Best Hidden Cameras – 2018 Recommendations

Picking a hidden camera is not easy, is it? There are a ton of brands and models to choose from and no easy way to tell them apart. So we created a quick and easy guide to help you choose the best hidden camera for your needs!

Please note that our hidden camera recommendations below are only for the purpose of complementing your existing CCTV camera setup, and not for illegal or unethical purposes. While visible CCTV cameras are a great deterrent for the outside of your home, you may want discreet hidden cameras inside your home to capture the identities of burglars should the worst happen. Strategically placing hidden cameras outside your home to cover the visible security cameras is also a great idea in case burglars attack the more prominent cameras first.


What to look for in a hidden camera

Size of the camera

Perhaps the most important factor in choosing a hidden camera is its size. This depends on whether you want to hide the camera or leave it in plain sight because it is already disguised as an everyday object. The larger models tend to have more features.

Video resolution

You should look for 1080p or 2 Megapixel resolution but 720p may be acceptable if your target scene is not too far away from the camera.

SD Card recording

Virtually all hidden cameras have this feature. Just pop in a microSD card and the camera will record video and audio clips to it. Cameras usually let you choose between recording motion detection clips or continuous recording by overwriting old clips (called loop recording).

Motion-activated recording

This is a great feature which conserves both storage space on your SD card and battery life. PIR based motion detection is preferable because it leads to fewer false alerts/recordings than software based detection.

24/7 Recording

Also called loop recording, most hidden cameras can overwrite older clips when the SD card gets full. So the camera will never run out of storage space. The downside is you will have to access the camera frequently to copy off clips before they get overwritten.

Night vision

Infrared LEDs are used to provide true night vision. This is an essential feature that most hidden cameras have. What varies a lot is the range of the LEDs and how bright they get.

Audio support

Note that in some countries it is illegal to record audio without permission and so you may find cameras compliant with local law will not record audio. Make sure you do not break any local laws or regulations while using hidden cameras.

Battery life

Obviously, the larger the battery energy storage capacity expressed in mAh (milli Amp-hour), the longer it is going to last. Motion detection mode has lower power consumption than continuous recording. Disabling night vision will also lengthen battery life.

AC power support

However good the battery is, your hidden camera is not going to last forever. More so if you are placing it outside your home or in the garden where battery life will be negatively affected by low temperatures. That’s why its great if the camera can run on AC power and charge its battery while operating.

Wireless/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth

If you want to live-stream the camera video, you need to get a camera with Wi-Fi support. Bluetooth is usually used only for connecting a smartphone to a camera that has a bluetooth speaker, not to live stream or access recorded clips.

Live Streaming

This is a very useful feature whereby you can view the camera video feed in real time. While setting up the camera, its good to see what the camera is aimed at. If you want to remotely access the camera video feed, once again look for this feature.

Weather-proofing

If your camera is going to spend any time outside the home, make sure it is rated for weather and rain. IP65 is my preferred rating but anything better is great.

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Best Hidden Wireless Cameras with Audio, Motion Detection and Night Vision

These cameras are great multi-purpose hidden cameras and can also be used as nanny spy cameras.

Wireless Hidden Camera Clock: Daretang Clock Camera (MM-01)

Features

  • 1080p resolution
  • Night vision with true IR-cut filter
  • Upto 64GB SD card storage, loop recording
  • Motion detection
  • 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Microphone
  • 2000 mAh rechargeable battery

The hidden camera market is filled with hundreds of products from dubious sounding Chinese manufacturers. A few names stand out though, not least because I have seen them survive in a cut-throat market and not disappear soon after they launched. Daretang is one of those companies.

Daretang is based out of Shenzen in China and was founded in 2006. They have a website where you can learn more about their product range.

The Daretang MM-01 is a 1080p digital video camera hidden inside a functional desk clock. It tells the time in a blue font and does a very good job of looking like an ordinary desk clock. Very close inspection can reveal the lens located to the left of the display, but you can tell only if you know where to look.

