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best spy cameras

The Best Spy Cameras in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

Today everything can no longer be based on trust. Sometimes you have to go a step further to protect your family or children. Now a so-called spy cam comes into play, here you have everything in view without being seen yourself. How the Spy Cam comparison winner works, what to look for when buying and how to care for the Spy Cam, you can find out from us.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Spy Cameras

What is a spy cam?

A spy cam should not be confused with a surveillance camera. Although the two cameras have similar functions, namely monitoring a specific area, the spy cam should not be noticed.

On the other hand, the surveillance camera serves as a deterrent and is intended to keep intruders away from the property.

Due to its tiny dimensions, spy cams can only be discovered with a very close look. Unlike the surveillance camera, the spy cam cannot be swiveled. In this respect, set up the spy cam and it will film the predetermined area.

Of course, a lot has happened in the field of spy cams today, which is why there are always better cameras that not only take pictures but also record videos. Sound recording is also possible, but this is not allowed everywhere. But if you want that, you should get together with a specialist beforehand.

How does a spy cam work?

A spy cam consists of many different components and in this respect is comparable to a surveillance camera. Depending on the model, sensors are used. As soon as these sensors detect movement in the monitored area, a picture is taken. Some models take pictures a few seconds apart so that you will get a series of pictures later. Another possibility is that videos are recorded with a running time of a few minutes.

More often you will find permanent installation with a spy cam. That means, together with the image processor and the lens, the camera films without a break.

The camera automatically forwards the image to the set second device. The big plus point is that the Spy Cam does not need a lot of storage space because everything is stored on second devices. However, a permanent power source is required. Nevertheless, a model from a spy cam test does not need a lot of power, although the camera can even record videos in Full HD.

A small battery is usually sufficient, which must be recharged after use. Other models work with a power connection. The disadvantage, however, is that you have to constantly plug the cable into the socket. This can be noticed quickly, because when a cable leads to a cute teddy bear in the corner, some people get suspicious.

One of the most important parts of the spy cam is the lens. This is decisive for the quality of the pictures / videos in the end. Depending on the model, the lens can be equipped with mirrors or lenses. The lens ensures the transmission of the photons and thus the recording of the image. At the end you can evaluate the videos / pictures comfortably on your PC or laptop.

What are the advantages & use cases of a spy camera?

A spy cam can be used in an infinite number of areas. You can install them anywhere you want to keep an eye on everything without everyone knowing that they are being monitored. Spy cams are particularly popular in children’s rooms. They are used to monitor the children and especially the nannies.

The reason is that in recent years it has become more and more common that babysitters treat children less warmly than you would like them to be. Even theft is not uncommon.

With a spy cam you can monitor whether the hired nanny meets your expectations and gets on well with your children. A spy cam is also excellent for monitoring other domestic staff. Especially when little things are always missing and you want to catch the culprit. Otherwise a spy cam can be seen as an alternative to the surveillance camera.

It’s small and almost invisible, so you can capture crystal clear images without the camera being seen or even destroyed. That is why spy cams are often used in offices, unions, companies and the like. But remember that it is not allowed to monitor employees in a company without their consent.

However, if you would like to be monitored, you should consult a specialist beforehand. If you are looking for a camera with which you can get a glimpse into dark, angled and difficult to access objects, it is worth taking a look at our endoscope camera test comparison.

The biggest advantage of a product from a Spy Cam Review is that it is extremely small. You are probably familiar with today’s cameras, which are also quite small, but still easy to see. In particular, surveillance cameras in their large housing are hard to miss. However, that is intentional.

Not with a spy cam. In this respect, it is hardly larger than a needle head and can therefore be used anywhere. Put these in picture frames, fire alarms, in flowers, under shelves and much more.

The tiny dimensions of the spy cam make it almost invisible. Another advantage is that the small dimensions mean that you can use the Spy Cam anywhere without having to plan a lot of space.

But also the modern functions of the Spy Cam distinguish them. In this respect, you can not only take pictures, but also rotate videos. A sound recording is also possible. But nothing stands in the way of forwarding to smartphones or tablets either.

What types of spy cameras are available?

While the differences in spy cams are not many, there are some subtle differences. If you are looking for a perfect spy cam, you should look at the different shapes. This is the only way to ensure that you acquire the ideal model from a Spy Cam Test.

Spy cam with continuous recording

The somewhat older models rely on permanent recording. This means that recording takes place around the clock. Depending on the model, the images are saved on an internal memory card or forwarded directly to a PC. The great advantage of this spy cam is that you really see everything.

The problem does not arise that movement was not registered, which is why recording did not start. Of course you have more to evaluate for this. In addition, the power consumption is much higher, which is why such spy cams are usually only available with a power plug. In addition, the storage medium is a problem.

A memory card can fill up quickly and must be emptied. If you do not do this, you will not be able to take any more pictures.

Advantages

  • Permanent recording
  • No errors due to unregistered movements

Disadvantages

  • High power consumption
  • Heavy load on memory
  • Usually only available with a power plug

Spy cam with motion detector

Products from a spy cam test with a motion detector are becoming increasingly popular. Movements are registered by the camera through various sensors. If this is the case, recording begins immediately. The big advantage is that you use less electricity because the device only picks up when it has to.

That is why there are such models with rechargeable batteries or batteries. In addition, less memory is used without having to forego full HD quality. The disadvantage is that bad models don’t register all movements. Especially very slow or small movements do not trigger the spy cam, so that not everything is recorded.

Advantages

  • Low energy consumption
  • Less memory required
  • Available with rechargeable battery and batteries
  • Available in many different versions

Disadvantages

  • Movements are not always registered

Spy cam with WiFi

One of the newer achievements is a spy cam with WiFi. This means that you no longer have to remove the memory card and then connect it to the PC. Instead, you can access the data on the Spy Cam via WiFi and thus wirelessly. The big advantage is that spy cams with WiFi can even be addressed via smartphone or tablet. But they cannot be used everywhere for this.

After all, a WiFi connection must always exist so that the data can be transferred. Power consumption can also increase if the WiFi connection has to be maintained permanently. That is why a spy cam with WiFi is usually only intended for use at home.

Advantages

  • No external storage medium necessary
  • Data can be called up via smartphone and tablet
  • Ideal for the home

Disadvantages

  • A WiFi connection is a must
  • Can use more electricity

What should I look out for when buying a spy cam?

Buying a spy cam is not child’s play, because the increasingly modern functions mean there are more aspects to consider. Therefore, you should not reach for the next best spy cam, but opt for a high-quality model from a spy cam test. What you have to pay attention to and what you must not forget is shown in brief bullet points.

Place of use

The place of use plays a decisive role, because the wrong spy cam can quickly appear too conspicuous. Therefore, consider beforehand where you want to use the spy cam and which object will not be noticeable there. For example, a weather station in the kitchen, a beautiful picture frame in the children’s room or bedroom or a smoke detector in the dining room. Knowing where to place the Spy Cam will help you avoid unintentional discovery.

Picture Quality

A lot has happened in terms of image quality in recent years. For this reason, today you can choose between many different formats and resolutions. When it comes to image quality, you need to consider which area the spy cam will capture. If only a small room has to be filmed, a low resolution of 480p or 720p is sufficient. But if you want to film a larger area, you should choose a higher resolution.

1080p is the right choice now and is called Full HD. There are already spy cams that work with 4K resolution, but they require an extremely large amount of power and memory. 1080p is perfectly adequate.

Size

Of course, you don’t want the spy cam to be seen. Therefore, a small size is important. Most devices are just the size of a pin head. But there are also larger offers. These are not a problem if they are well hidden. Otherwise, you should always choose a model that is as small as possible. But don’t forego good quality just to make the spy cam smaller.

Running Time

The running time of the Spy Cam depends on which power source is used. If you choose a model with a power plug, you have no problem. The permanent power supply ensures that the Spy Cam can be used continuously. It looks a little different with batteries and a rechargeable battery. Batteries are the worst variant, because they can empty quickly, especially with a high resolution. A battery is better. This is bigger, but you can always recharge it.

Connection

Older models from a Spy Cam test only allow you to remove the memory card, which you can then evaluate on the PC. But this is usually quite cumbersome, which is why modern spy cams offer you high-quality connection options.

