Axis MP Pinhole Shootout

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jun 18, 2013

For covert surveillance, pinhole lenses / cameras are a common choice because they can be hidden behind walls, or in ordinary objects. Until recently, the only options were analog / SD. However, Axis launched the P12 series, bringing 720p MP to pinhole. How much of a difference does that make and what tradeoffs did it bring?

We bought two Axis P12s plus 3 analog alternatives (two Marshall Electronics pinhole lenses and a Supercircuits 'snake camera'). We then tested them head to head in a custom test harness, installing each camera side by side:

Here's the view inside, from left to right, the Axis P1214, the Marshall lenses with Sony box cameras and the Axis P1204. In the top center, is the Supercircuits snake camera:

Overall, it was a 'split decision' with some advantages for the new MP offering but some continued strengths of the established analog ones. We dig into the specifics inside.

*** ****** ************, ******* ****** / ******* *** * ****** choice ******* **** *** ** ****** ****** *****, ** ** ordinary *******. ***** ********, *** **** ******* **** ****** / SD. *******, **** ******** *** *** ******, ******** **** ** ** *******. *** **** ** * difference **** **** **** *** **** ********* *** ** *****?

** ****** *** **** **** **** * ****** ************ (*********** *********** ******* ********* ************** '***** ******'). ** **** ****** **** **** ** **** ** * custom **** *******, ********** **** ****** **** ** ****:

****'* *** **** ******, **** **** ** *****, *** **** *****, the ******** ****** **** **** *** ******* *** *** **** P1204. ** *** *** ******, ** *** ************* ***** ******:

*******, ** *** * '***** ********' **** **** ********** *** the *** ** ******** *** **** ********* ********* ** *** established ****** ****. ** *** **** *** ********* ******.

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

Key ********

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

  • ** ******, **** ********, ***** ** ** ****** ******* ** megapixel ********** ** *** ******'* ****** ** ** ******* ***** up ****** ** * *******, **** ** ******* *** ******* applications.
  • ** ******* ******, **** **' **** *** ******, *** ******** of ****** ********** ****** ******** ** ******* *** ******* **** in *** ****** ************* *******.
  • *******, ** ******** ***** (~* ***), ***** ** *** ********* models ****** ** ****** *** *********** ***, ****** *** ************* ******* **** competitive.
  • ** *** *****, provided ****** ******. ***** ******* **** ********* *** *** ***** at *** ******. 
  • *** *.*** ******** ******* **** ****** *********** ********** **** *** 6.0mm ******* ** ***** *****. *** ***** ***** ****** ******* the **** ** *** ***** ** *** **** *******, ********* better ******* ********* ** *** *****. *** ***** * **** (1.0 **. *.*) **** ******** ****** ******* ** *** lx *****, ***** *** *.*** **** ***.
  • ** ********* ******** ********* ******* **** ***, ******* ******** ****** not ***** ***** *** ********* *******.
  • ** ****** **** ****** ************, *** ** ***** ******** ******* lenses *** * ***** *******, ** * *** ******* *** be **** *** **** ***********.
  • *** ************* ******* ********* **** ** *** ****** **** *** subject ***** ** *** ******, ************* *** ** **** *****. However, ** *****, ** *** ** *** *** ***** ** our *** ****.

****: *** *** ******** ** **** ****, ** ******** ** *********** *** ** ***** ******** ******, ** ***** ** ***** performance ***** **** ***** **** *********** *** *****/*** *******. ***** lower **** ** ***** ******* ******* **** ****** ***********, *********** bringing *** ****** ** *** **** ***'* ***** ** ***********.

Price ***********

******* ******** ** ******* *** *** ****** ** *** ****.

  • *****:$***-*** ***
  • ******** *-******:$*** + **** ** *** ******
  • ******** *-******:$*** + **** ** *** ******
  • ************* *******:$*** + **** ** *******

****** *** **** ** *** ******* (** *** **** ** Marshall ******) ** ******** (** *** **** ** *** *******) into *******, *** ***** ** ****** *** ****** **** *** least ******* ******* ******. ****** ******* ** *** $***-*** ***** could ** **** **** ******** ****** *** * ******* ***** point, *** ******* **** ********* ************ *** ****** ** **** advantage. 

