Axis is the leader in IP cameras and they recently started releasing some good cameras at afforable prices to compete with the lower costs products from the Asian market. One of the best values is the Axis M1114. This camera comes with a vari-focal lens (manual zoom), auto-iris (variable apeture) and 1 MP resolution they call HD (720p). The camera also has the ability to use a newer compression technology called h.264. This is a video codec designed for surveillence with very good compression (about 10x over other methods) and very good image quality. The advantage to you is you can view your camera remotely at a higher resolution and frame rate than otherwise without compromising quality.
Here are some images taken at different times and compression methods to give you an idea of how this camera performs.
This is a daytime shot using H.264 compression
This is the same image, but taken using MJPEG compression. You can see that it’s not quite as good as the H.264 yet takes up many times more bandwidth.
This final shot is a night time shot. You can see that with a simple 40 Watt bulb, the illumination is quite adequate for this camera and the noise and static you normally get from other cameras is non-existant.
The conclusion is that this camera is great value for the under $500 street price. With an inexpensive outdoor enclosure, this can be used to provide security outdoors as well. It does not have IR capabilities, so it’s best to use visible light from a porch light or night time motion detect flood light.
The pluses of this camera are;
- HD resolution
- Easy to setup and use
- Excellent Axis Tech Support
- Quality Auto-Iris and Vari-Focal lens
- Very small compact size
- Can send emails with pictures on video motion detect
- Can send FTP pictures (not video) on a schedule or video motion detect
- Very flexible amount of options on the camera software
The shortfalls of this camera are;
- does not have audio capabilities
- does not have external sensor inputs
- does not have IR capabilities
- management software is available at additional cost
- home or small business surveillence, both indoors and out
- webcam to feed pictures to your website
Other models in the same family include the M1104, same camera, but with a fixed lens. Also, the M1113, same lens as the M1114, but 800×600 resolution and the M1103, fixed lens, 800×600 resolution. For indoor applications, in a typical home, the M1103 would provide a good general purpose lens and decent resolution. For outdoor use, having the extra resolution and vari-focal/auto-iris lens is a plus.