Mini cameras have gained widespread popularity among people all across the globe. Due to their relevance, ease of use, and affordability, people install mini cameras for various purposes.
Also known as hidden camera, nanny cam, etc. a mini camera can be used to monitor childcare providers, home and office security and so on.
Mini Camera Instructions- How to Use Guide?
Follow this simple step by step guide on how to install and maintain your mini camera.
1. Placing the Camera
Step 1: The first thing to consider while placing your mini camera is the line of sight. Place the camera in a direct line of sight with the object that you want to keep an eye on. The most important part of installing a mini cam is to put it in the right place suitable for your purpose.
First of all, consider what it is you want the camera to monitor. The focus should be on the place where a certain incident of your interest is likely to occur that you want to keep an eye on. Ensure that the camera is placed in such a way that it points directly to the focus area with no visual obstructions in its way.
For instance, mini cameras can be very useful if you are concerned about intrusion. In that case, you can place the camera pointing towards doors or windows, or any area from where a break in can be made.
If you want to keep an eye on how the nanny is behaving with your baby, you should place the camera in your baby’s room pointing towards the crib or play.
If you want to install a camera in your office, point it towards the entrance and exit, so that you can monitor who visited your office in your absence.
You can also disguise the camera to prevent it from being stolen or getting damaged.
Step 2: The next important thing to consider is the sound quality. If you want to record sound in your camera, you need to place your camera in a place where the audio can be recorded without any external disturbances. The focus should be on the speaker whose audio you want to record. Therefore, make sure that the mini cam is as close to the speaker as possible without looking obvious. This way you can have clear audio recordings.
Make sure that the camera is not placed in the vicinity of a noisy device or apparatus, some of the obvious ones being television and radio. If you place the camera next to a television or radio, it will drown the voice of the speaker and it will become difficult to understand what is being said.
To install a camera in a room with a television, you have to put it away from the TV. Make sure that it is on the opposite part of the room where the TV is placed.
It is recommended to place the camera near a couch or chair or any such place where your target may sit. Do not place the camera near the speakers while installing it in a car.
Step 3: If your mini cam relies on an external power source for functioning, you need to ensure that it is placed close to its power source. However, many mini cameras are powered by batteries, but some need an external power source that needs to be plugged in to a socket. Battery powered cameras are more portable and easy to hide. In case of an electric camera, you need to place it close to a socket. You also need to hide the wires or disguise it as a household appliance.
Step 4: Make sure that your camera is connected to a network. Some mini cameras have internal storage whereas others broadcast video through a network connection.
Some mini cameras connect to a network through a USB cable. In that case, the cable must be disguised well. Disguise the camera by placing it near the router.
Many mini cameras have the feature of wireless connection. Place these kinds of cameras within the range of wireless connection.
Step 5: The next step involves disguising the camera properly. Do not keep the camera at a spot which attracts direct attention. Keep the camera at an inconspicuous place which does not grab attention. Keep the camera at a place where the target cannot see the camera directly. To ensure this, keep the camera quite above or below the average eye level.
You can ask your trusted acquaintance to try to find the camera. If he or she finds it easily, you need to change the spot. But if he or she is unable to find the camera, it means you have done a good job. If someone who already knows that you have installed a camera is not able to find it, chances are an unsuspecting person will not spot it easily.
Some good hiding spots are inside an air vent, within a fake smoke alarm, under furniture, inside a stuffed toy, etc.
Avoid spots near paintings, switches, television, etc which attracts attention.
Step 6: Keep your camera safe. If you have installed outdoor security cameras, make sure that they are weather resistant, and safe from external damage. Try keeping the camera sheltered. It is advised to buy a camera that is specifically meant for outdoor use.
2. Installing the Mini Cam
Step 1: Checking the light source is important while installing a mini cam. For mini cameras to work properly, bright light is needed. However, if too much light falls directly on their lenses, they are unable to record images clearly. Therefore, make sure that the camera is positioned in a way that it faces away from the direct light source. On the other hand, ensure that whatever you want to record is well lit.
