Annke CZ400 AI security camera reviewed with basic and smart events

Annke CZ400 software setup

There are multiple ways to control the camera, but I went with Annke Vision Android app.

Annke vision Android app registrationWe’ll need to go through a setup wizard to select the region, create an account with an email or phone number, before being able to add a new device. After taping on Add Device, we can scan the bar code on the periphery of the camera to add it to the app.

Add Annke Camera Android AppDespite getting a serial number, we have still being asked to select the device type (Wired Camera), and connect to the network over DHCP.

Annke security camera password

We’ll create two passwords one for the camera, and one to encrypt the video. Note the passwords, as they’ll be needed later. At this point setup is complete.

Standard Features

We can now use CZ400 like any other camera. The first time the camera pointed down, but since it’s a PTZ camera it’s easy enough to orient the camera properly, and even define presets for different views.

Annke PTZ Camera

By default, the app uses basic resolution which may look blurry, and once we switch to HD resolution it’s much better.

Annke CZ400 HD resolution

I’ve blurred out the registration number from the registration place, but you can still easily read the province name on the plate, that is provided you can read the Thai language… Two-way audio does not work, as I have not connected a speaker, but audio is recorded in the video capture thanks to the buill-in microphone. There’s also a 4X optical zoom that does its job.

AI security camera 4x optical zoom

That’s all good, except my MicroSD card was not detected, so it would not record anything, and only live view was possible… So I had to remove the camera from the “ceiling”, disconnect the power and Ethernet, and reopen the camera…

Annke CZ400 remove microSD card

… in order to check out the MicroSD which was indeed formatted with FAT32. But I used it with Pico Maker board, so maybe existing files confused the camera.

FAT32 SD CardSo I reformatted the partition and gave it another try…

Annke CZ400 memory card

Note that the camera record videos continuously, and the 16GB MicroSD card I used with the camera only stores about 6 hours of video data, so a bigger MicroSD card is needed, or ideally the camera should be connected to an NVR system.

But events are still not detected… So I first changed the motion detection sensitivity

motion detection sensitivity

No still no luck, so I asked the company:

My team told me that you need to configure the camera settings on the web interface. It might be a little bit of hassle but it’s essential for cyber security concerns. So that other unauthorized devices will not gain liveview access from the camera.

Please follow it here. https://help.annke.com/hc/en-us/articles/900002445586

That’s a pain because one of the steps is to install SADPTool, a Windows program. So I dug up an old Windows 10 PC stick and installed the program.

SADPTool
SADPTool

It turns out the camera was already set up just fine in the Android app, and that step is not needed. That also means a Windows computer is not needed, although recommend as we’ll need below…

We can now access the web interface from a web browser using the IP address of the camera to configure things like ONVIF support among other things.

Annke Enable ONVIF

It’s also possible to access the live view from the web interface, but a plugin (exe program) must be installed, and that only works in Windows. The screenshot below shows the live view in Firefox.
Annke web liveview firefoxA big downside is that I can’t access the configuration tab after the plugin is installed. Strangely, the live view did not on Microsoft Edge, so I just decided to carry on the configuration with Firefox in Ubuntu 20.04.

Before we can use motion detection in the Android app it must be configured in Annke web interface, in Event->Basic Event.

Annke Motion Detection
We must tick “Enable Motion Detection”, and draw an area where events will be triggered. The last step is important as failure to do so will not trigger any events.

Motion Detection Linkage Method

We also need to tap on the Linkage Method tab to at least select “Notify surveillance center” and “upload to FTP/memory card/…” to save the video, and tick A1 in Trigger Recording.

Annke CZ400 setup notifications android

At this point, we can go back to the Android app to enable notifications, push notifications, and set a notification schedule before finally get our first Motion Detection Alarm. That was really a pain to set up…

Annke motion detection video

But at least standard motion detection is not working, and the camera will keep a one-minute video once motion is detected.

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Fossxplorer
Fossxplorer
1 month ago

Thanks for an extensive review!
Requires IE for it’s features? Will never buy!

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 month ago

I would be much more concerned by the fact both camera and app have to be connected to someone else’s server running in a data center somewhere in the world and by the usual sort of security nightmares all these surveillance products (or IoT in general) are plagued with, see https://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2017/Sep/23 for example.

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 month ago

The password string looks like a SHA256 hash.

Anyway, a ‘security device’ that needs to talk encrypted to someone else’s server on the Internet is something that can be opened from the outside at any time.

An IoT fleet talking to some server under someone else’s control is already the technical equivalent to a botnet talking to ‘its’ command and control servers.

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 month ago

UPnP doesn’t need to be open on the device to be a problem. It’s UPnP combined with IGD (Internet Gateway Device) / PCP (Port Control Protocol) Interworking Function on a NAT router that might enable an unauthorised IoT device to open ports on the router to be accessible from everywhere.

dgp
dgp
1 month ago

You can tell Jean-Luc is a classy guy as he has the H8 book.

/me has the Japanese version of the H8 and SuperH books as a monitor stand..

jay
jay
1 month ago

Can it detect opposums and cats? Thats what we really need.

MaoMaoSGP
MaoMaoSGP
1 month ago

So is the face detection feature acts as “human detection” so alarms are triggered only if someone is here?

Domas
Domas
24 days ago

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