Buying a spy camera is not something most people do every day. Therefore, it is not surprising that when making a decision about which device to choose, doubts arise.
If you trust a quality establishment such as Espiamos, you can be sure that any device you take with you will incorporate the latest technologies and offer you incredible performance. But, how to choose among all our espionage cameras?
To make your choice easier, pay attention to the five main factors to consider.
Resolution of spy cameras
Without getting too technical, we can tell you that the resolution of an image is the amount of detail you can see in it. Today we measure it through the number of pixels per inch. The more pixels or dots per inch an image has, the better the image will look.
This is what explains why when you take a look at the technical sheets in search of the best spy camera, you always see the resolution of both the width and the height of the image, expressed by formulas such as: 1920 x 1080p or 2304 x 1296p. Here the “p” refers precisely to the pixels per inch.
There are many different reasons for using a spy camera, but what is clear is that, whatever use you are going to give to the captured images, you need them to be as clear as possible to be able to see clearly what is happening.
But not all cameras on the market have the same resolution, there are different types and one or the other will be more or less convenient depending on what you want the video for.
Devices capable of offering a resolution of 720 x 480p are known by this name. It is one of the lowest image qualities that we can find, so it is almost deprecated.
In some cases it is possible to find a spy camera capable of recording even in 4K but that allows you to vary the resolution up to levels as low as D1 in order to save storage space, since files with this image quality weigh much less.
1280 x 720p resolution is what we commonly know as High Definition (HD). It is the most common format used in spy cameras, especially those that are camouflaged.
The image quality is good enough to allow you to see what's going on, but not too clearly, so some details might be lost.
The 1920 x 1080 p spy cameras, or Full HD cameras are the most widely used today. They offer a more than acceptable image quality, in which even small details can be seen well.
In fact, this resolution is not only used in these devices, but also in others that are much more commonly used, such as mobile phones.
Allows you to take 2304 x 1296p images. It was very fashionable before the irruption of 4K, but little by little it is falling into disuse.
The good thing is that it allows you to capture high quality videos and whose weight is quite light when saving the file.
Also known as Ultra HD or UHD, it allows you to capture 4096 x 2160p images. The result is a video in which we can clearly see even the smallest details. Of course, it must be taken into account that UHD files occupy a large amount ofspace in the device's memory.
At 7680 horizontal pixels and 4320 vertical pixels, it is currently one of the highest resolutions on the market, but for now its use is being limited to large devices such as televisions.
It is difficult to find a spy camera capable of recording at such a resolution, but there is no doubt that they will eventually exist. Although for this it will be necessary to increase the storage capacity.
What resolution to choose for a spy camera?
As we said before, it depends a lot on what you want to capture and the use you are going to give the video. But, in general terms, Full HD resolution is enough to capture good quality images that you can even use as evidence in court if you want to report bullying, mobbing or displaying the elderly abuse in nursing homes
Spy cameras with 4K resolution are a good alternative if you want to have a fairly wide surveillance range. For example, if you want to record the entire area of the garden at home or the entrance to the garage. Also if the recording is going to be done in areas with a lot of people passing through, because it will be easier for you to identify people.
How much autonomy does a spy camera need ?
The autonomy of a device of this type is nothing other than the time that it is capable of working.
As you can imagine, this factor is especially important and must be taken into account before buying one or another spy camera. It depends on the use that you are going to give it. You are interested in having a device with more or less autonomy.
If you want to record a meeting with your boss, you could take a spy pen with a battery life of about 60-80 minutes, because surely you won't need more. However, if your intention is to use the camera to constantly monitor what is happening at home, then you will need a device capable of working for several hours at a time.
Currently there are spy cameras with a long-lasting battery, there are also models that have unlimited autonomy because they can be connected to the electrical network. Even in the case of cameras with limited autonomy, you can increase it by connecting them to an external battery.
Mode influence recording in autonomy
Another factor to take into account is that the way you use the camera will also influence the amount of battery it consumes, which will make its autonomy longer or shorter.
The continuous recording mode means that you don't miss anything that's going on, but it also means that you will have many hours of uninteresting video stored and that the battery will drain in a few hours.
