Panasonic BB-HCM531A Outdoor Pan/Tilt PoE Security Network Camera (Silver)

Panasonic BB-HCM531A Outdoor Pan/Tilt PoE Security Network Camera (Silver)

Panasonic BB-HCM531A Outdoor Pan/Tilt PoE Security Network Camera (Silver) Rating:
List Price: $899.95
Sale Price: $779.95
Availability: unspecified

Product Description

Panasonic Outdoor Pan/Tilt PoE Network Camera


  • Outdoor High-speed pan/tilt control with presets, PoE (802.3 af compliant)
  • Progressive Scan
  • Simultaneous MPEG-4 and JPEG recording onto SD card with audio
  • 0.09 Lux Color Night View Mode
  • Built-in Web Server/IP Address (IPv4/v6)

Panasonic BB-HCM531A Outdoor Pan/Tilt PoE Security Network Camera (Silver) out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 682 user reviews
Network Cameras & Video Outdoor Security Cameras Panasonic Security Cameras & Systems Panasonic BB-HCM531A Outdoor Pan/Tilt PoE Security Network Camera (Silver) Panasonic Outdoor Pan/Tilt PoE Network Camera $899.95

10 Responses to “Panasonic BB-HCM531A Outdoor Pan/Tilt PoE Security Network Camera (Silver)”

  1. O. Thomas Says:


    This cam must be powered by a POE hub or a separate additional a/c adapter neither of which are included with the camera. Would have been nice to know this BEFORE purchase. For a $600 item you would think that Panasonic would include a way to TURN IT ON, but NO. The ac adapter is item BB-HCA3A (about $40)and IS NOT RATED FOR OUTSIDE USE (which is the whole idea for using a outside camera). I have not been able to find where the POE hub mentioned in the installation instructions might be available, there is no part number or other information. Very disappointing.

  2. A. Madar Says:


    For an outdoor IP camera, this camera rates high with me and even more so after comparing it with the Toshiba IK-WB15A IP camera. I set it up as a weather cam, but found it did really great as a security cam. With a 2GB SD memory card in it, I have seen over 10,000 images on it. I record every passing vehicle, triggered by motion, and every 60 seconds for the weather. Looking forward to getting the MegaPixel version soon.

    Down side of this camera, no optical zoom options in this body style. The camera has a 10X digital zoom which is not something I see as not being good for much.

    Now the good side:

    Nice sharp images during the day time, even of moving objects like cars and people running past the camera.

    Automatically adjusts the shutter speed at night, and does good in low light level, but not good enough for sharp images of moving objects at night.

    Multiple alarm settings (5) really nice and easy to set up.

    Records a great sharp image of moving objects in day time. I see all who drive by! Makes a great stand-alone security camera.

    SD Memory card slot, with 2gb, I have about 10,000 images on it.

    Multi view Screen, view 4 cameras at one time.

    Can view and move PTZ over cell phone/PDAs.

    Fast PTZ.

    PTZ limits are nice and wide, both up and down, and side to side.

    Audio I/O are located where they are protected from the weather, unlike the Toshiba IK-WB15A, that you cannot use if you use the sun shield.

    Built in mic, very sensitive!! Not only can I see you, but I can hear you!

    POE, makes for easy installation! Would not have it any other way. Love it!

    Small body size.

    Good WB control, the colors are true.

    In general, I am very pleased with the way this camera works.

  3. FlyingPolarBear Says:


    This is a great camera; however considering the current price of this BB-HCM531A outdoor camera there are two better options for price/value/features:

    1. The newer Panasonic BB-HCM735A outdoor model costs just a little bit more than what this one is currently selling for, but the 735A has a completely updated feature set. The 735A uses the new MOS sensor with better low light capability, higher resolution options, H.264 streaming, shock detection, etc. The 735A has the next generation technology that Panasonic is starting to incorporate in their product line, so why purchase this one that is 3 years behind and costs almost the same as the BB-HCM735A.

