This is Infologue’s annual round-up of the best body cameras available in the UK for security in 2023. This article will focus on non-streaming, widely available body worn cameras. It will not include “Amazon bodycams” as the majority of these are unsuitable for professional security teams. All of the models on this list are body cameras with audio and video recording. While this list is aimed at the professional security industry, many of the models listed can double as personal or police body cameras.
When choosing the best body-worn cameras for UK security in 2023, we looked at 4 main areas. These areas are the body camera’s price, specifications, special features and integrated software.
The Camera: The Partner MK4 Body Camera is part of the 4th Generation of The Partner body worn camera UK models. The Partner Body Cameras have been widely used by UK security teams for over a decade. The MK4 is the highest spec model on the list with regards to video resolution and has the largest battery.
It can record in 1440p and is one of the few cameras that can record at 60FPS at 1080p. It uses H.265 encoding meaning that the 32GB standard memory can hold a lot more footage than body worn cameras with H.264 encoding. Most importantly, for security body camera users, it has AES256 encryption (GDPR Compliant).
It has infra-red night-vision with 15m range as well a customisable watermark should you wish to add your company/officer name and/or ID. The watermark will then be burned onto all the footage that the body camera records.
The Software: The MK4 DEMS is a locally installed solution that allows for easy decryption and viewing of footage. It has an audit log that keeps track of any interactions with files such as viewing, editing and deleting. The body camera DEMS also allows you create users so that you can control access and identify who interacted with which file.
Price: £220 (ex VAT), Software License £125(ex VAT)
Specs: 1440p, 32GB, 3200 mAH battery, 140° Lens, IP67 Rating, Upto 120 Second Pre-Record, Up to 60 second Post-Record
Special Features: AES256 Encryption, 1080p at 60FPS, 15m Night Vision, Customisable Watermark
Software: Partner MK4 DEMS
Pros: Low-Cost, High Spec, Lots of Features, UK-based Technical Support, No Ongoing Fees, Only need one software license for unlimited cameras
Cons: Software not as polished as competitors, No cloud storage option, Software License tied to individual PC
Summary: The Partner MK4 is a purpose built, security body camera. It is high-spec, low-cost, rugged with a solid software package behind it. The software, while not as polished as something like the Pinnacle DEMS or the Hytera SmartMDM, is more than enough to meet the needs of most security companies at a fraction of the cost. The MK4 also is fully supported by the Interconnective Technical Support Team which makes getting set up and resolving issues much easier than some others on the list. The Partner MK4 is the highest performing piece of hardware on this list by the numbers, and comes in at the middle with regards to price.
The Pinnacle PR7 is the latest model in The Pinnacle Body Cameras popular PR range. It replaces the PR6 which is slowly being phased out as the PR5 was a couple of years ago. The Pinnacle PR7 has updated specifications in most areas while not straying far from the tried and tested design.
This Pinnacle Body Camera is capable of recording in 1440p, has 64GB of storage, is IP66 rated, AES 256 encryption and has the signature Pinnacle swipe to activate switch. It has a 30 second pre-record and no post-record.
In fact, The Pinnacle PR7 body camera is actually very similar in specification to the above The Partner MK4 although it lacks the snapshot function. It is available in plug and play, password protected and full encryption models. The Full ENC model is integrated to the cloud based Pinnacle DEMS software where as the others have no file management software.
The Software: The Pinnacle DEMS software is available for the Full ENC model and is a full cloud based digital evidence management system. Unlike the PR6 which required you to use an upload control module, the PR7 uploads directly to the DEMS over WIFI networks. It MOPI compliant and allows for the storage and viewing of encrypted footage.
Price: Lite: £445, PPS: £465, Full ENC £445 (excl DEMS license)
Specs: 1440p, 64GB, 140° Lens, IP66 Rating, 30 second Pre-record, H.265 encoding
Special Features: Front Slide Style activation, Unique Design, Supports Encryption with Software
Software: Pinnacle DEMS
Pros: Very Polished System, Cloud-Based Storage, Powerful Software, Robust, Updated Specs
Cons: Quite Expensive, Software License per Camera, Install Charge, Ongoing costs for Cloud Storage,
Summary: The great thing about Pinnacle Body Cameras is that you always know what you are going to get. Their offerings are always polished, easy to use and well made. The Pinnacle PR7 is a solid bodycam with updated specifications vs the PR6. The Pinnacle DEMS is what you would expect from a professional DEMS software. The system is fully supported by the Pinnacle Technical Support team so no issues there. Taken as a whole system, rather than the individual components, the Pinnacle PR7 with DEMS is a great choice for those with the budget to get it. There is also flexibility between local installation and cloud storage models, albeit with a price tag on each.
