|Panasonic Wireless 802.11 b/g Network Camera and Pet Cam (BL-C30A)
|List Price: $299.00
Our Price: $215.00
You Save: $84.00 (28%)
Place the Panasonic BL-C30A Wireless Network Camera on a WLAN in your home or office and view it from a remote location--anywhere. Just go to your permanent assigned site!
These cameras can be viewed and controlled from a standard Web browser, video display, or even a compatible cell phone or PDA. Place them in your home, office, vacation home or almost anywhere else that you'd like to keep an eye on things, with no PC required on location! They are easy to install and operate and require no additional software for the PC that you're viewing them on. Each camera also comes with a free Web address, which can track the camera automatically. All you need is a regular Web browser to view them on your PC, as all of the other required software, including control software (TCP/UDP) and e-mail software (SMTP), is already inside the camera.
This camera can communicate wirelessly with standard 802.11b or 802.11g wireless devices, allowing the flexibility to install and operate the camera without running network wires, and utilizing SSID filtering and powerful 40/64/128 bit WEP encryption helps to protect your wireless network from illegal intrusion.
Just plug-n-play with auto configuration. Once connected, using a simple Web browser, just enter in your free, permanent Web address which comes with the camera and you can see and move the camera! It's that simple.
With the built-in heat sensor, the camera can be set to record and/or notify you by email when someone enters the room. It can even automatically move to a preset location when triggered, just in case someone was viewing a different part of the room.
With the built in Privacy mode, your privacy is protected by simply pressing a button. An indicator on the front of the camera turns red, and you know at a glance that the camera is now only accessible by you2. The camera can also be set up to show a green light when the camera is being accessed.
- Record to a Web Site or Hard Drive
- 802.11b Wireless Technology
- Receive Email from the Camera
- Compact design with hideable lens, for added comfort and privacy
- Automatically upload images to an FTP server or Web page -- images can be viewed by 30 users at once
This is a great little camera. It can easily be moved to different locations without having to re-install its software. For the money it really cannot be beaten. If I had a wish it would be higher pixel resolution and better low light capabilities. But then it would not be as affordable. I am very happy with my purchase. ...more info
- wireless camera
This camera is excelent!! I have tried in the past Dlink's and linksys's, and they are ok, but with this one I can point wherever I want to see.
I can also zooom easy by moving the center wheel on my mouse.
This one have no mic (no sound), there is one for 60.00 more that can provide that feature if needed.
- Impressive device
This is the second Panasonic network camera I've purchased. One wired (BL-C10) and now wireless (BL-C30). They both perform great on my home network. I have one configured as a security monitor that emails me at work should anyone enter the monitored zone and it also sends the event photos to an off site server. The other is for distant family members who want to surf over and see what's happening on the family farm....more info
- good all-round net camera
i did alot of research for a net camera and decided to go w/ blc30a because of its wireless feature, design, and price(of course, panasonic brand). I'ev had it for over 3 months already, so far, it runs really well. The setting is quite abit confusing but if you follow the instruction, it shouldn't be hard to set up the wireless part of the camera. the pam and tilt on this camera is nice. if only the video were 30fps instead of 15fps.
3.5/5 stars...more info
- Does not support WPA, only WEP encryption
In other words, if your wireless network uses WPA encryption, you'll need the BL-C131 (unless you intend on using this camera by wiring it to your router directly). I wish Panasonic or Amazon's websites had provided that information somewhere, before I started installing the software (you will need a Windows machine, as there is no Mac OS version - what is up with that too?). No plans from Panasonic to include WPA encryption in firmware updates....more info
- Great product, very nice piece of art!
I bought this as "Used", but like new condition, the product is amazing, easy to configure, a lot of functions to play around, very nice user interface, I integrated into my website, looks great. First I used wired mode to configure it, then switch to wireless mode, it worked instantly. The product was registered with [...] by previous owner, I was not able to change the registration since I don't have the password, then I simply disabled viewnetcam.com and used dyndns.org free dynDNS service, not the big deal. I am very pleased with this purchase, and glad to have such great quality camera....more info
- Cool and good clarity BUT only WEP, no WPA support
I think this is a fine camera for the money. Sets up very easily and works fine, but it's best to have an up-to-date router that can handle the load. The main problem is the security is only WEP, not WPA2 (the newest standard) and that is not a good thing. PC World reviewed this and said that it is very easy for someone to look in, though how they can do that without my password I don't know. Still,a good camera with decent enough clarity in lighted areas, not good in the dark, but easy and fun to use....more info
- wireless panasonic internet camera
This camera is wonderful in picture quality and all other features. It has no audio, but that's ok and i ordered the upgrade version bl'131A and they are both excellent camera's. i would highly recommend either one of these cameras. ...more info
- Great Product
There is about 10 minutes of tech support needed to set it up for a wireless router, but tech support is outstanding. Calling 800-272-7033 and stating 'IP camera' results in only about one minute of wait time, and the tech support staff is great. Setting yourself up as the administrator enables you to assign user accounts to family members that you want to have only limited access to the images. They go to a website to view the images, and for privacy you can turn their access on/off easily, or turn Internet access off altogether....more info
- Good product, make sure your internet service provides you with a static IP address.
Without a static IP address you will NOT be able to view the camera from the internet. Outside of that it is a good product. The customer support on this is terrible though. You are on your own....more info
- if you want it to work with a smartphone, try something else
it works with a smartphone, but only with still images...a key detail not mentioned in any of the marketing materials. if you want streaming video to your smartphone while on the road, this is not the product for you....more info
- Serves its purpose but could be better
I purchased this unit to allow my wife and I to check up on our baby/nanny while we're away. When I purchased this unit I had some minor issues getting it to work with my wireless network but eventually I got it up and running. My major issues with this camera is its lack of wireless security (it only supports WEP). In addition to the lack of wireless security I'm also having an issue viewing streaming video from my camera remotely. In order to view images I have to setup the camera to have a three second refresh rate. The weird thing is I'm able to view streaming video once per PC but after that I get a white screen with an error like (Error 2000/13004). I though it was a browser issue but I've had this issue on IE6. IE7 and firefox. I even tried clearing my cache, cookies, etc. but nothing worked. I even bypassed my firewall but still no luck!
I've contacted Panasonic support and unfortunately they were unable to help resolve my issue. I did learn that this model utilizes motion JPEGS to stream video but the new model (131A) uses MPEG4 and has one way audio!
All in all the camera is okay if you could get it to work with streaming video over the Internet. It has some really nice features such as the ability to store images from motion detection internally or upload them to an FTP server or even email they to you. I wish the unit was a little cheaper but besides that it's an okay unit.
This Made in Malysia webcam is competely useless, it is very fregaile and whorth $67, not 267!!
Be careful, these rate five star may be work for Pana co
Be careful, you have spend 330 for retuer, and another 333 for DLS and about 100 for cables, totally cost about 1000!!!!, though it competely does not work well...more info
- So far so good...
