May 2, 2011

Review: Panasonic HD IP Camera, WV-SP105, $260

If you are looking for an inexpensive, high-quality HD security camera for your business or home, then the WV-SP105 will fit the needs perfectly. The Panasonic HD IP camera, WV-SP105 at $260 is an inexpensive high-resolution video security solution for businesses and homes.

With its 1280x960 HD video resolution, you can see more of an area as compared to traditional SD video from CCTV cameras.

Panasonic has a range of IP cameras for video monitoring and video security, from IP cameras for home to IP cameras for businesses to cameras used for monitoring large areas such as warehouses, malls, airports, large buildings etc.

The WV-SP105 is a part of Panasonic’s lineup of HD IP cameras. The camera is ideally suited to monitor smaller indoor areas such as a shop, a warehouse, an office, a home etc. Multiple cameras can be placed to monitor different areas. The camera enables remote video monitoring of these areas 24/7.

An overview of WV-SP105 features is below.

Fixed Camera
The camera is fixed (with no pan-tilt optical-zoom) and is aimed at monitoring one area at a time well e.g. at a shop. Multiple cameras can be used to monitor different areas at the same time.

The camera provides video at 1280x960 HD resolution. The image below shows how a 720p HD video captures more of a scene as compared to SD video from CCTV cameras.

A 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio can be selected for the video. Most people will prefer watching in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

The video is output in H.264 format and video bitrates can be selected from 64 kbps to 8 Mbps and unlimited. For the highest quality video, select the highest bitrate available for your network. E.g. if
  • camera is being viewed remotely over Internet
  • and, the Internet connection has a 4 Mbps upload speeds
  • and, 2 cameras need to be viewed concurrently

Set the bitrate for each camera at 2 Mbps (= 4 Mbps/2).

Night mode
With a low lux rating (Color – 0.05 lux, Black-and-white – 0.03 lux), this camera can see clearly even in low light conditions. To further improve the video in low-light conditions, illuminate the area with infrared LED’s.

Motion Detection
The camera provides standard motion detection features. Upto 4 motion detection zones can be defined. The camera can be set to send alerts if any motion is detected.

Most cameras are good for only (relatively) crude motion detection. Don’t expect fine, nuanced detection of various motions in the scene.

Power for Camera
The camera consumes about 2.8W and can be powered via PoE or a 12V DC adapter.

Client browser & OS
A weakness of this camera is that its software is designed to work with only Windows OS and Internet Explorer. So if you plan to access the camera directly, you’ll need to use a Windows PC.

Alternately, an Internet service can be used to access and control the camera that will work with any browser or device.

Recording Video from IP Camera
To record the video from the cameras, the Panasonic WJ-NV200$2,000 network video recorder can be used.
But, if the network video recorder is too expensive for your needs, then use an Internet service that provides 24/7 recording for a low monthly fee.

Should I Buy
If you are looking for an inexpensive, high-quality HD IP camera for your business or home, then the WV-SP105 is it. With its low price, you can use multiple of these to setup video security for your business or home. The setup is relatively simple and can be done on your own.

And, if you need more features, you can pick other cameras from Panasonic’s lineup of HD IP cameras such as dome IP cameras, fixed dome IP cameras and other industrial-grade IP cameras.

Additional Info
Check a review of Panasonic WV-SC385, another HD camera, to learn more about Panasonic HD IP cameras.