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A mini surveillance camera is a small recording camera designed to be more inconspicuous than the average surveillance camera. Mini surveillance cameras often are built into an object that is meant to serve another purpose or to imitate a common object. Whether the host object is functional or non-functional, its true purpose is to contain and hide the mini surveillance camera.
While many miniature surveillance cameras simply look like small cameras or recording devices, others are deliberately manufactured to look like different objects. Small surveillance cameras can be placed inside objects with the appearance of home decor, such as clocks or plants. Mini surveillance cameras can even be attached to personal objects such as sunglasses, key chains, lighters, watches or pens. Using a mini surveillance camera built into a personal object can make the device mobile and capable of being used anywhere.
Nanny cams, or cameras meant to record the activities of nannies, are a popular kind of mini surveillance camera. These cameras can be concealed using teddy bears, smoke alarms, soda cans or other items typically found within the home. More domestic uses for a mini surveillance camera include use during any activity when an outsider comes into the home and performs unsupervised activities. These activities might be cleaning and pet sitting, for example.
Many surveillance cameras are now built to be wireless so that their owners can hide them anywhere they desire without risking their discovery through the show of excess wires. Owners can have the option of sending images or video recordings directly to mobile devices such as cell phones. However, they will have to configure these options through their computers. Owners might also have remote computer access to their cameras, depending on the model of device that they have elected to use.
A mini surveillance camera can come with a digital video recorder function. This can allow owners the ability to record occurrences without the use of analog tape. If a user finds it necessary to place a specific incident on a piece of media, he can easily transfer the digital recording to the media. Those who desire to keep records of surveillance often choose to use discs for this purpose.
Using mini surveillance cameras in the United States is legal, but recording speech without the speaker's consent can be an illegal activity in some states. Potential users of these cameras should check the legality of their recording activities before engaging in them. Owners also should consider the emotional ramifications of using a mini surveillance camera, because trust can be broken after a subject has discovered that he or she has been taped.