The Best Spy Pen Camera and How to Use It

8 minute read

If you want to be like 007, there shouldn't be a catch-22.

You might not have your own personal Mr. Q to supply you with all of the great Bond gadgets, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get all the necessary information on how to find the best ones and learn how to use them effectively. 

When it comes to covert video (and audio) recording, few devices out there are as good as the spy pen camera. It’s small, handy, unobtrusive, and it gets the job done. But, that doesn’t mean that all pen cameras on the market are equally good. They vary in quality and reliability, so we’ve compiled a guide for you on how to find the best spy pen camera and how to effectively use it.

What Makes a Spy Pen Camera Great?

Not all spy pen cameras that have been touted as the ultimate spy gadget have lived up to their name. Some of them either haven’t had the best of constructions and fell apart after a couple of uses, or recorded grainy, unintelligible video. Then there are those that don’t even record sound, yet using them feels like operating a space shuttle. 

Simply put, when buying a spy pen camera, there’s a multitude of factors to consider. Here are the most important ones.

Video Quality

To kick things off, let’s go with the obvious one; what use does a pen camera have if the video quality isn’t up to par? The best way to gauge recorded video quality is by checking out the resolution specifics. The resolution on cameras like these can range anywhere from 640x480 px to HD (or 720p), but higher is better. If you want clear footage, you should always opt for a spy pen camera that can record in as high resolution as possible, without sacrificing some other important points.

Battery Life

Speaking of important points, battery life is surely one of them. In a small device such as the spy pen, this is one of its largest drawbacks. All of the components, such as the actual built-in camera, the microphone, and the mechanical parts of the pen, take up space. Therefore, there isn’t much space left for batteries. The best spy pen cameras usually have a battery life of at least one hour.


Another key attribute of the spy pen camera is its storage capacity. If the device doesn’t have enough storage room for multiple videos, it won’t be of much use to you since you’ll have to keep deleting footage, which can prove to be a hassle. Some pen cameras use SD cards of varying sizes, but since we’re choosing the best spy pen, that’s just one more component you’d have to worry about. The best ones out there have built-in storage with capacity of 4 to 8 GB. 


Being able to record audio is also important for the best spy pen cameras, but you shouldn’t expect sound quality that’s up to par with more specialized hidden audio surveillance equipment. Seeing as some of the devices on the market don’t even have such a feature, the ones that do are a much better option.

Ease of Use

A hidden camera that you’re able to carry on you at all times and start recording on a moment’s notice should be rather straightforward to use and be inconspicuous when doing so. That’s why the best spy pen camera out there won't have more than one button that does it all - record and take pictures.

Customer Support

No matter how simple these devices are to use, they can still come off as a bit confusing to some, especially if you’re not very tech-savvy. Having the proper know-how (and the guidance to obtain it) is paramount, should you want an optimal recording experience. That’s why at SpyGuy we make a point out of being available at all times to resolve any issues you might have with spy products and elaborate on any instructions that you don’t understand. 


This is a rather subjective one and it all depends on how much you’re willing to spend on spy equipment. That being said, though, if you’re paying over $200 for a pen camera, it’s unlikely that you’ll get your money’s worth. The most well-built devices in this category are sturdy, reliable, and simple; none of these qualities demand that you ought to break the bank.

HD Spy Pen Plus as the Best Spy Pen Camera

Considering the aforementioned characteristics that you should look for when buying a pen camera, the choice is pretty straightforward. The HD Spy Pen Plus has all the important bits and pieces and fulfills all the criteria for the best spy pen camera out there. Its specifics are as follows:

  • 1260 x 960 resolution video @ 30FPS
  • Rechargeable battery lasts 1 hour
  • 8GB built-in, no memory card needed
  • Only one button to record your video
  • View the video using your computer

What Can You Use The Spy Pen Camera For?

The essential James Bond spy pen excels for all intents and purposes. Some of them include:

  • Recording meetings
  • Taping university classes
  • Recording police encounters or felonies
  • Catching bullies in the act

These are only some of the potential uses of the HD Spy Pen Plus, but we’re sure you can find even more situations where it might come in handy.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a student or a professional, the HD Spy Pen Plus is the most durable, most practical and compact, best built small-form hidden recording device on the market.

How To Use It?

The HD Spy Pen Plus is an all-in-one spy camera with single-button operation. It only takes a single press to start or stop recording.

Should you want to view the recorded data, you can do so by connecting it to your computer (PC or Mac) via the included USB cable. No external SD cards necessary!

The USB port is accessed by unscrewing the pen halfway down the middle, while the USB cable is also used for recharging the pen camera.

Since only the pinhole needs to be unobstructed, you can film footage while actually using the pen, or simply have it clipped on your pocket.

There’s a reason why there’s only one spy pen camera on our online store, and that’s because it’s the best one out there.

What Makes It Stand Out?

You might think that it’s not all that wise to have a spy pen camera that stands out, and you’d be right - the HD Spy Pen Plus is as inconspicuous as they come. What it stands out from is the competition, and rightfully so.

Apart from being able to record exquisite HD video, the Spy Pen Plus can also take pictures of up to 2 megapixels. Also, you can record your videos with crystal clear sound - something that not a lot of spy pens on the market can offer.

Legal Issues You Should Be Aware Of

When using a spy pen camera, it’s important to note that it’s generally legal to record in all areas except where a reasonable expectation of privacy is presumed.

It's also generally legal to record within public areas such as places of business like restaurants, diners, malls, and retail stores, as well as outdoor areas like parks, streets, public squares, quays, etc.

It's illegal to use any hidden cameras to record videos in hotel rooms, restrooms, changing rooms, locker rooms, and other areas that have a REP status outside of your home (as stated above).

If you find yourself using a spy pen camera within your home, for the purpose of keeping your home safe and sound, it is perfectly legal to do so without asking for consent. But as we mentioned above, you can’t record in areas where your guests have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

If the purpose of recording via a spy pen camera is malicious intent, it is illegal to do so.

The federal and state governments have no clear laws in regards to recording via a spy pen camera at a workplace, but employers generally are expected to ask for consent before recording employees therein.

If you have more questions regarding the detailed legal nuances about recording video with a spy pen camera, head over to our legal guide.

Before You Go

We hope that you agree with our choice for the best spy pen camera and that you now have sufficient information on how to best make use of such a device. If you’re wondering about all the different kinds of spy equipment, simply check out our online store. Don’t forget there are devices for counter-surveillance as well!

We also offer brief FAQ’s and/or expert advice on all of the product pages and general information regarding orders and shipping before you even decide on a purchase.

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