Axis Bells and Whistles Box Camera (Q1614)

By John Honovich, Published Oct 30, 2013, 12:00am EDT

Axis has announced a next generation version of its popular Q1604 camera that adds in a slew of new bells and whistles like level assistance, shock detection and auto flipping as well as improved imaging capabilities. In this note, we look at how the prices and specifications compare to the existing Q1604 and main stream rival cameras.

UPDATE: Testing Axis High End HD Camera Q1615

Background

The Q1614 is quite similar to the existing Q1604 with the following notable changes:

  • Lightfinder official support compared to the Q1604 which has close to Lightfinder performance (in our test) but not 'certified' Lightfinder
  • 60fps instead of 30fps
  • The next generation of true WDR. While both support WDR - Dynamic Capture, Axis says the Q1614 should be further optimized than the Q1604.

In addition, it has 3 uncommon bells and whistles

  • Level assistance (alerting the installer if the camera is not level)
  • Shock detection (an alert/event can be sent if the camera senses it has been hit / knocked)
  • Auto flipping (if the camera is rotated 90%, it will automatically switch into their 'corridor' format i.e., 9 x 16 aspect ratio).

Axis has integrated an accelerometer into the camera to accomplish those 3 features.

Here's their marketing video demoing some of these features:

Pricing

MSRP Pricing is $1,099 USD for the indoor version and $1,399 for the outdoor, ~$100 more than the equivalent Q1604 models.

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Benefits / Improvements

Overall these are likely to be minor differentiators.

The image quality will likely be modestly better but even their specifications / expectations, do not suggest a huge difference in WDR or low light. Also, 60fps is rarely a necessity for users (though many manufacturers are now offering this as it comes stock in newer sensors).

The new bells and whistles are neat but how much do they really help? The auto flipping saves 30 seconds on initial configuration (it's not likely the camera will regularly be rotated back and forth). The leveling feature can be done fairly easy when focusing / set up by a single tech or, worst case, feedback from someone at the headend (necessary anyway to finalize the FoV). The shock detection could be interesting for those who are very concerned about vandalism, as traditional techniques of video based tamper detection are suspect.

Competitive Comparison

The price increase is not a lot, compared to the previous generation Axis model, but it is quite expensive to high end models from big name competitors that are now ranging from $600 to $800.

Axis' advantage will be having both WDR and super low light plus the high frame rate and all the bells and whistles all in one device. This camera is likely to be the 'Cadillac' of box cameras, but overkill for most.

However, one thing that will be an issue, and at least a competitive objection, is that it is not 1080p where many manufacturers are offering premium features at a higher resolution than the Q1604 or Q1614.

Axis Trends

This announcement follows 3 weeks after from another Q model, the Q1765, featuring long range IR at another premium price. While Axis is so big that it can certainly do well with niche, expensive offerings, this is not being matched with many additions to the low end of the line. Axis will need to address that soon, as low cost competitors have proliferated in the year or two, since Axis last major push at the low end.

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