Especially WiFi or Bluetooth are very practical and allow a wireless connection of Spy Cam to smartphones, tablets and PCs. It is also practical if the Spy Cam works with an app. This allows you to make all important settings directly from the smartphone.

Functions

The modern spy cams offer you many different functions. The motion detector is popular, so that the spy cam only records when something has moved in front of the lens. Some manufacturers also use a night vision mode so that you can ensure good surveillance even in complete darkness. Still others have a microphone so that you not only get a picture but also sound. There are even offers that do not lose their “conventional” function. This means that if you have a spy cam in a ballpoint pen, you can still write with it.

Spy Camera Accessories

In the field of espionage technology there are already many products that you can of course use together with a spy cam. But whether you really need it depends entirely on you. For example, a recording device is very popular when the spy cam does not have its own sound recording. You have to be careful, however, as sound recording is not permitted everywhere.

The modern recording devices are quite small, so you can easily hide them. You can quickly gain access to important information or explore its possibilities in your spare time. The combination of a recording device and a spy cam is particularly popular. Many manufacturers also offer an app for the spy cam.

It’s almost standard, so you can download the app for free. The big advantage is that you now have access to your camera via smartphone or tablet. Even when you are out and about, you can quickly see what the Spy Cam is recording and what is going on in the room. A spy cam with an app is particularly useful for parents, because it keeps the children in view and you can react quickly if necessary.

If you want to go one step further, you can get a GPS tracker. This little gimmick is also very popular with parents. In your child’s satchel or jacket pocket, you always know exactly where they are.

Thanks to satellite positioning, you don’t have to worry anymore. In some cases, GPS tracking can also be connected to the Spy Cam.

Otherwise you will need a high-quality transport or storage bag. A model from a spy cam test may not be used all the time, so you should keep it safe. A high quality bag is very practical. This protects against solar radiation and moisture. At the same time, it does not happen that the spy cam is damaged when not in use. Of course there are many more accessories. But whether you need all of this depends entirely on the features you want from your spy cam.

How to install a spy camera?

Installing a spy cam is a breeze and doesn’t require a lot of skill. This is also because most models today are designed to be very user-friendly, so you don’t have to do much. So that you still get the best pictures and your spy cam is not immediately exposed, we will show you how to do it.

Step 1

First of all, you should get exactly the right spy cam. In a Spy Cam test there are many different offers that are already processed in various objects. This means that you do not have to attach or install the spy cam yourself, you only have to carry or set up the object.

But think about beforehand what you want to film and which object does not seem out of place in the respective environment. For example, a spy cam in a wristwatch would be noticeable if you only put the watch in one place and never wear it. Therefore, think carefully about which spy cam it should be.

Step 2

Next, you need to worry about the perfect placement. The spy cam is supposed to point at a certain point or monitor an area. It is therefore useful if you connect the camera to your smartphone or PC beforehand. This is especially easy if you have a WiFi spy cam.

In this respect, you can broadcast the images live. If you do not have this option, try to follow the camera’s field of view. Sometimes you can stand behind the spy cam and check what the camera can see. If that is not possible, you need to run a short test, remove the memory card and check the field of view.

Step 3

Another important point when setting up is that you consider various circumstances. For example, do not place a spy cam under a window in the picture frame. The wind can knock the picture frame over, curtains could hang over the camera and the like.

You should also think about what the people in the room are doing. For example, if you want to monitor the nanny and see whether she treats the child lovingly, it makes no sense if the Spy Cam is set up so that you can only see the person’s back at all times. Therefore, think carefully about which point of view is the best.

Step 4

A spy cam is tiny, but if you’re not careful it can get noticed. So hide them. For example, if you use a spy cam in the picture frame, set up additional pictures.

If you use a spy cam that is hidden in a USB charger, you can simply plug in a cable for camouflage. Be careful, however, that the spy cam’s field of view is never restricted.

Step 5

Finally, all you have to do is set up and turn on the spy cam. Most models can be easily configured using a PC or an app. In this respect, you set how long the video recording should run, which movements can be registered and when a notification can be sent.

The connection to the app or the PC is usually very simple and is described in more detail in the instructions. So you can use your spy cam quickly and safely.

Last product update on 2021-06-18 | Source: Amazon Affiliate