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Unveiling 8 Types of Hidden Spy Cameras: What Works Best?

Hidden spy cams come in all shapes and sizes. From air vent spy cameras to spy cameras disguised as household objects, some are more undetectable than others.

In some situations, like in unfamiliar hotel rooms or in private spaces, like bathrooms, the feeling of being watched can be hard to ignore.

Read on to discover the different types of hidden cameras there are, including why they are favored, and which are among the least detectable.

Table of Contents

8 Different Types of Hidden Cameras

Hidden spy cameras are discreet by design. Here’s 8 of the most popular undetectable types of hidden cameras, including spy cameras that connect to phones.


The most convincing spy cameras are likely custom-made. Currently, the smallest camera in the world, manufactured by Austrian company AMS, is smaller than a pinhead.

A custom-built spy camera has the advantage of realism, since it can be produced using an actual object, but will likely be costly to produce if DIY isn’t an option.  

In theory, the options for disguise are endless, so long as there’s someone willing to manufacture it.

Mini Camera

Mini cameras aren’t quite as subtle as a true ‘spy camera’, since depending on placement, they’re more likely to be detected than hidden ones. 

But they can certainly be described as the more moral option for those looking for useful concealable surveillance, whether that’s to monitor the outside of their home, inside their car, or elsewhere. 

Sir Gawain’s mini spy camera is one such choice. Though it can’t be described as a spy camera that connects to your phone, it is an easily concealable solution that lasts for up to 60 minutes a charge. 

Small enough to fit between thumb and forefinger, it features night vision, as well as motion detection and continuous recording when it’s charging.

AlfredCamera – Powerful Security Made Mini

AlfredCamera can turn your old phone into a powerful security device, meaning it provides you with endless possibilities for subtle and reliable surveillance.  

With Low-Light Filters, motion detection, and more, old devices you have laying around can be revived as useful tools for home security. Get started today by downloading AlfredCamera for free on iOS and Android devices.

USB drive

We like to think of this as the modern classic of hidden cameras. Spy cameras disguised as USB drives are common and affordable, and will be the hidden camera type you’re most likely to come across online.

They’re cheap and simple to manufacture, which helps keep the costs down. They have a constant source of power through USB ports.


If a USB drive is the modern classic, a spy camera pen is no doubt its precursor. A staple of spy movies, nowadays they’re an easy find on Amazon. 

With this type of hidden spy camera, expect to come across more ‘gimmicky’ options designed as toys.


Much like USB drives, chargers make for an excellent way to power a hidden camera without sacrificing its disguise, hence their increasing popularity.

Given their natural purpose, these really blend in with surroundings.


Clocks can be hit and miss in terms of how well they conceal a hidden camera, but as far as finding the perfect hidden camera for the house, this is probably it.

Opting for a spy camera in a clock, a black digital clock face is the only one that’ll convey realism, or else the camera lens will stick out like a sore thumb.

Photo frame

Another subtle option for having a hidden camera for house and office spaces, photo frames can conceal small camera lenses inside the frame itself or behind the glass. 

The former is more feasible, since having a phony photo in the frame is a dead giveaway.

Though presumably digital frames will allow for the camera to remain operational constantly, traditional photo frames are more likely to maintain realism.

Smoke alarm/Air vent

Probably the option that draws the least attention to itself and provides the best viewing angle for security purposes, smoke alarms and air vents have long been used to hide cameras inside them for both illicit and non illicit purposes.

If you’ve ever watched a thriller, you’ll probably be familiar with the classic bugging of the hotel room smoke alarm.

Objects mounted high up or on the ceiling, like smoke alarms and air vents, are strong vantage points for general surveillance in the home and in business places alike.

They also more easily provide the option for the camera to be constantly powered through hardwiring.

5 Types of Easily-Detected Hidden Cameras

Some of the options for hidden spy cameras are more obvious than others. Here’s 5 types of hidden cameras that are super easy to detect.


Cutting open a teddy bear and stuffing a camera inside it is a pretty foolish means of hiding a camera.

Holding or sitting on it will quickly reveal the presence of something unusual inside it, and may even wind up destroying the camera.

