Body cams have been in the news frequently over the last few years. There have been numerous high-profile cases in which the public has demanded to see footage from body cams.
The University of California Press reports on how there are positive aspects to police body cams but also worries about invasions of privacy.
Nevertheless, there are definite good uses for body cams, and not just by the police.
Here are some reasons why you might want a body cam, what options are available, and
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What are body cameras used for?
When you hear the phrase body-cam or BWC, you are likely to think about law enforcement. However, they are used in a wide variety of services, and also in leisure pursuits.
Wearable cameras have been around for a good while now. GoPros and helmet cams are beloved by extreme sports enthusiasts, and body cams can be utilized also.
Soldiers, special forces, and also paramedics, sometimes wear helmets or body cams. In the case of paramedics, it is to help increase their safety as they are often placed in dangerous situations.
Then again, someone may wish to use a camera to spy. Surveillance is another hot topic today. Mobiles are being hacked, and spyware is installed on computers all the time now.
There is a monitoring software for mobiles that makes it inexpensive to spy from a distance, but not all spying is underhand. It could be that someone simply needs to gather evidence.
Why would you need a body camera?
An investigation is one reason someone might consider a body cam. In this instance, they would choose a camera that is disguised as a shirt button. Very James Bond.
A private detective may have use for something like this. Someone who is trying to record evidence of criminal activity at work, or perhaps even abuse in the household may want a hidden cam.
A bouncer could consider a BWC in much the same way that the police do. This could be used to show that they were the victim instead of the antagonist in any violent incident.
Other reasons to use them could be for sports-related events, and perhaps making videos for blogs and vlogs.
Would it be legal to wear a BWC and record in public?
The laws surrounding body cams are the same as they are when it comes to mobile devices and any other recording device.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, it is perfectly legal to record by photograph or video anything visible in a public area. This refers to a handheld video recorder, a Polaroid camera, or any photographic device you can name.
However, there are two considerations to take on board.
Firstly, making videos on private property is not the same as in public. Privacy laws need to be respected here, and this includes body cams.
Secondly, you cannot record private conversations in public without the permission of all parties included. You can, though, record the police performing their duties, and public protests, or speeches.
What to look for in a body camera today
To start with, you will need to consider what your requirements are. Before buying a body cam, think about the circumstances you will use it in.
If you are looking at investigation then you should try a hidden cam. If you want to use the BWC for extreme sports, then you will need something rugged.
If you want the same as the police use, then you may want to look at the Axon Body 2. This has apparently been distributed to police in more cities than any other BWC.
You may also need some technical knowledge on using the video you record. If you intend to make public your recordings or include them in blogs, you may want to understand how to edit them and upload them. You will also need to understand how to compress video file size without loss of quality.
Where can you locate the best BWCs to buy?
If it is a small, hidden body cam that you desire, then search for one of the reputable online stores that market spyware. These stores specialize in hidden recording devices within glasses, pens, and cameras.
The more rugged cameras can be found on sites that deal with extreme sports such as mountain biking, parachuting, bungee jumping, and surfing.
The features that come with these cameras differ and some include remote control, recording in HD, and being good in low light. Others are designed to be easily concealed and are small, but can still record more than a full day of footage.
Choosing the best body cam today will largely be down to your own requirements. As you have read, the Axon Body 2 is highly popular with law enforcement, but this may not suit your needs.
The GoPro Fusion may be the best for extreme sports, but for anyone looking to make undercover recordings, a button cam would work better.