Spy cameras are becoming increasingly popular because they function as your eyes (and in some cases your ears) when you’re not at home or in your office. Most people use spy cameras to keep an eye on their kids’ nanny or babysitter, while others use it to make sure their pets stay out of trouble while at work. However, the most common use of spy cameras is to ward off criminals and provide evidence in case of break-ins.
It doesn’t matter what you want a spy camera for, if you’re in the market for one then you’ll enjoy the following guide. We’ll cover all the different considerations that you need to make when looking for the best spy camera for your needs, including reviews and FAQs.
We have also prepared a top ten list of our favorite options on the market right now.
Read on for more.
What is a USB Spy Camera?
This is arguably the best spy camera currently available because of its stealth and features. It looks and functions like an actual USB stick so you can freely use it without other people being the wiser. It’s great for everyday use to help you record conversations and happenings throughout your day, whether you’re at work, in a public space or at a meeting.
A USB spy camera typically features a tiny camera and recording device combo hidden within to record events as they happen in real-time. A USB spy camera is arguably the best spy camera with audio because it comes with great features and can record for long periods of time.
PLAN - PRICE
START UP - $ 29
DIVINEEAGLE Spy Camera Charger, Hidden Camera, Mini Spy Camera 1080p, USB Charger Camera, Hidden Spy Camera, Hidden Nanny Cam & Full HD
BUSINESS - $ 49
Pofeite Mini Spy Camera, WiFi Small Wireless Hidden Video Camera, Full HD 1080P, Audio Night Version Motion Sensor, Support SD Card
ADVANCED - $ 99
Hawfy Mini HD Wireless Hidden Camera, Magnet for Easy Installation with SD Card and Reader, Motion Detection, Night Vision Spy Cam
ADVANCED - $ 99
Hidver Hidden Spy Camera, 1080P Mini Security Wireless cam with Night Vision, Video Recorder for Nanny & Housekeeper, Motion Detection
ADVANCED - $ 99
Kimuvin Hidden Pen Camera, 1080P HD Home Security Pen Camera with Video Voice & Photo Function, Built-in 16GB SD Card, Plug & Play to PC
If you want a camera that can truthfully relay information then you must make sure the hardware is on point. Typically, wireless models are so tiny that they’ll fit into a shirt pocket, and yet they’re packed with many cutting-edge features.
Read on below for some of the most important features to consider when looking for the best spy camera.
The image resolution is fancy speak for the number of pixels displayed by the camera’s screen. A pixel is the lowest unit of color that can be displayed on a camera screen. Cameras with a sharp picture quality are usually those with a higher resolution.
A majority of spy cameras offer a high definition resolution of 1920x1080p. The highest resolution that a camera can reach is 4K but it’s not necessary for a tiny spy camera. The whole point is to make sure your spy camera can display detailed imagery.
Motion detection is a nice to have feature for mini spy cameras because it’ll help you save a lot of operating energy. Why? Because motion detection technology allows the camera to come on only when an object comes into its viewing field and it stays off the rest of the time.
A video is basically a series of still images that are moving at a fast pace. The faster the replay, the smoother the video quality will be. This process is referred to as a frame rate and it’s measured in frames per second (fps).
The higher the frame rate, the better looking and sounding your videos will be. For the best results, look for a spy camera with a frame rate of at least 12 fps. But, they can go up to 30 fps for great quality video.
Recording time is another important feature to consider if you’re going to purchase a spy camera. Usually, a camera’s battery size will determine its overall recording time. Since spy cameras are so tiny in size, it’s safe to say that they don’t offer an exceptionally long recording time and the battery isn’t as efficient as that of a regular video camera.
With that said, you can always use a micro SD card to give the camera more memory space. Keep in mind that features like night vision can significantly eat into battery life.
Thanks to night vision technology, your mini spy camera can now see in the dark. The good news is that this feature comes standard in the best spy camera models. It works by lighting up the camera’s field of vision through infrared lights. This allows the camera to see the object more clearly even in low light conditions.
