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{mospagebreak toctitle=Introduction, H/W Compare, Image Quality-Outdoor}

AXIS M1011-W

At a Glance
Product Axis M1011-W Network camera [Website]
Summary Entry level wireless day network camera with strong AXIS feature set
Pros • Lots of features
• Solid construction
• Wireless connectivity
Cons • No night vision
• No audio
• Wireless is only 802.11b/g vs. n

Introduction

I recently looked at the surveillance features of the ReadyNAS Ultra-2 NAS. With the ReadyNAS Surveillance kit were included two AXIS M1011-W network cameras. While the features of the AXIS line of cameras have been covered in-depth in the M1031-W and M1054 reviews, I wanted to look at hardware differences with the M1011-W, as well as image comparisons between the M1011-W and some of the other cameras we've reviewed.

Hardware Comparison

First, let's take a look at a table of comparisons between the three AXIS cameras we've reviewed:

M1011-W M1031-W M1054
Typical online price $180 $250 $380
Processor ARTPEC-B ARTPEC-B ARTPEC-3
RAM 64MB 64MB 128MB
Flash 32MB 32MB 128MB
Video buffer 16 MB pre and post alarms 16 MB pre and post alarms 25 MB pre and post alarms
Lens 4.4 mm/F2.0 fixed iris 4.4 mm/F2.0 fixed iris 2.9 mm/F2.0 fixed iris
Horizontal angle of view 47deg 47deg 80deg
Video compression H.264, Motion JPEG, MPEG-4 H.264, Motion JPEG, MPEG-4 H.264, Motion JPEG
Max video resolution 640 x 480 640 x 480 1280 x 800 (1 MP)
Frames per second 30 (640x480) 30 (640x480) 30 (1280x800), 30 (HDTV 720p)
Audio support No Two-way Built-in mic and speaker Two-way Built-in mic and speaker
Alarm in/outputs No No 1/1
Power DC, PoE splitter available DC, PoE splitter available DC, PoE IEEE 802.3af Class 2
Wireless 802.11b/g 802.11b/g No
Built-in PIR sensor No Yes Yes
Night Illumination LED No Yes Yes
Record to storage FTP only FTP only FTP, SMB (network share)

As you look at the specs, you can see the M1011-W has much hardware in common with the M1031-W. It sports the AXIS ARTPEC-B processor, capable of three maximum simultaneous video streams. It also has 64 MB of RAM and 32 MB of flash like the M1031-W.

ARTPEC-B processor of the Axis M1011-W
Figure 1: ARTPEC-B processor of the Axis M1011-W

Also, in common with the M1031-W is the 802.11b/g wireless interface with built-in antenna, secured by WEP 64/128 bit and WPA/WAP2-PSK. Like the M1031-W, it does not support 802.11n and could present problems in a predominantly 802.11n network by slowing down faster N devices.

The M1011-W also shares the same lens, same horizontal field of view, same maximum resolution and same video compression formats as the M1031-W. What differs between the M1011-W and the M1031-W is the exclusion of audio and any night vision capabilities. With so much in common with the M1031-W, we would expect that image comparison pictures will be about the same.

Image Quality - Outdoor

The maximum resolution of the M1011-W is 640 x 480 and it will deliver that at 30 fps, which I verified within the ReadyNAS Surveillance software. Horizontal field of view is 47 degrees, which as you will see in the comparison pictures below, is the same as the M1031-W. Figure 2 is the M1011-W, while Figure 3 is the M1031-W.

47° Field of View from the Axis M1011-W
Figure 2: 47° Field of View from the Axis M1011-W

Figure 3 is the M1031-W horizontal field of view.

47° Field of View from the Axis M1031-W
Figure 2: 47° Field of View from the Axis M1031-W

As you can see, horizontal field of view is identical. Note that we have added a few pavers to my outdoor test bed since the M1031-W image. The M1011-W image does seem to be brighter and more vivid, although I believe that can be chalked up to being tested on different days in slightly different conditions. I no longer have the M1031-W or I could have run another comparison just to be sure.


Image Quality - Indoor

The indoor day comparison image is more of what I was expecting in comparison between the M1031-W and the M1011-W, the differences are nearly indistinguishable. The first image is the control image taken with our Nikon D5000 DSLR and the images which follow are the M1011-W and M1031-W respectively.

Figure 4 is the Nikon D5000 DSLR.

Control image from the Nikon D5000 DSLR
Figure 4: Control image from the Nikon D5000 DSLR

Figure 5 is the M1011-W room light image.

Day image from the Axis M1011-W
Figure 5: Day image from the Axis M1011-W

Figure 6 is the M1031-W room light image.

Day image from the Axis M1031-W
Figure 6: Day image from the Axis M1031-W

Notice how these pictures are nearly the same. If contents of the room hadn't changed, it would probably be difficult to tell which image belongs to which camera.

As far as night image goes, the M1011-W has no night vision features so I can't post any good comparisons here. What I wanted to show however, is something that AXIS cameras do rather well, backlight compensation. Backlighting occurs when there is a light source behind an object being viewed. Some cameras have a really tough time with this, while others seem to be great.

Let's take a look at backlighting an object with the M1011-W and compare it with the TRENDnet TV-IP551WI I looked at a few weeks ago. Bear in mind, that while specs between these two cameras are relatively close, the M1011-W is a more expensive camera and you would expect image quality to be better.

Figure 7 is the M1011-W backlight image.

Backlight image of the M1011-W
Figure 7: Backlight image of the M1011-W

Figure 8 is the TV-IP551WI backlight image.

Backlight image of the TRENDnet TV-IP551WI
Figure 8: Backlight image of the TRENDnet TV-IP551WI

Take a close look at the color and clarity of the items on the workbench between the two images. The colors are more vivid with the M1011-W and you can actually make out a few items on the storage shelf to the side of the window whereas in the TV-IP551WI image the shelf is dark and the items on the workbench are dark as well.

Closing Thoughts

The AXIS M1011-W is a third of the price as the M1031-W, which sports nearly identical hardware. What it is missing are the night vision features and audio capabilities, which may be a deal breaker for some.

Compared to some of the other cameras we have reviewed the M1011-W's price seems a little high. What are included however, are the great AXIS features that set it apart from many other run-of-the-mill network cameras.

If you don't need night vision or audio support and want AXIS' extensive feature set, this camera may be priced economically enough to get you into one.

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