Camera Dummy: Review & Recommendations

Welcome to our big camera dummy test 2020, where we present you all the camera dummies we have tested in detail. We have put together detailed background information and also added a summary of the customer reviews on the net.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you to find the best camera dummy for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page, which you should pay attention to if you want to buy a camera dummy.

The most important facts in brief

  • Camera dummies should always have the deterrent effect of a real camera through the highest possible level of detail.
  • Surveillance camera dummies, like their real-life counterparts, also differ in the degree of equipment they have. For example, some dummies offer additional fake LEDs or cable dummies.
  • Even camera dummies are subject to legal regulations. For the most part, these are the same guidelines that apply to real surveillance cameras.

Camera dummy test: Favourites of the editorial team

  • The best dome camera dummy with dust and water protection
  • The best dome camera dummy with red LED light
  • The best classic camera dummy with red LED light
  • The best camera dummy in a pack of 4

The best dome camera dummy with dust and water protection

This camera dummy from König is a replica of a dome camera. The dome of the dummy is tinted slightly black, as usual with dome cameras. It also has infrared LEDs that glow automatically in the dark. A special operating light is not available.

A cable dummy is also supplied with the camera dummy, which can be attached if desired. The camera dummy also has a dust and water protection.

The best dome camera dummy with red LED light

The dome camera dummy from VisorTech has a transparent dome through which a camera lens can be seen. The flashing red LED light additionally gives the impression of a real surveillance camera.

The camera dummy is suitable for outside and inside. Thanks to its battery operation, it can be used flexibly and attached to any desired surface in a clearly visible manner.

The best classic camera dummy with red LED light

This camera dummy from kwmobile is based on a classic surveillance camera. It looks deceptively real – not only because of the housing, but also because of its red flashing LED light and the integrated cable dummy.

You can attach this classic camera dummy in aluminum optics both indoors and outdoors on various surfaces. It is also waterproof and weatherproof.

The best camera dummy in a pack of 4

These black camera dummies from Erwei are available in a multi-pack of 4 dummies. They are modelled on classic surveillance cameras and are kept in a plain black.

They have a red LED viewing light that simulates a shot. A cable dummy is also integrated in the device. It can be mounted on any desired surface and is 360 degrees adjustable, making it particularly flexible.

Advisor: Questions that you should deal with before you start a

What forms of camera dummies are there?

Just like their “real” models, dummy cameras are available in different types. The most common are classic camera and dome dummies.
Classical surveillance cameras are usually installed in a robust weatherproof housing, as they are often used outdoors and have to withstand environmental influences such as rain or strong wind.
This characteristic weatherproof housing is also used by classic dummy cameras, as they are clearly visible from a distance and cannot be distinguished from real surveillance cameras without closer inspection.

Did you know that dummy cameras are also subject to legal guidelines?
The same rules apply to dummies as to real cameras and, unlike the real thing, it may only be used in its own private area.

Dome camera dummies are probably even more difficult to distinguish from real dome cameras. The reason for this is the construction of a dome camera: the actual camera is located behind a stable dome housing, which is often darkened.

This makes it almost impossible to determine whether there is a real camera or just a dummy behind the darkened dome.

In general, there are also small differences among the camera dummies in terms of “equipment”. Standard dummy cameras only consist of a housing and a fake lens.

But there are also dummies, which offer some additional features. These give the dummy an even better camouflage and make it harder to distinguish it from a real camera. Examples are power cable dummies, simulated operating lights, motion detectors or even infrared LEDs.

Where can you buy a dummy camera?

Surveillance camera dummies can be found almost everywhere where real surveillance cameras can be bought. Stationary dealers offer them for sale as well as some online shops.
We have searched the market for providers of dummy cameras and have compiled a list of retailers and online shops where you can buy dummy cameras:

Amazon
Ebay
Conrad
Saturn
Media Markt
Pearl
OBI
Tchibo

Of course, the above list represents only a selection of providers. In general, surveillance camera dummies are most often offered in electronics stores or DIY stores.

How much do fake cameras cost?

Dummy cameras are logically much cheaper than their original models. The price depends mainly on the detail of the replica, as well as any additional equipment such as “wrong” power cables or infrared LEDs.
The cheapest camera dummies are already available for about 5 €. These are mostly the basic dummies, which do not have any special equipment, but only consist of a housing and a dummy lens.
Very detailed replicas can cost up to 30 €. Besides the actual dummy camera, they contain further features so that you can hardly distinguish them from an original surveillance camera.

What legal requirements must I observe when using a dummy camera?

Anyone who is toying with the idea of acquiring a dummy camera often suspects that the legislator does not have any special legal requirements for this, as it is “only a dummy” and nobody can really be monitored with it. In fact, however, even camera dummies are subject to legal regulations.
In fact, these are essentially the same legal requirements that apply to real cameras (see also the section on surveillance cameras in the guide). The camera dummy may only “monitor” its own private area.
This means that it must be set up and aligned in such a way that neighbouring properties or public places such as the sidewalk or street cannot be seen from the dummy’s perspective at any time. This was decided by the Federal Court of Justice.
There is an exception to real cameras for landlords of houses or apartments. Real cameras may only be installed by landlords if all tenants of the property have agreed to this. However, if the landlord only wants to install a fake camera, it is sufficient to inform the tenants that it is only a fake.
Since the tenants then know that they are not really being monitored, they have no right to injunctive relief. However, this does not apply to postmen, craftsmen or other visitors who enter the house without knowing that it is a dummy camera. They still have a legal right to injunctive relief.
To make the individual laws and regulations clearer to you again, I have summarized a table for you with the most important things.

