Axis Chinese Competitor Companion Dome V Tested

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Jun 29, 2016

A $169 1080p dome from Axis?

The Companion Dome V is, by far, Axis' lowest cost 1080p dome, a full $100 less than even their new M3045-V.

Every manufacturer has been hit by rapid Chinese expansion over the last few years. Axis is clearly trying to do something about it. 

We bought and tested the Companion Dome V against Axis' revamped M30 cameras as well as Hikvision's low cost IR dome to see how it stacks up in image quality, VMS integration, bandwidth, and more. 

* $*** ***** **** from ****?

************ **** ***, ** ***, ****' lowest **** ***** ****, a **** $*** **** than **** ******** *****-*.

***** ************ *** **** hit ** ***** ******* expansion **** *** **** few *****. **** ** clearly ****** ** ** something ***** **. 

** ****** *** ****** the ********* **** * against ****'******** *** ********* **** ** *********'* low **** ** **** to *** *** ** stacks ** ** ***** quality, *** ***********, *********, and ****. 

[***************]

*******

*** **** ********* **** V ********* ********* ** the $*** **** **** expensive *****-* ** *** tests, ** *** ***** and *** ******, **** similar ******** (********* *********) and ******** ************. *******, ** has *** *** *********** ******** ** other **** *******:

  • *** ********* **** ***** party *****:*** ********* **** ** officially ********** **** **** Axis ********* ********. ***** VMSes ***** *** ******* to ** *** **** drivers ** *****.
  • ** **** ************:*** ********* **** **** not ******* **** ************ possible **** ******* **** cameras. **** ***** **** add ** *********, ***, people ********, ***., *** not ** ****.

** ***** * ******* RTSP ******, *** ** is ******* ********** *** supported, **** ****, ** definition, ******** ** ****** **** configuration *** ****** **** VMD.

Third ***** ******** *******

*** ********* **** * was ********** ** ******** VMSes ** ****** (********, Exacq, *******, *********), *** none ***** ******* *** ****** directly.

RTSP *********

*******, ** ********** ** **** stream *** ***** ********** properly **** ***** ***** VMSes:

****://*******/****-*****/*****.***?****-****-**=****

**** ****** ** ***** here ** *****:

*******, **** **** **** stream ******* *** ******* to ********* ***** ******** (FPS, **********, ***.) **** the ***, *** **** not ******* *** ******'* VMD. 

************, **** **** **** stream ** *********** *** may ** ******* ** any ****.

Outward ************ *** **** ** *** *****-*

*** ************ ** *** Companion **** *** *** M30 ******* ** ****** identical, **** *** **** cover, ** ****, ** port *********. *** **** distinguishing ******** *** ***** on *** **** ** the ****, ***** *** part ****** *** ************* marks *** *******.

****: ***** ********* ***** be ******** ******* (*.*., different ****** ** ******* / ***), ****** *** net *********** ****** *** not ******** ***** ********* in ******** ******** ********** were ****.

What *** **** ****?

**** *******, ** ***** like **** **** *** M3045-V, ******** **** ********, relabeled ** *** *** the **** ** $***. We ***** ** ********* and ***** **** ***** will ** ****, ********** since **** **** ** the **** ********** **** well ***** **** ** save ***** ** ******* a '*****' / ******** limited *****-*.

Potential vs. *********/*****

*** **** ********* **** is ****** ** **** limited ****** ** **** positioning ****** *** **** leaders ********* *** *****. While **** ** * new *** ***** *** Axis (*** * ********** well ********** ******), **** Dahua *** ********* ***** similarly ********* ******* ** ***** prices, **** ** ***** include ********** **, *** essentially *** ** ***** include ***** *******. 

** *** ******** ****, those ******* **** **** get *** ***** *******, bandwidth ******* *** ******** construction ** * ****** that ********* ***** $*** MSRP **** ** **** elect ** *** **** version.

