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.