Covert Cameras for Video Surveillance
Covert cameras are used more and more extensively these days, for many different purposes both around the home and workplace. Take a closer look at the image of the wall clock camera above and you can just about see a tiny lens to the right of the II (12) – that’s with you looking at an image from inches away so you can see how covert these cameras can be, without intense scrutiny in a real life environment that would just look like a normal wall clock.
Many people are using covert cameras to keep an eye out for their elderly relatives, who may be at home alone or in care homes, and so covert cameras can offer great piece of mind when used for these sort of purposes and the cameras with built in WiFi now allow you to “check in” should your relative not pick up the phone when you call for example or if you are concerned that they are not receiving the care and attention they deserve. In an instant you can check an app on your own mobile phone and view live footage from your WiFi camera or, if you are not deploying a covert camera with WiFi functionality, then you can check what has been recorded via your laptop when you next visit the camera location.
Monitoring elderly relatives is one of the most popular reasons that our customers are looking for a covert camera but alongside that are people that suspect a partner is cheating. For this type of application covert cameras can again uncover some footage that will either confirm or alleviate your fears, often in this kind of application it may not be the video that provides the determining evidence but the audio. WiFi covert cameras can (if you buy a good one!) record good quality audio with the video and so you may find that it’s the audio (perhaps a telephone conversation) rather than the video that proves or disproves your fears in this case.
In many instances there will be no need to use a covert camera but if the surveillance needs to be kept under wraps then they fit the bill perfectly and as they are built into many different kinds of everyday objects and so you’ll almost certainly find a camera that will fit your chosen location with looking conspicuous.
One of the main things to look out for when choosing a covert camera (that is very often overlooked at first) is how is the camera powered? If it requires mains power that’s fine providing the object that conceals the camera is a device that would normally have a power cable running from it. If not then this cable could be a giveaway that all is not as it seems and may prompt somebody to take a closer look! Having said that, if you can choose an object that would ordinarily be powered from a mains socket then that can make things a lot easier, especially if you require a long running system that you will only have the opportunity to visit now and again. Battery powered covert cameras can be fantastic too but be sure to check how long they can run for before requiring a recharge, remember once the power to a camera has run out you will have no video recording!
Another specification to look out for when choosing a covert camera is memory card capacity. Some cameras may accept a maximum of 16G other may accept up to 128G. Usually an SD card or micro SD card will be required and you’ll often be able to set the camera to either stop recording when the card is full or cycle. Cycle would mean that once the card is full it will then start recording over the oldest recorded footage. So this is an important feature to think about as you would not want to lose important video footage from your covert camera system. With this in mind it will often be better to choose a camera with a higher capacity (such as 64G or 128G) rather than a camera with a lower capacity such as 16G. Again, think about how much footage you’ll be able to store on the card and how often you can get to the camera to either check and clear the card or swap it with a fresh one. Your chosen video resolution will also play a big part in how much footage can be stored on an SD card, the higher the resolution or video quality the more memory will be used up. Another factor in how quickly your memory card may be filled up is how long your camera will record for when triggered by movement (most covert cameras will give you the option to either record continuously or only when motion is detected within the camera view). If you set the camera to record for 30 seconds when triggered then you will obviously use up less memory than if you set it to record for 3 minutes every time it’s triggered. Remember your camera will start recording a new file if there is still movement being detected in front of the lens (there may just be several seconds delay between one video clip being saved and a new one starting).
A time & date stamp on the recorded video is also vital to determine exactly when an event took place. Most covert cameras have this as standard these days so you will be unlikely to find a system without this important feature but it’s always worth double checking!
Covert cameras are, usually at least, very simple to set up and operate but it’s always worth checking with whoever you are buying from about the quality of instructions supplied – is the product supplied only with the manufacturers instructions? if yes, then be careful as these can often be a direct translation from the manufacturers own language and this can make them very difficult to use (especially if you’ve not really used these type of cameras before). Good quality instructions being supplied with your camera product is even more important if you are going for a WiFi covert camera. If it’s a good quality camera then the WiFi will be fairly simple to set up but you will almost certainly need some good instructions to avoid lots of head scratching and frustration! Always check that the company you are buying from are accessible on the phone, email or live chat – this way you know you have access to some help should you need it.
Body Worn Covert Camera Systems..
Static covert cameras like the ones in the various images above are perfect for set locations when you have a good idea where the action will take place but what if you’re out and about, on the move and in a constantly changing scenario? Well, maybe then a body worn camera system or a covert spy camera will fit the bill. You could go with a full body worn camera system with handheld recording unit and button style camera, a covert camera built into a pair of spectacles or sunglasses, a wristwatch camera or perhaps just something you could carry with you like a key fob. There are plenty of options dependent upon your particular covert surveillance operation!
Where to buy and pitfalls of choosing the wrong company..
If you’re buying from a genuine UK company you should also have a 1 year warranty on your product – steer clear of the overseas sellers on the likes of Amazon and eBay, they may save you a few pounds initially but should you need support post purchase or if your camera was to develop a fault a few months after purchase many of these sellers “go missing”. Not trying to scare you here but we hear this on an almost daily basis!