We've moved past the initial question on this thread, O'Bill.
No, we haven't . You responded to my response to the opening question... so that remains the context.
The poster was only talking about taking pictures. I've no idea if they intend video, but if so, it doesn't sound like it would be catching any audio if it were "covert".
Questioner inquired whether (presumably) covert pictures would be legal. I answered yes
that a movie would also be, but audio would not. From what you've posted so far, I'll continue to assume I was correct.
That being said, I've no idea what you mean by it not being a meaningful distinction. The legality of recording of audio falls under the wiretapping and eavesdropping laws of the state where it's being recorded, as I said. I don't see why it would be different if the audio is being picked up by a video recorder. But if you believe I'm incorrect, I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.
That wasn't the distinction I found meaningless. Meaningless is the difference between 1 and 2 party consent laws when the person doing the recording isn't one of the persons being recorded, as explained.