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Replacement for Axis 213


 
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baataboom
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Joined: 26 Aug 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:42 pm    Post subject: Replacement for Axis 213 Reply with quote

I've been the happy owner of an Axis 213 for 7 years. But is has recently quit working properly (random lines across the viewing area and finally autofocus problems that I could not resolve). The camera has been near perfect for our needs: first when my wife was deployed to the middle-east and now for our kids' grandparents. Both could track our children around the room and have 2-way chats. Video was excellent and that is of prime concern. The only nit was that it wasn't quite as controllable via non-IE browsers.

Anyhow, I'm back in the market and after 7 years would hope to step up in features while stepping down in price. I think I paid > $1300 in 2004 for the 213.

Failing anything else I thought I'd just go for the Axis 214. It's around $1k but there don't seem to be any added features. And the 213 even had a slightly better zoom range. Both have great 3yr warranties though.

Ideally, I like to at least add h.264 encoding, more functionality from Iphone (etc) and from non-IE browsers. Also, even better resolution would be a nice plus (though not expected).

Anyhow I'd hope to spend $500-$1k. And in searching a found a D-Link DCS-5635 (or 5605 wired-only) and a Panasonic WV-SC385. Unfortunately there don't seem to be any reviews for either _anywhere_. And I'm a little spooked by the SC385 focus on IE browsers.

Any suggestions?
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buellwinkle
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Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 2504

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think they changed much in this series, and the 214 and 215 are not PoE so old school and the software is older, not the same as their newer cameras, so h264 is out of the question. With PoE, the camera gets it's power through the ethernet cable, not a seperate power supply like what you have now.

The Panasonic is nice, good image quality, costs about $750ish, BB HCM581a. The new Axis are like what Johnny has, see my blog, but it's the P55 series but higher than your budget. The ACTi PTZ is about $600, but only 10X zoom. Cannon makes a 40x zoom, but about $1,400.
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baataboom
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Joined: 26 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick response. PoE would be an interesting option. But my priorities are for quality video (and therefore the h.264 for better bandwith utilization), 2-way audio, and less restrictive ties to IE. Of course, ease of use (for the grandparents) with simple browser access

I'll read through your blog before making any purchase.

Thanks again
Mark
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baataboom
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Joined: 26 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, after reading ... I'm still struggling to find a solution. I had originally stated that I wanted to pay $500-$1K, but would be willing to pay up to $1500 for a network camera meeting the criteria below. Any recommendations, reviews, or demo links would be appreciated.

- this is primarily for the grandparents to checkin on their grandkids, secondarily ( Sad ) on their son (me) and my wife. So ease of use, i.e. _any_ browser access to zoom, pan, etc would be great (I know the devil can be in the details here (and sadly they're not included in any datasheets)).
- we're looking to improve upon the quality of our decommissioned axis 213 (a great camera, just thought 7 years newer should be better), hopefully going with even better video and thus likely requiring h.264 encoding,
- 2-way audio,
- no ties to a particular OS or browser. Sometimes it's not clear whether stated requirements are for setup/admin or use. Hopefully the latter is considerably less restrictive. But again w/o reviews it's a dice roll as to what works and what doesn't.
- indoor use only
- PoE interesting but not required

I apologize for continuing with basically the same question (w/ increased budget), but the faceted search mechanism (buying wizard turns up nada for ptz, and doesn't seem to contain recent data (like the Vivotek pz8111)) on this site seems a bit spotty.

I've widened my brand search to include Acti, Vivotek and Mobotix but could find nothing to meet my criteria. I'm not terribly brand conscious and as a s/w engineer can deal with technical challenges in setup, etc. but would like to not have to revisit this 12 months after the purchase.

Any final suggestions?

Thx
Mark
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buellwinkle
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Joined: 28 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe you are better off with a few high resolution non-PTZ camera set strategically around the house, no? Imagine if you can get 4X the resolution of the 213 so cover 4x the area with a wider angle lens, you could cover an entire room with 1 camera or better, get 2 cameras and have views from opposite angles, something you can't do with a single PTZ camera.
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baataboom
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Joined: 26 Aug 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the further comments. With our family room<->kitchen config (16x45ft) the single ptz cam at one end has served well. But I guess we can't go wrong with more cameras, right?!

Actually, I had just about convinced myself to go with the Panasonic BB HCM581A, as you suggested. I was willing to give up the h.264 and ready to purchase. I even researched the interoperability with non-IE browsers and cellphones, all good. But then I noted that the 2-way audio was half-duplex. And unfortunately that was a deal breaker.

Now I'm looking at the Panasonic WV-SC385. It seems to have everything I need ... except it appears that it's IE or nothing. (So much for my Mac and for various other browsers or java apps). Smile I read that all the i-Pro line of Panasonic cams have this limitation.

Maybe the Vivotek PZ8111w ?

