As covered in many of our other articles, the key to obtaining the ideal spy camera is first to have a think about what you intend to do with it.
Once you know this the path is a lot easier.
But what should you buy once you have decided on the type of camera you want?
To help with this, we have compiled a list of the best spy cameras ordered by their purpose.
All Round Best Spy Cam
This is for those who don’t have a clear idea of what they need and want a Spy Cam that can deal with anything.
This is the camera I recommend when I get a blank look to any of my questions.
Regardless of what you want, this will do the job.
Winner:- FREDI Hidden Camera 1080P HD Mini Spy Camera
What we liked
- All weather resilience.
- Great high-quality 1080p Resolution.
- Full Cloud integration – Both Google and DropBox.
- Good easy to use Android and Apple Apps.
- Can be used for home security and a nanny cam. Also can be used as a body cam so very versatile.
- 140°super wide view angle.
- One of the best Night Vision IR Cameras. This has10pcs LED around the lens which is invisible and very covert. Has a night vision range up to 16 feet.
- Solid 1600mah Battery.Up to 5 hours recording and night vision video up to 4 hours.
Best Nanny Cam
The best nanny camera should have great motion detection and night vision.
Both are essential for keeping an eye on your loved ones.
What separates the mediocre from the excellent is the option to re-purpose the camera once the little ones grow up.
This one can easily be used as a very effective indoor security camera.
Winner:- Victure 1080P FHD WiFi IP Camera Wireless Nanny Cam
What we liked
- Very Strong encryption technology with micro SD card integration ensures that the pictures are 100% private and cannot be hacked.
- Easy to use iOS & Android app.
- Great Night Vision – 1080P – 10 pcs 850nm IR LEDs technology allows viewing distance up to 30 feet in pitch dark.
- Horizontal and vertical rotation range enables 360°panoramic viewing so no blind zone spot.
- Two-way Audio – built-in 38dB microphone & speaker and anti-noise technology.
Best Outdoor Security Camera
A lot of people will be surprised by this addition for one reason, it’s expensive.
I appreciate that but will reinforce what a great camera this is and if you have the money it’s worth every penny.
The physical camera does everything you need and has a great build quality but that isn’t why it’s won the title…..
It’s the app.
Most of your time engaging with the camera is via the app and the design and functionality of that app can make all the difference.
The hands-down winner for the app is Nest.
Winner:- Nest Cam Outdoor security camera
What we liked
- Full 24/7 live video.
- The wide-angle lens allows you to view a WIDE range in 1080p HD, day and night.
- Very impressive Operating temperature. Can operate at minus 20 degree Celsius to 40 degree Celsius.
- Full app integration – Receive a phone alert or email when nest cam detects activity.
- Two-way communication – for example, you can tell the postman to leave the parcel by the door.
- Night vision is great with 8 high-quality infrared LEDs.
- Works with Alexa so can be integrated into the ‘automated home’.
Best Dash Cam
If you look at the specs of this Dash Cam it seems to have all the usual features.
It does….but what makes this best of breed is the quality of everything it does.
If you have ever owned one of the cheaper dash cams you will know from experience that although it has G-sensor and GPS recording it can be very hit and miss.
Not with the Garmin as it does everything flawlessly.
The camera is one of the best I have seen and again crucially the app is great.
No more unmounting SD cards and trying to get working with your laptop, this seamlessly downloads to your smartphone.
Winner:- Garmin Dash Cam 55 1440p GPS Camera with Voice Control
What we liked
- Super Small Dash Cam with high-quality 3.7 MP camera with 1440p video.
- Very Clever Safety camera features including alerts such as lane departure warnings.
- The best version of G-sensor (which saves video footage during a significant event rather than always on).
- GPS records location and direction along with speed, date and time.
- Voice command allows you to perform a host of actions while not taking your hand off the wheel.
- One of the best secure magnetic mounts.
- Great app (VIRB Mobile app ) which allows you to downloaded video and images to your smartphone.
Best Wildlife Spy Cam
An often overlooked sub-genre of spy cameras but one that is becoming increasingly popular.
Speaking to wildlife enthusiasts such as twitchers (bird watchers) these spy cameras include functions which set them apart from the traditional spy cameras.
It is this additional features which really impressed me with the Apeman and hence the mention.
The range of detection and the speed of the camera means that unlike a security camera this will capture birds and even the quickest wildlife such as rabbits and deer.
Winner:- Apeman 12MP 1080P Trail Wildlife Camera Trap
What we liked
- Boosts a Fantastic camera which captures 12 MP crystal clear images and video with super clear sound recording.
- Lots of Multi-shot modes. The best mode is capable of 3 photos per detection.
- Hunting-specific 940nm Invisible Infrared Technology. This device also has an incredible 26 LEDs to ensure everything is captured.
- Trigger distance is perfect for Wildlife and beats anything I have seen before with a range of up to 20m (65ft).
- Very sturdy and has an IP66 Waterproof certification.
- All housed in a very tough Camouflage case which can work in any environment including deserts and tropical rain forests.
