Axis Low Cost Spring 2011 Product Releases Examined

Published Apr 06, 2011 00:00 AM
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In the past month, Axis has announced 5 new series of low cost IP cameras: M31-VE [link no longer available], P5522-E, P5512M11-E, Q6035 and the M50.  While the sheer number is somewhat overwhelmingly, this is an important expansion that impacts the overall market. This provides Axis with a broad low cost product portfoilio that will significantly increase their competitiveness for budget applications.

Let's start with a summary of key features for each product.

  • M31-VE [link no longer available] - fixed mini-domes that are outdoor and vandal resistant; $599 MSRP for 720p version, $100 less for SVGA
  • M11-E - fixed box outdoor cameras; $649 MSRP for 720p version, $100 less for SVGA
  • M50 - ePTZ mini-dome indoor; $599 MSRP for 720p version, $100 less for SGVA
  • [link no longer available]P5522-E - SD 18x PTZ indoor and outdoor options; $1499 MSRP indoors, $1899 MSRP outdoors
  • P5512 - SD 12x PTZ indoor and outdoor options; $1099 MSRP indoors, $1499 MSRP outdoors

The most important practical limitation is that all of these cameras are color only (i.e., lack a mechanical cut filter), except for the P5522 18x PTZ series. Despite most models outdoor support, low light monitoring could be a problem.

That noted, the pricing for PTZs especially is quite low and will be competitive with even the 'cheap' options from Sony, Panasonic, Canon, etc. Prior to these releases, Axis had limited options in low cost PTZs with the outdated 214 and 215 being the main options.

Unlike most manufacturers who expect 3rd party outdoor housings to be used, Axis is clearly making an effort to provide a broad range of outdoor ready cameras. The M31 and M11 releases are basically extensions of the existing indoor line, adding in integrated outdoor support. The outdoor fixed camera versions generally have a $100 MSRP premium over the indoor versions. This is generally justifiable as eliminating the cost and time to add an external housing is worth $100.

Of these, we find the M50 to be the most novel as it brings pan tilt capabilities to HD imaging at a remarkably low cost.