Your Complete Guide to Spy Cameras

10 minute read

What Are Spy Cameras?

Hidden spy cameras are optic devices that remain hidden and out of sight with the sole purpose of watching an area or room undetected. They come in all forms and sizes, so what you think is an alarm clock might be a spy camera in disguise.

Miniature spy cams are growing more popular lately, which is why they’re more accessible than ever before.

Now, traditionally, spy equipment has gained its notoriety by being used in unsavory ways. But today, spy cameras are used by everyday people, for their safety and protection.

What Are They Used For?

Any type of hidden camera, be it a spy camera, a wearable camera or an internet camera can provide visual proof of anything going on in your home or office.

This can prove helpful in situations such as when you need to:

  • Monitor your kids while absent;
  • Monitor a family member with Alzheimer’s;
  • Stop theft;
  • Get proof of vandalism;

We’ve been in this game for 5 years now, so we have plenty of experience with a wide variety of reasons a person might have for using a spy camera.

Workplace harassment, recording conversations, catching thieves… These are all just common problems that need a specific solution, and most customers don’t know what to purchase and where to start.

Whatever situation you are in, you should ask yourself: “Would video evidence help me solve this particular problem?” If the answer is yes, keep on reading.

How to Pick the Right Spy Camera

First of all, we need one important distinction out of the way - there are mainly three types of hidden cameras:

How do you decide which one you need?

Wearable cameras are self-explanatory - they’re best used in situations when you have to keep the camera on you, or on the object/person you’re monitoring.

If you need a stationary hidden camera you can choose between spy cameras and internet cameras. The main difference between these two is in the way they process data - spy cameras record videos and after they’re done recording, you need to connect to a PC to view the files.

Internet cameras give you the luxury of being able to access real-time video, meaning you can watch the video from a laptop or cellphone, while it records. Handy, isn’t it?

That’s the main reason why internet cameras are generally a bigger investment - and they’re well worth it. Spy cameras, on the other hand, are a bit more old school, but they get the job done just as well.

On top of that, there’s another important distinction - spy cameras can be motion-activated or standard, the latter meaning that they record from the moment you sneak them in and wait until they are done or their battery runs out. On the other hand, motion-activated spy cameras record only when they detect motion, making them incredibly battery-efficient.

Spy cameras are designed to be inconspicuous, and that’s why they usually come in the form of everyday objects, like:

  • alarm clocks, 
  • digital clocks, 
  • thermostats, 
  • phone cases

Now the sheer variety of spy cameras available today is mind-boggling. A first-timer can easily get lost trying to figure out what’s the right type of camera, battery duration, and general functionality for their specific situation.

So, we’ll give you a hand with some SpyGuy examples - both for indoor and outdoor use.

Analog Clock Hidden Cameras

We’ll start with a useful little clock camera - the Mantel Clock Hidden Camera.

It’s a high-definition motion-capture camera hidden within a working analog antique clock which blends into most living rooms. It records crisp, clear motion-capture video at 4K resolution. Equipped with a 32GB memory card, it can record up to 32 days, guaranteeing high sustainability.

The hidden spy cam holds up to 90 days of standby battery life and has 16 hours of continuous video recording timespan. Simply turn it on, and after you’re done with it just plug the card into the PC to view the video.

The Wall Clock Hidden Camera might be the ultimate standard hidden spy camera item for every household in need of security surveillance. There’s a teeny tiny spy camera hidden inside the round clock, with a 4K resolution and motion-capture feature.

Digital Alarm Clock Spy Cameras

The Mini Travel Alarm Camera is most suitable for Airbnbers and the like - it perfectly mimics your standard, boring travel alarm clock with that one extra feature - it records a clear, high-resolution video and has a motion-capture feature that starts a new video every time it detects motion.

After you’re done recording, simply plug the camera into your PC, remove the memory card and plug it into the PC using the adapter that comes with it. It's hidden behind a trap door, built into the device.

The Night Vision Alarm Clock Radio Hidden Camera is definitely not a one-trick pony. The name is a mouthful, but it works as a clock, a radio, and as a DVR, and, of course, you can put it on surveillance duty. Inspector Gadget ain’t got nothing on this. Plus, it can see in the dark.

