I have not yet setup the emailing feature, or the motion sensing. But for a controlable webcam, it is performing well for me. I set it up wired first (in a linksys wireless router (in the wired ports)) with an older computer running Windows ME. No problem, I followed the quick directions, and was going in maybe a half hour. The software handled all the port forwarding, MAC addresses, and all that stuff that seems like black magic to me.<p>
I then set up the camera via wireless. The directions weren't quite as clear to me, and I missed a couple steps, and I had to figure out what I missed. (My problem was not getting the wireless network name correctly and/or determining whether I was 801b/g). After another 30 minutes, I was up and going. It was an advantage to me that my router was already set up for WEP.
In that timeframe, that included getting the website set up with my camera name, password, and all that.<p>
I am moderately computer literate, but I am not a pro by any means. If you have set up a wireless router, I'm sure you can handle this.
I connected the Panasonic BL-C30A camera to my D-link DI-624 router. I forgot the password to my router, and had to press the reset button on the router to have access to my router. After following the instructions for the router and the camera, I was able to get the wired connection to work, but could not get the wireless connection to work. I tried to call the Panasonic technical support number that was on the manual for several days, and kept on getting a busy signal. Finally, I got on the internet and found another number to call. After waiting for about half an hour, I finally got to talk to a technical support person. He told me that I need to set the SSID in the camera to the SSID of the router. The SSID of the router was listed as "default". Initially, I tried to find out what the default value was, but to no avail. It turned out that the SSID is actually called "default". So, I changed the SSID of the router from "default" to some other name, and set the SSID in the camera to that name. After that and after following all the other instructions for the camera, the router and viewnetcam website, the camera finally worked in the wireless mode!
Having ordered and used a BL-C20A with great satisfaction I ordered the BL-C30A. After setup I placed both cameras side by side and was shocked to see the difference in picture quality. The new BL-C30A has a very noisy and grainy picture. Obviously sitting directly beside the C20 it should have been of the same quality. I have just requested a return authorization for a refund. To bad it isn't as good as the first camera I am now using. I would certainly rather not have to go through the hassel and cost of the return.
I purchased two of these over the past few years and am quite pleased. Setup is simple, Panasonic's free dynamic DNS service (the address you type in to see your camera from anywhere on the internet) is so easy to use and works seamlessly.
The camera operates on its own (no need to have it hooked up to a computer) and sports all the bells and whistles that the more expensive webcams do (i.e. you can have it automatically upload images at regular intervals to a web server if you want to host the images on your website, or you can have them emailed to you). Being able to move the camera lens around from a remote location is half the fun, though. For such a small and inexpensive camera it has a formidable range of motion.
The only thing I had to mark the camera down for is that in low light situations, like at night, the image quality is poor. However, this is to be expected with such an inexpensive camera. If there are lights in its view (like a streetlight) the image quality is similar to daytime images.
This product is as good as the other reviews I've read. I just wish it were a bit less expensive. Picture quality is excellent, it moves around (pan/scan/tilt) with ease. It's very quiet and just goes and goes and goes. We have had one for a few years now and just bought a second. Yes, this is the one to buy, for sure!
BL-C30A camera 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. 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 it in and play. Control the camera remotely. With the built in privacy mode, your privacy is protected by simply pressing a button. Sensor recording and email alerts.
BL-C30A Wireless Network CameraAC Adaptor and CordSetup CD-ROM
Maximum Video Resolution
640 x 480
LED Indicator Control: On/Off or On During Access
1 x RJ-45 / 1 x DC Power Input
JPEG / Motion JPEG
1 to 100000 Lux
White Balance Modes
Auto Manual Hold
-40° | 10° Tilt
640 x 480 @ 8 fps Motion JPEG / 320 x 240 @ 15 fps Motion JPEG / 160 x 120 @ 15 fps Motion JPEG
20 to 80% Non-condensing Relative Humidity
41°F (5°C) to 104°F (40°C) Operating
Manufacturer Part Number
Manufacturer Website Address
BL-C30A Wireless Network Camera
Fixed Focal Length Horizontal Angle: 43°
Max. Bandwidth Control: 0.1/0.2/0.3/0.5/1.0/2.0/3.0/5.0Mbps/ unlimited Multiple Mounting Options: Wall / Tripod Mount Simultaneous Viewers: 20 Time & Day Access Control Hide-Away Lens Remote Pan: 50° left and right max. (or less based upon user setting) Frequency: 2.4000 - 2.4835GHz Number of Channels: 11 Transmission Speed: Up to 54Mbps Maximum Pan/Tilt Speed: Pan: 50°/sec Tilt: 50°/sec Multi-Language Interface: English German Spanish Italian French Japanese
BL-C30A Wireless Network Camera AC Adaptor and Cord Setup CD-ROM
ID/Password authentication (Administrator / General Users (up to 50))
PC: Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0, 2000, Me, XP Internet Explorer 6.0 or later