So that this does not happen, the latest generation devices have other operating modes:
- Activation by movement, sound or vibration: the device remains in standby as long as nothing happens and will activate for a few minutes when there is a noise, movement or vibration of a certain intensity.< /li>
- Activation by PIR sensor: cameras equipped with a passive motion detector only activate recording when they detect a heat source from a person or animal.
- Schedule : some models of spy cameras can be programmed so that, once they are installed in their final location, they are activated on a certain day and at a specific time.
Any of these systems can make the autonomy of a spy camera go from a few hours to several weeks and even months.
It is possible that in the data sheet of this type of device you will see the acronym FPS, which refers to frames per second . The FPS number indicates the number of consecutive images that we can see on the screen for every second of viewing the video.
In order for you to understand it better, you must start from the basis that a video is, in reality, a set of still images that, when played quickly, generate the sensation of movement. After 12 FPS, the human brain stops seeing static images and perceives moving images. Thus, the more frames per second a video has, the much smoother the image will be.
In the case of spy cameras, they usually have between 30 and 60 FPS. If you are going to play the captured videos at a normal speed, 30 frames per second will be enough. However, if the videos are going to be played at a slow speed (which usually happens if you have recorded something that happens at a high speed), then they will be smoother if you choose a 60 FPS model.
Spy cameras with Infrared or low light?
When you make a recording with a spy camera you are not always lucky enough that the action happens in a well-lit space. Sometimes you have no choice but to record at night or in low light situations, so it is advisable to get a camera that can capture quality images even in situations of this type. And that is when the question arises between infrared (night vision) and low light.
- Low light camera: allows you to capture videos with good clarity in spaces with little light but not totally in the dark. With them you can record at dawn or dusk, and even in dimly lit rooms.
- Night vision camera: uses IR LED technology to capture images in totally dark spaces.
The importance of choosing right the LEDs
In most cases it is better to choose devices with a night vision system than with a low-light camera, because only in the first case will we be able to capture images regardless of the lighting circumstances.
But be careful, because if you choose a camera equipped with IR LEDs you must be right when choosing the type of luminaires used. The 850nm LEDs remain illuminated even though the light they emit is invisible, so there is a certain risk of being discovered.
On the contrary, 940nm LEDs emit invisible light and also remain off, so they go much more unnoticed.
¿ Spy cameras with motion detection or PIR sensor?
We have already seen that one way to increase the autonomy of a spy camera is to choose a model that is capable of automatically activating recording at very specific moments. This can happen if it detects movement or a heat source.
What is the motion detector in the hidden cameras?
This system triggers the camera to switch on when it detects that some type of movement has occurred within its surveillance angle. What happens is that its level of sensitivity is low and it can be activated by movements such as opening a window due to air currents or a vase falling to the ground. The result is that they end up capturing videos without any interest to the user.
What is a PIR detector on a camera hidden?
The motion detectorPassive or passive infrared detector is much more sensitive and can receive radiation, so it only activates recording when it detects that within its surveillance angle there is a source of heat that could come from a human or an animal.
For practical purposes, a spy camera with a PIR sensor is more efficient than one equipped with a motion detector, because it will record less irrelevant content and save battery and storage space.
Which spy camera to choose?
At this point it's time to consider which device is best for you. And surely now that you know much more about the most important factors of these spy devices, the choice is much easier for you.
When buying a spy camera it is essential that the one you choose perfectly suits your needs. If the information we have given you in this article is not enough for you to make your purchase decision, you know that at Espiamos we are at your entire disposal to advise you both in our physical store and in our online store.
Contact us, consult the complete guide Or let us know how you want to use your camera and we will advise you on the best model for you, adapted to both your circumstances and your pocket. We are exclusive distributors of some of the most prestigious brands in the sector, so we guarantee that, whatever your choice, you will get a product of the best quality.
15 Frequently Asked Questions about spy cameras
1. What video resolution is the most recommended in a spy camera?
Video resolution determines the clarity and detail of recorded images. For a spy camera, at least 1080p (Full HD) resolution is recommended for clear and detailed images. However, if your budget allows it, there are spy cameras with 4K resolution that offer even higher image quality. It is essential to consider the purpose of the recording; if you just need an overview of an area, a lower resolution might suffice. But if you need to identify details or faces, it is advisable to opt for a higher resolution.
