by Kevin OBrien

In The Lab: AXIS Security Cameras

Axis is a leader in the video surveillance market, distributing a wide variety of cameras for use cases as broad as there are buildings and people to protect. In the StorageReview Lab we use several models of Axis cameras paired with a Synology NAS and Surveillance Station 7 to provide visualization of our space both while we're on premesis via flat panel in the lab, or remotely via Synology's mobile apps. What follows is a overview of the cameras in place, their core strengths and how they are part of the overall security strategy for StorageReview. 

AXIS Q1604

The AXIS Q1604 Network Camera is indoor and outdoor-ready for video surveillance and is designed for high image-quality in demanding conditions, including poor lighting and weather. The Q1604 achieves this due to its unique Lightfinder technology, which enables the camera to be extremely sensitive to low light. In addition, its Wide Dynamic Range feature with Dynamic and Forensic Capture allows the Q1604 to broadcast homogeneous images without being overly dark or overly bright. AXIS has also made the Q1604’s installation seamless with its use of Power over Ethernet (PoE), removing the need for power cables. The AXIS Q1604 is also equipped with a memory card slot so businesses can store recordings locally.

Other handy features of the AXIS Q16 include the focus assistant functionality, which helps users set the correct focus as well as the ability to remotely tweak the ‘remote back focus’. The pixel counter helps to confirm that the current pixel resolution of an object meets a previously entered set of quality standards. Additionally, the leveling assistance guides are used to help find the correct level during installation while the auto rotation flips the recorded image to the right orientation (e.g. when Corridor Format is used).

We leverage two AXIS Q1604 cameras in the StorageReview building, one position in a lower level hallway viewing an entrance from a staircase and the second overlooking our parking lot. The resolution and high dynamic range help improve visibility over business and evening hours. Our parking lot camera is used extensively while we are in the office and lab to monitor for shipping companies dropping off gear or knowing when visitors have arrived.

AXIS Q1604 Specifications

  • Resolution: 1280x960 (1MP) to 160x90
  • Lens:
    • Varifocal, IR corrected, CS-mount, Megapixel resolution
    • P-Iris
    • 2.8–8 mm: 100°–34° view, F1.2
  • Shutter time: 1/29500 to 2 s
  • Frame rate: 25/30 fps
  • Audio streaming: Two-way
  • Audio compression: AAC-LC 8/16 kHz, G.711 PCM 8 kHz, G.726 ADPCM 8 kHz, Configurable bit rate
  • Built-in microphone (can be disabled)
  • Power: 8–20 V DC or Power over Ethernet IEEE 802.3af/802.3 at Type 1 Class 3, max. 6.9 W
  • Warranty Axis: 3-year warranty

AXIS P3353

The AXIS P3353 is an affordable light-sensitive fixed dome network camera that is equipped with remote focus and zoom functionality. This camera provides businesses with a frame rate of 30 fps in all resolutions up to SVGA. In addition, the P3353 features digital pan/tilt/zoom, which allows users to crop a view area from the full view mode and then stream it for viewing or recording. This feature minimizes the bit rate and storage requirements by optimizing the fixed viewing angle after installation, or by allowing pan, tilt and digital zoom in the view.

Like all of the AXIS cameras mentioned, the P3353 features Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af), which eliminates the need for power cables resulting in lower installation costs. It also comes with intelligent capabilities including enhanced video motion detection as well as detection of camera tampering attempts such as blocking or spray-painting. In addition, the P3353 is equipped with a built-in SD/SDHC memory card slot and advanced security and network management features including HTTPS encryption with preserved performance, IPv6, and Quality of Service.

The AXIS P3353 provides coverage in both our primary office where editors are located, as well as visibility into our photography studio. In both of these areas low-light visibility outside of normal business hours is leveraged for monitoring access to equipment and review gear. Both cameras are wall mounted with PoE connectivity, getting them out of reach and also minimizing clutter.

AXIS M1144-L 

The AXIS M1144-L is an affordable, compact fixed network camera that provides businesses with built-in IR illumination for optimal day and night surveillance.  The M1144-L is equipped with an adjustable IR LED illumination, making it ideal for discovering objects in a range of up to 50ft. The camera also supports edge storage, which allows users to record video directly to a storage device, such as an SD/SDHC card, adding a bit more flexibility to a video surveillance system.

The M1144-L line of cameras can record video locally if the central system is unavailable as well as the ability to continuously record in parallel. As a result, if there are any missing video clips, they are later retrieved and merged with the central storage to help ensure seamless video recordings at all times. In addition, the Axis Corridor Format allows for a vertically oriented portrait-shaped video stream from the M1144-L. The video is also adapted specific to the monitored area, which helps get the most out of image quality all the while eliminating bandwidth and wasted storage.

