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How to Choose the Best Mini Spy Camera


JUN 13

Choosing a Mini Spy Camera

How to Choose the Best Mini Spy Camera

When looking for a mini spy camera, there are many choices to choose from. At SpygearGadgets we’ve tried to take some of the guesswork out of picking a spy camera, and provide as much information as possible about each camera we offer. We include detailed product descriptions, product videos, specifications for each camera detailing its capabilities, as well as a list of frequently asked questions.

Of course you may still have questions about a specific product, or mini spy cameras in general, so we’ll do our best here to cover some of the most common aspects, and if you still have any questions, our product experts are available Monday through Friday to answer any questions you may have.

Choosing a Power Type: AC or Battery Power

When picking out a mini spy camera or nanny cam, one of the first things you should consider is how the camera is going to be powered. After all, if there’s no power outlet nearby, an AC powered hidden camera isn’t going to get the job done. And if you’re looking for 24/7 surveillance for your office, a battery powered device probably isn’t going to be your best bet.

AC powered mini spy cameras are devices that plug into a standard wall outlet, or you could plug them into an extension cord or surge protector too. This includes devices like USB wall chargers, which are becoming an increasingly popular camera style. Since they are AC powered, they get continuous power from the wall outlet, allowing them to run around the clock with no battery to worry about. This makes AC powered spy cameras an ideal choice for long term surveillance or for video monitoring where you have an outlet handy.

Battery powered mini spy cams on the other hand operate by running on an internal rechargeable battery. This makes them extremely portable, since you can place them almost anywhere since you aren’t tied down by a power cord. Since there are no cords, you can even use a body worn camera, or place one in a vehicle too. Battery powered devices can go almost anywhere, with the one caveat being that depending on the size of the camera or battery, you’ll need to take into consideration how long the battery will last.

WiFi vs Self Recording

The next thing to consider is whether to choose a mini spy camera with WiFi capabilities, or to go with one that is self recording (aka non-WiFi).

This is an important decision, because how you view the video is much different between the two. For example, with a WiFi camera, they stream live video, so you can see what’s happening live or in real time. So if you want to monitor against breakins, or use as an after-hours security camera for your office, you’re probably going to want a WiFi hidden camera. Another consideration with this is that if you want a WiFi hidden camera for long term surveillance, be sure to get one that plugs into AC power.

A self-recording mini spy camera on the other hand (like our Motion Activated Wall Charger Camera) are devices that do not need WiFi, and simply record to a micro SD memory card or internal memory. This uses less power, so these can often be battery powered, but can be AC powered too, depending on the device. These are best for situations where you don’t need live video, you just want to see what happens, and have a copy to use for evidence or documentation purposes.

Choosing a Camera Design

Another thing to consider when picking out a mini spy camera is what form factor or design you think would fit best for your particular situation. For example, some of the most popular hidden cameras and nanny cams are designed to look like clocks or wall chargers. This is because those two items are so common, that they blend in almost anywhere you might need them. Whether it’s a living room, kitchen, home office or den, or a warehouse or stock room or executive’s office, wall chargers and clocks can be found almost anywhere.

There is one other design that’s really popular, which is our DIY camera kit. This pinhole kit is extremely small - the pinhole camera is only about 1/4 of an inch, so you can hide it yourself someone. Some people build the DIY kit into objects like a tissue box, or some just hide it on a shelf or in a vent. The possibilities are endless!

And finally there’s our black box hidden cameras. These devices hide in plain sight, since they look just like a regular piece of electronics equipment, perfect to “hide” right by your cable box or router. And with both WiFi and self recording versions, you can pick the black box mini spy camera that works for your particular video surveillance needs.


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