Keeping the camera powered likely means that the back of it will have to be fastened with velcro as opposed to stitching, which is also pretty suspicious.


Plants are, for the most part, green, meaning a camera among or beneath the leaves is pretty visible.

It goes without saying that if the plant in question is real, it needs water to survive. Good luck to anyone trying to water the plant without drowning the camera tucked into its foliage!


At least in the movies, mirrors seem to be a beloved hiding place for cameras. But these can actually be detected fairly simply.

In low or diminished light, the lens may appear reflected in the mirror, particularly if a light is then shone at the mirror from a particular angle.

Again, powering the camera usually requires odd or unnatural placement, making the camera itself all the more detectable to the naked eye.

Need a refresher on how you can easily detect hidden cameras? We’ve got you covered.

Cluster of objects

Hiding a mini camera among a random cluster of objects isn’t a bad idea per se, especially if seeking subtle surveillance of communal areas without sacrificing the aesthetics of a room to the presence of a camera.

But it’s an easy thing to do poorly if not particular about the objects and how they are arranged. For the most part, it can appear unnatural and draw attention to itself.

Near windows or light sources

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how well a camera is concealed or what kind of object it is in—specific angles of light can instantly reveal it.

Lenses placed in certain positions near strong light sources will reflect it, creating a glint that will quickly draw the eye.

Feeling uneasy in an unfamiliar place? Learn how to successfully locate hidden cameras using a hidden camera detector for your phone.

Where to Hide Cameras and Where to Avoid

AlfredCamera takes a hardline against misusing concealed surveillance for inappropriate purposes. Hiding cameras in hotels, hostels, and rentals without obtaining consent of the parties being filmed is illegal. 

Consent must be obtained before recording others for surveillance. If you suspect you’re being watched secretly, it’s important to notify the authorities. 

In the home, no laws specifically prohibit concealed surveillance, but there is a right to privacy where there is a reasonable expectation of it. 

Bathrooms, bedrooms, and other private spaces are therefore off-limits.


Conversely, an open-plan office or the porch of your home are public spaces, and there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. As a rule of thumb, stick to public or communal spaces when it comes to subtle or covert surveillance.


What is the smallest spy camera available?

One report suggests that a camera created by AMS is currently the world’s smallest camera. It is smaller than a pinhead and weighs less than 1 gram, and will be used in surgery and VR headsets.

How do you tell if a screw has a hidden camera?

Screws concealing hidden cameras will have a noticeably large Philips, Torx, hexagonal, or square-shaped screw head. Real screw heads have a very minimal gap for the screwdriver to slot in, whereas false ones would have a complete hole in them for the camera lens to point out of. Shining a light at various angles at the head will reveal reflections from the lens.

Do hidden cameras need wifi?

Hidden cameras don’t necessarily require Wi-Fi, but this will depend on the brand and model. Regular microSD cards are small enough to fit into cameras of a small stature.

Does a hidden camera flash?

Hidden cameras are highly unlikely to have a flash, since this is an overt giveaway of their location.

Recommended reading:
How are Hidden Cameras Powered?
5 Best Hidden Camera Detectors & Apps to Safeguard your Privacy
Uber Drivers: Should You Put a Hidden Camera in Your Car?

Mini Spy Cameras | Tiny Spy Cameras for Sale

Popular Uses for Mini Spy Cameras:

  • Parents who want to monitor what their children are doing when they aren’t home
  • Homeowners looking to protect their home against vandals and thieves
  • Employers needing to monitor their office 
  • Private Investigators who have covert video surveillance needs
  • Law Enforcement Officials who need to capture their on-duty activities
  • and Anyone looking to have a small camera ready to capture video 

Should I get a battery powered or AC powered camera?
Most of our mini spy cameras are designed to be portable, so you can take them and use them wherever you need. Because they are battery-powered, they obviously need to be charged after a while. Battery-powered mini spy cameras can last from a few hours to even up to 10 days, depending on the type of battery inside, before needing to be recharged.

What Recording Mode is Better – Motion Activated or Continuous Recording?
Motion-activated mini spy cameras begin recording whenever motion is detected, like a person walking into the room, or past the camera lens. This is great for conserving battery life. Sometimes you want continuous recording however, which records continually, no matter if there is motion or not. 

