AXIS Q3617-VE Network Camera

About this manual

This user manual describes several products. This means you may find instructions that aren’t applicable to your product.

Solution overview

Installation

Installation video for the product.

Get started

Find the device on the network

To find Axis devices on the network and assign them IP addresses in Windows®, use AXIS IP Utility or AXIS Device Manager. Both applications are free and can be downloaded from axis.com/support.

For more information about how to find and assign IP addresses, go to How to assign an IP address and access your device.

Browser support

You can use the device with the following browsers:

ChromeTM

Firefox®

EdgeTM

Safari®

Windows®

recommended

recommended

macOS®

recommended

recommended

Linux®

recommended

recommended

Other operating systems

✓*

*To use AXIS OS web interface with iOS 15 or iPadOS 15, go to Settings > Safari > Advanced > Experimental Features and disable NSURLSession Websocket.

If you need more information about recommended browsers, go to AXIS OS Portal.

Access the device

  1. Open a browser and enter the IP address or host name of the Axis device.

    If you do not know the IP address, use AXIS IP Utility or AXIS Device Manager to find the device on the network.

  2. Enter the username and password. If you access the device for the first time, you must set the root password. See Set a new password for the root account.

  3. The live view page opens in your browser.

Set a new password for the root account

Important

The default administrator username is root. If the password for root is lost, reset the device to factory default settings. See Reset to factory default settings

Support tip: Password security confirmation check
  1. Type a password. Follow the instructions about secure passwords. See Secure passwords.

  2. Retype the password to confirm the spelling.

  3. Click Create login. The password has now been configured.

Secure passwords

Important

Axis devices send the initially set password in clear text over the network. To protect your device after the first login, set up a secure and encrypted HTTPS connection and then change the password.

The device password is the primary protection for your data and services. Axis devices do not impose a password policy as they may be used in various types of installations.

To protect your data we strongly recommend that you:

  • Use a password with at least 8 characters, preferably created by a password generator.

  • Don’t expose the password.

  • Change the password at a recurring interval, at least once a year.

Webpage overview

  1. Live view control bar
  2. Live view
  3. Product name
  4. User information, color themes, and help
  5. Video control bar
  6. Settings toggle
  1. Settings tabs

Pan, tilt, roll, and zoom (PTRZ)

The PTRZ feature is only intended for installation purposes. The PTRZ page appears in the setup sequence when starting the camera for the first time, or after a reset to factory default. To change the PTRZ settings, see Set PTRZ and focus.

With the PTRZ (Pan, Tilt, Roll, Zoom) feature you can remotely move your camera in several directions to complete the installation without physically adjusting the camera.

Pan –
the side to side movement of the camera
Tilt –
the up or down movement of the camera
Roll –
the rotation of the lens about its center
Zoom –
makes the image larger and nearer, or smaller and further away.
The illustration shows how the directions pan, tilt, and roll affect the live view image.

Set PTRZ and focus

  1. Go to Settings > System > Orientation.

  2. Click the PTRZ button to open the same window that appeared during the initial setup of the product.

  3. Adjust the camera according to the online instructions.

  4. Close the window when you are satisfied.

Note
  • If the camera can’t perform PTRZ or focus, calibrate the PTRZ and optics, and try again. To calibrate, go to Settings > System > Maintenance.

See also Pan, tilt, roll, and zoom (PTRZ).

Additional settings

Adjust the image

This section includes instructions about how to configure your device. If you want to learn more about how certain features function, go to Learn more.

Select exposure mode

There are different exposure mode options in the camera that adjusts aperture, shutter speed, and gain to improve image quality for specific surveillance scenes. Go to Settings > Image > Exposure and select between the following exposure modes:

  • For most use cases, select Automatic exposure.

  • For environments with certain artificial lighting, for example fluorescent lighting, select Flicker-free.

    Select the same frequency as the power line frequency.

  • For environments with certain artificial light and bright light, for example outdoors with fluorescent lighting at night and sun during daytime, select Flicker-reduced.

    Select the same frequency as the power line frequency.

