Best Hidden Cameras For Home, Office & Self-Defence Use

It’s okay to long for extra security, especially when you need to keep your home or office area under surveillance. Such cases are not rare at all! Suppose, you need to monitor your small children, their nannies, your elderly relatives… You might also want to keep a watchful eye on your pets or even employees to prevent any accidents or abuses.

Perhaps you hate conflicts, but you really want to know for sure what happens in your room while you’re away. Small, technically advanced products that are called hidden cameras will help you to eliminate any uncertainty causing no overt inconvenience to others.

According to Wikipedia, there are hidden, spy and security cameras. These recording devices are designed to film and watch people without their consent or even knowledge. Such items are often used in reality shows, at home, and in some offices.

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Why Buy a Hidden Camera?

Did you know that undisclosed cams are the basic house protection device everyone should have? There are lots of situations when the immediate reaction is crucial. And some of the devices provide online streaming, so you can remotely watch what’s going on.

Modern devices are really smart. They are not visible to the person being filmed. The devices are built in ordinary objects such as books, clocks, adapters or pens. Additionally, the best hidden spy camera commonly costs no more than $100 nowadays, so the devices are affordable and easy-to-use.

In this article, I’m going to describe the most common types of security cameras and their functionality.

Reasons To Get a Hidden Camera

There are four main reasons why you might want to consider getting a hidden camera:

  • home security;
  • safety of children or elderly parents;
  • pets’ security;
  • workplace surveillance.

1. Home Security

There are undisclosed video recorders that are equally suitable for outside and inside use, which will film everything that happens inside and outside the house when you are away.

Whether you are just precautious or something is missing in your house, the device is capable to clear up the situation for you. For example, if some of your property is being vandalized, you will have the footage as the evidence of the crime.

Sometimes there are incidents with the missing things around the house and you don’t want to accuse a person without knowing actual facts. And, maybe, you travel a lot and go for business trips all over the country and want to keep an eye on your house while you are gone.

For example, several years ago Reuters wrote a news piece on the events that took place in Japan and seemed ridiculous at first. The man noticed that his food was disappearing, which was quite strange as he lived alone. To find out the reason, he installed an invisible camera in his house.

To his great surprise, the device showed that an unknown woman lived in his closet and ate his food. After the investigation, the police stated that she had been living there for several months! Can you imagine something more disturbing than finding out that a stranger lives in your closet?!

2. Safety of Children or Elderly Parents

Nothing compares to hidden cameras when you aim to increase your family members’ security. They are a perfect solution for those who want to make sure that their small kids or elderly parents don’t do any harm to themselves. Indeed, it’s actually better to be on the safe side!

If you have someone new in the house, it is okay to double-check whether you can trust them. Even if we are sure in our caretakers, we might still want to guarantee that everything is fine with our family.

There have been numerous stories in the news over the recent years about the children caretakers’ abuse. It is especially important to know what is going on with your child when it is too young to tell anything.

Have you heard the outrageous story about child abuse conducted by the nurse in California at the end of 2017? A 6-year-old boy with special needs was hurt by his caretaker. He hit the child with a backpack and threw the toys at his face. Although the boy was crying, the nurse violently pushed him away.

This story was enlightened by the Washington Post. A secret recording device showed the real state of affairs and helped to stop violence and punish the abuser! Needless to say, concealed recording devices can help to detect the crime and protect the child from further violence.

3. The Security of Your Pets… and Property!

The safety of your pets is important because they are left alone for the whole day. Even if there aren’t many risks for them in your house, the footage of their adventures helps to understand what our beloved animals are up to!

So you might need some evidence, especially if you are not sure that the damage to the furniture was done by one of your pets or not. That’s where a concealed camera comes in handy, helping you to identify the guilty one!

Just watch this funny video to see what your pets are capable of when you’re away! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw THIS!

4. Workplace Surveillance

The use of the concealed cameras at the workplace makes many things easier. No matter if you are a local coffee shop owner or the CEO of a large company, secret surveillance will definitely help you and your employees. Firstly, it eliminates health risks, prevents different violations and conflict situations.