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

***** *** ***** *** *************** ** **** **** **** **** test:

  • *** **** *** ****** ******** ****** **** ****** ******* ** scenes ********* **** **** ****** ***** ** *****. ** **** behind **** *********** *** *****/*** ******* **** ***-** ******, *** is ** * **** ******* **** ****** ******** ** ** be ********* ***** ***** ******* ***** *** ***. *******, ** is *** **** ********* **** ***/*** ***** *** **** **** options.
  • **** ******** **** *********** ** ******, ***** ****** ******** ********'* add-on ****** **** * ******* ******. ******** **** *** **** allow, **** ******* **** ******* *** **** ******* ** *** light *** *** ************. ** **** ****, ** ********* *** wider-angle ******, **** ** *** *.*** **** ** **** ****, as **** ***** ********** ** *********** ********* ** *** *****, where ******** ****** **** **** *** *******'* **** ** ***** range.
  • ** ***** ** ***** ** *** **** ****** ** *** camera, *** ************* ******* *** ** * ********** ******, ********** when ********* ** * ***. *** ********** **** ** ** encoder ****** *** ***** ***** ***** ** *** **** *** series, * ****** ********** ******.

Physical *********

** **** ***** ** ****** *** ************ ** **** ** the ******* ** *** **** *** ******* **** *******. ********** of ****:

  • ******** **** ****** ******, **** *** ****** ****** **** ****** being ******** ** ***, ****** ** ******** * ******** *******.
  • *** **** *** ****** ** *** ******** "***-**-***" *****, **** very ***** ****** ***** ******** *** ***** *********.
  • *** ******* ******** **** ******* ****** *** ********* *****, ****** to ** * ******** ****** ** **** ****** *************.

Installation ****** 

** **** ***** ** *********** ******** *** ******* **** *** pinhole **** ***. ***** ****** **** *** *********:

  • ****** **** ******* *** ***** ******* ***** ****-******** ******. *** P12 *** ****** ******* **** **** **** **** ** *****.
  • *** ******* **** ******* ****** ******* **** ******** ************* *** to ***** ****** *** ****. ***** ****** ****** ** **** when ******** ************ ** **** **** *** ****** *** ** properly *********.

Similar ***** ** ****

*****, ** ******* *** ***** ******* ** *** **** **** similar ****** ** ****, *** ******* ** *** ** *******: Axis *****, ******** *-****** **** * **** *****, *** *** analog *******.

**** *****

** ***** *****, *** **/********* ****** ******* **** **** **** and *****, ******* *** *********** ***** **** ** *** *******. However, **** **** *** ****** ** ********** ******* ********, ** details ** *** *******, **** *** *****, *** ******* ******* in *** ****** ******.

** **' *****, *** ** ******* **** ***** ********** **** SD, ** *** ***** ** ****** ********, **** **** ****** of *** ******* ********. *** ******* ******** ******* **** *** identify * ***** *******, *** **** ******* ** ****. *** chart ** **** ****** ** ****, *** ** ************ *** lower **********.

*******, ** **' *****, *** ******* ***** ****** ******, ****** to ******* ***** ** **** **** ** ********, *** **** the ***** **** ** *** ***** ** *******. *** ***** and *-****** ******* ******* ****** ** ******, **** * ****** edge ** ****, ***** ******** ****** ***** ***********

* ***

******** *** ***** ***** ** * ***, *** ** ******* show ********** **** *** ****** *****. *** ******* *** ****** so *********** **** ** ****** ***** ***** *** *****, ****** the *******'* **** ** ***** ******* ********. *** ***** *** VB600 **** ******** ****, *******, ***** **** ***** ***********, ****** with ********** *****.

** **' *****, *** ** ********* ***** ** *** ** cameras, *** *********** *** ******* **** *** *** ******* ****** somewhat. *** ***** ** ***** **** ******** ** *** ** models, *******, *** ** ***** ****** **********.


** **' *****, *********** ** ******* ** **', **** ***** obscuring ******* ** **** *** ***** *** ******. *****, *** chart ** **** ******** ** *** ** ******.