Easy to set up under linux - I used wine for the first steps of the installation and then realized I could most of it from the camera's built-in web server. Nice...
Image quality is nice. The ability to change parameters such as image quality on the fly from the web interface is very convenient.
The heat sensing/live movement detection feature works like a charm. You can even configure it to take a series of stills when it's triggered.
The pan/tilt feature is great -- I find myself wishing it could pan a bit further to the left and right but... I also find myself wishing that it had infrared capability (night vision) and high quality optical zoom and...that it would make breakfast for me in the morning, etc... Frankly, it does the job quite well given the price.
Wireless range doesn't seem to be an issue - the camera is at one end of the house and the router at the other end -- haven't had any problems with them seeing each other. By the way, it retains its configuration when powered up and down - seems like an obvious feature a camera should have - but I figured it might be worth noting this one can be in the box for days on end and then plugged back in and it retains its settings...
In short, I recommend it - I haven't been let down thus far. ...more info
- Excellent low cost IP camera choice
Very easy to set up (took less than 30 minutes from opening the box to watching live the images).
Great value. Works exactly as promissed. If you need better image quality, consider cameras with price starting at USD1,000. IF not, this is the best you can get for under USD 500.
Viewnetcam site is easy to set up and is 100% free, different from Lynksys that charges you after one year...
Definetly will get the newer version with sound......more info
- Obsolete security
This camera doesn't support the newer form of wireless security (WPA), but only the older and no-longer-secure WEP. In order to use this camera on my wireless network, I'd have to use the outdated WEP for the entire network, not just the camera.
- Panasonic Wireless 802.11 b/g Network Camera (BL-C30A)
I purchased this camera for the purposes of using it to monitor my house while at work. After getting the camera to work by changing my router security to a less secure setting, I thought I could live with that.
When I got to work the next day, our IT security has the settings set to not allow Active X plugins. This made the camera useless as I was not able to view any of the images that it produced.
The set-up was pretty straight forward except for the security settings drawback. The software worked well for setting up the angle and viewing of objects with the camera and was overall pretty good.
- Poor Performer
Camera very slow to respond to commands. Needs to be reset almost daily. Picture quality not as good as my other Linksys 54G cameras. Can't connect at all most of the time....more info
- Easy to set up and works great.
I just purchased this camera to use to keep an eye on my elderly parents. I followed the instructions to the letter and all went exactly as it should. The web viewing feature is especially good. The image quality is excellent and the entire set-up is far better than my previous set-up of trying to use a cheap webcam and yahoo messenger. A couple tips. Panasonic no longer makes this camera although it remains widely available. They have come out with a new version, the BLC-131 wireless. Tech support told me that it is the "same camera with more features." I have actually purchased a second camera since this one worked so well. You will encounter problems if your ISP blocks port 80 or plays other tricks to discourage you from runner a web server. Also, make sure your router is new enough to support UPnP, and that it is enabled before you try to set up the camera. Great product. ...more info
- Good WebCam at Reasonble Price
This is my 4th BL-C30A camera. They have all given good service. We use them for remote security monitoring of our home, and they do the job just fine. If you are knowledgeable about networks, port forwarding, assigning IPs, MAC addresses, wireless modes, setting encryption keys, etc. you will have no trouble setting this camera up. If not, you'll need to read the manual carefully, and read your router/access point manual carefully. Or get a friend who knows all this to help you set it up. One wrong setting in the camera or your router, firewall, or access point and it won't work (not the fault of the camera - you just have to know what you're doing). Best to set it up wired via a LAN cable to your router first, then go wireless. Once set up, they provide good coverage via the pan and tilt controls, and - if selected to do so - will send you an e-mail and/or a snapshot of a picture when motion is detected. They are not rated for exterior use, but they will work outdoors if not in direct sunlight and not subjected to extreme heat or moisture. Cold does not seem to hurt them, but I lost one to heat after several months in direct sunlight. I have had another one under a patio in the shade for almost a year with no ill efects. They also have the ability to recognize a connection from a mobile device such as a PDA or cell phone with internet capability. They will send you a snapshot picture instead of streaming video (thus holding down connection costs), and you can then move the camera using your preset buttons and get another snapshot. It does not have exceptional night vision, but if you have outdoor lighting or motion activated floodlights, it sees well enough to tell you what's going on. This camera is priced about right for the features you get. ...more info
- Watched our Mare half a world a way
My wife wanted to watch our Mare to see if she would give birth to a foal. We had a vacation/business trip to Germany, the Panasonic Wireless camera performed great. The reason I purchased wireless was because I did not have network to our barn, about 150 feet, unfortunately the camera did not pick up the wireless signal at that distance. With little time left before we had to go I ran a network cable and plugged it into the camera. We mounted the camera above the stall, the image is very usable, although not great. My wife put a laptop next to the bed and ran the connection all night long, never a problem. Panning the camera is a great plus, digital zoom just made the blockyness bigger, not very usesful. The camera as been working for over 4 weeks and still going without any problems. I wished we had sound, I did not find any cameras without spending at least double the cost of this camera, for us sound was a wish not a need. As a plan B for the watching a foal I hooked up a usb webcam a PC and used skype with auto answer and always send video settings on, the skype solution worked with some sound but you need a PC running and the webcam did not pan or tilt.
Overall no bad experiences, I'd put the range as under 100 feet, I'd recommend under 75, having the wired connection is a good fallback option. Software is a little clunky may take some time to figure out how to do what you want it to do....more info
- Does NOT support WAP
This is a good product in general but it does not support WAP encryption, which has become the standard !...more info
- This DOES have Zoom functionality
Nice Camera.....contrary to what it says in the spec sheets this camera does in fact have Zoom functionality built in. I was pleasantly suprised when it worked via the web. I have had some issues with the video streaming correctly via wireless forcing some users to change the refresh rate from pure motion to 3 second intervals which seemed to fix the issue but when I log on from a hardwired PC...the video part works flawlessly. Pan tilt range is fantastic...good Camera for the $$
Panasonuic support was really really good...my issue had more to do with my Router than the camera--they were over the top patient and competent....more info
- Great camera; easy to use
Just installed this camera at my office to monitor our office cat overnight. The set up was very easy and I got it on the internet quickly. I made one error with my SSID entry, but quickly discovered my problem and the software made the correction a breeze. The website(viewnetcam.com) works well, but does require a few more steps to log on than the Linksys site, but it's free, the Linksys site requires a small annual fee.
My earlier camera was the Linksys WVC54GC. It offered a much lower resolution picture and did not operate well with the small lamp I used to illuminate the area in question. Also, I had much more trouble configuring the Linksys, albeit, I may be more skilled this time around with the Panasonic.
I had also considered the Linksys WVC200, but after this fine experience, I'll take the Linksys off my wishlist and may buy yet another Panasonic....more info
- Excellent IP Cam
A little high priced. Would own more if it were closer to $200.00
Great IP Cam.
- Good value for money
Remarkable functionality for price. Worked out of box with minimal instruction. Had issue with DSL router not supporting UpNp, solved by placing camera directly in DMZ zone, forcing a restart of camera every 7 days when IP address lease expired and network assigned new address.
