Axis F Series Review
Just released by Axis is the F Series, which comprises a main unit and up to 4 1080p cameras in a tiny form factor that’s ideal for a wide range of discreet applications.
WHAT’S most appealing about Axis F Series, which includes a main unit and discreet cameras is its compact size and simplicity. This is a jewel of a solution with a price as petite as its physical size. Axis F Series is built around a divided camera concept – the camera body, which comprises Axis F41 and Axis F44 Main Units and the Axis F Sensor Units, which can be ordered with different lens options.
The main unit incorporates the processor, network, power and other connections. The sensor unit consists of a lens and image sensor with 3m or 12m cable. This divided concept with the option of a long cable enables the small sensor units to be installed discreetly in very tight places.
The main unit is shipped in 2 options, the 1-channel Axis F41, with wide dynamic range and forensic capture, and the 4-channel Axis F44 for multi-view surveillance. Both main units offer WDR, Forensic Capture, quad view, 2-way audio, alarm inputs/outputs, power over Ethernet, DC power, Axis Camera Application Platform software and 2-slot edge storage onboard.
AXIS F Series includes flexible, high-performance 1080p cameras for discreet indoor, outdoor and mobile surveillance applications including mobile applications and ATMs. The 4 available sensor units are the standard Axis F1005-E and the fisheye Axis F1035-E, both for indoor or outdoor use, and the varifocal Axis F1015 and pinhole Axis F1025 for indoor use. Maximum video resolution is 1920 x 1200 pixels for the F41 and 1920 x 1080 with the F44 and with the latter, there’s simultaneous streaming of 4 separate 1080p or HDTV 720p videos
The main and sensor units are sold separately to give customers the ability to put together the hardware features that best suit the application. The units can also be easily relocated or swapped out after the initial installation, giving users additional flexibility.
Axis F41 Main Unit connects to one sensor unit and offers wide dynamic range, forensic capture and a single memory card slot. It delivers HDTV 1080p performance at up to 50/60 frames per second for capturing fast-moving objects and generating smoother video. Meanwhile, Axis F44 supports 4 sensor units, quad view and 2 memory card slots.
Axis F44 Main Unit supports up to 4 F Sensor Units for surveillance of 4 closely situated areas. The main unit can be installed in a sheltered area up to 12m away from the sensor units. The F44 provides simultaneous streaming of views from four different areas through one Ethernet port. The cost of an installation with Axis F44 and 4 sensor units, together with other system components, may be lower than the cost of a system that involves 4 comparable standard network cameras. Costs for a network switch, for instance, may be lower as the number of ports required can be reduced. License fees for the video management software (VMS) can also be lowered if the VMS sees Axis F44 as requiring one license instead of four.
The overall installation and placement of the units may also be easier and more flexible than with conventional camera solutions. The Axis F44 supports 2 different capture modes. The 1080p capture mode enables simultaneous streaming of 4 separate 1080p videos at 12.5/15 frames per second (50/60 Hz) and provides the full viewing angle from the Axis F sensor units’ 1080p image sensors.
“They are beaut little units, robust, discreet and well designed for purpose with 2 SD slots, alarm inputs, Axis Camera Station management and many other features”
The 720p capture mode enables simultaneous streaming of 4 HDTV 720p streams at full frame rate in cropped view (depending on the sensor unit, the horizontal viewing angles are about 35 per cent to 42 per cent less than with the 1080p resolution. Axis F44 also supports one stream in quad view, which is a stream made up of 4 separate views from the connected sensor units. Axis F44, together with Axis F Sensor Units, provides colour video in light as low as 0.3 lux.
Axis F44 can withstand tough conditions such as vibrations, shocks and temperature fluctuations, which makes it ideal for use in emergency vehicles such as police cars, fire trucks and ambulances, as well as buses, trams and trucks (such as those used to transport money and other valuable goods). The main unit has also been designed for easy installation in cabinets and small enclosures as all the connectors are placed on one side of the unit so that cables go in one direction and do not take up unnecessary space. The bottom of the unit can also hook directly onto a DIN rail.
