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Network Webcams blog

New and Improved Panasonic Pan-Tilt Network Cameras

February 8th, 2010 by Simon

Panasonic BB-HCM735 IP Camera

Panasonic have recently released new network cameras the BB-HCM715 and the BB-HCM735 to replace the BB-HCM511 and the BB-HCM531 respectively. The cameras look the same, with pan and tilt control and can still be powered by Power over Ethernet, but they offer better image quality with a megapixel resolution and have H.264 video compression.

Key improvements:

  • Both cameras now come with megapixel sensors which give 4x the resolution of the previous VGA models
  • The addition of H.264 video compression allows the camera to efficiently encode video footage which is ideal for bandwidth restricted viewing such as over the Internet
  • Improved low light performance including a 2×2 pixel binning which combines the light from 4 adjacent pixels and requires a minimum illumination of 0.3 lux, an improvement on the previously required 2 lux
  • With the 4x resolution the image buffer size has been increased by nearly 4x from 350 images QVGA to 1290 images
  • Improved weatherproofing from IP54 to IP55 (BB-HCM735 only) allows for better protection outdoors

Panasonic BB-HCM715 >>
Panasonic BB-HCM735 >>

One Response to “New and Improved Panasonic Pan-Tilt Network Cameras”

  1. Steve Clark says:

    Although this camera features better low light capability and H.264, I wanted to bring to your attention a handful of material issues with it that might be helpful in your support of other customers, and most of this information only becomes apparent when you find things don’t work how you expected and then you find it in in a piece of “small print” in the manual:

    • When [Max. Image Size] is set to 1280 × 960, camera images cannot be buffered, transferred, or recorded to an SD memory card – In other words you can’t record in megapixel mode to the onboard memory or SD card, only standard mode.
    • H.264 images cannot be buffered or transferred – In other words you can’t record H.264 to the onboard memory or SD card at all.
    • Timer: MPEG-4 images cannot be transferred; they can only be buffered – In other words you can’t transfer MPEG-4 to a secondary storage device
    • Alarm or Detection: Only JPEG images can be buffered or transferred – In other words you can only store stop motion and not moving video at all on the onboard memory or SD card.
    • View Angle – default view angle is considerably wider than the older cameras – this might have been offset by the fact the camera is megapixel, but since you can’t record in mega-pixel it becomes more of an issue. It also means these aren’t a plug and go replacement to the older cameras as they may need to be re-sited.

    All these features are supported by the older cameras (except H.264 which is not applicable), and since a major reason for getting these cameras for many will be because they are self contained and to not have secondary recording software, the lack of recording in megapixel mode or recording MPEG-4 (moving video) is a significant retrograde step for situations not requiring the low light capability.