We’ve all seen cool hidden cameras used in spy movies, like James Bond.
But do things like that actually exist?
Yes! And thanks to technological advancement, tiny hidden cameras are now affordable for everyone.
In fact, there are now so many different types and so many different models of each type that we have far too many choices. Which one is the right one for my needs?
We’ll cover the main types of hidden cameras (plus some related spy gear) to help you figure out which type is best for your purposes.
We’ll also point you toward other articles that help you find the exact right model, once you know which type of hidden camera you need.
Let’s get started by comparing the main types of true hidden cameras (the types you can’t see) in a table and then going into more detail on each, plus regular security cameras, which can also be hidden, to a certain extent.
Different Types Of Hidden Cameras Compared
Best Hidden Cameras For Various Uses
The following are the best types of hidden cameras, with recommendations on which models are best. Different types of hidden cameras have different uses, so make sure to consider what you need yours for, before making a purchase.
We’ll begin with security cameras, because they aren’t really hidden cameras. Most people install security cameras in obvious places to act as a deterrent for criminals.
But you can try to conceal them as well. Perhaps you want to monitor employees to make sure they are doing the tasks you are paying them to do.
Of course, most reasonably attentive people will notice these cameras, even if you try to conceal them. That is why they are not really suited for instances when you don’t want it to be known that you are watching.
Instead, use security cameras openly to:
- catch a neighbor’s dog who craps on your lawn—no need to keep the camera hidden for this
- get more work from your employees—if they know they are being filmed, they will most likely work harder anyway
- deter criminals from committing crimes around your home or business
In addition, the legalities of obvious security cameras vs hidden ones is far less murky. So, before opting for a personal hidden camera, consider one that’s out in the open instead.
Whatever the case, if you’re looking for top quality security cameras, then you should to consider Lorex Home or Office Security Solutions. They are easy to install with a few simple tools, have clear video and solid customer service.
There are a ton of options, including cloud storage, or with a hard drive (NVR or DVR). The choice is yours, depending on your needs.
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The next kind of hidden camera that we’re going to talk about are nanny cams. When you’re paying someone to look after your children, you probably want to ensure that they are doing the job well. Seriously, all kinds of stuff can happen when you’re not around to witness it.
Most commonly, your babysitter is watching TV or is on their phone all day, instead of interacting with the kids. As for what else, there are quite a few far worse possibilities.
Also Useful For Pets And Kids Home Alone
You might also want to use them to keep an eye on your pets or children when you’re out of the house. For example, a nanny cam can monitor your dog who the neighbors say barks all day when you’re at work. You can find out if this is really true, or not.
And for kids who are home alone after school until you get home, you can see what they’re actually up to. Are they doing homework like they say they or playing video games until the second you get home.
Keep This In Mind…
Remember this important rule: use nanny cams only for good and not to invade people’s personal privacy.
Check out our top nanny cams article for some great advice on which one to get.
Peephole Door Cameras
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- 1. This door viewer does not connect to the Internet.
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We’re going to move on from security systems and nanny cams to peephole door cameras. There are two basic styles of video doorbell.
The first kind looks like a regular peephole, but they’re in fact top-quality video cameras. You can see who is outside your door without the person ever knowing that you’re looking. You can monitor what’s going on via smartphone app or over the internet.
The second style is more obvious. It consists of a small security camera, and then often has a screen on the inside of the door to see what’s going on outside. You can get motion alerts remotely via smartphone. And some of the better ones even have 2-way audio so you can talk to the person at your door even when you’re in another country!
Keep Your Home And Family Safe
Protect yourself and your home from harm by knowing who you’re opening the door to and letting inside!
We’ve reviewed our top picks in this article: Top Peephole Door Cameras.
Check Out The Brinno Door Viewer, One Of Our Favorites
Or you can learn more about it here: Brinno Peephole Cam.
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Spy pens are perfect for when you want to record that important business meeting. They record audio clearly and easily so that you can have a record to refer back to if necessary. You never know when you’ll need something to go back to later.
