Best Hidden Cameras In 2022 [Buying Guide] – Gear Hungry (2024)

Hidden Camera Buying Guide & FAQ

How We Chose Our Selection Of Hidden Cameras

Quality - we always ensure that the products we recommend get plenty of positive feedback when it comes to their quality and reliability. It's reasonable to expect your investment to last for a good length of time and if you are intending installing it outside, that it's waterproof and weather-hardy. Quality is especially important when you are buying technology products and the camera itself installed in your surveillance device needs to perform reliably and preferable silently too so that it remains undetected.

Reviews - besides doing all our own research, we extensively review what other consumers have to say about their experiences using the products we select. Reviews are a fantastic way of really getting the real low down on how you can expect a product to perform including all the positives as well as any negatives.

Price - assuming that you're not a secret agent on a government mission with a budget to match, then you'll need your tech to be cost-effective and not just reliable. As always, we aim to hadn't pick a section of products at price points that are attractive and not totally prohibitive to the man on the street as opposed to 007 licensed to kill!

Best Hidden Cameras In 2022 [Buying Guide] – Gear Hungry (1)

Features To Look For In Hidden Cameras

Depending upon the main purpose as to why you are investing in a hidden spy camera, there will be a few different considerations you'll need to take into account. Whether your priority is home security or rather monitoring purposes, the range of features you'll require will be slightly different. There's so much choice these days when it comes to sophisticated and undetectable surveillance kit from pen cameras to spy cams and hidden security cameras. The perfect hidden camera for you is going to depend upon your personal situation. Below we've covered off what we think are the most noteworthy features worth assessing.

Video quality - The better the video quality, the better the clarity of the footage that you can record. Depending upon your intended use of the video you capture, that may be more or less important. To ensure the best possible viewing experience, then 1080p HD is going to deliver better results than standard definition.

Viewing angle - As with any style of camera, you will have options when it comes to the field of vision. If you know that you are positioning your spy gear in an area where you'd like to capture a wider angle of vision, then carefully consider its parameters, otherwise, you might be disappointed that all the important action is happening just out of shot!

Size and Design - The size, design, and style of your hidden camera is an obvious consideration, especially if you need it to blend in with a particular background or environment. The last thing you want is to actually draw attention to yourself or a room by suddenly placing something really out of character in the space which will just stick out like a sore thumb! You could go for something discreet like a smoke detector camera, a camera poisoned inside a clock or a security light for example. There are plenty of designs and styles you can go for. Choose a size and design that's appropriate to it's setting.

Battery life - If you are going for a battery operated as opposed to a wired device, consider the battery life and how frequently you might need to recharge your battery, especially if you want to use your hidden camera regularly. It is possible to purchase cameras with year-long battery life while others you may end up recharging daily.

Recording time & Memory capacity - Regardless of whether you opt for a wired or wireless hidden camera, the first thing you'll want to know is just how much recording capacity and memory it can give you. Monitoring your pets while you're away from the house on vacation will require more capacity than checking in on how that new nanny is getting on. The memory capacity should be large enough so that it's useful for a host of situations that way, you don't have to go to the trouble of recording, reviewing and wiping your drive every single day. Consider the amount of storage space you also require. SD cards can range from 2GB up to 64GB.

Night-vision mode - If you do want to keep amp eye on happenings overnight then you will require a camera with a night-vision mode otherwise you'll never get a view of who's prowling around late at night!

Lens quality - As with all cameras, the better quality lens it's fitted with, the clearer the footage you capture and record will be.

Ease of use - We don't all have a technical whizz back at HQ to set up our gadgetry for us so make sure you purchase something that you can reasonably expect to be able to install and operate yourself. Some of the more sophisticated and complex surveillance style systems, as opposed to basic secret cameras, might require professional installation so unless you have a degree in electrical engineering, opt for a unit that's user-friendly like one of the six on your list today.

Motion detector - Some hidden cameras have more advanced features like motion detection which might come in handy if you want to be alerted to the proximity of intruders.