Good low light vision, almost entertainment watching customers come and go in shop where installed as a security device.
Notification of movement detected by EMail appears very effecient. ...more info
- I recommend you to buy
This wireless camera is very good and the product satisfied my expectancy. Recently I bought another one. It's easy to install and the software is very friendly. The [...] is good and free for everybody whom acquire a Panasonic Camera. The Viewnetcam Site is a good help to put your camera available on the WEB. The quality of the image is good, but at night is better some light is on. I bought the first camera in the last Christmas and from this date the product has worked all time and I never had to reset the camera nor the router. I would like to have the "2-way audio" feature in this model, because the Panasonic Wireless Camera that have this feature is an outdoor camera (for me it is not necessary) and besides it, the price is the double....more info
- Great Camera! Can't go wrong.
This camera is GREAT! The viewnetcam website is great too. Even the software is great, although it is a limited version (they want to spend $400 on the full version). To those who said it's hard to set up or that the customer service is bad - it definitely helps to have a LITTLE knowledge of network configuration, but I got through all the little glitches (port forwarding?!) with the help of a VERY knowledgeable and helpful Panasonic customer service tech guy in just a few hours. A small price to pay for such great technology without spending thousands of dollars. After that - PERFECT!! I now have four of these guys, and for $100 I bought a program called View Commander Mobile to view them all seamlessly from my pocket pc enabled with EVDO. One con - no "night vision". But I have a pretty bright streetlight in front of my house so the night picture is merely "good enough". If I wanted better I'd expect to spend a LOT more. 4 cameras running 24/7 for over a month without a single problem....more info
- This Needs to be Much Simpler!!
I have spent over 4 hours trying to get the camera working. Part of my problem is that my router was not set for UPnP and I had to resent my router because I forgot my router password. I then changed the router to UPnP.
However after fixing that I still was unable to get it to connect. I have been calling the "for assistante, please call" number all day and it is busy. Not even a recording - just a busy signal. They must have one Cheepastani answering calls! I have had great luck with Panasonic products and I am going to get this to work if it kills me. I will call that number until I get through. However, unless you are really committed and are willing to work on this for hours, I wouldn't buy this product....more info
- 4 and a half stars
I am absolutely thrilled with this camera. Definitely worth the money. I may consider purchasing another one or two for other locations.
I have it inside and pointing out a double-paned glass window. It works very well through the window (little or no glare) and the picture clarity is very good (not quite perfect, but still very good!).
I had no difficulty setting it up or configuring it. Total time from opening the box to having the wireless completely up and running was less than 20 minutes.
The reason I took away half a star was because the images at night are very grainy. There is a very bright streetlight outside that does illuminate a small area, but the rest of the picture is just too grainy to really see anything clearly (like faces). However, you can still identify figures as humans and animals are easy to identify too.
The software that comes with it is simple to use, and it is very easy to manipulate the camera. It also will take still photos that can be saved to the computer you are accessing the camera from. Accessing the camera online was no issue either and I have had success using both the IE and Firefox browsers.
If you intend to use this camera for nighttime monitoring outside, I wouldn't purchase it, unless the lighting is almost as bright as day. For daytime though, this camera is awesome and I would recommend it to anyone.
I highly recommend this camera- kudos to Panasonic for making a quality and affordable product like this....more info
- Great Features
I'm very happy with this purchase. The camera worked great and had more features that I realized and a good web interface to view and administer the camera. I'm using the camera to monitor a ski cabin and it's temperature with a therometer next to it. (The heater went out recently and I was worried it would occur again and freeze the pipes..). The pan feature is essential to view the room and thermometer.
The basic features of the camera were fairly easy to setup if you have some experience with home networking. The wirless security with wep security worked the first try. The imaging is fine for basic use. I especially like the ability to buffer (store) images at any time interval and motion detection. The only trouble I have had is sending an email alert when motion is detected. The camera does not support secure email authentication (e.g. over ssl) which my service provider requires....more info
- Worked for 30 minutes
Worked for 30 minutes while I was setting up wired connection and then died: it does not pan or tilt, the light is flashing yellow, reset button does not change anything. Panasonic CS said it was defective... go figure....more info
- Does the job!
I have two of the BL-C30A. Better than the LinkySys and DDNS is free! Good Low light capability for a CMOS pickup. Video quality w/PTZ is satisfactory for simple monitoring of the home while I'm away. Wish there was a same cost version for outdoor use..not willing to pay 600+ for the HCM.
deduct 1/2 star: The setup interface is cumbersome but simple to use. Typical of Japanese products , the english translation can be confusing or misleading, requiring one to do a double take.
deduct 1/2 star: price, but Panasonic has cheaper versions that can do the same job,but w/o PTZ.
- Network Camera (BL-C30A)
This is a great wireless camera. Picturer quality is OK (not the best but OK) I now have four of the cameras. ...more info
- You get what you pay for!
There are cheaper cameras out there, but take a look at what this camera does. It has a built in sensor (like a real security system) and pan/tilt. With other cameras you also get cheap software and very complicated instructions for setting up the camera. I installed this camera easily and it works exactly as advertised. Don't waste your money on the other brands. I bought a cheaper camera and the motion detection did not work and the company could not help me. Panasonic really took their product seriously when they designed the hardware, software and even their viewnetcam website. I will never buy another brand. Panasonic is the only company really taking the development of internet cameras seriously. ...more info
- good camera for inside use
Pan and tilt functions very good. Relatively easy to install. Not compatible with Linksys cameras as it will not permit mixed use.
- Great little camera - Panasonic BL-C30A
Love this little camera. I was looking for something to monitor my vacation home while away and this wireless unit was just the ticket! Setup was fairly easy and documentation was good. Now I can check my vacation place while away. I set it inside on a window sill and can pan inside or out. I set up an inside/outside temperature guage near it and can look at the temps anytime both inside and out as well as check on my dock and look at the lake. Only problem is that every time I look I want to be there! Many friends and co-workers plan to get one now too after I showed them mine....more info
- Unreliable Camera . Must unplug it constantly to reset.
