Surveillance Camcorders for the Investigator

Camcorders & Investigators

A great deal of research is done by investigators to select just the right camcorder to get the highest quality for the best money.

Sony’s new  HDR-TG5V, a high-definition (HD) camcorder with 10x optical zoom, is equipped with a GPS receiver that can geotag recorded videos and still photos. This is also the smallest HD camcorder.  It has built in support for Navteq digital maps. Maps can be viewed on the camcorder’s 2.7-inch LCD and you may also find geotagged locations on a map. Sony includes software to view geotag information on a map.

Is GPS and geotagging a feature we can look forward to or just an expensive novelty?

3 thoughts on “Surveillance Camcorders for the Investigator

  1. Hi Richard,

    This camera is probably not well suited for investigators who conduct family law surveillance.

    From the site provided:

    “Minimum Illumination : 5 lux (Auto Slow Shutter On, >>1/30 Shutter Speed ”

    5 lux is quite frankly useless for any type of night surveillance or even a dimly lit restaurant or bar. The advantages of HD will be completely lost in these scenarios.

    At a pricey $1000 I think most investigators would be very disappointed with the performance of this camera.

    It also provides no night-shot capabilities, nor does it provide any image stabilization features.

    Another important feature that this camera may not provide (can’t say from the specs) is time/date stamping. Essential for investigators.

    I also see that the cheapest available 16GB SD Card is USD $28.99. This is very expensive if you subscribe to the policy of maintaining one card per case.

    Fact is, most commercially available camcorders use lower quality CCD/CMOS chips for the consumer market and the cameras are better suited to mom’s capturing little Johnny’s first steps.

    While it looks neat, this camera is probably not a good choice for investigators in the field.

    Mr. McRae’s article is a nice article on the difference between optical and digital zoom.

    Thanks for sharing.


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