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6 Small Security Cameras for Subtle Surveillance

Using Small Security Cameras Appropriately

Small security cameras are marketed under various guises: mini camera, spy camera, and hidden security camera largely describe the same thing.

What is the smallest spy camera you can get?

The smallest surveillance cameras measure less than 2 inches. Though the size might suggest poor quality, a lot of these tiny devices are capable of recording in HD, with some even claiming to support up to 4K.

Despite the marketing, you should never use a small security camera to spy on somebody. 

Everyone occupying a property must know that they are being recorded in accordance with the right to privacy that protects everyone. 

So-called ‘spy cameras’ might be useful in monitoring around the front door and porch area, for example, where there is a reasonable expectation of being recorded.

Our 6 Favorite Small Security Cameras

With those things in mind, we’ve handpicked some of our favorite small security cameras available on the market. 


Small security camera that connects to phone

Available on AlfredCamera. $29.99.

the front of AlfredCam


  • Small, chic design
  • Infrared night vision is clear and well-balanced
  • microSD support allows for both local and cloud based storage


  • Indoor only
  • No voice assistant support

The first indoor security camera from AlfredCamera measures just 4.13 in x 2.36 in x 2.36 in. With excellent infrared night vision and 1080p HD video resolution, Alfred users can take their DIY security camera systems up a notch.

Key specifications

  • 1080p HD
  • Motion detection
  • Continuous recording
  • microSD support
  • Infrared night vision
  • Two-way audio 
  • Built-in siren

Blink Mini

Available on Amazon. From $34.99.

blink mini
Image via Amazon


  • Inexpensive
  • Very small
  • USB charger


  • No MicroSD card slot
  • Motion detection, cloud storage, etc. requires a subscription

Key Specifications

  • 1080p HD video
  • 110-degree field of view
  • USB storage via add-on
  • Micro-USB charger
  • Infrared night vision
  • Motion detection

Arebi A10 Plus 1080p HD Mini Spy Camera

Smallest home security camera for apartments

Available on Amazon. From $39.98.

Arebi A10 Plus 1080p HD Mini Spy Camera
Image via Amazon


  • Tiny size, subtle design
  • Magnetic body for easy mounting
  • MicroSD up to 265GB (not included)


  • Very poor battery life when connected to Wi-Fi
  • Night recording will require moderate sources of light
  • Color saturation is poor

This nifty little camera from Arebi measures just 24 x 30 x 30 mm. Despite its size, it’s capable of 1080p video with a 150-degree field of view, which rivals many regular-sized competitors.

Push notifications and motion detection are all here, as well as night vision, though it won’t suffice for pitch black environments. Battery is poor, clocking in at about an hour of use, so you’ll have to keep it plugged in via micro-USB.

Key Specifications

  • 1080p HD
  • 150-degree field of view
  • Infrared night vision
  • Dual Band Wi-Fi
  • Micro-USB charging
  • Motion detection

Arebi 8C Pro 4K

Best quality wireless hidden camera

Available on Amazon. From $59.95.

Image via Amazon


  • 4K Ultra HD, 160-degree wide-angle lens
  • MicroSD up to 256GB (not included)
  • ’Motion mode’ helps preserve battery life


  • Bulkier body than the circular A10 Plus
  • Battery life not sufficient for 24/7 recording without being kept on charge
  • Night recording requires moderate sources of life

If you’ve got a couple extra bucks to spare, you might want to consider the high-achiever older brother of the A10 Plus. At 1.2 x 1.2 x 2.1 inches, it’s a touch larger and therefore somewhat less inconspicuous than the A10 Plus, but still fits in the palm of the hand and is magnetically mounted. 

The slightly larger body is understandable since it can record up to 4K Ultra HD with a 160-degree viewing field. Its battery is better, clocking in at about 3 days per charge when in ‘motion mode’.

Key Specifications

  • 4K HD
  • 160-degree field of view
  • Infrared night vision
  • Dual Band Wi-Fi
  • Micro-USB charging
  • Motion detection

AlfredCam Plus

Best small security cameras for outdoor

Available on AlfredCamera and Amazon. From $39.99.

AlfredCam Plus waterproof.


  • Super affordable
  • Unusually small for outdoor security cameras
  • microSD included


  • Slightly larger than original AlfredCam
  • 32GB MicroSD card will fill up fast with

Plus adds outdoor use, 2K video, and USB C connectivity, in addition to all new advanced pet and vehicle detection (Premium only). A microSD card is included so you can record continuously straight out of the box, while the introduction of a magnetized base makes mounting a breeze.

Key Specifications

  • 2K QHD video
  • 130-degree field of view
  • Two-way audio
  • 64 GB microSD card included
  • Infrared night vision
  • Built-in siren
  • IP65 weatherproof
  • Unlimited devices per account

Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2

Small security camera for car

Available on Amazon. From $109.99.


  • Car-key sized
  • Advanced features like voice control and live view
  • Easy mounting via adhesive


  • Must download corresponding app for setup
  • 140-degree field of view is unusually narrow for a dash cam
  • No true night vision

For those more than happy to spend for size, consider trying a dash cam, like the Garmin Mini 2. 

It measures about the same size as a car key, so it’ll make for an excellent, easily concealed camera wherever you decide to use it. 

There’s super crisp 1080p recording, but the advanced features like full voice control, automatic uploads over Wi-Fi, and live view monitoring are more likely to pique your interest. 

Key Specifications

  • 1080p HD
  • 140-degree field of view
  • Voice control
  • Parking Guard G sensor
  • microSD card required

What to Know Before Buying Small Security Cameras

Before buying a small security camera, consider some of the points below to make sure you’re getting what’s best for you. 

Forget aesthetics

If having a flashy security camera that draws attention to itself causes a degree of anxiety, try to forget about what looks best.

Black colored mini cameras may be more subtle depending on the colors in the home, while white ones may work better in lighter spaces.

Either way, keep colors consistent and avoid jarring colors that conflict with the surroundings.

Wires for power

The smaller the camera, the smaller the battery. You’ll likely want to make sure the product you buy has the option for wiring or wire charging.

The smallest of mini cameras will last several hours at best. Find one that can be powered with a wire if you want to record for extended periods.

Can hidden cameras work without wifi?

Many hidden cameras use MicroSD cards as storage devices, so you don’t need to have them connected to the Wi-Fi. For example, the Arebi A10 Plus supports up to 256GB MicroSD. Simply insert the memory card into another device to view recorded footage there.

Dash cams

Dash cams are a great option for those looking for feature-rich security cameras on the smaller scale, even if you have no intention to use it in a vehicle. They are designed to be subtle in a car, with long-term use in mind.

Forget Audio

If you are planning to keep your device in a less obvious spot, then it’s advised to turn audio recording off.

Know the Law

Someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy in a bedroom, changing room, or bathroom, for instance, so placing cameras in there without their knowledge and consent is illegal.

Small security cameras outdoors, on your porch for example, are perfectly legal, because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy there.


How small can spy cameras be?

If you’re the FBI or James Bond, presumably a spy camera can be as small as you can imagine. A camera for worthwhile home security purposes shouldn’t be less than about 1.5 inches in diameter, however. Any smaller and the camera will likely be a gimmick and of no practical use for long term security surveillance.

What is a good mini spy camera?

Check out our list above for our favorite picks of small security cameras.


Small security cameras make surveillance a little less attention-seeking and a little less expensive. 

Concealing a device is much easier when it is just an inch or two large, but it’s important to be aware of when you are potentially in breach of someone’s privacy.

Always make the members of your household aware that they are being recorded, and do not record in private spaces.