Axis 212PTZ IP Camera - Axis 212PTZ

By Dave Mitchell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

The bundled IP Installer utility makes light work of network installation as it searches for and displays all discovered cameras. From here you can change the camera’s IP address or go directly to the web interface. Access controls are good as a user list determines one of three levels of access to the camera. The home page opens to a live view along with control bars along the side and bottom of the image for the pan, tilt and zoom functions. The view can also be changed using the mouse pointer inside the view panel while a joystick option allows you to scan around with the camera following the mouse pointer.

The Motion-JPEG option allows up to twenty users to access the camera simultaneously and although MPEG4 mode has no limits you only get a single decoder and encoder license included so you’ll need to purchase more from Axis. To reduce bandwidth consumption you can opt for lower resolutions or increase image compression and you can also determine the length of time the video stream is active.

As the lens is a fish-eye variety you will get the curvature associated with these when on full wide angle viewing but the image itself is particularly good with a sharp focus and excellent colour balance. With only a 3x zoom to play with you can’t move in close to distant objects but we did find that image quality didn’t deteriorate at all on the highest setting. However, don’t buy this camera for night time surveillance as it can’t function in less than 10 lux and will be of no use even in low light conditions.

A guard tour feature makes good use of the fact that the camera can move to different areas at a rate of 400 degrees per second. Using the on-screen PTZ controls you move through the moving area and save each one as a predefined position. We created a guard tour list of eight positions and watched the camera move through them easily, even when the delay was as quick as one second. Axis’ motion detection has always been amongst the best as you can define up to ten areas where motion is to be detected or ignored. Sensitivity and trigger length after activation can be modified and actions extend to downloading images to an HTTP or FTP server and emailing them as well.

Verdict

An innovative wide angle IP camera that offers very good coverage and top image quality. PTZ cameras with this level of features usually cost a lot more so the Axis alternative also looks good value as well.

Morat

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.

Miles

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.

comments powered by Disqus