The great thing about infrared light is that it’s virtually invisible to the naked eye. The higher infrared lights your camera has, the better its ability to help you see in the dark.
This is another nice feature to have in a spy camera and it enables you to view your video recordings from any connected device, including your smartphone, tablet or laptop. The only thing you need is a strong Internet connection to view your videos from pretty much anywhere. It’s worth noting that this feature comes standard in the best-hidden spy camera for home use.
Consider loop recording if your camera has very little space. This feature is also important for anyone that plans on taking long recordings. That’s because it allows you to overwrite the oldest footage when storage gets full so that you’re able to continue recording no matter what.
Obviously, you want a long-lasting spy camera so you don’t have to keep buying them over and over again. But, due to their size, spy cameras are usually fragile although there are sturdier units out there that can handle rugged situations. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to exercise caution and limit exposure to the elements.
The way you mount your spy camera will depend on your particular situation, so you should pay attention to this feature. Most units come with magnetic backing or a clip-on bracket for easy installation.
But, in some cases, spy cameras don’t come with mounting accessories and if that’s the case with you then you’ll have to buy them separately.
Compatibility with Mobile Devices
It’s important to ensure that your spy camera is compatible with the device you’ll be using to take advantage of its Wi-Fi feature. The good news is that most spy cameras support Mac, Windows, iOS and Android operating systems.
Types of Spy Cameras
When looking for the best spy camera, you need to consider its type. There are all types of different spy cameras on the market, so choosing one can be a challenge. Consider what you’ll be using the camera for in order to find the best model for your needs.
For instance, if you want to use your camera at night, then you should make sure it has night vision. If saving energy is important to you, then motion detection is a must.
Of course, you have models that come with Wi-Fi capabilities and USB cameras that are incredibly stealthy and make it easy for you to send footage do your devices. To help you choose the best spy camera for your needs, we’ve put together a list of the most common types of spy cameras available.
This is one of the best-hidden cameras for home because it moves with the target to record everything that happens in real-time. Usually, it’ll stay in idle mode when there’s no action to save on memory and battery life.
Motion-activated cameras come in two different varieties; with internal and external memory storage. Models with internal memory storage typically feature an SD card that offers enough memory to keep the device recording for long periods of time. Motion sensor-equipped spy cameras are another great option because they only start recording when they sense movement in the area.
USB Mini Camera
As the name implies, USB mini cameras look and function as an actual USB stick. They’re usually super small and can be hidden inside your laptop or PC while you’re at work. They also come with great features like night vision and HD quality footage.
Wi-Fi Mini Camera
Wi-Fi spy cameras can be connected to other devices for easy transfer of footage and some will even send you alerts whenever they capture something new. Other units come with live streaming capabilities so you can watch what’s happening in real-time on your smartphone or PC.
A nanny camera is basically a tiny spy camera that’s used to keep an eye on a babysitter or a nanny to make sure your kids are well taken care of. They’re typically available in two types. First, you have nanny cams that are so small that you can hide them inside picture frames, wall clocks, and other inscrutable items. Other models are larger and they’re not built for stealth.
This type of camera typically comes with your door so it looks like a normal peephole. It allows you to see who’s at the door even if you’re not at home and this type of camera is available in different sizes and shapes. A lot of them offer two-way communication as well.
Hidden Camera Clock
Hidden camera clocks are very popular because they’re easy to set up and can be used for a number of different applications. That’s because it looks and functions like a regular clock and because of its size it offers high-quality recording capability. Not only that, but the hidden camera clock is easy to use and it’s a practical solution for private spaces like bedrooms and private offices.
The button camera is an incredibly small spy camera that looks like a regular button that you’d sew into your shirt. As such, it’s perfect for anyone that wants to record quality footage without anyone else in the room knowing about it. However, it’s worth noting that the image quality isn’t always great with these cameras because they’re small. But they will get the job done.
How to Find a Hidden Camera in Your House?
