Wanscam K21 with face detection: great IP Camera but limited ONVIF compatibility - Gadget Victims

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Wanscam K21 with face detection: great IP Camera but limited ONVIF compatibility


Wanscam as almost always been my favourite brand of IP camera except for the unfortunate HW0036 experience.

I have a bunch of them (HW0026HW0049 and HW0046) running 24/7 and are still fine after 3 years.

The K21 looks identical to the HW0021, but with a full HD sensor, and a face detection feature.

Another noticeable difference is the price, and surprisingly it's actually 15 to 20$ cheaper than its older variant.



The camera comes with a 5V/1A USB charger, 1 USB cable, a manual in English and wall mounting accessories. It has a fixed Wi-Fi antenna at the back and an RJ45 Ethernet connector, an important detail to note when you want some guarantee that the camera will not only depend on Cloud services.




Installation

The installation couldn't be easier. The app SAP HD provides various ways to setup the camera on the network, depending if it's wired to RJ45 or Wi-Fi only. The Wi-Fi setup involves entering your Wi-FI access point SSID and Pre-shared key which is then transmitted by audio code to the camera (high pitched sound that'd make your dog howl)





Not a Cloud-centered camera, and that's a good thing!

The presence of an Ethernet connector is a good sign that you will not be stuck with one of those cameras that only installs by registering on a cloud server first. It's important if you want to have your own control on the camera, via a local camera server (like Synology Surveillance Station) or 3rd party program running on your network.

There's an embedded HTML interface, complete and very well made. The use of Flash to show the live video stream might become a slight problem in the near future (Adobe will stop supporting Flash at the end of 2020) but you can still configure most the camera without it. You can do almost everything with that interface except OTA updates and Face Detection switch that are only available in the mobile app SAP HD, also very user friendly.



Face detection: what are you looking at?!



Face detection is enabled by default. It works well and is funny for a time but, may confuse the movement detection in 3rd party apps. This function can be disabled via the SAP HD app under Other Settings > PTZ Detection




ONVIF works, except with Synology (and I think its their fault)

In 2 months time, this camera has received 4 updates (16.6.0.18, 16.6.0.33, 16.6.0.41, 16.6.0.46) where most budget IP Cameras never receive any. Good point for Wanscam.
However I fail to see any improvement in Down/Up and Right/Left panning controls inverted and the Onvif compatility.

In fact, all the 3rd party programs I have tried detected the camera as an ONVIF compliant device. The only one that failed is, of course, the one I use Synology Surveillance Station.

Onvif Device ManagerIP Camera Viewer,  OnviferAnycam.IO or HappyTime all detect the camera straight away.

Somehow, Synology seems to be the only one relying entirely on the default URI (http://192.168.1.xxx/onvif/device_service) to obtain the configuration, and with the K21, this URI does not return any data.
I'm not sure how the others manage around that, but they all do just fine.








At least there's a way to capture the video stream directly wiht the rtps url:

rtsp://192.168.1.208:554/ch0_0.h264


Conclusion

The K21 can be found below 30€ at Bangood or Gearbest

Overall, it is a good quality FHD camera with Ethernet connector, embedded HTML interface and mobile companion, both excellent. The face tracking is a funny gadget, which can be disabled one the novelty effect has passed.
It would be the perfect camera for me if only it worked with my beloved Synology installation, but anyone else should be happy with it.



Limitations/problems:
ONVIF capabilities not detected by Synology Surveillance Station, but works with Onvifer, IP Camera viewer and many more (since 16.6.0.33).

Bug: PTZ control are reversed (left goes right, up goes down...) if used from any Onvif client except the native SAP HD




10 comments:

  1. I have a k21 with lower firmware starting with 16.02.0.xx. The k21 is working with my Synology Surveillance Station, old model.

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    Replies
    1. yep, looks like they broke something since. 16.6.0.52 is available now and still no visible improvement.

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    2. As it's working with your K21 could you share your camera.conf please ?

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    3. Hi, Wanscam sent me firmware revision 16.02.00.47 and address /onvif/device_service still returns nothing, can you give us your specific firmware version which seems to work ?

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    4. Just have the same issue with a k64a in 16.6.0.52.
      Onvif not working with Surveillance Station, so I raise a case at Synology support to get their info.
      I contact as well Wanscam, for other issue, such as the inverted pan and tilt, they provide my a configuration tool, very useful in that link: https://we.tl/t-OIpIxDLX8L
      I will ask them their advice for Onvif support, but as you say, it looks to be on Surveillance Station...

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    5. Thanks for your input Pesto. It's frustrating because from Wanscam opinion they are compatible with Onvif in their view and "don't know Synology so cannot test...".
      On the Synology side it's "we'll consider some improvement in the future" (translate: "we don't care").
      So I'm afraid we shouldn't hold our breath for a solution anytime soon.
      Cheers

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    6. Hello Bubbah, in fact I had the same reply from Wanscam... They don't know Synology (haha) and only supports NVR software. So I expect the same answer from Synology than you get.
      I will move back to find an HW0054, and potentially use the K64a for a fixed purpose.
      Too bad...
      Cheers

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    7. Hi Bubbah,
      Short update and good news. I had a good chat with Synology tech support when opening a ticket, and explain the behavior that Onvif Device Manager was able to access the camera, but not SS.
      I grant an access to my infra to the Synology dev team, and they fix the issue, at least on my NAS, and plan to add this to next release (not 5.7.7, but next one). In fact they notice that the SS was not correctly implementing Onvif in that case. They are now extending the dev to see if other cam can have different behavior in Onvif, to include all fix in one release.
      So I confirm, after they put the patch on my NAS, I am now able to integrate a K series in Onvif, full support.
      Synology rules, definitely.
      I hope that helps :)

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    8. Waow! well done Pesto! and Synology. I'll be tracking the future SS updates for this. Excellent timing too as I was about to "decommission" the K21 and sell it. Thanks for the update!

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  2. Firmware 16.2.0.59 is my firmware, lately updated. Onvif is not working, user definied is working with Synology Surveillance station version 8.

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