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Body Cameras - Everything you need to know

Best Body Cameras - Everything you need to know.

Body Camera Reviews.

We’re going to help you figure out which Body Camera is right for you so you can get the most out of your new camera.

Hytera VM685 Camera Pinnacle PR Body Camera - Radio-Shop UK Hytera VM550 Body Camera Pinnacle PR6 Body Camera - Radio-Shop UK

Price of Body Cameras.

Some customers are shocked by the huge difference of price for body worn cameras. You can pay anything from £50 to £700 for a wearable camera . This is mainly due to low quality items being manufactured in China and sold around the world.

Let's be under no illusion the majority of electronic equipment is made in China, but it is like anywhere you need to find the good manufacturers that support their products and built high quality items to ensure you purchase the best body camera.

What we have found is security and government agencies like the Police and Military invest in reliable camera solutions. So many people get obsessed with price and cost instead of the main points does it deliver and is it fit for purpose.

We are trying to ensure you don't fall into the world of false economies like so many businesses do.

You can buy a cheap police body camera, but I will guarantee you it will let you down when you need it most. The most common fault is corrupt data files or reveal the device is not recording at all.

So many times you see a flashing lights, but it doesn't record, or the file is corrupted when you try to look at the footage or the body worn camera has so many buttons on it the end user struggles to find the button when they need it the most.

We will be highlighting body cameras which are reliable, easy to use, easy to install, come with secure storage and can be used as evidence in the event of an incident.

So Why wear a Body Cam?

Body cameras are mainly worn by security personnel or people who operate in confrontational jobs. It acts both as a deterrent and recording device. The cameras can improve safety, confidence and accountability during event operation.

The Benefits of Using Police Body Cameras

When Purchasing Body Cameras there are several things you should look for:

Picture Quality.

People seem to think the more the Mega Pixels ( MP ) the better the camera. There is one major thing to remember when purchasing body cameras you can have 20MP camera, but you still have to get the footage off the device, the more the MP's the larger the data file, the larger the transfer time to get the footage on your computer, the more chance the file will corrupt. Also, the more space the recording takes up on the storage card resulting in your recording time being less.

You need to find balance between good picture and good file size. Cameras with displays on normally let you adjust the video quality. Remember if the picture quality is too poor you won't be able to use it as evidence, and normally it's the fascial image that is the most blurred when you need it the most.

Recording Function.

There are 3 main recording functions you will find on body cameras:

Button/Slide Operated - the end user pushes a button to start recording, and then they push a button to stop recording.

Behind the scenes the cameras will store the footage in mini files preconfigured by time slots 5, 10 or 15 mins or continuous. Be warned if you do have this feature do not select continuous file - The camera creates one large file there is more risk of it being corrupted and losing all the footage.

Loop Recording - The camera will record in a timed loop, once the time is reached it will record over it. If the user pushes the record button it will start recording place the footage from the loop at the beginning of the file. Example an incident occurs in the work place, and you press record you now have the build up to that incident.

Motion detection -  Normally activated by a sudden change in light in the camera lens. The camera will then record for a set period, predetermined by you. Works well on vehicle cameras but useless on a body camera as you are always moving.

Battery Recording Time.

The recording time is the actual time the camera will record before the battery dies. it all depends on your needs. Ask yourself the following questions:

Are we just recording incidents? or do we need to record everything?

This will help you pick the correct product.

Also look at the standby time. This is the time the device remains on, where it can operate quickly and go into record mode before the battery turns off.

Visual Display.

With Screen -  You have instant access to the recordings and settings, you can play back footage and configure the device out on the ground. This is where the cheap cameras on the market crumble. Software and Firmware issues lead to the device crashing or the battery life being dramatically reduced as you are powering a screen as well.

You can also clear the SD card and footage normally from the menu option. What we found is the cameras could be misused, and the end users could delete footage if they knew they were at fault. It depends on if the camera is used for personnel or business use and your needs.

If you are purchasing a camera with a screen also make sure the device is robust and the screen is not going to break easy or let the elements (water and dust) into the camera easily as it will damage it.

Without Screen - You are unable to see the footage which often results in the camera being misplaced, security personnel place it on their jackets, an incident occurs, and they go to look at the footage and Oh No the camera was pointed at the floor.


Following on from the last segment therefore wide angled lens are important in purchasing body cameras it offers a greater redundancy when recording the actual incident.

Consider where you work and what you need to cover in the footage.

Night Vision. Do you operate in low light situations? if so, you may want to consider a camera that has low light capabilities or infrared lights.

I have actually known of a certain police unit who doesn't want to use high power infrared lights, and they prefer the footage to represent the user's vision. For instance, you go into a building and its dark and someone attacks the user. On a night vision camera, you may see everything and the culprit hiding in the corner and then accused defending themselves but what you don't get is an appreciation of the actual incident and the response time from the victim. 