Impact ** *** ****

*** ********* ****'* *********** compared ** *** ******* puts ****' *** *** in ** *** ********.

  • ***** *** **** ************ used *** *** ****** may ** ********** **** * $100 ***** **** ****** offers **** ******* *********** (true ***, *********, ***.), making *** *****-* * tougher ****.
  • ***** ******* *** *** very ****** **** ****** may **** *** ********* line *********, *** *********** on ***** ***** *** and ****** ************ (**** as ********* ********** *** *.*) *** **** *** line ********.

*** $***/******, **** ***** may ******* ** *** the ********* **** **** third ***** ********* ***** RTSP, ******** ***** ****** somewhat, *** **** ********* users ****** **** ***.

*******

*** ********* **** * has ** **** ** $169 ***, $*** **** than *** ***** *****-*. This ******* ** ******** ****** than low **** **** ****** **** as *** ********* **-******** (~$***), ****** ******* ****** to ***** ****** **** historic **** ******.

****** ******* *** *** Companion **** * ****** widely, **** ~$***-$***, **** its ****. **** *** is ********, ** **** cameras ********* **** *** less **** ***** **** online. ** ** *** know *** ***** *** Axis *** ******* * separate ****** ******* *** Companion **** **** ******** Axis ******* **** ** apply *** **********.

New **** *** *********

*** ********* **** ******** Axis' ***** ********** *** interface, **** ***** ******* improvements:

  • ** ****** *.***: *** new *** ********* **** HTML * ** ******* H.264 *****, ********* ** ActiveX ** ***** ******* plugins ****** ** *** past **** *** ********* as **** ** ******. This ****** ***** ** be ******** ***** ** Chrome, *******, ******, *** other ******** ***** ** not ******* *******.
  • ********** ******: *** ****** of *** *** ********* is **********, ******** ** to ****** ** *** various ***********, ********* ******* and ***** ******. **** that *.*** ***** **** not **** ** *** due ** ** ***********, but ***** ***** ********* normally.
  • **** ***** ****** *************: Where *** **** **** interface (*** **** ******) did *** ******* **** video ***** ************* ******* were ****, ** ** always *********** ********* ** the *** *********. **** makes ** ******/******* ** see ******* ** ******, image *******, ********, ***., as **** *** ****, without ***** * ****** window.

** ****** *** *** **** web ********* ** **** video:

Image *******

*** ********* **** * produced ***** ******* ******* to *** *****-* ** all ****** ****** **** light. *** *********** ***** show *********** ******** ** Axis' *** *** ****** (M3045-V *** *****-*), ***** previous ****** **** *******, as **** ** * low **** ***** ******* IR **** (** *** same ***** *****). 

*****, ~*****

** **** *****, *** Companion **** * ******** moderately **** ****** ** our ******* **** *** M3045-V, **** **** ************ of *** **** *****. 

*** *****, ~***

** *** *****, *********** between *** ********* **** and *****-* ** **** similar, **** ****** *********** in ******* ***** ******, but ******* *******. *** integrated ** **** ******** the **** ******* ** all ******* ** **** scene.

**** ******* *****

***** ** ** ***** of *** ***** ** view **** ** *** WDR ****.

** ***, *** ********* dome ***** ******** ********* to *** *****-*, ** not ******** ******, **** more **** ******** ** bright *** **** *****.

**** **** *** ********* Dome ** ******** ** "***", but *** *** ********* of *** ****** ***** controls **** *** "******* Capture",* **** **** *** historically **** *** ******* WDR.

Bandwidth **********

*** ********* **** * includes *********, **** ******* performance (*** ************) **** similar ** *** *****-*:

 

Axis ********* ***

**** *** *** **** major ******* ** ***** Axis ****** ********* *** with *** ******* ** these *** *******, **** notably ********** *** **** simply ** "*********" *** adding ******* *** **** new ****** ****. 

