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.
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.