Get Identification Quality Surveillance from Budget Cameras

Surveillance cameras are in most shops you walk into and yet a significant amount of the time they never produce results that lead to a conviction.

The most common reason for this is the camera angles are too broad.
In a recent post, I commented on a coffee shop I had been in that had only 2 surveillance cameras and how to work with a $50 budget to get an identification quality image at the front counter.

The images I would expect to be getting from the 2 surveillance cameras are as follows or on this short video


  • Customer area camera would be giving a 60 degree view that covers the display fridges, seating and entry doors but only suitable to observe behaviour. EG see if someone took a drink from the fridge and didn’t pay for it.
  • The camera behind the counter would show the cash register and staff cash handling but could not see the customers due to the overhead shelves.
Coffee shop customer Camera Coffee shop Counter camera
Camera in customer area Camera behind counter

Video showing the shop layout

With these 2 cameras, we do not have any images that could be used as evidence of shop lifting or armed robbery.
Making an assumption that there is a 3rd camera in the rear of the shop and that there is a 4 channel DVR installed, we can add a budget surveillance camera at the counter, costing around $30. It is physically very small and could be concealed if preferred but will provide the required ID image at the counter. Additionally a few metres of pre made cable to the DVR is required  and will cost around $20.



Tags: , ,


Leave a comment
  1. Jonathan Sparco October 19, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    it is true how you pointed out how wrongly situated the camera behind the counter is. Security cameras should be strategically located so they have better coverage of what you want to monitor. Perhaps the owner of this coffee shop simply wants to monitor if their crews are taking spare change from the cash register only.

    • Spy cameras for home October 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

      I think that was the case but how short sighted of the client and the installer

Leave a Reply