Body Worn Cameras, what are the different options?

by | Pakatak Products

An easy to understand explanation of the different types of body worn camera systems

Body worn camera systems have become important tools in various fields, from law enforcement and security to journalism.  They can provide a first-person perspective that enhances transparency and accountability. These camera systems typically come in two main configurations. One-piece and two-piece setups, each offering distinct advantages depending on the intended use and your requirements.

One-Piece Body Worn Cameras 

One piece body-worn camera systems integrate the recording device and the camera into a single unit. These are often compact and streamlined, with covert versions resembling everyday items like eye glasses or a wristwatch. The covert nature of these systems makes them particularly effective in situations requiring discreet recording, such as undercover operations or investigative journalism.

body worn camera watch

A camera built into a pair of eye glasses, for instance, provides a hands-free recording experience (usually with a one button push to start or stop recording). Ideal for situations where manual operation is impractical or when a user needs to maintain focus on tasks while documenting events.

Many indutries such as law enforcement and security use much more overt one piece body worn cameras.  These overt cameras are to leave people in no doubt that the current situation is being recorded.  This can be for the safety of the person behind the camera and the people in front of the camera too.

Two-Piece Body Worn Camera Systems

Conversely, two-piece bodyworn camera systems separate the camera from the recording device. This configuration offers flexibility in camera placement and allows for larger storage capacities or extended battery life in the recording unit.

For instance, a button lens camera linked to a pocket sized DVR (digital video recorder) allows users to capture video without drawing attention. The camera, typically small and lightweight, can be discretely placed on clothing while the DVR unit remains concealed in a pocket or bag. This setup ensures that critical footage is recorded without alerting subjects, maintaining the integrity of the investigation or reporting process.

professional body worn camera kit

Body Worn Covert Surveillance Kit with button lens

How do body worn cameras work?

Regardless of configuration, body-worn camera systems operate similarly. They typically feature HD cameras capable of recording audio and video in real-time. The captured footage is usually stored on a memory card, ensuring data security and ease of transfer for review or analysis later.

Covert body worn cameras…

The covert nature of some body-worn camera systems is a significant advantage in sensitive scenarios. Whether embedded in buttons on clothing, into the frames of eye glasses, or hidden in a wristwatch, these devices allow users to discreetly capture video and audio footage without raising suspicion. This capability is invaluable in law enforcement operations requiring covert surveillance or journalistic investigations into sensitive subjects whereby maintaining anonymity is crucial for the safety of reporters and sources alike.#

Here are some of our other articles that you may be interested in:

Spy cameras hidden in everyday objects

The benefits of wireless outdoor covert cameras

Wireless home security cameras



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