Annke Crater Security Camera Review – A budget 1080p security camera with human tracking pan & tilt

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Annke Crater Security Camera Review Rating

Summary

The Annke Crater is good, considering the price. It should work well if you want a cheap and reliable way to track people coming and going within your home.

The direct links below will provide $5 or £5 off with the pre-applied code (mightygadget-crater)

Overall
70%
70%
  • Overall - 70%
    70%

Pros

  • Reliable motion tracking
  • Generally good performance at this price point

Cons

  • App is not the most usable
  • Camera can have issues with lighting or blurred images from moving objects

I have reviewed a few Annke outdoor cameras in the past, and they are normally a reliable, affordable option. The Annke NC400 was particularly good, providing the full-colour night vision that is typically found on much more expensive Hikvision cameras.

The Annke Crater is on the budget end of the spectrum. It is an indoor PTZ camera with human tracking for a bargain price of just £25.

Preview Product Rating Price
ANNKE Crater WiFi Pan Tilt Smart Security Camera, 1080p... ANNKE Crater WiFi Pan Tilt Smart Security Camera, 1080p... No ratings yet £25.99

Specification

  • Video Resolution: 2MP (1920 X 1080)
  • Image Sensor: 1/4″ Progressive Scan CMOS
  • Video Compression: H.264+
  • Field of View: 70°
  • Pan & Tilt: Horizontal 350°; Vertical 60°
  • Night Vision Distance: Up to 26 ft/8 m
  • Number of Infrared LEDs: 6
  • Video Bit-rate – 32Kbps~2Mbps
  • Audio Compression – ADPCM
  • Ethernet – WiFi (IEEE 802.11b/g/n); 150 Mbps (Max.)
  • Operating Power – DC 5 V (Micro USB)
  • Storage – MicroSD Card (up to 128 GB)
  • Instant Motion Detection Alarm
  • Two-Way Audio

Set-Up

This camera is controlled with the ANNKE Smart app and requires an account. The camera is 2.4Ghz only, and you set the camera up by providing the SSID details and then showing the camera a QR code. I normally have a dedicated 2.4Ghz SSID for IoT, but in this case, I used a mixed band SSID, and I experienced no problems with the connectivity (which some devices are prone to).

For storage, there is a small microSD slot inside the camera itself. You will need to rotate the camera upwards to expose this. There is also a cloud storage option.

App – Unable to export video

The app is OK for basic operation but has some significant flaws.

For a start, the app would regularly indicate that it was unable to establish a secure connection. I could normally fix this by closing the app down and reopening it (which also suggests this is not a WiFi issue).

The main problem I had was the fact you can’t export video easily. You can go into playback and view the footage, but the only way to get the footage off the camera is to use the camera button to capture a still image or the camcorder button to record footage that has already been recorded.

You will be notified of human body detection within the messages section, but under the playback section, there is no indication of events. This is OK if you only record when events occur, but if you record 24/7, it can make it difficult to find footage.

Under the message section, when it detects motion, it shows pictures of the person detected, but when you export this photo, it does it in 640×360 rather than the full camera resolution.

Day Time Performance

Performance is adequate. In the initial location I placed it, the lighting was not ideal, I have a dark kitchen, and the camera was located in the far corner. The room has inconsistent light, and the camera struggles to deal with it. However, it is a £25 2MP camera, and the performance is about what you would expect.

I later moved it to a more exposed position, and the footage improved.

The image quality is generally OK, but with this being a budget camera, it struggles to capture a good quality image of anyone moving moderately fast. So if you walk past the camera, the person is a bit blurry.

Night Time – Low Light Performance

In my first location, the low light performance is arguably better than the daytime. The IR LEDs switch on, providing plenty of light within the proximity of the camera to produce decent quality black and white images.

In the second location, the footage was still OK, but the IR lights will reflect off closer-up objects which can cause dark patches within the footage (a common problem with IR illumination).

Human Detection and Tracking

The human detection with automatic tracking is probably the best part of the camera. It is not perfect, but most of the cameras I have used that are better than this also cost a lot more.

Human detection appears to be quite reliable, so this camera is good for keeping track of the comings and goings within your home.

The automatic PTZ motion tracking is a bit slow and jittery, but it works and improves the chances of keeping the subject in the shot for as long as possible.

Price and Alternative Options

Preview Product Rating Price
ANNKE Crater WiFi Pan Tilt Smart Security Camera, 1080p... ANNKE Crater WiFi Pan Tilt Smart Security Camera, 1080p... No ratings yet £25.99

The Annke Crater is £25.99 normally on Amazon, and at the time of writing, there is also a £5 off voucher.

I was expecting that price to be one of the lowest on the market, but there are a lot of indoor PTZ cameras at this price point. Most of them are from completely random Chinese brands, and I am not sure I would recommend them.

Some brands I am at least partially aware of include:

  • IMOU Ranger Se 1080P for around £27
  • Blurams Dome Lite 2 for around £25
  • Ezviz TY1 1080P for around £24
  • Tenda CP3 for around £20

Overall

Even though my review appears a bit negative, I think that considering this costs under £25, it is quite good. You get what you pay for, and it works as expected.

If you just want basic surveillance within your home, including reliable human detection, then this is a good choice.

Last update on 2023-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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