Taking surveillance photos, one of a private eye's main tasks, used to be a tedious process. Bulky equipment was difficult to conceal, and doing surveillance meant staking out someone's home or office for hours on end. Thanks to technological advances, that is no longer the case. Private eye photos are much easier to obtain than they used to be; in fact, anyone can purchase spy equipment that they can use on their own, to get the same kinds of photos a private eye might.
Today, cameras can be made small enough to fit inside teddy bears, clocks, books, even cell phones. They are placed inside everyday objects like smoke detectors, pagers, VCRs or baseball caps, providing an unobtrusive way to record video. They can be used discreetly, so pictures can be taken anywhere, even in public places. These cameras are designed for remote operation--the user can leave them unattended, and they will continuously record photos which are transmitted to a receiver. This is what's commonly known as a "Nanny Cam," an easy-to-use tool accessible to anyone.
Professional private eyes may use more sophisticated and expensive equipment, purchased through one of the many spy equipment shops that are popping up around the world and online. There, they can buy pinhole cameras, night vision cameras, wireless cameras, even weatherproof cameras. And they can choose from a variety of features, including zoom, high speed systems, high resolution cameras, mini cameras and color or black and white cameras. They can even buy systems that let them monitor cameras from anywhere in the world, through the use of telephone lines.
With the advent of new technology, surveillance photos are easier than ever to obtain. For private eyes, this means a more efficient use of their time--they no longer have to physically stake out a location in order to obtain pictures. It also allows better photos. Before the invention of such discreet surveillance equipment, private eyes had to stay out of sight and could only take photos from a distance. Now, cameras are so small that they can walk right up to their subject, and their subject will never know they've been photographed.