Axis P5544 Panoramic PTZ Camera Examined

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 07, 2011

In this note, we examine the Axis P5544, Axis's first panoramic camera and one of the most novel offerings in the market - combining both optical/mechanical PTZ functionality and panoramic / 360 degree imaging. The big question we focus on inside is: What practical use does this product offer given its relative capabilities and pricing?

[UPDATED November 2011 on product availability schedule. See details at end of note.]

Let's start with a review of the key features of the product:

  • According to Axis, the product has two lenses but only one camera. Axis describes it as follows: "When the operator is looking through the 360° view, that is the lens that the image sensor is using to create video. When the operator clicks on the point of interest, then the PTZ lens is enabled and the 360° view becomes dormant.  So: one camera, two lenses." See an image illustrating the two lenses, the physical deisgn of the camera and the resulting views. We've never heard of anything like this previously.
  • The 360 view provides a bird's eye overview but not an immersive viewing experience such as Grandeye, Mobotix Q24, etc. Axis says that the 360 view will cover about "10,000 sq feet, which is about the size of two side-by-side basketball courts." At this distance, we expect the 360 view would provide outlines of people and objects but not fine details like license plates, facial features, etc. Operators would need switch to the PTZ lens for finer details.
  • The camera uses a special user interface that allows operators to dynamically select areas of interest between the 360 overview and the PTZ. See an image/overview of the camera's UI.
  • The camera's max resolution is 720p for either lens - 360 or PTZ.
  • The camera has a mechanical IR cut filter and provides 'true' day/night capability.
  • The camera is designed for indoor use only and does not fit into 'normal' outdoor PTZ housing
  • The PTZ is 18x Optical / 720p resolution. In terms of PTZ capabilities, the most similar existing Axis PTZ is the P5534 with an MSRP of $2499.
  • This new product, the P5544 has an anticipated price of less than $3,000.

For best fits for this camera, Axis suggested mounting the camera high in large indoor areas such as 'airports, malls, sporting arenas, train stations, lobbies with high ceilings, etc.'

We see 3 factors impacting the breadth of the camera's use:

  1. 3rd party VMS support: Since the camera requires controlling / toggling between the 360 view and the PTZ view, we anticipate VMS systems needing to make some modifications on their UI side to maximize usability. While no integrations are announced yet, given Axis's prominence and release a few months off, we would not be surprised if a number of vendors added support (similar to Corridor View).
  2. Usability: until we (or other outsiders) use the product, it is hard to tell how good or bad the usability is and how much of a practical advantage the camera provides. Conceptually it should make it easier for operators to monitor large areas as the 360 lens functions like a built-in overview camera.
  3. Relative cost: On the plus side, the marginal cost increase of this product to the 18x HD PTZ looks minimal (about $500). If someone wants an indoor HD PTZ, for a relatively small additional price, they can gain the 360 viewing capabilities. On the other hand, relative to traditional IP (i.e., SD) PTZs, this camera is going to be fairly expensive. For instance, Axis itself just announced a low cost SD 18x PTZ (the P5522) that has an MSRP of $1499 (roughly half of the P5544).

Video Sample of the Camera

Axis provided a short video sample of the camera in action. In the clip, notice a women in red on the lower half of the sceen walking 'down'. The video starts in 360 mode and then the operator clicks on the bottom portion of the 360 view, triggering a switch to PTZ mode, zooming the camera out to capture the woman in great detail.

Availability

When the product was first announced in Spring 2011, availability was projected for Summer 2011. Now, Axis says they are resolving an unforeseen technical problem and that Axis is projecting shipping the product in March 2012.

4 reports cite this report:

