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Panasonic BL-C30 Web Cam
(6 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
Nice Try - But Missed
Mar 12, 2005 (Updated Apr 10, 2005)
Review by donaldkline
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Cons:Cheap construction, Poor install SW, Poor quality, Poor customer service, Cumbersome configuration controls
The Bottom Line: Spend your money elsewhere
I've waited for an affordable 11g wireless cam for a while. When the BL-C30A showed up I quickly plopped down the $250 and got one. Bad move. This cam is very disappointing. General construction is cheap. Installation tool messed up my router so bad I had to download new firmware for it to recover (after 3 days of debugging). Never could get the wireless interface to work. While trying, on day 5, the camera failed. The image suffered a constantly changing color shift and a flipped (left to right) image. I called customer service several times. I will say that I was never on hold for more than a minute or two - that was nice. However, they were of no help with my install troubles.
Recommend this product?
When they viewed the defect in the image over the web they wouldn't replace the camera. I can't understand how a 5-day old, proven defective product isn't eligible for replacement. I was told I had to send it in for repair on my time and shipping expense. I sent it in. That was a month ago. I've heard nothing. Now I have no camera and I'm out $250. I'm very disappointed.
If you're looking for a wireless cam, I can't in good conscience recommend the Panasonic BL-C30A. Buy something else.
[6 weeks later]
Update to my original message: 6 weeks after sending in my defective cam, it was returned. The repair shop fixed all the problems I reported. The flipped image, color shift and wireless connect were all corrected. This restored my hope a little. I played with the cam for a couple of weeks - and even started to like it a little. But, a few days ago it failed again. The auto exposure feature now fails to stabilize on a good exposure and instead gets lost hunting for the right exposure and cycles for long periods of time changing back and forth between very over exposed and very underexposed (light and dark picture). It will eventually stabilize most of the time but it takes so long (hours) it makes the cam useless. Once it stabilizes, panning/tilting the view to a lighter or darker scene causes it to start cycling again. Sometimes it never stabilizes until I pan it to a different view.
Now what? Send it in at my expense and wait another 6 weeks for a repair? The garbage can might be its new home. I must have a lemon. No cam could really be this bad.
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