The Camera: The Partner EC1 is part of The Partner range’s 4th generation along with the MK4. It is a lower cost, lower-spec/less polished small body camera alternative to its shinier cousin. Aimed at individual security body camera UK users such as door supervisors, the EC1 offers 1296p recording, 32GB memory, up to 55 seconds Pre-Record and 60 Seconds Post Record.
It has one of the bigger batteries on the list with up to 10 hours continuous recording depending on resolution. It also has all the standard bells and whistles such has night-vision, snapshot functionality, GPS etc.
The Software: The Partner EC1 comes with a Cam Manager software but no file management/ DEMS software. It supports AES256 encryption and comes with a decoder but this is far more time consuming to use than something like the MK4 DEMS which just plays encrypted footage. For file management, you would just use your windows file manager.
Price: £149.17 (ex VAT)
Specs: 1296p, 32GB, 140° Lens, IP65 Rating, Pre-record (Set by resolution), Up to 55 seconds Pre-Record and 60 Seconds Post-Record
Special Features: Low-Cost, Decent-Spec, AES256 Encryption, Large Battery
Software: Cam Manger & Decoder
Pros: Lowest Cost Encrypted Body Camera, High Spec vs Price, UK-based Technical Support, KlickFast compatible
Cons: No DEMS Software, connectivity through solo-dock only and not USB connector
Summary: The Partner EC1 Body Camera offers a decently high-spec device for a very low price. It is aimed at individuals on a tight budget who have higher requirements for the device than the software. It is also the lowest cost camera available with AES256 encryption but having to use a decoder for each individual file can be a pain. If you are not using encryption then files can be watched like normal using something with a decent codec library like VLC. All in all, The Partner EC1 is a lot of bang for your buck but it is not quite as smooth and seamless as using something like a The Partner MK4 or a Pinnacle PR7.
The Camera: The Hytera VM780 is an interesting device. Made by radio manufacturer, Hytera, it is fully integrated into their more advanced radio models. In fact, VM stands for video microphone as it occupies this role when working in conjunction with the radios. One of the big selling points of this device is the rotatable lens.
If you are looking for a camera with a forward-facing screen, this is the least expensive way of doing it (WCCCTV & Reveal are more expensive). Spec-wise, the VM780 is pretty standard, 1080p at 30fps, 32-128GB storage, 30 second pre/post record, low-light capabilities. It does have an IP68 rating which is the highest on the list despite also being the only body worn camera with a screen. It is also encryption-capable.
The Software: Hytera have 3 different types of software depending on the number of devices and how much you want to spend. You get the free RVM File Manager with the camera which is ok for individual users but lacks many of the features of a DEMS software. There is the SmartMDM which is a step closer to a proper DEMS, quite polished but not as strong on video rendering. The SmartMDM plus dongle will set you back around £500 as a flat fee with no ongoing. The Hytera DEM is a more complex server-based system which holds up to many of the major players when it comes to software but is much more expensive than its competition.
Price: £435 – £515 (ex VAT), Software Prices Vary
Specs: 1080p, 32 – 128GB, 116° Lens, IP68 Rating, 30 second Pre-record/Post-record
Special Features: 2.8 Inch TFT Screen, Rotatable Lens, High IP Rating, Encryption
Software: RVM File Manager, SmartMDM, Hytera DEM
Pros: Can have screen facing forward, Large screen for on-site playback, Hytera Radio Integration, Free RVM Software
Cons: Mediocre specs for the price, Software can be expensive, Battery Life can be an issue with long shifts
Summary: The VM780 was the top of the range Hytera Model in its’ last generation. It is also the only model that is still in production. Specifications wise, you can get better for the price elsewhere but the real USP for the VM780 is the rotatable lens. This essentially allows you to turn it into a front-facing screen camera. This style is much touted by its manufacturers like Reveal Media and WCCTV. They argue that watching yourself being recorded on screen de-escalates situations. Others argue that it is a provocation. It is really down to what the individual user believes. If you specifically want a stand-alone front facing camera, then the VM780 is a good choice. Also, it should be noted that Hytera is being blacklisted by governments and organisations globally which may have an effect depending on the nature of your site.