2. How do I know if a spy camera has good recording quality in low light conditions?
To ensure good recording quality in low light conditions, look for spy cameras with features like "night vision" or "infrared (IR)". These cameras are equipped with IR sensors that allow them to record in the dark or in low light conditions. In addition, it is useful to review the opinions and comments of other users or see samples of night recordings to check the effectiveness of night vision. It is also important to consider the range of this night vision; some cameras can capture clear images at short distances, while others offer a longer range.
3. What type of battery is ideal for a spy camera and how long should it last?
The choice of battery for a spy camera depends to a large extent on the use to which it is going to be given. The smallest and most discreet spy cameras usually have internal rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, similar to those used by smartphones. These batteries can last anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on battery capacity and camera usage. If you need long-term continuous recording, it is advisable to opt for cameras that can be connected to an external power source or have the option of using larger capacity external batteries. It is critical to check the estimated battery life in the product specifications and allow for additional time, as actual battery life may vary based on conditions such as ambient temperature or frequency of camera activation.
4. Can spy camerasto record audio clearly?
Yes, many spy cameras are equipped with built-in microphones that allow them to record audio along with the video. Clarity of recorded audio may vary depending on microphone quality, proximity to sound source, and environmental conditions. Some high-end cameras offer noise reduction features to improve audio clarity. However, it's important to remember that recording conversations without the consent of the parties involved may be illegal in many places, so it's always important to check your local laws before using the audio recording feature.
5. What is internal memory and how much storage should a spy camera have?
Internal memory refers to the built-in storage inside the spy camera, where the recordings are saved. This memory can be fixed or based on interchangeable microSD cards. The amount of storage you need depends on how long you plan to record and the resolution of your recordings. For example, a 4K recording will consume much more space than a 720p one. For occasional use or short recordings, an internal memory of 8GB or 16GB might be enough. However, if you plan to record continuously or in high resolution, it would be ideal to go for cameras with capacities of 32GB, 64GB or even more. Cameras with microSD card slots allow you to expand storage as needed and make file transfers easy.
6. How does the size and layout of the camera affect your discretion?
The size and design of a spy camera play a crucial role in its ability to go unnoticed. Smaller, more compact cameras are naturally more discreet and easy to hide in a variety of environments, whether it's among everyday objects, clothing, or even personal accessories. On the other hand, some spy cameras are designed to look like common objects, such as watches, pens, or chargers, making them virtually undetectable with the naked eye. The key to an effective spy camera is that it blends naturally into its surroundings without arousing suspicion. Therefore, when choosing a camera, it is essential to consider its intended location and how the design of the camera fits into that environment.
7. What additional features are useful in a spy camera?
Spy cameras have come a long way and offer a variety of additional features that can be useful depending on your needs. Some of these features include:
- Motion activation: The camera only starts recording when it detects movement, saving battery and storage space.
- Night Vision: Allows the camera to record clear images even in low light conditions or in the dark.
- WiFi connectivity: Allows you to access recordings and view them in real time from your smartphone or computer.
- Cloud storage: Some cameras allow you to save recordings to the cloud instead of storing them on a microSD card.
- Alarm function: Alerts you when the camera detects movement or when a specific event occurs.
8. Is it important that a spy camera connects to WiFi?
WiFi may be an essential feature for some people, but it's not always necessary. These are some considerations about its importance:
- Remote access: WiFi connectivity allows you to view recordings in real time from anywhere with internet access.
- Notifications: With an internet connection, the camera can send instant alerts to your smartphone if it detects movement or any other activity.
- Cloud storage: Some cameras offer cloud storage, which requires an internet connection.
- Updates: Keeping your camera connected helps you receive software updates that may improve its operation or security.
- Security: Although WiFi brings convenience, it can also be a gateway for hackers if the camera does not have adequate security measures.ace.
9. How do motion-activated spy cameras work?
Motion-activated spy cameras are designed to save energy and storage space, recording only when they detect activity. Its operation is based on:
- Sensors: These cameras are equipped with sensors that detect changes in the environment, such as movement or temperature variations.
