Surveillance hidden cameras are very useful in certain situations, especially when you want to add extra security to your surveillance security system or when you simply want to catch some wrongdoing going on your property. First of all check your local laws before installing hidden cameras on your business. It’s alright if it’s in your home or property, however sometimes the recordings are not admissible on the court.
Let’s start by dividing the hidden cameras in two groups: 1) the hidden cameras running on battery and recording on micro SD card 2) the powered hidden cameras that record on micro SD card on a DVR/NVR (if the camera is connected to the recorder).
Standalone cameras that get powered via batteries
These cameras come in different sizes and shapes, work standalone and record on the micro SD attached to them. Their operating time depends on how long the battery is able to power the camera. It can go from 2 hours and up to 12 hours. The resolution of these camera starts from very low (measured in TVL – TV lines) and can go up to 1080p. Some of them have built-in mic to record the audio from the environment.
All the cameras in this group have a built-in micro SD slot on their motherboard allowing you to install the micro SD card and have the footage stored there. Check the camera specs for the size of the micro SD supported by the camera. In order to playback you need to retrieve the footage on the micro SD card via a card reader and then play it on your computer. For some other models (that support the Wi-Fi) you can playback on the phone via their app (usually you need to be in the same network).
Live monitoring these type of cameras is not easy, most of them don’t support that kind of feature. Basically you just record a few hours and then you playback in your computer to check out if something valuable happened. However some new types of hidden cameras support Wi-Fi and you can live monitor them via their app. This might be a little complicated since you need configure the network settings of the camera.
These hidden camera can be such as:
- Hidden camera a pen (micro SD included, 1080p)
- Hidden camera as a charger adapter plug (has loop recording)
- Hidden camera as a pen ( 1080p, loop recording, plug and play, roller ball pen)
- Hidden camera as clothes hook (1280p, with motion detector)
- Hidden camera on pinhole style (very small, app, Wi-Fi, 1080p)
- Hidden camera as car key (1080p)
- Hidden camera as a light bulb (WI-Fi, 1080p, app, fisheye view)
- Hidden camera as a clock (Wi-Fi, app, 1080p)
Wired/Wireless cameras that can be hooked up to a recorder
The second group of hidden camera are more “professional” meaning they can be hooked up just like a regular security camera to a recorder (DVR or Network video recorder – NVR) and store the recordings on the hard drive. These camera can be monitored live anytime via the internet. Generally are very reliable. These hidden camera need to be powered and can be connected to the recorder via Wi-Fi or wired (if wired, you can use the PoE to power the camera).
Installing these cameras is a little bit tricky, since you have to hide the cable. If it’s a one time job is better to go for the hidden cameras that work standalone and run on batteries, if you want to have a permanent hidden camera that operates non stop, records properly and be accessible any time via the internet than you need a professional hidden cameras.
They can be Analog, HD over coax (HD-CVI, HD-TVI, AHD) or Network camera (IP cameras). Most of these hidden IP cameras support micro Sd card up to 256GB (you don’t necessary need one if you use DVR/NVR ), come with mic built-in and are generally very reliable.
These hidden cameras can be such as:
- IP Pinhole Hidden camera (720p, very small)
- IP PIR camera (this looks like motion detector, up to 5MP)
- Hikvision IP pinhole camera (1.3MP, heavy duty, Micro SD)
- Analog Hidden camera as a screw (extremely small)
- Hidden camera as smoke detector (should be mounted in ceiling)
How to hide the camera
Security hidden cameras can be used in any room in the home, although care should be taken in place such as kitchens and bathrooms where there are a lot of water fittings and plumbing that could potentially cause damage to the equipment. Apart from taking care in these instances, however, there is a vast range of choice of locations to select from.
One of the top choices for placing this surveillance equipment in the home is on a bookshelf, as this is very easy to install and usually blends in perfectly with other items kept on the shelf. You even can find a hidden camera in the shape of a book; otherwise, you may be able to buy a hollowed out book – or make your own – for concealing this surveillance equipment.
Another common place to put a hidden camera is on a TV stand, as this can blend in perfectly with the other equipment that is already here; people are very unlikely to notice a tiny camera (pinhole camera as this one, or this one) that is placed next to a variety of other electronic equipment.
The advantage of these two choices is that they are in fixed positions that generally offer a great view of a room. Whereas a hidden security camera in a more obscure position may not pick up what is happening in the center of a room, TV stands and bookshelves generally facilitate this, making for extremely useful footage.
Finally, try putting your hidden surveillance equipment in smaller decorative items that would not look out of place in almost any room in the home. A commonly used example of this is in a mantle or wall clock, as these items are in no way suspicious, can be placed in any room and offer great footage of the space.
If you have mirrors or vases of flowers throughout the home, these also make great places to hide surveillance equipment. A two-sided mirror may be a little expensive, but could definitely worth the investment for undetectable and highly effective surveillance in many rooms in your property.