Secondly, if the incident has already occurred, you will always have the evidence. If there are any violations of the company policy or law, the camera will provide you with the necessary footage.

Best Places to Hide Security Cameras

Hidden cameras are typically built in common devices or objects, such as:

  • chargers and adapters;
  • power banks;
  • digital photo frames;
  • electrical outlets;
  • clocks;
  • electric bulbs;
  • books;
  • clothes hooks;
  • smoke detectors;
  • stuffed animals;
  • DVD players;
  • pens.

1. Chargers and Adapters

The cameras built in adapters and chargers are simple to use. They are not equipped with the batteries and operate being plugged into an outlet. However, they don’t film if they are not plugged in, this kind of small hidden cameras is still pretty useful for home surveillance. Some of them can include a micro SD, 32-GB card, so the recording time is 4-6 hours.

Except for filming and watching, the device also charges the phones, sends alarm messages, and comes with a USB cable. The devices are portable and affordable, as their price is usually within a $25-$50 range.

2. Electrical Outlets

Electrical outlets are also smart and convenient. They are easy to install and come with long-lasting, 15-day-life batteries.

3. Power Banks

Power banks come with built-in batteries. They support up to 15 hours of filming using micro 64GB SD cards. Quite naturally, older files are overwritten afterwards, as usual.

4. Books

Regular-look books (with paper inside and leather covers) can also include small built-in cameras. The lens diameter is only 1 mm, so the cam is virtually invisible. The device is equipped with high-capacity, 10000 mAh battery that enables 30 hours of consistent recording. A 32-GB card is sufficient for these purposes. Additionally, the books support night vision, being equipped with LED lights or PIR sensors.

5. Clocks

Clocks that have built-in invisible cams suit any office or home design, looking like the common digital alarm or wall clocks. The devices work on high capacity batteries, coming with SD cards and Wi-Fi features.

Some of them are compatible with smartphone tablets and can be controlled by them using special software application.

6. Pens

The best spy pens are portable, equipped with the tiny lens. They are great by design, suitable for journalist and other spy-related professional activities. The devices come with night vision functionality and produce high-quality videos. Additionally, the products are really affordable.

They can serve as home protection items because they easily blend in any surrounding. You can take the spy pen with you everywhere if needed.

7. Clothes Hooks

Clothing hooks spy cameras are great by design and usability, matching any interior. They are lightweight, supporting high-quality video and easy to mount. They provide the full HD video resolution while supporting different SD-cards.

They are usually plug-and-play items that require no special tools or software. The overage shooting time is up to 90 continuous minutes of filming.

8. Electric Bulbs

Light bulbs are the best in terms of the viewing angle. They enable a 360-degree overlook angle, perfectly matching any room design. The devices offer Wi-Fi support, IR lights, up to 128 GB SD-card installation, remote control.

The widest field of view is the main advantage of the light bulb camera, that’s why they are perfect equally for office spaces and home. They are easy to install, draw no attention and provide the clear image.

With the assistance of WiFi setup via iOS or Android smartphone, or iPad, using supplied application, you will have access to the camera on your phone remotely.

Motion Detection send the signal to record video instantly. This kind of camera is perfect to watch pets, children, nurses, elderly persons, and employees.

9. Digital Photo Frames

Photo frame cams commonly support 75-degrees angle, work only for 50 minutes without an SD-card that can be installed, anyway.

Those beautiful frames are amazing spy tools for watching someone or something while you are absent. You can buy those tiny hidden cameras for decoration and be sure that your home is protected.

However, the devices come with tiny, invisible cameras, being suitable for any recording needs. They feature night-vision mode, motion sense and prolonged standby mode.

10. Mini Cams

Concealed devices that look just like mini cams also exist. Small spy cameras are portable, equipped with tiny rechargeable batteries, built-in microphones and LED lights. The size of mini cameras is extremely small, that’s why they can be easily mounted on any surface.

Button camera support high-quality snap shooting, providing the clear images even at night time. The nice feature is that some cameras support video shooting while charging.

