Panasonic Network Camera and Pet Cam (BLC1A)

Panasonic Network Camera and Pet Cam (BLC1A)

Panasonic Network Camera and Pet Cam (BLC1A) Rating:
List Price: $99.95
Sale Price: $229.99
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

Product Description

Package Contents:
Panasonic BL-C1A Wired Network Camera, bracket, power supply, mounting hardware, CD-ROM, software and instructions.

The Panasonic BL-C1A Wired Network Camera handles your digital photography needs at a price that won't hurt your wallet! This color surveillance camera allows remote video monitoring of a home or business. Remote home and business surveillance just got a lot more affordable. Receive an e-mail image when the home security camera detects motion--you'll always know what's going on at home or at your business. The 10X digital zoom and color night viewing makes sure you don't miss a detail. It's easy to install, easy to operate and requires no additional software for viewing on your PC. Indoor use only.

Server Features:
Image Buffer--About 250 frames (320 x 240, standard image quality). Image transfer via e-mail (SMTP) or FTP. View snapshots and control them from a compatible cellular phone Supports up to 12 cameras IPv4 Multi-Language Interface - English, German, Spanish, Italian, French and Japanese

Camera Features - 1/4 320,000 pixel CMOS image sensor 10 digital zoom Viewing Angle - 53° horizontal, 41° vertical Auto exposure Aperture - F2.8 Illumination - 10 - 10,000 lux (normal), 4-10,000 lux (night view) Motion Sensor with Email Alert Auto & manual White Balance Network Connection - RJ45 Ethernet (10Base-T/100Base-X) System Requirements - Windows 98SE, 2000, ME and XP; Internet Explorer 6.0 or later Camera Dimensions(WxHxD) - 3-3/8 x 3-3/8 x 1 Weight - 0.22 lbs Networking Protocols - HTTP, FTP, SMTP, TCP, UDP, IP, DHCP, DNS, ARP, ICMP, and POP3 before SMTP

Details

  • Remote viewing from PC, PDA, cell phone.

Panasonic Network Camera and Pet Cam (BLC1A) out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 682 user reviews
Panasonic Pet Cam Panasonic Network Camera and Pet Cam (BLC1A)

Package Contents:
Panasonic BL-C1A Wired Network Camera, bracket, power supply, mounting hardware, CD-ROM, software and instructions.

The Panasonic BL-C1A Wired Network Camera handles your digital photography needs at a price that won't hurt your wallet! This color surveillance camera allows remote video monitoring of a home or business. Remote home and business surveillance just got a lot more affordable. Receive an e-mail image when the home security camera detects motion--you'll always know what's going on at home or at your business. The 10X digital zoom and color night viewing makes sure you don't miss a detail. It's easy to install, easy to operate and requires no additional software for viewing on your PC. Indoor use only.

Server Features:
Image Buffer--About 250 frames (320 x 240, standard image quality). Image transfer via e-mail (SMTP) or FTP. View snapshots and control them from a compatible cellular phone Supports up to 12 cameras IPv4 Multi-Language Interface - English, German, Spanish, Italian, French and Japanese

Camera Features - 1/4 320,000 pixel CMOS image sensor 10 digital zoom Viewing Angle - 53° horizontal, 41° vertical Auto exposure Aperture - F2.8 Illumination - 10 - 10,000 lux (normal), 4-10,000 lux (night view) Motion Sensor with Email Alert Auto & manual White Balance Network Connection - RJ45 Ethernet (10Base-T/100Base-X) System Requirements - Windows 98SE, 2000, ME and XP; Internet Explorer 6.0 or later Camera Dimensions(WxHxD) - 3-3/8 x 3-3/8 x 1 Weight - 0.22 lbs Networking Protocols - HTTP, FTP, SMTP, TCP, UDP, IP, DHCP, DNS, ARP, ICMP, and POP3 before SMTP $99.95 http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/314YG1A0JEL._SL160_.jpg

http://www.photographyspy.com/panasonic-network-camera-and-pet-cam-blc1a.html
    

11 Responses to “Panasonic Network Camera and Pet Cam (BLC1A)”

  1. M. Flocco Says:

    Rating

    I was impressed with the quality of this camera for the price. I am currently using it as a remote baby monitor. It was cheaper than the video monitors they sell for babies, and it’s more versatile once I”m done using it for that purpose. The best part of it is the back end functionality, but overall it’s a nice camera. Some points:

    1. Triggers – you can set the camera up to send photos via email or FTP whenever motion is sensed, or at a regular interval. I’m saving photos on my web server whenever the baby moves (with 10 minutes between each snapshot), and then I have a job that creates a time-lapse movie at the end of each day. Useful? Not really, but pretty cool regardless.