Whether you want a hidden camera to keep an eye on your pets, your kids or an elderly loved in a stranger’s care, there’s no denying that these devices are incredibly valuable. However, some of you reading this article might have come across it because you suspect that someone is spying on you with one of these devices. If that’s the case, then allow us to offer you some advice on the matter.
First of all, spy cameras are available in a wide range of different shapes and sizes so that alone makes it difficult to figure out whether or not your house is “bugged.” However, one way to find a hidden camera is to look for signs of a lens because it’s always the most obvious feature of any camera.
The easiest way to do this is to look around your house and see if you notice anything out of place, like a camera lens-looking feature in your air filters, smoke detectors, wall clocks, wall hangings, DVD cases, a child’s teddy bear or even an electrical outlet.
As you can see, you can pretty much place a spy camera in any part of your house. That’s why you must be vigilant when searching for the camera and make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
Another helpful tip is to switch off all your lights. If there’s still a glimmer of light anywhere then it means there’s a spy camera hidden. While you’re at it, switch your phone on and try to call someone.
If there’s a hidden camera in the room, then it’ll most likely give off some sort of radio frequency which will affect the audio quality of your phone call. Wireless cameras are easier to spot because you can just look for them via your smartphone.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can My Cordless Phone Interfere with my Wireless Camera?
Yes, but only if the cordless phone operates on a similar frequency as your wireless spy camera. This might also become an issue if the phone is placed between the receiver and the camera.
Will Hidden Cameras Cause me Legal Troubles?
No, it’s not illegal to purchase or use hidden cameras, granted you’re not planning to use the footage to harm others. It also depends on your state laws. For instance, it’s against the law to record audio in the U.S.
Is 1080P Resolution Important?
This feature isn’t a necessity but it’s nice to have. You can always stick to the standard definition if you like and still enjoy good surveillance quality. But, you should always look out for audio quality because that could make or break the overall quality.
Do all Mini Cameras Come with the Same Instructions?
It’s hard to imagine that there would be universal instructions for spy cameras because there are so many different models to choose from. That said, some models do share certain features and functionalities so it might be possible for them to come with similar instructions.
Can I Use a Regular Mini Camera as a Dash Cam?
Not really. The dash cams you see on cars are made differently to suit vehicle functionality. They come with features like auto overwrite and car on recording as well as different mounting methods and car suction cups.
Can I Put Hidden Cameras in my Air Vents?
Yes, if the camera is rugged enough to handle extreme temperatures. It’s worth noting that not many spy cameras can handle this so it might be a good idea to check the user manual prior to installation.
To find the best spy camera, you must first figure out why you need it, and then consider the features that are important to you. So far, we’ve covered features to look out for and now we’re going to give you a review list of the best spy cameras on the market, including the pros and cons of each.
1 – DIVINEEAGLE Spy Camera Charger
This spy camera comes in the form of a wall charger and it’s actually quite practical because you can recharge any device on it, thanks to the included USB port. It’s also compact and easy to install, thanks to the relatively low number of features it comes with.
The great thing about it is that you can start using it straight from the box and it’s compatible with SD memory cards with up to 32 GB of storage space. It has a loop recording feature which does away with the need for Wi-Fi and it’ll automatically record over old footage when it needs extra space.
Another notable feature on this spy camera is its motion detection and 1080p resolution which means the footage quality is top-notch. FYI, this spy camera weighs 2.4 ounces and has dimensions of 1.2 x 1.2 x 2.4 inches, so it’s really compact and easy to hide.
Easy to set up and use
Great customer service
Clear footage with a wide view
Can only record 8 hours of footage at a time
2 – Pofeite Mini Spy Camera
This ultra-small spy camera can easily fit into your wallet or pocket. It’s compatible with most smartphones, tablets and PC operating systems including Android and iOS. Aside from its small size, this mini camera has night vision and it’s versatile enough to be used in various scenarios.
