What types of spy cameras are available?
Nowadays you can buy spy cameras anywhere ranging from a $5 eBay item to a $4,000 handmade 4G remote surveillance system from OzSpy, and everything between. And make no mistake, you do get what you pay for. In 2015 we purchased 200x $20 spy pens to offer a cheaper line, the failure rate ended up being 89%. We hear similar stories often when people tell us about the failures they had with cheap units.
When choosing a spy camera, think to yourself. Is it a mission critical recording?. Meaning you may only get one chance to get the evidence, and does it have to be used as evidence? If you answer yes to either then you should really research what you need and choose wisely. If the camera is detected or fails to record you may never get another chance.
There are cameras built into many things from pens to clocks, light bulbs to picture frames. We also build them into existing furniture so if you need one in your premises you can bring in something and we will build a camera into it. This makes spotting a camera much harder as they are impossible to research online since it is a one of a kind.
People also refer to them in different ways now, an example is a Nanny cam. You may think it’s a camera for nannies, but it just means a hidden camera that blends into a home. There are other specific terms like clock cameras, watch cameras, smoke detector cameras, etc. Basically they just refer to the case it is mounted in. The electronics inside hardly changes between cases, but between suppliers it can vary a lot.
Normally spy cameras do not have IR night vision and even when they do it is next to useless, so whenever looking at a spy cameras, even if it says IR night vision, don’t expect it to see more than one meter or so.
If it is as big as your thumb (roughly), you can put a camera in it.
What makes a great spy camera?
There are several things that make a great spy camera, including reliability, clear picture, ease of use and quality so it works when you need it to. It is also vital to consider power/battery life and recording times as there vary considerably.
When purchasing a spy cam, it is important that it blends in well and isn’t identified as a spy camera. The last thing anyone wants is when they are trying to catch a perpetrator of a crime and the perpetrator notices the spy camera then makes themselves look like they are totally innocent in front of the camera or even steals the camera.
This is one of the major challenges today as most spy cameras are mass produced so even if people see something suspect, say a smoke detector, they can easily search for smoke detector hidden camera which will undoubtedly give them information on what they look like and make no mistake, mass produced smoke detector cameras look nothing like a real smoke detector you would buy at your local hardware store. Thus not only rendering the covert camera useless, but worse than that, allowing them to modify their actions in front of the camera to cloud the facts.
For this very reason, unless you are looking for a novelty item to muck around with the only safe method is to build your own or look at a custom built camera. OzSpy has been building custom cameras for 20 years and although they are more expensive due to the time it takes to build them manually they are usually the only choice for many situations where the collection of evidence is critical.
Generally we look for:
- 1080p (or above) resolution for clear recording
- Wi-Fi connectivity for stationary units for remote view and notification
- The ability to run permanently on power as many cannot do this and batteries go flat
- True colours in most lighting as many low cost units can distort colours
- Reliability so for a mission critical job you can be confident the system will get the evidence
- Unique appearance that does not look like a hidden camera and is not searchable on the internet
What features are important when choosing a spy camera?
This really depends on what you need, for a nanny camera just designed to record the actions of a baby sitter a self recoding unit is perfect as you can remove the SD card and play it back in your phone, tablet or PC when you get home.
If you are away and need to monitor an empty house that you feel someone is sneaking people into you would probably prefer a unit with an app or can email you so you get notified as soon as it happens.
How about you are an investigator you may need something that looks like a rock where you can place it into a garden and watch the people entering and leaving the house from the comfort of your car or office.
Maybe you think a friend of the family is sneaking into the bedroom and stealing while you are either at home or away then a spy camera with email or an app will let you know as soon as they enter the room without them being alerted at all.
Or perhaps you are worried about your teenager sneaking out at night through the window or sneaking people in through the window you would place an outdoor camera outside thus still protecting the teenager’s privacy whilst gathering the evidence you need to confront them.
We can gear cameras for any situation and connect through your internet or create a private 3G/4G network so our cameras can be accessed from anywhere in the world and our cameras can be pretty much placed anywhere.
So what we hope you get from this article is that whether you buy from us or any other reputable supplier, ensure your spy camera will get the results you need at evidence level without the embarrassment of getting caught out yourself by placing an easily detectable spy camera…