The AXIS M1144-L find its way into both our main enterprise test lab as well as our lunch room. In both of these areas we can have employees access the rooms without standard overhead lighting turned on, so built-in IR illumination is a valuable feature. 

AXIS M1144-L Specifications

  • Model: AXIS M1144-L Varifocal, DC-iris lens, 1 MP/HDTV 720p, IR illumination
  • Image sensor: Progressive scan RGB CMOS 1/4”
    Lens: Varifocal 2.5-6 mm: 87°-40° view, F1.4
  • Shutter time:
    • Power line frequency 50 Hz: 1/8000 s to 1/6 s
    • Power line frequency 60 Hz: 1/8000 s to 1/6 s
  • Resolutions: 1280x800 to 352x240
  • Power: Power over Ethernet IEEE 802.3af Class 2, max.
  • 5.9 W PoE enabled switch or midspan required (not included)
  • Audio: None
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

AXIS M3025-VE

The AXIS M3025-VE is outdoor-ready surveillance camera with an affordable price tag. This vandal-resistant fixed mini dome camera is ideal for quality video during both day and night-time conditions as well as in indoor or outdoor environments. In addition, this version of the M30-VE line supports 2-megapixel resolution in full HDTV 1080p, has 3-axis camera angle adjustment for flexible installation, and can be mounted on walls, ceilings, or pendants. The M3025-VE also supports Axis Corridor Format for vertically oriented video streams, which comes in handy when users need to cover the surveillance of high ceilings and aisles. These surveillance cameras are specifically designed for inside or outside the entrances of hotels, restaurants, offices or schools.

The AXIS M3025-VE cameras are also equipped with input/output ports, which allow them to be connected to external devices. In addition, the camera has day/night functionality with an automatically removable infrared-cut filter. When removed, the camera leverages invisible near-infrared light from available light sources to playback quality black and white images.

The AXIS M3025-VE is positioned in our main enterprise test lab as well as our NAS lab, where high resolution matters most. In both camera installations we have the sensors focused on the front of the server racks, allowing visibility into what gear is installled as well as being able to monitor some front-mount activity sensors on storage gear. 

AXIS M3025-VE Specifications

  • Images sensor: 1/2.7” progressive scan RGB CMOS
  • Lens: 3.6 mm, 91° view, F2.0
  • Shutter time: 1/8000s to 1/6s
  • Audio functionality: none
  • Camera angle adjustment: Pan ±175°, Tilt 70°, Rotation
  • Resolution: 1920x1080 (2 MP/HDTV 1080p) to 320x240
  • Frame rate: 25/30 fps with power line frequency 50/60 Hz
  • Casing: IP66- and NEMA 4X-rated, IK10 impact-resistant aluminum casing with transparent, polycarbonate cover and dehumidifying membrane, Encapsulated electronics, Captive screws (resitorx 10) Color: White NCS S 1002-B
  • Warranty: 1 year

AXIS P1354

The AXIS P1354 surveillance camera provides businesses with multiple H.264 and Motion JPEG video streams at once. It is packed with features such as wide dynamic range and day and night functionality, which help provide high quality images in both daylight and dark conditions. In addition, it supports HDTV 720p and Axis´ Lightfinder technology, allowing the P1354 to be extremely sensitive to low light. The AXIS P1354 supports Power over Ethernet (PoE) and uses PoE and High PoE in temperatures from -40 ºF to 122 ºF.

The P1354 is also equipped with the remote back focus function, allowing the focus to be tweaked remotely from a computer. In addition, it features a digital pan/tilt/zoom as well as a serial port for communication with auxiliary equipment (such as pan/tilt head), which enables users to remotely change the camera direction.

Last but not least, the AXIS P1354 is leveraged to monitor the front door and waiting area of our building as well as a rear hallway with an emergency exit. In both of these areas the cameras are positioned to have a clear view of people entering our building and making sure things stay secure after normal business hours. 

AXIS P1354 Specifications

  • Model: 1 MP/HDTV 720p, Lightfinder
  • Resolution: 1280x960b (approx. 1.3 MP) to 160x90
  • Lens:
    • IR-corrected, CS-mount lens
    • Varifocal 2.8–8 mm: 100°–34° view, F1.2
  • Frame rate: 25/30 fps in 50/60 Hz power line frequency
  • Shutter time:
    • Power line frequency 50 Hz: 1/24500 s to 2 s
    • Power line frequency 60 Hz: 1/29500 s to 2 s
  • Audio streaming Two-way, full duplex
  • Audio compression AAC LC 8/16 kHz, G.711 PCM 8 kHz, G.726 ADPCM 8 kHz Configurable bit rate
  • Built-in microphone (can be disabled)
  • Power: max. 7.2 W, PoE Class 3
  • Warranty: 3-year warranty

Axis Cameras at Amazon

Update: Our review of Synology Surveillance Station 7.0

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