How to choose a suitable mini camera?

­How to choose a suitable mini camera?

Mini cameras are the most popular devices used by detectives and investigators. Miniature spy photo cameras cleverly hidden in unexpected items will help you to answer many questions. All professional spies use mini cameras as they help to see what should invisible! This article will help to choose best device for your needs.

As a matter of fact, this kind of equipment is not only dedicated to professional investigators working in security services! Our cameras may be useful in many everyday situations and protect us and our family. New babysitter taking of our child, who starts behave suspicions, damage to your property in the neighbourhood, a scratched car, or perhaps some equipment missing in your company? Each of these cases require properly matched, discreet camera, which allows to record data.


Categories of equipment in our offer

Wired cameras

Wired camerasWired mini cameras require plugging an external recorder or signal receiver to a power supply (most frequently – directly from the recorder). It is also possible to plug them to the wireless transmitter. One of their main features is high quality of recordings. Because of tiny size, they can be easily hidden in various places. They are often used as cameras that you can wear (the lens might be camouflaged with a button on clothes). BU18 camera with a HDMI joint represent such camera class. We have also cameras for specific usage, such as 'snake' type MJ-B1003 with a very small objective's head diameter – few millimetres. Our offer also includes specialised micro cameras with very high sensitivity and high dynamic range, for operation at very low light intensity – see REI VPC 2.0.

Mini cameras with a recorder

Miniature camerasMiniature cameras may consist of an integrated recorder with a built-in accumulator that allows to save data (on microSD memory card). They are easy to use and do not require plugging in any external devices. USB interface allows for quick and easy connection to a computer. Some of them may also be used as web cameras, for example, PD-55 model. More advanced functions and better specification are offered by the GSM X009 camera that can be remotely operated via Internet. Thanks to that you can convert pictures to MMS and have a wiretap of global range for the cost of a simple SIM card! Nothing else is required.

Hidden mini cameras

Hidden mini camerasCamouflaged cameras often looks like straight from movies because they are hidden in every day tools and objects. This idea of placing cameras in accessories simply works and allows to record video without arousing suspicions. That is why it is still popular today. In office environment, an obvious choice would be DV Pen, lying on a desk or PV-AC20 power pack, plugged to the socket. PV-TM10 camera hidden in a weather station can monitor any entrance, hall, or apartment, being activated by temperature changes. One interesting novelty to be mentioned are camouflaged cameras with remote access via Internet. A ALC-T11 alarm clock, standing on a shelf in a child's room or in the living room, allows ceaseless house monitoring It's very helpful while you are abroad or at work. You may be also interested in the portable cameras. A camera in GL-G7000glasses can directly record any meeting without being noticed, even though people may look straight at it. This way it is possible to get a video of someone threatening us or simply record important events hands free. The same option will give you a miniature camera hidden in watch, recording in HD quality.

Photo traps

Photo trapsPhoto traps are cameras created to work outdoors, in any weather condition, for a long time. The most important feature of a photo trap is resistance, easy installation (camouflaged casing, system of installing stripes). They are independent as they offer long operation time without replacing batteries or charging. These devices are adapted to work at night. They have very sensitive image sensors and infrared illuminators, which allow to record in conditions of very low light. It is good to check what kind of infrared illuminator is used. Cheaper devices have visible illuminators which emit red glow, for example Covert® MP–E5.

Models of this class will be perfect for observation of nature, but they are not so efficient when it comes to safety purposes – a potential poacher or intruder may see the light and avoid entering the field of vision of the camera. Better models are equipped with motion detectors of PIR technology, reacting to heat, they are also very efficient. The most advanced models, such as B3 photo trap are equipped with 3 sensors of such type – 2 auxiliary ones, monitoring the area outside the field of vision of the camera and preparing the device for the activation, and one central. This means that if an object will appear in the field of vision of the photo trap's auxiliary sensor, the camera can be prepared faster, and make a better recording or take more pictures. Additionally, photo traps can be equipped with communication module via mobile network (they support SIM cards of every provider) and can send the captured pictures automatically as an MMS message, e-mail address or check them in a dedicated application. You can learn more about photo traps at Detective-store website.