Purchase criteria: You can compare and rate dummy cameras based on these factors

In the following we would like to show you the factors you can use to compare and evaluate surveillance camera dummies. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular dummy is suitable for you or not.

The most important criteria are:

  • Dimensions / Design
  • Operation
  • Infrared LEDs / Operating light
  • Cable dummy

In the following, the individual criteria are explained in more detail so that you can gain an impression of what to look for when comparing the camera dummies.

Dimensions / Design

These criteria determine how the camera appears visually. The dimensions of the dummies are at best naturally based on comparable dimensions of real surveillance cameras. The design of the dummies is also based on the latter in order to make them look as real as possible.

The size of the camera dummies is in the same range as the size of a normal surveillance camera. If you want your dummy camera to look obvious and prominent, you should of course choose a sufficiently large model.

Since the main function of dummies is deterrence, most of the available camera dummies are also relatively large and easy to recognize.

The design of the dummies is identical to the design of the real surveillance cameras. The most common dummy designs are based on the “classic camera” and “dome camera” types.

The reason for this is that these camera types are obviously recognizable as a camera and difficult to overlook. They offer the highest deterrent function and are therefore

Operation

The way the camera dummy is operated is only relevant if the dummy has artificial infrared LEDs or operating lights!

Of course you can also set up the dummy at any time without energy supply. In this case, however, you will logically have to do without the above mentioned features that require energy.

The most common mode of operation for camera dummies are batteries. These are included with some manufacturers when the camera is purchased.

In rare cases, camera dummies are operated by a rechargeable battery. Finally, there are also a few dummies that use a solar panel to obtain energy from sunlight. […]

Infrared LEDs / Operating lights

Artificial infrared LEDs ensure that the camera dummy glows slightly red at night. This is to suggest that the dummy is a surveillance camera with night vision function. Operating lights are available in different versions.

Some light up permanently, others flash at certain intervals. The infrared LEDs of camera dummies are important if the dummies are to remain in place at night or in darkness and maintain their camouflage.

Experienced burglars know very well that surveillance cameras can only provide a clear picture at night with an infrared function – and it is precisely these infrared LEDs that emit an unmistakable red “glow”.

There is no clear opinion among buyers of dummy cameras when it comes to the subject of operating lighting. Some owners claim that it is unnatural for a surveillance camera to be permanently lit or flashing in operating mode.

In fact, many surveillance cameras today operate without any visible operating light. However, the mere presence of operating light does not automatically classify the camera dummy as fake.

If you do not want to use these functions, it is of course possible at any time to do without the above-mentioned equipment (batteries, accumulators, solar panel).

However, we recommend that you make use of the energy supply, especially for dummies with infrared LEDs, otherwise your dummy can be identified relatively easily as a fake at night.

When buying a dummy camera, pay close attention to whether it is a real infrared LED or just a red light that is supposed to simulate infrared LEDs. Genuine infrared LEDs are an important factor that contributes to the credibility of the dummy.

Kabel-Attrappe

Some surveillance camera dummies have a cable dummy. They are supposed to provide additional credibility for the dummy. The cable is supposed to be the power cable used to operate most surveillance cameras.

In most cases it makes sense to install an additional cable dummy for classic camera dummies, as they are not directly attached to the wall or ceiling. If you take a closer look, you will notice that no cable runs from the dummy through the wall to which it was attached.

With dome cameras, the power cables usually run “invisibly” anyway, since they are attached directly to the ceiling and the cables then either run completely through the wall or through appropriate cable ducts along the ceiling.

It should also be noted that there are surveillance cameras that function without power cables. So if you think a camera is a fake just because it has no power cable, you are taking a risk.

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about camera dummies

Can you build a dummy camera yourself?

This question is probably mostly of interest to hobbyists visiting this site. In principle it is of course possible to make a dummy camera yourself. However, we advise against it for several reasons.

First of all, from a purely financial point of view it doesn’t really make sense to build a dummy camera yourself. To make a credible dummy, at least a housing and a lens or lens dummy are necessary.

The costs alone would in most cases exceed the price of five euros for standard dummies. On top of that, there would also be the working time needed to make the dummy camera.

Furthermore, a do-it-yourself construction usually does not fulfill the purpose of a good dummy camera – the resemblance to a real camera. The reason for this is quite simply the need for craftsmanship and also technical know-how, which are indispensable for a faithful reproduction of a surveillance camera.

Often, do-it-yourself constructions are relatively easy for outsiders to expose as dummies, be it through a lack of similarity to the original or simply through poor workmanship.

Therefore we rather recommend the purchase of a dummy camera. This will not only save you money, but also time and effort.

How do you recognize a dummy camera?

If there was a reliable way to unmask camera dummies, they would most likely disappear from the market. Because the truth is – there is no way to detect a dummy camera with absolute certainty.

Of course it depends on the dummy that is used. A self-assembled box, which has only remotely anything to do with a surveillance camera, is of course relatively easy to identify. But if we restrict ourselves to the purchasable camera dummies, they are actually not clearly distinguishable from the originals.