Lights, Camera, Axis 205...
Now with the configuration out of the way, it is time to talk about the camera in action. As we explained above, the 205 uses a fixed lens. (4 mm with F2.0) The lack of pan, tilt, and zoom options means that you will have to use a little more planning in the installation of the 205. While you can tune the focus using the outer focus ring found outside the camera housing, no other adjustments are possible. This presents a problem if you change the view from your 205. While it is possible to physically move the camera in the base to make minor adjustments, major changes will require you to move the entire camera. For most applications which are security type applications, the lens in the 205 provides more than enough view for you to see quite a bit, but it does pale in comparison to other models that we have reviewed that are close in price to the 205 and provide at least zoom support.
The quality of the video received in the browser was good, but not stellar. Depending on the amount of motion and the type of video that you are capturing, you will likely want to work on the configuration of the settings to tweak the performance of the video that is being sent from the 205 to better fit your application. Once tweaked, the video quality delivered by the camera was acceptable; but there are trade offs, depending on the resolution and quality settings selected. Depending on your application you should be able to find a balance that is acceptable for your needs. We did notice that the low light performance of the camera is average, at best, which is in line with most other network cameras in this price range.
The Web interface for viewing the video is good and similar in function to similar Axis products before the 205. The viewing interface offers the option to provide snapshot to the viewer, in addition to the live video, which is a nice option.
No discussion of the 205 would be complete without mentioning the status light located on the front of the camera. The light can be configured in one of three modes: "light off", "blink during access", or "always on." Depending on your application, you can configure the light accordingly.
Axis does not offer the ability to directly capture video streams from the 205. However Axis does offer the "Axis Camera Recorder" application, which allows you to capture and save video. This is professional security level software and, according to what we were able to find out, it is not currently compatible with the 205. Since the software is expensive and the 205 is an entry level product, don't expect support for this feature anytime soon.