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Axis 212PTZ IP Camera review



  • Recommended by TR
Axis 212PTZ IP Camera


Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

In the world of IP cameras Axis Communications has consistently been the one to beat for innovation and image quality. We’ve reviewed enough of its products over the past year to confirm this with the miniscule 207W delivering support for 802.11g wireless networks and the 225FD offering a smart external surveillance package in a bullet proof casing.

As its moniker suggests, the latest 212 PTZ offers pan, tilt and zoom functions but its claim to fame is that it achieves this without any moving parts. How does it do it? Simple really, as it employs a Fujinon 2.7mm wide angle lens. The viewing angles are impressive with a span of 35 degrees to 105 degrees in the vertical plane and 44 degrees to 140 degrees in the horizontal. This approach has a number of bonuses as you can change your viewing area almost instantly and with no moving parts, wear and tear is eradicated. The downside is the zoom capability as the camera only offers a 3x digital zoom. However, it does have a 3.1 megapixel 1/2in. CCD sensor and Axis has implemented over-sampling so image quality shouldn’t suffer from the deterioration you’d normally expect to see with digital zooms.

As we’ve comes to expect from Axis, build quality is a cut above the rest with the camera body constructed from solid aluminium and shrouded in a tough plastic cover. You also get an extra wall mount which allows the camera to be fixed at an angle, while the cover has removable inserts to allow network and power cables to be routed through the side. Placement possibilities have been improved as the power supply has a generous two metre lead and you get a 180cm extension cable as well. Even better is the fact that the camera is 802.3af PoE compliant so it can be powered directly over the network cable using a suitable switch.

It has an internal microphone allowing you to hear what’s going on in the area under view but also offers audio out sockets for an external microphone and speaker for two-way conversations. During testing we found audio operations worked well enough as we were able to hear voices clearly at the remote location but they were out of synch with the video feed with a lag of over one second. The camera also incorporates Axis’ standard four-pin I/O connector block that can be used to link the camera to external security devices such as door sensors or alarms allowing them to trigger video capture or an external alarm if activated.

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September 4, 2008, 2:50 pm

This is indeed a superb camera, with excellent image quality and good reliable operation. Low light performance is not the best, but this is for indoor use so plan you deployment accordingly.

The one glaring omission is the lack of the ability to rotate the image in software. This is available on more expensive cameras in the Axis range and really needs to be added to the 212 - especially if you are using the angled mounting to point the camera downwards to avoid filming large areas of ceiling. Using the included mount to point downwards rotates the camera 90 degrees and unless you use some sort of gaffa tape bodgeup, you'll have a rotated image as well.

Otherwise excellent.

Steve Smith597

June 5, 2009, 6:28 am

Actually I have the Axis 212 to be really disappointing. We did a training session with Axis when I was working for one of their distributors when it was first released. The Axis trainer explained in the course that the 212 really needs a lot of bright white light to get a good image result - otherwise you will get a lot of ghosting/blurring in the image. This camera was not a great seller for the wholesaler I worked for in those days, as the image quality was not what it promised. I think this is mainly due to the fact that the 212 has to compress the image > send the image to an NVR server > then decompress the image. So you are actually pan tilt zooming within a very processed final image, and the results I think are really disappointing, with a lot of artifacts and blocking in the image. There is product that we have found to be ok, its the Q22 from a German group Mobotix. What they are doing is storing the image in the camera, which means the raw image doesn't need to be compressed, and you can pan tilt and zoom in the actual raw image. The image quality actually is pretty good - well much better than the Axis 212 that is for sure. If you are looking for a digital PTZ IP camera, I recommend you evaluate both the 212 vs. the Q22 and compare for yourself.


June 5, 2014, 1:39 pm

These cameras are next to useless. I have two of them deployed amongst my 10 other axis cameras and they consistently fail to record on a motion detection event after about 4-5 days runtime. I have contacted Axis about this and raised several support tickets but I just get run through "the script" until I lose the will to live. There are only so many server reports I can provide or repetitive answers I can give.
Just now I have been asked to provide CCTV footage of an incident, and guess what? No recordings. Nothing. Not a thing. These cameras are a liability and should not be considered for use by anyone who needs them to record reliably. AVOID.
If you are pushed for budget, you are better off with an ancient 206 or 207, at least they record reliably.

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