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

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

Sometimes, you get the inexplicable feeling that you might be being watched. We’re not ones to encourage superstition, but in some situations, like in unfamiliar hotel rooms, you might find the feeling hard to ignore.

If you do, whether that’s in a hotel room or in other supposedly private areas like bathrooms, you’ll want to determine what type of hidden spy camera is being used. From air vent spy cameras to spy cameras disguised as household objects, there’s plenty of them—some of them more undetectable than others.

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

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8 Different Types of Hidden Cameras

Thanks to constant technological innovations, the possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to hidden spy cameras. 

Here’s 8 of the best and 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. There’s a lot to work with, then!

It goes without saying that the James Bonds of the real world aren’t exactly ordering their hidden spy cameras from Amazon. A custom-built spy camera has the clear 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, and 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 surveillance. With night vision, motion detection, and more, old devices you have laying around can be revived as useful tools for home security (that are more powerful than most of the spy cameras on the market). 

Users are always coming up with brilliant ways to hide their devices. If you’re looking to co-opt Alfred as a hidden camera, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed. 

USB drive

We like to think of this as the modern classic of hidden cameras. Spy cameras disguised as USB drives (and oftentimes actually functioning) are pretty common and affordable, and will be the hidden camera type you’re most likely to come across these days.

They’re likely to be very cheap and simple to manufacture, which helps keep the costs down. They are also a pretty handy option since they can be powered while remaining easily disguised—a downfall faced by most other types, which will have very humble battery lives because of their size.

If a USB drive is the modern classic, a spy camera pen is no doubt its precursor. You’ve seen these in films and TV shows, but nowadays they’re a pretty easy find on Amazon. 

With this type, you can expect to come across some that are more ‘gimmicky’ than others, so you’re pretty unlikely to come across these for security purposes.

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 well with surroundings, making them a choice option as a hidden camera in the house or in the office.

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 means silencing the inner interior designer: a black clockface is the only one that’ll convey realism, or else the camera lens will stick out like a sore thumb. Unsurprisingly, digital is more realistic than analogue, so likely more popular. 

Check out this hidden camera that also doubles as a USB charger.

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 (i.e. not of family, pets, or significant others) 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 (digital photo frames ended up being a bit of a novelty, didn’t they?)

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. 

We strongly oppose any illicit uses for hidden cameras, but there’s no denying that objects mounted high up or on the ceiling, like smoke alarms and air vents, make a great spot 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 Hidden Cameras That Can Be Easily Detected

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

Cutting open an older teddy bear and stuffing a camera inside it might seem like a reasonable way to hide a camera, but ultimately, it’s a pretty foolish means of hiding a camera.

A plushie isn’t exactly an object that is solely observed from a distance. 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 stitched up, which is also pretty suspicious. 

While they can provide advantageous vantage points since they are regularly placed in corners of communal spaces, 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 at 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 a pretty easy thing to do poorly if not particular about the objects and how they are arranged. For the most part, it can quickly become unnatural looking and draw attention to itself.

Near windows or light sources

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

Lenses placed in certain positions near strong light sources, be it natural light from a window or artificial light, will reflect light, creating a glint that will quickly draw the eye to itself. 

In this post you can 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. 

For home surveillance, there is no specific law that disallows the use of concealed surveillance, and it can be handy from a security and aesthetic perspective, but there does exist a right to privacy where there is a reasonable expectation of it. As such, bathrooms, bedrooms, and other private spaces where there is a reasonable expectation are 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.

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 of any type have a very minimal gap for the screwdriver to slot in, whereas false ones will have a complete hole in them for the camera lens to point out of. Shining a light at various angles at the head will also reveal reflections from the lens.

Do hidden cameras need wifi?

Hidden cameras don’t necessarily require wifi, but this will depend on the brand. 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. If you are looking for one, shine a light on the suspected object at various angles and pay attention to any unusual reflections.

This content was originally published here.

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