Dummy camcorder: 3 types + 9 recommendations for use

Effective security video recording is not always low-budget, especially when you need to cover a large area with surveillance. To reduce the cost of video monitoring, an imitation of protection, a dummy video camera can help. Buy a good imitation at the best price, using fakes together with the originals is not a bad idea to save money without losing the effectiveness of surveillance. In this article let’s analyze the “what”, “why”, “what kind” and the nuances of fake video surveillance.

What is a dummy video camera? Its purpose.

A dummy camera is in other words a model, a “doll”, a fake, or a complete copy of the equipment, but it does not perform any function of the original. The main purpose of the dummy camera is “window-dressing”, the effect of psychological influence. 

Fakes are almost impossible to distinguish from the real video camera. They are installed as close to the original as possible:

  • they are mounted in the same place where the real camera could presumably be;
  • they are built in the same way as real cameras in the existing surveillance system;
  • and then lamps, sensors, and cables are added to simulate the operation of the equipment. 

Fake brings a good economy of use on large security objects when combined with real cameras. It is difficult to distinguish the fake from the original, especially from a distance. This is not an easy task even for a professional.

There is still a very inexpensive, and sometimes even free, but already real video surveillance which is a wireless surveillance system using an old smartphone. Yes, you understand that right, all you need is to find two old gadgets and install video surveillance for free. Here are the detailed instructions.

3 types.

According to the method of connection, the dummy surveillance video cameras are of three types:

  1. Wired. The camera is accompanied by a part of the wire, creating the effect of connection to the network in the room.
  2. Wireless. The fake has an antenna that simulates a wireless connection.
  3. A copy of a digital IP – camera. A high-quality copy, for example, an expensive bullet video camera, can not be distinguished from the original, even at close range. The desired psychological effect is ensured.

A simple fake is a simple copy of the camera without any extras. More complicated models contain some “functions” of the working camera: motion sensors, IR mode lights, rotating mechanism, cable, or antenna.

Advantages and disadvantages

Now let’s find out what the good and bad points are about simulated video surveillance. 

The main pros:

  1. Cost. A dummy camera is much cheaper than a real one. 
  2. A great similarity with the original. The psychological effect is the same as when using a real video camera.
  3. Easy installation. It is difficult to make critical mistakes in fixing the dummy on the wall.
  4. Uncomplicated maintenance. The maximum effort that might be required is to change the battery on time and wipe off the dust. 
  5. “Water resistance”. Moisture will not disable non-existent electrical components.
  6. Filling in blind spots. 

There are two disadvantages of fake video cameras:

  1. There’s no real video recording.
  2. It’s important to keep secret the information about the simulated video surveillance. Otherwise, the effect and purpose of the dummy are reduced to zero.

9 recommendations for use

You learned why semblance of surveillance is used as well as the advantages and disadvantages of simulators. Armed with the knowledge, you have decided that it is worth buying a dummy surveillance camera.

Use a few recommendations for the effective use of the dummy camera.

  1. Be sure to install a sign for video surveillance. It will attract the attention of visitors, create the necessary psychological effect, as well as help comply with legal requirements. Covert surveillance is strictly banned.
  2. If it is surveillance for the house or a cottage then subtly hint to the neighbors that you are monitoring the home territory.  
  3. Do not hide the dummy. It should be noticed by all the people in the “viewing area”.
  4. You can not tell anyone that video surveillance is not real. Otherwise, the system becomes useless. 
  5. Put dummies together with real cameras. The method is suitable for use in private homes, entrances of apartment buildings, offices, shopping malls, and on the highway.
  6. You should not make a dummy yourself. It might not appear to be very realistic and you may not get the desired effect. Buying a ready-made dummy will not require a lot of money.  
  7. Remember about the simulation of connection with the recorder: the presence of a cable or wireless antenna. 
  8. The quality of the installation should not differ from the installation of an ordinary camera. Everything should be as realistic as possible.
  9. In a place of surveillance with a high risk of offense, it is better to install real cameras. Moreover, there are affordable budget options for the maintenance of security.


A fake video surveillance camera can deter would-be offenders. But you have to observe a lot of conditions, secrecy, in order to maintain the necessary psychological effect. Weigh all the pros and cons. Probably it might be more practical to install a real video surveillance system. In fact,  it does not require a large financial investment today. Reaching out to professionals, smart cloud surveillance technology is always a better combination compared to the created imitation

Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

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