Using Hidden Cameras and Nanny Cams to Capture Video Footage

Hidden Cameras
Learn about hidden cameras and nanny cams for capturing video footage.

What is a Hidden Camera?

A hidden camera is a still or video camera used to capture video footage of people without their knowledge or consent. The camera is considered to be “hidden” because it is either not visible to the subject being filmed, or it is disguised as another object. Hidden cameras have become popular for conducting household surveillance. Hidden cameras can be built into common household objects such as smoke detectors, clock radios, motion detectors, ball caps, plants, and cell phones. Hidden cameras may also be used commercially or industrially as security cameras to catch thieves and even dishonest employees.

Wired or Wireless?

A hidden camera can be wired or wireless. A wired hidden camera will be connected to an electrical outlet and a television, Video Cassette Recorder (VCR), or Digital Video Recorder (DVR). A wireless hidden camera can be used to transmit a video signal to a receiver within a small radius (up to a few hundred feet).

Some hidden camera footage has led to lawsuits or being denied to air by the people who were trapped in set-ups that they found unpleasant. Hulk Hogan was recently involved in a lawsuit with Gawker, who released hidden video footage of the star having sex.

Types of Video Surveillance Equipment

Nanny cameras come in a variety of types with a wide range of features.  Most cams are wireless video devices, but are also available in hardwired format. The hidden equipment device is usually hidden in normal household items such as: teddy bears or stuffed animals, clock radios, computer speakers or stereo speakers, carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms and air purifiers. They are also disguised as outdoor items such as rocks and plants. The idea is to disguise the presence of the recording device by making it look just like a regular household item.

What are Nanny Cams?

Nanny cams, or nanny cameras, are typically hidden cameras that allow parents to secretly monitor and video tape the activity of a person or persons. They are most often used to observe the behavior of a nanny, care giver or a babysitter. These types of hidden video surveillance cameras are becoming more popular as they are used to provide proof of abusive caregivers such as nannies and babysitters.

Private investigators may use such equipment during civil investigations when the behavior of a care giver has been called into question. Detectives should first check their state and local laws that govern the use of hidden video.

In cases where parents are suspicious and need proof, having a nanny cam allows parents to have peace of mind when they leave their child alone with a caregiver or a babysitter.

Other Possible Uses

These types of hidden video surveillance cameras can be used for reasons other than just child care.  Hidden recording devices can be used by parents to monitor the activity of their teenage children (are they having a party while you’re away on vacation), to monitor their house while it is being cleaned, or for security reasons.  Some real estate investors use hidden surveillance cameras to keep an eye on their rental properties and vacation homes.

Legal Considerations for Hidden Cameras

Currently, in all 50 states, it is legal to use a hidden video device. However, it is illegal to record speech without a person’s consent in the following states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Please note that laws that pertain to device usage change frequently, so please check your local and state laws to determine the legality of using a hidden video device and/or recording speech to record the activities of others.

Where to Buy Equipment

Spy Associates has an extensive selection of covert hidden cameras, nanny cams, and video surveillance equipment for private investigators, law enforcement, and everyday people that are interested in monitoring the activity of another person. Review a wide selection of Hidden Cameras, available at Spy Associates.

Internet Ready iSpy Hidden Camera Clock

Record video footage and play it back in real-time from the internet with a high resolution color video camera. This cam allows you to capture surveillance footage of your personal space. It is powered by battery and is wireless for portable use. It is easy to setup and looks just like a regular clock.

The IP iSpy Hidden Camera Clock is a top-of-the-line clock radio that doubles as one of the best spy gear covert cameras on the market. It also streams all surveillance footage directly to the Internet. This is the first of its kind to feature remote viewing capability from a standard looking alarm clock. The WI-FI alarm clock hidden camera uses motion activation to record video the minute motion is detected, allowing the viewer to see all the recorded video surveillance without having to sift through hours of footage.

Secret Spy Camera Mini Clock Radio and Tissue Box with Hidden DVR

Private investigators often encounter situations where they need to utilize a hidden camera to observe a subjects behavior and to collect information. In fact, anyone who owns a home or a business may have a need to see what is happening when they are not around. Note: Before purchasing any equipment, please check your local laws regarding the use of hidden video and audio, as it is illegal in some states.

Secret Spy Camera Mini Clock Radio with Hidden DVR

This particular hidden spycam is perfect for recording top secret video. The clock radio has a stylish and small portable design. The infrared lights on the hidden spy cam can be operated in automatic or manual mode. Also, the lights are completely invisible while in the dark. The infrared capability has a clear recording range of six to nine feet in total darkness. Operation of the mini clock radio hidden spy camera is both simple and intuitive, so anyone can use it. The camera places a date stamp on all recorded video footage automatically. The camera itself can play back recorded video without a the need for a computer.

