Product Reviews: Axis P3384-VE, M3005-V Network Cameras

Security industry expert T. Riley Pierce reviews M3005-V and P3384-VE network cameras.
Published: October 3, 2014

The Axis P3384-VE network camera is one of the P33 Series of network cameras from Axis Communications, designed primarily for locations where a vandal-resistant dome is indicated or required. The P3384-VE is the “middle of the pack” model for the P33 Series and is designed with a 1MP (megapixel) imager that provides a very clear image. The camera also has wide dynamic range (WDR), which allows it to be effective in locations where lighting can be challenging. Complementing the WDR is Axis’ Lightfinder technology that allows the camera to maintain image quality, light sensitivity and color images in very poor lighting conditions.

The Axis M3005-V network camera is one of the M30 Series of cameras designed primarily for locations where a vandal-resistant dome is indicated or required. The M3005-V is the “next step up” among the four models in the M30 Series and has a 2MP imager. The M3005-V has a much smaller footprint than some other Axis vandal-resistant cameras and makes it an attractive choice for semi-concealed mountings.

Construction

The P3384-VE has a solid feel to the camera assembly with its cast aluminum design. The camera housing is designed with a mounting plate that is easily separated from the main assembly to allow the camera to be flush mounted to any surface. The unit’s clear dome is constructed of durable polycarbonate plastic to also resist damage to the unit’s assembly. The dome also has a built-in black plastic shroud that can easily be moved to help disguise the direction the camera is looking. The enclosure is IP-66 and NEMA 4 rated. The camera assembly ships with a premade Cat-5 cable that has a gasket preinstalled. The camera assembly comes equipped with a heater and fan to provide the necessary temperature control to prevent condensation and fogging within the unit. The camera comes with a separate sun shield and smoked dome to allow customized camera mounting .

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On the other hand, the M3005-V does not have the design fabrication I associate with a vandal-rated camera assembly. The case and dome are made from ABS plastic and it just doesn’t “feel” like it could take a hit from a rock and survive. The plastic mounting plate of the camera assembly is flexible and feels like it could break with a solid hit to the housing. The M3005-V camera housing is designed with a rubber seal. This model is not IP-66 and NEMA 4 rated and therefore cannot be mounted in an outdoor environment. Mounting the M3005-V requires the top cover to be removed and the camera assembly mounted on a flat surface. The unit’s clear dome is constructed of durable polycarbonate plastic. The camera assembly has a Cat-5 cable that protrudes through a gasket on the case and has a male RJ-45 connector. I am not a big fan of this design because it requires use of a network cable coupler, which adds one more chance for a bad connection.

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