We’ve known for years that spies throughout the ages have had hidden cameras that watched your every move. Without them, their secret missions are nearly impossible. But this is science fiction only capable in James Bond , or Mission Impossible movies right? Wrong. As tech has enabled big, bulky items to become teeny, tiny, spy pen cameras were the next logical choice.
Now you may be thinking, who would need this except some type of pervert. Shame on you. Get your mind out of the gutter. There are many times in peoples lives that they need proof that people are being honest in business dealings, insurance claims, divorce proceedings, journalists who don’t want be obvious with a big camera in someones face, school and even law enforcement wearable camera. These are just a few.
In our search for the best miniature spy pen cameras, we have come across many models to choose from. The selection can be overwhelming, but we’ll try and break it down to the features and specs that matter so you can make an informed decision.
Spy Camera Resolution
This has to do with the quality of the video. The higher the resolution, the better the video you’re going to record Typically you are going to want something HD, so 720 at a minimum, 1080P would be optimal. In addition, the FPS or Frames Per Second is crucial to having smooth video. If you have ever seen video online that appears choppy, its because its being recorded at a low frame rate. A typical movie is playing at 24FPS, so anything above that will be ultra smooth. The higher the FPS, the smoother fast movements will be so there will be minimal blurring of the images.
Video HD Storage Size
Some spy pens have a built in hard drive, while others may require an additional SD card. You should check this because its likely why one spy pen may be cheaper than another. A typical 16GB hard drive will net you about 320 minutes of video and 48k photo images.
This all depends on how much you use it continually, but in our experience, you’ll get about 2 hours of continuous use before it needs to be recharged.
This is one of the most important features that some people seem to want, but often miss. Some of the better ones out there can record video AND audio. So you want to make sure yours can record audio.
Night Vision Recording
Nightvision models are typically more expensive and only record about 5 or so feet in front of you.
Additional Spy Pen Features To Consider
- Does it come with replaceable ink cartridges
- Will it work on both PC and Mac
- Motion activation? This means it will start recording as soon as it detects motion.
- Are you buying it from a legitimate manufacture
- Is the any noticeable lights? Some spy pens have a blinking light letting you know its recording. This is bad for covertness.
- Will it work in low light? Most spy pens will only record when there is light.
- Does it take snap shots, or only video
- How well are the instructions written. Are they in broken english, or chinese?
- What is the warranty in case something goes wrong
- Does it come with a USB adapter or just a removable SD card
- What is the maximum size of the sd card it can take. Usually 32 GB is the highest, but more advanced models can go much higher. Remember, more storage = longer recording time.
Best Spy Pen Cameras We’ve Seen