    2. If cost is a factor and you’re not installing the camera directly exposed to rain, consider the indoor version of this model, the BB-HCM511A. It costs a lot less (much better value!) and there is not much different between the two cameras except that this 531A model comes with a plastic cover to protect the cable openings in the back. Some degree of weather protection can be achieved with the cheaper 511A model (for accidental moisture) using some tape over any exposed connector openings plus a layer of silicone aquarium sealant over the tape. But if you know that your location is going to get dripping wet for sure, then I’d stick with the outdoor model.

  4. J. Binder Says:


    The D-Link DWL-P200 Power Over Ethernet Adapter listed in October of 09 as the ‘Frequently Bought Together’ item is not compatible with the BB-HCM531A. Come on Amazon, get your accessories right before you recommend them.

  5. Gyropilot Says:


    As others have indicated, this camera is truly an exceptional value for the money. Everything about it is of high quality from start to finsh… even the packaging it comes in is first rate. I love Panasonic products.

    When doing my research on which brand and model of networked security camera to buy, I was a little concerned about not having an IR capable camera (such as this model). But after reading the excellent low-lux specifications and good reviews, I took the plunge and bought 5 of these. After using them for a month now, I’m nothing short of thrilled!

    With the “Color Night View” option enabled (it’s turned off by default), the camera will automatically slow down the image refresh rate to compensate for low lighting conditions, which has the effect of brightening the image. Even on dark cloudy nights I can still clearly see the area around our home and detect when anything is amiss. The only drawback to using the Color Night View mode is that fast moving objects can appear blurred due to the slow image refresh rate. But even with this minor shortcoming, I can still see if someone (or some critter) was moving around in the darkness on the camera’s images. However, since we have motion activated lights outside around our home, it pretty much makes that a moot point!

    I’m currently running all 5 of these cameras using two TRENDnet 8-Port 10/100Mbps PoE Switches which have 4 PoE ports each. I’m recording the video feeds using the excellent i-Catcher Console software from i-Code. Using the embedded web server in the i-Catcher software, I can monitor, operate the cameras, and playback recorded images directly on my iPhone (and it’s formatted properly for the iPhone screen). While at work I can check up on things around my home using either my iPhone or any web browser.

    To get the most from these cameras, and to be able to view the video feeds over the Internet, it helps to be comfortable around computers and networking. But if you need help, Panasonic tech support is very responsive and helpful.

    I’ve posted a daylight and nighttime image from one of my camera feeds so you can see what it looks like. I also posted a shot of the image playback screen from my iPhone. Look under “customer images” directly under the Amazon product photo.

  6. Paul E. Davidson Says:


    I was looking for an outdoor camera for my home and decided on the BB-HCM531A after taking to the Panasonic tech people. I was tempted to go with the less expensive BB-HCN511A because it has very similar performance specification and I was mounting the camera under an eve and I felt like I could provide it adequate protection from the rain. However, despite assumptions posted several places that suggest the 511A is the same as the 531A without the protective shell, I discover 2 key points that made me select the 531A for my outdoor location over the 511A. First, the 531A has extra filters in the lens to protect it from sun directly in the lens. Second, the 531A allows opperation in very cold and hot conditions. The 511A does not handle either of these circumstances. So far, the BB-HCM531A has performed well for.

    The only con I have so far is that this model has been discontinued even though it is still widely available. Since no replacement model has been identifed yet and I need several cameras immediately, I went ahead and installed the BB-HCM531A.

  7. Christopher K. Regan Says:


    First off like to thanks Panasonic customer service for helping me make my decision on the Camera Model: BB-HCM531A. I end up geting 2 of them and had them up now for three weeks. I Order the software that you can record up to 64 cameras at one time. Still testing out the cameras, works wonderful and been in in 3 rain stroms and held up great. The Software i got for the cameras Model:BB-HNP15A is nice and easy to record with. the Cameras are easy to set up but if you need help Panasonic Tech support will walk you through setup for each and every camera. You cant go wrong guys Panasonice Tech support will help you get up and running . I look for weeks for a camera set up and read up on forms and not allot of help out there when looking for IP Cameras, but i went with Panasonic after calling them first. I told them what i needed They will give you recommendation on cameras for your Needs. I Seen some Post on this Camera about not having a power source, YOU WILL NEED PoE “Power Over Ethernet” I got D-link DES-1008PA This is a 4 port PoE switch there are others out there but for under $200 good name brand. Hope this helps Oh one more thing Cat5E cable make sure you get the UV for out side will last longer from the weather. UPDATE 1/30/2010 Cameras still working great love them. Been in the Va. Summer heat and winter storms of 2009 and still runing strong. Awesome cameras.

