Axis Q1910 Thermal Network Camera review
In the world of IP cameras Axis has delivered more firsts than any other vendor, and it’s done it again with the Q1910, the world’s first thermal imaging IP camera. There’s no need to worry about IR illuminators or lux values for night-time surveillance as it works purely by sensing an object’s heat signature.
Axis has replaced the standard RGB image sensor with a micro bolometer, an extremely sensitive device used to measure infrared radiation. This gives it a big advantage over standard IP cameras as it doesn’t worry about light levels or atmospheric conditions. It works in the 8µm to 13µm spectral band, allowing it to penetrate smoke, fog, rain, shadows, bright light and most other conditions that would confound normal cameras.
The Q1910 is extremely well built and uses the same heavyweight steel shell as Axis’ Q1755 HD IP camera. The bolometer sensor’s top frame rate is only 8.33fps and no optical or digital zoom functions are provided. However, the sensor’s maximum resolution of 160 x 128 pixels can be scaled up by the camera to 720 x 576.
The Q1910 supports simultaneous H.264 and M-JPEG video streams, is 802.3af PoE compliant and has an integral microphone plus sockets for an external mic and speaker for two-way audio. Its 32MB buffer for storing images can be increased using the SD/SDHC memory card slot at the rear.
Installation is a simple process. The web browser’s live view is impressive, with Axis offering nine heat signature colour palettes. The level of detail available from emitted radiation is quite surprising, with some of the palettes better suited to certain scenarios.
The rainbow palette is the most visually impressive, but it doesn’t show as much detail as the ice and fire or night-vision palettes. It’s easy enough to switch from one to another directly from the live view to find the one that works best. Even though the frame rate is comparatively low, we felt motion was conveyed well with very little jerkiness.
We found during testing that the camera won’t work well through glass, especially double glazing. However, Axis also offers the Q1910-E, which comes in an external IP66 rated aluminium case equipped with a heated germanium window.
You can swap between M-JPEG and H.264 from the live view. In our review of the Axis P3301, we found H.264 has a much lower network bandwidth usage than M-JPEG. Furthermore, each individual stream can have its own colour palette.
For motion detection you can define up to ten include and exclude windows and fine-tune sensitivity for each. If detection is triggered you can upload images to the internal memory and FTP and HTTP servers, email them to multiple recipients and activate external devices connected to the I/O ports.
Along with an impressive range of features, the Q1910 overcomes many problems associated with thermal imaging cameras. It costs less than half that of typical analogue devices and being digital will be far easier to integrate into surveillance and recording systems.
|Warranty RTB years||3|
|Sensor type||Uncooled micro bolometer|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|Power over Ethernet||yes|
|Compression scheme||MJPEG, H.264|
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