*** ***** ***** ***** a ***** ******** ** the **** ********* ** Companion, **** *** **** monitoring:

**** ***** ****** ** still ******** ** ****, with *** ********* ******* as **** ** **** models, *** ** *** key ******** ** ***** 3.0 *******:

******* ******* *** *** full ****** ****** *** our **** ****** ********* *** V3 ****

Test **********

*** ******* **** ****** using ******* ******** ****** otherwise *********, **** *** following ******* ** *** cameras:

  • *.***, ** ***, ~** quantization *** ****
  • */*** ******* ******* *****

*** ********* ******** ******** were **** *** **** test:

  • **** ********* **** *: 6.15.1
  • **** *****-*: *.**.*
  • **** *****-*: *.**.*
  • ********* **-*******: *.*.*

Comments (24)

"The new web interface uses HTML 5 to display H.264 video, requiring no ActiveX or other browser plugins common in the past Axis web interface as well as others. "

That in itself should be gold. It's way past due to get rid of Active X controls.

Will the new interface be available only with new cameras off the line? Or will it be available via a firmware upgrade?

Firmware upgrade as well.

I noticed you didn't mention the Companion NVR. It's a compact 8 channel NVR with a built in PoE switch and WiFi hotspot, and comes in 2TB and 4TB, and is built to support Companion series domes. It seems likely to me that this is yet another attempt by Axis to appeal to the mom-and-pop-shop market.

Ari, yes, we focused on the camera since camera performance was the main unknown. The Companion NVR is the main recording option, though since the Companion software runs on the Axis camera and is free, this is more of a NAS plus PoE switch. At $500-$600, it is probably fine though still a premium to Chinese NVR alternatives.

We are a very large global enterprise and have deployed a few of these to small offices, 1-2 people, that just want local viewing and no monitoring from our SOC. They are very easy to deploy, which is important when the sites are used to a small dvr and analog cameras.

Not to be a Debbie doubter, but are we 100% sure that this is a pure HTML 5 interface with no plug-ins, or even built-in flash?

For example this interface might appear as such, but relied on built-in flash plugins.

If it proves to be HTML 5 only, Axis deserves massive kudos, as it is possibly the first.

Well, Debbie, I disabled Flash for you:

And it still streams:

If there's somewhere else I should disable things that I'm missing, I'm open to trying that again.

This is really great news, since unlike a plugin, the html5 code can't be hidden, and so it shouldn't take long for everyone else to figure it out!!!

the html5 code can't be hidden, and so it shouldn't take long for everyone else to figure it out!!!

Axis will be sending you a tray of the finest Swedish meatballs...

Yes, and then I upgraded online.

If there's somewhere else I should disable things that I'm missing, I'm open to trying that again.

Do you have this plug-in enabled?

I don't seem to have that plugin in Chrome. Is that a Firefox thing? It's possible that something may simply be built into Chrome which isn't exposed to the user.

I'll try Firefox when I get to my other computer.

It works in Firefox with that plugin disabled.

Cool. Do you see any other likely suspects there?

I think it is somewhat sad that they stoop to this level. Sending out crippled cameras just to try and compete on price. Honestly, they should be above these types of desperate moves. I would rather see Axis concentrate on what they excel at. Middle to high end cameras. Either that, or just ship a low end camera without crippling it.

Hello, very intersting, thanks. What exatly Hikvision camera do you use in this test? DS-2CD2522F-IS or DS-2CD2522FWD-IS (new platform with true WDR 120db)

The latter, DS-2CD2522FWD-IS. I'll fix that in the report.

What makes the difference that Hikvision 2522 has higher bit rate in day time but lower in the night ? Did you turn on the Smart H.264+ or?

H.264+ is on in both scenes. Bandwidth goes down in this scene because details are reduced but the scene stays relatively bright due to integrated IR.

For example you can't see the fine speckled pattern on the carpet at night, or other patterns like that which increase the bitrate during the day. This is pretty common in integrated IR cameras in our tests.

Update: online pricing remains at or above its MSRP of $169, which is atypical for Axis products.

However, ADI is listing an 18% discount for 'companion specialists' which is a separate Axis dealer category, described by ADI below:

Even at the special dealer price of $190 to $205 for the IR versions, it is still a significant premium over the continuing fall of Chinese alternatives, especially considering the Companion line is officially closed to 3rd party VMS support.

What is the username for the RTSP URL? I tried already "admin" and "root" with the administrator password but none of them seem to work.

