What You Don't Need from a Nanny Cam

By Charles R. Hooper
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You want to do all you can to ensure the safety of those you love, especially when you have to leave them in the care of somebody else. Unfortunately, there are predators who would do your family harm, especially to those members of your family who are unable to tell you when something goes wrong. When you're away, you really have no way of knowing if a caregiver is going to be abusive or not, and suspecting something might be going on hardly brings peace of mind.

In situations like these, many people decide to resort to using nanny cams. With these spy cameras, you can conduct covert surveillance and know definitively whether your family member is safe. Or, you can inform caregivers that they are being watched and get their consent to film their activities. This kind of approach acts as an excellent deterrent.

Once you've decided to get a nanny cam, the next step is figuring out which one to get. A quick internet search will reveal several different types of cameras with a bewildering array of features. How do you know which one is best suited for your needs? It helps to first have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend and what you will use your nanny cam to do. Then it helps to identify some of the features and functionality you don't need.

For example, if you want to record video in an area where light is often or always low, don't bother looking for a camera with a Lux number greater than one. (One Lux is equivalent to the light of a tropical full moon). Thus the lower the Lux factor, the better it will suit your needs. If you don't need to take still pictures or have your video time-and-date stamped, finding a camera without these features can help cut costs a bit.

If you want to watch video live from a remote location, a DVR-only camera is not going to work for you. Nor is it necessary to buy a camera with high-end resolution and a high frame rate if you're perfectly content with video that captures what you need without incredibly crisp picture quality and detail. Perhaps you would also find little value in a remote control for a nanny cam because you intend to use it while you're away. If capturing audio is not important either (which is just as well since recording conversations is in most states illegal), most cameras already lack this capability, although some models do have the ability to record audio and video.

For some people, in addition to motion detection (a feature that is common among most cameras), having the ability to adjust when the camera begins recording and when it stops is important. If this isn't vital to what you want from a camera, then motion detection alone should be adequate.

Being able to leave your camera for long periods without worrying about having to empty the camera's memory may or may not be important to you. If it is not, you don't need a camera that has an auto-cycling function. With this capacity, a camera cycles to record new video over the oldest footage as the camera's memory capacity becomes full. Most people plan to watch captured footage on their computers and thus need a USB connection. If watching it on TV only is okay for you, then RC or AV cables alone should be adequate.

As a final point, if you don't want to spend a lot of money on a nanny cam but would still like many of these features, you don't have to settle for one or the other. There are several inexpensive hidden cameras that are feature rich but cost less than $100. One example is the DVRDMDC Alarm Clock from Streetwise Security. You can buy this camera for less than $100, and it is our number-one product out of the 10 that we here at TopTenREVIEWS tested and ranked according to quality and features.

As you shop for a camera and go down each one's list of features, try considering what you don't want or need as much as you think about the features and capabilities you feel your spy camera must have. Remember that a tight budget doesn't have to mean buying an inferior camera that cannot meet your needs.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™

 
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