Axis ~$100 Camera Tested

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Jul 17, 2018

Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can this new model compete with these low-cost incumbents? 

We bought and tested the Companion Eye Mini L to find out, examining:

  • Low light/IR image quality
  • Wide dynamic range performance
  • Full light image quality
  • Physical features
  • NVR/VMS compatibility
  • Bandwidth consumption
  • Motion detection performance
  • Configuration options

We tested it against Axis Companion Dome V (previous generation), Axis M3045-V, 2MP Hikvision DS-2CD2522FWD-IS and 4MP Hikvision DS-2CD2542FWD-IS.

**** *** ******** ***** lowest **** ****** ****,*** ********* *** **** L, ******* ***** ****** on * ****** ********* by ********* *** *****. Can **** *** ***** compete **** ***** ***-**** incumbents? 

** ****** *** ****** the********* *** **** *** **** ***, *********:

  • *** *****/** ***** *******
  • **** ******* ***** ***********
  • **** ***** ***** *******
  • ******** ********
  • ***/*** *************
  • ********* ***********
  • ****** ********* ***********
  • ************* *******

** ****** ** *********** ********* **** *(******** **********), **** *****-*, 2MP ********* **-**********-** *** 4MP ********* **-**********-**.

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

Pros - ****** ***** ******* *** ***** ****

*** **** ********* *** Mini ******** ****** *** light *** *** ****** than Axis' *** ******** ********* Dome * *** *****-*, as **** ** *********'* low-cost ***** **** ****, at * ***** ***** competitive **** ***-**** *********/***** models.

********, *** ******* ******* size **** ** * differentiator *** ***** ******* for ******** ***********.

Cons - ***********

*******, ** *** ******* *** limitations:

  • **** ********* *** ********:****** ***** **** ****** (both ******** *** *********), the *** **** * does *** ******* ******* SD ******* ** ******** NAS *********, ******* ********* the **** ********* ***.
  • ** ******** *****-***** *** compatibility:*** ********* *** **** L ** *** ********** compatible **** *** ***** party *****. ** **** stream ** *********, ****** unsupported, *** **** ********** method **** *** ******* stream ************* ** ****** side ***, *** ******** expected ** **** *****.
  • ****** ****: **** ***-**** ********** options *** ******* / IP66 *****.
  • ****** **** ******* ********:*** *** **** *'* bitrates **** ****** **** other ** ******* ****** both *** *** *****, despite *** ********* ** H.265 *** **** ***** codec ********. ********* ******** were ***** **** ****' non-IR ********* **** * and *****.

Strongest **** ***-**** **********

**** ** ********* ****' strongest ***-**** **********, ***** both ******** *********** *** lower ****. ****, *** increased ******** ** ******* manufacturers ************ ********** ******* **** ****.

*******, *** **** ******* are ********* ** ****** to **** ** *** low-end *** *** ******** Axis **** ******* **** against ******* ****** ********** in *** *****-***** *** real *********.

Hikvision ***** ******* **** ******

****: **** **** *** performed ***** ** *********'* new lower **** ***** ******* line ***** ********* ** ADI ***. ** **** ordered ***** *** **** to **** ******* *** Mini *** * **** they ****** **** * new ******** ******.

*******

*** **** ********* *** Mini * ***** *** ~$119 *** ******, ***** $40 **** **** ****' original ***-** ********* **** V (~$*** ******). **** pricing ** *********** **** Hikvision *** ***** ***** IR ******, ~$***-*** ******.

Physical ********

*** ********* *** **** L ** *** ******** all ** *** ****** in ****' ****, ~**% smaller **** *** ********* Dome */*** *****. *** only ********** ** *** camera ****** ** *** PoE, **** ** *****, I/O, ** *******, ********* video ***, ***.

** **** ** *** Eye **** ** **** video:

******** ** ***** ******* in **** ****, *** Companion *** **** ** notably *******, ***** **** versus *** ********* **** V *** ********* **** domes:

Manufactured ** ********

**** **** ** ****' other ***** *** ****** such ** *** ***/***, the ********* *** **** L ** ************ ** Thailand.

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

** * **** ***** with ** ** (~*.****), the **** * ******** *** clearest ****** ******* ** subjects ***** ******* ******, drastically ****** **** *********'* compact ****, *** ******** better **** *** *** 2342.

*** *** **** *'* IR ******** *** ******** *** at *** ***** ** the scene, but *** *** ****** from ************ ** *** center ** *** ***** of ****.

 

Wide ******* ***** ***********

*** ********* *** ****'* more ****** ******* ****** and ******* ***** *** the **** ******* **** all ***** ****** ******, with WDR *********** ******** ** both ********* ****** ******. However, ****** **** ********* compared ** ***** **** models, ***** ********* ******** better ****** ** *** subject's ****** ********.

************, ***** *** ** noticeable **** ** *** subject ** ** ***** from ******** ** *******, shown *****.

******* *** ************ * .*** **** containing ***** ** **** scene **** *** ******* (~29MB).

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

** **** ***** ******, Eye **** ***** ******* were ******* ** ** better **** ***** ****** tested, ****** **** **** slight ************* ** *** subject's ****. *** **** suffered **** **** ************ of *** **** ***** than ***** ******, ****** **** **** legible.

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

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

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

**** ***** ********* ******* we **** ******, *** Eye **** ** *** officially ********* ** *** third ***** *** ** NVR, **** ****' *** Companion ********. *******, **** the ********* **** *, the *** **** * has * ******* **** stream:

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

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

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

  • ****** ****** ****: ****** *******, *** ****** worked **** **** ********* to * ****** ******** or ***** ****** (*.*. VLC). Sending *** ****** ** a ****** ******** ****** it ** **** ** both. **** **** ******* the ****** ** ******** clients *** * ****** VMS ****** ******* *****.
  • *** *********: **** **** *** ******* RTSP ********* **** ********* cameras, ******* ***** ******* tech ******* ****** ****** arise.
  • ******* *************:**** ********* ******* *** ability ** ********* ***** settings (***, **********, ***.) from *** ***, *** does *** ******* *** camera's ***. 

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

No *** *********

*** ********* *** **** L **** *** **** a **** *** *********, unlike ***** ********* ******, which *** *** **** interface ** ******* **** cameras. ******** *** ******'* IP ******* ****** ******** a ****** ****** **** a **** ** ********* and ********* ******** ********.

Limited *************

*** ********* *** **** L *** ******* ************* options, ******* ** *********** two ****** ** ********:

  • ********** *** ********* *** configurable *** *** "***** Quality" *******, *** *** limited ** **** ***** two **********, **** ** fine ******* ******* ** compression, ***, ** ***** options ********* ********* ** Axis *******:

  • ***** ***** ******* ******** such ** **********, ********, rotation, ***., *** *********, but ***** *** ** options ** ******* *** or ********** **, **** both *******.

** ****** ***** ******* in **** *****:

 

Higher ********* **** ******* **** *****

** *** *****, *** Eye **** *'* ******** were ****** **** **** Hikvision ****** ****** *** day *** *****, *** higher **** *** ***-** Axis ****** ****** *** day:

**** ****** **** *** Companion **** ******* ** not *** ***** **** blown ********* ***** *****, but ******* ****** ** H.265 **** **** ***** codec *********:

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

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

Motion ********* ***********

***** *** ******** ** Axis ****** *** **** with *********/* *********, *** *** **** L ******** * ********* variant, ****** ***** "****** Detection", ***** ****** **** rectangular *****, ******* ** polygons, *** **** *** include *** ******* ***** in ****/* (*****, *******, short ***** *******).

** *** *****, **** motion ********* ******* *** one ********** ********, ******** on ******* ***** *******, such ** ****** ******* or ****** ***** ****** on/off ** *** **** (below), ****** ***** **** did *** ****** ****. *******, it *** *** ***** on ***** *******, **** as ******* *******, ******** flashing, ** ****** ****** on/off ** ******** *****.

Versions ****

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

  • **** ********* *** **** L: *.**.*
  • **** ********* **** *: 8.30.1
  • **** *****-*: *.**.*
  • ********* **-**********-**: *.*.* ***** ******
  • ********* **-**********-**: *.*.* ***** 170725

Comments (37)

** *** *** **** is ******* **** **************. Then *** **** **** are ***** *** **** to *** ******. **** is ** ***** ** here?? **** ***** *** know **** *** **.******% owned ** *** ******* government.

