P.I. Equipment

UPDATE

The information below is a bit outdated.  Just below this sentence are a few locations with this site to help you know more about private investigation equipment.  You can of course always go the P.I. Store by clicking the highlighted link.

This section covers the equipment that I recommend for new investigators, investigators starting their own agency and existing agency owners.  The first thing I will tell you is that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on equipment.  You can produce the same product as any investigative company with the equipment that I use and recommend.  I will only be recommending products that I use  or that are similar as to what I am using at this time.

If you are new to the investigative field or you want to get hired as an investigator my sincerest suggestion would be to purchase your own equipment.  You will be more desirable as an employee if you have your own equipment.  At the very least you will need a video camera, lap top computer, and covert camera.  I will provide links to affordable equipment below.  I am an affiliate for Amazon so if you make a purchase after clicking through one of my links I will receive a commission.

The video camera I currently use and have been using for the past year is this Sony Handycam DCR-SX44. Sony DCR-SX44 Flash memory Handycam Camcorder (Blue)

This little camera fits in the palm of my hand and is easy to conceal.  I use this camera for surveillance, as a backup camera to take photos and I use it for the family as well.  I don’t get in to the fancy details of the camera.  Refer to the Amazon link for product details.

If you don’t purchase a Sony, I would consider a Cannon.  Cannon in my experience has been a dependable brand to use and can take a bit of abuse.  I have worked with other investigators that use Cannon and they have been happy with their purchase so far.

No matter what type of investigation you end up specializing in, you will need an audio recorder.  I used an analog recorder for many years and just recently switched to a digital recorder.  I do however use my analog recorder as a back up just in case something goes wrong.  The digital recorder I use is a is a Sony ICD-PX820.  I think my wife purchased it at a Wal Mart or a Best Buy store. This recorder has folders, a USB port so you can upload your audio to your computer, and also audio and microphone plugs. Sony ICD-PX820 Digital Voice Recorder (Black)

If your not using a digital recorder you may want to switch to one.  During my last recorded statement I found it refreshing to be able to stay focused on the interview rather then worrying about how much audio tape was remaining.

10 comments

  1. what good affordable equipment are being use? name brand, camcorder with still vs DSLR cameras or both.

    • I currently use the video camera that I have listed on this website and it has served me well for well over a year. It has video and photo capabilities. The price on this camera has come done since I purchased it (the DCR-SX44). And last month I purchase a Cannon Rebel T3i. In regards to professional photography I still have a lot to learn however for the private investigator I believe it is the appropriate professional camera to use. With that being said, I used an Kodak 7 megapixal camera before purchasing the Rebel. I got the rebel for about 800 with the lens at Best Buy.

  2. Very good article! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site.
    Keep up the good writing.

  3. I am currently looking into some kind of live feed audio and video thing that can be used with my android phone and something that can be hidden like sewen in clothing or duffel bag or hidden on a person without them knowing. that workslike 250 miles away. for when my husband goes on “guys trips”.

    • I don’t know about being sewn in but maybe a recording pen that records sound when there is something to record. Maybe a pen that continues to record while he is on his way to his destination.

      Andrew

  4. hi there , im private investigator from malaysia , can i get the latest updates of private investigator equipment in overseas

  5. I’ve got an old Sony Handycam DCR-R35 with the night-shot facility which is still fantastic and has a 40x Optical Zoom. I can get some great video footage with it. The only thing I dodn’t like about it is the silver color which needs to be covered at night.

    Keep up the great posts and training videos Andrew. I always come back to catch up up anything new.

    • I use to be worried about the color of my cameras but I realized that when I am in my vehicle no one ever sees the camera behind tinted windows. I wish I could post more often. I have been very busy with family and work which makes it difficult. Take care Nigel

      Andrew

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