axis m10 series review

Moved to www.NetworkCameraCritic.com

The low end of the Axis family of IP cameras is the M10 series. The street prices range from about $150 to $250 depending on features and represents the best value in networked surveillence cameras for home or small business security. In my recent travels through South America, it’s amazing to see how many shops you go into that have the Axis low end guarding their store. Why, because they are easy to deploy and inexpensive for the quality you get. Sure, you can find cameras on ebay with no brand name, made in China that are cheaper, but I’ve gone that route and I can tell you, there’s no comparison in image quality, in reliability, in support, in flexibility.

There are 4 models, the lowest end is the M1011 which is basic VGA camera, attaches to the network via an ethernet cable and is powered by an AC adapter. The next step up is the M1011-W, same camera, but with a WiFi interface, excellent for home installs, no fancy wiring, just plug it into an outlet within range of your WiFi router and it’s ready to use. The M1031-W adds a PIR motion detector (much better motion detection capabilities than the M1011), a white LED light for illumination at night and 2 way audio. The most recent addition is the M1054, this takes it up a notch from the M1031-W by providing 1 MP resolution and PoE (Power over Ethernet) instead of WiFi and an external sensor input.

Here’s some images from 2 cameras I tested, the M1011-W is used as a webcam, where it updates an image to a webstie on fixed schedule. This replaced one of those inexpensive China made eBay specials and it was truly a nigh & day difference in image quality and reliability. Where these cameras fail is in night vision, there is none, you want the camera to work at night, you need to supply light, lots of it.

This is a daytime image and shows the main purpose for the camera, has the snow plow been by yet?

m1011-w daytime winter

This is a daytime image taken in July, you can see that colors are very good, the sharpness is very good and this camera sits in the window jamb behind a double paned window that is dirty.

Axis M1011-W daytime picture in July

This is a night shot from the M1011-W, not very good, certainly not usable.

Axis M1011-W night time picture in July

I also use an M1031-W for surveillance where I need accurate motion detection. I can tell you that after several months of owning this camera, I have yet to get a false motion detect. The way I use it, it sends me a series of photos via email that I pickup on my Blackberry. I then can view the camera live from my iPad or any computer I happened to be near to view what is happening live and have a 2 way conversation through the camera with the person there. This image was recently sent to me by the camera of someone entering my house while I wasnt’ there, as you can see, the image is very clear and the “perp” is easily identified.

Axis M1031-W image

This is a view of the camera from the built in web browser –

Axis M1031-W

This is an example of what the interface looks like, so you have an idea how the camera is programmed. They provide a decent help facility as well as great technical support via support tickets and email.

Axis M1031-W

The conclusion is that these camera are a great value for the price. While the image quality is good, it is not as good as the next model up, the M11 series and doesn’t have the night vision capabilities, but the ability to have a PIR motion detect and WiFi certainly makes up for a lot of it. I would recomend that you leave lights on at home or use motion detect lights to provide enough light for this camera to function at night.

The pluses of this camera are;

  • Inexpensive quality Swedish made camera
  • Excellent Axis Tech Support
  • Can send emails on motion detected
  • Flexible amount of options on the camera software
  • WiFi, 2 way audio, built in light, PIR motion detect on the M1031-W

The shortfalls of this camera are;

  • poor night vision
  • no outdoor housing available

Recommended for:

  • home or small business surveillence, both indoors and out
  • webcam to feed pictures to your website

22 Responses to “axis m10 series review”

  1. July 31, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Hi Guy, this good blogs, thanks

  2. 2 AC
    August 10, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    How does the 2 ways audio work? I am looking for a cam that can support 2 ways audio, even better, one that will work over Android/IPhone or non-activeX browser.

    • August 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      Only the M1031-W or M1054 have 2 way audio. It works pretty well. You can set a recording to play when motion is detected or you can even have a two way conversation at anytime. This only works with Windows and Internet Explorer.

  3. September 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Hey mate,

    I’ve read a lot of your posts over at networkcamerareviews.com and just followed the link in your signature.

    I’m considering some Axis 215s to protect my home and mount them under the eaves, but I also may pick up a few of these just for day time vision of some spots that I can see out my windows, but the 215 wont get (like the front door). So I was planning on putting a couple of these in the windows.

    With your comments, I think I may end up getting the model with the PIR. I would love to go to the M1054 but with no wireless, it limits my install.

    I wish you had some affiliate links or banners I could click to make you some coin. You’ve been invaluable.

