (ROI) settings that allow you to set lines across the video and receive alerts when they are crossed . That’s all in the camera.

Set up motion notifications, draw an area and schedule notification times

Interestingly, Annke’s website says the non-microphoneed tower camera supports movement, line crossings, and detection of region entrances. The C800 with microphone has a firmware update that enables the detection of people and vehicles, configurable in the web interface, not in the app.

But is the motion alarm really useful? For example, the wind moving the branches of a tree is not interesting, but the movement of an approaching person might be.

In the app, it is possible to draw areas where movement might be important and ignore the rest.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by notifications from the app, but fine-tuning takes a little more effort. It’s also possible to schedule notifications so you don’t get bombarded all day.

Maybe it makes sense to notify until after business hours? It depends a lot on your placement and what you are trying to monitor.

Notifications to the watch might be a good idea, but they could also be overwhelming

Suppose you don’t want to mess with these settings and just want to install cameras and get them working.

The fastest way to do this is to install the Annke Vision app. It’s a renamed version of the Guarding Vision app that works well, if not the nicest app to look at.

Adding a camera with the app involves scanning the barcode on the camera, adding it to a cloud account to view outside of your local network, and setting notification preferences. This is all configured within the app and takes very little time.

Configuring events over the phone means selecting a camera, remote configuration and setting the normal event (simple motion detection and sabotage) and the intelligent event (intrusion detection and line crossing detection).

Recording is activated in a similar way through each camera’s remote configuration option by setting a schedule for recording.

Notifications can be configured to receive events and push notifications, or possibly events but not push notifications. You can also schedule when to receive notifications, draw the motion detection area, and set the motion sensitivity.

These last two options are also configurable from the camera’s website, but honestly, working with the app is less overwhelming if you haven’t set up any IP cameras yet.

requirements

If you are installing a camera like the C800, you will need Ethernet cabling to the camera. These are not wireless (Annke sells another camera with Wi-Fi) and you will need to power the cameras.

In our case, we used a PoE switch, the Trendnet TPE-TG82ES, to power the camera, although you could use a dedicated PoE adapter or a 12v barrel power adapter. The advantage of using PoE (Power over Ethernet) is that one cable carries power and data.

The value proposition

If you want a camera solution that doesn’t rely on HomeKit’s cloud storage, but works even when the internet connection is down (but your local network is down), these cameras will do the trick. They are sturdy, provide high quality video and night vision, and are affordable for 4K cameras, especially when scaled down by Annke.

the view of a c800 bullet camera

In terms of the color quality of the camera, the C800 tower with microphone looked a bit lighter or washed out, although we could have adjusted that in the web interface.

The colors on the tower are not as accurate.

The video looks slightly washed out.

Even when using 4K resolution with a high bit rate, the cameras always open quickly, both via WiFi and cellular networks.

It’s easy to get inundated with notifications so it was difficult to check them all out. We could have turned that back by disabling basic motion detection, enabling smart events, and drawing a line that needed to be crossed.

The ability to record and receive notifications on iOS and on the Apple Watch is great, especially without having to invest in an NVR.

  • Easily add and configure cameras
  • Notifications to iOS and Apple Watch
  • Record without NVR
  • Bright night vision
  • Easily inundated with notifications

Where to buy

Last minute buyers can still get up to 60% off this curated selection of security camera offers from today until December 29th of this year. Annke’s C800 4K PoE cameras are reduced to $ 59.99, a $ 40 saving. The cameras are also discounted at Amazon.com.


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