As always, there is a price to pay as at 1,280 x 1,024 the camera can only manage a 12fps rate so motion isn’t conveyed so well and at 1,280 x 720 this increases marginally to 14fps. Another downside is the camera doesn’t work well in low light as it can only operate down to 2lux. The less well endowed 207 and 207W can handle light levels as low as 1lux.
From our experiences we wouldn’t recommend using the camera on an 802.11b wireless network as it will simply soak up most of the available bandwidth. To see what the camera was drawing we linked it up over 802.11g to a Thomson SpeedTouch 780WL router with WPA encryption and called in our AirMagnet Laptop Analyzer software to measure utilisation. With a 54Mbps connection established, AirMagnet reported one client set to the maximum resolution over Motion-JPEG drawing around 15-16Mbps and with two clients on the go this rose to approximately 19-20 per cent.
MPEG-4 is more efficient and we saw utilisation drop to around 10 per cent with this selected on our two clients. In this mode you can also set a maximum rate for your clients but bear in mind that although MPEG-4 supports unlimited viewers you only get a single decoder license included in the price. Axis sells ten users license packs and these cost around £65.
Axis’ 207MW on top and Sony’s SNC-M3W on the bottom – no contest.
There’s much more to play with on the camera with motion detection enabling up to ten custom areas to be specified within the image where motion is to be detected or ignored. When it is triggered the camera can download images at specific frame rates to an HTTP or FTP server and mail them to multiple clients as well. You can use devices attached to the terminal block to trigger recording and even audio thresholds expressed as a percentage can be set to start a recording when noise levels increase.
Bandwidth demands are quite high so for wireless links we would only recommend using this camera over an 802.11g link. Nevertheless, for sheer image quality the 207MW is quite superb and it augments these abilities with an impressive range of surveillance features.