Or, you may wish to record some illegal activity covertly so you can have a record to show to the police. Whatever the case, there are numerous uses for this hidden camera spy gear.
Keep This Rule In Mind
However, remember this important rule: use spy pens only for good and not for harm. Okay? It can be illegal to record people without their knowledge, depending on where you live.
All the details about this popular product here: Spy Pens—How to Use Them.
Hidden Cameras Sunglasses
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If you want to get your James Bond on in style, then you’ll most definitely need a pair of spy camera glasses or sunglasses. They record video or pictures in surprisingly high quality and are also super easy to use.
The best part about them is that they don’t look fake, believe it or not. You’d never know that they weren’t just a pair of regular sunglasses.
Why Use Them?
There are a number of situations in which you might consider using spy camera glasses:
- Walks with the dog or grandchildren when you want to take a few simple pictures or videos but don’t want the hassle or carrying your camera or phone. Glasses are the perfect portable camera device.
- When you want to record illegal activity covertly
- For sports activities
- If you’re a news junkie who’s always on the lookout for interesting things
We cover the best spy glasses in this article: Hidden Spy Camera Glasses.
If you’re looking for a simple spy gadget that doesn’t look out of place anywhere you go, then you’ll need to consider a spy camera watch. They record top-quality, HD video and picture, and the best thing? They don’t look out of place because they look and function just like a regular wristwatch.
One of our top picks is the Binrrio Spy Watch. There are very few of these devices, and most of them are more like kids toys. However, this one works well and has a ton of features that you’ll love.
You can find our full review of the Binrrio watch here.
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This is obviously not a camera, but GPS tracking can be a useful way to keep an eye on where someone is going in their vehicle. Doing that with an actual camera is more difficult.
The way it works is that you attach a device to the car or asset that you want to track, and then it turns on when it’s motion activated. Monitoring and tracking movements is quite easy with these devices.
Then, depending on the device, you can get alerts with motion, speeding, entering or leaving a zone, etc. You can customize the device to suit your needs.
It’s possible to monitor the movement with a Smartphone, Tablet or computer with an app that you download from the company. Some of them have a monthly subscription service, while others do not. Check carefully to find the one that’s right for your needs.
We highly recommend the Spy Tec GPS tracker. Read the full review here.
Counter Surveillance (Bug Detectors)
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These are also obviously not cameras, but If you suspect that someone is watching you with a hidden camera or that your home or business has been bugged with a covert device, there are some things you can do to protect yourself. Here are a few simple steps:
Take a look around you. Has anything changed? Has someone added a plant, smoke detector, USB charger, alarm clock, etc. to your environment? These kinds of items are the most common places with a hidden spy camera.
Take a very, very careful look at it and have a search for the brand name on Amazon and other places online. See if you can take it apart to see what’s inside.
Turn Off The Lights
Cameras with night vision usually have LED lights to supplement the natural light. Turn off the lights in the room and block all sources of lights from windows, etc. Look carefully for anything that may catch your eye. This may turn out to be something like a hidden button camera.
Use Your Cell Phone
Hidden cameras sometimes will interfere with cell phone frequencies. Place a call to a friend, and then walk around the room you suspect is bugged. If you notice some static or something unusual, examine that area very carefully.
Use A Flashlight
Turn off the lights in the room and turn on the flashlight. Then, shine the light on all the surfaces and if you notice any sort or reflection, it may be a hidden camera.
Use A Detection Device
You can pick up bug detectors on Amazon for under a hundred bucks. Here’s one of our top picks, and you can often get free shipping with Amazon Prime:
Finally, you’ll want to check out this video for tips and tricks for uncovering mini spy cameras of some kind:
Hidden Cameras: Your Thoughts
What are your thoughts about these personal spy cameras? Which one is most effective at getting what you need? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
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Last update on 2023-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Sylvia Hartless says
Have you reviewed Secure Light Cam or the SafeCam360? Are either one worth the money spent? Is one superior to the other in any meaningful aspect?