This hidden camera has a ton of features. Load it up with a microSD card and it can record video clips onto it. If the card gets full, it will over-write the oldest clips. Clips can either be recorded 24/7 (loop recording) or whenever the camera detects motion. There is no PIR sensor, so motion detection is software-based.

Night vision is standard with the built-in Infrared LEDs. It also has a very sensitive microphone which you can disable using the mobile app. Yes, there is a mobile app because this camera supports Wi-Fi! So you can connect to this camera anytime and live-stream or access recorded clips. Two mobile apps are supported – P2PLiveCam and iMiniCam. You can also add multiple cameras to the app and view them simultaneously like with an NVR! Pretty neat. The app can also send push notifications in real-time using P2P.

Power is provided through a standard 5V USB port, but there is a generously sized 2000 mAh battery that can provide backup power for up to 5 hours. But we suggest keeping it plugged in as much as possible.

Here’s a helpful video that walks you through setup and usage of the hidden camera.

爱剪辑 WH33 Sunsome

What are the down-sides of this camera? There is no RTSP or ONVIF support, so you wont be able to connect it to an NVR, Blue Iris, Synology or QNAP NAS Surveillance Station. As mentioned earlier, a PIR would have been nice for minimizing false alerts.

PROS:
  • Great video quality with 1080p sensor
  • IR LEDs provide night vision
  • Can be charged while recording
  • Wi-Fi enables live streaming
  • Mobile app available
  • 5 hour battery life
  • On-board microphone
  • Very good value for money

CONS:
  • No PIR sensor for true motion detection
  • No ONVIF or RTSP support
  • Cannot be integrated with home automation systems

Check Price on Amazon

Wireless Hidden Desk Lamp Camera

Features

  • 1080p resolution
  • Night vision Infrared lamps
  • Upto 64GB SD card storage
  • Motion detection
  • 2-way audio
  • 3000 mAh rechargeable battery


This hidden camera comes in the shape of a functional multi-colour desk lamp, so you can leave it in plain sight.
PROS:
  • 1080p sensor
  • Infrared LEDS provide night vision, true IR-cut filter
  • AC power or built-in battery
  • Audio recording with 2-way talk
  • SD card slot, built-in siren

CONS:
  • Low light video grainy at 1080p
  • No pre-record feature
  • No RTSP support
  • No PIR sensor for motion detection
  • Cannot be integrated with home automation systems

Check Price on Amazon

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Best Hidden Cameras with Night Vision

Best Cube Hidden Camera: Conbrov T33

Review - Conbrov T33 - 1080p Portable Hidden Spy Camera - Back View
Features

  • 1080p resolution
  • Night vision with true IR-cut filter
  • Upto 32GB SD card storage, loop recording
  • PIR-based motion detection
  • Microphone
  • 1000 mAh rechargeable battery


Conbrov is a Chinese camera manufacturer founded in 2005. Their diverse camera catalogue can be seen on their website.

The Conbrov T33 is a very small 1080p digital video camera that makes no effort to hide its true nature. As we noted in our detailed hands-on review, the camera is a cube with a prominent lens on one side. This is a camera that you will need to well and truly hide!

There’s no wireless connection on offer here, so the only way you can record and view clips is using an SD card. The T33 is designed for quick deployment as evidence by the two dedicated buttons for activation loop recording or motion detection.

This impressive camera packs in not just Infrared LEDs for night vision, but also a PIR sensor for true heat-based motion detection.

Power is as usual provided through a standard 5V USB port, but there is a also an amazing 1000 mAh battery on board.

Since there is no wireless connection or Ethernet port on this camera, there is no mobile app, RTSP, or ONVIF support here. This camera is purpose-built for hiding inside an object and then being left alone to do its thing.