It also comes with night vision that has a range of 15 to 20 feet, and six infrared lights to offer crystal clear footage in daylight and in low-light conditions. It’s actually quite impressive for a camera of this size.
Thanks to its motion detector setting, this camera only switches on when it senses moving objects in the room otherwise it stays on idle to save energy. It’ll also send notifications to your smartphone or tablet when it senses movement so you can get a real-time viewing of what’s going on in the area where you’ve placed it.
Very good resolution
Tiny and easy to use
Looks and works like a normal refrigerator magnet
Strong magnetic mounting bracket
Delivers clear sound quality
No complaints here
3 – Hawfy Mini HD Wireless Hidden Camera
This high-quality mini-cam from Hawfy comes with Wi-Fi functionality and 1080p HD quality. Now you’ll no longer have to rely on glitch motion detection technology. With 6 infrared lights, this camera is suitable for use in low light conditions as well. In fact, it gives you a 150-degree wide-angle view for up to 5 meters.
Furthermore, this camera has a 32GB SD card and a card reader with the capacity to handle an SD card of up to 128 GB. This means it can record non-stop, 24/7. Thanks to the magnetic backing, this camera is super easy to install, and you can “hide” it among your refrigerator magnets to get a wide view of the entire kitchen area, which is the heart of the home.
That means you don’t have to worry about wires or plugs and you can start operating it right from the box. Not only that, but you’ll get notifications from the Hawfy app straight to your device every time the camera detects any motion.
Easy to install
One of the best-hidden cameras for home use
Records in HD quality
Motion detector works flawlessly
Battery life only lasts for 1.5 hours
4 – Hidver Hidden Spy Camera
Hidver is well known as one of the best-hidden camera manufacturers in the U.S. and this special edition from them is the tiniest spy camera in the world, with dimensions of 0.87in, 0.7oz cube. It’s so small that you can literally hide it anywhere around the house.
As such, it’s the best spy camera for bedroom. You’ll enjoy 1080p HD quality video no matter what the light conditions are. Thanks to the wide-angle lens, you’ll be able to view the entire room. There’s also a snapshot button so you can take still photographs if you want and motion detection is available too.
This camera comes with six LED lights for even better low light mode illumination and it can record automatically when the motion sensors spot movement. You can use this camera for a number of different applications, from keeping an eye on your kids to your office workers, the possibilities are endless.
Comes with night vision and motion detection
Super tiny and easy to install
Offers high-quality wide-angle view
SD card is not included
5 – Kimuvin Hidden Pen Camera
Record meetings, interviews, and other events on the go with this convenient spy camera. it has an integrated 16GB memory storage and 1080p quality footage capture. The built-in battery can take footage for up to 60 uninterrupted minutes and it’s super easy to view the footage once you’re done recording.
All you have to do is plug it into your computer’s 2.0 port. The package comes complete with the pen, five ink fills, an SD card clip and a 16GB memory card. This is in addition to sleek and modern looks that make this an ideal spy camera for students, journalists, executives, etc.
Best small spy camera for professionals
Offers high quality 1080p HD video with sound
Comes with ink cartridges
Sleek and modern aesthetic
Backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee
Mac owners must use a card reader in order to view footage
6 – Fuvision Hidden Camera
This wireless spy camera from Fuvision is easy to install and use because it doesn’t come with any wires or cords. It offers ultra-HD quality footage playback and push-notifications that instantly alert you through your smartphone when the camera records something.
Because this is a Wi-Fi enabled camera, it’s actually beneficial to use it in a wireless mode which means you can control it remotely to access videos and photos from pretty much anywhere. You can also stream and download content from your work office or when you’re on vacation.
Spectacular video quality
Can support a maximum of 128 GB in external memory storage
Best mini spy camera wireless
There’s nothing bad to say about this camera
7 – Ehomful Cop Spy Cam
This wireless camera from Ehomful is designed for use in the office, at a warehouse or around the house. To view footage, all you have to do is upload it onto your device and you can even share it on-demand, save it, or watch it immediately through the plug and play function.
