- Created on 10 October 2009
We were quite impressed with the Swann Pencam as a discrete video surveillance tool based on its small footprint and all-in-one recording capabilities, so when we were offered the chance to review the lastest wired Spycam from Swann, we jumped at the chance.
The Swann Audio Spycam is another discrete camera system, however it differs from the Pencam in that it requires a DVR or monitor for recording and viewing of footage. Designed to have a very discrete footprint but still incorporate a sensitive microphone the Swann Audio Spycam doesn't disappoint.
The camera has been designed with the aim to facilitate mounting into pictures, books or clocks (in true undercover detective style!) in order to allow the average layman access to this form of surveillance. However there is nothing to say that the camera could not be used for shop surveillance or even just for fun (practical jokes etc.).
The camera is connected through standard RCA plugs to the DVR of choice and can be powered in two ways: The package includes a standard plug for direct mains power, or there is a battery adaptor for use with 9v PP3 (square batteries) which can apparently power the device for up to 12 hours of use whilst on the move or for where a mains plug socket is not feasible..
Image quality (as was expected) is a marked improvement on the Pencam providing a resolution of 510 x 492 and the lens itself allows for manual focusing of the objective even down to small distances and in our tests all the video was very clear even in fairly low light conditions. The microphone wa equally impressive and provided good reproduction of the environmental sounds and conversations even when the subjects were a good few meters away.
The potential of sucha small camera is endless to any budding detective, and we could easily see how the camera could be of benefit to a multitude of more mainstream trades (plumbers etc) in day to day work. Around the home the spycam could be of equal use for baby monitoring where you could even dedicate a "channel" on the tv to your child! Retailing at around ~£30, the Swann Audi Spycam is also very reasonably priced for such an effective, yet discrete, camera.
Amazon: Swann Audio Spycam - Mini Colour Security Camera with Sound