  8. R. Beckley Says:


    It took me 4 days to get this working. I connected the security camera to a Power Over Ethernet switch box to my Motorola modem/router. Everything worked on my home LAN. I could view the camera from the house and pan it via the web software. However, it was not visible over the Internet, which is what I bought the camera for. I called Panasonic, and after several hours of trying they suggested I call my ISP. I called Charter Cable (my ISP provider) and they said they did not have any block on signals that would prevent the camera from being viewed. After many calls over several days, I called Motorola, who made my modem. They said that the modem did not support a static address (which is what the Panasonic documentation told me to set up). They walked me through doing a DHCP Lease, adding in a new IP address (using the MAC address of the security camera) and bypassing the firewall. Once this was added, in the Security camera software [...] , I went to the Setup tab, set Connection Mode to DHCP, set port to 50000, left other fields blank, and clicked Start and Restart the camera. This set the camera up to accept DHCP for the camera on port 50000. I was now able to view the camera over the internet.

    So, if you are willing to stick with it and call Panasonic, the PoE switch box provider, the ISP provider, and the modem provider, you will find a configuration that works. But there are a lot of pieces that need to be working together and I almost gave up along the way. It took me over 10 hours of my time to get this working.

    Now that all the settings are ok, I am able to view the camera remotely (several states away) and it works beautifully. The picture is clear and bright. I can pan it and (digitally) zoom the camera. I am very pleased with the result.

  9. BSJ1 Says:


    This is an extremely effective, practical and easy-to-use camera. Bought two from Amazon. Installation is a snap. It comes with a sun/rain visor (not pictured), wallmount base, CD-ROM and all the associated screws. All you need is a drill and some anchors. LAN ports and audio ports are easily accessible at the rear. I run mine using Power Over Ethernet. You *will* need PoE injectors. These can be bought separately; I used the TrendNet ones. Note that the software does not seem to be Mac-compatible.

    Once the hardware was installed, I popped the CD-rom into my laptop. The Panasonic software installed quickly and easily. It found the cameras in seconds. The images are viewed via a web browser. The software came with the ActiveX controls necessary to view the images.

    The software is actually remarkably thorough, straightforward and finished. In a word, it was professional. I was viewing images within minutes of installation and adjusting the settings to suit my needs. You can set triggers, day/night mode, time, video streaming, multiple cameras and so on very easily. Everything is laid out. A basic level of technical/computer skill helps.

    The image quality is nothing short of outstanding. I’ve used several different makes and models – from the Home Depot Swann cameras to $1200 PTZ Day/Night dome cameras – and the Panasonic image quality is easily the best of the lot. Clear, detailed, excellent depth, jitter-free and true. The field of view is limited, as with most security cameras, but the range of motion is impressive. Basically, you can adjust the camera and/or the lens to focus on any spot you want; just don’t expect to have a 90-degree field of view.

    I had to swallow hard when buying this camera because of the price. But I can honestly say it’s worth every penny. Only question now is durability. Let’s see how long it lasts.

  10. Don K Says:


    After a terrible expeience with the Panasonic BL-C160A Outdoor Lighted MPEG-4 Network Camera (Silver) I gave panasonic another chance and am glad I did. With PoE installing these is very easy: just run the ethernet cable and screw in the base. You’ll need to have a switch that supports PoE, I use the TRENDnet 8-Port 10/100Mbps PoE Switch (4x 10/100, 4x 10/100 PoE) and have 4 cameras running with it. If you run multiple cameras I’d recommend avoiding Network Camera Software and get Blue Iris for $50 instead.

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