Spy cameras might not have the prowess of what we normally see in action movies, but they also come handy in real life. For example, you can monitor how your nannies are treating your kids when you’re not around. Businessmen also use secret cameras to catch persons doing suspicious activities in their firms. Well, remember the legal implications of installing one in your home though. You may only use it as an evidence after satisfying certain provisions. It goes on to say that invading one’s privacy is totally illegal in most nations.
These entries look innocuous at first sight but they are really hidden cameras in reality. Some come with a base station that give more options while others are more compact, for better hiding, but with less options. Beware, the ballpoint pen your colleague is holding might be a cover camera after all.
12. Kingmak HD 600TVL CMOS Pinhole Lens Mini FPV
Unlike all other spy cameras in the article, this one only works for real video streaming. It does not have internal memory nor a rechargeable battery. Nonetheless, it makes up with a low power consumption and a compact design. Disguised as a screw, you will have a hard time distinguishing it from normal ones.
Basically, just connect it to your computer and it works like a stealth webcam. Despite its size, Kingmak HD 600TVL has a built-in mic that records audio as well. Video quality is decent, clocking at 628 x 582p. Users report that it streams video with good detail as far as 20 feet. However, this is a wired camera which means you will have to place cables in the right places for you to install it. Using this is very easy though. Ultimately, this is perfect for people who are just testing the waters if spy camera is their thing. It’s also pretty cheap.
11. Wiseup 4GB Covert Thermometer
Our second entry in this article features an innocuous thermometer that also works as a standalone spy camera. To be frank, the specs look humble in paper but it’s the way of tweaking things which made it a worthy buy. We have to address the measly 4GB memory first. It might have a small storage but it only records videos when it detects motion. In that way, it manages space efficiently.
Video recording features are average – with a resolution of 740×480 at 30 fps. The same can be said with its 6-hour battery life. Again, its efficient way of recording videos sets it apart from its peers. Wiseup 4GB Covert Thermometer automatically saves files every 10 minutes. Lastly, it comes with a micro-USB cord to play the recorded videos on your PC.
10. Foscam FHC994 Megapixel HD 1280 x 720p H.264 Mini Video Camera and DVR
Foscam FHC994 made it on this list because of its ease of use and good video resolution. Installation is ridiculously easy. Recharge it first (when battery is empty), turn it on and it begins recording. Same with other entries here, it has a motion activated camera that records HD videos at 1280 x 720p. Video quality is high, and supports up to 160 degrees super wide angle of view. It also allows loop recording, meaning it records continuously by overwriting old files whenever it runs out of space.
Battery life is good as it lasts up to 8 hours before a recharge. User reviews report it takes years before you need a replacement and their customer service support is strong. Standby time is even more impressive, clocking up to 90 days. Lastly, it has a 4GB internal memory which can expand up to 64 GB using a memory card.
9. Amcrest QCAM QSD-721 Mini Video Hidden Camera
A hidden camera from a James Bond movie, Amcrest Hidden Camera is similar to the Foscam FHC994 (perhaps it’s a white label) which boasts long battery life and decent video recording capabilities. It lasts up to 10 hours without a single recharge when in use, and 4 months on standby mode. Meanwhile, it captures videos in 720p which is surprisingly good given it’s a spy camera. The gizmo also comes with the possibility to customize settings such as adjusting the frame rates and the recording resolution. What’s cooler about this? This can be set to record through voice command, or be scheduled to record at a predetermined time.
Amcrest QCAM has a wide field of viewing angle of about 160 degrees. It also records continuously, erasing the oldest files to the most recent ones. The memory is expandable, supporting SD cards up to 64 GB.
8. Toughsty Smiley Face Hidden Camera
Researching this entry made me suspicious of smileys, all thanks to Toughsty. Perfect for students and professionals, it records videos with audio and also takes still images. The Smiley Face Hidden Camera records videos at 740×480 resolution in AVI format. The camera is also programmed to automatically save files every 30 minutes. Battery life might be a little short to accommodate portability. It can record up 100 minutes before it runs out of battery. Recharging time takes about 2 hours. That said, it only serves as a complement for your surveillance needs. It works great as a voice recorder though.
Internal memory is 8GB but can be expanded with an additional 16 GB. Comes with an updated user manual which is available on producer’s website. This innocent looking pin-up smiley might be the best way to hide a camera.
7. GERI Spy Camera
This cleverly designed spy camera works best for those who are always on the go. GERI Spy camera lets you capture road occurrences, interviews and even suspicious activities since it looks like a harmless keychain. It has full HD recording capabilities (1920×1080) and a frame rate of up to 30 fps (at the maximum resolution). Designed for cars, this spy camera has a very durable metal casing. And the price if pretty competitive.
Looking for some added features? GERI Spy Camera comes with night vision recording function which allows you to record in low-light. It is also equipped with an automated motion detector and a voice recording function. Lastly, this spy camera has a TV-out feature which makes it possible for you to review your recording on a big screen.