- Has wildlife specific mounting and threaded tripod so this can be installed in the wildlife and be free from tampering or theft.
- Impressive Fast Trigger Speed of less than 0.5 seconds which ensures that each detected movement is captured quickly and accurately.
- The camera in standby mode can last up to 6 months so no need to constantly attend.
- The pure range of functions available such as time stamps which include Moon Phase/Pressure/Temperature.
Best Watch Spy Cam
Unlike the previous sub-genre, this is a well-known category with a lot of various companies vying for the title of best of breed.
I would say that unlike security cameras these don’t tend to be made by huge companies such as nest.
Instead, the spy watch camera market is dominated by smaller companies often hailing from China.
This tends to produce a massive discrepancy in the quality of watch spy cameras.
My personal favourite is the Flylink.
There are lots of Spy Watch Cams that do more but none have this build quality and reliability.
Winner:- Flylink 8GB Hidden Colour Spy Pinhole Watch
What we liked
- Good Camera with a host of recording options.
- Can be used as a USB flash drive.
- Build quality and really liked the design of the actual watch.
- Good Customer Service.
- Long battery life – over 4 hours continuous recording.
- Good Night vision so everything is captured.
Best Pen Spy Cam
Keeping on the subject of convert hidden cameras the best pen spy camera again offers a huge range with a lot of different designs featuring in the market.
My viewpoint on this is don’t try to fix what isn’t broken. The original designs have been around for a long time for one reason…….they work.
The latest designs look like a pen even when removed from the pocket which is clever but also means that all that technology has to be squeezed into a tiny space.
This results in unreliable technology.
Personally, I think if its important enough that you want to capture it then you want to be 100% sure the technology won’t let you down.
The Portocam brand has the build quality and reliability you need plus all the best features.
Winner:- PORTOCAM Hidden Camera Pen Mini Body Camera
What we liked
- Great Battery – A 720mAh rechargeable battery which gives up to 5 hours continuous day recording or 2 hours night recording.
- Very simple to operate – Nothing gives away the game like fumbling around trying to initiate the recording. This is one of the simplest we have tested.
- Great Night camera – We found this camera although small did really produce some impressive night footage. It was 720P HD and crystal clear.
- Good Warranty – You need to be confident that if you have a 12-month warranty, the manufacturer will honour that, Portocam have great customer service.
Best Hidden Spy Cam for the House
I must admit, this one was very tricky. As the camera devices become smaller the number of objects that they can be fit into has exploded.
It seems there an now no limits where in the house spy cameras can be hidden So with all these clever designs why have I gone for the Alarm clock?
I think the design is a classic and unlike other hidden cameras, the SD Card can be easily accessed.
Also, this Alarm clock comes equipped with a battery so it can be moved and fitted anywhere.
Winner:- Aisoul Hidden Spy Camera Alarm Clock
What we liked
- This is a fully functioning alarm clock. This is great as it won’t arouse any suspicion.
- Unlike a lot of hidden spy cameras for the house, this isn’t activated by touching the device. Think of the scenario where just before the important conversation you start to fiddle with the smoke alarm or the alarm clock. It is certain to cause suspicion. This spy camera is all operated by remote control so everything is very covert.
- As this is a large device you would expect a good quality camera as the manufacturers don’t have to worry about size. The camera in this alarm clock exceeds expectations with exceptional 1280 x 1080p HD at 30 frames per second.
- On battery, this camera can record for an impressive 8 hours including night time recording. Once the battery is drained you can either recharge or simply switch to wired power.
- Something I never expected from a hidden spy camera, this can also be converted into a WebCam. Simply plug it into a PC and the software provided will use the Alarm clock camera to function as WebCam.
Best Small Spy Cam
With technology moving rapidly moving forward small spy cams are becoming more affordable.
However, one fact remains, when engineers try to miniaturise anything they must sacrifice something.
This is normally quality and functionality.
So although many small devices exist only a few stand out as quality products that we would recommend.
NIYPS is one of these devices and a stand out example of a great miniature spy camera.
Winner:- NIYPS Mini Spy Hidden Camera
What we liked
- Even within the sub-genre of small spy cams, this is SMALL. It’s only an incredible 0.87in, 0.7oz cube.
- Despite the incredibly small size it still has a great camera and has full 1920X1080P HD at 30 frames per second.
- Can also cope with low light situation thanks to its 4pcs IR led lights.
- Can support up to 32GB MicroSD card so can hold a lot of footage.
- All the functionality you would expect from bigger spy cameras such as motion detection and loop recording.
- Great 240mah rechargeable lithium battery means that it can record for up to 50 mins. Can also record while plugged in.
- Particularly liked the removable magnet. The magnet is mounted on the back of the camera so it can be attached to any metal device. Simple but great idea.
The pure volume of spy cameras on the market it truly outstanding with new cameras coming out seemingly every day.
However, the quality does vary massively and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the consumer to pick the diamonds in the rough.
I have tried to highlight some of the best cameras available in this article and to help steer the consumer towards the quality devices.
Regardless of what you intend to do with your new camera one of the cameras in this article will be able to deliver.