Hiding in Plain Sight: Top 10 Best Covert Spy Cameras

We've all see the multitude of hidden cameras in such things as teddy bears, wall clocks, plants, and my personal favorite the alarm clock spy camera but today I would like to focus on covert spy cameras that are both unique and resourceful. Not that these other types of cameras aren't clever but they are mostly used as "nanny cams" that are primarily used in your home.  

Teddy Bear CameraTeddy Bear Camera

Hidden Cameras in Common Household ItemsHidden Cameras in Common Household Items


There are so many reasons for a person to use covert cameras even if they are not in a professional line of work that requires them. For instance, custody battles: some parents need to film the exchanges to avoid wrongful allegations or to show the courts why they are asking to modify an existing order due to behavioral issues. Or, how about divorce? They get very messy and one might need to protect themselves... then there is always getting proof for the ‘grounds' behind requesting a divorce involving cheating, etc. So, without further delay, I'd like to jump right into my "Top 10 List of Covert Cameras".


Top Covert Spy Camera # 10 - Ultimate Covert Surveillance System

Ultimate Covert Surveillance SystemUltimate Covert Surveillance System

Spytrac has a very small camera that can literally be put anywhere called the Ultimate Covert Surveillance System. So, if a person wanted to place it in anything or virtually anywhere they wanted quickly, this would be the device to do it. The size is one of its best features. So for the portability of this tiny covert camera it deserves to be on the list.   (Update: This covert  spy camera is no longer available. Another ultimate covert camera may be this "smallest hidden spycam"  for less than $50. A bit larger, but with great reviews, this Micro Camcorder may also be a good spy camera option.)


Top 10 Covert Spy Cameras: # 9 - Micro Eyes

Micro Eyes DVR BallCamMicro Eyes DVR BallCam

This little guy has a large boast; it is the world's first micro camera in the shape of a ball. No wonder it is called the Eyeball Camera. Due to its size this covert Micro Eyes DVR Ball Cam is very portable but it will cost you around $300 or less. On the other hand it can be hidden pretty much anywhere you would possible need it to. (Update: This microball is no longer available.)

Top 10 Covert Spy Cameras: # 8 - World's Smallest Spy Camera

World's Smallest Color CameraWorld's Smallest Color Camera

Even smaller that the Eyeball Camera, there is the smallest video covert camera in the world today often called "The World's Smallest Cordless Spy Camera " . This covert camera was manufactured in Taiwan. The high resolution images are the best feature of this product even more so than the unique size. (Update: This covert camera is no longer available. This smallest hidden spycam and this button sized camera may be worth considering.)

Micro CameraMicro Camera


Top 10 Covert Spy Cameras: # 7 - Snake Cameras

Flexible CameraFlexible Camera

Snake cameras are still highly effective. What makes them so attractive is the fact that they can be utilized in the most versatile ways. If there is a crack, space under the door, or a hole in the wall, this tool comes in very handy. Plus they can be found pretty much anywhere that sells video cameras at an affordable price.

Snake CameraSnake Camera


Top 10 Covert Spy Cameras: # 6 - Baseball Cap Hidden Cam

Baseball Cap CamerasBaseball Cap Cameras

Now for the wearable items: One product that is very cool and that most would not suspect due to the fact that it is so common is the baseball cap. Everywhere you go a person can be seen wearing them and rarely they are paid much attention to. The covert camera cap is available here.


Top 10 Covert Spy Cameras: # 5 - Spy Video Pen

One of my personal favorites is the Covert Spy Video Pen. It records in color and unlike past creations, it is wireless. Also this particular device is a working pen so it can be used... all of these factors allow your cover to remain intact on your mission. The images are clear and there is no way it can be detected as a camera by the naked eye. There are cheaper ones on the market but this one gets good reviews.


Top 10 Covert Spy Cameras: # 4 - Watch Cams

James Bond eat your heart out! The watches are a spy movie icon. Wrist watches always have some degree of coolness to them in every great spy film. In this case this nice looking watch is a covert camera ready to film what you are experiencing. You can check out the latest selection of watch cameras here, including this nightvision waterproof camera watch.

Spy Watch CameraSpy Watch Camera


Top 10 Covert Spy Cameras: # 3 - Jean Jacket Cam

Jean Jacket CameraJean Jacket Camera

A Jean jacket can be worn in fall, winter and spring so a Jacket Cam is a very versatile approach to recording situations. Not only that but they are available in all sizes so your kids can wear them and you can see what happens at school, on visits with family members that you might not trust or when they leave the house to go out with friends.(Buy here.)

Top 10 Covert Spy Cameras: # 2 - Sunglasses

Camera SunglassesCamera Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a stylish way to secretly record situations, in person conversations, meetings and more. The newer models are very inconspicuous. Fashion is definitely not compromised when it comes to these covert cameras . There are a wide variety of styles and colors to choose from so they don't attract attention as if they stick out like a sore thumb. Usually the cost is between $20-$300 for this spy accessory. (Buy here)

Spy SunglassesSpy Sunglasses


Top 10 Covert Spy Cameras: # 1- Reverse Peephole Camera

Reverse Peephole CameraReverse Peephole Camera

The Reverse Peephole Camera is a revolutionary gadget. Imagine being able to knock on a door when you are being avoided only to see the person on the inside of the house react to your presence. There are of course a million reasons to own this covert camera. (Update: This covert camera is no longer available. This other peephole camera could be a good covert camera alternative.)

Excellent additional options now include a clock radio and a wall hook spy camera that get pretty decent reviews.  So get out there and be creative. With so many reasons to own one (or more) of these covert cameras, tell me, what would you do with them?

Tips On Hiding And Using A Hidden Camera To Spy 

1. Check To Make Sure You Are Not Breaking Any Laws.

Generally speaking, it is legal to use a hidden camera in your own home and also in public spaces. However, it is against the law in several states in the United States to install or use a hidden camera without proper authorization of the people being watched or recorded. In most of the states which prohibit or restrict the use of hidden cameras, it is a misdemeanor but in the states of Maine and Michigan, it is a felony. So be sure to check the laws of your state before you install and use one of these hidden cameras.

Also, make sure you are using your spy camera properly. Many states specifically prohibit the use of cameras in places where people would have a reasonable expectation for privacy like a bedroom or bathroom. If you are looking to hide a spy camera in a bathroom, you need to make sure you are doing it legally or you could find yourself paying for lawyers and facing jail time.  In addition, there are specific laws governing the audio recording of conversations that may differ from video recordings. So if you choose to use a hidden camera, make sure to check the laws in your state to make sure you stay out of trouble. (You can read further on this topic at RCFP.org or BrickHouseSecurity.com.)

2. Check That Your Hidden Camera Works For What You Want.

Once you find the spy camera that you want to use, you need to make sure to test it under the exact conditions that you would want your camera to record. So if you are going to capture video of someone entering a room at night, make sure your camera will work under those exact conditions and test to make sure it records the angle you want to cover.  Nothing is more tragic than getting a video of what you want to record and not being able to see it properly or not recording it from the right angle. So check and double check that what you are seeking to record, your spy camera is set up properly to record it.   Test, test and re-test.

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Originally published June 2009 and updated May 2015.

Note: The writer and/or the site may have received free samples or some other type of remuneration or benefit for trying out, reviewing, recommending or writing about the items covered in this article.