Best Inspection Camera Reviews In 2020

best inspection camera

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When you need to see inside inaccessible spaces, nothing can beat a quality inspection camera. Be it exploration or inspection, the possibilities with this equipment are endless. 

Just think about it.

The excellent versatility makes them a great choice for all sorts of checking and maintenance work. So adding one to your tool kit can make a big difference.

In this article, we will list down eight of the best inspection cameras for you. In addition, we will also add a comprehensive buyer’s guide for you. 

After a detailed analysis, the DEPSTECH Wireless Endoscope ended up at the top of our list. It turned out to be a solid all-rounder that impressed us with its price to performance ratio.

Let’s get started.

Find the Best Inspection Camera for You

1- DEPSTECH Wireless Endoscope

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Main Features

  • 5 MP camera
  • Superior Bluart 2.0 sensor technology
  • Best for home use

The DEPSTECH Wireless Endoscope is the top pick in the category. This wireless endoscope inspection camera operates through WiFi. The good news is, it’s compatible with Android devices and iPhones.

It comes with 11.5 feet of flexible semi-rigid snake cable for a bigger reach. In addition, you get a 5 MP camera and HD video in multiple formats. The highest resolution is 2592x1944P. You also get a 3x digital zoom for capturing the minute details.

We also loved the superb ergonomics of the device. It has just one primary button to take a picture. The 2.76 inches of focal distance ensures clear images at close quarters. The device also offers IP67 waterproofing. That means, it’s perfect for use in drains and sewers.

There are 6 powerful and adjustable LEDs for using the camera in the dark. A pretty useful feature for enclosed spaces. Lastly, you get three useful accessories with the device-a mirror, a magnet, and a hook.

In short, if you’re looking for a versatile inspection camera, this is a great pick.

Pros

  • Solid connectivity between the camera and the app
  • Bluart 2.0 sensor technology
  • Good image quality
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Comes with affixed focus lens
  • Image quality is no the best
  • The light isn’t sufficient for large spaces

2- NIDAGE Wireless Endoscope Camera

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste

Main Features

  • A 1080P resolution camera
  • 33 feet long and durable cable
  • Best for professional inspections

With an impressive performance, this device is a good choice as a pipe inspection camera. With a small diameter of 5.5 mm, the probe can easily enter pipes of a smaller bore. Also, it comes with a 33 feet long cable which is long enough for probing over longer distances.

The 2 MP CMOS camera can deliver HD videos at a resolution of 1920 x 1080P. The WiFi compatibility allows you to connect this with any Android or iOS system. With an IP67 rating, dust and moisture isn’t a problem for this digital inspection camera.

Next, it has a 450mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery which provides a running time of an hour. There are 6 adjustable white LEDs for illumination. Also, it packs three practical accessories- a small hook, a magnet, and a side-view mirror. 

Remarkably, the circuit’s also designed for protection against short circuits and overcharges.

All in all, it’s a great choice for investigating any plumbing work, motors, gears, or compressors.

Pros

  • Impressive image quality
  • Ultra-small lens
  • Dust and water-resistant
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Comes with a fixed-focus lens
  • No digital zoom is offered
  • Small battery capacity

3-Teslong NTS300 Inspection Camera

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste

Main Features

  • A 4.5 inch IPS HD display
  • Dual Lens to capture 140-degrees of view
  • Best high-end option

This professional grade inspection camera comes with a 4.5 inch IPS screen. It allows images to be captured and recorded at a resolution of 1080p. On top of that, you get a robust design with a stainless steel shield. The fact is, even with a comparatively larger size, the ergonomics of the device is spot on.

What else is there? 

The camera offers a viewing angle of 140 degrees and a 2x image zoom for better clarity. There’s a micro USB port along with a TF card slot. It also has a Cree LED flashlight that helps inspect dark areas.

The device also comes with a flexible 16.4 feet gooseneck cable. The semi-rigid cable can easily reach around those distant bends and corners in ducts and pipelines.

The screen is easy to use with the ergonomic handle. Moreover, there are practical features like toughened glass and adjustable screen angle. To top it off, the 2600mAh battery can deliver a solid running time of 6 hours.

On the whole, a great choice for professionals.

Pros

  • A dual-lens camera
  • Offers 140-degree wide vision
  • 32 GB memory card
  • Comes with a hook and magnet

Cons

  • A high price
  • Cable connection point port isn’t durable
  • Does not have manual focus

4. Skybasic Industrial Endoscope

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste

Main Features

  • 4.3-inch color LCD display
  • 3 to 4 hours of battery life
  • Best for pipeline inspection

Don’t want to use your smartphone for a sewer line inspection? This endoscope inspection camera comes with a 4.3-inch color LCD screen is the perfect solution. It delivers 1080P HD videos and crystal clear images for close technical inspections.

