Axis First IR PTZ Tested (Q6125-LE)

By Ethan Ace, Published on Aug 21, 2018

Axis is very late in releasing IR PTZs. While competitors such as Hikvision and Dahua have offered them for years, Axis has just released their first, the Q6125-LE, claiming improvements over competitive models, including more even IR coverage, concealed IR LEDs, and compact size.

tested

We bought and tested the Q6125-LE against Axis' own Q6155-E to see how it holds up to these claims, examining:

  • How even is IR coverage?
  • How well does IR power adjust to fit the scene?
  • Does IR overexpose subjects?
  • How well does the camera focus when tracking subjects?
  • Day and night image quality
  • How does it compare to Axis' non-IR Q6155-E?
  • How does it compare in size to others?
  • How does pricing compare to competitors?
  • How do H.265 and H.264 bitrates compare?

*******

***** ** *** *****, the **** *****-** *** several ********** ******** ** IR **** **** **** tests:

  • **** ******** ***** ********:*** ***** *********** ** moving ******** ** ~*-* seconds, **** ******* **** many ****** ** *** models ***** *** **** 15-20 ******* ** **** to **** ***** ****** active ******** ** ****** failing ** *****.
  • **** ** ************:*** *****'* ** ************ pattern *** **** ** all **** ****** ******, with ** **** ***** or ****** ******** ***** on **** ** ******.
  • ** ************ ** **** range:*** ***** *** *** overexpose ******** ** **** zoom ****** ** ****** as ***** ** ~**'.
  • ****** ********** ************:*** ***** *********** ******** in *** ********** ** the ***** ****** **** other ** *** ****** we **** ****** ** using ****** ***** **** at **** *** ***** to ****** ***** *** full *****, **** ** hard *** *** ** IR ************ ** *** foreground ***** ** **** other ******.

** *** ******** ****, the ****** *** * severe ****** **** ** daytime ****** ***** **** fine ***** *********** **** difficult ** *******, *** present ** ****' ***** PTZ ****** ** *********** models. **** ** ***** of **** ***** *** plans ** ******* ***** balance ** ******** *******.

Major *** ***** *********** *** **** ****

******** ** ****' ***** 1080p *** ******, *** Q6125 ** * ***** step ** *** ***** performance, **** ********** *** light (~* *** *** below) *** **** **** scenes (models, **** ** *** Q6155 ****** *****, ******** no ****** ****** ***** 0.1 ***, *** ************* higher ***** ** ~*-* lux ******, ******** ******* compared ** *** *****.

Coming **: ****** ********* ************

**** **, ** **** to ***** *** *** Q6125-LE **. *********'* ******************** ** ***** *** *** **** compete. 

*******

*** *****-** ***** *** ~$2,700 *** ******, **** higher **** ********** ** 1080p ****** **** ********* and ***** (~$***-*,***), *** close ** ***** ** others **** ** *** Hanwha ***-***** (**** ~$*,***).

Physical ********

** *** ********, *** Axis *****-** ** ****** identical ** ***** *** series ******, **** ** visible ** ****. **** other ****, *** ****** bottom *******/****** ** *** Q6125 ******* **** *** camera ** *****, ******* of *** **** ********* stationary *** *** *** module ****** ****** **. The ******'* ** **** are ********* ** **** sides ** *** ****, only ******* **** ****** on.

** ****** *** ************ of *** ****** ** this *****:

Smaller **** ******* ** ****

******** ** **** ** PTZ ******, *** *****-** is ******* *******, ***** below ******** ** ***** and ********* ****. **** compact **** *** ******* weight ***** ** ****** to ******* ** **** mounts/goosenecks.

Easier *******

*** *****-** ** ****** to ******* **** **** competitive **** *** ** a ***** *****-**** ******** method *** *** **** smaller **** *** ******. Unlike ***** ****** ***** may ** ********* ** mount ** * ******, the *** *** **** be ****** **** *** hand, ******* **** *** mount ***** ***** ** in *****, *** **** screwed ** ** ******. Typical ****** ******* *** camera ** ** **** in ***** ***** ****** are *********, **** **** difficult *** **** **********.