Axis F44 offers 2-way audio and 4 configurable input/output ports for external devices to enable enhanced alarm management. An RS232 port allows for integration of external data to the video. Intelligent video capabilities include video motion detection, active tampering alarm and downloadable applications through the Axis Camera Application Platform. The main unit can be powered using Power over Ethernet or DC power. There’s also an open application programming interface (API) for software integration, including VAPIX and Axis Camera Application Platform, support for Axis Video Hosting System (AVHS) with One-Click Camera Connection.
According to Axis’ John Richardson, the Axis F Series is essentially an SD slot NVR.
“The main units are fanless, tiny and compact in design,” says Richardson. “They are beaut little units, robust, discreet and well designed for purpose with 2 SD slots, alarm inputs, Axis Camera Station management and many other features. Cost for the NVR and individual camera units is low so it’s a reasonably affordable package when you put it all together and for a discreet solution it’s a real bargain.
“Depending on which main unit you select, you can support 1 or 4 sensor units. These are tiny, too, with zoom and focus on the lens. There are 4 different camera units, including a fish eye camera and there’s a mounting bracket for all the cameras.
“The cameras are varifocal so you can change the angle of view, which gives more flexibility,” explains Richardson. “And there are accessories that turn the cameras into bullet cameras. These cameras are 2MP 1080p and the only real limit compared to a full-size solution is the 12.5 frame rate per second when running all 4 cameras at full 1080p resolution on the F44. If you drop the resolution to 720p you get full frame rate on every channel.”
The Axis F1005-E Sensor Unit is ideal for use in highly discreet indoor, outdoor and mobile surveillance applications. Axis F1005-E can be discreetly installed in tight places, flush-mounted in a wall or ceiling, or incorporated in a lightbar on top of an emergency vehicle. The rugged, IP66-rated sensor unit withstands dust, rain, snow, vibrations, shock and temperature fluctuations.
Axis F1005-E comprises an image sensor and a fixed lens that provides a wide 113-degree horizontal field of view in HDTV 1080p. It comes with a 3m or 12m pre-mounted cable for connection to an Axis F Main Unit, which can be placed indoors, inside a vehicle or in an outdoor enclosure.
Next is the Axis F1035-E Sensor Unit, which offers wide area coverage with a fisheye view. It is ideal for highly discreet overview surveillance in indoor, outdoor and mobile surveillance applications; for example, at entrances, long corridors, around an ATM (automated teller machine), in emergency vehicles, buses and trams.
The small sensor unit can be installed in tight places, flush-mounted in a wall or ceiling, or incorporated in a lightbar on top of an emergency vehicle. The rugged, IP66-rated Axis F1035-E withstands dust, rain, snow, vibrations, shock and temperature fluctuations.
Axis F1035-E comprises an image sensor and a fisheye lens that provides a 194-degree horizontal field of view in 1080p resolution. It comes with a 3m or 12m pre-mounted cable for connection to an Axis F Main Unit. The main unit can be placed further away in an indoor location, inside a vehicle or in an outdoor enclosure. Axis F1035-E comes with an Axis F8201 Vari-angle mounting bracket that enables the sensor unit to be secured and tilted in any position.
Then there’s the Axis F1015 Sensor Unit, for use in highly discreet indoor surveillance applications. The sensor unit can be installed in tight places and flush-mounted in a wall or ceiling, while the main unit can be placed further away where there is space.
Axis F1015 comprises an image sensor and a varifocal lens that provides between a 53-108 degrees horizontal field of view in HDTV 1080p. A varifocal lens gives users the flexibility to adjust the field of view to suit the application. In tele mode, finer details can be captured in a narrower field of view. In wide mode, more of a scene can be covered.
Then there’s the Axis F1025 Sensor Unit, for use in extremely discreet indoor surveillance applications, such as in ATMs (automated teller machines), banks, stores, hotels and elevators. The small Axis F1025 unit can be installed, for instance, in tight places, in doorways, behind metal sheets or flush-mounted in a wall or ceiling, with only a pin hole visible for the lens.
Axis F1025 comprises an image sensor and a pinhole lens that provides a wide 92-degree horizontal field of view in 1080p resolution. It comes with a 3m or 12m pre-mounted cable for connection to an Axis F Main Unit. An Axis F8202 straight mounting bracket is included for mounting on a flat surface.♦