The 8 Best Hidden Cameras of 2022

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A hidden camera is an inconspicuous way to monitor your home and keep an eye on contractors, kids, or pets. “In a residential setting, I recommend that cameras be used to view the primary entrances to the home (front door, back door, etc.), as well as the major hallways and stairways,” says security expert Michael A. Silva, CPP, CSC, of Silva Consultants.

We researched dozens of small and discreet options, evaluating ease of installation and use, camera quality, and advanced features such as motion tracking and two-way audio. Our top pick, the Wyze Cam Pan v2 is compact and offers excellent range and smart features.

Here are the best hidden cameras to consider. 


Final Verdict

The Wyze Cam Pan v2 is our top pick for a discrete and practical indoor camera. It’s compact and packed with features, including 360-degree panning, full-color night vision, motion detection zones, and smart assistant compatibility. For something a little more budget-friendly, consider the Blink Mini Indoor Wi-Fi Security Camera, a small USB or plug-in model with a 110-degree field of view and many of the sought-after features on more expensive options.

The Spruce / Sage McHugh

Location

The location where you plan to use your hidden camera will determine the best product for your needs. Will you install it in your entryway, hallway, indoor staircase, or outside on your porch, patio, or walkway? Is wide-angle viewing necessary, or will a narrower image suffice?

When considering where you put a camera and what you want it to capture, consider whether you’ll place it on your wall, ceiling, or home exterior. You can position some options on a shelf, cabinet, or another surface. For plug-in models, make sure there’s an outlet nearby.

Video Quality

Another important consideration is the quality of the video. “Covert cameras often don’t provide the same quality of image that regular cameras do,” says security expert Michael A. Silva, CPP, CSC, of Silva Consultants. “This is because most covert cameras view through a very small hole that restricts the camera’s field of view and limits its light-gathering abilities.” You’ll want to look for a product with at least 720p (pixels) resolution, even better if it’s 1080p. Otherwise, you may not be able to make out the details in the footage.

Record Time

Some hidden cameras only capture motion-activated clips, while others record continuously with live viewing. Look into which method your camera uses and whether the video footage is stored on a memory card or uploaded to the cloud. If it goes to a memory card, most cameras rewrite over existing files once full, so make sure you check the footage regularly and store it elsewhere if needed.

Legal Considerations

Silva doesn’t typically recommend the use of covert (hidden) cameras in homes except under very special circumstances. “The only exception would be when there was a need to investigate a person who was misbehaving (such as an abusive babysitter or caregiver) and you wanted to gather evidence without the person being aware that they were being watched,” he explains. “However, this type of covert surveillance is fraught with legal liabilities and should only be done by a licensed investigator and/or under the advice of an attorney.”

The Spruce / Sage McHugh

FAQ

  • In residential settings, Silva recommends that cameras (whether hidden or not) only in primary entrances and walkways. This list includes areas like your front door, porch, entryway, foyer, mudroom, hallway, stairway, back door, patio, and driveway. With the exception of nurseries, placing them in bedrooms and other living areas isn’t recommended, as it’s a privacy concern.

  • The proper way to install a hidden camera depends on the model. Fully charge battery-powered cameras before attaching them to the ceiling, wall, or concealed within another object. With a plug-in device, you’ll probably need to place it on a shelf, cabinet, or another flat surface, though some can be attached to a wall. If your camera has an app component, download the app and connect to the device via Wi-Fi.

  • As Silva explains, the most covert devices have either tiny lenses or lenses that view through very small holes, which can affect the image quality. If you’re less concerned with getting high-def footage and prioritize a hidden design, go with a smaller device no more than 2 inches in size. However, if you want crystal-clear video and more features, like two-way talk, continuous viewing, and night vision, you may want to get something slightly larger.

Theresa Holland is a freelance commerce writer specializing in home improvement and consumer tech. For this roundup, she spoke with a home security and surveillance expert who offered insight into camera designs and legal/privacy considerations. She combed through user reviews, pored over product specs, and considered the key features, size, image quality, and price of a wide range of cameras before landing on her final picks. Theresa has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019, where she covers smart home gadgets, appliances, and organizational solutions.

Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas shared only for information purpose.

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