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First Look: Panasonic BB-HCM701 indoor fixed mini-dome IP camera

December 18th, 2009 by Greg

We have been lucky enough to get our hands on a Panasonic BB-HCM701 before they are released and we thought we’d share our first impressions.

Panasonic BB-HCM701

Compact

The first thing that is noticable about the BB-HCM701 is its size. It’s very compact and ideal for unobstrusive installation for discreet surveillance. Panasonic state it’s 60% smaller than their previous BB-HCM527 camera and yep, without doing the maths it looks about that to us. It measures a tiny 111mm (4.3 inches approx.) in diameter and 73mm (2.9 inches approx.)

H.264

The camera supports the new H.264 method of video compression. Initial tests are great. The picture is fluid and does not break up like MPEG-4 comrpession when there is a lot of movement. However it does suffer from a bit of latency over a Internet connection. We accessed the H.264 stream remotely and suffered an approx. 12 second latency issue. From a surveillance point of view its not a lot but you have to keep in mind that everything you are viewing remotely is from 12 seconds in the past.

Quality

The image quality is very nice and shows a very natural representation of the scene. The camera is especially good in low light as you can see below. The first image was taking in the office under flourescent lighting at approx. 140 lux while the image below it was taken in the office when it was actually very dark at on 9 lux with Colour Night View Mode on.

Panasonic BB-HCM701
Panasonic BB-HCM701

Triggers

As well as Motion detection or Timer triggers the BB-HCM701 can raise alarms by audio detection or shock detection. Audio detection is self explanatory, the camera will perform an action based on whether it detects any sound in the vicinity. Sensitivity can be adjusted to reduce false alarms. It all works very well.

The shock detection feature is something we’ve never seen before from Panasonic. The camera will detect the smallest of vibrations and can raise alarms (send images by email or FTP) when it has been moved or struck. There is some rudimentary sensitivity adjustment (High or Low) and we found it to be surprisingly sensitive on the highest setting.

BB-HCM705 – Megapixel model

There is a sister model, the Panasonic BB-HCM705, which contains all the features of the BB-HCM701 but adds megapixel resolution too giving an overall image size of 1280×960 over the VGA (640×480) resolution of the BB-HCM701.

We’ll do a bigger evaluation of the product later. For more information we have a data sheet here:

Panasonic BB-HCM701/BB-HCM705 Product Data Sheet

One Response to “First Look: Panasonic BB-HCM701 indoor fixed mini-dome IP camera”

  1. cctv says:

    I like it’s size that is compact.