For professional private investigators and even some in the security field, a piece of gear that seems to pile up over the years is cameras. Not only are we always searching for the next best thing, but when it comes to any type of electronic gear like cameras, the next best thing is always right around the corner. Here, we share some experiences with some of the cameras we have used in our surveillance operations over tens of thousands of hours of surveillance.
Budget is always a concern, and so is the need for quality, hence sharing our experiences is aimed at saving you money. To those points, below we have various models ranging from $200 to approximately $1,200.
First, note that the Canon SX730 is shown in the image on this post, however, the model with the best value/functionality is the SX620, in our opinion. This camera is a great option for not just the value, but for the utility of being the smallest of these options, making it very handy. With the versatility of a powerful 25x Optical Zoom, optimized image stabilization, and built-in Wi-Fi which lets you transfer them to your compatible devices, quality images via a 20.2 Megapixel sensor and inexpensive, USB charging options.
Nikon COOLPIX P900
As the product description says, “The zoom power of the Nikon COOLPIX P900 is nothing short of spectacular.” This camera, while noticeably larger than the Canon, is definitely going to become your go-to option for extended range shots. It has pretty much all of the same features, plus the 83x optical zoom.
The Sony HDR-CX900 boasts broadcast-quality HD video during the day, and industry-leading night-time (lowlight) recording with an IR illuminator. If you are going to need ‘after hours’ video, this is your camera. This is likely due to “The 1″ Exmor R CMOS sensor is approximately 8x larger than that of typical camcorders, allowing you to capture cinematic images with shallow depth-of-field for defocused backgrounds.”
If you need ‘show quality’ photos, the Fujifilm X-T20 offers a wide range of options for professional photographers which, after a few hours on YouTube, will enable you to take wonderfully clear photos which will dazzle the courtroom. Some of its stand-out features:
- 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor with no low-pass filter and X-Processor Pro
- 5.0Fps Live-view shooting, start-up time of 0.4sec., shutter time lag of 0.050sec. And shooting Interval of 0.25sec
- 3.0″ tilting Touchscreen panel for operation at almost any angle; Digital interface: USB2.0 (High-Speed) / micro USB terminal
- 4K video using the x series’ famous film Simulation effects (including ACROS). you can output recorded video to an external monitor via the HDMI port and input audio from an external microphone
- Af-c custom settings for moving subjects.LCD monitor aspect ratio 3:2.
Joseph M. LaSorsa, CPP® is currently a senior partner managing and conducting: Protective Operations Training Courses, Executive Protection & Bodyguard Services, Risk Management Consultations & Seminars, Security Expert Witness Testimony, Workplace Violence Prevention Seminars & Intervention Services, Security Consultations & Seminars, Private Investigations and Technical Surveillance Counter-Measures with LaSorsa & Associates – an International Protection, Investigations & Consulting Firm. https://www.linkedin.com/in/josephmlasorsa