Posts Tagged ‘ covert recording ’

Mini CCTV Camera

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

What is a mini CCTV camera?  Arbitrarily we can say that a mini CCTV (Closed Circuit TeleVision) camera is any camera that is smaller than the majority of CCTV cameras sold as “Standard” sized cameras.  But generally, when the term “mini CCTV camera” is used, reference is made to the small cameras normally used for covert recording.

Thanks to modern technology, anyone can own a mini CCTV camera.  Just a few years ago, these cameras were so expensive they were cost prohibitive for the individual to own, if they were even available at all.  Today, not only are they affordable but they come in a wide range of types, each designed to satisfy a specific purpose.

To understand how this is possible, let’s take a look at the technology behind a typical contemporary digital video camera.  Most of today’s video security systems consist of three basic components:  Camera(s); Digital Video Recorders or DVRs; and Monitors.

Here is how an average digital video security system works.  The camera captures the video image and sends it to the DVR where the data is saved as a digital video file.  Actually, this file can be viewed live on the monitor and/or saved on the DVR for later viewing or archiving.

The key behind the mini CCTV camera lies in how the camera captures the video images.  Digital video cameras use an integrated circuit sensor chip to transfer light energy into electrical energy.  There is usually one of two sensor chips used; either a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

These sensor chips come in a range of sizes with the larger sizes usually producing a larger higher quality video picture.  Most miniature wireless security cameras use a 1/4 or 1/3 inch CCD or CMOS chip, so the camera can be incredibly small.  Of course, another contributor to their small size is the incredibly small, integrated circuits that prepare the video data and send it via an on-board transmitter (wireless) or via a video transmission cable such as RG59.

These 1/4 or 1/3 inch sensor chips usually provide a minimum 380 TVL high resolution black and white or color picture.  That’s a pretty good size video for a camera with a lens the size of a pin head.  In addition, these miniature cameras also employ the use of wide angle lenses that provide an extended field of view for the camera through the small opening.

The mini CCTV camera unit itself can be incredibly small as well.  Since the camera is so small and light, it can be mounted almost anywhere.  Better yet, for more truly covert recording needs, the camera can be imbedded within another object without anyone ever detecting the camera’s presence.

These cameras make great security cameras because you can monitor your surroundings without anyone realizing a camera is present.  This can be very useful when you suspect you may have an unauthorized individual tampering with or stealing your possessions.

Security Camera King offers a huge variety of different types of miniature wireless security cameras.  Here’s just a partial list of some of the models that we offer:

The Button Cam – It takes the place of a shirt button and it even includes five extra buttons so they will match up.
The Screw Cam – This camera looks like an ordinary Phillips head type screw.
The Wall Clock Camera – It looks like a typical office-type wall clock however in addition to the functioning clock, a camera is packed inside.
Desktop Speaker Cam – Functioning desktop speakers with a miniature wireless security camera hidden inside.
Exit Sign Camera – Appears to be a normal indoor “Exit” sign.  No one would suspect a camera is mounted inside.
Stuffed Toy Dog Baby Cam – This camera comes with a handheld LCD monitor and also monitors audio as well as video.  Although it does not record video or audio, it helps you keep a watchful eye on your baby without disturbing him or her.
Vanity Mirror Camera – A double sided vanity mirror with a camera inside.

Most miniature wireless security cameras come with power supplies or battery packs and Security Camera King includes a free 2.4 GHz receiver with most mini CCTV cameras.




Spy Camera DVR

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

A spy camera DVR or Digital Video Recorder usually differs from typical digital video security system DVRs because of the necessity for portability. Most spy camera models capture video at a lower size than standard which also requires lest DVR capacity.

Before we talk about a spy camera DVR, let’s discuss what a typical digital video security system is and how it works. Then we’ll discuss how this differs from a spy camera system and finally, what different types of spy camera DVRs are available.

A typical, full sized digital video security system consists of three major components: 1. Digital video camera(s); 2. A DVR with a Digital Signal Processor or DSP; and, 3. One or more monitors. Each digital video camera captures video images by changing light energy into electrical energy that can be used to create digital video files. The DSP uses the data created by the digital video camera and actually creates the digital video file. The DSP stores the file on the DVR for later viewing on a monitor or the file can be viewed live on a monitor.

There are several optional features, deviations, and additions that can be made to the previous description, but that is a basic digital video system in a nutshell. There are two specifics we should mention about the digital video camera that may come into play with the use of a spy camera; how the images are captured and infrared imaging.

Digital video cameras work by focusing light from images onto a fairly small electronic sensor chip. There are two different sensor chips that can be used and although they differ slightly in how they transfer light energy into electrical energy they both produce the same product, data that can be used to create a video image. The sensors that are used are either a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

Both the CCD and the CMOS are also inherently sensitive to infrared radiation, specifically wavelengths or radiation called near infrared. This means with the proper lighting and filters a digital video camera can be designed to capture not only normal visible light images, but also infrared light images invisible to the human eye.

There are basically two methods of collecting security and surveillance video. The most popular method is overt recording. When capturing video overtly, there is no attempt to hide the video equipment. Covert recording is an attempt to capture video without the subject’s awareness. Covert recording systems are often called spy cameras or spy camera DVRs.

Most spy cameras achieve their status as “spy cameras” by disguising themselves within or as other objects. For example, Security Camera King has a vast selection of disguised or hidden (spy) cameras that are imbedded in or appear as exit signs, wall clocks, telephones, and many other items.

Some of these devices may also contain infrared Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs to illuminate areas in total darkness. As mentioned earlier, these infrared LEDs project a light that is invisible to the human eye but can be detected by an infrared digital video camera. As a result, these cameras can record video in total darkness.

Most of the spy cameras mentioned thus far can be connected to a basic standalone digital video security system that includes a standard DVR. The DVRs used in these systems are the like the hard disk drive in a computer. They contain a spinning plate and a magnetic head that moves about the plate recording the digital video files.

However, when we think of spy camera DVRs it is not the hard disk drive mentioned above. These spy cameras are often very small and compact or are imbedded in very small and compact objects. For example, Security Camera Kings product # HC-PEN Ink pen or HC-WATCH Wristwatch both record color video and audio. Their memory or spy camera DVR is built in solid state memory. Normally a special USB cable is used to transfer the data from this DVR to a personal computer.

Other types of spy camera DVRs may utilize a variety of small, non-mechanical solid state memory devices as their DVR medium of choice. For example, some spy camera DVRs consist of thumb drives, Flash memory cards like SD cards, Mini Compact Flash cards and the like.

Modern technological improvements have created physically smaller yet larger in capacity spy camera DVRs. Check out our full line of spy cameras in our on-line catalogue.