How Do Hidden Cameras Work?

How Do Hidden Cameras Work?

Learning the working principle of hidden spy cameras can be beneficial; today, I'll explain the whole process of the inner workings of a hidden camera.

Generally, a hidden spy camera is similar to a CCTV camera. However, these hidden cameras are much smaller than CCTV cameras, and because of that, you can hide them pretty easily. These cameras use a lens to capture incoming light and transmit the signal via a radio transmitter. Then, the video screen displays this radio signal as an image.

Continue reading the article for a more advanced explanation.


The Basic Principle of Hidden Cameras


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When it comes to spy cameras, we can categorize them into two different types; wired and wireless. Both types have the following properties.

  • Connect to a router or internet box.
  • A wireless camera has a radio controller that sends a signal to the router via the controller.
  • A wired camera sends the signal through the central hub.


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The spy camera connects with the router, and then the router connects to your home computer or smartphone. Nowadays, most hidden spy cameras come with a mobile app. So you can operate the camera from the app.

Note: To run a wireless spy camera, you need a stable internet connection at home. On the other hand, a wired spy camera doesn't need an internet connection.


How Do the Hidden Security Cameras Capture, Transmit, and Display Images?

The process of capturing and recording video is the same for wired and wireless hidden spy cameras; the only difference is how they send the signal. For instance, wired cameras send signals through a central hub, and wireless cameras send the signal via radio controllers.

In this section, I'll focus on hidden wireless cameras since they are popular these days.

Remember, the wired hidden security cameras follow the same process as the wireless ones.

With that in mind, here's what happens inside a wireless spy camera when you start watching or recording.

Detecting the Image

  1. The hidden wireless camera captures images using light that comes through the camera lens.
  2. The light detectors only measure blue, green, and red lights in a color wireless security camera.
  3. Then, three photodetectors combine their results, show light in a particular place, and make the complete image.

Note: Some wireless cameras come with motion detectors that can detect any movement in the area.

Transmitting the Image

After completing the image, the wireless camera converts the captured image into a radio signal. And then uses a radio transmitter to send it to the receiver.

Note: The radio transmitter is a small device powerful enough to broadcast a signal.

Finally, the receiver grabs the signal and converts it into an image.

Using the Footage

Depending on the purpose of the operation, the receiver can do different things to the image. For instance, one can watch the image alongside other camera images. Or the image can be recorded to a hard drive or SD card.


Essential Parts of a Hidden Security Camera System

There are three main parts of a hidden spy camera. All of these components should work together to capture and record video footage.

The Camera

Undoubtedly, the camera is the main and most valuable part of a hidden camera system. It captures footage and sends it to the receiver. A wireless camera does this by sending a radio signal. And the wired camera uses a central hub and a cable to transmit the signal.

Recording Device

After capturing the video footage, you can either watch or record them. You'll need an internal hard drive (computer hard drive storage) or SD card if you plan to record the footage.


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Most modern-day security cameras come with a microSD card. So you can use it to record footage.


To watch recorded videos, you'll need a monitor. You can use a PC, laptop, smartphone, or tablet to watch live or recorded footage.


Method of Building Hidden Cameras


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Hidden cameras are often combined with commonly used items such as televisions, alarm clocks, toys, mobile phones, ink pen caps, etc. These cameras are used for home surveillance, and also, one can use them for industrial spying.

For instance, an alarm clock hidden camera is an excellent way to spy on somebody or inspect your own room. Even a thief won't guess that a simple alarm clock comes with a spy camera. So, this is a convenient way to spy on your house while you are outside.


How to Install a Hidden Security Camera?

Installing a hidden camera isn't a difficult task at all. Remember to read the instruction manual first and follow these steps.

  1. Unpack the camera.
  2. Plug in the charger.
  3. Choose a location and mount it.
  4. Turn ON the camera and connect with your home network.
  5. Watch live footage or record the footage for later inspection.

Quick Tip: You'll have to enter the WPA or WEP security key on the camera screen to establish the connection when using a Wi-Fi connection.

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