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Hi , this is the second guide we have written about wireless pinhole spy camera's. Just from the amount of enquires that we recieve , we believe that this will be a usefull resource for those seeking to purchase one.

KBC STORE guide to buying a Mini spy camera


 Most of the camera's available to buy on eBay will have one of two chips, which is the componant of the camera which produces the images, also referred to as "the Image sensor". You will find the terms CMOS and CCD.

CMOS stands for "complementary metal oxide semiconductor". CCD stands for "charge coupled device"

So what's the difference?

CMOS imaging sensor chips tend to be used in lower price items , as the quality is ok , but not great. It will be able to provide with good images , but we have found them to be less productive in conditions of varying light. Therefore, with that in mind, if you are going to be using the camera in a condition where the amount of light is constant and plentiful, like indoors with artificial light, they are a good option as they are really value for money.

CCD however will provide you much more clarity and reliablity , interms of receiving a quality image. Due to advances in technology and design in the far east , you can buy camera's with these imaging sensors at good prices here on eBay. A camera which has CCD chip will always out perform a CMOS chip in quality of image and reaction to lighting changes. Good for indoors, better for outdoor conditions. Nearly all digital camera's these days will have this sort of chip.

The size of the imaging sensor. You may see 1/4 inch ot 1/3 inch appearing after the the type of chip used in the camera. This relates to the size of the chip. In general , the larger the size the better quality images. But this is not always te case as advances in technology are now producing smaller chips which provide the same quality as 1/2 inch size one.

TV lines

The number of TV lines which are mentioned on these adverts refer to the picture resolution. TV lines is the way which the picture resolution is measured. The more TV lines you have , the better the resolution of the picture. Most camera's will have a standard resolution of around 380. If you find a camera with 420 , great this will provide you with great images. CCD chip camera's and Black and White camera's may have around 520 TV lines , which will offer you superb viewing resolution. It will be like watching your TV as a measure of quality.


This is the measure of sensivity to light. A rating of 2 LUX means that the camera will function fairly well in a lit condition. We have tested this and have found you will need a similar amount of light available to that from a 40 watt bulb. The lower the LUX rating , the easier it is for the camera to work in low light condition. Most of the spy camera's indicate a LUX of 0.5, whcih means that they will be able to pick up images up until dusk, or on a dim night. You will night vision camera's have a LUX of 0 because they require no light at all.


PAL is the tv system used in Europe , whcile in the USA you will NTSC. Make sure you check with the seller that the camera you are purchasing is compatitble and works in the UK. Most UK sellers based in the UK will only supply this type, but please check if you are buying from outside the UK, especially fromthe Far East !

Power supply adapters

All camera's and the receivers alike will need to be provided with a sustainable power source. Here there are two options, a power adapter or a battery clip.

Most battery clips will operate from a 9 volt power source. This is great as it will allow the camera to operate in a mobile environment. The downside is that the camera needs a lot of power and the battery may only last up to three hours or so. Batteries are also expensive! The other option is to power the camera and receiver via a plug power adapter. Most sellers do not sell these with the camera kits as there are heavy and importing these goods from china gets shipping costs high. But some will, as us at KBC Stores.

Always check thast the power adapter supplies a regulated power supply and that it has CE accreditation. This will ensure you safety when using the camera and will not fry the equipment.


Other sources for power can be in the form of a cigerrette power converter. For those of you which want to use the camera outside and have the receiver hooked up to a monitor in your car, you can use this. Just check the power specification is correct on the car power converter. KBC Stores sells power converters with a manual selection so that you can use it to power a number of electronical items.

How to check for quality before you buy?

  1. Always check the seller feedback . This provides you with a good indicator of there level of customer service and quality.
  2. Check to see if the seller has a free technical help desk.
  3. Is the seller located in the UK. You will liable for import tax and VAT if you purchase from outside the EU.
  4. This might be the most important , ENSURE THAT THE SELLER SELLS REPLACEMENT PARTS FOR YOUR CAMERA. Should any of the parts get damaged while you are using them, if your seller does not sell spares , you will have to buy a whole new kit !
  5. Look at the images in the item description.....
  • Does the camera kit come with an AV lead. whcih connects the receiver to the TV?
  •  Check for good quality workmanship and finishing. Check that the wired connections are properly fitted as they will wear the most when you are using the camera.





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