Video has become one of the best ways to document daily life, and the size, shape and capacity of new cameras is nothing short of amazing. While most of us now carry cameras around, integrated in our cell phones, the fact that they’re in our phones makes it hard to document something when there’s a need to contact help, authorities, or conducting other business. Whatever that may be. So, what to do? The fact is that while a cell phone, or a smart phone, will run you hundreds and hundreds of dollars, a fairly sophisticated body cam will cost you less than $50.00. Throw a little more cash at it, and a really sophisticated version can be yours. Carrying a clunky camcorder, or a digital SLR isn’t for everyone, but as we’ve seen again and again, and again, the need to document daily life has become a necessary evil. In this post, we’ll take a quick look at some of the models that are very readily available, and which should be worn by anyone expecting involvement with law enforcement, or just feel the need to document their day in public.
1: The Tiny One
The iSpy G HD “Police Body Micro Camera” is an interesting camera, mainly because of its size – having an unobtrusive camera can be a great advantage, especially in situations where you might not want people to know you’re recording. It can be a legal grey area where you are, so be careful, but other than that, this camera is an excellent option. At $29.99, the price shouldn’t scare you off, either.
- HD video. 640 x 480 px will be well within what you need to capture the details of a scene. It’s not a National Geographic film, but it’s definitely enough for your documentation purposes.
- Supports up to 32 GB micro SD cards. Which means that @ 640 x 480 resolution, you can squeeze in several hours of video in one go.
- 60 degree view angle. That’s enough to capture what’s in front of you, and a good portion of what’s around you.
- Several hours of battery life. The fact that this camera isn’t one of the absolute smallest available, simply means that it has a bit of battery capacity. Which you need, in order to take advantage of the 32 GB micro SD card you’re going to put in there.
2: The Middle Road
Veho VCC-003-MUVI-PRO MUVI is a larger version than the iSpy G, but makes up for it with a reputable brand name, and certain features that the smaller models don’t have. This model has voice (or noise) activation, which may or may not be a useful feature, and a 2 MP resolution, which makes for pretty good picture quality. According to Veho, the body cam is compatible with up to 8 GB of storage (4 GB included) by means of micro SD card, which is a little light for a 2 MP camera – 8 GB will give you about 90 minutes of recordings.
- Reputable brand, with a varied series of action cameras
- Up to 80 GB of storage, 90 minutes of footage
- 2 MP camera
- Pocket clip / universal clip
- Voice activated start/stop
- Noise activated start
3: The Boss
Body cams like the Pyle PPBCM16 Vigilante Pro is the complete package for anyone who needs to and/or want to document anything from tactical ops to police stops or whatnot else. With full 1080p HD video, this camera will produce footage that you can comfortably take stills from, show on big screens and share with the public – news rooms love HD video. A built in laser pointer will aid you in pointing out the relevant parts of your footage. Also included is 16 GB of built in memory capacity, splash proof casing, microphone, speaker and LCD screen for on the spot viewing are all nifty features.
The real advantage with this camera is the remote control, however. Pyle reports that you can snap 16 MP stills with this body cam, in addition to the wireless 1080p video camera. Battery time is around 5 hours of recording, with less info on standby time, but whatever it is, this should be ample time for any working day or encounter you might have. Transfer via USB cable is pretty universal, and this camera is no exception – easy file transfer, universal file formats and an easy 3-button remote control makes this very advanced camera with very accessible controls.
- Double camera, stills & cideo
- Full 1080p HD recordings
- 5+ hours of recording
- Integrated storage
- Splash proof casing
- Integrated LCD screen and speaker for viewing/listening
On top of all the features, this camera comes at a steeper price than most – expect to pay between $250 and $300, depending on where you get it.
Having a body cam available, and even visible, isn’t just a security feature for you in that it’s a source of very accurate documentation, it’s also a deterrent. Seeing that someone has a camera on them will make police – and other citizens – think twice about infringing on your rights, or your person, for that matter, and a criminal might steer clear of you (unless they really want that camera, of course…) since you can simply show the cops their picture.
Most of all, it’s for your peace of mind. And that is hard to put a price on.