I bought this camera to monitor a home in Montana from another state as it gets VERY cold there and pipes can freeze. It is supposed to work without a static IP address, but doesn't in my case. We have wireless internet access in this area (not cabled or DSL). When trying to view the camera, the router for the wireless tower stops you from getting in to see the camera images. As an alternative, I was told I could create a website and have the camera flip photos via FTP on a regular basis to my website until a static IP address could become available to me. I went to all the trouble and expense to do so and 5 days later got it all working with a lot of help from my ISP. Left the state to go back home feeling confident that I could monitor the temps in the house every day. Only 3 days after I leave, the camera freezes and stops working all together. I contacted someone at my ISP who uses the same camera regularly for his own website and was told that the camera freezes often and they have to regularly unplug it (at least weekly) to get it to reset and start working again. Wish they had mentioned that in the first place and I would have not bothered! Since I am in another state, I am not available to unplug it all the time, so the best I can hope for is a power outage to reset the camera. Panasonic Support was NOT helpful at all since they were completely shut down for the entire week of New Years for the "Holiday". Well I've got news for them...the Holiday is ONE day not SEVEN. DO NOT buy this camera unless you don't mind unplugging it all the time to get it to reset. DO NOT buy this camera unless you have a lot of time on your hands and the knowledge to set it up. I want a refund, but only have 30 days to return it and I am not going to the expense to fly to Montana to get the camera to package it up and return it. I doubt Amazon will refund the air fare....more info
- Just didn't work too often
When it worked it was fine, but too often my system just would not recognize it. Only thing to do was reinstall it. But that gets tiring real fast. I'm running XP with a new Dell dual core so its not like my systems out of date. Finally gave up and returned it....more info
- Panasonic web camera
Set up the camera over Thanksgiving holiday Nov 2006. I needed to call customer support for assistance. They were very good and helped me complete my setup. I could not use the UPnP feature because of my wireless router, The web site has been easy to access over the past two months however I have not been successful in getting the email alert feature to work as of now. However the picture quality is very good in the daylight and the functions to move the camera also work well, I am very pleased with the reliability of the camera and the website it is accessed through. ...more info
- Great Reliable Cam - Easy to Setup
I did research for 4 months looking for a Camara that will allow me to monitor my kids from work so that I wont miss anything that is going on in my house. I read many reviews out there regarding other camaras and so far I found this Panasonic BL-C30 to be the best for my needs. The product was very easy to setup with my wireless router at home. The public web interface to control the camara from the internet is was very easy to install and its does the job.The Pan and Tilt is awsome. However, there is no Zoom feature on this camara only on the BL-C20 (no pan and tilt on lower model). This is so far a good investment. It comes with software that will allow you to record to your hard drive on customizable settings suck as hear sensors. I recommend this product. Will buy other panasonic camaras in the future to expand my network of wireless camaras....more info
- Just ok
Finally i had to purchase a fix IP address, I understood that a variable IP could work but no.
Everything else is fine. Resolution is fair....more info
- smooth installation and reliable connection
The installation is as smooth as it can be. The quality of the picture is great and the remote viewing is a bargain for the price opf $270....more info
- Satisfactory results
The Panasonic wireless Network Camera BL-30A is easy to setup (except internet, haven't gotten this to work yet) and easy to use. The only other issue I have is the weak signal strength even with a wireless extender next to it. Great camera for roaming areas....more info
- Nice camera for the price. Works great on a Mac
I compared the feature sets of a number of cameras and only the Panasonic had the wireless + pan/tilt for under $300. Video quality is good with decent lighting, but expect to see "Christmas light" pixels in poor lighting. As some of the other reviewers have said, don't be fooled by the documentation that states "Windows Required". It will work fine on your Mac OS X. Here are step-by-step instructions for setting it up using a Mac (don't worry, the steps go by quickly!):
1) Plug-in camera to AC and hold down the "reset" pin with a pen. My computer would not recognize the camera until I physically reset it.
2) Make sure camera switch is set to "wired".
3) Connect the camera via Ethernet cable to you Mac.
4) Temporarily give your Mac the manual IP address 192.168.0.5 and subnet 255.255.255.0 in the Network Prefs.
5) Connect to the camera using Safari at address 192.168.0.253 - you should be able to see the settings page now.
6) Click through the setup but say "No" when it asks if you want to "go on the internet". This will make it try to find your router (which is not on the network) so don't do it.
7) Enter 192.168.0.253 in Safari once again and it should take you to the Network Camera page. You should have access to the camera controls after you click the "Single" tab at the top of the page. But we're not done yet.
8) Click the Setup tab on right side of the tabbed toobar.
9) Click Static IP to load the static ip address page for the camera
10) Uncheck the "Enable" checkbox at the top. This is for Windows setup.
11) Enter an IP address in your wireless network. My network is 192.168.2.x so I gave my camera 192.168.2.253.
12) Enter your router's address in the Default Gateway field. Example: 192.168.2.1. If you don't do this, your camera will not be accessible from outside your wireless network!
13) Click the Wireless tab on the left navigation bar of the camera page.
14) For SSID enter the exact name of your network. This is the name you gave your wireless router when you set it up. It appears under the Airport signal strength menu with a checkbox next to it.
15) If you have security (and you should!), enter you WEP Key. Be sure to make the right selection for your wep key (ASCII, HEX, etc).
16) Click Save.
17) Edit other settings such as Date and Time
18) Disconnect the ethernet cable from the camera.
19) Flip the camera switch from Wired to Wireless
20) Unplug the camera power, replug camera power (to restart it)
21) The camera should now go through it's blinking light procedure and if all is well you'll get a solid green light.
22) Go to your Network Prefs and set your computer back to using your wireless router.
23) You should now be able to access your camera at the address 192.168.2.253 wirelessly now.
24) Your router blocks traffic from the internet to your camera so you cannot view the camera from outside your network. To access your camera from the internet you'll neet to open a port on your router that maps to your camera. This can be done by setting up a "Virtual Server" (aka port forwarding) on the router. See your router's instructions for mapping a virtual server to your camera's IP and port.
Happy viewing......more info
- Happy until I changed routers
The camera is as advertised; the wireless and web-functionality is great; and it's compatible with WEP & MAC filtering security (802.11g). That was fine until I changed routers, and I now use WPA security ... which this camera cannot handle. So, until there is a firmware upgrade, or I decide to run wires (not likely), it's just on a shelf....more info
- Good but not secured
This BL-C30 is very easy to set up because it has the auto-configuration. The Dynamic DNS service is very handy too. While my wife and I were away from home for a month last time, I used it to monitor my home once in a while. However, there are 2 things you may need to consider:
1) It only supports WEP's open system. No shared key, no WPA.
2) No microphone (Toshiba ones have it)
3) The device won't work if your wireless router uses different default gateways for LAN and WLAN. It assumes that LAN and WLAN uses the same one, e.g. 192.168.0.1
However, it has more features than the Toshiba like motion & heat sensing, and email alerts. And the look is stylish. Therefore, I still like BL-C30 better....more info
- Great product
This is a great product, very easy to set up, it works perfectly and it has plenty of features. I do have kids at home and this does bring comfort in checking them from work, from my cell phone and to have images recorded in my home computer. Objectives met 110%. ...more info
- Simple & easy to use
Can't say enough about this camera. No specialized software needed, so you can access and control this camera from any computer on the network (or on the internet if you configure it that way). Camera buffers images captured from its motion sensor trigger - which is extremely handy if you've ever experienced those cameras that just capture continuous footage, or those that save triggered footage to the computer only (so you have to be at that specific computer, meanwhile running resource draining software to have the feature work). I use the camera to provide me a log of who came through certain entrances, liked the first so much that I bought a second......more info
- Works Great with Mac OS X Tiger
ORIGINAL REVIEW : If you're a Mac user, ignore the warnings that this netcam requires Windows and Internet Explorer. Nonsense! If you have ever set up a wireless router on your network (and if you are looking at an 802.11 camera then you probably have) then you will have no problem with this device. There are two less-than-obvious things you need to do to get working: 1) hardwire the camera via an Ethernet cable for the initial set up (camera default LAN IP is 192.168.0.253) and 2) download the 114-page PDF Operating Instructions from the Panasonic support page. Ignore the included CD-ROM.
