Axis P5534-E Outdoor PTZ Camera

Many people ask me, “What’s a good pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) camera to use at home”. Hard for me to imagine needing a PTZ cameras as I live in California where lots are small, and there’s really no need to have 18X zoom and 360 degree pan. Where I believe a PTZ camera is valuable is where you have a large area you want to cover and putting individual cameras in those locations are not feasible. I also have been a big proponent of having mega-pixel resolution or what some companies started calling HD to feed off the HD TV standard. This is where the P5534-E does not disappoint, it’s one of the very few HD resolution PTZ cameras on the market and the resolution combined with its zoom lens is amazing.

First, so that you are not in total sticker shock by the end of this article, dependable, quality PTZ cameras are not cheap. This one is no exception at a street price of about $2,800. In comparison, on the low end, the Axis 215 PTZ-E runs about half that at $1,400. Some people have pieced together less expensive indoor PTZ cameras that run about $700 and put them in outdoor dome enclosures, but when all is said and done, it’s still going to be over $1,000.

The way PTZ cameras work in surveillance is you set points that you want the camera to capture. Once you setup these points, you start its patrol feature that stops at each point at a preset interval. If the camera is programmed to record when motion is detected or a scheduled event is programmed, the camera has the ability record to its internal SD card storage. In a live situation, you use these points to quickly get the camera to an area you want to look at and then you can manually maneuver the camera to see what you want to see. From what I’ve seen, it takes a few seconds to maneuver the camera from one point to another.

The P5534-E, like many PTZ cameras uses more power than the standard PoE switch/injector can put out, so it comes with a special high powered injector that can handle the camera’s 30W requirement. Axis calls this PoE+.

The P5534-E is an outdoor dome that can operate between -4F to 122F. It has the ability to pan 360 degrees and tilt 180 degrees. It can pan/tilt 300 degrees per second. The lens can go from 4.7mm to 84.6mm or 18X zoom, not much of a wide angle, but has great telephoto capabilities. It also has a 12X digital zoom for a total of 216X zoom that is OK, but if you use it beyond about 36X it starts to get pixilated like most digital zooms do. It uses a 1.3MP sensor and the resolution is 1280×720 (0.9MP) to provide an HD like 16:9 image. This is equivalent to 3 VGA (640×480) images.

Like most new cameras from Axis, it has h.264 compression and Axis does a good job here. You can store more video, view faster frame rates and get a sharper cleaner image when viewing or recording in h.264 mode, free of the usual compression artifacts you get with traditional MJPEG.

The camera is rated down to 0.04 lux in B&W night mode, but well beyond that point it starts getting grainy, frankly, not as good as lesser, non-PTZ cameras in their stable, like the Axis M1114 or as good as PTZ cameras with CCD sensor with lower VGA resolution but certainly very usable.

The zoom is actually amazing. In the sample shots, you can see how a gas station that’s a block away can be zoomed in show great detail of people and cars. Click on the small image to see the full size image from the camera.

This is a gas station shot taken at it’s 4.7mm wide angle setting.

Axis P5534-E

Same station but zoomed in

Axis P5534-E

Same station at night

Axis P5534-E

Street – DAY

Axis P5534-E

Street – Night

Axis P5534-E

This is a comparison between MJPEG and H.264 compression

– Image with MJPEG

Axis P5534-E

Image with H.264

Axis P5534-E

The setup interface is traditional Axis which is a pretty clean and comprehensive interface. It has additional features that provide the PTZ functionality. Sample screen shots of the interface and below.

Axis P5534-E

Axis P5534-E

Axis P5534-E

Axis P5534-E

Axis P5534-E

Axis P5534-E

The conclusion is this camera is great for people that want the capabilities that only a PTZ camera can provide and are not shy about spending the money to get the features they want.

The pluses for this camera are;

– HD Resolution
– Fast, powerful pan/tilt/zoom capabilities
– powered by PoE+, only a single Ethernet cable powers and connects this camera
– Invaluable for patrolling large areas

The shortfalls of this camera are;

– The plastic domes have a seam line in the upper part of the tilt range, this has been reported on different models besides this one, like the Q6034-E. Axis support says they are looking to fix this in fall, but it’s a serious issue for a seriously expensive camera. I would not buy one until the issue is resolved – Click here to see the YouTube video of dome flaw
– Mediocre low light capability
– Expensive for home use

Recommended for;

This camera work well if you need to do surveillance on large areas like parks, parking lots, sport arenas where the 216X zoom will let you count nose hairs on a suspect on the far end of a Walmart parking lot.

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22 Comments on "Axis P5534-E Outdoor PTZ Camera"

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4 years 9 months ago

Hi just wondering if you will be testing the q6035 soon as mentioned 2 weeks back, i am interested in the camera, but wanted to read some reviews first, i’ve considered the vivotek sd8362e, but it uses the same chip as the ip8362e which makes me believe that its performance will be far from the manufacturer specs.

4 years 10 months ago

My understanding is that there are no replacement domes for the P55 series and won’t be either.

4 years 10 months ago

You probably know already, but Axis have been shipping free replacement domes for a while now.

5 years 8 days ago

Well you are right the night images suck and the seam in the dome sucks.
I hate the camera and it will cost me $500 restocking fee to return. I’m screwed.

There are additional problems that I wouldn’t have known until I bought it…
1) The Guard Tour has a minimum 10 pause which makes it useless as a webcam for public visitors
2) If I only want the preset drop down for visitors it also has to include the PTZ, focus, and iris controls which I don’t want visitors to access. Only with some embedded script for a web page can it be modified.

The only thing I like about it is the day viewing when I manually control it.
Here’s my sample video http://prescottaz.tv/20120210_18-58-49.asf
Overall I’m sorry I bought the thing:-(

5 years 18 days ago

Ok this is the last example I’ll post of the p5534 showing night color. I believe it is pretty dark in this one and still the image looks decent. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xmz-bT-Ge5E&feature=related

5 years 28 days ago

I’m seriously considering the P5534-E but I’m concerned about the line in the dome and also whether or not I will be satisfied with the night image quality. I like all the other features I’ve read about the camera so far.

I really want a camera that can give clear color night vision when I zoom into something like a well lit street intersection. I have a great vantage point that looks over the city and want a good public camera for visitors to view. Currently I have a cheap Foscam doing the job. Any input would be appreciated.

5 years 1 month ago


Have you tried the AXIS 233D? Looking for a good Axis low light PTZ.

5 years 6 months ago

I have the “seam” issues ;-(