    • September 9, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      Be careful on the 215, it is not a PoE camera, it requires seperate 110V power run because it uses more power than the PoE standard. Also, the 215 is an older camera that likely has their old firmware design.

      The M1054 has not received good reviews and people consider it worse than my M1031 in low light (see review on M10) series. Axis makes the old 207MW that is wireless and megapixel, but the complaints are that the frame rate really drops when used in WiFi mode and some people end up running ethernet to it.

  4. September 10, 2010 at 1:15 am

    G’day mate.

    I had the 215 in my cart, was just about to buy when your email came in.

    I was thinking the same myself (old model) the website I was on said the 215 was launched in early 2009 and I thought they might actually release a new one soon – I wish I could find out somehow.

    I have a M1031-W on order and I will see how that goes.

    I might order a P1344 too, has the day night function.

  5. 7 Coyotefred
    November 6, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Hello! ‘Great reviews…very helpful. ‘Was pleased to find someone else using an IP camera to check when a snow plow has been through…that is exactly what I’m needing a recommendation for. My house is about 600′ from the road I need to monitor. So I either need a camera that I could mount on the roof but be able to get usable focus to that road 600’ away, or I’d be mounting the camera closer to the road using a long ethernet cable run and POE. Night vision isn’t really an issue since I’m mainly concerned about daytime monitoring. We get plenty of snow and some true blizzards so obviously weatherproofness is a must. At this point I’d prefer to find something in the $200-$400 range before making a more serious investment. I don’t need the best image quality since I’m not trying to recognize faces or license plates, only enough detail to get an idea of road/snow/travel conditions on that rural county road. ‘Any advice appreciated…thanks for your time!


    • November 6, 2010 at 6:11 pm

      For outdoors, you can either get an indoor camera and mount it outdoors in an outdoor housing with a fan and heater which is a PITA to wire and looks huge to me or go with an outdoor camera. Vivotek and ACTi make outdoor bullet cams that are affordable and well made. I use the ACTI ACM-1231 which may be overkill but has about a 4X manual zoom which gives you flexibility and is 1.3MP and runs about $500. Vivotek does make a less expensive version with a fixed lens and VGA resolution that will certainly be less expensive as well as a model comperable to the ACTi at about the same price.

      • 9 Coyotefred
        November 9, 2010 at 4:39 am

        Actually I think I might be able to get away with an indoor model that I could mount inside a 2nd-story window, so long as I could get a reasonably decent image/focus of the road which I re-measured to be about 450 feet away. The window is single-pane (old house and window) with a screen I’d remove so the camera would only need to focus through that single pane of glass. Are there any indoor models that would be up to the task, or am I still better off finding an outdoor model to mount down near the road? The indoor option would be far less hassle for me, but if I can’t get a usable 450′ image than obviously that makes no sense.

        That Vivotek IP7160 looks appealing as a 2MP camera for under $300, although I haven’t been able to find any reviews of it. ‘Not sure if I’d need a model with vari-focus for this situation either…

  6. November 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    450′ away is a long ways and I would recommend a varifocal lens for sure. I know the IP7160 looks like a bargain but its a day only camera and fixed lens. For a window, I would get the ACTi Cube acm-4201 for less money and a much better shape for sitting on a window sill. Then get a varifocal lens to put in front of it, about $120. Of course, by then you have to be thinking, $250 + 120, might as well get a camera with the varifocal lens already on it, so for that either get the Axis M1114 day only camera which has good low light capability or start looking at outdoor cameras like the ACTi acm-1231 which is a day/night camera, illuminators, varifocal. Messoa also makes a similar camera, the NCR-875 that has better low light capability, albeit at a slightly higher price.

    • 11 Coyotefred
      November 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      Thanks so much, that gives me several options to consider 🙂

    • 12 Coyotefred
      December 2, 2010 at 4:50 am

      ‘Any chance you could elaborate a little on using a wireless bridge to cover this distance, say with my Foscam 8918? I read your post on another site talking about using bridges from Ubiquiti and the Nanostations for someone wanting to cover a distance of a little less than a mile. What (hopefully reasonably-priced) models would you recommend? How exactly are they used for a wireless IP camera setup? Thanks!

  7. December 2, 2010 at 5:14 am

    The Foscam already has WiFi built in, but it’s got a short range, maybe 20-40′ indoors has been my experience. This is mostly because of obsticles in the home like walls. Outdoors there can be obsticles like trees, other houses, etc. If you have complete line of site you may get as far as 200′ away. To go further, you need a purpose built device called a bridge. A bridge, and in this case a wireless bridge, allows you to connect two networks together, in this case, your home network and your camera. If you use a bridge, you will not be using the built in WiFi on the camera, it will plug into the bridge via an ethernet cable and at home, you will have another bridge that connects to your home network via an ethernet cable.

