20
Jul
10

ACTi ACM-1231 MegaPixel Outdoor Camera

ACTi makes some unique cameras in the marketplace that distinguish themselves. Most of their cameras use the same 1/3″ CMOS sensor with 1.3MP resolution. The value proposition with the 1231 is that it’s a commercial quality outdoor, day/night, vari-focal lens (about 4X zoom), megapixel camera with built-in IR illuminators at a price point that many other companies sell simple cameras without many of these features. Ideal for small businesses or home owners that want an affordable true outdoor camera. The camera retails for $619, but street price seems to be around $550.

Having worked with ACTi on getting this camera setup, I can vouch that it’s not as easy as some other brands like Axis, but still intuitive. The manual is not as well written as others, but they provide very detailed “how to” guides in their FAQ section which fill the voids in their manual.

The image quality out of the box is not that good and would lead you to believe this is not a good camera, but after some tweaking with the assistance of their tech support, the image quality is pretty good for the price point, certainly worth considering if you need an outdoor camera.

I also had problems with vari-focal (manual zoom) and focusing. It’s not documented, but you need to loosen the knobs by turning them counter-clockwise to make the adjustments and then tighten them up again.

Here’s a sample screenshot of the configuration screens which is similar in format to Axis, but without the built-in help functions Axis provides.

ACTi ACM-1231 - Screenshot

Here’s an image taken during the middle of the day. Color and sharpness are good

ACTi ACM-1231 - Daytime

Here’s an image taken at night, very dark except for a Malibu lights in the potted plants. It’s a little grainy, but you can see the advantages of having IR illuminators. The thing to note is that this is set at 1/30th/sec shutter speed minimum which would cripple most cameras without illuminators. This is important because many reduce shutter speeds to ridiculous long exposures making for a very clear night scene but impossible to capture a moving object.

ACTi ACM-1231 - Evening

The conclusion is that this camera is a good value for those looking for an outdoor camera. The features you need in an outdoor camera are. extra resolution because you are trying to cover a larger area than indoors, lighting, has to work day or night which means an IR CUT filter in mandatory, you need to be able to zoom in to focus in on what you are trying to capture and you need it work in all weather. For this, the camera delivers. Also, being a popular commercial camera, I’ve found that it works with many surveillance camera software products out there. Currently, I’m using it with BlueIris and it’s working great.

The pluses for this camera are;

  • 1.3 MegaPixel resolution (4 times that of CCTV camera)
  • Excellent Acti Tech Support
  • Vari-Focal lens at 3.3 to 12mm (almost 4X zoom)
  • Built in IR illuminators, good for about 50′
  • Automatic IR CUT filter (suitable for day or night with IR)
  • Can send emails or FTP video or images
  • Powered by PoE or an included power adapter

The shortfalls of this camera are;

  • Documentation can be better
  • Does not have built in storage, like an SD card

Recommended for;

  • this camera works as well for home surveillance as it does for large business, very versatile, priced right and unique in that the other major camera manufacturers have nothing completely like this.

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35 Comments on "ACTi ACM-1231 MegaPixel Outdoor Camera"

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Inside Jobs
1 year 8 months ago

Present help and recommendations for new and present gear with regard to installation,
upgrades, and enhancements.

Marc Kaufman
Marc Kaufman
1 year 8 months ago

I have an ACM-1231 (which is now out of production), and E32 and E33 cameras. The E32 (2MP) has pretty good low-light performance. The E33 (5MP) also has good low-light performance, but not quite as good as the E32. Prices are reasonable for the performance. There are a lot of mounting choices and vari-focal vs. fixed focus. Take a look at the ACTi site (www.acti.com) to see the matrix of options.

Marc Kaufman
Marc Kaufman
3 years 9 months ago

I see that the ACM-1231 and the TCM-1231 are now both discontinued and replaced by the E41 (1MP), E42(3MP), E43(5MP). Have you had a look at one of those yet?

