Hidden Camera Detectors Tested

By IPVM Team, Published Nov 18, 2019, 09:50am EST (Info+)

Hidden cameras are a growing problem as cameras become smaller, cheaper and easier to access. However, some companies claim to be able to detect those cameras.

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IPVM purchased 2 of the top sold Amazon hidden camera detectors as well as downloaded a number of phone apps, testing them against a variety of hidden cameras, some we purchased and will be testing later, and some made in-house.

Key ********

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  • Precise ***** ****** ** "***" ****: Seeing a hidden camera lens requires a precise, close angle to get a reflection from the red LEDs against a camera lens. Given the design of having a ring of LEDs around an eye piece, the user will have to slowly sweep the room for cameras, and if a specific angle is not used, a camera could be completely missed.
  • RF ******** *********** ****: The RF detector had issues pinpointing locations of hidden cameras. Many false positives occurred during our test with interference from laptops, phones, routers and other devices that emit their own RF. Also, the RF scanner failed to detect hidden cameras that work without WiFi and instead record to an on-board SD card.
  • Reflected "***" ***** *** *****: A red dot is reflected back off the lens of the hidden camera and made slightly more visible through the eyepiece. However, depending on the angle and distance a hidden lens is seen, the dot could be easily missed.
  • False ********* ******** ***** ****** ****** ******: Whether from using the RF detector or the hidden camera finder, false positives can be seen frequently. The LED's on the camera finders reflect off most retroreflective surfaces and items, such as other LEDs, metal, and plastic. Users may second-guess themselves, thinking they have found a hidden device, when they did not.

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Device ******

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Comments (4)

We have purchased and tested several of these over the years. Price ranges from about $20.00 to $60.00. They range in performance from completely useless, to extremely difficult to use. They are frustrating little devices delivering many false positives and missing cameras all together unless (and sometimes even when) extremely close. Definitely a device that should be sold with a well defined set of expectations, especially to an inexperienced user. Your final summation is about the best that can be said: "better than nothing" but just barely.

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative: 5
Unhelpful
Funny

If these devices became halfway useful it seems like a simple counter measure on the camera side would be to close down the iris when the light from one of these was detected in the image.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I've used a thermal monocular to search for hidden cameras, both indoor and outdoor with good results. Even very small cameras emit some heat.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 6
Unhelpful
Funny
Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny
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