Panasonic VariCam Custom Splash Screen to deter camera theft

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Panasonic have come up with application software that creates a Custom Splash Screen for owners of the VariCam 35/HS, VariCam LT and VariCam PURE camera recorders. This software helps deter theft by using the customized Splash Screen as the owner’s digital name tag. In short it’s like putting a watermark function on your camera so it becomes unusable if it ever happens to be stolen.

This is the first time to my knowledge that a camera manufacturer has come up with a way to deter camera theft. Unfortunately it’s not going to prevent your camera from being stolen in the first place, as any would be thief is probably not going to be aware that the camera they are stealing will end up being useless if they take it.

The other potential problem Varicam owners may well face is when the thief discovers the camera is useless to them and can’t be sold they may end up just destroying the camera instead.

Three features to help deter theft

  • Customise the display screen during the boot-up process (Splash Screen) as your company log
  • Register owner information
  • Password setting
    You can set a password to prevent rewriting of the above registered contents and to prevent updating / downgrade execution.

A startup screen registered with VARICAM series can be protected with a password so that it cannot be deleted by a third person. The password set up will be required to be entered when performing the next and subsequent version-upgrading on your camera.

Cameras that can use Custom Splash Screen

Varicam 35/HS (AU-V35C1G / V23HS1G / AU-VREC1G) : Ver.8.00- or later
Varicam LT (AU-V35LT1) : Ver.31.01- or later
Varicam PURE : Version of support for CSS function

Why don’t camera manufacturers do more to combat theft?

I’ve always wondered why more camera manufacturers haven’t placed software or GPS location devices in their products. If you can do it with a simple phone or tablet, surely it can’t be too hard to place that sort of technology inside an expensive camera. If I was a rental house or owner of an expensive camera I would certainly be willing to pay a little extra to have the piece of mind that my camera could be recovered or tracked down if it was to be stolen.

While the Custom Splash Screen isn’t going to prevent your camera from being stolen in the first place it’s good to see a manufacturer at least make an effort to help try and counter theft. On the odd chance that the person who is about to steal your camera knows that it will be useless to them or anyone else it may just prevent your camera from being stolen in the first place.

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