Hidden Cameras: Benefits, Reasons to Use and More.

There are many benefits of hidden cameras you might consider if you are having trouble with things going missing, suspect a poor babysitter, someone tampering with your car, and other things. The benefits include catching the criminals, wireless capabilities, hidden, and much more.

People Act Different When Being Watched

The hidden cameras are excellent choices because they are hidden. People don’t suspect them because they are not in sight. When there are no cameras in view then people are more prone to act like themselves and do things they shouldn’t. The hidden cameras give you the ability to see how your kids really act when you walk out the door to work or go away for the weekend. They allow you to verify in your office if someone is really going inside and stealing your office supplies and things. They allow you to find out what is really going on.

When you use hidden cameras they are also wireless. This allows for you to put them anywhere you want to and they will still pick up the video and send it back through the receiver and to the screen. The wireless capabilities allow you to place the camera at a specific distance away and it will still work. This means that you will not have any visible wires which will lead to suspicion from people.

Try to Find Hard-Wired Cameras

You can find hidden cameras that do not go through batteries like crazy because you left the camera on. This is a really big problem and can be expensive. If you plug in the power source with a power cord then there is a wire that raises suspicion. Now the hidden cameras are only set off by movement with a transmitter inside of the camera that has a motion detector in them. This means the batteries are only used when the camera turns on from movement.

There are many different types of hidden cameras to choose from. Use them to spy on the kids or coworkers you think are going through your things in the office. You can find spy cameras that look like a pack of cigarettes, a book to place on a shelf, a clock, and much more. You can even put a spy cam in a hat and wear it to work or throughout the house. These hidden cameras can be placed out in the open and there is no suspicion that they are recording video because they blend in with the atmosphere.

Hiding in Plain Sight

There are many benefits of hidden cameras you might consider if you are having a problem with theft or suspect your kids are misbehaving at home while you are not there. Hidden cameras can be sitting in the open and no one even notices that there is a camera inside nor will they see the camera. They blend well with the environment and take excellent quality video from a wireless camera so you don’t have a bunch of wires to lead to suspicion.

You can choose from many different types and finally find out what really is going on.

Do You Really Need a Hidden Camera?

The first and most important, question you have to ask is “How am I going to use this?” Is it for use as a “Nanny Cam” to make sure your children are being taken care of properly? Are you trying to stop employee theft? Are you experiencing repeated vandalism? A hidden camera should only be used to document suspected unlawful or dangerous activity when there is no other way to catch the culprit.

People Always Find a Way to Ruin Good Things

A big problem with hidden cameras is that too often they are used for less than ethical reasons. Just recently a news story came across my desk about a landlord of an apartment building that had wired four apartments with hidden cameras. He placed them in the bathrooms and bedrooms of the tenants. Thankfully the cameras were accidentally discovered and the landlord was arrested and is in jail. I am sure that is not an isolated instance.

One way to make sure you are not a victim of a hidden camera or microphone is to purchase and use a signal detector. They are more commonly known as “Bug Detectors”. We have all seen these being used on TV and in the movies. You simply turn the handheld unit on and walk through the room or “sweep” the room.

The signal detector picks up the signal transmitted by the hidden camera or microphone and helps you locate its exact position. When searching for a hidden camera or microphone, look everywhere. Bugs come in many shapes and sizes and can be smaller than a penny. If you do find a hidden camera or microphone, don’t touch it. Call the police immediately and let them handle it.

There Could Already Be One

If you do want a hidden camera for a good reason, there are many types to choose from. Most hidden cameras are built into everyday items you find around a home such as clocks, radios, thermostats, smoke detectors, lamps, etc.  You name it and it could contain a hidden camera. When deciding what kind of hidden camera you want, make sure it will fit into the décor of the room. As an example, I don’t think I would put a nice bright neon-lit clock in my contemporary living room. But, it would probably fit in nicely in my game room.

Three Basic Types

In addition to taking the décor into consideration, you have to decide what type of hidden camera you want. There are basically 3 types:

  1.     Wireless
  2.     Wired
  3.     Self-contained

With the wireless hidden camera, you will have the item that contains the camera and a transmitter. This transmitter sends the video signal wirelessly to a receiver. The receiver is then attached to a recording device or a monitor or TV for viewing.

The wired hidden camera will have an A/V cord coming out of the unit that will get plugged in directly to a recording device or TV or monitor.

The self-contained hidden camera will have the camera and a recording device, usually an SD memory card, hidden inside of it. In order to view what has been recorded you simply take the memory card out of the unit and place it into your computer for viewing. This type is usually the easiest to set up.

More Features to Consider

There are many options available when purchasing a hidden camera: black & white or color, low light capability, motion sensing, date & time stamp, etc. You will be able to find the camera that fits your needs and your budget.

The bottom line is that no matter what style or type of hidden camera you purchase, make sure you are purchasing it for a legitimate, ethical reason and use it properly.

How To Use Hidden Cameras

Many people purchase hidden cameras and they never install them properly because they really didn’t learn how to use them properly in the first place. If you are thinking of purchasing cameras then you need to know how to use them. Here are a few things to follow.

How is My Video Saved?

The first thing you need to do is determine the type of video you are hoping for. Do you want to record the video to an SD card and then view it later? Do you want the video to be put out on a monitor so you can watch it in real-time? Many people have determined that the use of SD cards is very beneficial because it allows for backup and saving the videos. SD cards are tiny and they also save space because they are much smaller than the large traditional backup tapes.

Most hidden cameras that use an SD card to record are hidden inside an innocent-looking common item found in any home. There are no wires or antennae visible. They are sometimes found in lamps, clock radios, air ionizers, calculators, clocks, you name it and there could be a hidden camera using an SD card to record inside it. These cameras are the easiest to set up and use. Now, you can get one of these cameras that can record in low light or no light at all! These cameras are true “plug & play”.

Wired or Wireless Hidden Cameras?

When you set up hidden cameras you will have to do a few things. First, does the camera have wires or is it wireless? Choose the location you want your camera to be in. Make sure that the camera remains hidden and out of sight when you install it. Also, if the camera requires you to plug it into a power source then you need to make sure that the location you choose to install the camera has a power outlet located nearby. It would defeat the purpose of hiding a camera if you have to run extension cords a long distance to provide power.

Motion Detection

Some cameras require you to turn them on when you want to use them. They may be motion detected and work by remote. All you may need to do is turn on the camera and walk away. The camera will then sit and wait for any motions to turn the camera on and begin recording. There is usually a switch on the camera to start the recordings manually also. While some hidden cameras record upon motion, some begin recording right away.

Do I Need Wires?

You also need to determine how you want to see the output. The wireless cameras will have a receiver. You may need to run cables from the receiver to the monitors if you want to watch the video as it is being recorded.  For wired cameras, you may have the monitors in one room while the cameras are in another room. All you have to do is plug in the television and VCR and run them through the walls to the camera. You will plug the cables into the corresponding connections on the camera.

When you purchase hidden cameras it is important to know how to use them so you don’t let your money go to waste.  It is very common for people to purchase cameras and never use them or forget that the tape was too full months ago and stopped recording back then. This becomes a problem when you are burglarized but you don’t have the video to prove who did it and when.

That one video could have saved you a lot of trouble.

Choosing the Right Hidden Cameras

There are many factors associated with choosing the right hidden cameras. You want to consider the color, quality of the image, sensitivity to low levels of light, and receivers. These things can help you choose the best camera that works right for you.


The color of a hidden camera you choose is going to make a big difference. You want the camera to blend in with the location where it is going to be placed. It shouldn’t be visible to the people or it will defeat the purpose of having a hidden camera. There are tons of different types of spy cameras you can purchase in different colors and shapes.

Image Quality

Image quality is one of the biggest factors you need to consider when you purchase hidden cameras. The quality of the image should be top of the line. The way picture quality works in the video is that it is measured by lines of resolution. The highest resolution is the best quality. Surveillance cameras do not provide high definition picture quality. That is why you see surveillance videos of robberies taking place that are blurry and hard to see. Get the best resolution possible so you can recognize the person in the video. There is no point in surveillance cameras and tapes if the video is not recognizable.

Can Your Hidden Cameras See at Night?

Hidden cameras also need to have good light sensitivity or LUX. LUX is the measurement of low light sensitivity. If you have a surveillance camera you want it to work very well in the dark also, not only during the daytime or in fluorescent lighting. Most crimes happen in the dark and you want the camera to be able to provide quality video on a low light day. The lower the LUX is the better the camera will be able to see in conditions that are low in light.

Wireless cameras need to come with receivers. You should have a receiver and they can be expensive in some cases. The best-hidden cameras will come with the receivers so you don’t have to purchase anything additional. You want to be sure to purchase the entire package and have it all ready to plug in and begin recording your surveillance. If you choose a camera that does not have a receiver then you will need to purchase one to make it work right. Keep in mind that the receiver you choose needs to be compatible with the camera.

Make it Good Quality

When you use hidden cameras in your store, home, or workplace there are many factors that you should look into before you choose a camera. These things include the color of the camera and blending, the quality and resolution of the images, LUX, and if the camera includes the receiver. Choosing the right camera for your surveillance needs will ensure you come out with a picture quality that works right for you. You will be able to recognize the person on the video and there won’t be any questions asked or way to deny the actions.

Reasons to Use Hidden Cameras

There are many reasons to use hidden cameras. Many of the reasons take place at work, at home, in a parking lot, and much more. Protecting yourself, your family, and your property is the best thing you can do and hidden cameras can assist you with that in many ways.

Hidden Cameras Anywhere

Hidden cameras can be placed almost anywhere and be used for almost any reason. They are small and can fit in little places while they blend in with the environment. They can be motion detected, sound-activated, can be battery operated, and more. If you suspect something is going on in your home or office then you may consider using a camera to find out if your suspicions are true.

Employee Theft or Dishonesty

One reason to use hidden cameras is at work. Statistics show that employees in retail jobs are the ones that steal from the companies and not so much the customers. Cameras allow you to confirm your suspicions and find out which employee is taking from you. Workplace issues with employees stealing office supplies and even money from the petty cash drawer are also very common. It is hard to prove who did it with a number of employees and when it is happening in your office. This is the best time to get a hidden camera so you can find out which employee it is that is betraying you.

Your Kids Will Think Your Magic

Kids often get out of control when parents are out of the home. You may suspect your kids are going through your bedroom or in the office on your computer while you are away but you cannot prove it. Hidden cameras are the best solution to finding out who did what while you were away. There is no more denying it when you have a video for proof of who was in your room. When you have a lot of kids it is hard to tell who is telling the truth. Now you can record their every move while you are away and find out if they really are having parties or if they are behaving themselves.

Thwart Crime

If you have a vehicle and you find that it has been damaged many times by someone repeatedly running their key along the side of it while you are working or even stealing parts from it at night while you are asleep then you can use hidden cameras. The only downfall to using outdoor cameras like this is that they will pick up more activity than you may want to watch. You will however find out what is going on at night around your vehicle.

There are many reasons to use hidden cameras. The use of cameras is becoming more and more popular as people are stealing and finding they are losing revenues due to a dwindling inventory and no sales to correspond. Cameras provide the best solution to getting down to the bottom of it. You won’t have to worry anymore about what is going on because you will have the proof in the video surveillance. Cameras can save your life from burglars and protect your children from harm also.

Types of Hidden Cameras

There are many different types of hidden cameras you might consider if you want to put up surveillance in your home, office, or workplace. These different types include motion detectors, timed cameras, sound-activated, nanny cams, and more.

Motion Activated Hidden Cameras

The motion detector cameras are excellent hidden cameras because they use less energy. They require fewer batteries and are the most cost-effective camera you can purchase. This is because they only begin recording when the sensors inside of the unit pick up movement in the room. The camera will activate when it detects movement and immediately begin recording.

These types of cameras will record the video to things like SD cards or send it out directly to a monitor screen. This is commonly used for video surveillance for security guards and other job types. Some people like to put the motion detector cameras outside if they suspect someone is messing with their car in a specific parking space and they don’t know who it is. The good news is that it can help you catch a criminal but you may have a video that is of no good to you from the wind blowing paper across the screen or animals setting off the video recordings.

Many of the motion detection or other hidden cameras are timed. They only run for a specific amount of time and then they stop. These cameras are often used in things like nanny cams and other surveillance cameras. Most people who use things like this want to verify if the babysitter is treating their children right or if the kids are out of control when you leave the house for a few hours. The timed cameras will begin recording by you turning on the device. They will record for a set amount of time and then stop. This could cause you to miss out on vital information or details.

Hidden Nanny Cameras

Nanny cams and other hidden cameras come in a large variety of shapes and sizes. They are great because they usually come in a format of a stuffed animal, alarm clock, wall clock, book, or some other thing that has a hidden camera inside of it and you cannot see it no matter how hard you look. These cameras blend in well with the environment. You can purchase a hidden camera in the form of a book and place it on the bookshelf with the rest of your collection. No one would ever suspect there was a camera inside and it would not be evident.

When you purchase hidden cameras for your surveillance purposes there are many for you to choose from. You may decide to get a motion detection camera or even a timed camera.

Some of them record onto SD cards. You can pop them out and go straight to the SD slot on your computer. Or if you have a slot, on your television. Some cameras look like stuffed animals or a pack of cigarettes and are designed to blend in with the environment while they record hours of video.

For more information about protecting your home, check out our Home Protection article for some great tips!


With almost 20 years working in Law Enforcement and service in the United States Marine Corps, I've learned a lot about self-defense and personal protection. From hand-to-hand combat to firearms and impact devices, I've trained with them all and I'd like to share my knowledge with you.

Recent Posts