Step 2: Camera should be well camouflaged. A mini camera is of no use if it’s not hidden from plain sight. The major strategy to hide a mini cam, trusted by most is to hide the camera as an everyday object. Some examples are tissue boxes, coffee makers, alarm clocks, wall hooks, digital picture frames, air freshners, etc which blend in with the environment without any effort.
If a lens is disguised to look like a button, it will not attract as much attention as compared to a camera that has simply been hidden from plain sight.
Step 3: Follow the installation instructions that come with commercial cameras. There are a variety of cameras available in the market and each of them has its own set of installation instructions. However, they are pretty much the same, but you should still consult the instruction manual for any specifications, if needed.
If you have bought a second hand camera, you can find its model number online. Most electronic devices have user manuals available for free download.
Remember to install any software that might be necessary. Mini cameras often need external software to work. The camera will either come with a software or require you to download a third party software. Some softwares can also be downloaded on the smartphone. This enables you to easily keep an eye on what your camera is recording while you are away.
Step 4: Testing your camera is very important. You should check if your camera is functioning the way it is supposed to, especially in the case of motion or sound activated cameras. The camera should turn on when given the right stimulus. It depends on your camera and its software.
If your camera senses motion to get activated, try waving your hand in front of it and see if it records anything. You can check this on your computer or the internal storage of the camera where it stores the recorded videos.
You can also simply walk into the room and check if your action was recorded. Obviously you have to be within the reach of the camera lens.
Test your camera immediately after installing and then periodically once a week to make sure it works in the crucial hour.
3. Maintaining Your Mini Camera
Step 1: Maintaining your mini camera is very necessary. You do not just want to install the camera for namesake and let it rot so that it does not serve you when you actually need it to. The first step, therefore, is to check the battery. If your camera is battery powered, the battery is sure to run out of energy after some time. In that case, you need to check the battery level every once in a while. You need to either replace the batteries or recharge the camera.
You can consult the user manual to check how long the battery lasts, and when do you need to change or recharge it.
Step 2: Clean the memory, especially if your camera uses a micro SD card for storage, and does not have a network connection.
Step 3: Check your camera at regular intervals to see if it’s working. Like every electronic device, it is bound to break at some point. So keep checking to ensure that the camera is in good working condition when you need it the most.
4. Things to Consider While Buying a Mini Cam
Step 1: It is important to consider the laws while installing mini cameras in your home or office. If you do not follow the law, you might get into legal trouble. There are some rules and restrictions regarding the installation of cameras. These laws depend upon countries and cities, and vary accordingly. Therefore, you need to check for local laws before you install your mini cam.
Generally, it is not forbidden to install a camera as long as it is on your own property. You cannot install a camera in a place where privacy is expected even if it is your property, for example, bathroom, or spare room that you are renting out, etc.
Audio recording laws are different from laws for recording video, and often involve stricter rules.
Cameras can be installed in the office if the employees are informed that their actions are being recorded.
Step 2: Choose a camera which is suitable for you. All mini cameras have the same basic function, but you need to know your requirements to select a model which is best suited for you.
If you want to be able to clearly see the person being recorded, you will want a camera that can capture high resolution video or images. For example, if you intend to catch a thief using your mini camera, you need to have a high resolution camera.
If you want to observe a known person and keep an eye on their actions, then you should get a camera that is reputed for recording movements properly. It is recommended to get a camera with higher frame rate, that is frame per second. In this case, you may use a camera that has a low resolution.
For recording at night, consider getting an infrared camera. A normal camera will not be able to record anything at night because whatever it records needs to be well lit. With infrared cameras, these problems do not exist.
This mini camera instruction guide tells all the things that you should know about mini camera. While buying a mini camera, keep in mind your needs and budget. You can choose from a wide range of products in the market. There are high-tech cameras marketed by experts that are quite expensive. You can record high resolution, or infrared videos with such cameras.
On the other hand, there are inexpensive cameras as well. They are of low resolution, and cannot record at night. You can find these cameras easily at any electronic store. Mini cameras are easy to install and use, no matter whether they are expensive or cheap. Therefore, before buying a camera consider your needs and budget, and get a camera suitable for you.