Photo traps are used for

  • border protection – monitoring illegal immigrants, unprotected borders and smuggling;
  • protection of restricted areas - military units, training grounds, production halls, warehouses, building material storage areas, garbage dumps, sidings, construction areas and many other;
  • forests, water bodies and fish breeding ponds - monitoring of illegal wood cutting, poaching, garbage disposal, illegal fishing;
  • monitoring of properties, garages, parking places;
  • nature observation;
  • hunting.

Dash cams

Photo trapsCamcorders adapted to be installed on windscreens are not just gadgets to make funny videos of what is happening on the road. In case of an accident, the obtained recording may be the only evidence which will help identify the perpetrator and avoid false or incomplete testimony of a witness. It may also prove the groundlessness of a fine and help exert your rights in the court. What should be the most important thing when buying a car camera? Ergonomics seems to be crucial, but also functions which facilitate using the camera and quality of recorded video. Nowadays, FullHD 1920 x 1080 is a standard. It guarantees obtaining a detailed image and possibility of recognizing specific elements (such as registration number of the preceding car).

The speed of recording is also worth mentioning. 30 fps (frames per second) is a good standard. However, sometimes it is better to use lower image resolution but a faster recording. If we move quickly during the day, it is good to lower the resolution too, for example, 1280 x 720, but obtain a video of 60 fps which will enhance the smoothness. Camera angle is a very important factor, too. Wide angle guarantees that the camera installed on the windscreen will monitor the sidewalks and waysides. Then, in case when a pedestrian enters the road, it will be very easy to prove who the perpetrator is – the inattentive driver or the mindless pedestrian. Additionally, some recorders are equipped with a GPS module, which records the location of the vehicle, velocity and direction of movement. Thanks to specialised software, this information can be placed on a map and work with the camera image to complete the perspective. DOD VRH3 is an interesting, advanced model with a separate GPS module, which may be used when needed. Data overwriting is another possible convenience: after running out of memory space, the oldest recording is deleted and replaced by a new one. To avoid deleting a movie with a potential accident, the devices are equipped with a shock sensor. After detecting the shock, blocks the piece of material from being deleted.

Inspection cameras (borescopes)

Inspection camerasThey are dedicated to inspection of places with difficult access, They are equipped with tiny lensinstalled on wire which can be 1 to 5 meters long. Borescopes are often equipped with additional accessories, such as LED diodes, illuminating the camera's operation area or hooks. Some models have also mirrors which improve their operation and allow the user to access places which are difficult to reach – dark and impossible to examine without a borescope. Inspection cameras are useful in many situations – in motorization and construction engineering. Such tool may be very useful in everyday situations. When you need to see what's behind heavy furniture or in your car.

Which factors should be of the greatest concern when choosing a model of the camera? The offered borescopes are conventionally equipped with wires of 1 meter length, they differ in type of a wire and its diameter. Pliable wires are accessible (you can shape them and the shape will be preserved) or flexible (they adapt to the surrounding, making it possible to insert them to the desired observation object). You can buy a specific wire of 2 or 5 meters length, but also purchase extensions – 1 and 5 meters. For the user's convenience, the image from the camera is projected on a removable wireless display screen – it can be plugged out of the device at any time, which helps manipulating the borescope and viewing the image. Some models, such as GosCam Explorer Premium 8833FB have a built-in recorder. The movie from the camera can be saved on replaceable memory cards. It is also worth mentioning that the wire and the camera are water resistant.

Minicams in buttons

What should be the greatest concern when choosing a camera?

When choosing a camera, the most important thing is to determine purposes and conditions. Will the camera be working in a building, in open or closed area, will recordings be made at night or during the day? Working time with own power supply (mostly 1-3 hours) is also a very important factor. Possibility of plugging additional external accumulators and possibility of plugging the camera to the AC adapter to obtain unlimited working time. The amount of data saved is dependent on available memory. Most of the cameras use replaceable memory cards with up to 32 GB capacity, some of the models also support 64 GB memory cards. Other important functional features of the camera are: motion detect function, marking the recordings with a watermark with a date and timeidentifier of the device, and frames-per-second counter.


You can learn more on our detective Detective-store® blog.