Basic Security Cameras Applications

You can use a hidden camera for a plethora of purposes. Here are the most common types of hidden cameras:

  • nanny cams;
  • miniature devices;
  • office and professional items;
  • car cameras;
  • outdoor hidden cameras;
  • cameras are worn on the body.

1. Nanny Cameras

Nanny cams are the most popular type of hidden devices. They are designed to monitor daily activities of caregivers to avoid any violence or abuse. The cam is installed within the common household stuff or built in various objects.

The main difference between this item and other ones is that it comes already pre-hidden. You are basically buying it with the item where it is secretly placed. They are usually wireless devices and can be positioned wherever you want them to be. It is a good ready-to-go item.

2. Miniature Devices

Miniaturized cams are really small (8*11 mm) and affordable. Their price starts at $6 USD. You can use them to take photos.

Professional spy cameras are used in reality shows to catch the participants in absurd or unusual situations. Do you like Hhidden cameras shows? They are very popular nowadays among the viewers of all ages and professions.

3. Office and Professional Devices

Concealed cameras for office or other workplace types can be installed in a smoke detector or a light bulb to provide a wide field of view on the area. They are constructed to blend in the office space, public waiting rooms, and hallways.

They are quite small and provide a wide viewing angle, commonly about 120-170 degrees. The night-vision mode helps to record everything even in the no-light conditions.

4. Car Cameras

Secret cameras for cars are sold at a very reasonable price, starting from $5 USD. They are programmed to turn on when you start your car to film everything while you’re driving. It is convenient if the car is used by several family members.

5. Outdoor Hidden Cameras

The outdoor hidden recorders are necessary for the protection of your property. In fact, some damage can be done not only by the human intruders but also by the animal ones. So it’s a good idea to use the cameras with the night-mode feature or devices which also perform well in the low-light conditions.

6. Cameras that Are Worn on the Body

Undisclosed cameras designed to be worn on the body are not as common as other types. Nevertheless, they are reliable high-tech items. If you need to shoot something from your visual perspective, these cameras are the best option for you!

They are constructed specifically to perform this function. They are usually wireless, operated by the batteries and really simple to use.

Best Hidden Camera in Each Category (Summary)

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LIZVIE WiFi Network Hidden Spy Charging Dock

LIZVIE WiFi Network Hidden Spy Charging Dock

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Wi-Fi Electrical Wall Outlet Spy Hidden Camera

Wi-Fi Electrical Wall Outlet Spy Hidden Camera

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32GB Hidden Camera Power Bank

32GB Hidden Camera Power Bank

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KJB Security C100C Book Camera Color Hardwired

KJB Security C100C Book Camera Color Hardwired

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【2018 Upgraded Version】 HD 1080P Clock WIFI Hidden Camera

【2018 Upgraded Version】 HD 1080P Clock WIFI Hidden Camera

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GSmade Spy camera with 32GB GSmade Full HD 2K Spy Pen

GSmade Spy camera with 32GB GSmade Full HD 2K Spy Pen

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Daretang 1080p Super Hidden Night Vision Wifi Spy Clothes Hook Camera

Daretang 1080p Super Hidden Night Vision Wifi Spy Clothes Hook Camera

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Antaivision 960P Wifi Wireless IP Bulb Hidden Camera with Fisheye Lens 360°

Antaivision 960P Wifi Wireless IP Bulb Hidden Camera with Fisheye Lens 360°

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Home Hidden Camera Conbrov T10 720P Photo Frame

Home Hidden Camera Conbrov T10 720P Photo Frame

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Spy Tec AEON SC - 720p HD POE Mini Pinhole IP Camera

Spy Tec AEON SC – 720p HD POE Mini Pinhole IP Camera

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Wireless Security Camera, UOKOO 1080P 2 Megapixel HD Home WiFi Wireless Security Surveillance Camera

Wireless Security Camera, UOKOO 1080P 2 Megapixel HD Home WiFi Wireless Security Surveillance Camera

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Hidden Spy Camera - iogo Pro 1080P Cam Perfect Indoor Security Surveillance Camera for Home

