Axis M3014 review
Dome IP cameras are great for showing the bigger picture, but most are too big for discreet surveillance. By contrast, the Axis M3014 is the very model of discretion: this little dome camera is designed to fit snugly into a drop-ceiling recess, where it peeks out a mere 30mm.
The camera mount is only 90mm wide and is fitted in an 80mm-deep steel tube, with three spring-loaded arms to hold it firmly in place. The M3014 targets video surveillance only, so it has no built-in microphone or sockets to add external speakers.
It doesn’t have an internal memory card slot either, but it’s 802.3af PoE-compliant and Axis includes a mid-span unit in the price. The camera body can be turned inside the tube to make it easier to position in situ, and you’ll need to move the lens up or down to get the right view.
The M3014 can record up to 720p video, and it will hit its top frame rate of 30fps for all resolutions. It supports MJPEG and H.264 codecs, and our previous tests with the Axis P3344-VE show that it’s possible to save a fair amount of bandwidth with the latter. Using Riverbed’s Cascade Pilot software, we saw H.264 at 720p and 30fps use only 0.8Mbits/sec with no motion, compared to 18Mbits/sec for MJPEG.
Image quality is pin sharp right up to the top 1,280 x 800 resolution, making this a good choice if you need facial recognition. The camera offers the same digital pan/tilt/zoom functions as the P3344-VE, which is of limited value.
Selecting an 8x zoom decreases resolution to a barely usable 160 x 100 pixels, and makes it difficult to see any detail. A 2x zoom selection improves the view to 640 x 400, and a guard patrol feature scans across different PTZ settings in sequence.
Axis offers decent motion-detection features, and supports a range of destinations to send images when triggered. It also has a camera tampering alarm, which will trigger an event if the lens is obscured.
The small, fixed-dome M3014 is ideal in areas where you don’t want surveillance to be obvious. Admittedly, it’s pricey and has no audio capabilities, but the excellent image quality will suffice for most.
|Warranty RTB years||1|
|Sensor type||1/4in progressive scan RGB CMOS|
|Video frame rate||30fps|
|Power over Ethernet||yes|
|Compression scheme||MJPEG, H.264|