Mini Spy Cam Review: Makeit HD Mini 720p

Mini portable video recorders might be seen by some as having only nefarious uses – but as our reviewer explains, for those in the law enforcement profession or similar fields, such devices can prove to be a convenient aid in investigative and police work. We review the Makeit HD Mini 720p.

The Mini High Definition Camera is a versatile and quite resilient piece of recording equipment.

There are a number of small, portable and concealable recording devices on the market used for a variety of purposes. While some use these devices to capture holiday moments, others, like myself, use them to capture evidence.

When I say evidence gathering I am talking about law enforcement evidence gathering, specifically evidence used in a Court to either convict or acquit. Yes, if you haven’t already guessed…I am a Police Officer.

As an individual who uses this camera on a day to day basis, I think I am qualified to give a decent review on its use as an intelligence gatherer and evidence recorder.

I decided to buy one of these cameras about 2 years ago, after I had a desire to have a better form of evidence, other than a notebook or digital recorder, to use in court.

This camera is more suited to first response police officers but definitely could be used by customs officers or other law enforcement personnel.

Functions

This mini HD camera has a few functions, but certainly not enough to get excited about.

As you look at it, the mini HD camera has a small lens at the front, a small switch on its left hand side (which controls still or continuous recording—yes it can take photos, 1600×1200 in jpeg format) and another small switch on its right hand side, which is the power button.

There is also a small button on top of the device which is similar to a stop/record button, and that’s pretty much it.

It does have a MicroSD card slot which, depending on how much money you want to spend, does allow the mini HD camera to record up to 16GB of movies or pictures.

I personally only have an 8GB MicroSD card which I find is adequate for a shift (if only recording when needed, i.e high risk incidents).

If you wanted to record statements, complaints etc, I would go for the 16GB card, although you are limited by the battery life, which realistically is about 50-60 minutes or so.

It is recharged via a USB cable directly into your PC, laptop or any device which is compatible with USB charging.

Usability

I have only ever used this camera as part of my occupation, so I will focus on that. I am sure it could be used for other applications, but I haven’t experimented with it so that part is up to you to figure out.

As applicable to law enforcement I find it to be a useful device. It definitely does not replace the need to take adequate notes or digital recordings, but it is useful as yet ‘another tool’ to make you job a little easier.

The usability of this device becomes a lot easier when used with the ‘clip on’ attachment (included on most models) and the securing necklace.

I have experimented with many ways of wearing the camera, but I find the only way to wear the device with decent results is to wear the securing necklace and to position the camera roughly half way down your shirt (The reasons for this are highlighted in the performance section below).

Performance

There are 2 major issues with this camera that slightly annoy me – shakiness and field of view.

If you put the camera anywhere other than half way down your shirt, you will record the sun and/or stars.

The camera generally records at an acceptable level when clipped half way down your shirt. It will pretty much record a person’s full body when standing at a distance of about 10 metres. Particularly good for Taser, capsicum, or firearm deployments.

If standing close to someone, it will generally record their face only.

The majority of things I really wanted to record, mainly to watch back for my own amusement, did not turn out particularly well. This is primarily due to the ‘shakiness’ of the recording. If you are standing still it is generally fine, but start walking and the footage becomes less and less decipherable.

The photos are of ok quality, and will adequately take photos of exhibits if an emergent circumstance arises, although only during the day—the device noes not have a flash.

Summary

As I stated earlier, the mini HD camera is without doubt a useful tool.

It should be used in conjunction with other evidence gathering methods to create a ‘complete’ picture, or to simply fill in the gaps where other evidence is lacking.

There are many things that could be improved on the mini HD camera, but for the price you are paying, I would say you are getting more than what you pay for.

There are many law enforcement recording devices on the market at the present time, many of which are extremely good…but very pricey. The mini HD camera is a simple device which does its job effectively, it records video and audio.

The footage is no masterpiece, but the audio is still recorded, so in effect you are still getting decent evidence even if the lens fails to capture the incident.

Writer’s Tip

When are on your way to a high risk incident, make sure you activate the camera at least 30 seconds prior to your arrival on scene. The last thing you want to be doing is fiddling around with the camera upon arrival.

50/100

  • Value for money
  • Adequate evidence recorder
  • Versatile and quite durable

Written by The Badge.

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