Spy gear has gone through many iterations throughout history and their modernization has given them a wide variety of features. To name a few, the inclusion of night vision, thermal optics, and the general trend of “shrinkage”, are just some of the general directions that spy cameras seem to be taking. But, just because it’s cutting edge, doesn’t mean you’ll need it.
Cheap spy cameras can have all of the features to fulfill your needs, and then some. Cheap spy gear doesn’t always mean that it’s of lesser quality, especially at SpyGuy. That stands true for the build of all our devices, but when it comes to specifics, our products vary a lot and that’s where your preference and needs come into play.
We’ve tailored our collection to include something for everyone while keeping our products to a high standard, but depending on your situation, one product may be more suitable than the other. That being said, if you’re looking for high-quality spy cameras that won’t break the bank, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve compiled a list of recommendations for the best cheap spy cameras from all categories, including some of the best cheap spy cameras with audio, so you can rest assured that you’ll find a spy camera that fits your particular circumstances.
Our Best Cheap Spy Cameras
The Best Cheap Spy Camera With Audio
If you want the best bang for your buck, you need not look further than the Button Hidden Camera Pro. When buying the Button Camera, you’ll be getting tech that usually costs upwards of $700 at less than one-tenth of the price.
It’ll never look out of place since it’s been around for a while and it’s popular with law enforcement and personal investigators. That’s due to the Button Camera being wireless and very simple to use. If you’ve never used a spy camera before or if you’re looking for a cheap spy camera that can also record audio, this is the product you’re after.
The Button Hidden Camera is by no means a pushover when it comes to video quality, despite its low price. It records crisp video at a resolution of 1280x960 px at 30 FPS (frames per second). The camera can also take 3-megapixel photos.
The date & time-stamped footage is stored on a microSD card of up to 32 GB and to review what you’ve recorded, you only need to plug it into a PC or Mac via the provided USB cable. This is also how you recharge the battery.
The rechargeable battery will last you two hours, which is plenty to get all the footage you need.
The Best Cheap Mini Spy Camera
Moving on to our next recommendation, we have the Mini Travel Alarm Camera. If a plain micro camera isn’t what you’re after, then a more static option might prove more suitable. The Travel Alarm camera is one of the cheapest mini spy cameras that will also provide you with a more covert video recording option since the camera is concealed within a working alarm clock. It’s very compact and portable, even though it’s not your typical body-worn camera.
It’s great for home use, should you find yourself in a situation where you need to obtain footage of suspected malicious activity, i.e. that of an untrustworthy babysitter.
As its name would suggest, the Mini Travel Alarm Camera is not just another layer of security within your household, but rather something that you could also pack for your next trip. Security in places such as Airbnbs and hostels can be relatively lax and this product will keep tabs on your belongings while you’re out sightseeing. Plus, you won’t sleep in after an eventful night out.
The Mini Travel Alarm Camera also records at a resolution of 1280x960 px, but it doesn’t record sound.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you should move on to the next product right away - the camera is motion-activated. You won’t have any footage that’s of little importance since it records only when it detects motion.
Speaking of relevance, all of the captured material is date & time-stamped, so you’ll know the exact time when the recorded event occurred.
Regarding the battery, it will last you a whole 12 hours, and should it run out, you simply need to plug it into an outlet via the provided adapter.
The recorded footage is accessible via a computer by connecting the camera to it with the provided USB cable. The camera saves the videos on an SD card of up to 32 GB.
The Best Cheap Body-Worn Camera
The USB Flash Drive Spy Camera is definitely our favorite body-worn cheap spy camera. It’s also the cheapest device on the list while being one of the most practical spy cameras out there.
This simple three-buttoned USB flash drive is the hidden camera to have at your workstation in the office. If you’re the subject of workplace harassment or a witness to such nauseating behavior, you have the power to put a stop to it by utilizing this body-worn gadget.
The camera records video at 720x480 px and can take pictures of up to 2 megapixels. The video quality will be slightly lower than that of our previous suggestions, but for a budget spy camera, it gets the job done. Oh, and it also records sound; where else can you get that at such a low price point?
On top of that, it has a rechargeable battery that will last you two hours, which gives you plenty of time to record ample video material.
As with all the previous cameras, the footage is date & time-stamped and saved on an SD card. To access it, simply plug it into a computer.
The Best Cheap All-Around Spy Camera
The best all-around spy camera, that’s also at a very budget-friendly price point, has to be the Spy Watch Covert Camera. It’s body-worn, it’s covert - no-one will ever suspect that the wristwatch has a camera hidden in it. We’ve already divulged all the information on what makes the spy watch a great hidden camera, so let’s get into the specs.
This relatively cheap spy camera, which also serves as a fashion accessory, records pristine HD video at a resolution of 1280x960 px at 30 FPS. It may not take pictures, but it more than makes up for it by recording audio and being waterproof up to 100 feet below the surface.
The battery is rechargeable and lasts up to 2 hours, while the footage is stored on a built-in memory card.
Following the trend of its precursors, it also provides date & time-stamped footage that you can view on your computer when connected via the provided USB cable.
Yet somehow, at least according to us, the best thing about the Spy Watch is how easy it is to use - you simply press the knobs on the side to record. It doesn’t get more convenient than that, making it ideal for secret shoppers, officers, students, and the like.
On the off chance that you couldn’t find a satisfactory option among our previous recommendations, we thought it might be best to also consider some of these cameras that didn’t make the cut according to us but might prove more than ideal for you. The following spy cameras are slightly more expensive, but you will by no means spend the bottom dollar.
HD Spy Pen Plus
The HD Spy Pen Plus is definitely the essential spy gadget. Here’s how you can utilize it[c], while its specifics are the following:
- 1260 x 960 px video @ 30FPS;
- Rechargeable battery that lasts 1 hour;
- 8GB built-in memory;
- Single-button operation;
- Connect to a PC to review footage
- Records audio
HD Keychain Camera
The Keychain Camera is a bestseller, and rightfully so, as it is one of the few cameras that record 1080p and has night vision. More details below.
- Records at a resolution of 1920x1080 px (1080p)
- The rechargeable battery lasts 90 minutes
- Takes 12-megapixel pictures
- Short-range night vision
- Connect to a PC to review footage
- Records audio
AC Adapter Hidden Camera - HD
The AC Adapter is another static spy camera that’s on the cheaper end in regard to its peers. This tiny camera within a wall charger has the following specifics:
- Clear video at a resolution of 1280x720 px
- Motion-activation (records only when it detects movement)
- Up to 32GB memory to store 8 days of footage
- View the saved footage using your PC or Mac
Legal Issues You Should Be Aware Of
The laws on covert video recording are based on a single principle in most states - a reasonable expectation of privacy (REP), though we strongly suggest reviewing your state laws by asking a legal professional. REP means that recording video via the use of any hidden spy camera is completely legal as long as it’s not done in certain areas where privacy is presumed. Examples of such places include, but are not limited to: bathrooms, changing rooms, locker rooms, hotel rooms, etc.
Some states, though, do have exceptions to the aforementioned general rule; for more information visit our guide on laws and regulations regarding the use of spy equipment.
Another important point to keep in mind is that no video recording is legal if it’s done with malicious intent.
Should you have any more questions, contact us directly. We answer any and all emails about our products within one business day. If we piqued your interest in spy cameras, make sure to check what else you can buy at SpyGuy[e], at an equally affordable price!