****

** ***** ***** ** *** **** *****, ***** * ***, none ** *** ******* ******** ****** ******* ** *** *******'* face. 

****** ** **', *** **** ***** ******* *******, *** *** subject ** ***** ******** ** *** *******.

*******, ** **', ******* *** ***** *** *** ******* *** visible ** *** ** *** *******.

Standard **. **** *****

****, ** ****** *** ******** ******* ****** ****-**-****, ** *********** the ********* ******* *** ******** *.*** **** *** *** **** angle *.*** *****.

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

** ***** *****, ~*', *** **** ***** ****' ******** *** most *****, **** **** **** **** ** *** **** *** right ** *** ******* *******, ***** ***** **** ******* ** an ********* *********** **** ******. *** ******** *** ***** ***** be ******** ** ******* ****.

*******, ** **', ** *** *** *** *** ******** ** the *.*** *****'* ***** ***. ** **** ********, ******* ** the ******* ***** **** ******* ***** *** ******** ***** *********** are ****, *** *** ***** ******* ********** ***** **** *. The *.*** ***** **** *** ****** **** ***** ******.

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

*** *.*** **** *** ******** ********** **** *** *.*** ***** in *** ***** *** ** *** ***** * ****** (*.* vs. *.*). **** ** ******* ** **** ***** ***** * lux, ***** *** *******'* ******** *** ******* ** *** *.*** lens, *** *** *** *.*.

** **', *** ******* ** ********** ** *** *.*** ****, but *** ** *** *.*** *****:

 

HD **. **

****** *** ******** ****** **** ********** **** ***** ******* ******, allowing *** ****'* ****** ** ****** *** ******** ****** (*** light, ***), **** *** *** ********* *****. ** ***** ** determine ******* *** **** *** * ******** ****** **** ***** HD *******, ** ****** *** ****** ** *** **** ******, with *** **** *******, ** **** *.*** *** *** **********. At *' *****, *.*** ****** ****** *********, ***** ***** ***** on ****** ** ** ****, **** ***** *** *******. *******, we *** *** ***** ******* ** *** ********** ** *** wider ***** *.*** ****.

** **', ******* *** ******* ** *** *.*** *****, **** the ******* *** ***** ****** *******. *******, ** *** *.*** lens, *** *********** *** ** ********. ***** *.*** ***** *** additional **** ** *** ***** ********, *** *** *******'* ***** is **** ***********, ** **** *** ********* ******* **** *******. 

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

** *** ***** ******, ***** * ***, ***** ***** ** little ********** ** *'.

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

 

***

*******, ** *** ** *** ******* ** * ***** **** strong ************, ******* ** **** ******** **** ** * ***** day, ** ***** ** **** ***** *** ********.

** ***** *****, **** *** ******* ******** ** ***** ** the ****, *** ***** ******** *** ******* ******* ** *** subject's ****, ****** ******* *** ***** *******. *** ******* ******* the ******* ****, *** *** ********** ** ***********, ********* ******* outside.

**** *** ******* *******, ***** **' **** *** ****** ** strong ********, *** ******* ** ******* *** ***** *********, **** overexposure ********* *** ******* *** *** ******** ** *** *****. The ***** ******* ** ****, **** *** ***** ********** **** line *, *** *** ******* ***** ************. *** ******** ******/**** cameras ******* ****, ********* *** **** ******* ** *** *******/*****, though *** *.*** ***** ******* ******** *** ** ***** **********

*******, **** *** ******* ** *** **** **** ******, **** to *** ****, ** ***** **' *****, **** ***** *** P1204 ******** *** ******* *****. *** ******* *** ******** ****** are ********, **** ******* ****** *******.

Test **********

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

*** ******* **** *** ***** *** ****** ********, **** ******* settings **** **** **********:

  • ********** *** *** ** *** ******'* *******, ** ** ***
  • ******** *** *** ** *** **** ** *** ***** ******** (All ******* ***** **** *** *******, ** *** ***-***** **** supports ***)
  • ******* ***** *** ********** ** */*** *******

Comments (16)

**, ****. ***** *******. ******* ***** ** ******** **** ****** to **** **, ********* ** *** ********* ** *** ***********, the ******* ** *** **** ***'* ** ****** ** *** edge. ******** **** **** ****** *********, ********* *** **** ** run **** ** * ********* *********. *** ****** ****** ****, "one-off" *************, ** ****** ************, *** ***** **** *** ** driven **** ******* ** "***-*******" ***** *** * ************* (*.*. license, ****** *** **** ************, ***.).

