19
Jun
11

Axis P5534-E Outdoor PTZ Camera


Moved to www.NetworkCameraCritic.com

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.


17 Responses to “Axis P5534-E Outdoor PTZ Camera”


  1. 1 Nash
    August 3, 2011 at 9:18 am

    I have the “seam” issues ;-(

  2. 2 Tom
    December 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    HI,

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

    • December 25, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      No have not. I personally would not get it because it’s not PoE or HD, but as with many CCD based surveillence cameras, they likely have good low light capability. For about half the price, I would look at PTZ cameras that are PoE and HD from Panasonic like the i-Pro Smart HD WV-SC385. Panasonic pro cameras are known for their good low light performance and higher tech features like facial recognition.

  3. January 21, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    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.

    • January 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      This camera may be overkill as having 720P resolution will tax your internet connection if you want to allow public viewing. What’s a good color camera that has decent low light performance, better than the P5534-E is the Panasonic bb-hcm581a and put it in a generic dome outdoor housing.

      • January 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm

        I have a few questions about the bb-hcm581a…
        Can you program preset positions for the camera to scan locations automatically?
        Does ViewNet.com provide a way to create and copy code for embedding so that you can view the camera through a personal web page?
        Does the camera have color at night in low light conditions?
        What’s the resolution? I don’t like D1 quality it looks too grainy for me. Even if I had to run 10 frames a second I’d rather have the quality images.

        I think most webcams that I’ve seen have very pore quality. I’m looking for a camera something like Times Square. Especially watch at night:
        http://www.earthcam.com/usa/newyork/timessquare/?cam=lennon_hd

    • January 22, 2012 at 12:47 am

      Yes, just about all PTZ cameras have the ability to set presets and put the camera on a patrol of the presets. Don’t know about viewnet.com. The Panny is a color only camera day camera, not a day/night with an automatic IR Cut Filter, one reason it’s less expensive than the Axis which can operate with IR light. It’s VGA resolution, but that’s the curse of low light, most MP CMOS sensors do not have good low light and will give you a grainy image, the Panny will do very well.

      • January 31, 2012 at 2:44 am

        So on the Times Square link I put above do you think that is a VGA camera? The streaming night vision is pretty good. I’d be happy with that. I’m aware that Times Square is well lit but so would an intersection if I were zoomed in. I understand that with the p5534 you can turn the IR off and force night color. Here is an excellent example of what this camera can do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1kwGgfsvxQ&feature=related

      • January 31, 2012 at 4:16 am

        The resolution of the camera Time Sq cam is unknown, but the flash container is 960 by 450 pixels, so it’s more than VGA I know that much, but it could be a 1MP or 5MP camera, but they have a flash converter that puts it at the 960 by 450 resolution. I’ve seen cameras that work this well before and are sold to government only, like this traffic cam, works really well in low light and is 1MP – http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist8/tmc/snapshots/hwy18_lkgreg.jpg. As for the P5534 video, that must have been recorded in the early dusk hour where it’s not really that dark outside. If that was say midnight, and the street lights and shop lightss were on, the noise from that camera without the IR filter in place (day mode) would be grainy and noisy.

  4. January 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    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. February 11, 2012 at 4:29 am

    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:-(

  6. April 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm

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

    • April 13, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Yes, at the time they weren’t ready but knew the problem existed and did make a few people angry, afterall, these are premium cameras. We will be testing the Q6035-E at the same location, side by side with the P5534-E very soon. The Q60 and P55 had the same dome defect back then. The new Q60 we just received does not have that problem. If anyone has that problem, contact Axis for a warranty replacement dome. If there’s anything you want to see tested on either camera, let me know.

  7. April 13, 2012 at 10:20 pm

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

  8. 15 Ray
    April 29, 2012 at 2:42 am

    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.

    • April 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Very soon. What happened is the dome was damaged during shipping and was backordered by Axis. We just got it on Friday and was installed over the weekend.

      • 17 Ray
        April 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm

        Looking forward to the review, your reviews are very conclusive, and i am hoping it points me in the right direction.
        i am looking for 2mp ptz domes, and i was eyeing the q6035e, vivotek sd8362e, possibly a bosch VG5-825-ECEV, but bosch doesnt have any built in storage, and doesn’t seem as consumer friendly. are there any 2mp ptz poe domes that are worth considering?


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