Axis Smallest Minidome?

By Ethan Ace, Published Oct 03, 2012, 12:00am EDT

The quest for the world's smallest minidome continues. Whether for aesthetic or security purposes, unobtrusive domes are in demand. Axis' recently-announced P12 may fill this need, with a line of accessories intended for surface mounting the camera in various locations. In this note, we discuss these options and compare to more traditional minidomes.

Axis P12 Accessories

As discussed in our P12 review, all models of Axis P12 cameras ship with mounting accessories for flush and surface mounting. Some of these accessories effectively turn the camera into a very small minidome. These housings may be mounted flush to a wall, horizontally, or angled from the ceiling.

This image illustrates the size of the P12 camera next to a computer mouse:

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As shown, the camera is very small, hardly larger than a quarter. This is substantially smaller than other micro minidomes, which typically in the have a 2-2.5" diameter.

Drawbacks 

Despite its size advantage, there are some considerable disadvantages to using the P12 series as a minidome compared to other cameras:

  • Cost: At $499, the P12 is nearly twice the price of two other small megapixel minidome cameras, the Vivotek FD8136 and Axis' own M3004.
  • Aiming Constraints: Unlike standard minidome cameras with adjustable gimbals, the P12 series must be carefully installed with viewing angle in mind, since only non-adjustable mounts are available (both flat and angled). 
  • Located the 'Box': Additionally, installers must find a location for the central processor of the P12, and manage the cable connecting it to the camera head. Building inspectors may not allow the central processor to be located in plenum spaces without an enclosure, as well, further increasing cost.

While we think it is an interesting option to consider, especially if being super small is the top priority, important cost, positioning and installation issues should be fully considered.

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