The flip side of that comment is it is better to see everything than nothing at all

It comes down to what you're trying to do and achieve for your business.

Secure Storage.

Removable SD Card - It allows the user to expand the storage capacity of the camera, you can also remove the SD and swap it with another giving you extra time to transfer the data later on and freeing up the radio. Remember if you have multiple cameras it can be very time-consuming taking the data over the camera which means that camera is unusable unless you just want to record over the footage.

Secure SD Card - The SD card is mounted on the board of the body camera. This means it cannot be removed and tampered with. Great for incident management and evidence gathering for businesses. However, like iPhones you can't add additional storage. So, the manufacturer normally sells different capacity body cameras which offer longer recording times.

All depends on the demands of the end user and what they have to record.

If you just record incidents and take footage off daily 16 GB will be more than enough. If you work for a government agency and have to record all the shift you may run out space on the SD card, so consider reducing the video quality or purchasing a larger capacity from the start. 

IP Rating & Build Quality.

The Ingress Protection ( IP ) Rating highlights the devices', protection against the elements dust and water. The higher the rating the more protected the device. If you are looking for a waterproof camera you need a camera IP66 or above. For general protection IP54 or above the same as standard radios are. They can take a bit of water and get dirty, but you can't throw them in a bucket of water unlike the IP66

Check to see how robust and rugged the body camera is by checking if it has any military build standards and if it passes any drop tests. Remember you want to purchase a camera that lasts.

Charging & Batteries.

Charging Time.

Most users charge their body camera when they finish work or when the premises close, so it is normally not an issue. However, if your business operates 24/7 please take note of the charging time as that camera is not able to operate if it is flat, and you need a full charge to get a good operational time.

So now starting thinking about. I must charge it for 4 hours and I have to take it offline also to get the data off the device so that's additional hours I am unable to use the camera.

Battery Access to the Camera.

So, your camera may take a while to charge can you swap the battery out? Can you charge the battery outside the device giving you more operational time with the camera if you purchase spare batteries?

Multi Chargers.

Do you have more than one camera? Does your business have multiple body cameras? If it does, you need to purchase cameras which have multi charger options. A multi charger enables you to charge several cameras at the same time using one plug socket. Just think if you have 10 cameras well that's 10 plug sockets unless you use a multi charger.

Also remember with 10 cameras, you will have to download footage using USB cables unless you have one of the latest Multi chargers.

Data Transfer and Collection.

High Quality camera manufacturers have multi chargers that connect to dispatch systems and software, so they can download the footage whilst the device charges saving you vast amounts of time. 

Don't underestimate this feature it saves you hours each day, which means days each year. Not to mention the cost to pay personnel to connect body cameras individually and transfer the data manually.

It is definitely worth investing in multi chargers, if you are a business owner.

Wearable Camera.

Now that you've chosen your camera, you need to think about how to attach it to your clothing. Most cameras come with a clip that can slide inside your shirt or lapel. The other option is to wear a chest harness and attach the camera to the harness over or under your jacket, ensuring it stays in a position that records the footage you want.

The two best body camera manufacturers are Hytera and Pinnacle.

Hytera is the fastest growing manufacturer of two radio communications in the world and have outsold Motorola for the last two years in the UK. They are financially backed and spend millions in research and development. The distributor chain has been kept small to ensure their product is well represented and most importantly supported.

They sell two Body Born Cameras or the new term Video Speaker Microphone. So why have they called it that? did I forget to mention you can connect the device to your radio......that's right! They have looked at a gap in the market and in the industry.

Body Camera

There are two main products which are purchased in the security industry:

 - Two Way Radios / Walkie-Talkies.

 - Body Worn Cameras.

Both of Hytera's Body cameras ( VM550 & VM685 ) have an easy to locate Push To Talk ( PTT ) button which enables you to speak through the unit that connects to your radio via Bluetooth (if your radio has that feature) or via a wire turning the device into a Remote Speaker Microphone.

Hytera VM685 Body Camera with Rotating Camera and Display

Hytera VM685 Camera

The Hytera VM685 is not just a Body Camera it enables the end user to communicate via Bluetooth or wire to their Hytera radio and use the device as a Remote Speaker Microphone. The clear orange Push to Talk (PTT) button offers instant communications to all staff in the event of an incident. 

The Hytera VM685 makes a perfect Lone Worker solution and also has a camera that rotates for easy adjustment and with its wide angled lens it ensures you don't miss the action.

The camera also has a colour display screen which allows you instant playback and enables you access to the menu on the move, so you can adjust as necessary.

The Hytera VM685 has an 8-hour battery life during operation and 250 hour standby life thanks to its 2500mAh Battery. The battery is also removable enabling you change quickly if necessary increasing, its operational time.