Best Hidden Cameras In 2022 [Buying Guide] – Gear Hungry (2)

Connectivity - See our next FAQ regarding wired versus wireless and battery over AC-power which are the main options you have when it comes to connectivity. In a nutshell, wireless means you can remotely video real-time footage, battery operated is a portable solution which can easily be moved to a different location and AC-power is a stable and reliable option.

Sound monitoring - Remember that the laws are very different regarding audio as opposed to video monitoring. You can read more on that in our FAQ section.

Compatibility - While most hidden cameras these days have been designed to work with Mac and PC, it's always worth checking. The same applies to IOS via Android if you wanted to view recorded footage on a mobile device as opposed to a computer.

Features - Other additional features that you might want to consider include the ability to adjust and toggle through various available resolutions which can help save your memory as well as operating via remote control.

Types Of Hidden Cameras

As if there wasn't already enough choice in the category in terms of all the various shapes, sizes and disguises that hidden cameras are available in, you also need to decide whether to go for wireless, wired or even a battery operated spy device.

Wireless - The beauty of a WiFi streaming hidden camera is that you can choose to watch the footage being recorded in real time, either over the internet or on a mobile device. These types of cameras can be more challenging to set up and operate and more expensive too plus of course, they do require a reliable and stable consistent internet connection to be useful. They are a fantastic option though if you are away from your home for prolonged periods and have pets, you want to monitor or just generally keep on top of your domestic security when you're away from home.

Wired - A wired unit is a reliable and cost-effective choice, but it does, of course, require a constant source of power to work and will need to be stationed close by a power outlet so that it can be plugged in easily without causing a hazard. Wired and battery operated devices are both going to be self-contained and self-recording. The footage you record will be housed on a removable internal drive or memory card which you will have to physically remove and review to watch the action.

Battery-operated - The major benefit of a battery operated self-contained recording device is that it's portable. This means that you can discreetly set them up anywhere around your home or garden but just remember, that they will only be effective for as long as you have a charged battery. For some models that might only be for a few hours whereas for others, it might even be as long as a year.

Hidden Camera FAQ

Q: Why buy a hidden camera?

A: Whether you want to monitor your pets while you are away from home, put in place a security system which can detect intruders and send you motion alerts or simply enjoy peace of mind that your children are safely tucked up asleep in bed, there are plenty of great reasons for purchasing a hidden camera. You don't need to be involved in covert spy operations! Although that sounds like a lot of fun! It's more likely that you are just keen to protect your home and your loved ones and ensure a safe, secure environment.

Q: Are hidden cameras legal?

A: If you're going to invest in a new hidden camera, it pays to understand the legalities of actually using one. Of course, the law differs from country to country and even state to state, but the general rule of thumb in the United States is that it's perfectly fine to have a hidden camera in your home and to record footage without the permission of the people visiting. The key thing to remember is the word "home" and the second is that it applies to visions but not audio. That said, it's illegal to record video in places where people should reasonably expect to have their privacy respected for example in a bathroom or a guest bedroom.

When it comes to installing and using surveillance-style cameras in public places, again the same rules regarding decency and privacy prevail so that would extend to changing rooms, public restrooms as well as inside hotel rooms.

As we said, video is entirely a different matter to audio. It still remains illegal to covertly record audio without the speaker's permission, even if that device is located in your home. In any case, if you do find yourself ever in a situation where you might need to use recordings from your nanny cam or another hidden camera, the best option is to seek legal advice first.

Q: How to clean a hidden camera?

A: Hidden cameras should be relatively easy to maintain and clean as long as they're positioned in a place that you have easy access to. As long as you keep the lens clean, then you shouldn't have to worry about the blurriness, and as the camera is likely to be hidden safely out of sight, there's not much more maintenance that you'll need to worry about. Just take something like a microfibre cloth and periodically give the lens a clean just to make sure it's not dusty.

Best Hidden Cameras In 2022 [Buying Guide] – Gear Hungry (2024)
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