Testing: Axis P1347 5MP Camera

By: Benros Emata, Published on Jan 24, 2011

Up until 2 years ago, a common criticism of Axis was a relatively weak megapixel camera line. Since then, Axis has rapidly and broadly expanded their megapixel offerings. One of their most interesting and controversial approaches was their emphasis on HDTV. This was (and remains) a departure from most surveillance companies emphasizing the megapixel aspect of higher definition surveillance cameras. It also triggered an important question/discussion on HD vs Megapixel.

While Axis now has a broad range of HDTV cameras, their multi-megapixel lineup remains limited. Their highest resolution camera is the P1347, a 5MP camera. Like other 5MP cameras, it supports 1080p HD but the resolution is far higher than any commercially available HD camera.

In this report, we share out test results of the Axis P1347 5MP camera. In this report, we focus on the fundamentals on day and night video quality.

Another interesting aspect of the camera is its included support for P-Iris lenses, a new type of lens (and an alternative to auto iris lenses). We tested this but we are going to examine the results separately as it goes beyond the use of this camera. Those results will be published in the beginning of February.

Recommendations

The P1347 is suited for applications requiring strong image clarity and details. Outdoor applications can consider the P1347-E version, which provides an IP66 rating.

Because the P1347 offers WDR and true day/night it will generally produce good image quality in challenging lighting situations. However, WDR and low-light tests using default settings indicated only a modest level of performance. Thus, for especially challenging lighting conditions some trade-offs may have to be made in fine tuning the P1347 camera settings (e.g. exposure rate, WDR strength, gain, BLC etc.). Other manufacturer WDR/Low-light technologies may provide a more specialized approach to solving difficult lighting environments as well. For example, Sony's View-DR and Panasonic's MegaSuperDynamic are some strong performing WDR technologies.

Organizations looking to integrate video surveillance onto the corporate network will benefit from the P1347's robust set of networking features. For example, both HTTPS and 802.1x (both features found on the P1347), are common network security strategies.

Integrators and specifiers should appreciate the wide and varied features on the P1347. Some are very rare (e.g. p-iris and corridor format) and others somewhat rare (e.g., 802.1x support), and can be used to uniquely distinguish the camera from competitor offerings. For example, it's network security options might be a bid requirement in more security conscious networking environments.

The big constraint (as is common with many Axis cameras) is the relatively high price (around $1500 online). While all 5MP cameras are going to be more expensive than 720p/1080p counterparts, the P1347 is especially expensive. This is balanced by a rich feature set. However, it could be overkill for users with simpler needs (i.e., just higher resolution). Axis does not have a mid-range / entry level alternative (an M series product) for 5MP (or 3MP for that matter).

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Key Findings

  • Strong overall picture quality in both daytime and nighttime
  • Modest WDR and Low-light performance
  • Only a handful of manufacturers offer 5MP or greater products
  • Beneficial for networks that require/desire IT security features on video surveillance equipment
  • Highly robust and unique feature set; strong differentiation from competitors
  • Feature rich but expensive
  • ONVIF support not available until firmware 5.20 (we tested with 5.11, 5.20 is the next upcoming release)

Product Overview

The Axis P1347 at 5MP is the highest resolution offering within Axis' P13 series box cameras (and highest resolution throughout Axis' entire portfolio). There are two other P13 megapixel models at 1MP and 3MP. Each of the P13 series boxes are available in -E versions for outdoor environments (IP66 rated).

A unique feature of the P1347 is the P-iris technology (also available in the 3MP P1346 model). The p-iris has been proclaimed as a more finely controlled iris mechanism that in turn produce higher quality images. However, the camera can also work effectively with a traditional dc-iris or manual iris lens if required.

Other common premium features such as true day/night, WDR, interchangeable lens, and auto-back-focus are found in the P1347. At around $1500 online, however, the P1347 is among the pricier options in the 5MP market. The average 5MP is roughly $1100 online, with Basler (BIP2-2500c-dn) and Arecont (AV5105DN) presenting some interesting alternatives at lower price points (both around $800 online).

The P1347 also offers ONVIF, but requires a 5.20 firmware upgrade, which was not available during the time of this report. Our review of the P1347 used firmware version 5.11, and as expected we were unable to connect via ONVIF to any ONVIF compliant VMSes within our lab (e.g., Axxon Smart, Exacqvision, and Milestone Go).

Physical Overview

In this video we provide a physical overview of the P1347. The auto-iris jack on the underside of the unit is able to accomodate p-iris lens connectors, as well as other types (e.g., dc-iris).


Administration and Configuration

The Axis P1347 configuration options are numerous, as the camera offers a robust feature set. In this video we examine key settings such as p-iris, WDR, day/night, and exposure. We'll also demonstrate the auto-back focus feature which allows automatic focus and even a manual focus adjustment. We'll glance briefly at some interesting networking features such as HTTPS, 802.1x and on-board storage.


Image Quality Analysis

In these videos we examine the video quality of the P1347 under both daytime and nighttime conditions. Download the entire P1347 video sample ZIP files (60MB) to review for yourself.

