I’m skeptical when it comes to higher resolution cameras because of low light sensitivity, but the Axis P3367-VE does a really good job in low light, not just for being a 5MP camera, for any camera. As with the previous P33 series I reviewed, this has motorized zoom lens and remote focus making it an easy camera to install. Very well constructed with cast aluminum body and reasonably sized for a vandal dome.
- 2592 x 1944 resolution (5MP) at 12fps
- 3MP at 20fps or 1080P at 30fps
- 1/3.2″ progressive scan RGB sensor
- 3-9mm F1.2 lens
- Outdoor-ready design with extended temperature range
- Easy installation with remote focus and zoom
- Wide Dynamic Range (WDR)
- Multiple H.264 streams
- Day/night functionality
- Power over Ethernet
The P33 series is the top of the line for Axis fixed domes that includes all the features one could want like day/night IR cut filter, motorized focus and zoom, 3-axis manual lens adjustment and the Edge Storage feature with an SD card slot.
The P3367 has 5MP resolution (2592×1944) which feels huge. While most people’s TV’s or PC monitors can only view video at 1080P (1920×1080), having the extra resolution to either use the camera’s virtual PTZ feature or to take snapshots that have 2 1/2 times the resolution of a 1080P camera comes in handy to identify a person or car. While some brands, the higher you go in resolution the lower the low light sensitivity, this camera does extremely well in low light while still in color mode. Switching to night mode requires the use of an external illuminators which I’ve used in my testing, but actually, if you can provide a small amount of white light, this camera is best left in color mode as the image appears sharper.
As other cameras in the Axis P33 series, it can be installed in a harsh climate, -40f to 131F or -40C to 55C, (not sure there are many places on earth that exceed these limits). If this is your case, then this may be the camera to get.
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. What makes this unique is that in order to make a 5MP image feasible on common PC screens is the button in the upper left, the square with the arrow in it. Clicking on this shrinks the image to make it viewable on typical monitors. Then on the bottom and right hand side, you have virtual PTZ controls to zoom in to the higher resolution image, then pan/tilt around the image.
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. Below is where you tweak the camera image settings are under Video & Audio, Camera Settings.
A nice feature is that this camera can be focused and zoomed from the comfort of your browser. Saves a ton of time pre-focusing and then re-focusing on the ladder trying to get the perfect focus and focal length. This feature worked the best out of any camera I’ve tested with this feature. You can also select the zone you want to use for focus which came in handy when I wanted to focus on the car, not the houses in the distance.
Motion detection is under Detectors and is set by creating motion detect windows. If you are using Axis Camera Companion (ACC), skip this step as it has its own motion detectors it uses.
You setup video streams here, and as you can see, I set it for the full 5MP.
Now onto the images, how well does this camera perform. I mounted the camera at the front of my garage set the varifocal lens to near its wide-angle. As with my other reviews, click on the images below to see the full size image, straight from the camera.
This fist image I turned WDR off so you can compare it to the same image with it on.
I took WDR images at different levels, low medium and high so you can see what effect different settings have. I did notice more grain/noise the stronger the WDR level. If you need WDR, you may want to experiment to find what the lowest setting is that meets you needs. The idea of WDR for those not familiar is to have a wider dynamic range so you can see details that may be lost in high contrast situations like shadows or bright lights. This is the same image with WDR set to LOW
This is the same image with WDR set to MEDIUM
And finally, WDR set to it’s maximum setting
At night, the camera did surprisingly well with just my house lights on which are three 13w fluorescent bulbs (60W incandescent equivalents). This would be a less expensive way to go than buying external IR illuminators. This is an image with WDR turned off. Even with WDR off, you still get good detail, you can see into the car.
This is a night image with WDR set on (medium). I purposely put the high beams on, shining towards the camera, worst case scenario but you can still read the plates.
This is an image with the front house lights off and you can see it switches to night mode in black & white. This has WDR mode on so you can see the increased detail at the expense of contrast. This requires external illuminators and for this test case, I’m using a the built-in illuminators from another camera.
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. 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 street price for this camera is about $1,300 and considering the special capabilities, Axis reputation of excellent service and support and no need for an NVR or NVR software to record, it’s a good value.
The pluses for this camera are;
- Wide Dynamic Range
- Motorized focus and zoom for easy setup
- Extreme weather capabilities from a low of -40F to a high of 131F
- Edge Storage (recording to SD card or NAS)
- Free Axis Camera Companion Software
- Smartphone apps available
- Excellent Axis Customer Service and Support
- Day/Night IR Cut Filter
- 2-way audio
Where I would use this camera is where you need to cover a wide area yet still have plenty of resolution for identification purposes. Also, in an extreme weather area. While this is not their low light camera with Lightfinder, it’s pretty close.
Axis P3367 Camera spec sheet can be found HERE