    2. Web Server – The web server is solid, includes authentication, and is easy to configure for inexperienced users.

    3. Image quality – The image quality during the day is surprisingly good – but remember, this isn’t a large lens camera, it’s a webcam. Don’t expect your 640×480 images to look like they were taken with your digital camera. Instead, think camera phone but slightly better. Certainly good enough. Motion video is impressive. I don’t know how it looks from a bandwidth perspective, but I’m guessing the wireless version of this camera would be comparable. “Color Night Vision” is a joke, though. It does adjust surprisingly well in low-light conditions, but overall you need light. If you have a very dim room, the image is literally black.

    Again, overall I’m impressed with the camera and feel it’s a good value.

  2. Goldens-rule Says:

    Rating

    This has been a wonderful product. We just got a 1 month old Golden Retriever puppy, and it’s been a complete blast to be able to login from the office or my cell phone to see what the little guy is up to. My friends and co-workers keep stopping by to get a look.

    It was extremely easy to set up, only took a few minutes and I had the camera up and running. Much easier then I expected for a fairly new technology. The motion detection and zoom make it a complete winner, and all for under $100.

  3. Ray Stoecklin Says:

    Rating

    I recently had something damaged ($$$$) in my apartment and both cleaning lady and Super denied involvement, so I figured that at least going forward I should be smart about my stuff. I was looking for a “small” surveillance solution (“small” in size, effort, running cost, intrusion, and wallet), and so far, the Panasonic seems to fit my bill. Details:

    HARDWARE:

    This device has a somewhat odd shape which, together with the bright white enclosure makes it stand out a little too much for my taste, especially if you planned to discretely put it on a bookshelf. Inside the (easily openable) enclosure, you’ll find a single square motherboard where the actual camera is soldered onto. Bummer for those DIY-ers who perhaps hoped to separate the cam from the board in order to conceal it in a stuffed animal or something. The camera has a power led which to my surprise is software- controllable: it can be on, off, or on while recording.

    The camera sensor itself is very tiny. From the picture it looks like you’ll get 1/2″ worth of camera, but most of it is ornaments (like space to prominently print “digital zoom network camera”) and the CCD is no bigger than in a cheap cellphone. With that small a sensor, I would have hoped that Panasonic forewent the color filter and make the camera black&white, which would have increased sharpness and light sensitivity, but clearly engineering folded to the marketing department here. Also, the field of view seems quite narrow to me – surveillance should be as wide- angled as possible, even at the expense of detail. Finally, the resolution of the sensor is low (640×480), yet the digital noise is high. I’m subtracting 1 star for not putting in a better or more specialized camera.

    SOFTWARE:

    This product comes with some PC software, but frankly I haven’t touched it after reading a the other reviews here. You can set up the camera entirely with a web browser once you figured out the address. As for making the surveillance available on the net, it is no different than exposing a web server using dyndns.org.

    The in-camera software is better than I expected. I addition to some camera preferences like brightness, etc. you can set days/hours of

    operation, and register other cameras so you can view them all on one screen. On the actual life view screen you can specify the refresh interval or “motion” to save on bandwith when you’re monitoring remotely. In addition to live viewing, the unit can also buffer or transfer pictures. This works as follows: you have five “triggers”, which can be configured independantly. For each trigger, you can specify hours of operation, how it’s triggered (interval or motion), how many pictures to process, how long to wait to retrigger and whether to save them to internal memory, or transfer them via email or ftp. I find this concept very versatile yet understandable. The internal buffer is very small though, holds barely 90 pictures in lowres(!).

    On the minus side regarding the software, the translation is sometimes challenging, especially in important sections. For example, there are two sliders on the motion detection tab, the explanation reading: “Threshold: Adjust the threshold. If the threshold is set low, this software sensitively detects changes. Sensitivity: If you set sensitivity high, amplitude of motion detection bar gets jumpy.”. I assume these sliders are meant to configure the camera so it doesn’t take your small pet for an intruder, but good luck figuring those out! Also, you cannot define any dead zones for motion detection. However, the firmware is upgradeable, so perhaps these things will improve.

