review

Annke 4K 8MP POE Review H.265 EXIR Turret Camera

Friday, April 10, 2020

Power over Ethernet (POE) cameras provide the best and highest image quality you can get from any other camera technology currently on the market. The reason being, POE cameras use Ethernet connection, which supports higher bandwidth than bluetooth or wireless connection.

With extremely high resolution, you are able to zoom in, without image distortion, real close to a subject and capture crucial details (i.e. car registration number, face). Wireless POE cameras are fine for many applications but, in an application like security, wired is the way to go because wireless signals can be jammed and the cloud recording can be hacked.
Wired POE cameras come in many shapes in sizes, including dome/turret style like the Annke 4K 8MP POE camera, which allows you to record via your secured Internet connection and store the footage safely at home. The Annke 4K 8MP POE camera (model I91BF) records in full color, which is crucial if you need to identify the color of a car, person's t-shirt, etc.
Another feature that makes this Annke POE camera a deal-maker is support for H.264 SVC and H.265, (H2.64+ and H265+ versions too), which is important if your bandwidth is limited. The newer H.265 standard uses half the bandwidth the H.264 standard uses for the same quality image. As such, H.265 would literally double the data storage capacity of a network video recorder (NVR) along with lowering system usage by saving bitrate, which in the case of the Annke camera, it can be adjusted from 256Kbps to 16384Kbps.
While enabling H.265 is advantageous for freeing network bandwidth and increasing storage, the H.265 codec does shift the workload to the camera. If the camera is connected to a computer, enabling the H.265 codec will make the computer work harder because more CPU is required to encode to H.265 and decode H.265. Therefore, you will need a computer with a relatively high spec computer with at least 2.0Ghz CPU and sufficient RAM for smooth viewing in the highest resolution, which is 4k UHD-1 (3840 x 2160).
Resolution can be adjusted down to 3k (3072 x 1728), Quad HD (2560 x 1440), Full HD (1920 x 1080) and HD (1280 x 720). Video quality also can be adjusted from lowest to highest. Frame rate can be adjusted from 1/16 fps to 25 fps with a maximum 12.5fps in 4k, 25fps in 1440p, 20fps in 1720p, 25fps in 1080p and 25fps in 720p. To save bandwidth consumption, you have the option to adjust the Interval Frame (i-frame), or enable the scalable video codec (SVC).
On the right hand side of the live view page (above picture), there is a hidden tab menu, labeled "PTZ", which stands for Pan/Tilt/Zoom. The Annke 4K POE camera cannot pan or tilt, only zoom; hence, the pan/tilt features are not supported by the Annke camera.
Another big plus with this Annke POE turret dome camera is that it works with any browser so, it doesn't require obscure plugins or a specific browser to work. You can use Internet Explorer (8.0 and higher), Mozilla (5.0 and higher), Apple Safari (5.0.2 and higher). That said, the Annke camera is not compatible with Mac computers. Only Windows operating systems (Win XP SP1 and higher).
Before setting up the Annke 4k camera, you will need a 12V/2A power adapter, which is not included with the camera. You can buy a power adapter from Annke, or buy any other power adapter as long as it has a 12V/2A rating.
You will also need an Ethernet/network Cat5e cable (not included) and a power adapter extension cord (not included) to extend the camera's power cord, which only measures 40cm long. Depending on your setup, you may or may not need a long Ethernet cable or a power adapter extension cord. If you do, you can buy an extension cable and buy a network cable from Amazon very inexpensively.
Once you have these extra items and have decided on the location of the camera, you can start setting up the Annke camera by mounting it, using the included screws and template to help you drill the holes accurately. If you plan to fix the camera on a concrete or brick wall, you will need a power drill. If you plan to mount it on a softer surface like a drywall, you can use power screwdriver
After the Annke camera is mounted, you can connect the Ethernet cable and power cable into a desktop computer, laptop or network video recorder (NVR), which is useful if you plan to use multiple cameras. If you are using an NVR, you won't need to use the camera's DC port since power will be running through the Ethernet cable.
When connecting via a computer, the Annke camera's Ethernet cable has to be plugged-in to the same router the computer is connected to for the camera to work. The Annke camera can also be accessed remotely via the Annke Guarding Vision desktop software (included in the box) and Annke Vision mobile app, which is available for both Android and iOS devices.
The Annke Vision mobile requires an account registration, which can be done by entering an email or your mobile phone number.
After the account is registered, it's just a matter of following the prompts, which includes scanning the small barcode located on the back of the Annke camera. After doing this, you eventually access the main live stream screen.
The user interface of the Annke Vision app feels more user friendly than Annke's browser version, which can feel overwhelming because of the amount of settings, many of which the average user may not know how to use.
While the Annke mobile version doesn't have as many settings, it is simpler to use and more intuitive for the average user. You can choose from three video resolutions, including basic, standard and HD (high definition).
The Annke mobile version also allows you to capture still images, as well as video recordings, all of which get saved to the internal memory of the phone. Video footage is saved as recognizable mp4 files so, you can playback the videos using Windows or VLC media players. This is something you cannot do when saving a video recording via Annke's browser version, which creates an unrecognizable mp4 file that requires converting using a video editor.
A few other settings included in the Annke mobile version are image/video encryption, device sharing, message push notifications, traffic statistics, floating live view, and DDNS, which when enabled allows you to access the Annke camera via an IP address.


