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)

Let's see how the cheapest BMW beats the cheapest Toyota and Nissan

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Dennis, can you elaborate? I'm not certain of your analogy or point.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

"The Companion Dome Mini LE sells for ~$150 USD online, making it Axis' lowest cost outdoor camera by over $100 (compared to their M2025-LE, ~$280 online).

Pricing is higher than low cost options from Hanwha (LNV-6011R, ~$115) or Hikvision (ECI-D12F, ~$75 or DS-2CD2123G0-I, ~$100)."

I think it would make more sense to compare not the cheapest cameras, but the similarly priced devices.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

the cheapest BMW beats the cheapest Toyota and Nissan

But the 'BMW', I guess you mean Axis in this case, did not win. It was mixed results, at best, and the Axis is closed while Hanwha and Hikvision were open.

If you'd like to suggest a $150 Hikvision or Hanwha to compare to this Axis model, feel free to do so and we will consider.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny
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