I am using several Macs with OS X Tiger and Firefox and every single feature (there are so many!) works flawlessly. This includes the live video, free DDNS service, FTP uploads, IR motion triggers, etc, etc.
I am a little spoiled by the auto-focused quality of some Webcams like the iSight, so the Panasonic's image quality loses it a single Star rating. But the Panasonic is a true network cam that requires no computer once it is programmed, and that makes it very, very cool.
UPDATE SEPT 28 2006 : This unit keeps getting better. Panasonic updated the firmware for this netcam to Version 1.30 (look for it and the addendum to the operating manual on the product support page). The new firmware provides several neat new features. The most significant may be the addition of image-based motion detection. This is far more versatile and more controllable than the IR heat sensor. It also allows motion detection through a glass window, i.e like when watching the driveway from indoors. The unit can be set to send an email when motion is detected. I could not find a Mac browser that would properly display the motion detection preview image, but this is not necessary to using the motion detection feature....more info
- Pretty Good-Could use sound support
I bought this one after reading the bad reviews of the linksys and the Dlink. It is easy to setup initially for the wired network, then kinda tricky for the wireless and then watching over the internet. The key is to understand your wireless router as UpNp must be enabled, the firewall on your PC during setup must be off and on some routers, things are blocked still unless you have something other than the default password setup and remote management enabled.
Then everything works reasonably well, but only at max of 15 fps. Also no sound. The Dlink and linksys have audio support, so if they get patched, they will become the better buy. Although in my case, talking to the kids, I realized one way audio won't do much good. Even if their audio would come back to me in a faraway place-I have to be on a phone to talk back anyway! So I find the panasonic a good middle ground right now cause I have the kids put my Panasonic portable phone with speaker next to the camera and we are all set....more info
- Very Good Internet Camera
Bought the camera last week. I really like this small camera and it has been working well so far (4 days).
1. easy to set up for the ethernet and wireless connection
2. picture guality is good enough for monitoring purpose
3. sensor, email and ftp features work nicely and easy to
4. the pan/tilt and snapshot etc work well through IE browser
5. can view the real-time snapshot on my Treo 650 smart phone
1. if your isp requires authentication for SMTP relay, you have
to find SMTP for outgoing email that doesn't require
authentication otherwise the email feature won't work
2. tech support is not that helpful. I have to explain to the
guy why email feature won't work unless someone can find a
SMTP server that doesn't require authentication. He doesn't
know well about the setup
Overall, it is a very good internet camera and highly recommend it.
- Best wireless camera I have tried
I have tried three other cameras. Two by Linksys (WVC-54G and WVC200)and one by DLink (DCS-950G. I prefer the Panasonic BL-C30A.
In the other cameras I found the picture quality to be a little better than the Panasonic. However, picture quality does not matter if the camera won't work consistently.
I found the Panasonic camera to be much beter than the others in stability and ease of use.
I do have some experience with networks so maybe it would be easier for me, but I found the setup to be quite easy.
I have successfully used the heat sensor, motion detector, email notification, FTP upload and many other cool features.
One reviewer mentioned that it doesn't have optical zoom. This is true, but the Panasonic does have digital zoom.
Despite what an earlier reviewer said the camera can be used on a network using any channel from 1-11. I have tried five of them (1,2,6,10 and 11).
So, bottom line. It works hard and doesn't fail and provides adequate quality pics....more info
- Great little camera
I bought this camera to keep an eye on my house and baby when I am not home. It is very compact and easy to setup. Now I have it situated and can check in over the web. I especially love the ability to access over the web and administer usernames and passwords for the family.
- Panasonic webcam BL-C30A
The camera produces clear images light control and camera control work good, it is easy to install and operate. The web viewing is very good. Setting the camera up to operate on the web is simple but the Sprint 645m modem requires bridging, this caused some setup challanges. The grand kids wish the web camera produced sound and a voice oontact, we are happy the camera is silent. ...more info
- Great Network and Web Camera
In my first attempt I had trouble with the video on the Linksys 802.11g network camera and wound up returning it. This Panasonic set up fairly easily, even though I use an access point on my DSL and not a router - so I had to improvise and set it up by plugging the network cable directly into the DSL modem - then it all set up and worked fine, even when transferring to Wireless. Once I set up the included and FREE ViewNetCam.com account, it worked on the web away from home without a hitch!
The best part? I have a pocket PC phone and can get a still picture .jpg sent to my phone any time I want! It will refresh and move the lens with ease just by using the web/mobile url.
Very rugged, good quality picture, the only negative is the setup should be clearer for people only using an Access Point, and sound should be included at the price (the Linksys camera I returned had sound, and this is a nice feature I miss having). But, having it on the phone and a quality piece of hardware that is very reliable makes it a real BEST BUY in my book!...more info
- Low Cost High Performance Easy To Use
I bought the Panasonic BL-C30 as a replacement for the Veo Wireless Observer. Both are approximately the same price $299, but can be found priced lower on the Web. There are several issues that make the BL-C30 a superior pick over the Veo as well as other competitors. First is the ease of installation, the BL-C30 uses an Ethernet cable connection for set up while the Veo uses a propriety Rs232 cable. This is one to the reasons I purchased the Veo, because I could not find the cable to reset one of the Veo cameras.
The other advantage of the Panasonic is the software. Both in set up and operation, the BL-C30 performed without problems, not so with the Veo which is problematic in both set up and operation. Bottom line the Panasonic BL-C30 is easy to set up and use and for the price, a good choice for home security. I highly recommend it!...more info
- Panasonic Wireless Network Camers (BL-C30A)
The Panasonic Wireless Network Camera is working great, it was very easy to setup, and the free web service is really cool to view the network camera from any web browser. The only negative about the camera is that in low light conditions the picture is fuzy, I compensated for that by setting up a light with a timer. Overall I am very satisfied, and will probably get another one....more info
- The worst product ever.
I can not even begin to explain how bad the UI, software and manual that came with this wireless web camera are.
I have had it for 2 days and still can not get a single picture out of it. It just absolutely seems to hate every piece of hardware on my network.
When it says it needs Windows XP - it means it. This is not a joke like Linksys or DLink trying to be cheap and only develop the internal server for IE and let Firefox and Safari users suck it up. This thing is an ActiveX monster. It will not deal with OS X, even through VPC - that I can tell.
It seems to NOT want to let internet access happen either. I can get it up and see its internally generated webpages (no pictures tho) - but once I switch it to wireless I can get the login screen and then it just dumps on me
refuses to let me log in.