When setting up the camera via Annke's online browser portal, you will need to download the SADP tool to activate the camera. This is needed in order to configure the camera with a password and IP address (192.168.1.64) to access the camera from an Internet browser.
By default the IP address is set to 192.168.1.2 so, it needs to be changed to 192.168.1.64. To do this, you simply need to untick "enable DHCP" and enter 192.168.1.64.  Then, enter your chosen "admin password" and click "Modify". That's it. There is nothing else to change or add.
Now, from any Internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc) you can visit the IP address 192.168.1.64, which takes you to Annke's login portal where you need to enter the username (admin) and a chosen password to gain access to the camera's live stream page.
From the live stream page, you can select screen capture, video recording, digital zoom, aspect ratio (4:3, 16:9) and plug-in switch if you're connecting other network devices. There are two stream types for viewing the camera footage: mainstream (for recording footage) and substream for remote viewing.
The digital zoom feature works by allowing you to "red square" a specific area on the image to zoom-in. The live stream page also contains a tab to the configuration page, which contains more comprehensive settings for adjusting the Annke 4K POE camera to suit your needs.
These settings include system settings for adjusting time, change the device name, viewing firmware version, download log parameters, restore default settings, reboot camera and security authentication (RTSP and WEB), which you can choose from basic (non-encrypted) or digest to encrypt the username and passwords and safely connect the Annke POE camera to a recording server to get JPG snapshots.
privacy mask
As the admin, you can add users and grant one of three permission levels, including operator, user and admin, which allows the user to add, delete or modify user accounts. With users and operators, you can grant as many privileges/ permissions as you want, including the ability to record live video or reboot the camera.
You can also adjust the image exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation sharpness, as well as enhance the image via Standard DNR (digital noise reduction) and Expert DNR.
Expert DNR comes with two additional settings Space DNR and Time DNR to further soften the image and eliminate strange artifacts. When adjusting Time DNR, you don't want to have it set too high as it will make the footage laggy.
The Annke POE camera can also be set to automatic switching between day and night modes and, you can enable "Smart Supplement Light", if you want to fine tune the EXIR infrared (IR) leds, which allows a night vision distance of up to 30 meters (100ft).
EXIR infrared leds are housed separately from the camera lens, which allows the Annke POE camera to have more powerful leds without causing infrared reflection and blinding the camera lens.
Another advantage EXIR brings to the Annke POE camera is the elimination of the uneven IR coverage you get with cameras with IR leds in a circular array, which cause the centre of the video footage to be brighter than the outside of the video footage. The Annke POE EXIR infrared leds don't cause this issue because they leds are integrated in a rectangular array, which provides even IR coverage.
A couple other features supported by the Annke 4K POE camera include Onvif, Wide dynamic range (WDR) and Highlight compensation (HLC). Onvif allows the Annke 4K POE camera to be compatible with third-party IP camera software.
WDR and HLC are features that are typically included in most cameras but, unless the camera has a decent megapixel size, you won't see the benefits of WDR and HLD. The Annke POE camera has a large 8MP image sensor and quality digital signal processor (DSP) that is able to handle overexposure from strong light (HLC) and regulate the contrast between the lightest and darkest colors of an image, which WDR is designed to accomplish.
You can add a water mark to the video footage, as well as change the location of the date/time stamp and create a privacy mask to black-out an area you don't want the camera to record. You can also configure specific motion detection (pixel-based) areas you want the camera to detect (i.e. bush) and schedule what day the motion should be activated.
The Annke 4k POE camera is also equipped with facial recognition technology, enabling the camera to capture snapshots of a subject's face. When it comes to saving and playback, the recorded footage is saved locally as an "special" mp4 file that can only be played back by an Annke network video recorder (NVR) system.
Annke's mp4 files are unrecognized by Windows and Android media players so, you will not be able to playback recorded footage, using Windows media player,  Microsoft Movies & TV app or VLC player, unless you process the file using video editing software or third party application.
When playing back footage via a computer, you will have to either download the Smart PSS (third-party desktop software) or view the footage online via Easy4IP, which is a browser cloud server. Something else worth knowing this Annke camera is that it has not built-in microphone; hence video footage is recorded without sound.
The construction of the Annke 4K POE camera is strong made of solid aluminum metal. The body has a dome design with an IP67 weatherproof resistance and a flat top where the camera lens and infrared light are located side by side. The camera has a 2.8mm/112-degree wide angle lens, which provides a super-wide field of view (FOV).
The Annke 4K camera integrates a hidden port area that is accessed by unscrewing two screws securing the protective cover, which is also made of solid metal. This port area contains a micro SD card slot (supports 128GB), a reset button and a 4 pin data port.
The Annke 4K POE camera is mounted inside a solid metal turret and a metal bracket, which allow the camera to be mounted upside down or downside up, depending on your needs.The turret and bracket allow the camera to be rotated and panned 360 degrees, as well as tilted up and down up to 75 degrees.
The integrated rubber gasket on the bracket creates enough friction to allow the camera to remain fixed at a specific angle without moving. The total weight of the unit is 638 grams and has a 13cm height with a total 5-inch diameter at the base.
In order to remove the camera from the turret, you have to untwist the circular, plastic retainer on the outside of the bracket.
Once it's undone, you have to unscrew a tiny metal plate on the side to release the turret from the bracket and gain access to the camera body. Don't forget to
While the Annke 4k camera has a dome shape, you cannot sit the camera upright on its base because of the Ethernet/power cord, which is attached to the base.
The Annke camera includes a few accessories, namely weatherproof couplers, screws and wall plugs, as well as a user guide. You can buy the Annke 4K POE camera from Amazon

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