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For indoor network surveillance there is a plethora of camera choices and over the past few months we’ve looked at a range of options from all the big players including Axis, Sony, Panasonic and D-Link. However, move up to outdoor surveillance and you’ll see a dramatic reduction in those choices and a commensurate increase in costs. With the launch of its latest 225FD, Axis aims to change the landscape as this fixed dome camera is one tough cookie that looks capable of handling pretty much anything you can (literally) throw at it.
There’s no lightweight plastic chassis here - the 225FD is housed in very solid metal that’s built to be vandal resistant and weather proof.
Furthermore, the design is far more compact than the majority of other products on the market making it a good choice for discrete surveillance. The lens is protected behind a polycarbonate glass hemisphere, the dome and metal collar are secured by tamperproof screws and the complete housing conforms to the Ingress Protection (IP) level 66, which means it is passed as dust proof and can protect against strong water jets. The camera even incorporates an internal heater and fan and Axis claims with these in action the camera can function in temperatures as low as -20ºC.
The camera can be powered with one of three options. Commendably, it is 802.3af PoE compliant so can be powered over the network cable from a suitable switch or you can use the supplied 12V power transformer. However, neither of these modes provides enough juice to run the internal heater and for this you’ll need to purchase Axis’ optional outdoor power supply module. The camera supports pan, tilt and zoom function but these are only manual adjustments which are carried out during installation. Once the camera is in position you need to establish a network connection, remove the dome assembly and position the lens in the desired direction. Pullers on the lens are also provided for manual zoom and focus adjustment.
Overall, we found the process a little fiddly as care must be taken not to stretch or damage the wire bundle to the lens as you move it and you also need to rotate the plastic light baffle inside the glass so that it is in the correct position when reassembled. All status indicators are also inside the housing and can only be seen with the dome removed. The 225FD also incorporates an internal I/O connector block that can be used to link the camera to external security devices such as door sensors or alarms enabling them to trigger video capture or an external alarm if activated.
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