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

Even ** ********

*** *****'* ** ************ was **** **** ** all ****** ******. ****** all *** *** ***, the ***** *** **** slightly **** ******** ** the ****** ** *** field ** ****, *** there ** *** ************ in *** ****** ** the ***** (************ *****).

*** **** ** **** when ****** ** ***** to ********, ***** *****.

Improved ** ***** ******* ******* **** **********

**** **** ****** ** eliminate **** ***** ** various **** ****** ** more ********** *********** ** illumination ** ***** ***** drop *** ** ************ seen ** **** ***** IR *** ******. ***** below, **** ******** *** decrease ********** ***** ***** steps **** ** ***** IR **** ** **** tested ** ** **** the ****** ** *** out.

**** ** ******* ** the ******* *****. **** the ****** ****** ********* into *** *****, ****** range **** **** ** at **** *** ***** in ***** ** ********** the **** ** *** scene, ****** *** ******* easy ** ******.

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

************, **** **** ****** in ** **** ***** range (~**' *** *****), the *****-** *** *** overexpose ********.

Stable ***** ***** ********

****** *******, *** *****-** did *** ****** **** severe ***** ****** ***** in ***** ****** ***** tracking ********. ** **** cases *** ****** ******* in **** *-* ******* while ********, **** **** zooming ** **** **** wide. 

***** *** ************ **** **** (~** MB .*** ****).

Better ******* **** ***** (****/

*** ***** ******** ****** images ** **** **** dark (low ***** ****** (~* lux) ******** ** *** non-IR *****. 

*** *******, ** ~***', the ***** ******** ***** details ** *** ******* and ******* **** ****. ** contrast, *** ***-** ****' Q6155 *** ******** ** usable ***** ** *** subject ** **** *****.

** ~***' ********, *** Q6125 ******** **** *********, with ** ******* *******, while *** ***** ******* effectively *****.

** *** ***** ****** with ******** ***** (~* lux), ******* *** ***** better ** *** *****, which ** **** ***** than *** *****. 

*******, *** ***** ******** color *********** *** ***** in *** *****, **** the *******'* ******** ***** recognizable, ***** **** ******* as ***** ** *** IR *****. 

Reduced ******* ******* ******** ** *****

** ******* ****** (~* klux *****), *** ***** appears ******** ****** *** moderately ********, ***** *** Q6155 ******** **** *******/**** colors, **** ****** ******** of *** *******'* ****.

** **** *****, ******* of *** ******* *** more *******, *** **** text ** **** ******* in *** ***** (*-* lines **********).

slightly less detail at long range compared to q6155

Bandwidth ***********

*** *****-** ******** *.*** with ****'********* ***** *****, **** *.*** ******** 25-30% ***** **** *.*** in ******* ******** ******. Note **** ***** ******** are ********* ** ******* to *** ***-** **** Q6155-E, ***** **** ***** produced ** ****** ****** at *****. 

Test **********

******* **** ****** ***** default ******** ****** ********* noted *****.

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

  • **** *****-**: *.**.*.*
  • **** *****-**: *.**.*.*

Comments (21)

Curious to see what happens when the lens gets dusty or dirty since the IR isn't segregated like the other two you pictured.

Agree also with rain drops during day/night(IR On) how the view will appear !?

It is separated from the lens. It's hard to see because of the way it's built, but there is a gap between the lens and the IR LEDs:

Hi Ethan, but the dome cover built from one piece, right? It seems like.

I see a separator INSIDE the dome, but not a physical separation of the dome into multiple pieces. The Hik and Dahua referenced in the size comparison have lenses that are completely separated from their illuminators. Since I see a bit of ghosting on the edges of the below image, I am fearful it will get worse with a bit of dirt or dust, like most IR dome cams. Hopefully Axis has done something special to prevent it.