    This would be a 5-star device if it wasn’t for the weak and narrow- angled camera. The only two ways to go up from here though are to either shell out four times as many dollares for an Axis megapixel camera or buy a good webcam for the same price as this panasonic and then use surveillance software on an always-on PC.

  4. CH Says:

    Rating

    The camera works as described with very good image quality and easy setup. The included free dynamic DNS service makes setting up the camera for Internet access a lot easier than other cameras. It took me about 15 mins. to install it even though I had to do a manual setup. I have the AT&T DSL 2Wire router and I had no problems viewing the camera from the Internet. One needs to add the camera as an “application” in the router to open port 80 for it.

    One feature missing is a convenient privacy or on/off button on the camera.

  5. cj Says:

    Rating

    Hunting for a networked camera to use to check on our cats, this one turned out to be a good balance of cost and performance.

    Initial setup was a breeze and the camera was quickly up and running. Hooking into the free web service to allow us to view from any internet connection wasn’t as easy. Taking the Microft-ian approach, if the hardware plays well with your software, things work smoothly and you’re ready to go. If it DOESN’T, you’re on your own.

    I admit I did NOT call for tech support, choosing to try things out myself first.

    First, I’m not great at networking or the terminology used. The manual tells you to set up your router for IP Forwarding on the port you use. Not familiar with what exactly IP Forwarding means, I simply opened the port on my router for this device, and that seems to have done it.

    Since the automatic account creation for the free account failed as well, it was only by accident that I discovered that this could be accessed via the ‘Dynamic DNS’ option on the Setup tab (hope this saves someone some time).

    So, after all was done, I’m now able to keep an eye on the cats (and watch them dance across the table they’re not supposed to be on), and with a clearance Powerline ethernet system, can set up the camera anywhere I can find a pair of power outlets.

    And, perhaps the greatest indicator of my satisfaction: a second camera is on the way to me.

  6. E. Bush Says:

    Rating

    We use these in our retail store. We need motion detection for nighttime and snapshots during the open hours, the ability to push the images offsite quickly, and the ability to snag live snapshots from our web server via our blackberry phones, and connect directly via the internet.

    This camera does it all at a really good price, especially if you look at other commercial solutions. Not a single problem with the stability of the camera, after 2+ years!!! The power supplies last about 2 years it seems, I have 3 cameras and I’ve replaced 2 supplies in the past month (no big deal, they are $15 at Fryes.)

    They are small and not noticed by customers, since our walls are white. I have noticed other businesses are using them also (the local hooters!).

    I used the provided software on an XP machine to give them an initial IP address and password, from there on, it’s all via their web interface. Getting live snapshots is simply a matter of finding the right URL to use, and with some digging on Panasonic’s site, you’ll find a CGI/Developer manual that spells it all out, technically, but very thorough. The FTP (outbound from camera) setup seemed a bit tough at first but a bit of playing and I got it working.

    Can’t fault the camera or Panasonic. This is a really good value, and if youre a bit technical, you may really find this camera lets you do a lot of complex stuff like notification and web site integration for cheap!

    Panasonic dropped their web service I think. I dont use it anyhow. And the IE requirement is only for the ActiveX control, which allows a pseudo zoom/pan feature anyhow. Other browsers work fine.

    Get em before Panasonic decides to drop them for the next ‘improved’ model! It’s about time for that to happen, they have been out on the market for a while.

    -=RB

  7. Robert Hoare Says:

    Rating

    The BL-C1A is listed as “requiring” both Windows and Internet Explorer. After a bit of experimenting, it seems it doesn’t, and is perfectly usable with Ubuntu (or indeed any OS) and Firefox. No need for Windows at all.

    So, for anybody else who wants to use the BL-C1A camera with something other than Windows here’s how.

    First, ignore the shiny Windows CDROM in the box. Plug the camera into your router with your own network cable (they don’t supply one!) and plug in the power supply. Wait a minute. If your router is 192.168.0.1, the camera should default to 192.168.0.253 (or 192.168.1.253 for a 192.168.1.1 router, etc).

    From Firefox on the local network just go to the IP addess of the camera (as above) followed by ?mode=local and you should get the camera’s built in web server. (The mode=local is essential, to activate it). Create an admin userid/password, hit enter. That’s it.