Bryan
Bryan
4 years 9 months ago

I appreciate your blog and advice on the various forums. Been looking for a camera with the ACM 1231 capabilities but like the Dome format aesthetically. Are there disadvantages of dome cameras over the bullet style? Is the ACTi ACM-7511 the dome version of the ACM 1231? Or would you recommend a different model if you were to recommend a dome style camera?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

George
George
4 years 10 months ago

I’m looking at the motion detection in the ACTI camera software, It seems that when creating a zone, you can only create the zone using a square/rectangle. In screen shots for Axis cameras, you can create an actual shape rather than a box. I’m only judging by screen shots. It this true?

Thad
Thad
5 years 2 months ago

Ignore me šŸ™‚ I got here for the ACTi review, but should have started with the most recent review. I’m going TCM 1231 outdoors and the AVN80x indoors with Blue Iris on my HP Media Smart Server. Fantastic reviews and information. Much appreciated.

I’m in the desert and the high temp range on the 1231 is 122F. I’m a little concerned about direct sunlight in the summer. While ambient temp might not be 122F, the cam is gonna get hot in direct sunlight for hours at a time. Any thoughts or anecdotal info from other users?

cheers

Thad
Thad
5 years 2 months ago

Hi, you’ve got a great site so much appreciated. Quick Question — You mentioned running Blue Iris and ACTi’s free software. I’m fine with plopping down $50 if my life will be much easier for it. I’m a noob to all of this, so with that in mind…..BI or ACTi’s VMS. Thanks mucho.

Oh, any experience with ACTi cube cams? How large of a room can a cube remain effective. I want a megapixel w/720 res. I’m looking at the TCM 4201 and Axis M1054. Est price difference is $50. Sorry in advance for partially high-jacking the thread to cubes.

cheers

C
C
5 years 4 months ago

What is a good online place to buy ACTi cams? Like Authorized resellers so that the warranties still apply.

James
5 years 10 months ago

Can you share what your settings are for your ACM-1231?

The shutter speed setting is not listed as a minimum, it’s maximum. So even when I set it to 1/30 I get blurred images at night.

Are you using the CGI commands to change the day and night settings?

Craig
Craig
4 years 1 month ago

I have the TCM-1231, but have been struggling with the day and night time video settings.
If you could e-mail be some pics of how you setup your ACM-1231 That would be awesome.

Dave
Dave
5 years 10 months ago

What do you think about the ACTi TCM-1231? Was the TCM-1231 available when you bought your ACM-1231? I am looking for a decent camera for the front porch. I am going to put this camera under a eve and will be able to run PoE.

I enjoyed reading your posts on http://www.networkcamerareviews.com/forums/ and appreciate your contributions and opinions. Thank you!

Shelldon
Shelldon
5 years 11 months ago

Thanks for your reply. The varifocal lens is not “manually” adjustable is it? Remember this camera will he mounted high up under a bay window so it will **not** be easy to get to after it’s is installed.
Any other suggestions for such an installation? Thanks!

Shelldon
Shelldon
5 years 11 months ago

Hello,

I am interested in an outdoor IP Network Camera for installing under my bay window and was wondering if you think this camera would be a good selection for my application?

Very good night image resolution is important as well as a nice broad field of view. Since this is going to be mounted high up under the bay window, SD option will not be feasable so I’ll need a seperate pc/server to save the video to.

Wondering what your take is on my such application. Thanks.

Drew
Drew
6 years 3 months ago

I have a bandwidth monitor going and my Axis 207w in 320×240 mode is using about 30KB/s max (240 kilobits/second). In 640×480 mode, it maxed at 121KB/s. This is using onboard MPEG-4 AVS compression. It averaged around 80KB/s. You can set compression levels with the camera to bring down bandwidth at the expense of some quality. I use compression level 20 (allowable values are 0-100). It also depends what audio codec you use.

Jamal
Jamal
6 years 4 months ago

Hi there,

I saw your comment at http://www.networkcamerareviews.com. I just need some advice. I have install 18 units of Acti ACM400 at several of my shops.I want to build a customized website where I can stream all the locations via internet. Can you help me by pointing me to the right direction, or if I can get the vendor or programmer to help me on this.

Thank you

Jamal

PTZ IP Camera
6 years 5 months ago

Hey, nice site you got here! Keep up the good job

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