I hate this camera. I hate it. If I can't get it working by morning - its going back and Amazon can eat it....more info
- Panasonic BL-C30A net camera
We have used the camera for about a month, and it has worked well. Set up was not too bad. Hung it outside on the porch, and in the freezing winter weather, it continued to move and record flawlessly. Good color and image resolution. Wish it had a slightly greater panning width. It was easy to set it to email pictures to me at work if anyone triggered the infrared sensor by coming to our door. Only negative was the software for automated storage of video images didn't work. Must have had a defect in it. Overall, a good security device, and a nice toy. Hope it works as well in a year now as it does now. ...more info
- Internet Camera
Works perfect for my needs. Set up was fairly easy. I wish the instructions from Panasonic were more detailed. Once the camera is up and running, there is no recurring monthly cost, other than your high speed connection. Nice compact camera with a bunch of easy to use features. ...more info
- Production Problems?
After reading the 'good picture' reviews from all the others, I have experienced the opposite. compared to a bl-c10a that I have, a bl-c30a had a very fuzzy picture. It is clear from 8 inches to 4 ft. Beyond that it is fuzzy. After and exchange the 2nd one is exactly the same. Clearly some kind of lens problem. Panasonic spt, told me to upgrade FW and closed the ticket. (I had the latest FW already) lousy spt. Also, The 'WEP OPEN spt', no WPA bothers me. Of course means your whole wireless has to be less secure. Wireless G, continuously losses 3 to 10% of packets 2 ft from the router, what is up with this? I hope this is not the New Panasonic, cause my $3000 plasma is Panasonic... Im looking for something with PTZ, VGA, 30fps that I can afford, for security... Returned both, may return CL-10A, because I want one app for multi-cameras...
- Takes a chill'n and keeps on film'n
Though billed as an indoor camera rated down to 32 degrees, I took a chance and mounted it outside my interior Alaska home.
Under the eave of my roof, out of direct exposure to precipitation, it has nonetheless been fully exposed to the temperature extremes of this climate. It has continued to work fine -- panning and all -- despite temperatures that have ranged from 40 below zero to 90 above. 1.5 winters and one summer and still counting.
Will this kill it eventually? Maybe so, but I can tell you it is one tough little camera and doesn't give up easily.
I won't go on to repeat what all the other reviewers here have been saying about this camera (negative and positive), as I have found most of it to be true.
I would give this camera five stars except for one complaint: It doesn't support WPA security. It supports up to 128 bit WEP, which meant I had to downgrade my network from WPA to WEP to integrate it. And, Panasonic has not responded to any emails I have sent asking if WPA might be in a future firmware upgrade. But I would still not hesitate to recommend this network camera to anybody....more info
- Great camera for the price
1. Easy setup - I know others had some difficulty getting the camera up and going, but the quick start guide worked perfectly for me. I had the camera up and on the net in about 45 minutes. I'm using a cable modem connection and a Linksys G router. I didn't have to change any router settings, just made sure the SSID and WEP key were correct.
2. Image Quality - Better than I expected for a camera at this price point. Very good in good lighting, so-so in low light.
3. Features - I like the ability to pan and tilt. It responds quickly.I also like being able to re-center the image by clicking in the frame. The [...]address is very nice, and was easy to configure. Setup of users and passwords was a snap. I also like the presets for quick navigation to different points in the room.
4. Styling - Not bad. It's small and light. Easy to move around if you don't want to mount it. It looks kinda col.
5. Email and FTP - Nice to have.
1. No audio - Not that important to me, but would be nice.
2. No zoom - Wouldn't expect this at this price point.
3. No motion detection - I haven't tried the heat detection, but would guess that motion detection would work better. But then again, I should test it out.
Overall, I am very pleased. I bought this from Amazon's warehouse direct as an open box item, and saved some cash. It works great for home use.
- Configuring the Internet Cam
I'm satisfied with the cam. The images are fine, even in low light, although I can see how others could have higher expectations.
I had a LOT of trouble configuring it, so I feel like I should pass on the info since I learned a few things by reading the reviews here.
I have a DSL router and a wireless router with three computers and the webcam plugged in. I used a windows XP pc to configure all three items - the DSL, the wireless, and the webcam.
You'll be ok following the directions, and the CD setup works ok for the most part but if you don't get immediate internet connection (like I didn't) you will have to call up your web-based configurations and go into your wireless and/or DSL routers and do more than just enable port forwarding.
You will have to make sure the SSID (the name of your wireless router, if you have one) is the same for your webcam and all routers.
You must enable port forwarding on all routers. The wireless router should have the IP number and port of the webcam, and the DSL router should have the global network address and its port. When I had to choose the protocol, I enabled TCP; yours may be different.
Then you should be able to get a successful internet connection and be able to connect to viewnetcam.com and complete your registration. Usernames and passwords are enabled from the webcam configuration page.
Don't be fooled by not being able to see the internet image from viewnetcam if you're looking from your home network. Get someone else to look at it from out in the internet. Once you get a successful internet connection from the Setup CD, outsiders should be able to see it once you've enabled guests with a username and password.
I started out with Belkin 54g, and it might still work but I ended up with Linksys WRT54G and that finally worked for me. I dare not try to switch back just to see.
Once the internet connection was established everything was a snap. I've been able to enable ftp transfer and email notification when triggered by the heat sensor without problem....more info
- Panasonic Has Great Developer Access
First of all, I didn't find this camera very difficult to setup. It's important that you understand wireless networking somewhat before getting any product like this. Also, to get to the webcam from outside of your firewall (or router), you must forward port 80 which may be a pain if you already have a web server running.
I bought this camera specifically because it has timed FTP transfer. I needed a solution that could handle a lot of users and since live video on a home network to thousands of users is NOT feasible with a simple plug-and-play solution like this, I was hopeful of uploading an image every second or so. This proved to be slower than I thought. First of all, you can only select buffering (snapshot) time intervals of 1 sec, 1 min, or 1 hour. This is not much of a choice. Second, the 1 second mode is too slow. It can't FTP out the images fast enough to make it even close to what I wanted. The images come about 15 to 30 seconds delayed and the system for doing this is so-so. I found that the system operated perfectly at 1 minute, so if this is all you need than the FTP option is right for you.
I was really frustrated at this point until I discovered the CGI documentation for this line of cameras. I haven't seen anyone else comment on this so I wanted to for all of the developers out there. Panasonic thought ahead when developing this product and made it such that you can issue CGI commands via HTTP1.0 (or 1.1) to make the camera do things or to acquire images. For my system this proved to be an absolutely perfect answer to my problem. I can call the camera with HTTP1.1, HTTP authentication, and a custom CGI and acquire the image on the screen at rates of 1 image per second with great results! There is no problem with the camera lagging at all. Best of all, almost everything you can do in the camera's admin panel can be done via CGI calls.