Hidden Spy Camera – iogo Pro 1080P Cam Perfect Indoor Security Surveillance Camera for Home

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Littleadd Hidden Camera Detector 1080P HD Spy Camera

Littleadd Hidden Camera Detector 1080P HD Spy Camera

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AOBO 1080P Mini Spy Camera -  Home Office and Car Surveillance

AOBO 1080P Mini Spy Camera – Home Office and Car Surveillance

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Y-cam Wireless Security IP Camera

Y-cam Wireless Security IP Camera

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Safety Technology International, Inc. - HIGH END 1080p HD HIDDEN CAMERA SUNGLASSES

Safety Technology International, Inc. – HIGH END 1080p HD HIDDEN CAMERA SUNGLASSES

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Design of Hidden Cameras

All recording devices come in various designs. Need a specific hidden camera type? No problem! There are different types of cameras as far as their construction goes. There are wiring and wireless devices, as well as life-streaming and night vision-mode featuring ones. They can be AC-powered or might include batteries.

They serve different purposes and you can pick the right one according to your specific needs. In terms of design, the cams are:

  • plug and play;
  • battery-operated;
  • wireless;
  • wired;
  • IP cameras;
  • still-shot cams.

1. Plug and Play

These items are produced for immediate use. Additionally, the cams are portable or designed for office/home use. The main advantage of the pre-hidden plug and play cameras is that they blend into the environment easily.

You just need to decide what room you are going to put the cam. Just think what everyday item won’t attract unwanted attention, and put your small item there!

2. Battery-Operated

The battery-operated cameras are more flexible in terms of the placement. They are compact and can be concealed literally anywhere in your house. But you should always remember to change your batteries.

Some batteries can work for several hours, while other ones can work for a year. So take the battery life into consideration when picking a wireless device.

There are different options helping to prolong the battery life. For example, there are motion-activated cameras. They will start shooting, only if the movement was detected.

There is a more sophisticated possibility to control camera’s work. Consider body heat-activated devices! They will work only in the presence of a human being which changes the room temperature range by the body heat. You will film only the essential movements and presences, minimizing the memory usage.

3. Wireless

Miniature wireless devices can be both batteries-powered or plugged right into the wall. As it is stated in the design type, they require no wiring.

The compact size makes them portable and invisible to an untrained human eye. The majority of wireless items come pre-hidden.

4. Wired

The main advantage of the wired cameras is that you don’t have to worry about the batteries running out. They are AC-powered and always ready to film. But this advantage comes with a flaw – they are restricted in terms of placement.

Wired cameras are practical and durable, but the wiring limits the number of places you can plug them in.
To my knowledge, wired devices are the most reliable ones, and they work better with the motion activation feature than wireless devices.

5. IP Cameras

IP motion activated camera has several similar features to the wireless ones. They are mostly pre-hidden in one of the everyday items not to draw extra attention, and they require no wiring.

But the difference is that the signal from such device is sent through the electrical system of the house to the receiver plugged near your computer and connected to its USB port.

This functionality gives you an opportunity to watch and save the video on your personal computer! You can remotely connect to it and see what happens on the monitored territory from any place of the world as far as you have access to the Internet.

It is a good solution for the people who travel a lot. The IP cameras use special software which should be installed on your computer. Also, you can use those as a night vision spy camera.

Of course, if someone else uses your computer, this person will notice your special software. And the PC itself should be always connected to the Internet to stream the footage.

6. Still-Shot Devices

Still-shot cameras are commonly motion-activated. They make several shots when the action is noticed. You may change the number of pictures taken every second by the device. This item needs no wiring and saves the images in the internal memory slot.

Functionality Options

Regarding the functional use of the device, there are several options you might want to consider:

  • quality of the video;
  • SD-card memory capacity;
  • Wi-Fi streaming capability;
  • low-light filming conditions;
  • night-vision mode.

1. Video Quality

The level of the video performance is very important because you want to have a clear image of what is going on. Some intruders on the private property can be only visible on the high-resolution video.

The majority of the undisclosed cams provide the superb video filming, but the capabilities may vary from item to item. There are three terms describing the video quality – high quality, high resolution and high definition.

