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?
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.
This is a night shot from the M1011-W, not very good, certainly not usable.
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.
This is a view of the camera from the built in web browser –
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.
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
- home or small business surveillence, both indoors and out
- webcam to feed pictures to your website