  • To lock the current exposure settings, select Hold current.

Reduce noise in low-light conditions

To reduce noise in low-light conditions, you can adjust one or more of the following settings:

  • Adjust the trade-off between noise and motion blur. Go to Settings > Image > Exposure and move the Blur-noise trade-off slider toward Low noise.

  • Set the exposure mode to automatic.

  • Note

    A high max shutter value can result in motion blur.

  • To slow down the shutter speed, set max shutter to the highest possible value.

  • Reduce sharpness in the image.

  • Open the aperture.

Maximize the details in an image

Important

If you maximize the details in an image, the bitrate will probably increase and you might get a reduced frame rate.

  • Make sure to select the capture mode that has the highest resolution.

  • Set the compression as low as possible.

  • Select MJPEG streaming.

  • Turn off Zipstream functionality.

Stabilize a shaky image with Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS)

Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) can be used in environments where the product is mounted in an exposed location and subject to vibrations, for example, wind or passing traffic. Turn on EIS to get a smoother and steadier image without blur.

EIS also reduces the file size of the compressed image and lowers the bitrate of the video stream.

Note

When EIS is turned on the image is cropped slightly, lowering the maximum resolution.

  1. Go to Settings > Image > Image correction.

  2. Turn on EIS.

Compensate for barrel distortion

Barrel distortion is a phenomenon where straight lines appear increasingly bent closer to the edges of the frame. A wide field of view often creates barrel distortion in an image. Barrel distortion correction compensates for this distortion.

Note

Barrel distortion correction affects the image resolution and field of view.

  1. Go to Settings > Image > Image correction.

  2. Turn on Barrel distortion correction (BDC).

  3. Use the slider to improve the image.

Handle scenes with strong backlight

Dynamic range is the difference in light levels in an image. In some cases the difference between the darkest and the brightest areas can be significant. The result is often an image where either the dark or the bright areas are visible. Wide dynamic range (WDR) makes both dark and bright areas of the image visible.

Image without WDR.
Image with WDR.
Note
  • WDR can cause artifacts in the image.
  • WDR may not be available for all capture modes.
  1. Go to Settings > Image > Wide dynamic range.

  2. Turn on WDR.

  3. Use the Local contrast slider to adjust the amount of WDR.

  4. If you still have problems, go to Exposure and adjust the Exposure zone to cover the area of interest.

Find out more about WDR and how to use it at axis.com/web-articles/wdr.

Hide parts of the image with privacy masks

You can create one or several privacy masks to hide parts of the image.

How to create a privacy mask
  1. Go to Settings > Privacy mask.

  2. Click New.

  3. Adjust the size, color, and name of the privacy mask according to your needs.

How to change the appearance of the mask

View and record video

This section includes instructions about how to configure your device. To learn more about how streaming and storage works, go to Streaming and storage.

Reduce bandwidth and storage

Important

If you reduce the bandwidth it can result in loss of details in the picture.

  1. Go to live view and select H.264.

  2. Go to Settings > Stream.

  3. Do one or more of the following:

    • Turn on dynamic GOP and set a high GOP length value.

    • Increase the compression.

    • Turn on dynamic FPS.

Set up network storage

  1. To store recordings on the network, you need to set up your network storage.
  2. Go to Settings > System > Storage.

  3. Click Setup under Network storage.

  4. Enter the IP address of the host server.

  5. Enter the name of the shared location on the host server.

  6. Move the switch if the share requires a login, and enter username and password.

  7. Click Connect.

Record and watch video

To record video you must first set up network storage, see Set up network storage, or have an SD card installed.

  1. Record video
  2. Go to the live view.

  3. To start a recording, click Record. Click again to stop the recording.

  1. Watch video
  2. Click Storage > Go to recordings.

  3. Select your recording in the list and it will play automatically.

Set up rules for events

You can create rules to make your device perform an action when certain events occur. A rule consists of conditions and actions. The conditions can be used to trigger the actions. For example, the device can start a recording or send an email when it detects motion, or show an overlay text while the device is recording.

