Because the M1054 camera was a loaner, I didn't want to get too aggressive in pulling it apart for pictures, so there aren't any. However, Axis' specs state that the M1054 uses its own proprietary ARTPEC-3 processor (short Axis whitepaper) and has 128 MB of RAM and 128 MB of flash.
The M1054 can be powered by its supplied 5VDC wall-wart, or you can ditch the power cord and use Power over Ethernet (802.3af). Obviously, you need a PoE injector or PoE-enabled switch to make that happen, but it's a nice option. The M1054 does not have built-in wireless networking, while the M1031-W does.
The image sensor within the M1054 is a 1/4" progressive scan RGB CMOS, whereas the lens is a 2.9mm, 84deg view, fixed iris and fixed focus lens. By comparison, the ZyXEL IPC-4605N we last reviewed had a 60deg horizontal view lens. The Axis M1054 will have a wider viewing area, although the ZyXEL camera can pan and tilt the lens to see more field of view overall.
The PIR (passive infrared) sensor is good for up to 6 meters and is used for motion detection at night. The lens needs 0 lux when the 1W illumination LED is on, which can be triggered via a PIR action rule.
The camera also includes a speaker and microphone, which work well for two-way audio communication. There is also an I/O terminal connector that can really expand the capabilities of the camera. The digital output can be used to activate external devices upon event trigger, whereas the digital input can signal the camera to take action when an external stimulus is received.
Examples of external stimuli include door/window contacts, glass break detectors, etc. I can foresee a lot of uses for the I/O terminal connector, even though I didn't test it out. Figure 5 below shows all the connectors of the M1054.
Figure 5: The connections of the AXIS M1054
The AXIS M1054 has a wealth of features, many of which I found to be very well executed. Before we get into the meat of the Admin interface, I'll list out a few of the features.
- Resolutions from 160x90 to 1280x800.
- Framerate of 30fps in all resolutions including H.264 and MJPEG formats
- Multiple, individually configurable video streams
- Image settings including compression, color, brightness, sharpness, contrast, white balance, exposure control, exposure zones, backlight compensation, fine tuning of behavior at low light, rotation, text and image overlay, privacy mask and mirroring
- Two way audio
- Security options including IP address filtering, HTTPS encryption, digest authentication and a user access log
- Supported protocols IPv4/v6, HTTP, HTTPS**, QoS Layer 3 DiffServ, FTP, SMTP, Bonjour, UPnP, SNMPv1/v2c/v3(MIB-II), DNS, DynDNS, NTP,RTSP, RTP, TCP, UDP, IGMP, RTCP, ICMP, DHCP, ARP, SOCKS
- Open API for software integration, including the ONVIF specification
- Motion detection, audio detection and tamper protection
- Many highly customizable alarm events and actions
I have to admit, I had a lot of fun reviewing the M1054. It has a whole lot of features, most of which are pretty easy to figure out as you sit in front of them. Some of the features include options I've complained about other cameras not having in past interviews.
A great example of this is Figure 6 below. You can see that motion detection window can be set and activity "noise" can be viewed in a timeline across the bottom right of the screen. Adjusting the sliders lowers or raises the Activity bar so you can know just what type of activity is going to trigger your motion detection event and exactly where you need to be set to capture that kind of motion. This is a much better method than the sensitivity number approach used by less expensive cameras that requires a trial-and-error setting approach.
Figure 6: Motion Detection configuration of the AXIS M1054
Privacy Masks can also be set up to block out certain parts of the image in case there is anything that the camera operator should not be seeing. Overlays can be added to the image including date and time, text, or a logo/image.
The M1054 deviates from other cameras I've tested in that it has no IR LEDs. Instead, it uses a 1W white LED that you can trigger on specific events. We'll see in the next section how this affects image quality in the dark. But I should mention that in order to have a visible image at night, the bright light needs to be on, which isn't suited for inobtrusive monitoring. The light can be triggered in various ways, by motion on the PIR (passive infrared) sensor, audio detection, schedule or externally by input on the I/O connector.
The PIR sensor uses passive infrared technology to detect motion at night within a 6 M range. In my testing I set an Action Rule to trigger the LED on PIR motion detection so I could easily see when it tripped. I then had it email me 10 images of what it saw. Initially, my tests involved flapping my arms wildly in the dark to see when the light came on. But I later switched to adding a sound clip for the camera to play on PIR activation, in a failed attempt to scare our cat.
My unofficial tests found the PIR sensor worked reliably at a range of about 8 feet, but your mileage may vary. Figure 7 below shows the Action Rules I set when testing the PIR sensor.
Figure 7: An example set of Action Rules
The M1054 can record to a network share, either on a continuous or action rule basis. You can set it to remove recordings older than a time specified and you can view recordings it has done to the share right on the camera's web interface. Additionally, in the case of Action Rules, you can have images and/or notification sent to you via email in the case of trigger activation. Figure 8 below shows a configured network share.
Figure 8: A configured network share
Action Rules for events were very customizable allowing for an almost endless amount of configuration options and notifications. With a little time and ambition I couldn't really think of any situation that I couldn't notify on. Trigger examples included storage being full, restarts, connectivity lost (admittedly not tested), PTZ moving (if this camera were to have it), time, input from the I/O connector, and the various detectors (audio, motion, PIR, and tamper).
Action Types included activating the light, using the I/O output port, playing an audio clip, recording video, sending images, sending notifications, and working the Status LED. Each of those various actions then had a subset of actions. Figure 9 below shows an example of a few options of the Action Rules screen.
Figure 9: Some examples of Action Rule configuration
With everything this camera can do, it only makes sense that you would want to know what's going on. The camera's web interface includes a very comprehensive and useful set of logs and reports for doing just that. Figure 10 below shows the many things that can be reported on.
Figure 10: Reporting function of the M1054
The complete screen captures of the M1054 admin screens can be seen in the gallery below.