Axis Multi-Imager Panoramic / PTZ Q6000-E on Sep 29, 2014
Axis has launched its first multi-imager panoramic, entering in to a promising market with limited suppliers, most notably Arecont. However, Axis...
2011 Mid Year Video Surveillance Review on Jun 11, 2011
The first half of 2011 featured a number of important shifts within the video surveillance industry. In this report, we provide an overview of the...
Poll Results and Webinar Recorded Video on Apr 20, 2011
On April 20th, nearly 100 IPVM Pro Members participated in a webinar discussing 'Winners and Losers Spring 2011'. Interest from members focused...
Winners and Losers Spring 2011 on Apr 12, 2011
Now that the dust has settled from the numerous new announcements of the last month, we can better understand the impact on the overall video...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Camera Focusing Tutorial on Aug 09, 2018
A camera's focus is fundamental to quality imaging. Mistakes can cause important problems. In this guide, we explain focus issues and proper...
Hikvision PanoVu Mini Tested (Multi-imager + PTZ For ~$500) on Aug 07, 2018
Hikvision has released their first PanoVu Mini multi imager, the PanoVu DS-2PT3326IZ-DE3, with four 1080p imagers, including a PTZ and integrated...
Panasonic 9MP Panoramic Fisheye Tested (WV-X4571L) on Aug 02, 2018
Panasonic has released their latest fisheye camera, the WV-X4571L, with 12MP sensor and 9MP resolution, claiming "extreme image quality" under...
Panoramic Fisheye Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek on Jun 27, 2018
IPVM tested Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek 12MP panoramic fisheye cameras head to head, as shown in the test setup...
Avigilon H4 Multi-Sensor Adds 32MP, H.265, Analytics on Jun 13, 2018
Avigilon has announced the H4 Multisensor, the successor to their repositionable multi imager line, adding features like H.265, integrated IR,...
Top Features For Easy Camera Installation (Statistics) on Jun 05, 2018
Camera installation is the most fundamental and common task for video security technicians. Because of this, camera manufacturers market their...
Installing Box Cameras Indoors Tutorial on May 22, 2018
This tutorial starts our physical installation for video surveillance series, starting with Box Cameras, one of the oldest and most basic types....
Dahua 12MP Fisheye Camera Tested (NK8BR4) on May 16, 2018
Continuing our coverage of 12MP sensor fisheye cameras, we bought and tested the Dahua NK8BR4, examining: Default vs. Optimized...
Axis 12MP Stereographic Camera Tested (M3058-LVE) on May 10, 2018
Axis has released the M3058-PLVE, a 12MP sensor, stereographic panoramic camera and Axis' first with integrated IR claiming images "sharp to the...
Vivotek 12MP Fisheye Camera Tested (FE9391-EV) on May 08, 2018
Next in our 12MP fisheye camera evaluation, we bought and tested Vivotek's latest generation FE9391-EV, a new model claiming improved smart IR...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Chinese OEM Avycon Gets ADI Push on Aug 15, 2018
Who is Avycon? An American company? A Korean company? A couple of guys relabelling Chinese products? The latter is the best explanation. While...
Backboxes for Video Surveillance Tutorial on Aug 15, 2018
Backboxes are a necessity in surveillance, whether for managing cable whips, recessing cameras, adding wireless radios. But it can be confusing to...
Genetec Stratocast / Comcast 'Motion Insights' Examined on Aug 15, 2018
Comcast recently announced "SmartOffice Motion Insights", an extension to their Genetec OEMed cloud video service (covered by IPVM here). This...
SimpliSafe Violating California, Florida, and Texas Licensing Laws on Aug 14, 2018
IPVM has verified that DIY security system provider SimpliSafe, founded in 2006 and acquired in June of 2018 at a billion dollar valuation, is...
Ban of Dahua and Hikvision Is Now US Gov Law on Aug 13, 2018
The US President has signed the 2019 NDAA into law, banning the use of Dahua and Hikvision (and their OEMs) for the US government, for US...
Cut Milestone Licensing Costs 80% By Using Hikvision and Dahua NVRs (Tested) on Aug 13, 2018
Enterprise VMS licensing can be quite expensive, with $200 or more per channel common, meaning a 100 camera system can cost $20,000 in VMS...
Nortek Sues SDS, Battle Over Unpaid Bill and Cancelled Lines on Aug 13, 2018
Nortek and SDS legal battle continues. As IPVM reported, SDS sued Nortek alleging bribery and antitrust violation. However, Wave fired back at SDS,...
Uniview Intrusion Analytics and VMD Tested on Aug 13, 2018
IPVM's IP Camera Analytics Shootout featuring Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision created some ill will with a Uniview distributor who...
ADT Employees Protest ADT CEO on Aug 10, 2018
So many ADT employees were so upset with ADT's CEO speech reported on by IPVM, that ADT's CEO was forced to send a mass email to employees to...
Axis / Avigilon Legal Battle Rises on Aug 09, 2018
In what is shaping up to be high-powered, will-not-back-down battle, Axis and Avigilon are squaring off in multiple legal contests. In 2017, IPVM...

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