********* ******* **********. *** communists, *** *****

****, ***** ***, **** might *** ** **** your ******* ** **** you **** **********.

***** ** *** ******* Government?  * ******* ***** acquired **** ***** ***.

**** ** *** ***** at *** *** ***'* discuss * *** *********!

** *** **** *** dumping ********* *** *.*** with ***** *****? 

*** *******, ***********. *** camera *** ** *** interface *** **** ***** us **** ****** ****** simplified ************* *** *** mini ****. ** ***** it ******** ******** ** Zipstream, ***** ** ****** be ******** **********, **** don’t **** ** *********. 

***** **** ***'* **** sell ** **** ***** etc (*** **********). **** we *** *** *** stream ** *** **** but *** ***** ** stuck ** * ******** update ****** **.

*****'* * ****** *** that.

*****, ** *** **'** back ** ****** ********* commit ** *,* ** 16 ******* **** ****** **** all *** ******** *** industry **** **** **-***** licence ********** *******.  

*** ******* ** ** I'm *****, *** *****'* pretty **** *** **** equipment **** ** *******/** only *** ******** ********?  ie ** *** *******, no ****** *******, ** Chrome *******, ** ******* support, ** ****** ***, no ******* ***, ** Microsoft **** ******* *******.

******, *** ** *** explain ** * ******** why ** ****** **** camera ** $*** ** an ******* **** ****** is $***?

**** ** **** ****** *** industry *********.  ** ***** ago ** **** ********** 4,8,16 ******* **** **** ran ** ** **** with ******* ********.  *** we're ***** **** ***** we ******* **** ****.  

* **** **** ** on-par **** *** ***-**** market.  */*/** ******* ***'*, only ** *******. ** you ***. **** *** not ** **** *** businesses *** ******, *** a *** ** ******* businesses *** ***** **** to ** ****** ** up.

***, **** *** ********* in * **** ** the ******* **** ******** and ****** ******* ****. You **** **** *** with * ******* **** is ******** ** ******* with **** ******** **** removed ******** ***** *** of *** ****.

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

** **** **** **** sell ** ** *******, Airports, ***. *** **** could **** **** ** those ***** ** ******* with ***** ****** **** cameras ******* *******. ** IMO, **** **** ********** in *** ****.

***** *** *** ***** wont ** ****** **** up. **** **** ******** to ***** ** *****, Hikvision, *****, *****, ***.

** **** **** **** sell ** ** *******, Airports, ***.

****??? * **** ******* and ******** *** *** your ********* *** ***** is ** *** **** is ***** (** **** trying) ** **** **** there. No ******* ** *********** ********* ********(*.*., **'* ********** ** 16 ******* *** ********).

***** **** **** ** those ***** ** ******* with ***** ****** **** cameras ******* *******. ** IMO, **** **** ********** in *** ****.

****'* *** **** ******* ONVIF *** ***** *******. Enterprise ***** ***'* ****** that.

** *** ****** **** and other *******,**** **** **** ***** models ** *** ************* ******* ****** * panoramic plus ********* ******** ***** with **** '*******' ******* as ****.

**********, * ***'* ******** with *** **** ***** biz *** ***** **** continue ** '*****' ** Chinese************. *******, * ** ******* how Axis **** **** **** larger ********* ** **** / *** **** *** feel **** *********** **** Axis **** ******* ******** and ***** ** ********* by *** ******* *** closer ***** ** **** offering.

** *** ** *** Axis ********* ********. *** are *****, ** ***** enterprise **** *** ****. 

** **********, * ***** this **** ** * huge ***. ** *** know ** * **** owner *** ***** ** put ** ****** **** inside ***** *****? ****, guys **** ** **** of **** ******** **** do **** ***** **** like **** ** ****?** and *****? *** ***** their ****.

** **********, * ***** this **** ** * huge ***.

** ***'* ** **** defining ******* ******** *** it's ***** *****:

(*) **** ** * billion ****** **** ******* with *,***+ *********. **** are *** ****** **** they ****** **** ** entry ***** / ***-*** offering.

(*) **** *** * large ***** ************. **** may *** **** **** to ********** ********** *** they *** **** **** be **** ** ***** deals **** * ******* of ***** *** ******* providers.

(*) **** **** ** Axis ***'* ** * lot ** ***** **** but, ** *** ****** they **, ** ***** keep **** ****** ****' 'family' ** ********, ****** than ******* ***** ** Hikvision.

