Sharing experiences about affordable ip camera's

Hi folks,

It is my birthday soon, so relatives start asking me which presents I want. Would like to buy some IP camera's to protect my little kingdom, but there are so many of them. Mission impossible to find one that fits my needs...

I am not looking for high-end expensive cams (read: my wife would remove my skin while I am alive...) but around 60 euro's, or a bit more

Would be nice to get some experiences from other users about their camera's (ReoLink, Annke, ...). Our friend @kevinGodell was pleased by this cam from Amcrest (59 euro), but didn't find any store in europe where I can buy it unfortunately.

Here are some features I would like to have, based on the requirements I had in my Node-RED experiments during the previous years:

  1. Wired (POE). Although there are a lot of WIFI lovers in this community, not a single hair on my head considers pushing these huge amounts of data from all my camera's through the air. So please don't start discussing that here :wink:

  2. Good night vision for about 10 to 15 meters.

  3. RTSP streams (mp4 and AAC).

  4. Onvif compliant (motion detection, optionally recording, ...).

  5. Preferrable a dome cam, but could live with another one if it fullfills my other requirements...

  6. Good viewing angle.

  7. Microphone (and optionally a speaker).

  8. A web interface that works on all major browsers (without plugins required).

  9. Resolution good enough to recognize people. Not sure what I need (5Mp?).

  10. Optionally available in both white and black colour case.

  11. Optionally mjpeg streams. Although I could extra the I-frames from the mp4 also.

If I have forgotten something important, don't hesitate to let me know so I can extend this list!

Thanks for sharing your experiences with your personal cam!!


Does it have to make a cup of coffee as well as all the other things you want?

I have been running Wyzecam V2's with dafang hacks firmware for about 3 years

  1. no: wifi, not sure what the issue is, other than distance maybe. Are you expecting to stream 4k@60fps, don't think so.
  2. yes
  3. yes
  4. not sure what this entails, but can record and have mqtt build in for full control (record start/stop, night vision on/off/auto etc).
  5. no, printed a case and it has been sitting through heavy storms, no issue
  6. yes
  7. yes
  8. yes
  9. yes
  10. white
  11. yes, you can switch between rtsp and mjpeg

Bought them for €25 a piece, can't beat it. I put them in homekit, not sure if you can still find them for sale though.

That is indeed cheap. Thanks for taking your time to mark point by point!

Would be nice, but other requirements have larger priority. Perhaps you can ask Nick to add the coffee option to the Switch node in your feature request list from this morning :wink:

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Bart has a wife for that

@BartButenaers - never let the wife read this :rofl:


I had a look into this one a couple of month ago.
And found sone problems

  1. Availability: Version 2 is simply not available any more
  2. Hack is linked to a certain Version of the firmware- likely you get a “fixed” version
  3. V3 seams currently not hacked

I would love to hack one of these even if it can’t brew coffee or find available models where a custom firmware is possible (and available)

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I saw this evening an interesting review of the Annke C500 camera on youtube by @nygma2004. After watching his video, I have done some homework and I "think" that the C500 provides much of what I need.

However I "think" the C500 only supports H265 and not H264. If that is the case, I am wondering whether it will work with the nodes and flows that @kevinGodell has shared until now with the community...

Moreover last week Csongor was asking questions about his C800 (8Mp) camera. So now I am doubting whether his C500 (5Mp) camera's were insufficient for home security for some reason. Hopefully Csongor can share some thoughts here about both camera types from Annke.

Had a look on Amazon, and the linked datasheet lists H264

Hmm, had completely overlooked it between all the information that Amazon shows. But here it is indeed. Thanks a lot!!

I "think" the C500 looks pretty good:


Indeed both H264 and H265 are supported.

The AAC audio format is also very useful because Kevin once mentioned (here) that our browsers can play it. So the Node-RED flow can capture an RTSP stream from the camera with ffmpeg, and we don't need to re-encode it because the browser - where our dashboard is running - can play the AAC audio without problems. And not having to re-encode will consume MUCH less system resources of our Raspberry.

Have been watching another C500/C800 review (on youtube) from "The Hook Up", who has very good reviews. He indicates that both cams are good. The C500 is particular good to show colors in the night, but unfortunately not that good at night IR video:

There was a recent thread about getting images from Annke - pretty sure (like the dahua ip camera) they only support digest logins and seem to crash the ONVIF node-red nodes.

If only the author would fix them ... Oh hi Bart !


Yes indeed that is correct. Did a small bug fix last week for Csongor his issue, but then he was stuck with his digest authentication issue (which he reported on discourse). When everything runs fine I will publish the fix on npm...

Yes I think so. Is that a disadvantage somehow?

I had a lot of trouble with a dahau camera some time back. Might not be so much an issue these days but i find Digest auth not so well supported in linux / node as other Auth methods.

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The node-red digest auth works for me on an Axis webcam

Probably not be an issue now so much as a few year back Dave (just distant bad memories)

Not sure whether ffmpeg supports digest authentication for RTSP streams. Never used it...
Although it would be weird if it wouldn't work, because they have implemented it already 12 years ago (see this commit)...

Ah good spot, it could have just been a bad day on my part.

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Hi Guys,
I did not read through the entire topic, but got notification on Bart's comment. So here is what the C500 and C800 supports. Let me know if you need more information on the two.
C500 is running on firmware V5.5.110 build 200120.
It looks like there is H264 and H265 support as well, and also a H265+ field which has ON/OFF

My C800 just got upgraded to V5.7.1 build 211130
And this no longer has H264, just H265:

And the substream can also only be either H265 or MJPEG.

I hope helps.

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Morning @nygma2004,

Thanks for the screenshots! They confirm what we thought.

Some extra questions:

  1. Could you also please share a bit about your experiences with both cams. For example I saw some reviews that the night view of the C500 is not that good. I had understood from your review, that night view was ok? But I might be mistaken...

  2. And are there particular reasons why you started using the C800 devices? Is that due to the C500 not functioning correctly?

  3. I am also not sure whether the amounts of data of a 4K camera are just too much for ffmpeg on a raspberry. But perhaps you have never used it like that...

Please tell me that the C500 is a good cam to buy :wink:

I think my response will be somewhat disappointing.
I received both of these cameras free for a review. The cameras that I primarily use are Reolink cameras, so these are in the drawer most of the time. But I am planning to install them in my summer house.

  1. There is decent street illumination in my area, and I never had issues with the night footage. Having said that I did not check if it has enough detail in certain distance in order to identify for example a person.
  2. As again C800 was selected for me by Annke. I would like to use a more expensive model which has PTZ function that can be controlled over ONVIF. I am hoping that will be the next sample I get. But back to your question, I would imagine going for a C800 if your subject is far away and you need the 4K resolution to have enough details in the distance.
  3. I just moved to an i3 based PC for Node-Red, so I am not sure about that.

I can set up the two cameras side-by-side and take some samples. That would hopefully better explain the difference between the two.