The Axis Q60 series is the crown jewel of the Axis lineup. An HD 1080P PTZ speed dome with 20X optical zoom and great image quality not only during the day, but also using available light at night. Previously I reviewed their 720P PTZ Dome, the P5534-E so we mounted the two side by side to you show you the difference between the two. The Q6035-E outdoor-ready PTZ dome provides HDTV coverage of large areas, great details when zooming in, and high-speed pan/tilt performance.
• HDTV 1080p 30 fps as well as HDTV 720p 60 fps
• Day/night and H.264
• 20x optical zoom
• Wide Dynamic Range (WDR)
• Outdoor-ready with Arctic Temperature Control
• Active Gatekeeper and tour recording
• High Power over Ethernet
• MicroSDHC card slot for local storage
• Remote storage to NAS via Edge recording
First, so that you are not in total sticker shock by the end of this article, dependable, quality PTZ cameras are not cheap and 1080P PTZ cameras are rare. This one is no exception at a street price of about $3,800. The P5534-E previously reviewed has a street price of about $2,800 but has half the resolution. I’ve included some side by side shots that may help in making a decision between the two.
The way PTZ cameras work in surveillance is you set preset positions of scenes that you want the camera to capture. Once you setup these preset positions, you start the guard patrol feature that stops at each point at a preset interval. When live viewing the camera, you use these presets to quickly get the camera to an area you want to look at. There’s a second or two lag as the camera pans, tilts, zooms and refocuses at each preset, but it’s the fastest that I’ve ever used. To show you a typical guard patrol, I put a few minutes of video on YouTube. To see the quality of 1080P, makes sure you chose the video setting to play back at 1080P.
In addition to the guard patrols, active Gatekeeper enables AXIS Q6035/-E cameras to automatically move to a preset position—to zoom in, for example, on a license plate—when motion is detected in a pre-defined area, and to track the detected object. I tried the Gatekeeper feature briefly and it did trigger of a person moving and tracked them.
The P6035-E, like many outdoor 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 60W requirement. This not only runs the motors to pan, tilt, zoom and focus the camera, but also powers a fan and heater allowing the camera to perform not only where the camera is currently in New Jersey, but in Arctic climates as well.
The camera has the ability record to its internal SD card storage or remotely to networked storage (NAS) that Axis calls Edge Storage. It can record continously, events via motion detection, triggered by external inputs or via a record button on the live view screen. You can play the recorded files from the camera or download them to your computer. I’ve been able to play the downloaded video on a Macbook or Windows PC using native players. It splits the videos into 1 minutes chunks by default but this can be changed to longer periods in the camera’s settings. When downloaded to my PC, the files were large, about 100MB per recorded minute which is not unusual for 1080P cameras. The Axis web interface works from several browsers I’ve tried including IE and Safari.
Here’s some images from the camera. As with other reviews, clicking on the small image will display the full sized image that came straight from the camera. Also as with other reviews, I set the maximum shutter speed to 1/30th of a second as this represents a good compromize between low light capability and motion blur.
To see how well the zoom works, I’ve included some images at different zoom rates starting with 5X
and finally, at it’s max optical zoom of 20X
This is a side by side shot daytime shot between the Q6035-E and teh P5534-E so you can see the difference between 1080P and 720P.
Now onto the night images. These were taken with just available light, no illuminators were used. It’s tough to use illuminators as you would have to cover such a large area it’s not feasible. If you do need illuminators, I would recomend you put them in spots as needed and not try to cover a large area with them.
Another night shot. The noise reduction is effective but still preserves detail.
This is a side by side shot nighttime shot between the Q6035-E and teh P5534-E so you can see the difference between 1080P and 720P.
The setup interface is traditional Axis which is a pretty clean and comprehensive interface. It has additional features that provide the PTZ functionality. This is the “live view” screen that you see when you first connect to the camera. From this screen you can pan/tilt by clicking on portions of the screen. A small red arrow shows you which way it’s going to go.
This is where you configure the PTZ preset positions
This is the setup screen for motion detection
The conclusion is this camera is great for people that want the capabilities that only a 1080P HD PTZ camera can provide and are not shy about spending the money to get the quality and features they want. There’s no substitute for pixels or image quality. At 20X optical zoom combined with 1080P resolution, you can see things you may have not thought possible.
The pluses for this camera are;
• HD 1080P Resolution with 20X optical zoom
• Fast, powerful pan/tilt/zoom capabilities
• powered by PoE+, only a single Ethernet cable powers and connects this camera
• Invaluable for patrolling large areas
• Very good low light performance
The shortfalls of this camera are;
• May be expensive for home use
This camera work well if you need to do surveillance on large areas like parks, parking lots, sport arenas where the 1080P resolution and 20X optical zoom will let you count nose hairs on a suspect on the far end of a Walmart parking lot.