We've all seen stakeouts in the movies-cops sitting in vans and watching whatever someone's tie-cam is picking up, or James Bond recording a scene with his sunglasses. Now, all the high-tech Hollywood spy gadgets have become a reality; hidden or covert CCTV cameras now come in all shapes and sizes-boom boxes, clocks, even teddy bears-for maximum surveillance and minimum detectability.
Types of Covert CCTV Cameras
When you're trying to watch someone or something without being seen, your camera has to be as unobtrusive as possible. So hidden security camera manufacturers have gotten creative. Besides classic dome cameras that look like light fixtures, you can now find cameras disguised as any number of ordinary household items. The 4 Hidden Spy Cameras company, for instance, has a wide selection of covert camera options that include:
- Book-shaped cameras that can take videos discreetly from the shelf
- Sunglasses that record everything you see
- Funky portable boom box cameras that film while you jam
- Small, wireless pen cameras that take color videos while you're taking notes
You can also get a "nanny cam" in the shape of a Winnie-the-Pooh or Tigger doll, so you can see what's happening to your child when you're not around. Like most hidden cameras, covert surveillance cameras are available with or without color, in wired or wireless models, and can come equipped with audio, motion detectors, night vision, alarm sensors, built-in DVRs, and other special features.
Wired vs. Wireless Hidden Security Cameras
When most people think of hidden spy cameras, they think of complex wiring and cables that run along walls and disappear into the ceiling. While there are still plenty of innovative, modern wired cameras on the market-often in the shape of fire sprinklers, table lamps, and clock radios - wireless cameras have the advantage of being both more portable and harder to detect.
Wireless spy cameras also eliminate the hassle of drilling holes and hiding cables, making them easier to install, as well. That said, wireless spy cameras are also more expensive, ranging from $200 to over $600, whereas you can get a wired camera of the same design for half the price. Depending on your budget and your security needs, you may prefer one or the other, or you may use some of each for different applications. The choice is yours.
Hidden Security Camera Uses
Hidden security cameras are handy for everything from undercover intelligence missions to private investigating, from police stakeouts to child monitoring. These unassuming hidden cameras are also useful in high-security locations-i.e., banks, jewelry stores, or government facilities-both on their own and as backup for more conspicuous security cameras.
As backup cameras, they're especially sneaky, since intruders who see the regular security cameras will mistakenly assume they're safe if they're outside the cameras' range. Also, because they're more subtle, they're good for areas where aesthetics or customer sensitivity make obvious security cameras inconvenient-in private homes, for instance, or in specialty stores.
With a covert surveillance camera, you can maintain a discreet security presence without compromising on a tasteful appearance. Most importantly, remember to use your hidden security camera safely, legally, and with respect for people's privacy. Once you've got the footage, you're responsible for making sure it goes only to legitimate use. As long as you keep that in mind, a hidden security camera is an excellent way to keep a covert eye out wherever you need it most.