How to Build a Spy Camera with the Use of Old Phone Camera

With the ever-dropping prices of phones, it’s a good time to build a spy camera using your old Phone. 

I’m sure you must have a phone lying uselessly in a drawer or a phone you couldn’t sell because of its age. Let’s go through some steps to building a phone camera.

4 Simple Steps to Build a Spy Camera from Your Old Phone

old cellphone camera

Let’s look at four easy-to-follow steps to make a spy camera out of your old smartphone:

1. Adjust Your Mobile Phone

You first need to find a mobile phone that is not in use but works properly. Get a stand for your mobile to mount it. You can also use a tablet if you don’t have an old mobile phone. Connect a charging cable to your mobile if you want to record 24/7. 

2. Hide the Phone

You will need to modify your mobile if required. Make sure to find a place to hide it where no one can see it. You can hide the mobile in a book or a videotape box. Find a way that it does not look conspicuous. 

It is essential to take care of the camera if it is visible for recording. Furthermore, ensuring the place you decide to place the mobile phone is good for filming a clear line of view for perfect video of evidence. 

Places to Hide the Phone

  1. In a plant or decorative object – You can hide a camera in a fake plant or another decorative object commonly found in a home or office setting. This can be a good option if you want to blend the camera in with its surroundings.
  2. In a clock or other household object – Many household objects have enough space to hide a small camera, such as a clock or a speaker. These objects are often found in common areas and can provide a good view of the room.
  3. Behind a picture frame or mirror – Hiding a camera behind a picture frame or mirror can be a good option if you want to keep the camera out of sight. You can either mount the camera on the back of the frame or mirror or use a wireless camera that transmits the video signal to a receiver.
  4. In a smoke detector or other ceiling-mounted object – Many homes and offices have smoke detectors or other objects mounted on the ceiling, which can provide a good view of the room. These objects are often overlooked and can be a good place to hide a camera.
  5. In a stuffed animal or toy – If you want to hide a camera in a child’s room, you can use a stuffed animal or toy as a hiding place. Just ensure that the camera is not visible and that the toy is not placed in a location where it could be easily discovered.
3. Download Spy Software Software

Here comes the most crucial step. Now, you will need to download some security software to turn your old mobile into a spy camera for real. You can download one of these: Salient eye or any other app for monitoring. However, ensuring that the Software is compatible with your mobile phone model is essential.

List of apps

  1. Google Camera – This camera app is pre-installed on many Android devices. It allows you to record video and take photos and has various features such as HDR+ and slow motion.
  2. Open Camera – This is a free and open-source camera app with various features such as time-lapse and support for external microphones.
  3. Filmic Pro – This professional-grade camera app with various advanced features, such as manual control over focus, exposure, and white balance. It also supports external microphones and is widely used by journalists and videographers.
  4. Cinema FV-5 – This is a camera app designed specifically for videography and has a variety of manual controls and support for external microphones.
  5. Vlog it – This video editor and the camera app is specifically designed for vloggers. It has various features, such as support for multiple videos, audio tracks, filters, and effects.
  6. Videoshop – This video editor allows you to trim and merge video clips, add music and text, and apply various filters and effects. It also has a feature for recording videos directly from the app.
4. Testing

Lastly, don’t forget to test your camera before finalizing everything. When it was my first time, I didn’t try my camera and software compatibility before recording due to excitement and wasted the window of time for collecting the evidence. 

Because the Software I downloaded was not working, the apps I’ve mentioned are worth downloading, or you can find others on the internet for yourself. So, always remember to test the Software before you start recording. (1)

Best Ways to Test

  1. Record a video of a moving object – This can help you test the phone’s ability to capture smooth and stable video and its autofocus and image stabilization capabilities. You can try panning the phone or moving it around while recording to see how well it handles different types of motion.
  2. Record a video in low light conditions – This can help you test the phone’s ability to handle low light situations and capture good quality video. You can try recording in a dimly lit room or at night to see how well the phone performs.
  3. Record a video with different resolutions and frame rates – Most phones allow you to choose different resolutions and frame rates for video recording. You can test the phone’s performance by recording video at different settings and comparing the results.
  4. Record a video with and without audio – This can help you test the phone’s microphone and audio recording capabilities. You can try recording video in various environments, such as a crowded room or a quiet outdoor setting, to see how well the phone captures audio.
  5. Play back the recorded video on a variety of devices. After recording, you can play it on various devices, such as a computer, TV, or tablet, to see how it looks and sounds on different screens.

Why Should You Use a Spy Camera?

a woman's hand holding a camera phone

Spy cameras are no longer rare because of recent advancements and developments. If you already have security cameras and you think that is enough, you’re mistaken. 

If you are a sibling or a parent, it is a must to keep your eye on them even when you are not home. With a spy camera, you would be able to see them every moment, and you know the best part? They won’t even know it.

Moreover, if you stay in a hotel, you don’t need to worry about your valuables disappearing when you are not in the room. You could monitor every person who enters your room. Even if anything ‘magically disappears,’ you would know.

FAQs

Spy cameras are allowed by the government to use at different corners of the house. However, there are some areas where you are restricted from hiding the spy cameras, i.e., bedrooms, bathrooms, and other rooms where people expect privacy. Here’s how to find a hidden spy camera.

How long can you record with a spy camera? 

It could be workable for a few weeks if you purchase a spy camera from the local store. However, a spy camera created with a mobile phone can work 24/7, but it would need a charging cable.

What is the difference between a spy and a hidden camera? 

You can take spy cameras anywhere with you, whereas a hidden camera is used to fix somewhere that no one can see. Moreover, both cameras are not used to get dirt on anyone but for security purposes.

References

(1) test the Software – https://techbeacon.com/app-dev-testing/5-key-software-testing-steps-every-engineer-should-perform
(2) babysitter – https://www.care.com/c/stories/4331/babysitter-responsibilities/

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About John Fox

ebbb364ee14268bd3b77496cab3d1d78?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: Certified Alarm Technician (CAT)
Education: Denver Security Academy
Lives In: Denver Colorado

John Fox has worked as a security consultant in Denver for over 20 years.
With Safe Now, he's taken those two decades of experience and decided to share it to help people online make the right security decisions for their businesses and families.

John writes security tips and guides, product recommendations, and prevention guides.

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