*****. * ** ** *** ******* ************** ******** *** **** about ***** ****** *** ** *** *****. * ***** ****** for ** **** ** ****! *******, * **** *** ****** with *** ** ***** "********" *** ********* * ****** ****** or ***** ***** *** ** ******* ********* *** ** **** required ************ **** ****** *** ******** *****. ***** ********* ******* and ** ***** *** ***** *********. * ***** **** **** techncial ******* (*** **** *********), *** ***** ******* ***** ** attempting ** ******* *** *****, *** ** ***** ********* ********* reducing *** **********, ***** ****, ******* ***** **** *** ******* settings **** * *** *****. ** ** ****** ***, **** solved *** *******. ** **** ****, *** ******* ***** ******* on * **** **** *********** *** ** ***** *** ***** couldn't **** ** *** ********** ***** **** *****. * ***** a ******* ** ** ***** ********* *** ******* **** ****.

******** *** ***** *** **** ********, ** ** ******** ************* that * ** ****** ** ****** *** ******** ***** *******. Otherwise * ***** ******!

***********, ****** *** *******! **** ****** ******* *** ******* **** ****? ***** *? ***** **?

******* ***** *******-****-**** ********* ***-* ***** **** - ****, ***** 10, ****/*

******, * ** ***** ** *** **** *** ******* ******* on ****. **'* ******** **** * ***** ** **** ******'* keep **. *****, **'* * ********** ***** ** *** ****** side? * ***'* ****. *'** ****** **** **** **** *******.

** *** **** ********* ** *** *** ****** ** **** to ********* ****.

****** ****. ***** *** ******* **** ***** ** **** ** these ********** ******* *** **** ******* * *** ******** *** cards (** **** ** ** ******* ******** *******) *** **** were ** *** ******* **** *** ***** *** ********. ******* both *** ** *** **** ***** *** *** **** *****.

** ****** ******? ***** *** **** **** **** ** ****' cameras *** ****** * **** **** ** ** *** *** use ** *****? * ***** **'* *** **** ** *** is ****** ********* ** *** *** ******* ****** **** ** on *** ************** ** ****.

*****, *******'* **** ** ************. **** **** ******* **** ******* **?

***, **'** ********* **** *** *********** ** **** ****. **'** report **** *** ******** ** **** *****.

**** *** ********* *** **** *** ****** ******** *** *** P1204, *.**.**.*, ****** *** ** **** ******* (*** ********** *****). **** ******** *** ************ ****.

****'* **** ****! * ***** ****** ***** ****** **** ********* hours ** ****** ** ** ** **** *** ** ********** with **** **** ******* ** ******* ** ******* **** *****. Hopefully **** **** *** *****. ****** *** **** **** ****.

***** *** ******* ** *** ***** *****? ****** ** *** the **** *****, *** *** ****'* *******, ***'** *******. *** write ***** ** **** ** ***** ****** (***********, ******* **** lists *** **** *****, *** **** ***** ***** ***** ** "lower"). *** ********* **** * ***** ***** ** ** ***** 40Mbps ** ****.

** *** ***** ***** ** *** *******, *'* *** ******** that ******** *** ***** ****, **********, *** ** ***** ****** your *****.

***, **** ********* ** **** (*** * ******** *****), *** problem *** **** ****.

****: ***** *** *** ******* ****** ****? **** **** ** ***** *** ****** ** *** ****. *** ***** ** ****** ** ****** ** ******.

**** ** ***** ***** ** **% ***** **** **** *****, at ****** **** ** *** **** **** ****** ** ****** any **** **** / ***** ********** ** ***** ** *********** level.

****! ** ****** * **** ****, *** ****.

** ****** ** ** *** ** **** ********** ***** **** the ***** *******, * **** ******** *** ******** *** ** far ** ****! ***** **** ** *** **** ****** *** issue. * ***** * **** ****** ** **** (*** ******) trying ** ******* **** *****. ********* **'* ***** ***.