Still looking ....
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JohnnyC
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Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 670

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too bad the Panny 581a did not meet your specs because it does not have full duplex audio or h264. It does have MPEG-4 if bandwidth is a concern as well as MJPEG. One thing i will tell you it is a rock solid performer. i had one of these for several years and it never crashed on me. When I compare it to the manufacturing quality to my new $2,000 Axis P5534-e , i will admit the Panny's manufacturing quality is much better and to be honest my P5534 has locked up and needed to be power-cycled at least 4 or 5 times during the past several months since I owed it. If the 581a was a 1.3 mp camera with x20 zoom, it would run circles around the Axis P5534 and that is my honest opinion.

John
New jersey
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baataboom
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Joined: 26 Aug 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting that on the Panasonic iPro cams (incl. WV-SC385) they indicate you need to install their software on a PC and use IE. But I found that you can at least view the video feeds using other OSes by accessing the rtsp streams 'directly'. I found a site that shows that a simple viewer app (vlc) can be used to view the video stream (mpeg-4, h.264) by visiting rtsp://yourname.com/MediaInput/mpeg4 or rtsp://yourname.com/MediaInput/h.264/stream1. This wouldn't enable ptz or even audio on such platforms, but it could still be of some use.
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buellwinkle
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Joined: 28 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That Panasonic WV-SC385 seems like a winner, better specs than the Axis P55 in many cases for half the price. Really not a bad deal in price when you consider it's only about $300 more than the 581A.

Let us know how it works out, and if you can post day and nigh shots that would be great.

As for non-PTZ, I was thinking maybe four ACTI ACM-1231, each one would give you 1.3 MP resolution, PIR motion detect, build in mic and speaker, cost about $200ish each if you shop around. Then use BlueIris software ($50) running on an old PC, and that will provide recording and viewing remotely from any browser on any computer, tablet or phone. The advantage over PTZ is you can watch all 4 at the same time on one screen, click on one to see it full size.

Alternatively you can use their free NVR software and free iPhone/iPad software to record motion triggered events and view from an iPhone or iPad. Not sure if they support access from Safari.
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baataboom
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Joined: 26 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your comments John. Yes, it is unfortunate about the HCM581a not having full duplex audio. I could give up the h.264 but not the audio, since this will be used primarily for grandparent chats with our 3 and 8 yr olds. My parents just like to 'pop in' on our kids and I just don't think the 'walkie-talkie' mode will suffice.
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baataboom
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Joined: 26 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buellwinkle thanks for the additional details re: a multi-cam setup. We may pursue something like that in addtion to a ptz. There's plenty more house to cover!?! Though getting outside the realm of the familyroom/kitchen would require add'l wife approval. (Took a long time for her to accept the current setup).

I'll post what I discover about the final solution. And I'll include shots for day/night.

Thanks again to all
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JohnnyC
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Joined: 20 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck in your choice..

In defense of the Axis P55xx camera since I bashed it above, it does have nice crisp and true color daytime video. Night video seems noisy in low night light, but maybe I need to play around with it a bit more.

John
New Jersey
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baataboom
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Joined: 26 Aug 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know axis = quality products, at least in my experience.

OK now I'm waffling just a bit. I wonder if I shouldn't consider the Vivotek PZ8111w. I know it doesn't have the specs of the wv-sc385. But at about half the price ($556 vs $1040) ... If they were closer in price, the choice would be easier. Does anyone have anything negative on Vivotek or their PZ line (looks like they added h.264 with the current model).

My concern is that neither camera seems to be spot on my specs (they both specify MS Windows). (But the pz8111w does note that it's firefox compatible ?!) Clearly the sc385 has better resolution (1280x960 vs. 720x480) and better optical zoom (18x vs. 10x). But both would probably be suitable for my needs.

I know the sc385 has a number of other very cool features (like an action-following mechanism, could be great for following kids!) that would be 'nice to have'.

Well I'll sleep on it and then view the pz8111w live demo. There was a pretty good review of the wv-sc385 here (http://www.networkwebcams.com/ip-camera-learning-center/2011/02/08/panasonic-wvsc385-evaluation-review-rating-buying-advice/ )
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baataboom
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Joined: 26 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I took the low road and ordered the Vivotek pz8111w ($537 @buy.com). (Convinced that if it doesn't suit I can use it in another setting or just return it and get the wv-sc385). I read through the docs on the wv-sc385 and found things like its max of 5 minutes of audio (per push of the audio button) and it's very strong ties with Windows and IE were more than I could bear with the 'perfectly ok' pz8111w staring at me for half the price.

It will be easy to find another use for this one if needed (we've got 2 kids in a huge house!?) since it's both wired and wireless. And PoE wasn't of great interest to me given that I'd have a mic and powered speakers connected anyhow.

I suspect the real interest you guys might have had was in feedback for the other camera, but I'll go ahead and provide it for this one when I can. And who knows, I might just get the sc385 afterward.
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