New Panasonic Home Cameras Reviewed

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Apr 04, 2012

Panasonic is aggressively improving their home video surveillance offerings. Continuing the trend of better video performance at a cheaper cost, the company has updated their 'Home Series' cameras with added features and refreshed pricing. In this note, we examine these updated features and contrast them with similar offerings.

Key Differences

The significant features updated in the camera line compared with previous years are:

  • HD imagers (720p)
  • 3rd Party support, via ONVIF
  • H.264 Compression

Below is a snapshot of the Panasonic 'Home Series' on display at ISC West:

The 'Home Series' cameras are notated as 'BL' models in Panasonic's catalog. The cameras are cube form factor, and intended to be located in residential or small office/home office settings. The cameras are rated as 'indoor only'. As we indicated in our 'Beware of Cube Cameras' note, these models are not intended to be used for general duty commerical surveillance. However, due to small size and discrete styling, these camera are a natural fit for residential deployments.

Even though they are positioned at the 'low price end' of the market, the cameras feature 720p resolutions. This resolution is quickly becoming the mainstream preferred image for commercial surveillance, and to find it featured in residential models is uncommon. While the true quality of the image is subject to test evaluation, the fact that Panasonic features it in the BL series is distinctive enough to draw attention.

Another update this year is broad 3rd Party Support via ONVIF. Instead of being locked into a proprietary viewer or recorder, the BL series is now compatible working with a variety of VMS platforms and NAS devices (such as QNAP and Synology). This again is an ideal attribute at the low end of the market where 'freeware' or 'low cost solutions' abound.

Pricing

Despite these rather sophisticated features, Panasonic's street pricing for the 'BL' series is aggressive. The six new models and estimated street prices are given below:

  • BL-VP104: $140  (HD cube)
  • BL-VP104W: $185  (HD wireless cube)
  • BL-VT164: $160  (Pan/Tilt HD cube)
  • BL-VT164W:$240  (Pan/Tilt HD wireless cube)

Comparison

This pricing is lower, in some cases significantly lower, than comparable surveillance products.

Conclusion

For the residential market, price is always a key consideration. With the latest releases in the 'BL' series, Panasonic has hit an attractive price point for a strong feature set.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Security / Privacy Journalist Sam Pfeifle Interview on May 24, 2019
Sam Pfeifle is best known as the outspoken former Editor of Security Systems News. After that, he was publications director at the International...
ADT's Top Dealer "The Defenders" Sued 20+ Times on May 07, 2019
ADT's largest authorized dealer, The Defenders, has been sued more than 20 times since 2012, IPVM has verified through analyzing legal...
Ranking Manufacturer Favorability 2019 on May 06, 2019
24 manufacturer's favorability was ranked based on 170+ integrators feedback. Voting plus in-depth comments revealed insights on which brands were...
Verkada Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested on May 02, 2019
Verkada is arguably the most ambitious video surveillance startup in many years. The company is developing their own cameras, their own VMS, their...
Camera Configuration Manager Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision on May 01, 2019
Which camera manufacturer has the best management tool? We tested 6 manufacturers - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision to find...
Verkada Salesman: IPVM "Stuck In A The Stone Age" on Apr 25, 2019
Verkada is 'tackling dinosaurs' and battling those, like IPVM, who are 'stuck in a the stone age'. Verkada's recent sales recruiting promotion...
Amazon Marketing Pro Installs of Amazon Security Systems on Apr 25, 2019
Is Amazon a threat to conventional providers like ADT, Vivint and Brinks Home Security? Many say no. Now, Amazon is advertising free in-home...
Axis Supports HD Analog on Apr 15, 2019
In 2017, Axis declared 'Everything is IP': Now, in 2019, Axis has released support for HD analog, with their new encoders.  Why the change?...
ISC West 2019 Report on Apr 12, 2019
The IPVM team has finished at the Sands looking at what companies are offering and how they are changing their positioning. See below for 50+...
Camera Disruptor Wyze Enters Sensor / Security Market on Mar 28, 2019
Wyze, the company that has disrupted consumer IP cameras, combining American marketing and Chinese manufacturer, has just announced its expansion...

Most Recent Industry Reports

NJ Law Requires Apprenticeship For Public Works Integrators on May 24, 2019
Few integrators do a formal apprenticeship program. However, now a NJ law is requiring any integrator on public works projects (such as state...
Security / Privacy Journalist Sam Pfeifle Interview on May 24, 2019
Sam Pfeifle is best known as the outspoken former Editor of Security Systems News. After that, he was publications director at the International...
Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
ASCMA / Monitronics Declares Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan on May 22, 2019
Monitronics is entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company, also called Ascent Capital Group Inc., aka ASCMA, aka Brinks Home Security,...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 21, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Covert Facial Recognition Using Axis and Amazon By NYTimes on May 20, 2019
What if you took a 33MP Axis camera covering one of the busiest parks in the US and ran Amazon Facial Recognition against it? That is what the...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact