How to Choose the Best Small Body Camera


8 minute read

The best way to record video, while being sure that you’ll get impartial results, is by doing it covertly. And there’s no better way than having the recording device on hand at all times should the need for video recording arise.

The use of small body cameras is not limited to law enforcement only - literally everybody can use them nowadays! We’ve had customers that are students, businessmen, teachers, lawyers, doctors, and even mountain bikers. Should you need to record college lectures, conduct covert interviews, tape accidents, or felonies, or you simply want to have video material from your latest hiking trip, using a small body camera is the most practical MO. 

But since you’re here, you probably have a purpose in mind, so without further ado, let’s help you choose the best small body camera. At the end of the article, we’ll note some legal issues to keep in mind.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Small Body Camera

There’s a lot of different small body cameras out there, with many varying specifics. The two main differences are whether they record constantly or are motion-activated; almost all of our body-worn cameras are motion-activated to ensure you get only the footage you need and to save space and optimize battery usage. Though, there are some major points you need to look at before making a purchase to ensure you’re getting the right device for you.

  • Manner of concealment
  • Field of view
  • Video quality
  • Size
  • Durability
  • Battery life
  • Features
  • Customer support

Manner of Concealment

The small body cameras at SpyGuy can be concealed in as many ways as there are types of devices and it all comes down to how covert you want them to be, which in turn depends on what you would use the camera for. 

For example, should you want to inconspicuously tape a meeting, you should opt for a device that has practical everyday use, such as the spy watch or the HD keychain camera (which can also take pictures of 12 mp quality and has optional night-vision). 

Otherwise, if being stealthy is not that important to you, you could go for the body-worn camera stick, which is a prime example of a device that doesn’t have to be hidden to be effective, practical, and compact, without drawing any unwanted attention.

Size

Size is also something you should consider. This is not as important as some of the other points, but since we’re talking about small body cameras, we thought we’d mention it. They come in different sizes and with larger devices, you usually get higher video quality and better features. So that’s a compromise you might have to make. 

For example, the iPhone case hidden camera is a bit on the bulkier side when compared to our super small products, but it offers a 3-hour rechargeable battery, 1080p resolution (more on that later), motion activation, and wi-fi connectivity. 

On the other hand, we got the bluetooth headset camera, which is so small, most people won’t even notice you’re wearing it. But it records at a lower resolution and its battery lasts for 1 hour of continuous recording. It mainly comes down to what you need the small body camera for.

Field of View

The field of view of a camera refers to how wide the camera can see. Most of our cameras have a 75-degree angle, which is more than enough to capture a whole scene of events, but this largely depends on positioning and how far you are from the recorded “object”.

It’s very important that the lens is unobstructed by clothing, so if you opt for something like the HD spy pen plus, make sure to leave it on the table if, for example, you’re taping a meeting. If you want to leave it in your shirt’s upper pocket, make sure the camera is pointed towards what you want to record. 

Video Quality

Another important point to consider is the video quality, i.e. the resolution of the recorded video. All of our devices provide crisp footage, but the resolution differs from camera to camera. 

If you need full HD footage and clearly visible details, you should go for a small body camera that’s at least 1080p, or 1920x1080 px resolution. A good example of this is the HD keychain camera. Otherwise, the resolutions range from 640x480 to 720x480, and all the way up to 1260x960 px. It’s important to note that even these lower resolutions will provide you with a good image and you’ll be able to discern everything you need from the recording.

Durability

The only reason we’re pointing out the issue of durability is that there are so many cheaply built devices on the market. You probably know what we’re talking about if you’ve had the misfortune to buy such a device. 

Suffice it to say that all small body cameras from SpyGuy are very durable and you can rest assured that they won’t ever malfunction when you need them most. Take a look at the micro pocket camera for example; its strong and sturdy metal frame is a staple of a heavy-duty gadget and an exquisite example of what we mean by “durable”.

Battery Life

Battery life is another factor that’s distinct, depending on the type of the small body camera. It spans from 1 hour in devices such as the spy pen, to 3 hours in the iPhone case hidden camera. It’s important to note that this applies to a period of continuous recording. All of the cameras in our collection have rechargeable batteries that you can recharge via the included USB cable. 

Features

When it comes to small body cameras, a plethora of features is not generally what you should be looking for. Although some of the cameras we mentioned have wi-fi connectivity or night-vision, if such functionalities are what you’re after, you might be better off with one of the internet hidden cameras, some of which even support live video.

The small body cameras are meant to be practical, compact, and functional on-demand, with as few buttons as possible, so as to add to their discretion. Though, this is more of a general advice, rather than a rule; you could simply check out our collection and see the features for yourself.

Customer Support

If you’re unsure about the phrasing in an instruction manual or how to use certain features, it’s rather important to have the necessary customer support to figure it out. After all, these devices can come off as being complex and we know that technology can be confusing. That’s why at SpyGuy we make a point out of being available at all times to resolve any issues you might have. We also offer brief FAQ’s and/or expert advice on all of the product pages and general information regarding orders and shipping before you even decide on a purchase.

Legal Issues You Should Be Aware Of

When using small body cameras, it’s important to note that it’s generally legal to record in all areas except where a reasonable expectation of privacy is presumed.

It's also generally legal to record within public areas such as places of business like restaurants, diners, malls, and retail stores, as well as outdoor areas like parks, streets, public squares, quays, etc.

It's illegal to use any hidden cameras to record videos in hotel rooms, restrooms, changing rooms, locker rooms, and other areas that have a REP status outside of your home (as stated above).

If you find yourself using a small body camera within your home, for the purpose of keeping your home safe and sound, it is perfectly legal to do so without asking for consent. But as we mentioned above, you can’t record in areas where your guests have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

If the purpose of recording via small body cameras is malicious intent, it is illegal to do so.

The federal and state governments have no clear laws in regards to recording via small body cameras at a workplace, but employers generally are expected to ask for consent before recording employees therein.

If you have more questions regarding the detailed legal nuances about recording via small body cameras, head over to our legal guide.

Before You Leave

We hope that all the information we provided in regards to choosing the best small body camera has resolved your qualms. These devices are truly state-of-the-art and you can rest assured that they’ll do their job as good as you’ll need them to.

As we already mentioned, should you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us directly; we typically answer all emails within a couple of hours or within one business day at the latest. 

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