Which inspection camera is best?
Inspection cameras are useful for all kinds of things. You can check pipes for clogs, examine hard-to-reach spots in your car and even check out the back of your teeth to find a piece of stuck food. And they’re relatively affordable, too.
The best inspection camera is the Teslong 16.4-Feet Dual Lens Inspection Camera. It has a wide view range and a large 5-inch screen. Plus, it has seven adjustable LEDs, so you never have to struggle to see in dark spaces.
What to know before you buy an inspection camera
Inspection camera connection types
Inspection cameras connect to screens in one of three ways.
- Built-in cameras have a large display as part of the control panel, making them easy to use. These screens are usually 4-5 inches measured diagonally.
- USB cameras connect to a laptop. Since you have to drag a small laptop around to use them, they can be somewhat frustrating to use.
- Wi-Fi cameras connect to your phone, tablet or computer through a wireless connection so you can use the screen as a monitor. Double-check that your prospective camera is compatible with your device — some require certain operating systems.
Always check the width and length of the cable to the inspection camera before purchasing.
- Width: Inspection cameras have varying widths, between two-tenths of an inch up to 1.5 inches. Many are one-third of an inch.
- Length: Cable length is highly varied. Some are as short as 3 feet, while others can be 50 feet or longer. The longer the cable, the harder it is to control. Don’t buy a longer cable than necessary, as this can become cumbersome.
What to look for in a quality inspection camera
Inspection cameras have different resolutions, just like any other camera. You’ll see a range of resolutions between 480p-1080p with some up to 1440p. Keep in mind that inspection cameras with lower resolution require less storage space.
Inspection cameras usually have LEDs on the tip, so you can see objects even in the dark. The best ones allow you to control the brightness.
Most inspection cameras use rechargeable batteries, making them very portable. Some last as little as 10 minutes, while others last as long as 10 hours. Manufacturers measure battery life in various ways; some use milliampere-hours, while others just list in standard hours and minutes. Check the user reviews to see how long your prospective camera lasts in real-world conditions.
How much you can expect to spend on an inspection camera
Inspection cameras typically cost $20-$500. Budget-friendly cameras for one-off occasions cost less than $50. Residential cameras cost up to $250. Commercial-grade cameras usually cost between $200-$500.
Inspection camera FAQ
How can I tell if an inspection camera is waterproof?
A. Look for the ingress protection (IP or IPX) rating. This rating is an independently attributed number that relates to how good the water- and dust-proof the camera is. Most inspection cameras have an IP67 rating, which means you can submerge them in water that’s 3 feet deep or less for up to an hour.
Is it safe to use inspection cameras on people?
A. Generally, no. Some people use inspection cameras to scope out their backs or see the back of their teeth, but you should never use them any further than this. It is never safe to use an inspection camera inside the human body for any reason.
Can I use inspection cameras to get a close-up view of wildlife?
A. Yes, but you shouldn’t use them in a disruptive manner. For example, it’s okay to set up a bird or bat house and set up an inspection camera to keep an eye on the prospective nest. However, poking into an established nest or hive of some kind is not safe.
What’s the best inspection camera to buy?
Top inspection camera
What you need to know: It’s an excellent all-around inspection camera.
What you’ll love: The dual-lens system is made of a front- and a side-facing camera that creates a 140-degree viewing angle. The cable is waterproof for up to an hour in 3 feet of water. The handle has a spacious 5-inch screen.
What you should consider: The cable doesn’t rotate, so it can take some wiggling to get it in the right spot. A few consumers had issues focusing on the object.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top inspection camera for the money
What you need to know: This short inspection camera is perfect for occasional needs.
What you’ll love: The camera has an adjustable resolution and saves videos directly to your phone. The cable is waterproof, and the tip has six adjustable LEDs. It comes in black and blue.
What you should consider: The battery only lasts for about 15 minutes tops. Also, you have to connect your phone directly to the device’s Wi-Fi signal to have the videos transferred to your phone.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you need to inspect several hard-to-reach areas, this inspection camera has an ultra-long cable.
What you’ll love: The dual-camera system and 1.5x zoom function allow you to get set up quickly, giving you more time to check out whatever it is you’re scoping. Both the 4.5-inch display and the cable are waterproof. It also comes with a 32-gigabyte MicroSD card.
What you should consider: A few purchasers reported the LED lights were far too dim. Some said they had to put the camera within 3 inches of an object in order to see it clearly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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