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Basic Information on Spy Cameras

Spy cameras originally referred to the miniature James Bond style cameras that could be concealed in a pen or a tie. Although the term still can be applied to those kind of cameras, more and more people are using "spy cameras" to mean hidden video surveillance cameras such as nanny cams. (If you're looking for information on the other kind, try the Sub Club or the mini spy camera section of the Yahoo Directory). This article only deals with video surveillance types of spy cameras, although the goal for all these devices is the same: videotaping or photographing an area or a subject with a hidden camera that cannot be seen.

Many people are starting to use video surveillance as part of a home security plan. Spy cameras alone aren't enough to keep burglars out, but they can be used in conjunction with 1) solid doors and windows with updated locks 2) window and door sensors 3) an alarm system turned on via a control panel or remote. If you can afford it, a system monitored by a remote security monitoring company is also a good idea. Now, if you have all that stuff, you may be asking, why do I need spy cameras?

Many people choose to employ these tiny cameras in order to guard against theft from known visitors (repair men, child care providers, etc). You may also be interested in watching someone who is caring for your children or an elderly relative to ensure the care is up to snuff. Also, it's an extra bit of piece of mind; If for some reason a burglar makes it past your home security system, they may not notice the hidden camera that is triggered to start recording when it senses motion in the room...

Right now, it's a little iffy as to whether or not spy camera footage is allowed as evidence in a court of law, but advances in technology that are improving the accuracy and detail of these mini spy cameras will probably start giving them greater credibility as evidence.

Improvements to technology over the last 10 years have helped decrease the size of spy cameras even as the resolution and accuracy of their footage has increased. Today's spy cameras can be hidden in almost any household item, though it's best to use something that already has a power cord, such as a clock radio, so it can piggy back off the existing device's power. That way, you can keep the camera running 24/7 without interruption. It's also easy for you to move the camera from location to location without having to drill holes into the wall and run power cords from the camera to the outlet. This is typically a better way to go than putting a spy camera in a teddy bear or other stuffed animal as it would either need to be battery operated (which means a constant need to recharge) or you would be limited by the places you could tuck the teddy bear spy camera where it could access an outlet without the cord being visible to everyone. (Keep in mind, even wireless spy cameras need to be plugged in--they are only wireless in that they don't need to be physically connected to your computer or recorder in order to transmit the footage.)

The cost of spy cameras has also come down significantly. While once video surveillance was only something big business or wealthy consumers could afford, today it is affordable to just about everyone. A spy camera system can be setup with as little as a webcam and a home PC (Endgadget has a good article on setting up a video surveillance system using only a laptop, a webcam, and a copy of EvoCam software), or you can also buy units specifically designed to be used as hidden cameras.

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