Subscriber Discussion

Covert IP Camera Recommendations?

My client is looking for covert IP cameras buit into smoke detectors, PIR's, emergency lighting boxes, etc. Can anyone recommend a manufactuer? Are there any caveats I should know about when using these?

I am curious if there is any high end products in this category. Most of it seems to be consumer grade or spy toys.

As for caveats, I am guessing that most will have poor video quality and poor low light performance.

Do you want to integrate this into a VMS or just a stand-alone drop in?

The better bet for me if you want truely covert IP cameras in a smoke detector would be just to purchase an analog covert camera for $100, rip out the camera guts and replace them with the Axis P1204 HD covert pinhole camera unit for (list) $499. $600 could definitely be out of your budget, but as you would now have standard Axis P camera model guts in it, you should have little problem adding it to a majority of VMS platforms. Also if it's for a standalone deployment, it has a built in SD card slot for 64GB of local storage or use with Axis camera companion. Not sure if this requires this disclosure, but I do work for an Axis Gold Partner, (feel free to edit/adjust/delete this if it's too spammy). I have used this camera at a couple high end banquet and restuarant sites who do not want a very obvious camera, but still want a good HD picture, and it was the most flexible solution we could find.

No need for disclosure on a detailed recommendation like that.

You might be jumping the gun but let's hear what he is looking to do :)

The client is open to opens. They have a VMS and would prefer to have it tied in BUT price is always a consideration. We did consider encoding an analog device but the cameras have ~500 TVL and the client is accustomed to megapixel IP cameras so "perception" is that its inferior.

I hadnt thought about trying to retrofit a P1204 into an analog device. Good suggestion.

Having played with a P1204 a bit, the only caveat I'd offer is that they're not good with low light... but if there's plenty of light to be had, you should be fine. The pinhole lens only does (I think) about a 60-degree FOV.

That aside, it's a nice little camera. I believe it's about 1MP (1280x960 if memory serves).

The Axis 1204 is the only covert IP camera I know of. It is also the only covert camera I have ever used that is any good. Remember though that it is not a day/night camera so IR light won't help the image at night.

Best of luck.