A nanny cam is any security camera used for the purpose of watching and/or recording both the care giver of a child as well as the child. The nanny cam that is used for this purpose can be either disguised as something other than a camera or have a conspicuous design as a surveillance camera. Some nanny cams are designed to be permanently affixed to a mounting surface whereas other cameras are more conducive to being moved freely about a home as the parent or guardian wishes. In virtually all situations however, a nanny cam will have to be plugged into an electrical receptacle, much like a table lamp or vacuum, because the nanny cam will draw power in excess of what typical household batteries can furnish for sustained amounts of time.

Nanny cam considerations

Analog Wireless Nanny Cam

Different nanny cams will feature different resolutions (aka: clarity of picture). An analog nanny cam for example will have generally around 400 lines of resolution as opposed to digital nanny cams which might have in upwards of 700 – 1000 lines of resolution. The price of a nanny cam will generally have a direct correlation to its resolution, the better the resolution the higher the cost. Resolution usually will have your highest priority once you are viewing either a live or recorded image but you’re unable to make out an object, person, or action captured in the image.

Recording options

When selecting a nanny cam generally there are 3 options available for recording. The option available will depend on the make and model of camera you buy. Option 1is connecting the camera to a Digital Video Recorder. This is usually done by means of a video cable connection to a nanny cam permanently affixed to a mounting surface. Option 2 is recording via the use of an internal storage card. When you wish to view recorded images you have to remove the card from the nanny cam and install the card, temporarily, into a PC having the appropriate software for viewing. Option 3 is via your in home computer network. WiFi Digital Nanny CamA Wi-Fi nanny camera will record images to a PC via the use of your computer network. Software specific to a particular nanny cam is installed on a PC in the home, allowed to run as long as the parent wishes to record, and the nanny cam records to the PC. There are many nanny cams available for purchase from many manufacturers. You might find a blending of options and features listed above available in some cameras.

Night time camera images

Cameras, regardless of the type, including nanny cameras capture the highest quality images when sufficient light is available in the area being monitored. When comparing a black & white camera to a color camera, the black & white camera will perform best in overall lighting conditions. This is because, to capture images only in black & white requires less light then color. Therefore in low light conditions a color camera image might appear rather grainy compared to a black and white camera. There’s an exception however, nanny cameras which are day/night by design will function as color cameras during sufficient light conditions and automatically switch to black and white during low light conditions. Even better nanny cams will have built in inferred illuminators which emitt light invisible to the human eye but not cameras. When inferreds light up, the camera image, although black and white, will become more clear in low light conditions.

Motion Detection

Nanny cams can be purchased having built in motion detection features. During the setup of the camera the user can setup parameters within the camera’s field of view whereby any movement triggers an action such as notifying the user through a smart phone or simply placing the movement event into a log for later viewing.

Powering the camera

The more features listed above which you feel you’d require in your nanny cam will increase the need to plug in, hardwired power. Therefore, just because a camera advertises itself as “wireless” generally isn’t truly wireless. The video signal might be wireless but the power requirements of the camera require a plug in power transformer connected directly to the camera. Logitech Alert Nanny Cam System

Summary of Considerations

  1. Do you plan on a permanent fixed mounted installation or is the freedom of relocating the camera important?
  2. Do you plan to turn the camera on for only very short durations where battery power might be sufficient or will it run rather regular thus requiring a nearby electrical receptacle?
  3. Do you want to view the camera from your smart phone, at will, both live and recorded or is viewing only recorded image hours or days after ok?
  4. Do you have a working computer network or wireless router in your home or would you prefer an installation having special wiring installed in your home for the nanny cam?