Axis Launches New Low Cost Cameras

Author: John Honovich, Published on Mar 22, 2016

Evidently, now is the time to retire the M3004.

After releasing dozens of cameras in the past few years in the mid to high end, Axis is now releasing new entry level domes for the first time in years. These cameras will be better and less expensive than the historical M30 series, but how much of an impact will it have on competitors? We examine the differences and the potential impact inside.

[[Update, June 2016: Axis has begun shipping the new M30 line. Readers may see our tests of these cameras starting with the 720p M3044-V.]]

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Comments (39)

About 2 years too late...

and 2 hundred too much...

The price wouldnt bother me as much if a Gold level dealer got a decent discount to make some money vs what online retailers end up advertising them for. They continue to treat their integrator partners as a distribution channel, and pay them as such.

At least it's a response to the changing market. For greater than a year the absolute silence from Axis has been disconcerting. This is the first attempt they have made to demonstrate they are not out of touch. Perhaps they are not priced properly but that is something they can adjust 3 months from now. The lack of IR is a killer though. Axis really does seem to have an aversion to IR.

Fantastic! About time.

The race to the bottom is almost complete...

"The race to the bottom is almost complete..."

Axis only dropped the price ~$30 / ~13%.

My gut feel is that they could have made life much more difficult for the Chinese by going further (even lower pricing). I also think that strategically that would be useful to limit Hikvision's gain.

To that end, I view Axis' move as being relatively limited given the overall price drop in the market.

AXIS AND HIKVISION ARE NOT THE SAME MARKET. I APPRECIATE THE EFFORT FROM AXIS TO HELP US OUT AS INTEGRATORS WITH A PERCENTAGE TO GET US CLOSER TO THE MARKET LOW BALLERS WHEN WE NEED IT. AS A HIGH END INTEGRATOR WE AVOID THOSE OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE ONLY FOR A LOW BALL BID OR MARKET.

MIKE, WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING AT US? :)

In all seriousness, though, I do think Hikvision has a number of good premium products and features.

For example, their Darkfighter low light is quite good, their IR PTZs work quite well, and they are one of the few manufacturers already with a legit alternative to Zipstream (see Hikvision H.264+).

So, no doubt, Hikvision primarily wins in lower cost, lower end applications, they have fairly formidable camera for higher end users.

I'm curious to see if these cameras suffer from the same poor 45 degree tilt limitation that the M30 series had. It sucks having a minidome that can only be mounted vertically. I'm sure I'm not the only one who didn't read the specs close enough, got the camera out of the box, and then quickly realized it couldn't be mounted on the ceiling..............at least I hope I'm not the only one.

Axis response:

"Now you can tilt the camera all the way up to the ceiling, or the same level it is mounted."

When they verify the exact angles, I will add to this comment and post above.

John, do you mean to say Axis could have lowered the price further and still make a profit, but chose not to? Not being a financial guy, I have to ask, why would Axis do that? Is it as simple as they know these cameras will sell, despite the midlevel price point? Kind of like a "why sell for less if we don't have to" mentality?

Probably, yes. Of course, it is a matter of how much profit and how sensitive the market is to price.

For example, let's say Axis is making a decision of selling Camera A for $200 or $150. The cost of the product is the same regardless of the price. The profit per camera is definitely less selling at $150 than at $200, so that is bad. However, the key question is how many more cameras could Axis sell at $150 than $200. It if it only 5% than that is a bad move, if it is 33%, could be a profitable move, etc.

The bigger thing I suspect is that pricing the new M30s at say $150 to start would create a weird effect with their existing mid series, i.e., a dealer says "The new M30 is just $150 but you mid level is $400, why is it so much higher, maybe I'll just buy the lower end one." In other words, lower pricing at the low end could cut into mid level sales.

Net / net, I do not think the pricing decision is simple especially since they are competing in a market warped by a subsidiary of the Chinese government who benefits from its government connections / funding / projects, etc.

The main thing, if it was me, is that I would be willing to sacrifice profit in the short term to stop Hikvision from taking more of my dealer base and moving further up market. Now, I do not know, maybe Axis has a theory that Hikvision will eventually sputter / spot like their previous low cost rivals did. Not simple...

Previous low cost rivals...

ACTi, Arecont?

ACTi and Arecont are probably the two biggest low end threats who subsequently blew themselves up.

only exciting if you are a die hard Axis customer, if not, no big whoop

As a small business owner and you really do not care about quality, cost of ownership, then Axis, Hik, and others are for you. Low cost but still crap.

AXIS is low cost crap? Interesting take....

...AXIS is low cost crap?

Ha! Axis is not low-cost.

U4, that is quite a memorable first comment!

You wouldn't happen to be an Avigilon dealer :)

U4 that is a intresting comment , labelling both axis and hik as crap ...

have you ever used either product ??

probably not

both are good products , and both sell

While I am not a fan of AXIS they dont make crap either.