I also found that this camera does a decent job at night (using it to look outside), but as others have said is not good if you want to make out a ton of detail in someone's face for instance. The camera is also doing great being exposed to temperatures of 20 degrees F (in a garage) and hasn't froze or needed to be reset since I installed it a few weeks ago. The wireless range is really good... I am running the cam across the street to my wireless network with no problems.
For awesome customization and access via CGI, I'm giving this camera 5 big stars. This camera is a developer's best friend and for the price it is a huge value. Thanks Panasonic for solving some big problems for me!...more info
- Amazon Ships Used Products
Although I like this camera, I recommend you buy it elsewhere. I purchased this "new" from Amazon and received a used one! Here is the letter I sent to Amazon.
RE: Order number: XXXXX
FOR: Panasonic Wireless 802.11 b/g Network Camera (BL-C30A)
I am very disappointed in my most recent order to you. You claim it was "new" - However, the box had been opened, the CD ROM wrapper was torn, the wires inside the box were spread all over, etc. And, to top it off, the previous owner even left hand written notes all over the user's manual!
This is quite simply deceptive advertising on your part. If you are going to charge a higher price for new, then ship a new product!
After this ordeal, I will think twice about ordering from you. Do not advertise a product as new and then send a product that has been opened, possibly used or previously returned, including the previous owner's notes, written all over the user's manual.
What kind of joke are you trying to play on your customers?...more info
- Very good, but such a pity has no audio features!!! :(
Firstly, let me state that I do not own this product, but as of only a few hours ago, I almost bought it.
The reason I am writing this review is because over the past few days I have been doing a lot of research, and learnt many things which I felt I should share with others.
My focus originally centered upon the Sony SNC M3W, this Pananosic model, the Linksys, and the Dlink. Very soon, for reasons I won't mention, it became clear that the choice was between the Sony and the Panasonic.
I really liked the Sony, as it had virtually all the features I wanted, the main purpose of which was to allow me to monitor my baby who is about to be born. The features important to me are that it should be wireless, and allow me to hear my baby (ie., has built in mic). Of course, the picture quality is important too.
In terms of these features, that is where the Sony shines and the Panasonic falls. Sony not only has a built-in mic, but also lets you hook up speakers, so that not only can I hear my baby, I can TALK to her.
The Panasonic, unfortunately, can do neither. This was a big disappointment for me, because I think apart from that, the Panasonic picture quality is better (I was comparing in the shop).
The key advantage of the Panasonic over the Sony, which is where Sony falls, is that Sony's wireless standard only supports 801.11b, and does not support 801.11g. If your wireless router is 'b', then it makes no difference to you. However, 'b' routers are increasingly out of date as 'g' is much faster, and if you have a 'g' router like me, then even though you can still use the Sony, your entire wireless network will have to run on the slower 'b' standard because of the Sony. I was unwilling to make that compromise, so I very reluctantly had to dismiss the Sony too.
btw, another difference between the Sony and Panasonic is that the Panasonic does not have motion detect (a feature I'd like to have for surveillance purposes). instead, it relies on 'heat sensing' to determine whether there's a person present. I dunno, but that didn't appeal to me.
So which camera had everything I wanted? It was actually ANOTHER Panasonic outdoor surveillance camera. That was a beautiful and wonderful product, which I don't think they sell here on amazon. The problem was, it cost almost twice as much as this Panasonic. That model series begins with a C. I couldn't fault it in any way, except for the price. It also uses a ccd lens which is much better tha the CMOS lens that both this Panasonic and the Sony uses, giving superior picture quality. Well, that's why the cost is much higher, and also cos it's designed so that you can even use it OUTDOOR.
So which camera did I end up with? A very little known brand called Planex. (www.planex.net). It was priced at the same range as the Sony and thsi Panasonic, ran on wireless 'g', uses a ccd lens, had a built-in mic, could pan-tilt at a much larger angle, but the only drawback (very sad) was that it wouldn't let me hook speakers up to it - ie., I won't be able to talk to my baby... Pity they don't sell the product here.
To close, I'd like to come back to this Panasonic model. The downside (to me very big) is that it has no audio features (can't listen, and can't talk through it), and has no motion detect (only heat detect). The best thing about it is that it runs on wireless 'g', has great picture quality, and one more thing - if you have multiple Panasonic cameras, the interface is great for hooking them all up, and that's even if you have different Panasonic models. Even though this model had no audio features, I still debated getting it, so that in case in the future I splurge out money to get the C series Panasonic one I mentioned above, I could still hook them all up together seamlessly. And Panasonic is probably the strongest brand for surveillance cameras because they have been in this field for a long time. So, if you dont' care about the audio features, or motion detect, then this would make the perfect camera at this price point.
Anyway, hope my research helps you to make your decision....more info
- Panasonic Wireless 802.11 b/g Network Camera
Panasonic's camera with viewnetcam web viewing software makes there product one of the best standalone security cameras on the market today. The pan-tilt function works great and the ability to move it from location to location wirelessly is nice too. There are
2 thing to keep in mind this camera is not for low light level installs and the computer that one uses to remote view must have active X on it, Panasonic directs you to getting it if you don't have it but some computers still are not be able to view the camera even with X on it....more info
- Panasonic Wireless 802.11 b/g Network Camera (BL-C30A)
Works as advertized. A good value. The only problem was that the documentation wasn't clear that this camera had two MAC addresses, one for wired use and one for wireless use. Once you know that, the installation is easy....more info
- Very good camera
The quality of the video is pretty good for the Internet camera. It is relatively easy to setup, thanks to Panasonic's software and free Internet account. Can be accessed from any Internet enabled machine as long as the specified port is not blocked. If you are using MAC address filtering in your router, please notice that camera have 2 separate addresses: one for wired and one for wireless connectivity. Highly recommend....more info
I bought three of the wired version of this camera (BL-C10), and 1 wireless (BL-C30A) to keep an eye on our house while we took vacation. I simply placed them inside different windows for a complete view. The cameras set up without issue, they have a great pan range, and a great picture. I do wish the tilt could have a few more degrees of up tilt, and I wish they could zoom, but for the price they are just super, and these cameras worked great for security and peace of mind. Using the DDNS service provided with the cam, we was able to look in on the place and the pets, etc. from the hotel with my notebook. As well as while we was on the road driving, we could even look in on the cell phone. (Real-time images of the house while rolling down the interstate! How next century is that!). It is all set up for you. I feel like James Bond 007 or something, don't try to rob me now! Buy this....more info
- A decent network camera
Here are the things I like about the camera:
1. You can remotely pan and tilt the camera.
2. You can download recording software from the Panasonic web site. The software allows you to set many parameters. It also will record based on change in light rather than the built in sensor.