To learn more, check out our guide Get started with rules for events.

Trigger an action

  1. Go to Settings > System > Events to set up a rule. The rule defines when the device will perform certain actions. Rules can be setup as scheduled, recurring, or for example, triggered by motion detection.

  2. Select the Condition that must be met to trigger the action. If you specify more than one condition for the rule, all of the conditions must be met to trigger the action.

  3. Select which Action the device should perform when the conditions are met.

Note

If you make changes to an active rule, you have to restart the rule for the changes to take effect.

Show a text overlay in the video stream when the device detects motion

This example explains how to display the text “Motion detected” when the device detects motion.

How to show text overlay when the camera detects motion

Make sure that AXIS Video Motion Detection is running:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps > AXIS Video Motion Detection.

  2. Start the application if it is not already running.

  3. Make sure you have set up the application according to your needs.

  4. Add the overlay text:
  5. Go to Settings > Overlay.

  6. Enter #D in the text field.

  7. Choose text size and appearance.

  8. Create a rule:
  9. Go to System > Events > Rules and add a rule.

  10. Type a name for the rule.

  11. In the list of conditions, select AXIS Video Motion Detection.

  12. In the list of actions, select Use overlay text.

  13. Select Camera 1.

  14. Type “Motion detected”.

  15. Set the duration.

  16. Click Save.

Record video when the camera detects motion

This example explains how to set up the camera to start recording to the SD card five seconds before it detects motion and to stop one minute after.

How to record a video stream when the camera detects motion
  1. Make sure that AXIS Video Motion Detection is running:
  2. Go to Settings > Apps > AXIS Video Motion Detection.

  3. Start the application if it is not already running.

  4. Make sure you have set up the application according to your needs. If you need help, see the user manual for AXIS Video Motion Detection 4.

  1. Create a rule:
  2. Go to Settings > System > Events and add a rule.

  3. Type a name for the rule.

  4. In the list of conditions, under Application, select AXIS Video Motion Detection (VMD).

  5. In the list of actions, under Recordings, select Record video while the rule is active.

  6. Select an existing stream profile or create a new one.

  7. Set the prebuffer time to 5 seconds.

  8. Set the postbuffer time to 60 seconds.

  9. In the list of storage options, select SD card.

  10. Click Save.

Learn more

Capture modes

Capture mode defines the maximum frame rate available in the Axis product. Depending on which capture mode you select, you may not be able to use WDR.

A capture mode consists of a resolution and the corresponding frame rate available in the product. The capture mode setting affects the camera’s field of view and aspect ratio.

The lower resolution capture mode is cropped out from the highest resolution.

The image shows how the field of view and aspect ratio can change between two different capture modes.

Which capture mode to choose depends on the requirements of frame rate and resolution for the specific surveillance setup. For specifications about available capture modes, see the product’s datasheet at axis.com.

View area

A view area is a cropped part of the full view. You can stream and store view areas instead of the full view to minimize bandwidth and storage needs. If you enable PTZ for a view area, you can pan, tilt and zoom within it. By using view areas you can remove parts of the full view, for example, the sky.

When you set up a view area, we recommend you to set the video stream resolution to the same size as or smaller than the view area size. If you set the video stream resolution larger than the view area size it implies digitally scaled up video after sensor capture, which requires more bandwidth without adding image information.

Privacy masks

A privacy mask is a user-defined area that prevents users from viewing a part of the monitored area. In the video stream, privacy masks appear as blocks of solid color or blurred image elements.

The privacy mask is relative to the pan, tilt, and zoom coordinates, so regardless of where you point the camera, the privacy mask covers the same place or object.

You’ll see the privacy mask on all snapshots, recorded video, and live streams.

You can use the VAPIX® application programming interface (API) to turn off the privacy masks.

Important

If you use multiple privacy masks it may affect the product’s performance.

Overlays

Overlays are superimposed over the video stream. They are used to provide extra information during recordings, such as a timestamp, or during product installation and configuration. You can add either text or an image.