Companion cameras do not officially support RTSP as they are meant to be used with their recorders only.

rtsp://ADDRESS/axis-media/media.amp?Axis-Orig-Sw=true

you setup that username and password through the companion app. Once that's done it should work.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Mobotix Move OEM Camera Line Tested on Feb 25, 2019
Mobotix has long been criticized for not offering integrated IR, mechanical cut filters, varifocal lenses, optical zoom and other features that...
Pelco GFC 4K Dome Camera Tested (IMP831-1ERS) on Mar 12, 2019
Pelco has finally released their first 4K IP camera, after years of competitors' releases. Is this move too late? Or is their new GFC Professional...
UTC Interlogix Series 6 Tested on Mar 25, 2019
UTC Interlogix has long been deceptively OEMing Hikvision as our 2017 results show. Now, Interlogix is back with their newest IP camera series,...
Spring 2019 50+ New Products Directory on Apr 08, 2019
We are compiling a list of new products for Spring 2019 and have over 50 already. Contrast to Fall 2018 New Products Directory and Spring 2018...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Bosch Starlight 8000i Cameras Tested on Jul 23, 2019
Bosch has released their new Flexidome IP Starlight 8000i cameras, claiming "exceptional detail even in extreme low-light situations." To see...
Pelco Sarix Pro3 Camera Tested on Oct 16, 2019
Pelco has released their Sarix Professional Series 3 cameras, claiming "more security detail in challenging scenes with excellent low light and...
Color Low Light Mega Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Speco, Sony, Vivotek on Nov 12, 2019
This is the biggest color low light shootout ever, testing 20+ super low light models from 10 manufacturers: Increasingly, each manufacturer...
Honeywell 30 Series Cameras Tested Vs Dahua and Hikvision on Dec 11, 2019
Honeywell has infamously OEMed Dahua and Hikvision for years, but now they have introduced an NDAA-compliant line, the 30 Series, claiming "lower...
IP Camera Browser Support: Who's Broken / Who Works on Dec 10, 2019
For many years, IP cameras depended on ActiveX control, whose security flaws have been known for more than a decade. The good news is that this is...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Axis and Genetec Drop IFSEC 2020 on Jan 23, 2020
Two of the best-known video surveillance manufacturers are dropping IFSEC International 2020, joining Milestone who dropped IFSEC in 2019. The...
Multipoint Door Lock Tutorial on Jan 23, 2020
Despite widespread use, locked doors are notoriously weak at stopping entry, and thousands can be misspent on locks that leave doors quite...
Avigilon Shifts Cloud Strategy - Merges Blue and ACC on Jan 23, 2020
Avigilon is shifting its cloud strategy, phasing out its Blue web-managed surveillance platform as a stand-alone brand and merging it with its ACC...
Verkada Paying $100 For Referrals Just To Demo on Jan 22, 2020
Some companies pay for referrals when the referral becomes a customer. Verkada is taking it to the next level - paying $100 referrals fees simply...
Camera Analytics Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 22, 2020
Analytics are hot again, thanks to a slew of AI-powered cameras, but whose analytics really work? And how do these new smart cameras compare to top...
Intersec 2020 Final Show Report on Jan 21, 2020
IPVM spent all 3 days at the Intersec 2020 show interviewing various companies and finding key trends. We cover: Middle East Enterprise...
Vehicle & Long Range Access Reader Tutorial on Jan 21, 2020
One of the classic challenges for access control are parking lots and garages, where the user's credential is far from the reader. With modern...
Clearview AI Alarm - NY Times Report Says "Might End Privacy" on Jan 20, 2020
Over the weekend, the NY Times released a report titled "The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It" about a company named...
Favorite Camera Manufacturers 2020 on Jan 20, 2020
The past 2 years of US bans and sanctions have shaken the video surveillance industry but what impact would this have on integrators' favorite...
"Severely Impacted" Mercury Security 2020 Leap Year Firmware Issue on Jan 17, 2020
One of the largest access controller manufacturers has a big problem: February 29th. Mercury Security, owned by HID, is alerting partners of the...