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Axis' modular camera systems have long been a popular choice for flexible and cost-effective monitoring.

The modular design allows the 'eye' (sensor) to be placed in a separate location from the 'brain' (main unit) providing more installation possibilities to fit the cameras into tight spaces such as ATMs or onboard vehicles. Providing a versatile alternative to a multi-camera system, it's no surprise that Axis have expanded their product portfolio to include more network cameras with this design.

The latest generation of these modular cameras is the Axis F91 series, consisting of two main units (the four-port F9114 and the single-port F9111) and five distinct sensors.

How do these new units differ?

Axis' previous three F series cameras, each feature this modular design, connecting to a range of separate sensor units to create a customisable monitoring solution. The F91 series is no different and offers the same functionality as expected from previous models but with a range of interesting improvements that are mainly geared towards onboard surveillance. Each main unit and sensor are rugged, making them suitable for transportation or machinery. Utilising plastic-coated, impact-resistant connections (SMA-FAKRA) commonly seen in the automotive industry in both the main units and the sensors, these modular cameras are designed to withstand vibrations that may impede footage or damage the hardware.

Monitoring in motion: reliable surveillance in transportation

Buses, trams and emergency vehicles need reliable surveillance that can withstand vibrations and impacts, whilst capturing clear video in variable light conditions. The F91 series has a solution for this in the form of its F2115-R varifocal and F2135-RE fisheye sensors. Both equipped with an IR-cut filter for 24-hour functionality and ruggedised against the effect of vibrations, these sensors are ideal for use in transportation. The F2115-R can be mounted onto a wall, ceiling or parapet with one additional accessory and its viewing angle can be set between 56° and 107°, ideal for narrow train carriages or ambulances. The 185° fisheye lens on the F2135-RE offers an overview that can be beneficial when monitoring bus aisles or taxis.

Keep an eye on production from anywhere

Remote monitoring of production lines and machinery is key to operational efficiency and quality manufacturing, with a wide 108° horizontal viewing angle, robust IP66/67 aluminium casing and resistance to vibrations, the fixed focal F2105-RE, using the F9114 4-channel main unit, is the ideal sensor for use in factories. Installing up to four F2105-RE sensors along a production line allows an operator to ensure that everything is running smoothly without even setting foot on the manufacturing floor.

Customisable monitoring of sterile environments

Sterile environments such as food production and hospitals require a camera that is resistant to strong jets of hot water, shocks and vibrations and the IP6K9K-rated F4105-LRE sensor is just that. With a default view of 111° and the option to install exchangeable M12 lenses, this sensor is designed for flexible monitoring of sterile applications. The sensor also features up to 10m IR illumination, enabling detailed video to be captured in complete darkness – useful for 24-hour monitoring of hospital wards.

Easily fits into tight spaces

With a width of 24 mm the thumb-sized F7225-RE sensor is designed to fit into even the tightest of spaces, allowing it to blend seamlessly into the background and offer unobtrusive monitoring. Though small in size, this sensor captures a wide area with a 97° viewing angle, suitable for installation in ATMs or vending machines.

Sensor round-up

With five unique sensors to choose from, all equipped for, but not limited to, specific applications, the F91 modular camera series is one of Axis' most flexible camera systems to date. Here is a round-up of the sensors to help you compare them and find the best one for your requirements:

Model Number F2105-RE F2115-R F2135-RE F4105-LRE F7225-RE
Outdoor/indoor indoor Outdoor/indoor Outdoor/indoor Outdoor/indoor
HD 1080p or 720p (main unit dependent) HD 1080p or 720p (main unit dependent) HD 1080p or 720p (main unit dependent) HD 1080p or 720p (main unit dependent) HD 1080p or 720p (main unit dependent)
Viewing angle
Fixed: 108° Varifocal: 56° - 107° Fisheye: 185° Fixed: 111° (exchangeable lenses available) Fixed: 97°
IR illumination
no no no yes, 10m no
IP66-, IP67-, IP6K9K, NEMA 4X-rated aluminium IP50-rated aluminium IP66-, IP67-, IP6K9K, NEMA 4X-rated aluminium IK10-, IP66, IP67-, and IP6K9K-rated plastic IP66/67-rated aluminium front plastic rear
ø 29.8 mm x 46 mm ø 29.8 mm x 50 mm ø 29.8 mm x 46 mm ø 112 mm x 54.4 mm 45 x 25 x 20 mm
Example use cases
Factories, production lines, manufacturing floors and machinery Buses, trains, taxis and emergency vehicles Buses, trains, taxis and emergency vehicles Hospitals, food production, nursing homes Vending machines, ATMs, points of sale

Flexibility is Key

There are many benefits to using a modular camera system, some of which are outlined in our blog post: 5 reasons to choose a modular IP camera system. A key benefit is that sensors can be fitted up to 30m away from the main unit with a choice of cable length (1m, 8m and 30m) available. Although sold separately from the sensors and main units, this does give users the freedom to purchase the exact cable length they require for each sensor. This is particularly helpful for applications such as production lines or self-service checkouts in which multiple sensor units need to be placed at different distances from the main unit. You can also remotely monitor all cameras from the Axis Companion mobile application or a licenced VMS, allowing you to view live and recorded footage from almost anywhere.

Another advantage to a modular system is the fact that multiple camera views can be captured from one unit: A popular question among IP camera users is whether it is more beneficial to install multiple cameras or a panoramic camera to view a larger or busier area – we explored the benefits and drawbacks of both options in our blog Beyond the Datasheet: Panoramic VS Multi-IP camera system. However, modular units such as the F91 series could provide a third alternative that enables both the versatile scene coverage of multiple cameras and the benefits of a single camera unit. Modular cameras not only have the ability to manage multiple sensors on a single VMS licence, but the decentralised design also offers greater flexibility and requires only one network connection. Overall, these modular cameras present a lower cost of ownership than a system with multiple standard cameras.

So many options in one compact unit

Modular camera solutions offer a versatile alternative to installing multiple cameras or one panoramic unit with the freedom to place sensors in narrow or hard-to-reach spaces, Axis has an ever-growing range of modular cameras, with their latest F91 range building upon its predecessors with more ruggedised sensor options that broaden the possible use cases of the system. These units can connect with up to four sensors on a single VMS licence and the sensors can be placed up to 30m away from the main unit – making them the ideal choice for use in transportation, manufacturing or even hospitals. We are excited to see what application could benefit from this new range, and if you would like help designing and purchasing your modular camera system, please contact us.

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