Can These Cameras Record in the Dark?
Cameras are usually designed to record in normal lighting conditions, but we also have mini spy cameras that record in the dark using IR Night Vision technology, like the Motion Activated Night Vision Mini Spy Camera.

Where are the Video Files Saved?
Video (and images, for those that take still photos) are either saved on internal flash memory, or onto a removable SD Card or micro SD card. If the videos/images are stored on internal flash memory, you’ll need to connect the camera to your computer with the included USB connection cable to view the videos. For the cameras with removable memory card, you can also connect it directly to your computer, or remove the memory card, and insert that directly into your computer, or into an SD Card Reader.

So You’ve Got a Mac Computer, but Want a Spy Camera?
Many of our cameras only work with PC-based computers, but Mac users need not worry! For Macintosh owners, we recommend purchasing any of our mini spy cameras with removable memory card. Since memory cards are not computer platform specific, you can view these files easily on a Mac! For both PC users and Mac users, we recommend downloading VLC Media Player, which is a free program that plays almost every video type in the world. 

If You Have Additional Questions…
Please give our product experts a call, or contact us here. We look forward to hearing from you!

We know many people may not live and breathe hidden cameras and mini spy cameras like we do. And that’s okay! Our product experts have put together a list of commonly used terms you may run across while browsing our camera equipment. And of course if you come across a term you aren’t familiar with that isn’t listed here, feel free to reach out to our sales and support team and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you have!

Here are some mini spy camera terminology you may be interested in:

Micro SD Memory Card –
One term you might run across quite frequently is a micro SD memory card, which is an optional accessory available with many of our hidden cameras. A memory card is needed if you wish to record video from your mini spy camera. For a self-recording or all-in-one camera, a memory card is needed in order for the camera to operate. With WiFi cameras however, a memory card isn’t needed for streaming, only if you wish to record your video. Memory cards vary in size, common sizes are between 8GB and 128GB. The more gigabytes (GB), the more video files the card can hold at a time. Old videos can be deleted off the card if they are no longer needed. To view files on the memory card, you need to insert the card into your PC or Mac comptuer’s card reader slot, or an SD card reader (see below for more info about card readers).

SD Card Reader –
As mentioned above, to view the video files on your memory card, you’ll need to either have a built in card reader slot on your computer, or use an SD card reader. An SD card reader is a small device that you insert your micro SD card into, and then plugs into your computer’s USB port. Since virtually all modern computers have USB ports, this allows you to view your video files on almost any PC or Mac computer.

Internal Memory –
While most mini spy cams use a micro SD card to store videos, some cameras feature internal memory. This is a type of “built in” memory that is not removable from the camera. To view the videos on a device that stores videos to internal memory, you’ll connect the camera directly to the computer, usually via USB. An example of a camera with internal memory is the power cord hidden camera.

IR Night Vision –
Night vision hidden cameras are unique in that they have special IR (infrared) sensors, that allow the camera to see in low light and no-light situations. This is ideal if you want to be able to see what’s going on around the clock, even when the lights are out. Almost all of our night vision mini spy cameras feature “invisible” IR sensors, meaning that they do not emit any “red glow” that traditional security cameras with night vision have. This allows the camera to remain covert and not draw attention to it.

Motion Activated Recording –
One of two common recording modes, motion activated recording, or “motion detection”, is a popular and preferred mode for recording video. In motion detection mode, your camera will only record when it detects motion or activity. So for example, if a person walks in front of the camera, the camera will then start recording, and continue recording for a pre-set amount of time, or until motion stops. This is convenient because it cuts down on wasted recordings, so you can spend less time going through dozens or even hundreds of video files, and get right to the action.

One common misconception about motion activated recording is that it will conserve battery life. This is not true in most cases, because even though the camera is not recording while it waits for motion, the camera is still on and looking for motion, which uses battery power as well.

There is one type of motion recording that does actually conserve battery life, which is called “PIR” or “passive infrared recording”, which is a more advanced form of motion detection, and is explained below.

