The headrest camera rig is nothing new in the world of covert surveillance, but it is widely used due to the fact that it is an effective tool on operations. We often find ourselves on surveillance tasks where it is not practical to manually operate a camcorder due to risk of compromising the operative or raising the attention of third parties. The headrest mount eliminates this problem as we can record our subjects without the need to even look at him or her.
There are multiple variations to the headrest camera setup with an endless list of products on the market to achieve the desired rig. As with anything, budget plays a big factor in this but it doesn’t need to cost the earth for a good setup. Out preferred method is aa follows.
Panasonic HDC-SD600 camcorder. Now, this is an old camcorder but there are reasons for this. Firstly, we love Panasonic camcorders. With Sony being the biggest rivals for camcorders in the surveillance industry, we just prefer Panasonic as its what we know and we find them to be more user friendly. Secondly, as technology has progressed, remote controls have been replaced with Wifi controls. Wifi is great but it comes with some serous limitations in this respect. It's very slow to setup meaning we can quite easily miss vital recording opportunities. With a remote control we can quickly point and press record. It's the old saying in this regard, "If it's not broke, don't fix it". This camera may not be the best, but it films in full HD giving great picture quality, its small which is necessary due to where it's positioned within the rig and lastly because its an old camera, its cheap!
Hague Headrest Mount
The Hague Headrest Mount is a vital piece of kit for this setup. There are literally thousands of mounting options on the market but I think all operators can agree that this one in particular is the most widely trusted and used for stable video recordings when static or mobile. As you can see from the image, we have concealed the mount itself making it very difficult to see from outside of the vehicle. The mount is adjustable but it does also come with its limitations as filming angles can be restricted at times. Hague Headrest Mounts cost around £60 but we found a used one of Facebook Marketplace for £5!
Rearview Mirror Video Monitor
There are plenty of monitor options out there but we particularly like the rearview mirror monitor. It goes completely undetectable from outside of the vehicle and allows you to monitor the subject without even looking at him or her. This monitor is hardwired into the vehicle which allows for constant power even when the ignition is switched off. This monitor specifically has X2 channels which essentially allows for X2 cameras. It also comes with a remote control which again allows for quick operation. These monitors can be picked up for around £60 on Amazon or Ebay.
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