The Camera: Like the Hytera VM780, the Transcend DrivePro Body 30 has a large multinational Asian company behind it, this time not from the radio industry but from the electrical components sector. Transcend are one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electronic components who after producing a popular line of Dash cams, moved into the wireless CCTV body camera arena.
The Transcend Body 30 offers solid specs including 1080p at 60 fps and 64GB as standard. It does however use H.264 encoding so you don’t get as much out of those 64GB as you could with a newer model. It has a decent battery life, an IP67 rating, pre-record as well as a Sony designed STARVIS Image Sensor.
The Software: There are two different pieces of software for the Transcend DrivePro Body 30. One is the DrivePro Toolbox which is essentially a file manager with minor editing functionality. The second is a mobile app that allows you to stream videos from the camera to the APP. This allows you to view footage as if the camera had a screen. It also allows you to manage the camera’s settings on the go. Both pieces of software are free but are not DEMS software and may be unsuitable for the management of evidence.
Price: £193.75 (ex VAT)
Specs: 1080p, 64GB, 130° Lens, IP67 Rating, Pre-record (Set by resolution),
Special Features: Starvis Image Sensor, Mobile App
Software: DrivePro App and DrivePro Toolbox
Pros: Low-Cost, App Integration, 1080 at 60FPS, 64GB, Straight Forward
Cons: No Encryption, Lack of Support, Weak Customisation, No KlickFast Stud
Summary: The Transcend DrivePro Body 30 is less a security body camera and more of a civilian body camera the other cameras on the list. It is straight forward to set up and the software available is easy to use albeit limited in scope. It does not support encryption which means that it is not GDPR compliant which will pose issues for professional security teams. If you are looking for something that is easy to use straight out of the box, and more for personal use, then the Transcend Drivepro Body 30 is a solid choice.
The Camera: The Elog X3 bodycam is an interesting one. It is rammed full of hardware and costs a fraction of the cost of the more traditional security body cameras but does not have encryption and would not be GDPR compliant.
This bodycam can record in up to 1516p (though this tears through the battery), take 30MP phots, has 64GB storage, uses H.265 encoding, has a 2” TFT LCD screen on the back and an IP65 rating.
It has a smaller battery than most of the others on the list but can record continuously for up to 9 hours (depending on settings). It has a 30 second pre-record and a 4MP CMOS sensor.
The Software: The Elog X3 bodycam has a cam manager software for changing the settings on the camera but does not include any kind of file manager. It is password protected but the password can be entered on the screen on the back, unlocking the drive.
Price: £90 (ex VAT)
Specs: 1516p, 64GB, 30MP Photos, 140° Lens, IP65 Rating, 30 Second Pre-record,
Special Features: Low-Cost, Solid Specification
Software: Cam Manger
Pros: Very Lost Cost, High Specification
Cons: No Encryption, no DEMS, Screen on the back
Summary: The Elog X3 is exceptional value for money. It offers the best spec to £ ratio of any camera on the list. It however is not encrypted and has no DEMS or file management software available making it unsuitable for most professional security teams. It is however a great alternative to cheaper body cameras such as those available on Amazon like Boblovs.
The Camera: The Hytera VM750D is one of the new generation of Hytera body cameras. Unlike the other options on the list which can be ranked in a linear progression based on specification vs cost, the VM750D is more difficult to classify.
It can only do 1080p at 30FPS and has a lower continuous recording time than others on the list but has a bunch of unique features. It 3G/4G capable, has push to talk functionality, NFC clock in/out and lone worker functionality such as man down alarms.
It seems quite resilient with a IP68 rating and has the widest field of view on the list at 160°. It is available in 32, 64 and 128GB models.
The Software: The is AES256 encrypted and integrated in to the various Hytera DEMS and file management systems that are available. Prices vary and the software is generally quite good but normally managed directly from China.
Price: £418.50 – £488.25 (ex VAT)
Specs: 1080p, 16/64/128GB, 160° Lens, IP68 Rating,
Special Features: Push to talk, NFC, Lone Worker, 4G/3G LTE Connectivity, AES256 Encryption
Software: Cam Manger, Hytera RVM, Hytera DEMS
Pros: IP68 Rating, Wide range of Features,
Cons: Cost, Low Res Recording for price point, Low battery life despite size, global blacklist
Summary: The Hytera VM750D body worn camera is a decent device that records in full HD but relies more on its special features than anything else. If you plan to integrate it as your communication medium as well as your body camera then it is worth it. The lone worker functionality is useful if you don’t already have a system in place. If judging it solely as a camera, it is quite overpriced. Also, you might want to consider the Hytera blacklisting if you work on sensitive sites.
