Axis Panoramic M3007 Test

By Ethan Ace, Published Sep 06, 2013, 12:00am EDT

Continuing our series of individual panoramic tests, this report covers the Axis M3007, one or the more recent and least expensive options on the market. We dug into the camera's setup, integration and performance to reveal its strengths and weaknesses.

Here's the other reports in this series:

  • Panoramic Camera Mega Shootout Results
  • Panasonic Panoramic Test Results
  • Vivotek Panoramic Test Results
  • Sentry 360 10MP Panoramic Test Results
  • Panoramic Camera Outdoors Test Results
  • Key findings from our test of the M3007-PV are:

    • Superior performance in full light, one of the top performers in our tests.
    • Superior low light performance (~3 lux), better than most competitors, lagging only slightly behind the Mobotix Q24.
    • Dark (<1 lux) performance better than nearly all competitors, with our test chart visible and top line legible at close range, which no other camera delivered.
    • WDR performance lagged behind others with significant overexposure against strong backlight, and blurring and loss of detail in darker areas.
    • Dewarping is performed camera side, with VMS integration via multistreaming and standard PTZ controls.
    • Lack of client side dewarping is a drawback for investigations, as the camera records only what it was viewing at the time, without the ability to virtually pan/tilt/zoom in archived video.
    • More configuration viewing modes and image positioning than competitive cameras.

    Pricing

    The Axis M3007-PV sells for about ~$650 USD online. A non-vandal version, the M3007-P, is available for about $100 less.

    Recommendations

    The Axis M3007 had some of the best image quality in our tests, at one of the lowest price points. However, its lack of client-side dewarping may be a critical drawback for investigations. Though this can be compensated for with other dewarped camera views, users should consider these limitations carefully.

    The M3007 was one of the lowest priced cameras in our tests, moderately more expensive than the Vivotek FE8172V (~$600 USD online), and less than the Panasonic WV-SF438 (~$700), WV-SW458 (~$800), and Mobotix's Q24 (~$850+).

    Physical Overview

    This video reviews the construction of the Axis M3007-PV:

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    Configuration

    This screencast reviews the web interface and configuration of the M3007.

    VMS Integration

    In this video, we demonstrate configuration and operation of the M3007 in third party VMSs. Key points:

    • Warped overview image is displayed by default. Other views are added via streams 2-8.
    • Dewarped views may be controlled via standard VMS PTZ controls (pan/tilt/zoom for individual view areas, and pan/tilt only for panoramas and quad views).
    • No dewarping of archived video. Camera view areas are recorded in real time and cannot be repositioned after the fact.
    • We recommend users record multiple view areas or a panoramic/quad view overview image in addition to individual view areas to compensate for this, though this increases storage requirements.

     

    Competitive Comparisons

    These comparisons pit Panasonic against a selections of cameras from our panoramic camera shootout, at varying light levels.

    Full Light, ~160 lux

    At close range, the M3007 provides the most usable images of our test chart, readable to line 3/4. Details of the subject are clear, though slightly lagging behind Mobotix.

    At 18' range, the longest we tested, the M3007 is about equal to other cameras, all with reduced details and chart legibility.

    Low Light, 3 lux

    At 6', 3 lux the M3007 remains strong, with the chart practically as readable as full light. Details of the subject are reduced, though still equal or better than competitors.

    At 18', only the top line of the chart is readable, and the subject's face is practically obscured. Only Mobotix delivers details approaching legibility of line 2 of the test chart, but subject details are obscured, as well.

    Dark, <1 Lux

    In our dark scene, at close range the M3007 is superior to all other cameras tested, with the ability to make out the first line of the test chart. Most other cameras produced no image whatsoever, while the FE8172V provides some detection of the chart. At ranges beyond this, neither the M3007 nor other cameras produced any usable images, even detection quality.

    WDR

    In our WDR test scene, in front of an overhead door, Axis lagged behind Vivotek and Panasonic, with details of the subject washed out by the strong backlighting. Moving the subject to the darker area next to the door, image quality improves, but details are still blurry.

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