Moreover, you can use it without an inspection camera app or a WiFi connection. Now that’s a big advantage for outdoor or industrial use. 

With IP67 waterproofing and 6 adjustable LED lights, you can easily use it in damp and dark spaces. In addition, it comes with a 16GB TF card for storage.

There’s even more…

The lens has a small 8mm diameter. So it’s ideal for narrow spaces. The 16.5 feet long cable makes it easy for reaching those distant corners in a pipeline. It also offers a range of accessories, including a hook, magnet, side mirror, and a protective cap.

Overall, this is an affordable pipe inspection camera that offers good image quality.

Pros

  • An easy to use inspection camera
  • 70-degree horizontal viewing angle
  • 3 to 4 hours of battery life
  • Robust build quality

Cons

  • Long cable length is hard to control
  • Image quality isn’t the best
  • No WiFi connectivity

5- Oiiwak Borescope Inspection Camera

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Main Features

  • Small 5.5mm camera scope
  • Versatile and multifunctional
  • Best for industrial use

The excellent versatility of this digital inspection camera sets it apart from the rest. From household use and industrial inspections to scientific explorations, you can use it almost anywhere. We found the 4.3 inch IPS screen of this inspection camera delivering images with great clarity and excellent dynamic range.

The 5.5mm camera scope is perfect for those tight, narrow spaces. The high-quality sensor and the superb optics deliver live videos at 1080P. The camera head can also be rotated by 360 degrees for easier viewing.

The cool thing is, there are 6 LED lights and 3x digital zoom for better image clarity. The screen brightness can be adjusted as per the requirement. In addition, the camera also comes with IP67 grade waterproofing.

The unit is powered by a 2800mAh rechargeable lithium battery. You can expect the batteries to deliver more than 3 hours of power after a full charge.

Last but not the least, it comes with multiple accessories including a hook and a magnet. All in all, this is one of the best picks as an industrial inspection camera.

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Does not need an app or WiFi
  • Flexible but durable cable
  • Comes with an 8GB memory card

Cons

  • Image quality not the best in darkness
  • The camera end can get hot with prolonged use

6- Bosch GIC 120 C cordless inspection camera

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Main Features

  • Compact and ergonomic design
  • Supports lithium as well as alkaline batteries
  • Best USB inspection camera

This Bosch inspection camera comes with a range of advanced features that make it a great pick for professionals. There’s a high-quality 3.5-inch screen with a 320 x 240p display resolution.

One of the best features is the ‘Up is Up’™ function that automatically rotates and orientates the image. So irrespective of the camera position, you always get an upright image on the screen.

With an 8.5 mm diameter, the camera is ideal for small spaces and offers a sharp image. The 3.9 feet of flexible cable length keeps the camera steady. With just 3 LEDs, the device offers excellent illumination in dark spaces. Then again, the light doesn’t affect the image quality at all.

The USB interface allows you to easily transfer data. It also comes with a 4GB MicroSD card for storage.

The best part is, it can run with a 1.5Ah Li-ion battery or 4 x AA batteries. In terms of accessories, it packs a hook, magnet, and a mirror.

Pros

  • Top class ergonomics
  • Good image quality
  • Color LCD screen

Cons

  • It’s pricey
  • The cable length is on the shorter side

7- Teslong Classic Borescope

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste

Main Features

  • Ultra-thin endoscope with 6 LED lights
  • Durable, rain-proof LCD screen
  • Best for outdoor use

This portable inspection system is designed for those who need an industrial-grade digital inspection camera. The best part is, you can use it right out of the box, without any setup or installation. 

To start with, the 3.5-inch LCD screen delivers sharp images. The 32 GB MicroSD card allows sufficient storage space for the videos and images. We were also impressed by the quality of the monitor. It’s designed as drop-proof and rainproof. 

And another thing…

The whole unit comes packed in a hard plastic toolbox. That makes it very easy to carry around.

The 1 MP camera also comes with anti-glare technology to prevent overexposure of the image. The flexible cable is reinforced for industrial use and is waterproof. There are 6 adjustable LED lights for capturing images in darkness.

The 5.5 mm camera diameter makes the unit a perfect video inspection camera for narrow spaces and small pipelines. Not to forget, you get a 2600mAh rechargeable battery that offers five hours of service. The battery can also be replaced if needed.