PIR (Passive Infrared Recording) –
A more advanced form of motion detection recording, PIR recording is a recording mode that uses a “body heat” sensor to detect motion. What this sensor does is look for a change in temperature in the camera’s field of view, rather than actual movement. This type of motion detection is the best type because not only does it save on memory card space, but it also conserves battery life, as the camera is technically “off” while the PIR sensor is detecting a heat signature change. Many of our PIR cameras can get over 90 days or even over a full year in standby mode waiting to detect activity.

Video Resolution –
A camera’s video resolution represents the quality of the recorded or streaming video. Not too long ago cameras recorded in a maximum of 640×480 or 720×480 video. Now almost all cameras offer HD recording – some are 720P and some 1080P high definition. We’ve even came out with a few 4K hidden cameras that offer an even higher quality video recording.

Where to hide a CCTV camera?

Many today want to see and know what is happening in their apartment when they are away. Some want to know this for security reasons; the rest just want to feel a bit like secret agents or movie spies. Others want to know what their husband or wife does when they are alone, or want to know how their babysitter treats their children.

Most people, when they want to install a hidden CCTV camera, face a problem, where and how to place the camera so that it is invisible . Where is the safest place to place the camera? What does a person pay the least attention to?

In this article we will try to list the most correct places, where it is preferable to hide the camera in order to successfully monitor what is happening in your absence:

1. If you want to spy on your own husband or wife, in order to find out if he is cheating on you or not, in your absence, then, of course, you should first install a hidden camera in your bedroom.

Where is the best place to hide a CCTV camera in the bedroom?

Nearly all bedrooms have a bedside table. Therefore, the most correct place to hide the camera is the bedside table, or behind some things located on it, for example, a radio or a clock. You can even buy a hidden camera that is built into the clock and put it on the nightstand next to the bed.

Hidden camera in watch

2. An excellent place to place a hidden camera is the eaves. If your camera is so small that it cannot be seen from a distance of 2 meters, then install your surveillance camera on a ledge without any problems. By placing the camera on top, you will have the best viewing angle, and it will not be difficult to capture everything that happens.

3. Almost everyone has a television in their bedroom today. You can easily install a miniature camera near or on the TV itself. Of course, your camera should be perfectly hidden and should not look like a spy camera.

4. Many people also have a computer in their bedroom. Putting a hidden camera on a PC is easy, you just need to replace the usual standard stereo speakers with those that have a hidden camera built into it.

5. Shelf for books. This is another great idea, especially if your hidden camera is hidden in a book.

6. The camera can also be hidden in children’s toys such as a teddy bear. This method is not difficult, you can just take one toy and build your camera into it.

7. Toy or collectible cars. If you have small collectible toy cars in your living room or any other room, you can easily place a small camera in them.

8. Mirrors. You can buy special double-sided mirrors and mount the camera directly behind them. Or you can immediately buy a two-way mirror with a hidden camera built into it. But such a device is not cheap.

9. In the chandelier, light bulbs. You can also simply remove one of the bulbs from the chandelier, mount the camera there and screw it back. So you can safely conduct covert video surveillance, just make sure that no one tries to replace a non-burning light bulb with a working, real one.

10. In a pot of flowers. You can embed a small camera directly into a flower pot and put it in a convenient place, for example, on a windowsill. If there are flowers in the living room, it will look quite ordinary and will not arouse suspicion.

Hidden camera in a toy

11. Light switches. Many switches have a special plastic case that can help hide your camera.

12. You might want to put a hidden camera in the kitchen as well. Installing an ordinary-looking clock in the kitchen should not arouse anyone’s suspicions.

In order to install a hidden camera in the kitchen, there are a large number of objects in which small spy cameras are already hidden, for example, there are cameras that are hidden in a tea mug. For such items, there is certainly a good suitable place in your kitchen.

In the end, you can buy ready-made spy cameras that are disguised as ordinary things, it can be a fountain pen and lighters and mugs and mobile phones and much more, wherever such items are not lying, they will not cause any doubt and suspicion.

