Smart home security cameras are one of the most popular segments of smart home technology. Today we investigate the Panasonic KX-HNC600EW outdoor security camera and compare it to the cream of the smart home crop.
What is the Panasonic KX-HNC600EW outdoor camera?
As the name infers, this is a next generation ‘smart’ outdoor security camera. This segment of smart home security has taken off largely because home security systems have always been either frighteningly expensive or they have been useless, characterised by dummy cameras and other such feeble attempts at securing our homes. Smart security cameras, so called because they are connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) add immediate value because they are affordable, and they bring real time detection straight to our smartphones. So where in the past we may come home to a bleeping alarm, with no actionable ability to impact the break in that may have recently happened, these smart cameras bring us to the action, allowing us to capture recordings of the break-in and to call the police as the burglary happens.
The Panasonic KX-HNC600EW design
As far as security cameras go, this is a pretty nice design. There are two schools of thought when it comes to outdoor security cameras – the first is discretion and the second is to make the darned thing as obvious as possible in order to act as a proper deterrent. On balance, Panasonic have gone more for the former, with this small and compact design intended to be noticeable without being in your face. In our view, its an aesthetically pleasing design, minus any form of wow factor, but it is an outdoor camera – so we forgive Panasonic for saving their more gorgeous designs for more worthy product types. On balance we give it 4/5 stars
The Panasonic KX-HNC600EW picture quality
For a security camera to really be useful it has to capture a discernible picture quality, otherwise when it comes to it, the device will be useless. This Panasonic camera sports a fairly meagre 480p resolution, which means it is lacking the standard bearing 1080p high definition.
The trade off though is on storage. Many 1080p cameras eat through storage and that either becomes expensive to store in the cloud, or you have to be constantly monitoring and ready to free up space, which isn’t very useful if you’re ravelling over prolonged periods – even a 2 week summer holiday could be too much for some such cameras.
High Definition can also be slightly overkill. Useful for depth perspective and recognising faces from further afield, yes, but ultimately more than most home systems realistically require.
This Panasonic outdoor cam does have the versatility to record at nigh time, in total darkness. Whilst a nice feature, it is worth noting that the picture in such situations is pretty hard to define – don’t expect this to come to your rescue or to help get the bad guys caught during a night time break-in – the picture will not be clear enough to act as evidence
Picture quality – 2/5
Installation of the KX-HNC600EW – a walk in the park if you have the Panasonic Hub
Installation of the Panasonic outdoor camera is pretty straight forward if you have a Panasonic Hub – however this is likely to be a fairly big if. If you fall into the ‘if’ category than there may be simpler products on the market for your needs. However if you do have the Panasonic Hub, then getting this camera up and running is a <60 second job.
The camera works in partnership with the companion Panasonic app. Some readers have suggested that they have had issues with the app, but we found pairing it with the hardware to be a simple enough job – and we were up and running fast. If we’re to be brutally honest, we have seen nicer app interfaces however this is not an app that you will be using everyday – its an ‘in an emergency’ app – and in that context we believe it more than suffices
5/5 – if you have the hub!