About overlay text

An overlay text can include the current date and time, or a text string. When using a text string, so-called modifiers can be used to display, for example, the current bit rate or the current frame rate.

You can choose between the following text overlay sizes:

SizeText heightBackground height
Small10 pixels20 pixels
Medium16 pixels28 pixels
Large21 pixels36 pixels

Streaming and storage

Video compression formats

Decide which compression method to use based on your viewing requirements, and on the properties of your network. The available options are:

Motion JPEG

Motion JPEG, or MJPEG, is a digital video sequence that is made up of a series of individual JPEG images. These images are then displayed and updated at a rate sufficient to create a stream that shows constantly updated motion. For the viewer to perceive motion video the rate must be at least 16 image frames per second. Full motion video is perceived at 30 (NTSC) or 25 (PAL) frames per second.

The Motion JPEG stream uses considerable amounts of bandwidth, but provides excellent image quality and access to every image contained in the stream.

H.264 or MPEG-4 Part 10/AVC

Note

H.264 is a licensed technology. The Axis product includes one H.264 viewing client license. To install additional unlicensed copies of the client is prohibited. To purchase additional licenses, contact your Axis reseller.

H.264 can, without compromising image quality, reduce the size of a digital video file by more than 80% compared to the Motion JPEG format and by as much as 50% compared to the MPEG-4 standard. This means that less network bandwidth and storage space are required for a video file. Or seen another way, higher video quality can be achieved for a given bitrate.

How do Image, Stream, and Stream profile settings relate to each other?

The Image tab contains camera settings that affect all video streams from the product. If you change something in this tab, it immediately affects all video streams and recordings.

The Stream tab contains settings for video streams. You get these settings if you request a video stream from the product and don’t specify for example resolution, or frame rate. When you change the settings in the Stream tab, it doesn’t affect ongoing streams, but it will take effect when you start a new stream.

The Stream profiles settings override the settings from the Stream tab. If you request a stream with a specific stream profile, the stream contains the settings of that profile. If you request a stream without specifying a stream profile, or request a stream profile that doesn't exist in the product, the stream contains the settings from the Stream tab.

Bitrate control

With bitrate control, you can manage the bandwidth consumption of your video stream.

Variable bitrate (VBR)
With variable bitrate, the bandwidth consumption varies based on the level of activity in the scene. The more activity in the scene, the more bandwidth you need. You are guaranteed constant image quality but it requires storage margins.

Maximum bitrate (MBR)
With maximum bitrate, you can set a target bitrate to handle bitrate limitations in your system. You may see a decline in image quality or frame rate when the instantaneous bitrate is kept below the specified target bitrate. You can choose to either prioritize image quality or frame rate. We recommend that you configure the target bitrate to a higher value than the expected bitrate. This gives you a margin for additional complexity that needs to be captured.

  1. Target bitrate

Average bitrate (ABR)
With average bitrate, the bitrate is automatically adjusted over a longer timescale. This is so you can meet the specified target and provide the best video quality based on your available storage. Bitrate is higher in scenes with a lot of activity, compared to static scenes. You are more likely to get better image quality when needed when using the average bitrate option. You can define the total storage required to store the video stream for a specified amount of time (retention time) when image quality is adjusted to meet the specified target bitrate. Specify the average bitrate settings in one of the following ways:

  • To calculate the estimated storage need, set the target bitrate and the retention time.

  • To calculate the average bitrate, based on available storage and required retention time, use the target bitrate calculator.

    1. Target bitrate
    2. Actual average bitrate
  • You can also turn on maximum bitrate and specify a target bitrate within the average bitrate option.
    1. Target bitrate
    2. Actual average bitrate

Applications

AXIS Camera Application Platform (ACAP) is an open platform that enables third parties to develop analytics and other applications for Axis products. To find out more about available applications, downloads, trials and licenses, go to axis.com/applications.

To find the user manuals for Axis applications, go to axis.com.

Note
  • Several applications can run at the same time but some applications might not be compatible with each other. Certain combinations of applications might require too much processing power or memory resources when run in parallel. Verify that the applications work together before deployment.
How to download and install an application
How to activate an application licence code on a device

Troubleshooting

Reset to factory default settings

Important

Reset to factory default should be used with caution. A reset to factory default resets all settings, including the IP address, to the factory default values.