PROS:
  • 1080p sensor
  • Infrared LEDS provide night vision, true IR-cut filter
  • PIR sensor for accurate motion detection
  • AC power or built-in battery
  • Audio recording
  • SD card slot

CONS:
    Low light video grainy at 1080p

  • No pre-record feature
  • No RTSP support
  • Build quality decent but could be better
  • Cannot be integrated with home automation systems

Check Price on Amazon

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Best Tiny Hidden Camera

Best Tiny Hidden Camera: Fuvision Mini Hidden Camera

Features

  • 1.6×0.9×0.6 inches
  • 1080p resolution
  • Upto 64GB SD card storage
  • Motion detection
  • Rechargeable battery with 90 minutes runtime


This hidden camera is the tiniest one we have found so far. The compact size doesn’t mean the camera compromises on quality as it sports a 1080p FUll HD sensor and a battery with 90 minutes of runtime. It can take an SD card of up to 64GB and all the frequent settings such as resolution (1080p/720p), motion detection or continuous recording are available via physical buttons.
PROS:
  • 1080p sensor
  • 66 degrees field of view
  • Built-in battery with 90 minutes life
  • SD card slot and microphone

CONS:
  • No night vision
  • No pre-record feature
  • No PIR sensor for motion detection
  • Cannot be integrated with home automation systems

Check Price on Amazon

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Best Hidden Cameras with Wi-Fi Hotspot

Best Hidden Camera with Wi-Fi Hotspot: USB Charger Camera

Features

  • 1.9×1.9×1.2 inches
  • 1080p resolution
  • Upto 64GB SD card storage
  • Motion detection
  • Ac plug-in type camera


If you want to avoid physically accessing your hidden camera once it has been installed and there is no Wi-Fi signal at the installation point, get a camera with the Wi-Fi hotspot function. This hidden camera is disguised as a regular phone charger that plugs into a wall socket. Yes, it can actually charge a phone or mobile device while recording video clips!

You can use the camera in three ways:

  • Connect the camera to your Wi-Fi router
  • Connect to the camera’s built-in hotspot
  • Record clips to an SD card
PROS:
  • 1080p sensor
  • Can charge a mobile device while recording
  • SD card slot and microphone
  • Wi-Fi hotspot feature
  • Time/date stamp

CONS:
  • No battery backup
  • No night vision
  • No pre-record feature
  • No PIR sensor for motion detection
  • Cannot be integrated with home automation systems

Check Price on Amazon

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Best Outdoor Hidden Security Cameras

Features - Reolink Argus 2

  • Sony Starlight sensor with 1080p resolution
  • Upto 64GB SD card storage
  • PIR motion detection
  • Rechargeable battery with 4-6 months life
  • 2-way audio with built-in speaker & mic


We reviewed the original Argus outdoor camera last year and really liked its design, features and impressive performance. The updated version named the Argus 2 swaps out the CR123A batteries for a rechargeable Samsung battery back with a humongous 5200 mAh capacity. Battery life on the older Argus was good but with the new battery pack, it will be phenomenal. You can also add a solar panel to keep the battery topped up.

The camera has a very good 130 degree field of view and a 1/2.8″ Sony Starlight sensor. These are high grade parts and sets the Argus on a different level compared to most other portable cameras on the market. Motion detection is PIR based and is very good even at night-time. 2-way audio is supported with the built-in speaker and microphone. Of course, this is a outdoor camera and is IP65 rated.

Setting up the camera is a doddle and Wi-Fi support means that you can live-stream as well as access recorded clips remotely through the mobile app.

PROS:
  • 1080p resolution
  • Easy to set up with voice guide
  • IP65 weatherproof and waterproof
  • SD card slot and 2-way audio
  • Does not require a cloud subscription

CONS:
  • No pre-record feature
  • Default motion record duration is short
  • No RTSP or ONVIF support
  • Cannot be integrated with home automation systems

Check Price on Amazon

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Best 4G LTE Cellular Hidden Camera

Reolink Go - VueVille
Features

  • Sony Starlight sensor with 1080p resolution
  • 4G LTE cellular support
  • Upto 64GB SD card storage
  • PIR motion detection
  • Rechargeable battery with 2 months life
  • 2-way audio with built-in speaker & mic


What if you need to install a hidden camera that has to be 100% self-sufficient and cannot be connected to Wi-Fi? That’s where the new Reolink Go is the best choice. This battery powered waterproof camera has a 4G LTE radio that lets it work anywhere there is an LTE signal.

