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Panasonic Network Camera and Pet Cam (BLC1A)

3.7 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews
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  • Remote viewing from PC, PDA, cell phone.
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Technical Details

Product Description

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

From the Manufacturer

See There When You Can't Be There
This camera can be viewed and controlled from a standard Web browser, video display, or even a compatible cell phone or PDA. Place it 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--all of the other required software, including control software (TCP/UDP) and e-mail software (SMTP), is already inside the camera.

Just Plug It In and Play
This network camera is easy to install and use. With industry standard automatic configuration (UPnP), the camera and your router or PC will automatically decide the best settings, allowing you to access your camera without any complicated setup. Once connected, using a simple web browser, just enter in your free, permanent web address and you're done! It's that simple.

Sensor Recording and Email Alerts
With the built-in motion sensor, the camera can be set to record and/or notify you by email when someone enters the room.

And Now You Can Watch Your Pets!
Always feel close to your animals, whether at work or on vacation. Did the walker show up as promised? Is the dog sleeping on the sofa? Is the cat scratching your new leather chair? You'll know instantly with this webcam.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 3.4 x 3.4 x 1 inches
Item Weight 3.5 ounces
Shipping Weight 1.6 pounds
Item model number BL-C1A
Customer Reviews
3.7 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #367 in Computers & Accessories > Computer Accessories > Audio & Video Accessories > Webcams
#1,595 in Video Games > PC Games > PC Game Hardware
#3,044 in Camera & Photo > Surveillance Cameras
Date first available at Amazon.com February 11, 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

By Robert Hoare on April 13, 2007
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, the camera should default to (or for a 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Was able to set up the camera locally in no time at all. Turns out AT&T Uverse is a pain in the backside. I finally had to call into Panasonic support and they were great. Took about 15 minutes for them to walk me through a new setup. I had already spent 2 nights trying to configure the firewall on my own but they pointed out I had to change the setup in the camera as well.

To make this work you need to go to setup tab
choose static connection mode
change port number to 5000
for mine IP Address
subnet mask
default gateway
DNS server 1
DNS server 2

You will then need to go to the firewall of your router and setup an egress rule for the device using port 5000. This worked for me and I can now access the camera from anywhere.

I further setup up limited user access. For this you need to go to "administer" and choose "Do not permit access from guest users"

Then you go to "general user" tab and create the user account that you want to allow to access the camera. I set mine up to only allow "guests" to access the camera M-F 8a-6p. That was pretty easy to figure out as well.

Finally, if you want to buffer the images you can set that up on the "trigger" tab. I chose to just have it store the images in the camera at 1 per minute and get just over 4 hours that I can replay. I am playing with trying to get it to email tonight.

If you have AT&T then I hope these settings work for you. If not (or if you have any other problems) I highly advise you call Panasonic support before you give up. They are great and did not take too much time.

Update - 1-27-10
I struggled with the email settings for a while running multiple tests.
Read more ›
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