In the busy daytime traffic scene we note 'crisp' images of the scene and objects moving through the scene (i.e., vehicles and humans). The overall picture quality is quite good and we can nearly read a traffic sign at 150m FoV when digitally zooming in. The nighttime scene reveals a loss of detail, but the overall picture quality is very good. Noise does not appear to degrade our picture quality and the overall b/w contrast is remarkable as evidenced by the ability to distinguish a 'man-hole-cover' from within the street. However as we zoom in digitally it's now become impossible to read the traffic sign that was almost legible during the day.

Here's outdoor daytime reviewed:


Here's outdoor nighttime reviewed:


Low-Light Performance

In this video we perform a low-light (1.0lux and 0.3lux) test of the P1347. Both 1.0lux and 0.3lux scenes appear fairly well illuminated. However, when our subject enters the scene he appears underexposed and facial details are hard to determine.


Bandwidth Analysis

Bandwidth testing at full resolution and frame-rate (12fps) revealed roughly 90% savings or greater when switching from MJPEG to H.264. This result was observed regardless of scene type (e.g., day or night; outdoor/complex, or indoor/simple).

Results:

  • Daytime/Outdoor/Complex - 6mbps (H.264) and 60mbps (MJPEG)
  • Daytime/Indoor/Simple - 500kbps (H.264) and 16mbps (MJPEG)
  • Nighttime/Outdoor/Complex - 3mbps (H.264) and 25mbps (MJPEG)

Interestingly, bitrates actually reverse when going from daytime to nightime outdoor/complex scenes. Typically bitrates will increase due to the noise producing AGC circuits found in many cameras. However, our nighttime scene evidently has sufficient artificial lighting to keep noise and subsequently bandwidths low. Note that in our low-light tests where lux levels a brought down to 1.0 and 0.3 lux, the P1347 starts to produce more noise.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Sighthound Transforms Into Enterprise AI Provider on Jun 14, 2019
Sighthound is now rapidly expanding its R&D team, building an enterprise AI service. This may come as a surprise given their origins 6 years...
Camera Course Summer 2019 - Register Now on Jun 12, 2019
Register for the Summer 2019 Camera Course.  This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology...
Avigilon 32MP and 12MP H4 Multisensor Cameras Tested on Jun 11, 2019
Avigilon has released their H4 Multi-Sensor line of cameras claiming "broad scene coverage and high image detail" We bought and tested the...
OSDP Access Control Guide on Jun 04, 2019
Access control readers and controllers need to communicate. While Wiegand has been the de facto standard for decades, OSDP aims to solve major...
IndigoVision Control Center VMS Tested on May 30, 2019
IPVM's last test of IndigoVision's VMS was in 2010, which found enterprise VMS features and a simple client interface. but no 3rd party camera...
Vivotek 20MP Multi-Imager Tested on May 30, 2019
Vivotek has released their latest repositionable multi-imager camera, the MA9321-EHTV, a 20 MP model claiming "Supreme Night Visibility", "Optimal...
Verkada Favorability Results 2019 on May 29, 2019
Verkada has taken the industry by storm with the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever and a half billion dollar valuation....
Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
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...
Panasonic 32MP Multi Imager Camera Tested (WV-X8570N) on May 16, 2019
Panasonic has released their first multi imager models including the 32MP (4x4K) WV-X8570N, claiming "Extreme image quality for evidence capturing...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Sighthound Transforms Into Enterprise AI Provider on Jun 14, 2019
Sighthound is now rapidly expanding its R&D team, building an enterprise AI service. This may come as a surprise given their origins 6 years...
ADT Eliminating Acquired Brands, Unifying Under 'Commercial' Brand on Jun 14, 2019
ADT is eliminating the brands of the many integrators it has acquired over the past few years, including Red Hawk, Aronson Security Group (ASG),...
NSA Director Keynoting Dahua and Hikvision Sponsored Cybersecurity Conference on Jun 13, 2019
The technical director for the NSA’s Cybersecurity Threat Operations Center will be keynoting a physical security cybersecurity conference that is...
Farpointe Data Conekt Mobile Access Reader Tested on Jun 13, 2019
California based Farpointe Data has been a significant OEM supplier of conventional access readers for years to companies including DMP, RS2, DSX,...
Embattled $400 Million China Funded Philippines Surveillance System Proceeds on Jun 13, 2019
An embattled 12,000 camera surveillance system project that will cost ~$400 million will proceed.  The project contract was awarded, had its...
False Verkada 'Unrivaled' Low Light Performance Claim Removed on Jun 12, 2019
Verkada falsely claimed that it delivered 'UNRIVALED LOW LIGHT PERFORMANCE' until IPVM questioned. In fact, Verkada's low light performance is...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
The 259 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It includes our manufacturer favorability rankings and individual...
Camera Course Summer 2019 - Register Now on Jun 12, 2019
Register for the Summer 2019 Camera Course.  This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology...
Favorite Wireless Manufacturers 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
Many wireless options exist for video surveillance but how are integrator's overall favorites? 170 integrators answered the question: What is...
Carnegie Mellon AI Startup Zensors Profile on Jun 11, 2019
Zensors is a startup formed by Carnegie Mellon graduates from a Carnegie Mellon research project, offering customized models per camera that they...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact