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Cameras Fit for Private Investigator Surveillance

  • September 17, 2018
  • by William Wilson
  • Articles

Before technology became accessible to the general public and private investigators, following your subject was the primary way to complete surveillance. Surveillance has come a long way since then with the rise in portable and hidden cameras. The advent of camera technology has made surveillance more powerful and effective for investigators since photographic evidence is easy to obtain. Particularly for private investigators, technology paved the way for appropriate avenues for surveillance.

Innovative gadgets such as cameras became the most useful tool for private investigators. Although there are other types of equipment used in an investigation, cameras are the primary tool of the trade. However, not all cameras are fit for a private investigator. Although all kinds of cameras can provide surveillance evidence, not all can produce good quality photographs or videos.

The Appropriate Camera for A Private Investigator

There are distinct specifications that a surveillance camera must have if used by a private investigator. Their primary cameras ideally have the following:

  • Recording capability
  • Optical zoom of x12
  • Manual focus
  • Night mode functions
  • Viewfinder
  • View screen

All of the above specs are normally found in an average type of surveillance camera but it is important to consider other factors. These may include brand, quality, functionality, durability, and cost.

Professional Cameras vs Phone Cameras

Unsurprisingly, today’s phone cameras largely provide what professional cameras can do. But, it is not wise to choose smartphone cameras over professional cameras when executing surveillance. Although smartphone cameras are utilized in the process to complement other tools, high-quality cameras are the primary choice for a private investigator due to their reliability and quality.

In addition, there are a few specifications that a professional camera can provide and that a smartphone camera cannot. For example, the optical zoom functions and night mode features are not common features on smartphones. Although smartphones are continually progressing, there are still numerous incidents that they cannot be used as a primary substitute for video cameras.

Even though some may argue that phone cameras are much more convenient, any professional private investigator would prefer a high-quality camera to provide clear evidence for their surveillance.

Covert, Spy, and Hidden Cameras

Covert or hidden cameras are normally used by serious and professional private investigators as needed or if necessary. There are underlying principles and laws that should be regarded first when using hidden cameras. Investigators need be aware of their state’s recording privacy laws for both audio and video when collecting surveillance evidence. Since these laws may differ from one state to another, it is challenging at times to use covert or hidden cameras. Before investing in these hidden cameras to complete an investigation, make sure you are collecting your proof in accordance with the law.

By and large, hidden cameras may come in different forms and sizes. In fact, hundreds to thousands of variations are now seen on the market. But, not all these cameras can give you quality and reliable results. So, it is very important to gather research and data first before acquiring and using covert or hidden cameras.

A high quality hidden camera must / must be:

  • Extremely small but can perfectly produce excellent results and full-sized video image.
  • Possess the quality to camouflage – can be disguised and perfectly hidden in just about any common object
  • Undetectable
  • Include an accurate lens sensor for focusing its light on the subject
  • Electronically sophisticated – even though there is so much circuitry, it is predominantly formed through small integrated chips

Here are a few spy cameras that you may want to check out:

SmartWatch Spy Camera

The SmartWatch Spy Camera is one of the most common spy cams of today as it is very subtle and convenient to use. With one swipe on the screen, you could already capture a high-resolution video footage. And aside from the recording capabilities, it has a zooming in feature too. There are different brands of smartwatch spy cameras available to suit your needs.

Ultra 2k Spy Camera Pen

If you are looking for a much clearer video footage, the Ultra 2k Spy Camera Pen could be the one that you are looking for. Apparently, it is considered the most innovative spy camera of all time. It features a 2k video resolution that can capture fluid motions at a rate of 60 feet per second. While it may cost you a little bit more than the average spy cameras, it largely justifies its cost.

Modern Eyeglasses Spy Camera

If you have seen a few action movies, then you are well aware that most spies on television use this kind of spy camera. This is because it’s basically the most common type of all.

Aside from the convenience, Eyeglasses Spy Cams can capture what you really want to record. And many thanks to the wonderful works of technology, these spy cams have become so much more innovative. Users can easily record videos with one touch or one click on the lens. Also, the quality of the videos is much more reliable.

Common Cameras of Private Investigators

The average cost of a quality video camera falls between $750 and $1,000. But, as mentioned, there are several factors that affect a video camera’s quality instead of judging quality solely based on price. The brand variety and specifications of cameras make it difficult to choose the right and suitable camera for private investigation surveillance. We suggest choosing the camera that has all the features you need. If you need more guidance, here are a few examples:

Rebel T5

The Rebel series of Canon is as one of the most common video camera lines used by many private investigators. Although later generations of investigators would choose a much more advanced type, long-time investigators normally started their respective investigations with this series. The Rebel T5 camera is easy to learn how to use and provides high-quality images.

Aside from the fact that the T5 is relatively inexpensive, it is an 18-megapixel camera. It also has a very detailed viewfinder where you can find different angles.

Canon EOS 1300D Digital SLR

The Canon EOS 1300D is best for entry-level users. It represents excellent value, though not too revolutionary. It is appealing to beginners not just of its low price but also due to its features. It is an 18-megapixel camera with built-in Wi-Fi, continuous shooting, and an APS-C-sided sensor.

Moreover, it features a viewfinder, view screen, manual focus, and night visions. The possible drawback of this camera is that it can only provide an optical zoom of x 10 instead of the ideal x 12. Nevertheless, this is a great camera for private investigators.

Vixia HFR700

The Vixia series of Canon is the more advanced camcorders/video cameras of the Canon brand. Users can freely choose the video quality as these cameras feature a customizable video resolution. Also, users can choose the format of videos. The Vixia HFR700 is a popular choice due to its zoom range and quality resolution.

Nikon D610

Nikon D610 is 24 megapixels and goes beyond the basics. It has some of the Nikon’s high-end features but with a moderate price tag. It delivers excellent image quality, features, and performance.

Features include viewfinder, zoom, recording functions, view screen, and manual focus. But while the Nikon D610 may seem the perfect camera for private investigating, the disadvantage of this camera largely revolves around its lack of night vision.

Nevertheless, it has dual SD card slots, is weather-resistant and, its operating temperature ranges from 32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Built over the body are a magnesium alloy top and rear covers, making it sturdy and durable.

A Camera for Your Needs

Private investigating is a very challenging and tough job. Aside from investigative skills, you will need the right camera for your unique requirements. With all the given cameras above, consider the camera that meets your investigative needs, but also your budget.

About the Author

I am William Wilson, founder of I am a technology engineer by passion and an experienced travel and adventure writer. contains useful information concerning home security, cameras, and more.

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