13
Nov
12

Axis M5014 720P PTZ Mini Dome Review

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).

Axis M5014 Camera

Main Features

  • 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.

Axis M5014 - Initial Screen

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.

Axis M5014 - Camera Settings

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.

Axis M5014 - Video Streams

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.

Axis M5014 - Audio Settings

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.

Axis M5014 - Disk Management

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.

Axis M5014 - Motion Detectors

The Event Types screen found under Events is where you add motion detect rules.

Axis M5014 - Event Types

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.

Axis M5014 - Action Rule Setup

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.

Axis M5014 - Recordings

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.

Axis M5014 - PTZ 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.

Axis M5014 - PTZ Presets

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.

Axis M5014 - Day View

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.

Axis M5014 - Day View

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.

Axis M5014 - Day View

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.

Axis M5014 - Dogs

This is the zoomed in image.

Axis M5014 - Zoomed In

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.

Conclusions

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.

Click HEREto go to the company web page for the camera. Also, an alternative review where the Axis M5014 is used outdoors is HERE.

 

 

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8 Comments on "Axis M5014 720P PTZ Mini Dome Review"

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Rod
Rod
3 years 10 months ago
I have two of the M5014’s and the noise of the PTZ is noticeable to people under the camera if the venue is deathly quiet. I’ve had my employees tell me that they heard “something” like a buzzing sound at the exact time I happened to be panning the camera. But my biggest gripe with this camera is that there is something wrong with the encoding engine for H.264 with the M5014 as compared to my M3005-V’s. When recording in 720P, the M50’s use up to 5 to 10 times the bandwidth that the M3005-V’s in 720P use even when looking at the same scene and even when using identical settings. You can check how much bandwidth the camera is using but typing in “#r fps, #b kbit/s” in the text box in the Overlay Settings section on any Axis camera. http://www.axis.com/techsup/faq/index.php/index.htm?action=artikel&&cat=0&id=53524&artlang=en&highlight=fps My 3005-V’s at 720P would use on average of 1-2Mbps. However, when I use the M50’s to view the exact same scene with IDENTICAL settings the bandwidth is between 6 – 10Mbps. I went around and around with Axis troubleshooting this and their final response to this after I was escalated is as follows: —— Dear xxx The… Read more »
Rod
Rod
3 years 10 months ago

I wanted to give a quick update. I decide to start another case on-line with Axis technical support about this issue since it has been bugging me for almost a year now. After 8 days of waiting for a reply they finally told me that adjusting the contrast up (or down) has a major impact on bandwidth that this camera uses. So I adjusted my contrast down by 10 points and it reduced the bandwidth used by 33%. Hopefully this will help someone in the future that runs across this same issue. I can now run these in 720p and view them offsite with no bandwidth issues. I run them now at 720p/H.264 with compression of 40, GOV rate at 500, and fps limited to 15. That puts me right in the 2 – 2.5mbps area which is acceptable for most cable modem/DSL upstreams.

I am very happy now.

Chip
Chip
3 years 11 months ago

You made a wish-list request for Automated PTZ Patrols. What camera would be an example of that, on par with this Axis model?

No5
No5
4 years 2 months ago

Did you notice while operating the ptz that it was extremely loud? (as per this YouTube post: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAKF4MR-z2E).

Granted the sound is amplified due to the proximity of the microphone within the housing, but I’m curious to know what you observed as well.

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