Covert video surveillance in the apartment – where to hide the camera: in a closet, chandelier, clock


  • Covert video surveillance in the apartment – camera masking options, installation features
    • For what purpose are hidden cameras installed in the apartment?
  • How to put a hidden camera in the apartment?
      • Where to hide?
      • Video – how to disguise a surveillance camera in an apartment
    • Where it is better not to install
    • How to install and connect?
      • Video how to connect a wi-fi camera for video surveillance
      • Where to buy hidden cameras
    • How to choose a video camera for an apartment
    • Key features of hidden cameras
    • What the law says about CCTV
    • How to find a camera
      • Look at the details
      • 4. Pay attention to the network connections
    • Conclusion

The life of a modern person interprets new rules, including personal safety. Unfortunately, the fight against intruders will never lead to their complete disappearance, so sometimes it is worth acting as a defender on your own. In order to make it easier, experts have invented video systems that help track everything that happens on the territory of our entire planet.

However, there are situations in which cameras are needed for some kind of personal check. For example, find out what the son does when he is left alone at home, and so on. For such moments, video surveillance systems or single cameras for an apartment are an excellent solution.

The world has come to the point where technologies undergo changes every year. So, for example, in the world market we can see a lot of the latest video cameras. Those that conduct covert video surveillance in the apartment and have microscopic dimensions, those that have motion sensors, and so on. Today we will take a closer look at the options for home video shooting.

For what purpose are hidden cameras installed in the apartment?

Before we begin to analyze some of the technical features and installation of hidden cameras, we need to understand what such systems are generally applicable for. In fact, there are a huge number of options for what you can use hidden video surveillance for an apartment.

The most common reason for installing these devices is to supervise new personnel. We are all familiar with such situations when the new housekeeper looks friendly enough, but in reality she is deceitful and capable of stealing. No one wants to face problems when personal property is damaged or even stolen. That’s why the cameras are here to save.

Another reason could be a baby who is afraid to be left alone in his room. While the mother is preparing dinner, the child may

wake up and jump out of bed, hurting himself. To avoid this situation, mini-cameras are installed, which immediately in the kitchen (for example) broadcast what is happening.

Generally speaking, hidden apartment cameras help you monitor newly hired people in your home, restless children, and so on. With the help of hidden cameras, you can control any

service personnel.

Speaking of covert video surveillance, you need to understand that cameras should be located in places where no one will notice them. This can complicate the installation of a hidden camera in an apartment, since you will have to look for a corner where extra eyes will never look into. To get started, make sure that your system is not endowed with a huge amount of wires, as they can jeopardize the meaning of covert video surveillance. If you can’t get rid of them, then come up with a way to qualitatively disguise them.

The recorder, which transfers information from video cameras to a hard disk, is best installed somewhere in an enclosed space. A safe, a “forbidden” box, or something else of your choice is perfect. Monitoring can be done both remotely and in the next room. It all depends on the type of video cameras that you have chosen for home video surveillance.

Where to hide?

If we touched on the topic of how to install a hidden camera in an apartment, it is worth indicating in which places it will look most appropriate.

Let’s start with the fact that everything depends on the size of the device case, since if the dimensions of the camera are outside the “hidden video surveillance”, then you are unlikely to be able to conduct it. Stop by choosing a miniature version that can be installed in a shelving unit, in a dark corner of a pantry, and so on.

Mount the cameras where they match with their color. For example, black video cameras are perfect for dark walls, and white cameras are perfect for light walls. Do not mount devices in places where the camera has a bad view. In other words, you run the risk of not being able to see everything that happens, but is there any point in watching only part of the protected area?

Video – how to disguise a surveillance camera in an apartment video surveillance.

The young man “Incognito” will tell you about the options that apply to installing hidden cameras in apartments. We recommend watching this particular video, as it very accurately reveals the essence of the issue.

Where it is better not to install

In addition to the options that help hide the camera, there are those places that will accurately give out its location. Let’s look at where it is not worth

to place a device that captures what is happening.

Do not install the camcorder in “hidden” places that could be accessed by members of staff you decide to keep a close eye on. As an example, you can cite the same housekeeper. If she cleans your apartment regularly, then it’s understandable that she will have to clean every corner so as not to upset her employer. It follows that shelves, various dark corners are not the most suitable option.

In short, it is worth evaluating the reason why you decided to follow people. By understanding what role they play in your apartment and where they spend time every day, you can determine the correct location of the security camera.

