Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested

By Rob Kilpatrick, Published May 21, 2019, 10:14am EDT

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 low-cost offerings.

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This is the outdoor counterpart to the ~$100 indoor Axis camera we tested.

We bought and tested the Companion Dome Mini LE against competitive models from Hanwha and Hikvision to see how it compares, examining:

  • How good are low light details with IR on?
  • How even is IR illumination?
  • Does IR illumination meet its specified 15m range?
  • Does the camera perform well in WDR scenes?
  • How do bitrates compare to competitors?
  • Does the camera integrate with third party VMS/NVRs?

Performance *******

***** ** *** *****, the ********* **** **** LE *** *********** ** several *****:

  • ***** ** ***** *******:***** ******* ** **** scenes (~*.** ***) **** IR ** **** ******* to ** ****** **** competitive ****** ** **** and *** *****.
  • *** ********:*** *** ***** ******** were ***** **** *********** models ****** (*.*** **** smart ******).
  • **** ***** ***** *******:******* ****** **** ******* to *********** ****** ** our *******, **** ** notable ****** ** **** to **** *****.

*******, ***** **** *** key ******* *********, ** well:

  • ****** ** ********:** ************ *** **** at *** ***** ** the ***** ** ****, significantly ******** ******* ** subjects.
  • **** *** ***********:*** ********* **** **** LE ******** ****** ******* details ** *** ****** than *********** ****** **** Hanwha *** *********.

Companion ***********

************, *** ********* **** Mini ** ** *********** proprietary, ******** ** ** used **** ***** ********* NVR, ****** *********** ****** which *** **** ***** supported ** ***** ***** NVRs *** *** *** ONVIF ** ****** *******.

** ***** ***** *********** of *** ****** ** VMSes ** ********** *********, though ** **** ****** is *********. *******, **** stream **** *** ******* configuration *** *** ** camera-side ***, ******** ******** by **** *****.

************, **** *** ****** only ********* *** **** L, *** ****** **** not **** ********* ************* options (** *** *********, only ***** ***** ******* controls) *** ** ******** the ********* *** *** recording, **** ** ** slot.

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

***** *** ***********, **** is ********* *** * general-purpose ********. *******, *** the *** *********** ********, with *** ******** ****** Companion ******** **** ******** free ***** ******, ** could ** **** ** an *********** ** ******* manufacturers *********. ** *** other ****, **** ********* cameras *** ****** ********* chips.

*******

*** ********* **** **** LE ***** *** ~$*** USD ******, ****** ** Axis' ****** **** ******* camera ** **** $*** (compared ** **********-**, ~$*** ******).

******* ** ****** **** low **** ******* **** Hanwha (***-*****, ~$***) ** ********* (***-****, ~$** ****-*********-*, ~$***).

Physical ********

*** ********* **** **** LE ** ******* ** other ******* ** ***** in **** *** **** factor. *** **** ********** on *** ****** ****** is *** ***, **** no *****, */*, ** storage, ********* ***** ***, etc.

** **** ** *** Dome **** ** ** this *****:

*** ********* **** **** LE ** ******** ***** in ******** **** ***** cameras ** **** ****, though ******* ** ******, shown **** ****** ****** and ********* *****:

Slightly Smaller Than Competitive Outdoor Domes

Night/IR ***** *******

** **** ****** (~**'/~*.****), subject ******* *** ********** better **** ****** *** Hikvision ******, **** ******* and **** ******* ***** images. **** *** ****** overexposes *** ****** ** this *****.

Strong Dark  IR Details At Near Range

******** *** ******** ** ~30', *** ********* **** provided ******* ***** ******* to *** ****** * series *** ******** ****** details **** *** ********* due ** *** ************. Only ********* ** *** subject *** ******** ** all *******, **** ** details ********.

Similar Or Better Details At Mid Range

*******, *** ********* **** Mini *** *** ** spec ***** ** ~**' but ******* ** *** HIkvision *** ****** *******, only ********* ** *** subject *** ******** *** to *** *** *** (~16 ***).

Weak Details At Max IR Range

Uneven ** ********

*** ********* **** **** LE's ** ************ ******* was ***** ** *** center ** *** ***** of ****, *** ******* off, *********** ************ *** center **-**%. ******* ** the **** ** *** field ** **** *** lost *** ** **** IR ********.

Weak IR Illumination At Edges Of FOV

** **** ******** **** slight ** ***********/****, *********** in *** ***** *****, slightly ******** ***** ******* in ***** *****. **** that *** ****** **** was ******** ****** *** cleaned ****** ******* *** still ******** **** ****.

Slight Dome IR Reflectance Haze

Full ***** ***** *******

** **** ***** ******, Dome **** ** ***** details **** ******* ** better **** ***** ****** tested, ********* **** ******* lines ** *** *****.