 

I Agree, i think its like a reflection since there is a space between the lens and the cover. and we know that the worst scenario in having a gap is ir reflection issue, so i assuming if there is dust, perhaps at night the reflection might get worse... that's my assumption 

There is a physical separation into multiple pieces. It's very hard to see. Most people probably won't notice it, honestly. You can feel it when you run a fingernail over the dome where the center meets the outer sections, there is a very slight ridge where the dome is separated between the center imager section and the outer IR section.

I tried taking photos of it but it's so slight you still can't really see it. Extreme close up (the best I can do):

Thanks for the detailed image. That helps understand what was done, but doesn't explain why there is still ghosting. I am hesitant to sell any IR dome ever bc they always have ghosting from the IR at night unless you clean them every single day.

Bear in mind the optical quality will only ever decrease as the polycarbonate degrades, gets scratched and increased the rain cohesivity. Experience tells us all that this is a recipe for dissappointment.

While absolutely true, this is something that plagues all dome covered cameras.  I see this (and use it) as a sales opportunity to provide Service Maintenance to replace poly domes when image degrading starts happening.  With the IR behind the dome, it may be a more noticeable factor.  In my experience with this though, only domes older than 5 years (most more so) are truly seeing enough degradation to take action.  Outdoor domes obviously on the lower end.

Agreed, but in my experience the flat "glass" on the front of the Hik style cameras is less prone scratching and UV dis-colouration. I'm no materials expert, but am I right in thinking that that the non-dome cameras use plexiglass or perhaps glass itself - neither of which discolour? 

 

IR modules are static and don't have an actual lens over them like the XNP-6370RH?

Is there a reason why the steel catenary and carabiners that come with the Hik were not used to prevent the dark fighter seeming like it could just be dropped to the floor when removed?

It comes with the camera - but wasn't fitted to your test model, so a little unfair to suggest the camera would simply drop to the floor. This video clearly shows the retaining safety cable - does the Axis have anything similar, or could it simply drop to the floor if you lost grip? I accept there's a significant weight difference, but the requirement for a steel carabiner is fundamental and is included with Hik.

Before the Hik haters jump unto this - it's simply an observation that I feel is reasonable to raise.

Totally a reasonable observation!

First, we leave the cables off during testing because we are putting up and taking down things all the time, and they tend to flop around and get in the way. We aren't mounting things high on poles and are generally always working together and not worried about dropping things.

Second, those cables are intended to keep the camera from falling to the ground, yes, but it's still a 15+ pound (6.8+ kg) weight that you need to hold in place while tightening.

That being said, after looking at it again, the process is not quite right in the video, so we're going to redo that video now and replace. Thanks for bringing it up.

I am impressed by the quality of the images at night.  The picture seems clear and at good range for night surveillance.  I am a little concerned with the quality of the day time image.  What causes it to have such a discolored tint compared to the Q6155?  Is that something that can be corrected in the camera settings?

I saw a few comments regarding rain and how it may affect the picture and thought it may be worth noting that these cameras come with speed dry, which vibrates lens cover knocking off water droplets.

Good question! We have not been able to totally correct that tint in settings. It may be possible by manually adjusting white balance, saturation, and other settings, but you risk inaccurate white balance at other times of day if you do so. I would expect it to improve in future firmware, also, as it's not an issue I've seen other Axis PTZs suffer from.

Do the LEDs physically tilt with the camera?

Yes, they do. The LEDs and lens move simultaneously.

Hi Ethan,

Did the issue with the exposure tint get resolved?  I am looking at the release notes for the firmware since this article was published and do not see anything that addresses that issue.  I am looking to purchase either the Q6125-LE or the Q6155E and if the issue still exists will influence my decision.  Thanks for the great report.

Good question! I checked release notes also and don't see anything specific to it. I've reached out to Axis product management to see if it has been improved. If it has, we will retest and update here. I'll follow up as soon as we hear back.

We heard back from Axis on the blue tint issue. It has not been fixed, as it requires a hardware refresh and cannot be fixed in firmware. They expect a hardware change which will help the issue in a few months.

They also say that of their Q6125 customers, they have heard of very few cases of the tint happening. They fixed one case for a customer via settings changes, and may be able to do so if it becomes an issue for you.

Hope that helps, thanks for the question!

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