The camera has an internal microphone but also incorporates both audio in and out sockets so can facilitate two-way communications. You will have to endure the inevitable lag of around half a second between each end of the link but quality for the internal microphone is surprisingly good with little interference from background noise. You also get the standard internal 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.
There’s plenty to play with on the camera’s configuration pages and you can limit access with a local username and password list. Users can opt for Motion-JPEG playback, which supports up to twenty users accessing the camera simultaneously. There are no user limits for the multicast MPEG-4 mode but the package only includes a single decoder and encoder license. You can buy more and Axis sells ten user license packs for around £65.
Axis scores well for its motion detection features as up to ten custom windows can be specified within the image where motion is to be detected or ignored. Each window can have its own camera sensitivity applied and you can decide for each one how long images will be captured when a trigger has been activated. Usefully, you can download images to HTTP or FTP servers, decide on the frame rate and also email the images to multiple recipients. Plenty of event triggers are available as along with motion detection and the inputs on the I/O block you can set an audio threshold enabling excessive noise levels to set the camera off.
The 216FD is a bit on the pricey side and the manual lens adjustment is awkward but you are getting very good image quality and the ability to operate in low light levels. Image capture trigger functions are well above average and the camera supports both compression modes at the top frame rate as well.