(*) * **** *** think *** ***** *************, government *********, ********* ************* regime ********* ** **** nonsense *** ***** *** others **** *** ********* about **. *****, ** Axis ****, **** ***** be ****** *** ** have ********* ********** ** take ********* ** **** ** Hikvision's **** ******** ********.

(*) *** ****** ****** well *** **** *** gotten **** ****** ** pricing / ******** ***** cost *********, ****** **** more ***********.

*** *** ******* ** the ********* *****, * agree ****'* *** ***** move *** *** *** Axis **** **** ** solid ** *** *** right.

**** ********* ******* ******** sites?

***, ********* **** ******* multiple ***** *** *** simultaneously, *** **** ** log ** ** **** site ** **** *******.

** *** *** **** you **** ****, $*** USD ******-**** ****** **** can **** ** **** on **** *** */*/** (is ***** **** * 16 ** ******?) **** support *** ** ****, PC ****, ** ****.

 

** *** ***** **** you **** ********* **-******* for *** **** *****, IP66, ********, ** **** slot, ** ********** **** every *** (****** ******* banning ***), *****, ****** detection ** ***** ******, etc. ***** **** ** browser, ****** *******, *** or ** ****** ****, iPhone ** ******* ****.

 

*** **** **** ***** is ***** ** ****** from *** ** ****?  You'd **** ** **** up * *** ** functionality ** **** *** something **** ** **** brand ****.  **** ** cheapening ***** **** *** time, **** **** **** did ****** ********* *** re-branding **.  

**** ******* *** ** only, ** ****, ** apps.

** * ***** ** fact,**** ********* ******** **** *** **** *************. *** ********** **** would ** ****** *** certainly * ***** *******, but **** ** *** the ****.

** *** **** ****, you ******* ******** *** motion ********* ** ***** ** pluses *** ********* *** this **** ****** *** both ** ***** ** well.

**** *** *** ******** 'giving **' ** ************* shorter **** **** ****. The ******* ***, * agree, ** *** ***** compatibility. *******, ***** *** definitely *** * *** of ******* ***** *** use **** ***** ** camera ** ******** (*.*., ********* / *********) ******.

** ** ********* **** this *** *********, * don't ***** **** ** enough ** ***** ********* dealers ** ****** *** the ******* ****** ***** well *** ** ******* better **** ********* ** important ****.

********, *** **** *** and ***** ******* *** likely ** ** **** as ********** *** ***** who **** * *****, simple *** ** ****** the **** ****** ***************.

*** ******* ** ** I'm *****, *** *****'* pretty **** *** **** equipment **** ** *******/** only *** ******** ********? ie ** *** *******, no ****** *******, ** Chrome *******, ** ******* support, ** ****** ***, no ******* ***, ** Microsoft **** ******* *******.

*** **** * *** speak *** *** *********.  However, * ********* ******* Chrome *** **** ****** configuration, ***.  ** ***** to ******* ****** ************* for ******** ******* ***. of ******** ********. 

** ****' ***** *** interface, *.*** ***** *** not **** ** ******. However, **** ******** ********* *** ********* **** no-plugin *.*** ********** ***** *** ***** has ******** ** **** current ******.

*** ********* **** ** focused **** *** ***** installations **** ******* *************.  It *****'* *** **** the ********, **** *********** who ***'* **** *** to ******* ***** ********* on **** ** ***** for ***** ************.  ** course ** ****** ********* asked ***** **** *** I ********* *** ***********, limitations *** **** ***********.  Also, ********* *** ******* cameras (***** $************ *** ***).  

* ***** *** ****** read *** ******** **** articles *** ******* ******** about *** *********** ** "companion" ** "******* ****".  

**** **** ********* **** Integrators?

* ********** ***'* *** or **** *** ********* line, *** **** ** large *********, ** ****'** looking *** ********* *** their ****, **'* * great ********, *********, ***** to *** * *** P **** *** ***** more ** *******.  

*** ****'* *** **** the ***** **-**********-** ****** *** your ****?

** *** **** ** testing, * ****'* *** it ******** ******** ** North *******. **'* ***** not ****** ** ***** website, *** *******, ******* being ***** ********* ** the ***** *** ****** now.

