Last updated: August 5, 2021

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There were 87,145 residential burglaries in Germany in 2019 alone. At the same time, the clearance rate for residential burglaries is only 17.4 percent. Many people try to protect themselves against burglary by installing technical security measures in their homes, such as windows and doors.

Installing a video camera can not only act as a deterrent, but also give you control and security. For our model comparison, we compared a wide variety of mini cameras. Whether for the home, for outdoor use, with motion detector or for surveillance: Here you will get an overview of the most important criteria that will enable you to make an easy purchase decision.




Summary

  • The mini camera is an inconspicuous camera that is suitable for video recording. It allows you to monitor a specific area without being noticed. A wireless mini camera in particular allows you to set it up and install it in inconspicuous places.
  • The power source and data storage should not be the only decisive factors. Above all, the motion detector, night vision and possible applications are important purchase criteria.
  • In a smoke detector, a biro, in a nesting box or as a door peephole: the mini camera can be used in a variety of ways indoors and outdoors.

The Best Mini Camera: Our Choices

Buying and rating criteria for mini cameras

When comparing different mini cameras, it is easy to see that there are so many to choose from that it can be difficult to make a purchase decision. Here you will find an overview of various evaluation criteria to help you compare the individual models.

The following overview of the various criteria should help you find the right mini camera and make the purchase decision easier:

Power supply

The power supply of mini cameras is guaranteed either via a power connection or via battery operation. If the mini camera is powered by rechargeable batteries or batteries, it is more mobile, and some cameras can even be charged via solar panels. Since the batteries have to be recharged, you should make sure that they have a long runtime. This way you can avoid abruptly stopping the recording.

In comparison, connecting the camera to a stationary power supply guarantees that the mini camera will not stop working. If the camera is also equipped with a motion detector, it is more energy-efficient because it only records when something happens.

Data storage

The recordings of the mini camera can be stored either on a microSD card or on a cloud storage service. When the limited storage space of the SD card is full, the oldest recordings are automatically overwritten. To read out the SD card, simply connect it to a mobile phone or laptop. The recordings are not lost via the cloud storage and can be accessed and viewed live from different devices. However, this solution usually incurs monthly costs.

Resolution

To ensure that there is enough detail in the camera recordings, the mini camera should have at least 1080px. This way you can see enough details even on an enlarged image.

Place / possibility of use

Depending on the place of use, whether indoors or outdoors, you should pay attention to the corresponding functions of the mini camera. A wireless, waterproof camera is suitable for outdoor use. If the mini camera is intended for the entrance area, there is the option of installing a camera with two-way audio capability.

This way you can communicate with people outside the door. Indoors, the camera can be connected to the mains and integrated or built into the furnishings.

Night vision

A motion detector should be sensitive enough to react to the slightest movement. This guarantees that your mini camera only records when something really happens. At the same time, you avoid unnecessary video material and the storage space of the SD card is used optimally.

Motion detector

A motion detector should be sensitive enough to react to the slightest movement. This guarantees that your mini camera only records when something really happens. At the same time, you avoid unnecessary video material and the storage space of the SD card is used optimally.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about mini cameras answered in detail

We have compiled the most important questions about mini cameras for you below. So no questions remain unanswered before you make your purchase decision.

What is a mini camera?

A mini camera is a very small, inconspicuous camera that can be used to make video recordings. Its size makes the miniature camera versatile, whether for indoors or outdoors. This makes the mini camera also suitable as a spy or surveillance camera.

Minikamera

A miniature camera should be waterproof and able to withstand all weather conditions. Wireless surveillance cameras in particular can be installed in a wide variety of places. (Image source: Rythik / unsplash)

The miniature camera is so small that it can easily be camouflaged or hidden so that no one notices that it is being recorded. There are already camouflaged models that only need to be placed, such as the miniature camera in a smoke detector or biros.

For the outside or entrance area, you should consider whether you really want to camouflage the camera in order to convict a possible perpetrator afterwards. However, you can also use the camera without camouflage as a deterrent.

What does a mini camera cost?

The cost of a mini camera varies depending on the range of functions and possible additional products that are included. Especially in the high-priced range, for example, there is a lot to be done with integrated face recognition. The following table gives you an overview of the price range for a mini camera:

Price range Available products
Low-priced (15 - 50 €) Single camera, few standard functions
Medium-priced (50 - 100 €) Equipped with some additional functions
High-priced (from 100 €) High scope of delivery, many functions (e.g. two-way audio), integration in Smart Home System possible

Are you looking for a camera with many functions for a low price? Then a mini camera in the mid-price segment is already suitable, as it already offers many additional functions.

How do I set up a mini camera?

Of course, the installation and setup of the mini camera depends on the model and manufacturer. Since the majority of cameras are managed via an app, it is usually easier than expected to install the mini camera. After booting up, all you have to do is connect the camera to the WLAN, and via it to your mobile phone, and add it to the corresponding app.

Now the mini camera can be put into operation via the app and placed at the desired location. Specific settings depend on the respective model and can be found in the operating instructions. If you have further questions about operation, it is also worth taking a look at the enclosed instructions for use.

How does a mini camera work?

Questions quickly arise about a mini camera: How does a mini camera work? What do I have to consider during installation? How do I access the recordings? We have answered the most important questions about how it works for you here:

  • Recording: If you couple the camera with a motion detector, you are guaranteed that it will only record when something really happens. This reduces unnecessary video material and guarantees a longer runtime with a battery-powered camera.
  • Transmission: With a Wi-Fi mini camera, your recordings are transferred directly to a PC, laptop or smartphone. If the video recordings are stored on a cloud server, they can also be accessed via the internet from outside.
  • Access: You can access the video recordings of your mini camera at any time via the corresponding app. To access the camera from outside via the Internet, a port should be forwarded in the router to enable remote access.
  • Notification: For more security and control, you have the option of receiving an alert by e-mail when motion is detected. This ensures more security and you always have an overview.

After we have clarified the function of the mini camera, there is nothing standing in the way of installing your camera.

Conclusion

Mini cameras are not only a good deterrent against potential burglars. The small cameras also increase your sense of security at home and can be used indoors and outdoors. Whether on the front door, wirelessly in a difficult location or integrated into the interior: The mini camera can be used in many ways and is useful in everyday life. When purchasing, you should consider what you want to use the surveillance camera for.

A night mode and a motion detector should also be important purchase criteria. Even in the low price segment, you can get mini cameras with a variety of functions that fit your needs. This is how quickly and inexpensively you can get started with your first mini camera.

Picture source: unsplash.com / Josh Shaw

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