The best hidden cameras ensure HD video recording. The higher the quality of the video, the more memory space it takes. So if you want to shoot a full-HD video, make sure that SD-card has enough memory.

For a sharp and clear image, the device should have a great optics. Therefore, it can provide the good dark/light contrast and accurate color presentation.

Another essential feature of the device which increases the quality of an image despite the light conditions is high-dynamic-range imaging (HDRI), also known as WDR (wide dynamic range). According to Wikipedia, this technique helps to provide a greater dynamic range of luminosity.

This means that light transition of the optic is a lot like our visual system. It balances the contrast of light and shadow and provides clear video in the low-light conditions.

2. Memory Capacity

There are two possibilities when it comes to saving the video shot by the concealed device. It can be stored on the included SD-card or transmitted directly to the computer.

The self-recording cameras which are also called all-in-one cameras are standalone items. They save a video to the internal memory of the item or to the removable SD-card, therefore, their memory capacity is limited. The basic SD-memory cards capacity is from 2GB up to 32GB.

There are SD-cards which provide more storage memory, but the amount of the footage that can be stored varies depending on the video quality.

If the memory is full, the camera will write the new video over the old one. That means that if you won’t save it on the computer, the footage will be lost. To watch the footage, you will have to plug these cameras into the computer.

There is a software that might be downloaded and installed together with the motion-activated devices which will inform you about the intruders with a push-up message. It is a great alarming security system.

3. Wi-Fi Streaming Devices

Another option is a Wi-Fi-streaming camera. Those are usually wireless devices and require no special tools for installation. They stream the video live and provide the possibility to watch the footage remotely via the Internet. The video is stored on your computer, so the memory capacity is larger than on the SD-card.

The main advantage of this type of recording is that you can witness what’s happening around your house or office space right now. But these cameras do require a good broadband Internet connection.

4. Low-Light Filming Conditions

A crucial factor influencing the quality of the picture is the light. Almost all cameras are good during the daytime or in the bright light indoor conditions. The game changes, when it comes to the low-light conditions. The camera’s low-light sensitivity increases with the digital day/night feature.

If you are interested in filming in low-light conditions, you should pick the device with the low “lux” rating.
Lux is the metric unit for measuring the amount of light that falls on an object. A low lux rating means that the camera performs well in the low-light conditions.

The lux rating 2 is enough to get a good image in the dimly lit spaces.

Different brands can provide a different image quality in the low-light conditions even with the same lux rating because the quality of the picture taken is subjectively marked by the manufacturer. It is always better to test the camera yourself to be sure that the picture you get is exactly what you want.

5. Night-Vision Mode

The night vision mode is another feature of a hidden camera. The items with this capability are usually more expensive because they require a sophisticated optic to picture the image without any outside light.

The devices that are capable to provide a high-quality image at night feature Smart IR or built-in IR LED lights. They provide a clear detailed image, necessary for the night surveillance.

Conclusion

Nowadays, there is a wide variety of spy cam devices. They are high-resolution, lightweight, convenient and affordable. Additionally, it is usually legal to use them.

However, please note that security cameras are subject to some legal issues. According to US code, audio recording in a surreptitious manner is prohibited in 13 states out of 50. Therefore, sometimes even the best hidden cameras for home come without audio recording capability.

Before buying an undisclosed device with the sound recording feature you need to check whether it is legal according to your State policy.

Surveillance cameras market provides a plethora of functional high-technology devices. There are so many options that you can easily pick the right one. The best hidden camera is lightweight, compact and features good optic to make a high-definition video.

The motion-activated cameras are efficient in saving the battery life and filming only the essential incidents. So select the preferable type and buy the best hidden camera according to your preferences.

Whether you want to secure your house, protect your family members, pets or property, a hidden camera is a perfect device for you. This is a compact item which blends into the environment and draws no unwanted attention.

I hope that this article was informative and interesting for you. Please feel free to leave the comments and questions below. Let me know which hidden camera type you liked most! Which cam type you consider to be the coolest?