Best Location For A Spy Camera
Last Updated on May 1, 2021 by Gabriel Goddy
Are you here because you just got a spy camera but have no idea the best location to set it up? If yes, then you’ve come to the right place. This guide will tell you where the best location for your spy camera is, do well to read through and you’ll find what you need.
Spy cameras have become a necessity for our homes, offices as well as streets or malls, and the main reason is that they ensure safety and also save us from any future mishaps.
According to a report it has been observed that in the United States, every year a total amount of 2.5 million home break-ins happen, so people have become more aware of the usefulness of the hidden spy cameras. It has also been reported that every year a total percentage of 54% of women become a victim of sexual harassment at the workplace, that’s one more reason that cameras in offices are a must now.
Nothing is more frustrating than having your spy camera set up in what you think is the perfect place, the perfect moment, only to find out the footage is unusable due to lighting, SD card size or speed, etc.
Sometimes you only get one chance to get the valuable footage you need, so making sure everything is set up correctly at that moment is a must.
Below are some tips to follow when fixing a spy camera:
- Understanding Lighting
It doesn’t matter if you own a professional DSLR camera or a spy camera, one thing that all cameras need in order to produce quality shots is good lighting.
Having a basic knowledge of lighting and how it works is essential in order to produce quality footage.
You could have the best hiding spot in the room, but if the lighting is in the wrong spot in relation to your camera it will ruin your footage.
In photography, a photographer usually has 2 options when it comes to getting great lighting. They can either move the lights or reflectors to best light their subject or they can move the subject to take advantage of the lighting. Knowing what type of lighting you are dealing with is crucial when trying to set up your camera. Below are the most common types of lighting situations you will see.
- Front lighting –
Front lighting is when the light source is directly in front of the subject and directly behind the camera. This means that the light source will be behind. This type of lighting is the most advantageous lighting as it provides the most detail and with fewer shadows.
- Backlighting –
Backlighting is when the light source is directly behind the subject and the lighting is shining directly into the camera lens. You want to avoid this type of lighting. This type of lighting tends to cause the subject to silhouette providing little to no detail and overexpose the background.
- Side Lighting –
Side lighting is when the light source hits your subject from the side. This type of lighting can cause shadows on the opposite side of the light source that can hinder some of the details on that side.
Most of the time you will not have the option of moving your light source, so you will have to ensure you place your camera in a position that uses the room’s light sources to your advantage.
- Position Your Camera At a Chokepoint
When installing your camera, if possible, place your spy camera to capture an active spot or chokepoint in the room/building that the subject will have to walk in front of. Some examples of chokepoints include doorways, hallways, gates, exits, or entrances.
- Purchase A High-Quality Micro SD Card
All Micro SD cards were not created equally. Knowing what speed and class you need based on your camera’s resolution is very important. Choosing the right SD card will ensure that it can handle the resolution of your camera and that it can save the files at a rate it can sustain.
- Rated Speed (e.g. 48/MBs, 80/MBs, etc.)-
This is the speed at which you can expect the SD card to write or read files on the card. The greater the MBs, the faster it can save the files and be ready to record again. It’s important to have a high-speed SD card with higher resolution cameras
- Speed Class-
This is important because the camera is saving a steady stream of data. The resolution and format of the video will determine the amount of steady stream data. This translates to a minimum speed you need to ensure that the video captured on the cards is recorded at an even, sustained rate with no dropped frames (which would result in lost data and choppy playback).
- SD card size-
Before deciding on what size SD card fits into your budget you need to find out what is the max capacity that your spy camera can handle. Some spy cameras can only handle up to 32GB while others all the way to 128GB’s. If you get the wrong size chances are your video will not get saved to the drive. When purchasing an SD card speed, capacity, and class are things you need to consider.
Determine The Best Recording Mode For Your Situation
Most of our spy cameras come with the option to record in either motion detection or continuous modes.
With motion detection mode, the camera will start recording once it senses motion and after 3 mins with no movement, it will go back to standby. Most of the time this is the mode that we recommend using, simply because it saves room on your SD card and it eliminates sifting through hours of video to get the information you need.
There are, however, times when the continuous mode is best suited.
If you know that the subject you are trying to capture is only going to be in front of the camera for an instant, say maybe he is entering a doorway and based on your environment you can only get him as he passes by for an instant, then continuous mode would be best suited. With motion detection, it can take a second to activate the camera and if the subject is only in front of the camera for a split second you may miss him.
Now that you’ve decided which rooms to secure, we wanted to bring up a few other considerations you should take when thinking about installing your cameras.
- Visible vs. hidden:
In the home security space, there’s a bit of a debate about whether it’s best to keep cameras visible or hidden. In a survey of 86 inmates serving time for burglary, the burglars themselves had differing opinions on whether seeing a security camera was a deterrent to robbing a house or not.
While some said they would avoid homes with visible security cameras, some considered them a sign that a home had valuables. Unfortunately, there’s no perfect answer here, so you’ll have to decide yourself how conspicuous your cameras should be.
For outdoor cameras, it’s important to consider what weather conditions the cameras will face, especially if they’re not covered at all. Make sure your uncovered outdoor cameras have sufficient temperature ranges and high IP ratings protecting them against solids and liquids; for a list of our most durable cameras.
- Reflection and glare:
Particularly in sunny rooms, rooms with mirrors, or any space outside, keep reflection and glare in mind, as these can seriously impede the quality of your cameras’ footage. For outdoor cameras, we recommend getting a camera with HDR or High Dynamic Range, which reduces the effect of glare from the sun. For indoor cameras, point the camera at spaces with indirect sunlight rather than direct sunlight; more on this in a bit.
- The total number of cameras:
Especially if they all use Wi-Fi, consider how the number of cameras you have will affect your Internet speed. It may be worth it to get a second router just for your security cameras (and trust us, your teenage kids will thank you).
- Proximity to valuable objects:
Of course, burglars are looking for the most valuable objects, so your home’s most valuable objects should be tantamount in deciding where to place your security cameras. What’s considered to be the most valuable? No, it’s not your old wedding dress from the 1980s, despite how much it means to you.
Rather, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics about 34 percent of burglars took household appliances or portable electronics like TVs while another 31 percent took more personal portable objects, including keys, jewelry, watches, furs, luggage, briefcases, and clothing. According to the surveyed inmates, the most attractive items to steal were electronics, cash, jewelry, and credit cards, as well as guns and collectibles.
- Out of reach of criminals:
Above all, if it’s possible, try to place your cameras somewhere where they can’t easily be stolen. We have some tips on how to accomplish that, which leads us to our next section.
Before installing spy cameras, understand your state’s laws regarding unauthorized video surveillance. Some states require consent from those being recorded. Also, avoid placing cameras where they would inadvertently capture footage of someone in a private area, such as when they’re changing or bathing.
When used appropriately, hidden cameras provide peace of mind to homeowners who are concerned about the safety of their family and personal assets. When strategically placed, they can capture potential danger as it arises, so you can respond accordingly.