Full Light Details Similar To Competitive Cameras

WDR ***** *******

** ****** *** ******'* WDR *********** **** ** ~2000 *** **** ** indoor *** ** ~**, shown ****:

WDR Test Field Of View

*** ********* **** **** LE ********* ***** ********* and ****** ******* ** our *** *****, **** dark ******* ** *** subject **** ** *** backlit ******* *** ******. Though *** ***** ******* washed *** *** ***** somewhat, ****** ******* **** more ******* ** **** competitors.

WDR Performance Comparison

Bitrate **********

*** ********* **** **** LE's ******** **** ******** to ********** ***** **** competitors **** *** *** night (****** **** ******** motion ** *** *****).

Bitrate Comparison

**** **** **** ****** that *** ********* **** cameras ** *** *** their **** ********* ***** codec, *** ******* ****** in *.*** **** **** smart ***** *********:

...* *********** ** *.*** and **** ***** ***** functionality ** ***** ** optimize ** *** *******...

*******, ****** *********, ***** are ** ******** ** compression ******, ******* *-***** interval, ** ******* ***.

Companion ***********

*** ********* **** **** LE *** ***** *** limitations ****** **** *** rest ** *** ********* line, ******** *****:

  • **** ********* *** ********
  • ******* ************* *** ** web *********
  • ** ***** ***** ***/*** integration ********** *********

Companion *** ********

*** **** **** ** requires ** **** ********* NVR *** *********. ** does *** ******* ******* SD ******* ** ******** NAS, ********* ** ***** Companion/Axis *******. *** ********* NVR ****** **** ~$*** for * * ******* model ** ~$*** *** an * ******* *** NVR.

No *** *********/******* ******

******* ** ************ *** **** *******, *** ********* **** Mini ** *** ** web *********, ******* **** try ** ****** *** camera *** *** ** address, *** *** *** with * ****** **** directs *** ** ******** the **** ********* ***** management ********.

************* ** ********* *** the **** ********* ******* app, *** ** ******* only **:

  • ********** *** ********* *** configurable *** *** "***** Quality" *******, *** *** limited ** **** ***** two **********, **** ** fine ******* ******* ** compression, ***, ** ***** options ********* *********.
  • ***** ***** ******* ******** such ** **********, ********, rotation, ***., *** *********, in *** **** **** IR *** *** ************ but **** ******* ******** the ******* ** ******* IR *** **** *******.

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

**** ***** ********* ******* we **** ******, *** Dome **** ** ** not ********** ********* ** any ***** ***** *** or ***, **** ****' own ********* ********. *******, like *** ********* **** V *** *** **** L, *** **** **** LE *** * ******* RTSP ******:

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

***** **** ** *****:

RTSP Stream Available, Not Officially Supported

*******, **** ****** *** multiple ***********:

  • ****** ****** ****:****** *******, *** ****** worked **** **** ********* to * ****** ******** or ***** ****** (*.*. VLC). ******* *** ****** to * ****** ******** caused ** ** **** on ****. **** **** viewing *** ****** ** multiple ******* *** * single *** ****** ******* issue.
  • *** *********:**** **** *** ******* RTSP ********* **** ********* cameras, ******* ***** ******* tech ******* ****** ****** arise.
  • ******* *************:**** ********* ******* *** ability ** ********* ***** settings (***, **********, ***.) from *** ***, *** does *** ******* *** camera's ***.

******* ** ***** ***********, RTSP *** ** ****** limited ** ***** ************ or *********** *****.

Manufactured ** ********

**** **** ** ****' other ***** *** ****** such ** ************ *** **** **** ***/***, *** ********* Dome **** ** ** manufactured ** ********.

Camera Made In Thailand

Versions ****

*** ********* ******** **** used ****** *******:

  • **** ********* **** **** LE: *.**.*
  • **** ********* **** **** L: *.**.*
  • ****** ***-*****: *.*********
  • ********* ***-*****: **.*.* ***** 180627

Comments (4)

***'* *** *** *** cheapest *** ***** *** cheapest ****** *** ******

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******, *** *** *********? I'm *** ******* ** your ******* ** *****.

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Funny: 1

"*** ********* **** **** LE ***** ***~$150 *** online, making it Axis' lowest cost outdoor camera by over $100 (compared to their *****-**, ~$*** ******).

******* ** ****** **** low **** ******* **** Hanwha (***-*****, ~$***) ** ********* (***-****, ~$** ** **-*********-*, ~$***)."

* ***** ** ***** make **** ***** ** compare *** *** ******** cameras, *** *** ********* priced *******.

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*** ******** *** ***** the ******** ****** *** Nissan

*** *** '***', * guess *** **** **** in **** ****, *** not ***. ** *** mixed *******, ** ****, and *** **** ** closed ***** ****** *** Hikvision **** ****.

** ***'* **** ** suggest * $*** ********* or ****** ** ******* to **** **** *****, feel **** ** ** so *** ** **** consider.

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