Mount the cameras where they match with their color. For example, black video cameras are perfect for dark walls, and white cameras are perfect for light walls. Do not mount devices in places where the camera has a bad view. In other words, you run the risk of not being able to see everything that happens, but is there any point in watching only part of the protected area?

How to install and connect?

We will analyze the complete installation of covert video surveillance in the apartment with our own hands. This step-by-step instruction will help you perform it correctly:

  1. We install one or more video cameras in the selected location.
  2. We run all the necessary cables and wires to the devices.
  3. We connect the cameras to the recording device and the power supply. If necessary, we connect the call panel.
  4. We connect video cameras to the local network. It can be a personal computer, smartphone, tablet and so on.

Video how to connect a wi-fi camera for video surveillance

In it, the guy tells what such cameras are applicable for and how to connect them.

Where to buy hidden cameras

Buying hidden surveillance cameras for your apartment is quite simple. They are sold, in fact, in any specialized points. There is no problem, just like with the classic options, to buy them in centers for the sale of video surveillance equipment.

The only thing we would recommend is to tell the specialist for what purpose you want to purchase hidden cameras, so that he can more accurately select the right model for you. If you need several cameras for a large room, then the consultant will select ready-made CCTV kits for the apartment, according to your preferences.

How to choose a video camera for the apartment

In order for covert surveillance in the apartment to be really hidden, you need to choose the most suitable camera for this, otherwise you can simply be exposed by discovering the device you have hidden.

Choosing a video camera is a complex process that needs to be approached responsibly. The quality of the resulting image will depend on the correct option. Let’s go over the main parameters that you should pay attention to when choosing a camera.

  1. Sensor sensitivity.
  2. Autonomy per day.
  3. The speed of work and video recording.
  4. Viewing angle and agility.
  5. Dimensions.

This is the main thing to pay attention to. However, there are other parameters that each of you selects already based on individual needs. For example, ready-made wi-fi CCTV kits may require other characteristics.

Highlights of Hidden Cameras

Speaking about the main characteristics, we can recall the classic versions of video cameras, since they will not differ in anything. Still, three important functions can be distinguished:

  1. Viewing angle. It should be convenient for you first of all. If the area that you decide to record online is small, then 90 degrees will be enough for you without additional agility. However, lenses with a view of 180 or even 360 degrees will be options for large rooms.
  2. Permission. The quality of shooting is the first thing buyers pay attention to, because if the camera writes a disgusting video, then there is no point in buying it. When choosing certain video systems, immediately ask a specialist what resolution is available for the camera and, if possible, ask to demonstrate the recording.
  3. Sensitivity. If for outdoor cameras we choose options that can work with ease in the dark, then high sensitivity is not necessary for the house. It is enough that she writes a video where there is little light.

What the law says about covert video surveillance

Covert video surveillance is legal in the Russian Federation, but it is available only if everyone you record is warned about such surveillance.

It is also important that members of staff and families are not against the broadcast, otherwise recording is impossible.
It is worth noting that we are talking about a choice of wireless and wired video surveillance cameras of the classic type. That is, they should not be disguised as some kind of household item. This is prohibited by law.

It is also not allowed to conduct photo and video surveillance from hidden video cameras in hourly apartments. If you rent out the premises, then you have no right to flatter the personal space of these people if they did not give an agreement to monitor their lives.

How to look for a camera

Now let’s talk about how to find a hidden video camera if you think you are under the gun. This can be done only after a thorough inspection of the premises in which you are. Let’s figure out where to look for a camera.

1. Inspect the apartment with a flashlight

Walk around the entire area where you think the camera is present with a flashlight. This is done so that if light hits the camera, its lens lights up in red. This will give the location of the installed device.

2. Check the bedside tables and cabinets

If the method with the flashlight has not helped you, try to inspect the racks with books, work shelves and nightstands. Most often, it is on them that equipment for covert video surveillance of a person is fixed.

3. Look at the details

We are sure that you, like no one else, know the place where the camera might be installed. Look around you. Do you notice any details that were not there before? If you find such an item (it can be disguised as a household device), then feel free to put it in a closed place until the circumstances are clarified.