Should I Use The Axis Q1604 + Edge Storage For Traffic Application?

Looking for any advice on 2 Axis issues

Looking for a traffic camera to catch cars going up & down a rural road with no street lighting, have talked to Axis Rep who is recomending Axis Q1604 with housing heater etc. This site has given the camera a good rating but wondered if anyone had used it in a similar situation

Axis also records to a SD card apparently specifically designed by Scandisk in conjunction with Axis (64GB) as Axis do not produce their own NVR's. I have avoided edge recording as I was concerned about the ability of SD cards to be a primary source of storage especially if there is frequent interogating of the card to view or retrieve images, however I am assured that these SD cards when used in conjunction with Axis Camera companion VMS are extremely reliable, again any comments on peoples experience with the Axis brand & SD cards and the cameras ability to handle remote interogation of the card would be appreciated


"with no street lighting"

I don't think you are going to get great night time images without adding IR (either a camera with integrated IR like the Axis Q1765-LE or added external IR). We have tested the Axis Q1604. Good camera for its day but it's no more than 3 years old. Either way, with cars moving fast in the dark, you will need a fast shutter to stop blur, cutting down low light performance even further.

As for the SD card, this is what they are referring to: Axis Camera Companion Version 3 + SanDisk OEM Released. We bought the new cards and have been testing them for the last few weeks, no problems yet but obviously not long enough to make a definitive judgement. That said, the fact that Axis is offering a 3 year warranty on the cards is a bullish sign since they are standing behind and since, hopefully, they have learned from the initial disaster that was Axis edge storage.

Thanks John

If we go with that solution we will be using a housing with IR added, it is a country road fairly narrow and we can mount the camera on the side of a house about 26 meteres from a bend so cars will have to slow or leave the road. The SD card is in some ways what I am more worried about as we will probably have it accessable for Remote viewing through Axis camera companion software which I haven't used before (Axis hardware & software). Shouldn't be a lot of remote viewing but when I have used this method once before with a Boche advantage line camera it didn't like remote viewing via the internet of its SD card when we accessed it frequently.


I was part of the initial Axis edge storage disaster that John referred to above...and it wasn't pretty. However, in all fairness since swapping out SD Cards for the Sandisk Extreme Pro versions and (later) the Axis SD cards (which are actually just these), the results have been far better. I have had a few sites running Axis Camera Companion with SD storage for over a year now with no issues.

To give a few examples: I've had a P7214 4-channel encoder running with this for well over a year now with no issues. So, that's 4 channels of continuous recording + frequent viewing and no problems. In a second scenario, I have been running this on an Axis P3367 (5MP) camera that records at full 5MP resolution and it's aimed right at the ocean, so the waves / ripples cause bandwidth spikes. It's not uncommon for this camera to hit 15+ Mbps during the daytime. No issues there either, including while accessing recordings for remote viewing.

As far as the camera goes, I'm not sure IR will give you the images you're looking for. But, if you do go this route, I would consider the P3364-LVE (not sure they make an equivalent in bullet form). We use a lot of these and they're great in low-light and the built-in IR is good up to about 30 ft away. The other advantage is they will adjust the IR intensity which is useful for objects at varying distances.

The Axis Q1604 might be overkill unless you have a specific need for such a high-end camera. It doesn't have any IR built-in so if you want to see down a dark road you'll be needing to purchase separate IR illuminators. $1200 for the camera and another $1000 for IR, that money might be better spent on a camera with Integrated IR. Check out the Axis Q1765 which has similar specs to Q1604 but also has IR.

For roughly the same amount of money you could also go with a HIKVision xx7286xx Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera with built-in long range Infrared - the IR on these works amazingly well - It will focus narrow or wide depending on how you zoom the camera and it works perfectly 200 feet away.

If you are planning to use License Plate Recognition (LPR), stick with the Axis Q16 or Q17 series, then you can use an Embedded software application like IPConfigure's LPR software and record everything to an SD card. Axis do not produce their own NVR's...

They do have some I think, or maybe you mean they are OEM'ing someone else?

For instance they have the Q-8108-R, a POE NVR for rugged/mobile applications: IP65, battery shutdown on power fail, meant to withstand temp variance. Only works with Axis cameras.

As a point of fact, Axis has a full line of NVRs now, introduced in the past year - Axis Launches NVRs

True, the Q-8108-R seemed like the only one to consider for this app.

BTW, did you know that both the 32 and 48 ch axis NVR's have only VGA output for video? They say "not designed for Live video".

Thanks for the comments guys as a slight deviation from the original question how do you find using the Axis Camera Companion VMS was having a chat with a supplier yesterday who felt it was not a proper VMS. Haven't used it myself more familar with the Hikvision option

Michael, we just tested it. See: Axis Camera Companion VMS Tested, much better than before, a good VMS for low camera counts / remote access / simple usage but not a replacement for more advanced systems.

...not a proper VMS.

Exacq's Edge VMS can run embedded on Axis cameras. Reviewed here, (2012).

Exacq Edge VMS is great if you don't mind babysitting it constantly. Buggy as hell, requires a camera power cycle at least once a week. It's a shame Exacq doesn't devote more development time to Exacq Edge - it has a lot of potential, especially with 64/128 GB SDXC cards dropping in price.

Have you tried any of the other embedded VMSes for Axis, like Genetec or Arcus? Is ACC the best thing out there?

Neither Genetec nor Arcus run on Axis cameras.

Sorry my mistake.

Genetec claims edge playback of Axis edge devices directly thru Security Center, though it sounds like an integration, not an embedded VMS.

Is exacq the only one to offer one?

We have excellent results with the Q1604/ IR housing/Theia SL940A lens with this exact requirement.

The Q1604 is ideal as it has the ability to have a different shutter speed under low light conditions. This is essential for LPR. Testing has resulted in clear LPR of vehicles front and back at 100kmh.

Under daylight conditions the Q1604 gives clear LPR from default settings.

If the age of the Q1604 is an issue use the upgraded Q1614.

the Q1765LE does not offer the fast shutter speed function required for low light LPR so I would not recommend it.

Looking at the spec sheets I can't see a big difference between the two in terms of shutter speed or low light options, (apart from the IIR of the 1765).

The 1604 does have a slightly faster shutter speed, 1/29500 vs. 1/28000 for the 1765. Is that what you are referring to, or are you saying that the 1604 has additional rules for when to change the shutter speed that the 1765 is lacking?

On some Axis cameras you can set a faster max shutter in Plain Config than what is shown in the camera's "Camera Settings" page. Plain Config is found under System Options > Advanced > Plain Config, and you want the ImageSource menu. There should be a setting for max shutter in there with options faster than 1/30.

I say should be because I don't have a camera plugged in to check this with, but the process is described in a couple of LPR packages we've tested, including Genetec AutoVu Plate Reader Cloud, and the Q1765 is one of only a few certified cameras with that package.

The Q1765LE's shutter speed under low light is 1/30 at its fastest

The Q1604 can go to 1/25000 under low light.

Spec sheet doesn't show this

Good info. Thanks.

btw, the manuals differ only slightly, with the 1765 having an additional example that suspiciously uses 1/30.

Q1604 - If required, use Max shutter to limit the shutter speed to prevent the frame rate from being reduced.

Q1765LE - If required, use Max shutter to limit the shutter speed to prevent the frame rate from being reduced. For example, to get 30 fps, set Max shutter to 1/30.

According to Axis, the "max exposure time" in plain conifg (under ImageSource) sets the overall slowest shutter speed allowed. So, for example setting this value to 16666 prevents the camera from ever going below 1/60s

I've used this with good success on cameras where even 1/30s was too slow to capture moving people.