** **** *** ** **** *****-* *** *** ******* ** HORRIBLE. ****** *** *** *** **** ***** ** ***** ** the ****** ***** ** ****** *** ****** *******. ******* ****** as **** ** *** **** *****'* *** **** ****. ****** else *** *** ********** **** *** ****'*?

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Save $50 - IP Networking Course September 2017 on Aug 16, 2017
Tomorrow, Thursday, August 17th is the last day to save $50 on the September IP Networking Course. This is the only networking course designed...
Axis Laser Focus PTZ Tested on Aug 14, 2017
Axis has been touting its new Q6155-E laser focus PTZ as 'always in focus' and 'always in color'. Does it really deliver? We bought and tested...
IP Camera Specification / RFP Guide 2017 on Aug 14, 2017
RFPs are hard. Do them 'right' and it takes a lot of knowledge and time. Do them 'wrong' and you can be (a) unwittingly locked into a specific...
ADI 'In The Dark' About Low Light on Aug 07, 2017
ADI's recent post on 'How To See Better In the Dark' makes basic mistakes, promoting outdated technical claims. Missing: Super Low...
Competing Against Schneider Electric on Aug 04, 2017
Schneider Electric overall does ~$30 billion USD annual revenue. One of its many parts is a building / security systems integrator. Another is...
Access Control Commissioning / Install Checklist on Aug 03, 2017
This 80+ point checklist helps end users, integrators and consultants verify that access control installation is complete. It covers the following...
Dahua 4K Turret Tested Vs Hikvision (N84BG44 ) on Aug 02, 2017
Dahua has released their latest low cost 4K model, the N84BG44, claiming Smart H.265+ and 50m IR range. We bought and tested this new model against...
Super Low Light Surveillance Guide on Aug 01, 2017
At the beginning of this decade, low light performance of megapixel cameras was generally terrible. This was the era of super slow shutter where...
IR Surveillance Guide on Jul 31, 2017
Infrared (IR) has become an increasing core component to video surveillance systems. In particular, the expansion of integrated IR cameras that...
Hikvision H.265+ Bullet Tested (2035) on Jul 24, 2017
Continuing our tests of Hikvision's new low cost Value Plus line, we bought and tested the 3MP DS-2CD2035FWD-I, now including H.265+. We shot the...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Save $50 - IP Networking Course September 2017 on Aug 16, 2017
Tomorrow, Thursday, August 17th is the last day to save $50 on the September IP Networking Course. This is the only networking course designed...
Hikvision Responds To Cracked Security Codes on Aug 15, 2017
Hikvision has responded to IPVM's report on Hikvision's security code being cracked, both with a 2 page update to dealers and communication...
Stolen Video NVR / DVR Statistics on Aug 15, 2017
"But what happens if someone steals my recorder?" Anyone who has done more than a handful of jobs has probably heard this question several times....
Hikvision Europe Cutting Out Unauthorized End User Sales on Aug 15, 2017
The days of anyone buying Hikvision from anywhere off the Internet are numbered, at least in Europe, if Hikvision's plan comes to fruition. In...
Axis Laser Focus PTZ Tested on Aug 14, 2017
Axis has been touting its new Q6155-E laser focus PTZ as 'always in focus' and 'always in color'. Does it really deliver? We bought and tested...
Vulnerability Directory For Access Control Cards on Aug 14, 2017
Knowing which access credentials are insecure can be unclear, especially because most look and feel the same. Even the most insecure 125 kHz types...
IP Camera Specification / RFP Guide 2017 on Aug 14, 2017
RFPs are hard. Do them 'right' and it takes a lot of knowledge and time. Do them 'wrong' and you can be (a) unwittingly locked into a specific...
Cellphone Usage Issues For Integrators (Statistics) on Aug 11, 2017
Cellphones clearly offer significant advantages in communication and problem solving. But they can also be a major pain point if employees...
Rebooting IP Camera Statistics And Practices on Aug 10, 2017
Dahua cameras automatically reboot weekly, by default. Is this an innovation by the Chinese mega-manufacturer or a sign of a problems? 125...
Avigilon Profits Surge, Stock Jumps (Q2 2017) on Aug 10, 2017
Avigilon said earlier this year they would shift their strategy to maximizing profits. Now, they are delivering it and the stock market is...

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