Annke C800 IP Camera Review: Simple 4K Security with iPhone Alerts

Cupertino, December 27, 2021

The Annke C800 IP Camera boasts the best 4K UHD IP camera. Isn't that a small statement and opens up to discuss what "best" means, anyway?


What does an Annke C800 do for you?

The C800 is a 4K UHD camera with or without a microphone, available in either a turret housing or a bullet casing.

The C800 uses a Sony CMOS sensor, IR reflection, and has a range of 100 feet at night. It is also resistant to cold, heat and IP67 for water resistance, which means that the camera could work after being immersed in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

Annke C800 - Specifications

  • 4K UHD
  • 100-foot night view with IR reflection
  • Water resistance IP67
  • IOS app for viewing, recording and push notification alerts
  • 102 degree field of view

Why would you want the Annke C800 as an Apple user?

As an Apple user, you have several camera options: Arlo, Eufy, and others create systems that are closely integrated with their own hubs, clouds, and occasionally HomeKit. Once you buy one of their systems, you are more or less stuck in that ecosystem.

Because HomeKit uses 1920x1080p, these cameras tend to be limited to 1080p or 2k resolution at most.

IP cameras are slightly different: they tend to be non-proprietary and have open standards, such as RTSP for video streaming, ONVIF for better compatibility with network video recorders, and standard codecs, such as h.264, h.265, or h .264+ and h.265 +.

45370 90071 c800 bullet

Being a non-owner allows you to pick and choose, getting the best room for your requirements. However, it tends to exclude you from using the Apple HomeKit without working extra.

But that doesn't mean they aren't useful - you might get a better room than you could from some of these other home-based products.

The Annke C800 works with the Annke Vision app available for iOS. The application makes it easy to add IP cameras, manage their settings, view them and even interact with the speaker and microphone. Because there are no PTZ cameras, the pan-tilt-zoom controls do nothing.

What Annke promises

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

45370 90088 c800 bullet color
A color card shows the capabilities of the camera sensor

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

Not surprisingly, IP cameras are traditionally a complex product, resulting in greater flexibility and functionality.

camera, which shows the microSD slot cover
The microSD card is under this cover

The app manages to record images and photos from cameras in the Annke Vision app, using iPhone storage to store recordings.

The camera also has an internal MicroSD card slot, which can accept a 256 GB card. You can schedule card recordings in the app or from the camera's web interface.

How is this different from other Annke products?

There are five variants of the C800 to choose from: an audio bullet, a bullet without, a turret with audio, a turret without and a dome with audio. The difference with the microphone is that the audio equipment uses only the h.265 / h.265 + codec, and the live view of the camera is visible in Safari.

C800 models without a microphone do not work with Safari for live viewing, because instead it says that you need a browser plugin - one for Internet Explorer. However, live view is available in Chrome without plugins.

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

It may seem like you want audio, and it doesn't matter that your camcorder only supports the newer h.265 codec, but that depends a lot on your use. take advantage of higher compression.

The cameras share firmware based on Hikvision cameras, modified for Annke's hardware. The interface is well thought out and tested over time, knowing that Hikvision produces many cameras for business security.

Sure, it can be too complex if you haven't looked at security camera interfaces before, but the default settings are pretty reasonable. You do not need to use the web interface for basic functionality, as all major configurations can be changed from the Annke Vision application.

It is worth remembering that the rooms have to perform three functions. First, you want to be able to see a live view quickly. Second, you want notifications for motion or handling alerts. Finally, you want a scheduled recording form.

Recording can be done through the Annke Vision application and possibly through a dedicated NVR (network video recorder) that Annke is happy to sell or a software package such as Synology's Surveillance Station running on Synology NAS devices. Annke Vision registration requires the insertion of microSD cards into the cameras.

45370 90098 2up interface
The interface allows you to view multiple cameras at once and tap to see a full screen

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

Rooms have a 30 m night EXIR view, an IR cut-off filter and a wide 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 rooms have alerts for several situations. There is a generic motion alert, dynamic motion event analysis, a handling alert if someone is trying to confuse the camera, and region of interest (ROI) settings where you can specify lines over the video and receive alerts if they are exceeded. . . That's all in the room.

45370 90082 notifications
Set up motion notifications, draw an area, and schedule notification times

Interestingly, Annke's website says that the turret camera without a microphone supports movement, line crossing and detection of entry into the region. The C800 with microphone has a firmware update that allows the detection of people and vehicles, configurable in the web interface, not in the application.

However, is motion alert really useful? For example, the wind that moves the branches of a tree is not interesting, but the movement of a person approaching could be.

In the app, you can draw areas where movement might be important and ignore the rest.

It's easy to be overwhelmed by app notifications, but adjusting them takes a little more effort. You may also create notification programs so that you are not bombarded all day long.

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

45370 90097 watch notifcation
notifications to the clock might be a good idea, but it could also be overwhelming

Suppose you don't want to mess with any of these settings and just want to set up your cameras and make it work.

The quickest way to do this is to install Annke Vision. It's a re-branded version of the Guarding Vision app, which works well, if not the most beautiful app to look at.

Adding a camera with the app involves scanning the barcode on the camera, adding it to a cloud account for viewing outside the local network, and setting notification settings. All of these are configured in the application and take very little time.

Setting up events on your phone means selecting a camera, Remote setup and setting of Normal Event (basic motion detection and manipulation) and Smart Event (intrusion detection and line crossing detection).

Recording is similarly enabled in the Remote setup of individual cameras option by setting a schedule for when the recording should take place.

Notifications can be set to receive Event and Push notifications, or possibly Events, but not Push notifications. You can also program when you want to receive notifications and draw the motion detection area and set the motion sensitivity.

These last two options are also configurable on the camera's web page, but honestly, the app is less overwhelming to work with if you haven't set up IP cameras before.

Prerequisites

When installing a camera like the C800, you need Ethernet cabling in the camera. These are not wireless (Annke sells a different room that has Wi-Fi) and you need some room power.

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

The value proposition

If you want a camera solution that isn't based on HomeKit's cloud storage, but will work even when your internet connection is down (but your local network is turned on), these cameras will work. They're robust, offer high-quality video and night vision, and are affordable for 4K cameras, especially when they're reduced from Annke.

45370 90089 c800 bullet view
view from a bullet c800 camera

In terms of camera color quality, the C800 turret with a microphone seemed a little brighter or washed out, although we could have adjusted that in the web interface.

45370 90096 c800 dome color
The colors are not as accurate on the turret.
45370 90095 view from c800 dome
The video looks slightly washed out.

Even when using 4K resolution at a high bit rate, the cameras always open quickly, both via Wi-Fi and mobile.

It's easy to be overwhelmed by notifications, to the point where it's hard to review them all. We could have called it back by disabling basic motion detection, activating smart events, and drawing a line that should be crossed.

Being able to record and receive notifications in iOS and Apple Watch is great, especially without having to invest in an NVR.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Pro

  • Easy addition and configuration of rooms
  • Notifications to iOS and Apple Watch
  • Registration without NVR
  • Bright night view

Versus

  • Easy to be overwhelmed by notifications

Where to buy

Last minute buyers can still get discounts of up to 60% on these clean selections of security camera deals starting today through December 29 this year. C800 4K PoE cameras are priced at $ 59.99, a $ 40 savings at Annke. Rooms are also reduced at Amazon.com.

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