    So the first question is, do you have line of site from the camera to your home? If you do, you can use a 2.4Ghz frequency. If you have trees, houses in the way, you’ll need to use the 900Mhz frequency that can handle what is reffered to as near line of site. Ubiquiti makes both. So why Ubiquiti? Because they are cheap, under $100 each for the 2.4Ghz model. Other brands can easily run 10-20 times that. Ubiquiti makes the Nanostation and the Nanostation Loco (low cost, not spanish for crazy). Check their website to see what model fits your needs and buy two matching units.

    • 14 Coyotefred
      December 2, 2010 at 4:11 pm

      Yep, I have clear line-of-sight. I’ve looked at the nanostation loco; it appears the RJ45 port is hidden underneath a weatherproof cover. The specs indicate a 12V power supply but I couldn’t see where that plugs in. So basically I would:

      1. need AC power at both ends (say House at A, camera at B)
      2. connect one loco to my camera at B with a short run of ethernet cable
      3. connect the other loco to my router at A with another run of ethernet cable
      4. connect power to the camera at B via its AC adapter
      5. connect power to the locos at A and B via their individual AC adapters

      I didn’t get a clear idea whether there was software that shipped with the locos that assisted with installation and getting the two locos to properly “talk” with one another, or whether that configuration was somehow done manually.

      Am I on the right track here?

      • December 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm

        Everything should be included including power supplies and configuration software. Treat it like an antenna, so mount it outdoors as high as possible for line of site. It cannot be mounted indoors where it would have to go through a wall.

      • 16 Coyotefred
        December 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm

        Thank you for your continued help/advice!

  8. 17 dayna
    December 28, 2010 at 5:52 am

    i am completely new to this IP cam so i have no idea where to start and which brand to buy. i wanna use it in my kids room so that i can keep eye on him at night time so i need a night vision cam, also i need to be able to talk to him so that he wont come running in my room in the middle of night so two way voice, also i wanna keep an eye on nanny so i want a good IP cam that i can rely on to watch on my iphone when i am away from home so one with good wifi reception.(i have read some reviews about the cams that their wifi reception is not that good and pic get stuck when they try to see the video when away from home}. my money limit is $200-300 per camera as i wanna install 2-3 cams in different rooms. please give me suggestion. i really need help. i have tried to research for these cams before but this is such high tech and complicated stuff that whenever i start my research online i get confused by so many products out there and no consumer reports.then i give up 😦

  9. 18 eug
    April 17, 2012 at 3:09 am


    I’ve got an M1031W, but when I aim it outside my window, the image is completely overexposed in the brighter areas. It’s like the shutter speed is stuck at something low. I’ve tried changing the exposure zone but it doesn’t help. I’ve reduced the exposure level to 0 but it’s still overexposed. The camera’s specs say max shutter speed is 1/5000 which should mean it’ll be fine, but it doesn’t seem to be. This happens on both the M1031W cameras I have.

    Is there a way to fix that?


    • April 17, 2012 at 4:28 am

      Sounds weird. I have one looking out my window, takes a snapshot once an hour and the exposure is perfect. Go on the Axis website, open up a support ticket and they’ll get back to you. I’ve had them log into my M10 when it was doing weird stuff and they fixed it.

      • 20 eug
        April 17, 2012 at 4:29 am

        Hmm strange. Does it matter if the camera is out of warranty? I’ve always used it for indoor purposes but I now need to point one outside a window.


      • April 17, 2012 at 4:50 am

        Doesn’t hurt to try. On my M10, facing out a window at our vacation home, I have the Video Camera Settings all set to default, down the middle at 50. I don’t have backlight compensation on. All is set to auto. The min shutter is 1/5000, max is 1/4. Gain min is zero, max is 32. Also, try the latest firmware, lots of bugs in the early cameras, lots.

      • 22 eug
        April 18, 2012 at 1:00 am

        Ahhh, I found the problem. I had the camera set to “Flicker-free 50Hz”. Changing it to Automatic fixed the exposure – bright areas are no longer blown out.

        That’s pretty odd, as the 50Hz setting usually just makes sure the camera doesn’t use a 1/60 multiple shutter speed to avoid flickering. It shouldn’t set the max shutter speed. There’s no setting for actual shutter speed like the 207MW which has a lowest shutter speed setting.

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