To reset the product to the factory default settings:

  1. Disconnect power from the product.

  2. Press and hold the control button while reconnecting power. See Product overview.

  3. Keep the control button pressed for 15–30 seconds until the status LED indicator flashes amber.

  4. Release the control button. The process is complete when the status LED indicator turns green. The product has been reset to the factory default settings. If no DHCP server is available on the network, the default IP address is 192.168.0.90.

  5. Use the installation and management software tools to assign an IP address, set the password, and access the video stream.

    The installation and management software tools are available from the support pages on axis.com/support.

It is also possible to reset parameters to factory default through the web interface. Go to Settings > System > Maintenance and click Default.

Check the current firmware

Firmware is the software that determines the functionality of network devices. One of your first actions when troubleshooting a problem should be to check the current firmware version. The latest version may contain a correction that fixes your particular problem.

To check the current firmware:

  1. Go to the product’s webpage.

  2. Click the help menu .

  3. Click About.

Upgrade the firmware

Important

Preconfigured and customized settings are saved when the firmware is upgraded (provided that the features are available in the new firmware) although this is not guaranteed by Axis Communications AB.

Important

Make sure the product remains connected to the power source throughout the upgrade process.

Note

When you upgrade the product with the latest firmware in the active track, the product receives the latest functionality available. Always read the upgrade instructions and release notes available with each new release before upgrading the firmware. To find the latest firmware and the release notes, go to axis.com/support/firmware.

AXIS Device Manager can be used for multiple upgrades. Find out more at axis.com/products/axis-device-manager.

How to upgrade the firmware
  1. Download the firmware file to your computer, available free of charge at axis.com/support/firmware.

  2. Log in to the product as an administrator.

  3. Go to Settings > System > Maintenance. Follow the instructions on the page. When the upgrade has finished, the product restarts automatically.

Technical issues, clues and solutions

If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, try the troubleshooting section at axis.com/support.

Problems upgrading the firmware

Firmware upgrade failure

If the firmware upgrade fails, the device reloads the previous firmware. The most common reason is that the wrong firmware file has been uploaded. Check that the name of the firmware file corresponds to your device and try again.

Problems setting the IP address

The device is located on a different subnet

If the IP address intended for the device and the IP address of the computer used to access the device are located on different subnets, you cannot set the IP address. Contact your network administrator to obtain an IP address.

The IP address is being used by another device

Disconnect the Axis device from the network. Run the ping command (in a Command/DOS window, type ping and the IP address of the device):

  • If you receive: Reply from <IP address>: bytes=32; time=10... this means that the IP address may already be in use by another device on the network. Obtain a new IP address from the network administrator and reinstall the device.

  • If you receive: Request timed out, this means that the IP address is available for use with the Axis device. Check all cabling and reinstall the device.

Possible IP address conflict with another device on the same subnet

The static IP address in the Axis device is used before the DHCP server sets a dynamic address. This means that if the same default static IP address is also used by another device, there may be problems accessing the device.

The device cannot be accessed from a browser

Cannot log in

When HTTPS is enabled, ensure that the correct protocol (HTTP or HTTPS) is used when attempting to log in. You may need to manually type http or https in the browser’s address field.

If the password for the user root is lost, the device must be reset to the factory default settings. See Reset to factory default settings.

The IP address has been changed by DHCP

IP addresses obtained from a DHCP server are dynamic and may change. If the IP address has been changed, use AXIS IP Utility or AXIS Device Manager to locate the device on the network. Identify the device using its model or serial number, or by the DNS name (if the name has been configured).

If required, a static IP address can be assigned manually. For instructions, go to axis.com/support.

Certificate error when using IEEE 802.1X

For authentication to work properly, the date and time settings in the Axis device must be synchronized with an NTP server. Go to Settings > System > Date and time.

