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Pan-and-tilt home security cameras used to be among the most expensive models on the market. But prices have plummeted over the last few years, and there are now plenty of options that can be had for less than $100—or far less, for that matter. Annke’s Crater Cam is a case in point; for south of $30, you get full-room surveillance, advanced detection, and local video recording.
The Crater Cam is a straightforward, snowman-style camera that pans 330 degrees and tilts 90 degrees. This pan-and-tilt capability works with AI human detection and a smart auto-tracking feature to lock onto anyone in the camera’s field of view and follow them, capturing a complete video record of their activities.
The camera is rounded with standard features such as two-way talk, infrared night vision, and an integrated 58 dB siren.
How easy is setup for the Annke Crate Cam?
Installation is a breeze as the camera is designed to be set on a shelf, table, or other flat surfaces. The Annke Smart companion app walks you through the setup process, which involves scanning an app-generated QR code with the camera and logging in to your Wi-Fi network.
You have the option of recording video locally to a microSD card (up to 128GB), which plugs into the underside of the camera’s “head.” Annke also offers cloud storage plans that give you 7 days of video history for $2.49 a month or 30 days of video history for $6.99 a month.
What functions does the Annke Smart app support?
At first glance, the Annke Smart app looks sparse, with basic controls for manually capturing video and snapshots from the live feed, using two-way talk, and rotating the orientation of the live view.
But if you tap a double-arrow icon on the primary toolbar, a workspace and secondary toolbar appears at the bottom of the home screen. With these UI elements, you can access another set of tools for viewing event-triggered video clips, controlling pan-and-tilt, setting waypoints, and enabling/disabling features like human detection, auto tracking, and night mode.
Does the Annke Crater Cam deliver good video quality?
Live and recorded video was sharp in my testing, but colors tended to look dull and washed out. Detection was spot on, though, and the camera consistently recognized and tracked humans.
You can rotate and tilt the camera by dragging a finger on the feed image in the desired direction rather than using the directional pad. It moves smoothly and with barely a sound.
What other settings and customizations does the Annke Crater Cam offer?
The app includes a well stocked settings menu. While it duplicates some of the controls available on the main screen such as those for managing night vision and human detection, it also fleshes out several security features. You can, for example, adjust detection sensitivity and customize the camera’s surveillance area by setting monitoring zones.
You can toggle between continuous and event recording, schedule when you want detection and recording to be active, and adjust the duration of the camera’s siren. The menu also contains a private mode switch that puts the camera to sleep when enabled.
Is the Annke Crate Cam worth the price?
The Crater Cam is being sold for $24.99 directly through the Annke website. That’s an irresistible price for a pan-and-tilt camera that works equally well as a security device or a nanny/pet cam, and an even better bargain than the comparable Wyze Cam Pan v2 ($39.99).
Wyze’s cam does have a greater degree of rotation and full-color night vision, which is why it remains our pan-and-tilt Editor’s Choice, but either camera offers plenty of reward for very little risk.