Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tradecraft Holiday Wish List

The Wickedest Spy Gear You Can Buy Without a CIA Budget Behind You

We here at [FIND] Investigations love gadgets. The problem is: we despise cheap trinkets. Skip the $200 multi-sensing debugging device that picks up every radio frequency in a five-yard radius. Forget about the Oakley look-alike sunglasses with the built-in camera that adds about two pounds and looks for all the world like Geordi La Forge’s wrap around eyepiece. And that teddy bear with the one odd colored button, leave it in your online shopping cart, but do not buy it. Our operational requirements and our extremely good taste demand the absolute highest quality gear we can afford. 

This holiday month, we'll feature our favorite must-have gear for the savvy spy. Every item listed here is included in our bag of tricks. We use these tools on a daily basis. They are solid, well built, quality tools that should be in every investigators go bag. 

Video Recorders


Sony HDR-XR200 Digital Handycam ($899.00 Retail)

This cam-corder is perfect for the field operative. Small, lightweight, and easy to use, this camera should be at hand at all times whilst on surveillance. Sony has imbedded a GPS receiver in the unit, making it the documenter's dream. When you capture that cheating wife coming out of the local shag-o-matic hotel, this camera not only records a high definition video, it uses GPS telemetry to geo-code the location and stamp the file with an indelible date/time reference. When you get back to the office to assemble your evidence and write your report, simply sync the newly recorded video to your map program and you’ve got location, time, date, and video all in one neat little package. 

MD80 Pocket Camera Recorder ($350 Retail)

It’s not a toy. This tiny, smaller-than-my-thumb video camera makes covert recording a breeze. You can clip it to your shirt, wear it around your neck, or just hold it in your hand. This pint sized recorder actually captures high-quality, usable video images and, if enabled, decent quality audio. The images are stored directly to the Mini SD card slot. Either hook it up to your computer using the USB cable (provided) or slip the Mini SD card out and drop it into your desktop card reader and drag the video files over to your computer, easy peasy.

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