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Spycams, which are often referred to as nanny cams, are quickly becoming a parent s best friend. Most parents would agree that nothing is more precious or of more value than your children. Enough cannot be said of the lengths parents will go to protect their children. Gone are the days of stay-at-home moms. In today s culture, it is difficult to obtain any level of financial security unless both parents work. The added complication of more and more single-parent households makes the need to protect our children when we are not present more important than ever.

Many parents have chosen to use spycams to ensure that their children are being properly cared for and nurtured while in they are entrusted to a sitter or nanny. In this article, we ll look at a few of the absolute must-have features to look for when you are planning to purchase a spycam or pinhole camera.

Important Features
Most spycams are small and discreet recording devices with built in DVRs or removable SD memory cards. You can purchase these self-contained units in creative housings that disguise the camera to keep it completely undetected. You can find unique models in the form of alarm clocks, stuffed animals, stereo speakers and even room deodorizers. These pinhole cameras have a smaller lens than traditional spy cameras or hidden cameras, but this specialty lens has a wider viewing angle, making it possible to capture everything that goes on in a room with one camera. The area that a camera can monitor is known as its field of view, which is measured in degrees. It is vitally important to choose a camera with the widest field of view possible, especially if you place your nanny cam in a large room.

Motion-detection recording is another great option that is also vital for preserving your spycam's battery life and controlling its memory usage. When your hidden camera detects motion or body heat, it switches from standby mode to live recording. This prevents wasted recording time and battery life. Some spycams even offer motion masking. With the added benefit of motion masking, your camera will also block motion below a certain level so that pet's movements do not activate its motion-detection recording feature to avoid unnecessary recording.

Time-scheduled recording is another feature that might suit your needs, but it is not common on all spycam models, so you ll need to be selective. This feature allows you to preset specific times for your covert recordings to begin and end. This is a handy feature if you want to record the entire time your sitter, or possibly your housekeeper or a service technician, is in your home.

Finally, another vital feature is a time and date stamp. This feature automatically embeds the date and time of the recording into the video. Time and date stamping could prove to be an invaluable feature for protecting your children if you need to use the recording as evidence in a legal proceeding.

There are countless other feature options available with today s hottest spycams, from the choice between USB or RCA video outputs and the ability to expand your camera's memory capacity with larger SD memory cards, but the features listed above are must-haves if you want a solid piece of equipment to protect your child. One important item to note is that most spycams do not come with any audio-recording capabilities because some states prohibit audio recordings without the consent of the person who is being recorded.

Is Privacy an Issue in My Own Home?
You might think that your right to record the activities in your own home for the sake of your children's safety would not be within the purview of the law. However, if the placement of your spycam equipment infringes on your sitter s right to privacy, you could find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit. Most laws prohibit the use of hidden cameras in places where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy and expect to be safe from unauthorized surveillance. These places include bathrooms, dressing rooms bedrooms and so forth. Some states strictly prohibit the use of hidden cameras, so to be sure you are acting within the law; please contact your local law enforcement agency to learn the details of the laws governing the use of hidden cameras in your area.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don t Have To. 

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