Hiding a camera can be easy to do if you use a two way mirror. Instead of nesting a camera into a teddy bear for a nanny cam, blend your camera into your home decor by putting it behind a mirror. This way, you are not limited to micro sized cameras that people may or may not see. There are many factors to consider when using a two way mirror to hide the camera.
There is more than one type of two way mirror
The term “two way mirror” is used to describe a mirror that is semi-transparent and turns into a mirror when one side of the mirror is bright while the other side is dark. Choosing the right mirror can be confusing if you do not know what to look for! First I will tell you the basic specifications of each mirror type you might consider, and then we will go over a few scenarios where one might be more useful.
Quick Tip: Transparency translates into picture quality
To choose the best mirror for the project where you are hiding a camera behind a mirror, you have to get your priorities straight. Do you want the camera to be completely hidden, or do you want flawless picture quality? What if you want the best of both worlds?
Glass Two Way Mirror Overview
The glass two way mirror provides the most privacy among the different two way mirrors. Coming in at 11% transparency, it blocks almost all of the light coming through the mirror. This can be an advantage if you cannot make the camera side super dark by using a shroud. This could be the case if you are using a large mirror in an observation room type setting.
Acrylic Two Way Mirror Overview
The acrylic two way mirror is great for situations where you would be hiding a camera indoors. Since it is acrylic, it will scratch easily and does not hold up under outdoor, wet conditions. Coming in with 30% transparency, it provides much better display quality than the glass two way mirror and is more color neutral. However, when we did the video quality test, we did find that unless it is completely pitch black behind the mirror, you do get some reflection coming back onto the camera.
Glass Smart Mirror Overview
The glass smart mirror is basically the same as the acrylic two way mirror with technical specifications with 30% transparency, but it has a much more durable mirror coating so it would hold up better over time if scratching is an issue or if it needs to go outside. In doing the comparison video I noticed this actually looks like the best option of the three with how clear the colors come through!
Teleprompter Mirror Overview
For hiding a camera behind a mirror where display quality is the number one priority, whether it be for photography or teleprompting purposes, the teleprompter glass is definitely the best with 70% transparency. However, it does not necessarily hide the camera completely. To help with this, you can paint the back of the mirror black everywhere except for where the camera lens is. This is extremely popular for model portraits where the person in the picture wants to see how they look while you are taking pictures.
When you want to hide a camera within the house and it would be awkward to use a dome mirror, you can use the glass two way, acrylic two way or glass smart mirror depending on what you want in terms of video quality. The glass two way will hide the camera effectively but the display will be super dark. The acrylic two way is nice because it is 30% transparent so you get better video quality. For people that just want glass no matter what and the nicest video quality, the glass smart mirror gives you 30% transparency as well just like the acrylic with a more durable mirror coating. When doing the test comparison we noticed the glass smart mirror provided the best video quality while still hiding the camera completely.
Content Creation & Modeling
For photo shoots where you want the model to get the sense of what they look like LIVE while you are taking pictures, using teleprompter glass is a great tool! It allows for flawless picture and video quality while still giving a nice reflection. This can really speed up photo shoot timing by boosting the confidence of the model with that instant feedback.
Animal Observation Photography
When you are using a two way mirror for animal photography, usually the number one concern is that the animal might see you. For that reason, you definitely want to go with one of the high reflection options: glass two way, acrylic two way or glass smart mirror. If the mirror is replacing a full window, the most private option is the glass two way mirror. However, if you really want that better display quality, the glass smart mirror is a great option for replacing a window that goes to the outside. Typically the acrylic two way mirror would not be used since the mirror coating is delicate and easily scratched.
Kids DIY – How to Spy
This video demonstrates a fantastic way to hide a camera and spy on your fellow brothers and sisters to figure out who took your toy.