- Auto start: Once motion is detected, the camera automatically starts recording, usually for a set period of time or until motion stops.
- Battery saving: By not constantly recording, these cameras tend to have a longer battery life.
- Minimize recordings: By recording only specific events, you can easily review your recordings and save storage space.
- Custom settings: Many cameras allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the sensor to avoid unnecessary recordings, such as those caused by small pets.
10. Can I access the spy camera recordings from my mobile?
Yes, many modern spy cameras offer the ability to access the recordings from your mobile. To do this, they generally use a WiFi connection and a specific application that you must install on your smartphone. Through this application, you can view recordings in real time, review previous recordings stored in the camera's memory or in the cloud, and even configure certain camera parameters, such as motion activation or detection alerts. It is vital to ensure that both the camera and the app offer robust security measures to protect the privacy of the recordings.
11. How do I know if a spy camera is waterproof or dustproof?
To determine the water or dust resistance of a spy camera, you should look up the IP (Ingress Protection) rating in the product specifications. This classification consists of two numbers; the first indicates protection against solid objects (such as dust) and the second indicates protection against liquids (such as water). For example, an IP67 rating means the camera is fully protected against dust (6) and can withstand temporary immersion in water up to 1 meter deep (7). If you plan to use the camera outdoors or in environments with a risk of splashing, it is essential to ensure that it has an appropriate IP rating.
12. How complicated is the installation and configuration of a spy camera?
The installation and configuration of a spy camera may vary depending on the model and specific features. However, many modern spy cameras are designed to be user friendly. Here are some points to consider:
- Plug-and-play: Many spy cameras today are plug-and-play, which means you only need to plug them in to start working.
- User Manual: It is essential that the camera comes with a detailed manual in your language. This will guide you through the installation and configuration step by step.
- Software: Some cameras may require the installation of software or mobile apps to configure and access recordings.
- WiFi connectivity: If the camera has WiFi connectivity, you may need to configure it to connect to your home network.
- Location: It is essential to choose a strategic location where the camera is not easily detectable but can capture clear images.
- Technical support: Make sure the manufacturer or vendor offers technical support in case you have problems during installation or configuration.
13. Are there spy cameras that blend in with everyday objects?
Yes, there are spy cameras designed to blend in with everyday objects. These cameras are hidden in items that would not attract attention ina home or office environment, such as clocks, alarm clocks, lamps, chargers, among others. The advantage of these devices is that they can record without being detected, since their presence is discreet and goes unnoticed by most people. It is important to note that although these cameras offer a high degree of discretion, they should always be used with respect for the laws and the privacy of individuals.
14. What security aspects should I consider when using a spy camera?
When using a spy camera, it is crucial to consider the following security aspects:
- Legality: Before installing and using a spy camera, make sure you are aware of your local laws regarding unauthorized recording. In many places, recording someone without their knowledge can be illegal.
- Data protection: If your spy camera connects to a network or saves recordings in the cloud, it is vital to make sure that the connection is secure and that the data is encrypted to prevent access unauthorized.
- Passwords: If your spy camera has remote access, be sure to set strong passwords and change them regularly.
- Updates: Keep your camera firmware and software up-to-date to protect against security vulnerabilities.
- Privacy: Avoid recording areas where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as bathrooms or bedrooms, unless you have a valid and legal reason to do so.
15. How does the price affect the quality and features of a spy camera?
The price of a spy camera can be an indicator of its quality and the features it offers, but it is not the only factor to consider. Here are some price points:
- Image and sound quality: Higher-priced spy cameras tend to offer better video and audio quality. They could count on higher resolution, recording in low light conditions and better sound quality.
- Additional features: Features such as WiFi connectivity, motion activation, night vision, and remote access are often found on more expensive models.
- Design and discreet: Higher-priced cameras could be made with better quality materials and have a more elegant and discreet design.
- Storage: Higher storage capacity or the ability to record to the cloud could increase the cost.
- Brand and guarantee: Cameras from well-known brands are usually more expensive, but offer the advantage of greater reliability and guarantees.