The AXIS M5014 PTZ Dome Network Camera is a palm-sized, HDTV 720p pan/tilt/zoom camera that is well priced for monitoring of indoor areas such as homes, stores, banks, hotels, office lobbies, restaurants and warehouses. While designed for indoor use, the camera is well sealed and I have seen this used outdoors under a protected eave in a temperate climate (above 32F/0C).
- Pan, tilt, zoom in an small discreet design
- HDTV 720p and H.264
- IP51-rated protection against dust and dripping water
- Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af)
- Built-in microphone and audio detection
This is the lowest priced HDTV PTZ camera from Axis with a street price in the $500-600 range. The Z in PTZ is actually a digital zoom, not optical like on their more expensive cameras. The PT in PTZ is true pan/tilt, very fast and has a wide range of motion. As with most PTZ cameras, it has to be mounted on a horizontal plane, like a ceiling. It comes with metal spring clip mount that you can attach to the ceiling and the camera snaps in.
This is what the web interface looks like when you first connect to the camera from a web browser. This is a very typical Axis interface which is comforting to know that from their lowest priced camera to their most complex and expensive camera, the interface remains familiar.
Clicking Setup takes you to all the available camera settings. For example, in Basic Setup you can set the camera’s clock, the IP address and such. Where you tweak the camera image settings are under Video & Audio, Camera Settings. To get a more optimal exposure, I did kick up Exposure Value from the default of 50 to 69.
The video streams settings are where you can select the resolution up to a max of 1280 x 720. The overlay settings allow you to display time and text on the video.
The M5014 has a built-in microphone. You can not only record audio and listen to activity in a room, you can also trigger recording based on audio levels.
Disk Management, found under System Options is where you set the SD card options. You can format, repair and check the SD card. You also set what’s the longest you want to keep video for and at what percentage full you want to have it delete old recordings. I would recommend you get a microSD card that’s rated at Class 10 as recording at this resolution requires a fast SD card.
Motion Detection under Events is where you setup motion detect windows. You can create several motion detect wndows, each with unique sensitivity settings. The default sensitivity settings work quite well for this camera. If it’s not sensitive enough, adjusting Object Size lower seem to help capture more minute movements.
The Event Types screen found under Events is where you add motion detect rules.
You can add triggered events that are triggered off video motion detectors, or add a scheduled event that happens at a specific time, for example, upload an image once an hour. In the rule below, I set it to trigger on motion detect and record video on the SD card. I chose to record 2 seconds of video prior to the trigger and 10 seconds after the trigger.
Once the cameras starts recording to the SD card, you can view the list of recordings and play back the video directly from this screen. You can also download the video and play it on another computer.
The camera has a very wide pan and tilt range that may exceed how far you want it to go. You can set these limits under PTZ, Advanced, Limits.
As with most PTZ cameras, you can set preset locations so you can quickly pan/tilt/zoom to an area, like a front door or cash register.
Now onto the images, how well does this camera perform. As with my other reviews, click on the images below to see the full size image. This is a shot during the day, good sharp, clean image with very good color accuracy. This is a shot taken by panning to the right of the camera. This is where the dining room, kitchen and front door is.
I then panned to center of the of the room where the living room is. Using the camera’s built in functionality, the camera can’t be PTZ’ed automatically via a patrol feature. There may be a patrol feature in some 3rd party software that may work.
Lastly, I panned to the left to capture the deck area. From one vantage point, I covered most of the living area on the first floor. This would have taken 3 regular cameras to accomplish instead of this sleek little camera that fits in the palm of your hand.
I wanted to show you how effective the digital zoom is. The dogs were lying down in their beds. I zoomed in 3X, the maximum, you can tell it’s slightly pixalated, but still a very good image. This is the un-zoomed image.
This is the zoomed in image.
Axis Edge Storage
The advantage of the camera being able to record to a local SD card or to Network Attached Storage (NAS) is that you can record without having to purchase a PC or Network Video Recorder (NVR) to record. It will record on its own and it works quite well. The only problem is that it’s not easy to find what you want and if you have several cameras, it can be tedious to log into each for forensic analysis or even to view activity in your home or business from all cameras at once.
To solve this problem, Axis came out with free Axis Camera Companion (ACC) software. It lets the cameras do the heavy lifting of motion detection, alerts and recording and they provide ACC to view and configure the cameras from any PC and also has viewer apps for IOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android. Because the cameras are doing the heavy lifting, just about any PC can be used to run ACC and you only run it when you need to view the cameras, so it’s environmentally friendly as you don’t have to leave an NVR or PC running 24/7. Click HERE for more information on ACC.
The pluses for this camera are;
- Price for an Axis PTZ camera
- 720P at 30fps
- Edge Storage (recording to SD or NAS)
- Free Axis Camera Companion Software
- Smartphone apps
- Excellent Axis Customer Service and Support
The wish list for this camera is;
- Day/Night IR Cut Filter
- Optical zoom
- Automated PTZ Patrols
Where I would use this camera is indoors where you need to cover a larger area and would like to do it with the least amount of cameras. Also, this is a day only camera, meaning it’s best used if lights are on all the time like in a retail space or in a home where lights are kept on at night or motion detect lights are used. Not having to have an NVR or PC makes setup and running this easy. There’s no longer a single point of failure as each camera is operating independently of each other which is a good value proposition for a home or small business.