The Camera: The H Eye Body Camera is a compact little device that has medium specs but at a great price. It is not designed to compete with the big leagues like The Partner or Pinnacle cameras but instead focuses on doing what it does best.
It offers 1296p recording, 32GB storage, a 2” colour screen and an IP66 rating. It offers extra long pre-record (3 minutes) but that can eat up the battery quickly. It can handle around 8 hours of continuous recording, depending on settings.
While not KlickFast compatible, it comes with one of the better flips available as standard. A wide pronged pressure clip that is fully rotatable and can be clipped to lapels. While less useful for security, it does make a great staff or front of house, concierge body camera.
The Software: The Shellfilm H Eye comes with a cam manager software but no DEMS or file manager. It is not encrypted.
Price: £83 (ex VAT)
Specs: 1296p, 32GB, 32MP photos, 140° Lens, IP66 Rating,
Special Features: Very Low cost, Great Pressure Clip, Extra-Long Pre-record
Software: Cam Manger,
Pros: Very good value, decent recording resolution, Ideal for Front of House
Cons: Not Encrypted, No DEMS or file manager, not the biggest battery
Summary: The Shellfilm H Eye is a great little body camera with a great price. While maybe not ideal for professional security teams, its elegant design and clear demarcations make it very suitable for front of house and concierge staff.
The Elog F1 can record in the same 1516p and uses H.265 encoding but also includes EIS image stabilisation, a G Sensor, voice notifications and can take 40MP still frame photos. Unlike the X3, it doesn’t have a screen on the back which makes it more resistant to damage. It also has an IP66 rating.
The Elog F1, while not suitable for professional security teams due to lack of encryption, is a very competent device that has a host of features. A KlickFast stud is purchasable for it albeit separately.
The Software: The Elog F1 only comes with a cam manager software and has not associated DEMS and file managers.
Price: £102.21(ex VAT)
Specs: 1516p, 32GB, 40MP photos, 140° Lens, IP66 Rating,
Special Features: Very Low cost, EIS, G Sensor, Voice Notifications
Software: Cam Manger
Pros: Very good value, high recording resolution, lots of features,
Cons: Not Encrypted, No DEMS or file manager,
Summary: The Elog F1, like the X3, represents excellent value and has the tied highest recording resolution on the list. Despite its price it is also packed with features and can be used in a variety of situations. This would be great for individuals or smaller security teams.
The Camera: The Pinnacle PR7 Mini Body Camera is ostensibly a mini version of the Pinnacle PR7 but with a completely different design ethos. Weighing less than 100g and measuring 6.4 x 5.1 x 2.6cm, it is the smallest device on this list.
The Pinnacle PR7 Mini can record in 1080p, take 45MP still frame photos, can record for 10 hours continuously (depending on settings) and has an IP65 rating. It has been drop tested to 1 metre and has the usual pre-record and night-vision capabilities of the other cameras on the list.
The PR7 Mini Body Camera has a sleek, professional design that might make it useful as a front of house or concierge body camera, although it lacks the standard audio/video demarcations that one would expect like the Shellfilm H Eye has.
The Software: There are three models of the Pinnacle PR7 Mini available, the plug & Play (lite), password protected(PPS) and fully encrypted(Full-ENC). The PPS model comes with a cam manager software and the Full-ENC can be used with the Pinnacle DEMS (Licenses and costs may vary).
Price: £240 – £265(ex VAT)
Specs: 1080p, 32GB, 45MP photos, 140° Lens, IP65 Rating,
Special Features: AES256 Encrypted (with full ENC Model), Very Small
Software: Cam Manger & Pinnacle DEMS
Pros: Small, Sleek Design, KlickFast Stud as standard
Cons: High Cost vs Spec, No demarcations,
Summary: The Pinnacle PR7 Mini Body Camera is an odd one. Released along with the Pinnacle PR7, it doesn’t conform to any of the things that Pinnacle are known for. Pinnacle do cameras with big slide switches that you can’t miss. The PR7 mini body camera has a small button that in order to activate, you have to block the lens if you are right handed. The same if you are taking snapshots. It has medium specs for an inflated price and we couldn’t really work out a situation where it would be better suited than other cameras. We included it on this list mainly as Pinnacle are a well known security body camera supplier.
*Disclaimer: The above represents the opinions of the Interconnective team that compiled this list.