**** ** **** *** Value ******* **** **** we **** *** ** in.

*** *** *** ** large ********** ** ** must *** *** ****** to ** ***** ********** with ***** **** **** Genetec, *********; ** ***** compliant. ** **** ****** is ***, * ** wondering **** ***** ** the ****** ******?

**'* ******** ** ***** business, ******* ******* ********:

*** *** *** ******** the ******* ** **** it ** **** ********** by ******** *** ******* to ***********? 

 

*** *** **** ** can't ** **. ***** axis **** ** **** say *** **** ****** will ****** ** **.

 

*** ******** *** ******* to **** ** ** more ********** ** ******** its ******* ** ***********?

** ***** *********** **** ****** is ** **** *****. This ***, **** ***** who *** ****** *** limitation ** **** ***** Axis ********* *** **** buy *** ***** ***** one.

** ******, **** ***** faces *** **** **** buyers *** **** *** party ******* **** *** an **** ********** ******* of **** '******' *******. However, **** ***** **** risk ****** **** ********** these ********* **** ******* as ****.

** **** **** ** option ** **** ***** $700 ***** ***** *******.

****, **** ** *** deal **** ****** ** IE ****. ** ** really **** **** ** make ******* **** ** Chrome *** ** ******* a ******? **** ** make ***** ***** ******* explode ** *********?

***** ** **** ****** that **'* "** ****" coming ****? *** ****** does *** **** * full *** *********, ** we **** ** *** report. *** ********* *** does **** * *** interface, *** **'* **** used *** ***** *************.

** ** ****** **** hard ** **** ******* work ** ****** *** FF ******* * ******? Will ** **** ***** cheap ******* ******* ** something?

**'** **** ********* ****, too.

***, *** **** ****** is ******* ****** **** number ** ******* *** cheaper *******. ** **** of **** ********* ******, I **** *** ******* is *** **** ***** what ******* **** **** to ******.

*** **** *** ***** business ****** ** ******* driven ** ******* ********* who ***** * ****** mostly ** ***** ***** the ***** **** *** think *** **** ***** the **** *** ***** of ******.

"*** **** *** ***** business ****** ** ******* driven ** ******* ********* who ***** * ****** mostly ** ***** ***** the ***** **** *** think *** **** ***** the **** *** ***** of ******." 

 

*** *******?

** ** ***** *** Business ********, *******

 

** ********** **** *** Business, ** ***** ** the ******* ****, ** Hikvision, *********, *********.  ********* seems ** ** *** preferred ******* ** *** here.  

** ***'* *****, ** doesn't **** **** *** stream, **'* * */*/** DVR, ***...

****, ** *******. ****** *** options ****** *** ** expected **** **** **** anymore **** *** ****** expect *** **** ********* in * $*** ********* Spark ** *** **** in * $*** *****.

**** ** **** ****** to ******* *** *********/***** business ****** **** **** miss *** ** ***** now. * ***** **** are **** ****** ** capture *********** *** ***** ***** markets; *** **** *** never **** ***** ** Axis ******* *** ***** does *** ********* ***** their *********. **** ** what ** **: * loss ****** ** **** interest ** ***** ***** lines. 

 

 

 

***** * ***** **** this ****** ***** ** a *** ** ***** Axis ** ***** ********* that ******* ***** *** which ** ******* *** low *** ****** *** use * *** ******** like **** ** **** leaders ** *** ***** bigger ******* ****** *****.

** ********** ******* ** addressing *** *** *** now ***** ******* ** and * *** ***.  Many ****** *** **** years **** **** ** address *** *** *** but ** **** ** deaf ****.

* ******* ****  

********* **** ** ** entry ***** ***** ****** concept **** ********* ***** installation ** ** ** cameras ***** * **** of ****** ********* *** management ******** *** ******** devices **** ****** ** work **** **** ********. For **** **** ** systems, *** ************ *** been ********** ** * way **** ** ** not ****** ** *** up *** ****** ** recorder ** ********* **** using * *** *******. The *********** ******** **** it *** ***** * wizard ****.

** ******** **** *** equivalent ****** ****** ** most ** *** ********* Line ****** ** ******** higher ******. *** ***** camera ******, *** ******* support *** *** *********** of ****-** *********** *** already ********* **** *** as ****** ** **** statement ***** ** ****

**** - ******* *******

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