3. It has decent resolution and recordability during daylight.
4. Panasonic gives you a free web site to use for remote connection.
Here are the things I don't like about the camera:
1. It only works on wireless channel 11.
2. It doesn't have low light capability. At dusk and dark any action is very blurred.
I am happy with the camera given that I paid less than $300 for it. I would like to have a more expensive camera that has zoom and low light capability for outside surveillance. Since this is an indoor camera though, I would rate it a little better than average....more info
- Overall not bad at all
Overall this is a pretty good network camera. It was very easy to get it setup on the computer (home network). However, setting it up to work through the Internet took a while. It wouldn't automatically program my router so I ended up manually opening the port through the router software. Once that was done it was a breeze getting it working. The camera itself has "decent" quality video. Nothing special...it's about equivalent to the normal "good" webcam. Objects in the distance are blurry (10ft-15ft away) but it isn't bad. The heat sensor works pretty good for notifying you via email if it senses anything (I am using it as a security camera). It actually emails you a pic of what set it off. Just takes a while to program that so it snaps the pic at the right moment. Being able to log in while I'm away and check in on things is GREAT. I give it 4 stars because I think it is a "bit" overpriced for what you get (I guess this is relatively speaking). I expected the video quality to be a bit higher. Anyhow, it's a good buy so if you're considering one, get it now. I paid $259.99 and I consider it an "ok" deal....more info
- support service really bad
Not only it is very difficuly to setup the support service representatives have no incentives to help you. Be aware!...more info
- Could not get wireless working
Great features for the price. Image quality is so-so but is as advertised. It worked great when using a wired connection. When I tried to connect using my AirportExtreme it was a no go. I tried everything. Removing security. Renaming the network. All I got was a flashing yellow light which makes trouble shooting pretty hard. Panasonic support tried to help but nothing worked. It is being returned....more info
- Works fine on a Mac
Panasonic doesn't support it, but this camera, and all Panasonic Netcams, work fine with a Mac. Later versions of Safari, Netscape and Firefox allow you to view full motion video. No add-ons or active-x or other such nonsense is needed with. The video just works.
As for setup, you will have to set this (and other Panasonic Netcams) up with a broswer, not with the automatic setup CD that works with windows. It's not difficult. Configure your Mac to use the built in Ethernet connection only, configured manually to IP address 192.168.0.5, subnet 255.255.255.0. Connect an ethernet cable between your Mac and the Camera (with a modern Mac any cable will do, with older ones you'll need a crossover cable.) Then access the camera at the address specified deep in the documentation (for this camera it's 192.168.0.253). The first time in you'll be asked to select a username and password. Do that and then you'll have full access to the setup utilities where you can change IP addrerss, DCHP, and other parameters. You can also setup the excellent free viewnetcam.com service and give your camera a real internet name. This is my third Panasonic Netcam, and I've been very pleased with them all....more info
- Not good on a Mac!
First, I will say that this camera is great! The image is clear even in low light, and we found it pretty easy to set up with our Linksys wireless router. I did have a few questions and had an excellent experience with their customer service number--both times I got someone immediately who told me what to do.
However, customer service told me that this camera will not stream video to a Mac! The next best option is to have the image refresh every 3 seconds. It is better than nothing, but I felt mislead from the info provided on Amazon. It works great on our PC, though....more info
- Good value, reasonable image
I have had my BL-C30A for about 2 weelks and overall I am satisfied with the performance. I agree with the reviewer who said image was not adequate for detailed surveilance. I would suggest you go to: http://www.securityideas.com/securitycam/demos.html to view and work an actual camera. I pretty well knew what I was getting. I use my camera as a weather cam and it is C+/B- for this purpose. Wireless setup and Internet access were quite simple, thanks to a good instruction manual. Three features that would have been nice are zoom, focus, and a date/timestamp on the images. I really didn't want to spend the additional money to get these features. I wrote an email to Panasonic regarding lack of a date/timestamp and got an automated reply 2 weeks later that didn't even address the question, let alone answer it, so D- for technical support. For the money, I suspect that this is as good as it gets....more info
- Good, but not good enough for surveillance
Let me begin by offering my overall experience with this camera. I had no difficulty at all setting it up for either wired or wireless operation. The included software worked flawlessly allowing me to easily operate the pan and tilt operations, and allowing me to record sessions.
For my purposes, my intention was to supplement a surveillance system I currently have in operation using two high resolution Toshiba network cameras. I was hoping to be able to get half-decent quality from a camera costing about 1/2 of the cost of the Toshibas. Unfortunately, that's what I got...about half the image quality.
In general 640x480 does not provide sufficient resolution for surveillance as you cannot make out features in any detail. For example, you may be able to see someone entering your home, but you'll never be able to identify that person. Overall clarity was ok, better than, for example, another Linksys camera that I tried, but still I was unable to identify facial features in a person standing just 10 feet from the camera (using all of the highest image quality modes). Comparing this to my Toshiba cameras operating at just 800x600 is like comparing night to day, as the Toshiba is able to distinguish relatively fine detail.
All in all, for the price, it does what it advertises, and is better than other lower cost cameras that I've also tried (like the Linksys). However, I've found no camera in this price range to be able to work as a true surveillance camera. (I suggest the Toshiba IK-WB11A as the entry point of true surveillance network cameras.)...more info
- Excellent camera, but can be hard to setup and requires IE
The Panasonic BL-C30A is a wireless camera with embedded web server. It can be connected to your home network through an ethernet cable or wirelessly (the initial setup has to be performed through the ethernet connection). Once you've properly configured it for wireless mode, you don't need a computer: just plug the power adapter into an outlet and place the camera wherever you want (within the range of your wireless network).
Anyone can connect and view/control the camera remotely. If you have a broadband connection and know how to configure your router to open a port and assign it to the camera's IP address, you can see your webcam from anywhere in the world. Very handy to keep an eye on your office or empty apartment while you're away.
The embedded web server supports access restrictions through passwords of course; and users can pan/tilt the camera lens -- the only drawback is that Internet Explorer is required to use the camera (the display and controls are handled through an ActiveX control, which basically means that only Windows PCs with IE will be able to use access it).
Image quality is pretty good: you have a choice of straming video at 320x240 or 640x480 (at a reduced frame rate) and you can control brightness and video quality from remote. Users can also take 'snapshots' (i.e. save individual images).
I have another wireless webcam (a Linksys WVC11B) and the Panasonic's image quality and features are definitely superior (on the other hand the Linksys is also $100 cheaper).
The camera also offers additional advanced features like heat detection (which can turn the camera on automatically and send an email alert if someone, or something, warm gets within the sensor's range) and scripting. I've never used this, but I suppose it can be useful if you plan to set up the camera as part of a rudimentary security/surveillance system. Some cameras offer motion detection, but it can be triggered by changes in light -- heat detection seems to make more sense.
Main caveat: configuration can be tough, especially if you're a newbie. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable and it still took me a while to get it work with my wireless network until I figured out that I had to set the WEP encryption mode to 'open key' on my wireless access point (shared key mode is not supported, though this fact is buried in the documentation).
Overall, I recommend the BL-C30A but I wish Panasonic provided a way for non-IE users to access the camera (and the configuration software could also be vastly improved)....more info
- Great Network Camera!
This is a fantastic network camera - the best of the consumer cameras out there (plus it's very small and looks cool too!). I only wish the CMOS camera was better - it's not very sharp and blurry on the edges....more info