It shares most of its hardware features with the Reolink Argus 2, but has a beefier 7800 mAh battery to power its cellular radios. The battery should last 2 months or 500 minutes of live-view or PIR motion recording.

PROS:
  • 1080p resolution
  • 4G LTE support makes it truly portable
  • IP65 waterproof rating
  • SD card slot and 2-way audio
  • Does not require a cloud subscription

CONS:
  • No pre-record feature
  • Default motion record duration is short
  • No RTSP or ONVIF support
  • Cannot be integrated with home automation systems

Check Price on Reolink.com

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Best Hidden Cameras with Bluetooth

Features

  • 1080p resolution
  • Upto 128GB SD card storage
  • Motion detection
  • Li-ion battery
  • Bluetooth support for music streaming
  • Wi-Fi for accessing camera stream


Want a bluetooth speaker and a hidden camera? Great idea and great execution in this product which has a virtually invisible camera hidden inside a fully functioning bluetooth speaker!
PROS:
  • 1080p resolution
  • Can record as well as stream music simultaneously
  • SD card slot and 2-way audio

CONS:
  • No pre-record feature
  • Battery not rechargeable
  • No RTSP or ONVIF support
  • Cannot be integrated with home automation systems

Check Price on Amazon

Best Hidden Camera with Bluetooth speaker, clock and FM radio: Panoraxy 4-in-1

Features

  • 3 inch cube
  • 720p resolution
  • Upto 128GB SD card storage
  • Motion detection with powerful night vision IR LEDs
  • Li-ion battery
  • Bluetooth support for music streaming
  • Standard FM radio built-in
  • Wi-Fi for accessing camera stream


Its not easy to find a multi-purpose hidden camera that can also do double duty as your FM radio. This 3 inch cube is a mini marvel packing in an invisible camera, night vision, a Bluetooth speaker, digital clock and FM radio. It supports loop recording and motion detection. The camera is AC powered but includes a rechargeable battery for when the power goes down. You can disable the digital clock.

The f=3.6mm camera lens has a 75 degrees field of view. The Infrared LEDs are quite powerful with a range of 28 feet. The clock has an alarm feature in case you were wondering and this is how you access it: make sure the clock is in 24 hour mode, then press the UP button for 3 seconds until it starts flashing the alarm set time.

Our only major gripe is that the reset button is used as both a reset button and ‘choose function’ button, which can be confusing. 1080p resolution would have been great but 720p does the job and comes with the bonus of better night-time video quality.

PROS:
  • Compact multi-purpose hidden camera with 3W speaker
  • Can record as well as stream music simultaneously
  • SD card slot supports up to 128GB cards
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Push notifications

CONS:
  • 720p resolution
  • No pre-record feature
  • No RTSP or ONVIF support
  • No audio recording
  • Cannot be integrated with home automation systems

Check Price on Amazon

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Best Hidden Cameras with Long-life battery

Camera hidden as a book: Conbrov DV9

Review Conbrov DV9 1080P Portable Hidden Spy Camera Book - Inside
Features

  • 1080p resolution
  • Upto 64GB SD card storage
  • Motion detection with night vision IR LEDs
  • 10,000 mAh Li-ion battery


The DV9 is designed for remaining hidden for extended periods of time thanks to its massive 10,000 mAh battery and low power requirements. We reviewed this hidden camera in-depth and found a very reliable, well-built camera with a long-lasting battery. This camera has a 2 year standby period when fully charged and in PIR motion detection mode!

The laser focus on keeping power consumption down means there is no wireless capability and so no mobile apps.

PROS:
  • Great 1080p video quality
  • Records audio
  • Night vision IR LED
  • PIR motion sensor
  • Very good user manual

CONS:
  • No Wi-Fi or live stream
  • No IR cut filter, causing false colour at daytime
  • No video or audio settings
  • Cannot be charged while in recording mode
  • Cannot be integrated with home automation systems

Check Price on Amazon

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Conclusion

There is a hidden camera for every situation under the sun. We hope this guide has been useful in selecting your hidden camera. Let us know what you think – what or who have you caught using your hidden cameras?

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