Similar to the other alarm clock hidden cameras, it has a tiny spy camera inside and it can record 4K resolution videos for up to 32 days. But most importantly, the clock/camera boasts a night vision superpower with 25ft vision in total darkness, which makes this gadget stand out from the rest.

You can easily catch burglars that (unfortunately for them) break into your home, and use the footage as evidence. Since this unusual thingamajig has multiple uses the $300 cost is absolutely worth it.

Thermostat Hidden Camera

The Weather & Thermostat Hidden Camera is built for convenience and utility. This model, unlike the others, has a rechargeable battery. The battery goes into standby mode for up to 9 days and it needs to be recharged after the camera has recorded 3.5 hours of motion-activated video.

It comes with a removable adhesive patch to make things easier, and a motion-capture, HD 1280x720 resolution video.

For Outdoor Use: Yard Rock Hidden Camera

Now let’s leave the clocks aside and focus on the Yard Rock Hidden Camera, which is a very interesting item in our catalog. It’s meant to be placed outdoors, on your lawn, near a gazebo, or near walkways. The camera is hidden within the stone, and it’s fully waterproof, so rain won’t be a problem.

The Yard Rock camera is carefully designed to imitate a rock that’s just chilling there in your garden. Mailbox vandals and garden gnome snatchers can strike when you least expect it, so be prepared.

The camera records a crisp, clear, video at 4K resolution, and it only records when it detects motion. The Yard Rock boasts up to 90 days of standby battery life, with 16 hours of continuous recording.

The importance of having your videos timestamped can’t be emphasized enough. Proper date & time signatures add to the value of video evidence and provide you with more details regarding the monitored events.

iPhone Case Hidden Camera

Last, but not least, we give you the iPhone 6 and 7 Phone Case Hidden Camera. The spy cam records a fine HD video at 1080p resolution, doesn’t require software or apps, and records motion-capture videos with a 3-hour rechargeable battery.

Since this hidden cam acts like an iPhone case, the method of use and possibilities are endless. You can use it as a static object, innocently placed on a desk, or you can carry it with you outdoors, while you’re out and about.

Due to its intricate design, you can comfortably use it as a wearable camera. The lens doesn’t look out of place and the camera remains steady at all times. It’s unnoticeable since it remains harnessed to your phone, and you can connect your phone to the laptop so no one would suspect anything.


How Do Spy Cameras Work?

Hidden cameras work just like any other regular digital camera. The lens accepts light particles and focuses them on a grid of light detectors. Many spy cameras have motion-detection technology and come with an implemented motor system programmed to follow movement.

Can Employers Watch You on Camera?

Employers and managers must have a legitimate reason why they choose to monitor their employees. Even so, it’s advisable to have the employees’ consent and they should always be aware that they are being monitored at their workplace.

Can My Neighbor Point a Camera at My House?

That depends entirely on your state’s laws and the reason why your neighbors’ security camera is pointing at your property. You have the right to ask and know why they have surveillance over your house. For more details on this issue head over to our guide on how to block a snooping neighbor’s security camera legally.

The Wall Socket Camera - Our Top Pick

We can confidently recommend the Wall Socket Hidden Camera for most situations and users.

It perfectly matches our most frequent customers’ profile and has high sustainability. It’s suitable for domestic areas and homes. It’s motion-activated, the video definition is high-quality, and the camera lens has a 75-degree angle.

We recommend placing it near corners because this gets about 90% video coverage. The adhesive keeps it stuck to the wall, and you just need to press the “on” button to begin recording.

Additionally, the low light capability allows surveillance when the room is poorly lighted. The recorded videos are date & time-stamped, and the video is saved to a standard SD memory card.

Usually, it’s 40 minutes of video per gigabyte, and standby mode can last up to 5 days, meaning it barely uses battery life when not recording.

Why Choose SpyGuy

We are a relatively young company that offers accessible spy equipment to those in need of alternative solutions. It’s our duty to help our customers (especially first-timers) and explain the many ways in which spy gadgets can be used for security and protection.

If you’ve never used a hidden camera before, hit us up and we’ll answer all your questions - we pride ourselves in our amazing support team.

Just a quick heads up - all our spy cameras come with a 1-year warranty, free ground shipping, & free lifetime tech support. Contact us if you have any questions via phone, live chat or email.

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