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

3.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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  • 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)
1 used from $500.00

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Technical Details

Product Description

Panasonic Outdoor Pan/Tilt PoE Network Camera

Product Information

Product Dimensions 9.8 x 8.8 x 7.5 inches
Item Weight 11.8 ounces
Shipping Weight 3 pounds
ASIN B000P7X438
Item model number BB-HCM531A
Customer Reviews
3.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #519 in Computers & Accessories > Computer Accessories > Audio & Video Accessories > Webcams
#1,597 in Home Improvement > Safety & Security > Home Security & Surveillance > Surveillance Video Equipment
#4,567 in Camera & Photo > Surveillance Cameras
Date first available at Amazon.com April 7, 2007

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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