ANNKE NC400 review: video surveillance with an MORE RUN!

Photon Ultra

After each test of surveillance cameras I get more and more passionate, also because the sector is not as trivial as others and each product placed under the magnifying glass can offer different food for thought.

This is the case of the ANNKE NC400, a PoE camera and not a classic smart-camera like the many we have tried in the last period here on Gizchina. The question that arises spontaneously, for those who are not involved and are looking for the best solution, is obviously which product is more right, and which one to choose for home security: I'll explain it to you right away.

ANNKE NC400 review

Content of the package

La sales package it is rather poor in the equipment, above all because also the necessary for the functioning of the room must be purchased separately. In fact, in the package there is only the camera and the user and configuration manual (which is not very clear, I must admit): the 12V power supply is missing (which I bought in an electronics store for less than 10 euros) and the Ethernet cable, both of which are necessary for the operation of the chamber.

Design and Materials

It is a outdoor video camera and it has nothing to do with almost all the products we have dealt with here on Gizchina; this is one professional surveillance camera, and as such it comes with a body made entirely of matt white powder-coated metal.

To break up the entirely white design, there are two metallic side lines, a feature that unites all the products of the new line of Annke, the NightCroma.

The shape is the traditional one and the dimensions are also very small compared to similar products on the market; we speak of suns 161 68 x x 65mm, which could make it go almost completely unnoticed were it not for the presence of a bright flash which, in the event of passing subjects in front of the frame, will light up and blow up your pseudo-cover.

Jokes aside, I find that the NC400 di Annke is well made and assembled and is entirely worth the price at which it is sold. Another interesting aspect is the IR LED surrounding the lens: on this model their presence goes unnoticed as it will be imperceptible to the naked eye to notice them on. There is neither the microphone nor the speaker: it goes without saying that the two-way audio function is also absent.

The camera must be fixed to the wall with plugs and screws. Also, like all PoE cameras, its operation cannot be categorically wireless, nor is it equipped with a battery; you will therefore have to equip yourself with an Ethernet cable (to be connected to your Router or NVR, but I'll explain it later) as well as a 12V power supply.

Needless to say, the camera is IP67 certified and can work outdoors without any problems; thanks to the materials used, moreover, the certified temperatures of use are equal to -30 + 60 ° C.

Installation, configuration and monitoring

Installing this camera sets the record straight: it's not suitable for everyone, and it's not as simple as a smart camera, let's clarify it right away. First of all it must be connected to the power line via the 12V power supply (not included) as well as to the home internet line via an Ethernet cable: assuming you want to install it outside your apartment, I am sure that very few would try their hand at do-it-yourself. in the passage of electrical cables as well as LAN, but this is another aspect.

Now, another clarification: this is a PoE Camera, and this means that it can work simply connected to the Internet and to the power supply, but this would mean exploiting the potential of the room to 50%, as you would lose the benefit of 24/7 registration as well as a series of functions that only through the connection to an NVR you may have.

The second scenario, which is the one I prefer, involves the presence of a NVR (which must be purchased separately and which can have a cost varying from 50 to 500 euros, depending on the number of channels and hardware features): this configuration is undoubtedly more expensive, but it is dedicated to those who intend to create a real video surveillance system, combining 4 to 32 cameras to an NVR that records H24, communicates with your alarm and has a large number of additional functions.

An example of an 8-channel NVR, with audio inputs and outputs and the possibility of connecting to the alarm system.

Should you decide to install the camera without NVR, the configuration process is feasible both via smartphone and via computer: the procedure via smartphone is very simple with just the app Annke Vision just tap on the "+" symbol to add a new camera, insert the serial port (logically after having powered it and connected it to the internet) and wait for the connection. So configured you can take advantage of the camera only in LiveView and possibly receive reports on smartphones relating to the detection of movements.

Through NVR, however, the configuration is a little more complex and it is very difficult to summarize it, but I'll try. The NVR receives the signal via protocol ONVIF, a standard in this sector: after which, through the NVR you can configure the motion alarms, you can program the zones excluded or not, continuously record the images, set up a DDNS service for remote consultation (otherwise when available exploits the Cloud, which is much more intuitive and faster at the configuration level) and much more. I repeat, in my opinion this is the most suitable solution for those who buy a surveillance camera of this level and with this potential.

Hardware Features and Image Quality

The sensor CMOS installed on the Annke NC400 is 4MP f / 1.0 and supports a maximum resolution of up to 2560 x 1440 pixels at 20fps, with a bitrate from 32Kbps up to 8 Mbps; the viewing angle horizontally is equal to 102 °, vertically 54 ° and diagonally 121 °, and in addition equipped with the system 3D DNR for image noise reduction which, I must say, works flawlessly.

I defined this in the title of my review Annke like the surveillance camera with an extra gear, and the reasons are easy to understand: thanks to the sensor present here, in fact, the NC400 manages to show clear and detailed images even at night, but above all in color and not in that horrible black and white to which we have been accustomed for years.

Thanks to A-1 image sensor and F / 1.0 Super aperture, Annke's NC400 is able to increase the photosensitive areas up to 180% by capturing as much light as possible to obtain very bright images: in addition, even using the digital zoom it is possible to maintain an adequate quality up to about 7-9 meters away, managing to read license plates and recognize faces. In addition, as it is equipped with a small flash that fires when motion is detected, the quality of the shots is even higher, although perhaps due to the Privacy it might create some misunderstanding.

I am an owner of surveillance cameras high-end in my home, and I can guarantee you that this NC400 has managed to practically beat them with your eyes closed both during the day and at night, more than anything else. Thanks to the NightCroma optimizations I can guarantee you that the quality at night is unparalleled, and today it personally ranks first in my personal rating.

Videos captured by the Annker NC400in addition, they are coded H.265 +: among the various benefits that can be drawn from this codec, it should be mentioned the faster and more fluid stream with a latency practically less than 1 second, both locally and remotely; in addition, it is compatible with standards ONVIF and RTSP to be able to interface with almost all the NVRs in circulation.

Considerations and Price

I had anticipated it: it is not for everyone, but only for conscious users who are really looking for a high quality product. The Annke NC400 is offered on the official website at a relatively low price of only 96 €: of course, it is high compared to all the Smart products that we find in circulation, but in the sector in which this is inserted Annke, 100 euros are a starting price and not an arrival price.

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La video quality here is very high, and I don't bother to say it: color night vision is a plus you won't want to give up after you've tried it once, I'm sure. In addition, the construction is good and robust, as well as being IP67 certified.

Il advice, in conclusion, is that of acquire a Complete kit of cameras (including NVR, possibly the same product from Annke, so as to be able to take advantage of all the features present) if you are about to build a real surveillance system, and not a cheap one. Otherwise, if you want to contain your investment, you can always evaluate products such as the IMILAB EC2 and similar, but the qualitative comparison would not hold up.

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