    Configuring the cameras for static addresses, different ports etc is all done via the web interface after that point, so still doesn’t need Windows or IE in any way.

    With a few lines written in the manual they could drop the Windows/IE requirement.

    Camera works very nicely, and so does emailing, and the viewnetcam dynamic dns service (after a bit of a battle with router settings). One warning: you can’t test the viewnetcam service from the same network that the camera is on, so before you think it’s not working try it from elsewhere!

    Camera does the job fine for the price, one point deducted for not having any non-Windows installation instructions.

  8. btp Says:

    Rating

    I have a Mac network, with an Airport, so I was a little worried about setting up the camera. Turns out it was a 3 minute job. The instructions provided by Robert Hoare (earlier review) are mostly correct, except for one important detail: if the camera gets it’s initial IP address from your router (via DHCP), it could get any available IP address. Robert said it would default to xxx.xxx.xxx.253. Mine was issued 192.168.0.91. So in my case, the URL for setup was as follows:

    [...]

    Just type that into your browser and you are up and running. But the trick is finding the correct IP address. On a different network, the camera will probably get a different IP address. With the Airport, you can go to the setup and get the list of connected devices — I think most routers have a similar feature. Worst case, it would just take a few minutes to run through every possibility, 2-255. Once you connect to the web server that’s built into the camera, and set the username/password, you can set a static IP address and whatever else you want to set up. It has a whole bunch of other features. No worries.

    Another important detail: I was setting up the BL-C210A, but I suspect they are all similar in this respect.

  9. Kennedy De Silva Says:

    Rating

    Bought this camera and got it installed in no time. Camera images are clean, and low light images are very good. That surprised me giving the price. It’s totally configurable by web browser, and I’ve adjusted settings and viewed images via explorer 7 and fire fox.

    The issues I have with this camera is its documentation and remote access over the net. Documentation is weak and if you run into config problems……you’re dead. Unless you are versed in network configuration etc. I thought I was until I came across this camera….boy that took awhile. Accessing it over the internet requires configuring my router to allow port forwarding etc.

    As for getting emails..?….I’ve yet to get one with images. The only emails I obtain is its reports of how many pix it takes everyday. I really wish that I have better support somewhere for this side and I would be fine.

    But again, over the local lan…its great.

  10. Robert C. Ward Says:

    Rating

    I recently bought 2 BL-C1A’s and 1 Panasonic Remote Video Monitoring Webcam (BL-C10A) , the big difference according to the specs is the BL-C10A can pan/tilt, the BL-C1A can’t. The BL-C10A is double the price of the BL-C1A thou. But after setting up all 3 cameras I was surprised to find out the BL-C1A’s have sensitivity settings for the motion detection feature, and they work Great! The BL-C10A is missing the ability to adjust the motion sensitivity. Another difference I noticed was the BL-C1A handles low light better, althought it says both handle low light the same the images on the BL-C1A seem brighter in low light.

    Setting the cameras up to see each other was easy and now i can remote in and see all 3 camera’s at the same time. I have sensors setup on all 3 and they work great. Now when I am at work I can alway check on my house and my family. I have images emailed to me everytime the motion sensors go off. I have also tested the image to cell phone feature and it does work fine but even with a good phone its sometime hard to see the images on a phone. Email works best in my opinion, and sense most phones can check email you can still get to the image they are just not scaled down to a phone size.

    I highly recommend this camera especialy if you want to use it for motion sensing. If you must have pan/tilt the BL-C10A is also great but you lose some control on the motion sensor sensitivity.

  11. David Says:

    Rating

    I tried the camera and it works as long as you know how to do port forwarding DDNS and Network Address Translation. Not a problem. The camera does produce poor dark images unless the room is brightly lit. The old adage you get what you pay for was proved again. I found another camera that has many more features for the money. You don’t need to know ANYHING about computers. In fact you don’t even need a computer! There are several manufacturers. Google “self-networking” “camera”. I selected the Gotcha camera and found it will send video and triggered snapshots to a smartphone like iPhone, iPod Touch or even Android phones and of course Windows. There is NO web service required. Plug it in any router and it works out of the box. No instructions required. They even have wireless, Pan and Tilts and High Definition models. No computer is necesary to put the camera online. A few models have a built-in Micro SD slot for up to 16 Gb video storage. Microphone is included in the camera.

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