Budget Covert Cameras Tested

By: Derek Ward, Published on Nov 26, 2019

Covert cameras under $100 are widely available online but are they any good?

To see how these models really work in the real world, we bought and tested some of the most commonly bought hidden cameras on Amazon, including:

For commercial models, see Covert IP Camera Shootout - Axis, Hanwha, Hikvision, March, Vivotek and for detecting such cameras, see Hidden Camera Detectors Tested.

Inside this report, we call out which one we found to be test, how their image quality worked in full light, low light and WDR, plus usability tradeoffs.

****** ******* ***** $*** are ****** ********* ****** but *** **** *** good?

** *** *** ***** models ****** **** ** the **** *****, ** bought *** ****** **** of *** **** ******** bought ****** ******* ** Amazon, *********:

*** ********** ******, ********* ** ****** ******** - ****, ******, *********, March, ********** *** ********* **** cameras, ********* ****** ********* ******.

****** **** ******, ** call *** ***** *** we ***** ** ** test, *** ***** ***** quality ****** ** **** light, *** ***** *** WDR, **** ********* *********.

[***************]

*******

** *** *****, *** these ****** ******* ******** usable ******* ** ****-*** scenes **** ****** ******** variance. *** ***** (~*-* lux), **** (~*.** ***), and *** ****** *** caused ******* ********** ** image *******, **** ** way ** ******* ***** via ****** ********.

*******, ***** ****** ** not ******* ** *** performance ** ********** ************ cameras, *** **** **** as *** *** ******* may ** ****** ** residential ******** ** ******* for **** ******** ***** when ********* *** ** their *** ***** *** portability.

"Best" ******

** *** * ******, we ***** *** '****' was *** ***** ***** since ** *** ***:

  • **** ****** *** ********* for ****** ** **** the ****** (***** ***** IR *** * ****** embedded ****** ********* **** the *****
  • ******* ** ***** ** various ****** ** *****, desks, ********, ***. ****** the *********** ** ******* a ****, ***** ******** or *******
  • ***** ******* *** ******* above ******* ******** ** other ****** ****** *******, though ***** ******** ** commercial ****.

*******

*** ****** ******* ********* were ~$*** *** ** under. *** ******* ***** was **** *********,$**.** *** ******. *** ********* ****** sells ***~$** ******, ***** ******** ***~$** ******,*** *** ******* ****** camera ***~$** ******.

Physical ********

** *** ***** *****, we ******** *** ******** construction ** **** ****** camera ******:

Full ***** ***** *******

*** ****** ******* ********* best ** **** ********, with ******** ****** ~**' - **' ** *** camera. *** ******* **** shot ** *** ******, and *** ***** ***** is ** ******* ** the *****, **** *** subject ~**' **** *** cameras:

**** *** ******* *** chart ****** ~**' **** the *******, ******* **** solid:

**** *** ******* ******* away, ******* ** *** picture *****, ***** ******** and *** ******* *** still ******, *** *** low *** ** *** panoramic ********* ***** ******* hard ** *******.

Poor *** ***** *** **** ***** *******

** **** *** *** lit ******, *********** ****. The ******* ***** ****** camera *** *** **** selectable ******* ** ***** color ****, *** ***** slip **** */* **** IR ** ** ~* lux. ****, ** *** not ******** ** *** light *******. *** ********* performs **** ** *** light **** ***** ********, but *** *****-**** ***** detector *** *** ******* had *** *******.

**** ******* ****, *** lightbulb ** **** ** detect *** *******, *** details *** **** ** discern ***** *** ***.

** *** ****, *** lightbulb *** ******* ***** cameras ******* ***** *** IR ************. ****, ***** was ** ***** *** the ******* *****, ***** is "*********" *** *** noise ******** ******* ** our ******** ****. *** color **** ***** ******** and *** ******* ******* produced ** *****.

******* ****, ******** ********* is **** ********, ** both ** ******* **** to ******* ******* ** either *** ******* ** chart.

Recommend ******** *** ******

** **** ***, ** opened *** ******** **** in *** ******, **** the ******** ~** *** and ******** ** ~*,*** lux. **** ***** ** from *** ******* ***** camera, ***** **** *** have ** ** ******, as **** **** *** abundance ** *** ** the ******* ******* ** the *** *****.

*** ****** ******* ****** are *** ****'* *** WDR ******, ** *** to ***** **** ** much ** ******** **** using ****. *** **** areas ** *** ***** are ********** ****, ** the ******* ******* ******** to ***** *** *****.

*********

**** *** ******* ***** and ********* ******* ******* WiFi *** * ****** app **** ***** ~*-* minutes ** *** *********. Once *********, **** ****, recordings, *** ***** ******** can ** *** ** adjusted. ***** ** ** image ** *** **** screen/live **** ** **** WiFi *******.

*** ***** ******** *** USB ******* ** *** have *** *** ** view ******* ****, *********** making *****/******* **********. *** USB ******* ******** ** an ******, *** *** be *** ** ****** on ****** ******, ** continuously ** ~* ****** clips. *** ***** ******** uses * ******, *** once *******, *** ****** continuous ******* *** ~** minutes, **** * ********, record **** *****, ** record ** ******.

*** ******* ****** ** an ** ****, *** the ****-******* ******* ***** and ********* ******* *** save ***** *** ********* to * ****** ****** as ****.

***************

***** ********** ** ****** these ****** ****** ******* should ** ******* ** deploying **** ** ****** lit ***** **** ****** to ** ***** ********. Otherwise, ******** **** **** image ******* ** ******. Given *** ***** *** portability ** **** ** the ****** ******* ******, interested ***** *** **** value ** ******** **** on ***** **** **** home *** **** **** of ************ ** ********* living ******.

Comments (5)

****** *** **** *** of *****! **** ****.

********* ******* *** *&* on *** ****** **** for *** ******* ***** I ****'* *** ***** or **** *********. *** of ***** *** ****** have * ************ *********?

***** ***,

*** ******* ***** (*** lightbulb ****** *** **** matter) *** *** **** ONVIF ** **** **********. The **** *** ** control **** **** ******* a ****** *** ****** testing. **'** ***** ******** an ***** ** *** usability ******* ** *** report, ******* *** "**** screen/live ****" **** ** each ******/***.

*** **** ****?

*******'* ** ******** ****** in *********** **** ****? Yesterday's *** ******** *** role ** ******* ********* in *****'* ********** *** of ************ **********.

********* ******* *********** "********" subjects **** **** *** being *******. ********** ****** then *** ***********. ** generally ***** **** **** has * ******** ********** effect *** **** ** helps *********** **** ***** is * *******. ****** cams **** * ***** for **************, *** *** they **** **** * huge ********* *** ***** and **********. **** ****** be **** ** *** discussion.

#*, ****'* * **** post. **** ** * test, ** **** **** when ** **** *********'* products, ** ** *******, we *** ** ***** on *** **** ****** but *********, *** ***** and ******** *** ***** up *** *****.

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