The device is accessible locally but not externally

To access the device externally, we recommend using one of the following applications for Windows®:

  • AXIS Companion: free of charge, ideal for small systems with basic surveillance needs.

  • AXIS Camera Station: 30-day trial version free of charge, ideal for small to mid-size systems.

For instructions and download, go to axis.com/vms.

Problems with streaming

Multicast H.264 only accessible by local clients

Check if your router supports multicasting, or if the router settings between the client and the device need to be configured. The TTL (Time To Live) value may need to be increased.

No multicast H.264 displayed in the client

Check with your network administrator that the multicast addresses used by the Axis device are valid for your network.

Check with your network administrator to see if there is a firewall preventing viewing.

Poor rendering of H.264 images

Ensure that your graphics card is using the latest driver. The latest drivers can usually be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.

Color saturation is different in H.264 and Motion JPEG

Modify the settings for your graphics adapter. Go to the adapter’s documentation for more information.

Lower frame rate than expected

  • See Performance considerations.

  • Reduce the number of applications running on the client computer.

  • Limit the number of simultaneous viewers.

  • Check with the network administrator that there is enough bandwidth available.

  • Lower the image resolution.

  • Log in to the device’s webpage and set a capture mode that prioritizes frame rate. Changing the capture mode to prioritize frame rate might lower the maximum resolution depending on the device used and capture modes available.

  • The maximum frames per second is dependent on the utility frequency (60/50 Hz) of the Axis device.

Performance considerations

When setting up your system, it is important to consider how various settings and situations affect the performance. Some factors affect the amount of bandwidth (the bitrate) required, others can affect the frame rate, and some affect both. If the load on the CPU reaches its maximum, this also affects the frame rate.

The following factors are the most important to consider:

  • High image resolution or lower compression levels result in images containing more data which in turn affects the bandwidth.

  • Rotating the image in the GUI will increase the product's CPU load.

  • Access by large numbers of Motion JPEG or unicast H.264 clients affects the bandwidth.

  • Simultaneous viewing of different streams (resolution, compression) by different clients affects both frame rate and bandwidth.

    Use identical streams wherever possible to maintain a high frame rate. Stream profiles can be used to ensure that streams are identical.

  • Accessing Motion JPEG and H.264 video streams simultaneously affects both frame rate and bandwidth.

  • Heavy usage of event settings affects the product’s CPU load which in turn affects the frame rate.

  • Using HTTPS may reduce frame rate, in particular if streaming Motion JPEG.

  • Heavy network utilization due to poor infrastructure affects the bandwidth.

  • Viewing on poorly performing client computers lowers perceived performance and affects frame rate.

  • Running multiple AXIS Camera Application Platform (ACAP) applications simultaneously may affect the frame rate and the general performance.

Specifications

Product overview

  1. Network connector
  2. SD card slot
  3. Control button
  4. Bracket
  5. Spring
  6. Mounting bracket
  7. Side lid
  8. Conduit adapter
  9. Locking clip
  10. Grounding screw
  11. Unit casing
  12. LED indicator
  13. Dome cover
  14. Weather shield

LED indicators

Note

The Status LED can be configured to flash while an event is active.

Status LEDIndication
Unlit

Connection and normal operation.

Green

Shows steady green for 10 seconds for normal operation after startup completed.

Amber

Steady during startup. Flashes during firmware upgrade or reset to factory default.

Amber/Red

Flashes amber/red if network connection is unavailable or lost.

SD card slot

NOTICE
  • Risk of damage to SD card. Do not use sharp tools, metal objects, or excessive force when inserting or removing the SD card. Use your fingers to insert and remove the card.
  • Risk of data loss and corrupted recordings. Do not remove the SD card while the product is running. Unmount the SD card from the product’s webpage before removal.

This product supports microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC cards.

For SD card recommendations, see axis.com.

microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC Logos are trademarks of SD-3C LLC. microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC are trademarks or registered trademarks of SD-3C, LLC in the United States, other countries or both.

Buttons

Control button

Connectors

Network connector

RJ45 Ethernet connector with Power over Ethernet (PoE).