Private investigators use a variety of surveillance equipment including GPS trackers, bug sweeping devices, listening devices etc, but most importantly, cameras. DJI Pocket cameras, such as the DJI Pocket 2, offer portability and high-quality video capabilities, which can be advantageous for certain investigative tasks.
Here at SPI, we have recently started using the DJI Pocket 2 on live surveillance operations and we are quite pleased with the results! There is a world of covert camera manufacturers out there such Lawmate, and although their cameras are covert in appearance, they can't compare to the image quality and stabilisation the Pocket 2 provides. However, there are some negatives so read on!
The key advantages (and disadvantages) of the DJI Pocket 2 on surveillance tasks are...
1. Portability: The DJI Pocket 2 is a compact and lightweight camera that can easily fit in your pocket or bag, making it convenient for on-the-go use. This camera is very small, if not smaller than some of the other covert cameras on the market making it easy to conceal in order to remain covert. It must be stressed that it does have its limitations in certain situations. The moving gimble can be a giveaway so operatives need to keep some distance away from subject.
2. High-Quality Video: It features a high-resolution 4K capable camera with a 3-axis gimbal stabilization system, allowing you to capture smooth (or buttery as pros say) and stable footage even while moving.
3. Versatility: The camera offers various shooting modes, including photo, video, time-lapse, slow motion, and panoramic modes, giving you flexibility in capturing different types of content. Some of the shooting modes are likely to rarely be used on a surveillance task, but it's good to know the option is there.
4. Intelligent Features: The DJI Pocket 2 includes intelligent shooting modes like ActiveTrack, which can automatically track and follow a subject. Active track is perfect as the cameras gimble does all the work for the operator. We no longer need to move with the subject to keep the film rolling as the camera follows automatically.
5. User-Friendly Interface: It has a touchscreen display for easy navigation and operation, and the accompanying DJI Mimo app provides additional settings and editing options for your captured footage. This is very important as fiddling with settings whilst trying to capture evidence is the last thing we want. A simple interface is what we want! However, the screen is T-I-N-Y! When operating, we try not to look at the screen to avoid bringing peoples attention to the camera, but when there is a gimble with a mind of its own moving around, sometimes we need to know where the thing is pointing. You have to option to connect the camera to your phone but on a fast moving surveillance operation, it's not very practical.
The DJI Pocket 2 was clearly not designed for covert surveillance, but by chance it does actually work in certain situations. It takes time getting used to the cameras gimble, but once mastered it really is incredible. No more grainy/shaky video, once an operator gets to know this camera it can be a game changer on jobs (but not all jobs).
Get in touch with SPI if you, or your business requires any covert surveillance services.