Other notable features include highly sensitive motion activators that instantly capture footage on a loop. The great thing about this camera is that it only records actual action and none of the boring stuff.
This camera features six infrared LEDs with night vision ability that’s so effective that you can actually record in complete darkness. This makes for a great nanny cam or you can use it to check up on your staff while you’re on vacation.
High-quality night vision
It’s super small and versatile
Easy to set up
Offers great value for money
Battery life is not that great
8 – Ehomful Spy Camera Wireless Hidden Camera
Spy on your kids when you’re at work, keep an eye on your pet when you’re out of the house with this stealthy wireless spy camera. It’s so tiny that it’s the size of a coin which means you can hide it in your smartphone cover, in a teddy bear, or even place it inside a wall clock.
It allows you to stream footage in real-time from your smartphone thanks to the Wi-Fi feature, and the auto night vision function means that it’ll deliver clear monochromatic images in low light conditions, which is good enough to identify the objects or individuals within them.
Allows you to stream live footage
Long battery life
Easy to use
Best mini spy camera to use at home or in the office
9 – LKCare Hidden Camera
At first glance, this hidden camera looks like a normal writing pen but it’s actually hiding a high-quality 1080p camera with HD quality footage. The battery can last for up to 2.5 uninterrupted hours of recording, it’s highly portable and can handle a 32GB memory card.
Not only is it a great camera, but this pen actually writes smoothly and it comes with five ink refills for your convenience. You can choose to either take picture or videos at the click of a button, and it’s important to make sure the camera is in a straight position in order to avoid shaky footage.
You can use this camera to record meetings, conversations, and conferences with the touch of a button.
Compact and lightweight
Comes with a 32GB removable SD card
Offers superb video quality
Easy to use
10 – OUMEIOU Power Bank Hidden Camera
This lightweight spy camera functions like a regular power bank which makes it easy for you to place it in the most public of areas while remaining inconspicuous. It offers high definition video recording capability with night vision that you can switch on and off as you like.
It also has motion detectors that switch the camera on whenever it senses movement and there’s a convenient loop recording feature that records over old video footage whenever it reaches storage capacity.
You’ll like the integrated IRlights that allow for low light live recording. If you do decide to take advantage of the 32GB SD card compatibility, you’ll have to format the memory card first before you add it to the camera.
Allows you to keep an eye on your family and/or pets from a distance
You can use it to power two devices at once
Offers good video quality
Doesn’t come with a micro SD card
PLAN - PRICE
START UP - $ 29
FUVISION Hidden Camera, WiFi Photo Frame 1080P Home Security Spy Camera, Night Vision & Motion Detection Wireless IP Nanny Cam
BUSINESS - $ 49
ehomful Cop Spy Cam, Mini Camera Wireless Hidden, 1080P Body Camera, Convert Security Nanny Cam with Night Vision & Motion Activated
ADVANCED - $ 99
ehomful Spy Camera, Wireless Hidden Camera Cop Spy Cam, WiFi Mini Body Camera, Home Security Cameras Covert Small Nanny Cam
ADVANCED - $ 99
LKcare Hidden Camera, Spy Camera, 1080p HD Spy Camera Pen, 2.5 Hours Video Taking Battery Life with 32GB Memory for Conference & Security
ADVANCED - $ 99
OUMEIOU Power Bank Hidden Camera, 10000mAh HD 1080P Spy Camera, Gravity Sensor, Motion Detection, Night Vision
Well, there you have it! Now you know what to look for when shopping for a spy camera. If you still feel confused about which option to choose, allow us to recommend the Pofeite Mini Spy Camera.
In our opinion, this is the best spy camera on the market as it offers good quality resolution, crystal clear sound and it looks and functions like a normal refrigerator magnet.
It’s an inscrutable camera, so it’ll definitely serve your needs if your purpose is to spy on people inside your house. Plus, it’s suitable to use in and outdoors.