6. FREDI 720P Mini Portable Hidden Spy Camera Indoor
Perhaps Wi-Fi connectivity is what you need to have if you want to see videos in real time even when you’re away. On an interesting note, the Freddi mini camera is also the world’s smallest Wi-Fi spy camera. Let’s discuss this feature first. You can connect with it from up to 50 meters and it has customizable password for your privacy.
Now to its prowess as a stealth camera. It has night vision view distance of up to 32 feet, hence, you’ll be able to see movements even in the dark. Another cool feature of FREDI 720 p camera is its motion detection. It automatically sends photos in your phone when it detects movements. Video quality is at 720 p which makes it a competent recorder. Battery life is estimated at 90 minutes, which is a tad short but it’s not intended to be a long term surveillance camera anyway.
Lastly, take advantage of the big discounts Amazon offers sometimes. Few are decently packed gizmos marked down by over 70% of its original price.
5. My Slick Spy
How about we ramp the ante with this entry? It’s no surprise that a mimicry of a ballpoint pen becomes a spy camera. Hence, we’re going to dig for some awesome specs to justify its entry in the list. My Slick Spy is a premium pen that boasts premium spy camera capabilities. As a pen, it comes with a three refills to fulfill its disguise completely.
Now let’s discuss its capability as a spy camera. First, it has a whopping 5 MP camera which also lets you capture still images. My Slick Spy is also designed to record 1920×1080 HD with one click, at 60 fps. Don’t worry about low-light situations – this gizmo also performs great there. While memory isn’t expandable, My Slick Spy has a 32 GB internal storage that records up to 12 hours of video activity. Although it’s one of the most expensive in the list, but it’s all worth it if you can shell out more cash.
4. iSpyPen Mini Hidden Camera
Assuming you found My Slick Spy too expensive for your taste, you may buy this spy camera instead. You may get it sometimes for less than 20 bucks. It goes on without saying that you might need to compromise on some features. First, this spy camera records videos as 1280 x 720p which is great enough for its price. Quality is also decent, at 30 fps, and runs up to 60 minutes. You can also take photos using this pen, making it an all-round hidden camera.
This spy camera fulfills its stealth job by recording videos discreetly. It has no blinking LED lights (which blows the cover of most hidden cameras). It comes with an 8 GB memory card when purchased. Putting it on is quite difficult though: you need to unscrew the pen to install this. Anyway, you can rely on its great customer service when things go south.
3. Forestfish Spy Video Glasses & Camera Glasses
If we would base our rankings only on the cool factor, Forestfish would take the top spot for its sci-fi oriented spy camera. Specs-wise, take the crowning glory of My Slick Pen but slash its price in half and you got this. As sunglasses, they offer UV 400 protection. They are also durable thanks to the Swiss Grilamid TR90 frame, while retaining a light weight.
Forestfish spy glasses record videos in HD at 1280 x 720p using the 5 megapixel camera. Using this is also easy since you only need to press buttons to take images or videos. These glasses have a built-in 8GB memory card but it can be expanded up to 64GB. The battery life runs at 3 hours while standby mode lasts up to 128 hours. However, they are not compatible with Mac/OS. Well, it’s just a minor flaw for this unique good spy camera.
2. LOTUSA 1080P HD USB Wall Charger Hidden Camera/ Nanny Spy Camera Adapter
Well, this spy camera has an excuse for lacking a powerful built-in battery. Chargers are intended to be plugged anyway as its power source. That makes LOTUSA hidden camera the most potent in this list if you are up to continuous recording. It records videos in 1920 x 1080 true HD and captures moments in its 80 degree field of view. Internal memory is a whopping 32 GB that translates to 4-5 hours of recording. Of course, actual usage proves better since it only records files when it detects motion.
You also don’t have to worry about compatibility. This spy camera is both compatible with the latest OS of Windows and Mac. Lastly, LOTUSA requires little to none hidden cameras skills. Just plug it in a socket and it automatically works. A combination of affordability, easiness of use and awesome features made this one of the best hidden cameras in the list.
1. Titathink TT525PW Professional Covert Hidden Spy Network Camera
Perfect for monitoring how your nannies treat your kids, Titathink is an alarm clock that also works as a spy camera. The design feels compact and really elegant for a spy camera. Perhaps its advantage over other entries in this list is its real time video recording through Wi-Fi on your smartphone through an app.
It records high definition 1280 x 720 p videos and has a night vision up to 5 meters. Motion detection support is also enabled and you can adjust its settings. Its built in microphones can record crisp audio up to 64 sqm, making TT531W-N a powerhouse. This gizmo comes with a 32 GB SD card but you can expand it up to 64 GB. Battery life is decent which can last up to 3.5 hours before the need of recharge.
The spy camera has two-way intercommunication feature but we advise not to use it unless in times of emergencies. This blows up the covert function of a spy camera after all. It’s one of the mos expensive, but it’s really worth it.
What can you say about these spy cameras? Would you need such a device? Would you like to share the purpose? Voice your thoughts in the comments.