The recording device includes two layers of security to hide its dual purpose. Video files and MP3 / MP4 audio files can be loaded onto the device and played anywhere, so it operates and appears to be a true, functioning clock radio.

There are no outside indicators or words that show its spy camera capability. Since it has an SD card for recording video and audio, its functions can easily be explained. And unless someone knows what buttons to press, they won’t be able to access the covert part of the hidden cam. The recorded video/audio files remain completely secret. The DVR recorder can operates twenty for hours a day, seven days a week using either electrical power or via battery for three to six hours. The speakers are high quality and can fill a room with sound, just like a regular clock radio.

Hidden DVD Cam Features:

  • LCD Screen to view recorded video, no need to remove the memory card to view
  • Infrared night vision capability to record video in total darkness
  • Electrical Power Adapter (110V-240V)
  • Constant Power
  • Limitless Recording
  • Battery power included for portable use
  • Super long record time MAX Size 32 GB = 32 days
  • Loop recording function
  • Record video twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year
  • High quality recording is crystal clear, even in low light conditions
  • Audio-in jack with included cable will work with an iPod and most cell phones

The cam package includes:

  • Mini DVR (Silver Color)
  • Battery Charger
  • Audio Cable
  • Battery
  • USB Cable
  • Earphones
  • User Manual

The micro SD card is not included in the package.

Record Secret Video With a WiFi Tissue Box Hidden Camera

This Hidden Cam Fits Any Room Decor and Blends Right In While It Records Covert Video. The WiFi Tissue Box Hidden Camera is a completely secret video recording option that looks just like a standard tissue box. It allows you to capture 64 total hours of full-color, high-resolution video on a 32 gigabyte SD memory card, although the memory card is sold separately.

The Tissue Box Hidden Cam can even record video footage in low-light conditions, which is great for darker rooms. The recording device has a 10-hour rechargeable battery. The 10-hour battery lasts quite a long time, as the power is only used when it is motion-activated to begin recording.

Why is this a Good WiFi Hidden Cam

  • It looks exactly like any other common tissue box sitting on your table, so it is likely to go unnoticed, even by the pros
  • The devices records video files for up to ten hours on a single battery charge
  • WiFi technology enables you to remotely view all captured video footage
  • The device captures crystal-clear video in as low as .001 Lux

How to View Captured Footage

Viewing your recordings can be done in multiple ways. The hidden camera can be used as a standard DVR, recording your files to an SD card for later review on your computer.

Simply insert the SD card into the camera, then connect the device to your laptop or computer. Then you’ll be able to view the recorded video files. You are also given the option of watching the feed remotely from the device’s built-in WiFi receiver.

The camera can be used to:

  • Protect your home or office from dishonest employees or thieves. Place the device in a common area to capture employee activity and get the proof you need to identify theft or fraudulent activity
  • Monitor your bedroom for burglars or dishonest children or visitors, or maybe even a cheating spouse
  • Watch the kids when no one is home to make sure they are safe. The device will give you peace of mind when you can’t be in the same room as your children.
  • Keep an eye on the babysitter or nanny to see if they are following the rules and keeping your child safe.

Device Specifications

  • High resolution real time recording 640 x 480
  • 480TVL high resolution
  • Record and playback time max of 30 fps
  • 0.001 LUX
  • Wide angle 104 degrees 2.5 mm mini lens
  • SD card functions up to 32GP and 64 hours
  • Recording frame rate selectable
  • H.264 Recording w/ Internet View
  • Completely covert with no visible wires or lights
  • Full Screen D1 Color Recording
  • Extreme Low Light 0.001 LUX Hidden Camera
  • Removable SD Card Up To 32GB for 64 Hours Of Recording
  • 10 Hour Rechargeable Battery

Remote Software Requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
  • Processor: Intel Pentium III, one gigabyte or Higher (Pentium IV, two gigabyte or higher recommended)
  • RAM: 256 MB or Above
  • Color Monitor: Minimu DirectX 8.1 or Higher / 32M Display storage
  • Hard Drive Capacity: More than 40 gigabytes

What comes in the box?

  • One WiFi Tissue Box Hidden Camera
  • One AC Power Cord
  • One WiFi Cable
  • One A/V Cable

Check out more Spy Gear for Private Investigators.


  1. I’ve been researching this subject for about two weeks at this point and this is actually the 1st write-up that actually makes perfect sense. How come it’s so difficult to gather quality facts concerning security and safety nowadays? Definitely value the time you invested placing your ideas in to words so novices like myself can certainly take action. Will there be a part 2 on your page? Thank you again!


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