I will say one of the problems I have with AXIS is referred to in this article, They let their hardware get and stay out of date way longer than they should let it.

Does the M3004v have crappy specs? yes by today's standards its pretty bad, It should have been out of production almost 2 yrs ago and refreshed with something newer and/or cheaper. Is it a bad camera though? not really, just outdated.

You are correct. We have boxes of it which has failed ptz's imagers seem to be the worse..

Is there a datasheet available?

No, Axis generally publishes datasheets when products start shipping, which in this case would be about a month from now.

I just heard that HIK will show in LV

256 ch stand alone for 4K cameras

The Main goal is to go after "big boys"

The Main goal is to go after "big boys"

What "boy" is bigger than Hik?

I cant wait, I'm really sick of all the crappy talk about Hik, at the end of the day, they came in with a reliable and cost effective solution. I don't care about the brand Axis has built over the last 30 years to charge their "premium".

HDMI output that's interesting !

AXIS M3044-V provides HDTV 720p video at up to 30 fps. AXIS M3045-V provides HDTV 1080p video at 30 fps and offers HDMI support that enables live streaming to an HDTV monitor for public viewing

Axis is trying to act like the Apple of the camera market, with the new iPhone SE. Please Samsung loads their product with WAY better technology at fractions of cost when comparing older models.

Hikvision have had a camera with HDMI output for few years now with face detection etc

I purchased the Hikvision DS-2CD2332-I 3MP EXIR Turret Network Camera from Boston Technologies via Amazon in Oct, 2014. It claimed to have face detection and motion detection, and had the interface controls for it, but those (and many other functions) were completely non-functional. It's hard to know what Hikvision does or does not do when one cannot depend on good results from a credible retailer. How many gray market performance failures does it take to blacken their name? This is Hikvision's Achilles heel: good reputation and consumer trust is built on positive consumer experiences. When a vendor doesn't stand behind their own product, that is truly a race to the bottom.

The reason you encountered an issue like this is purely because of false-advertising from a low level seller. I have dealt with Hik for years now, and any installer will know that they have teirs of cameras. I am also a very high level dealer, which is why I will not be soliciting my contact information. The smart series cameras are the only cameras besides most of their PTZ which provide features like object removal, people loitering, or facial detection. The series of cameras you purchased are what is called Value Series. There is also the Smart Value series (which have those SMART features) and the Professional Series, accounting for IP alone. I would suggest doing your own research or requesting a product guide the next time you come around a Hikvision rep or online seller.

http://overseas.hikvision.com/us/Products_accessries_10508_i7705.html

spec sheet claims its has motions detection intrusion, "dynamic analysis" ( what ever that is)

does not say anything about facial recog. though, so what about half of the features it did come with that didnt work?

or is going to be another language barrier issue like that time I had with Panasonic when they advertised "optional/included" and they meant "extra license purchase" for camera software upgrades?

not trying trying to be smart just wondering as I wouldnt/cant purchase them due to their "ownership" and just looking for a little insight.

dynamic analysis will show up on the cameras GUI or iVMS4200, it basically shows you lines and boxes of what the camera categorizes as motion. For instance this helps when you are lowering the sensitivity on the motion or the threshold on the intruder detection. Hik has pretty much the same look for software on all the devices, the difference is the processors and the background work that needs to be done to render these pixel changes as Smart Events. For the Smart Events option, all value series only come with the Line Cross detection, and intruder detection. As you will find all the other options e.g. baggage removal detection, will be unclickable. If you are looking for those types of smart event features, then you will need the smart series or pro series cameras.

Now what they should do is rebadge the 3005 as the 2005 and create a sub brand 2 series at just above the hik price..

I'm a little surprised that none of the bigger names have decided to create their low-cost cameras under different brand. Similar to how Cisco bought Linksys to be their entry-level line (though that didn't work out all that great).

I think that part of what is driving Hikvision is the direct end-user sales (and not just EZ-Viz, but the product being available many places online). At some point Axis/etc. are going to need to acknowledge and address this. They're painted into a corner right now, they can't go totally low-price because there is a middle-man with integrators, and they can't sell direct under their own brand because that will cause a lot of blow-back.

"Similar to how Cisco bought Linksys to be their entry-level line (though that didn't work out all that great)."

Interesting you bring that up. Based on small bits of circumstantial evidence and conjecture, I always suspected Cisco bought Linksys with the idea of driving it into the ground so SMB and prosumers would come back to buying Cisco PIX firewalls. But instead of that happening when Linksys suffered a distinct nose dive in quality control that everyone noticed after Cisco bought them, instead it drove customers and SMB computer services to Netgear, DLink, Trendnet, etc.

If high end camera manufacture bought a lower end product maker, I have the feeling they'd make the same mistake. If they developed their own economic line, I think you'd have an internal war over one division robbing sales from the other.

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