Hytera’s Remote Video Speaker Microphone (RVM) is designed to capture, store and share media including audio, image and video evidence taken from the field.

The body-worn camera with remote speakerphone allows users to make and receive voice communications, initiate an emergency alarm, and deliver real-time video to a control centre over the LTE network, even in low-light conditions; when paired with the Hytera Multi-mode Advanced Radio.

The Hytera VM docks into a specifically designed Multi-Unit Charger that automatically exports audio, video, images and log files to the Digital Evidence Management (DEM) platform. This feature ensures content captured remains tamper-proof and is securely transferred to the control centre.

The Hytera RVM has a tamper-proof-built-in storage facility ensuring the card cannot be removed from the device adding additional security.

Hytera Body Worn Camera and Remote Speaker Microphone

- Picture Quality: 16MP Camera

- Battery Recording Time: 8 Hours working / 250 hours standby

- Visual Display: Yes, Colour

- Lens: 140 Degrees Wide Angled Lens

- Night Vision: Infrared Lights

- Secure Storage: 16 GB Built in Storage (Larger Sizes Available)

- IP Rating: IP67 & Military Standard: 810 G

- Charging: Single & Multi Chargers Available

- Batteries: 2500mAh Battery which can be removed and swapped very easily.

- Data Transfer: 


Basic Package includes

Hytera VM685 Specification Sheet

Hytera VM685 Manual

Hytera VM550 Body Camera & Remote Speaker Microphone

Hytera VM550 Body Camera

The Hytera VM550 is not just a Body Camera it enables the end user to communicate via Bluetooth or wire to their Hytera radio and use the device as a Remote Speaker Microphone. The clear orange Push to Talk (PTT) button offers instant communications to all staff in the event of an incident.

The Hytera VM550 makes a perfect Lone Worker solution. The camera is supplied with a rotatable clip that can be easily fixed to your clothing.

The Two Buttons on the Front (P1 & P2) can be programmed to work with your radios to send Text Messages to other Hytera Radio Users.

Hytera’s Remote Video Speaker Microphone (RVM) is designed to capture, store and share media including audio, image and video evidence taken from the field.

The VM550 is a compact, robust and cost-effective remote video microphone which is available in 4 different sizes ranging from 16gb to 128gb.

The Hytera VM has a tamper-proof-built-in storage facility ensuring the card cannot be removed from the device adding additional security.


Basic Package includes

Hytera VM550 Specification Sheet

Hytera VM550 Manual


Pinnacle cameras head office is based in Belfast, and they offer great support. They have been supplying large quantities of cameras to the security industry and government agencies for years.

Their sell two main products the PR5 and the PR6

Pinnacle PR5 Body Camera

Pinnacle PR Body Camera - Radio-Shop UK

The PR5 is a market leading body worn video camera, designed and developed in-house by a team of dedicated technicians and engineers. Robust, reliable and extremely user-friendly, the PR5 is the perfect fit for private security users where quality of video and audio is of key importance.

The PR5 combines incredible HD video and audio quality with a market leading record time of over 5 hours and standby time of 12 months. Essentially a ‘plug and play’ body worn camera, the PR5 allows users to record and review footage quickly and easily whilst availing of cutting-edge technology.

Simple Design – one touch activation makes the PR5 the easiest to use body worn video cameras in the world.

Pinnacle PR6 Body Camera

Pinnacle PR6 Body Camera - Radio-Shop UK

The PR6 body camera offers the same intuitive ease of use and best in class functionality as the PR5 combined with significant security upgrades. Boasting a range of audio and video upgrades alongside secure encryption, enhanced functionality and secure data transfer via wireless or ultra-fast USB 3.0 upload, the PR6 is setting new standards for Police Authorities across Europe and the wider Professional Security Sector around the world.

The PR6 and integrated D.E.M.S software (included in the price) offers a formidable body worn video solution whatever the demands of the organisation. With enhanced ‘true’ 1080p definition, the HD audio and video capture is vastly superior to the majority of cameras on the market. Unique pause frame video technology must be seen to be believed and is crucial for accurate facial recognition evidence.

Radio Shop UK Logo

Our Experience.

The Director of Radio Shop UK has worked in the Private Security Industry for over 10 years and before that the Military. The Directors main job was to install reliable communication and security system in the harshest of environments.

This involved providing video and voice solutions to Personnel, Vehicles, Aircraft and Infrastructure.

After years of working with a huge range of equipment and sifting through reliable and unreliable products he decided when he created Radio Shop UK it only sells reliable products that are built well and which we can offer full hassle-free support.

"It is not about shifting boxes it's about providing security solutions that work" Scott Q, Director, Radio-Shop UK