Pros

  • 70-degree viewing angle
  • Very easy to use
  • Comes with multiple accessories

Cons

  • Not the best choice for dark areas
  • The buttons are not leveled clearly
  • Accessories are not the best

8- Fantronics USB Snake Inspection Camera

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Main Features

  • USB Type-C connectivity
  • A 2.0MP CMOS HD camera
  • Best value for money

With a USB type C port, this flexible inspection camera offers excellent compatibility with a whole range of devices. The 8 mm camera offers good image quality and is a great choice for most repair and maintenance works.

Point to be noted: Make sure your Android phone supports OTG function before choosing this device. Also, you need to download one of the inspection camera apps like MScopes, AN98, or OTG View to use this.

The 2MP CMOS camera can capture videos at 640×480 and 1280×720 resolutions. There are 8 adjustable LED lights for illumination. The 8mm camera is also waterproof which makes it versatile. The 16.4 feet long semi-rigid cable is durable enough to handle rough use.

I’ve to add, affordability is a big plus of this device. If you’re looking for a budget option that’s ideal for DIY projects at home, you’ve got it here.

Pros

  • 70-degree viewing angle
  • Offers great value
  • Comes with multiple accessories

Cons

  • Not compatible with iPhone
  • The apps come with annoying advertisements
  • Small depth of field

The Best Inspection Camera Buying Guide

What to Look for When Buying Inspection Cameras

There are quite a few factors you need to consider while buying an inspection camera. But before that, let’s take a look at the two main types of digital inspection cameras. These are the endoscopes and borescopes.

The question is- Are they worth the price? You bet!

Let’s dig a little deeper and find out why.

Basically, endoscopes are designed for use in the human body. I am sure you all have heard of medical endoscopes. So they are usually smaller and more flexible. In addition, they are also a valuable tool for mechanics and car enthusiasts. On the other hand, borescopes are mainly used for commercial applications and various machinery.

Usually, the device comes with a small camera mounted on the end of a semi-rigid pipe or fiberscope. There’s also a handset that contains the batteries along with a screen for control and viewing. Most high-quality cameras also come with a LED light for illumination.

There are plenty of spaces where you may need a visual inspection. However, they might be too narrow for the eyes or the smartphone camera to reach. For example- a clogged sewer, a narrow pipeline, or an HVAC duct.

Annoying isn’t it?

This is where an inspection camera can save you a lot of time and effort. Quite simply, they enhance the range of your vision by a lot. 

Besides, you don’t need to dig or dismantle anything for an inspection.  In the case of a home inspection, an inspection camera will allow you to do the repairs quickly and get the process moving. They are also extremely useful for industrial use.

Also, some wireless inspection cameras can transfer images to a distant screen via a Wi-Fi connection. You can view the image on any laptop, phone, or tablet screen.

Apart from smartphone inspection cameras, there are devices with separate screens. You can use them as independent units without the need for any app or WiFi connection.

Making the right choice is about founding a device that suits your needs while staying within the budget. Honestly, borescopes aren’t cheap devices and professional models are costly.  Still, there are a few quality devices that are affordably priced.

Here are the main technical aspects to keep in mind while buying the best inspection camera.

800px Insertion tip of endoscope

Sensors and Image Resolution

First of all, you need a camera that delivers sharp and bright images. With smaller camera designs, the image sensor gets smaller too. Most budget-friendly inspection cameras offer a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels (QVGA) and 640 x 480 (VGA). Note, the sensors should have excellent low light sensitivity to capture the best image in darkness.

What about HD image sensors? 

Advanced HD technology is available for sub 10 mm cameras. However, it may have issues related to noise, more transmission components, and the distance factor. Many cameras also allow you to change the image resolution as needed.

Also, the lens quality and the camera head design plays an important role in the overall image quality. A camera with a zooming capacity is also good for capturing the details inside a pipe or duct.

So you can choose a borescope inspection camera with an LCD screen or use your smartphone as the screen. Usually, the smartphone-based inspection cameras are cheaper. 

Point to be noted- A larger screen isn’t always the best option. A high contrast image looks good even on a small screen.

The Diameter of the Camera and Cable Length

The smaller the diameter of the camera and the cable, the more easily can it be inserted into smaller openings and pipes. Ideally, camera diameters range from anywhere between 8 to 19 mm. For tight spaces, pick a camera size less than 10 mm. Also keep in mind the diameter of the cable, depending on your use.

Choosing the right cable length can be tricky. Do make sure that the length isn’t too short. Many cameras come with a short 3 feet cable length. However, if you’re looking for a plumbing inspection camera you should pick longer cable lengths. 

If your usage varies, you can choose a borescope that can accommodate cables of varying diameter and length.

water pipe 2852047 960 720

The Durability

Make no mistake about it. Any pipe or sewer inspection camera will have to withstand a lot of abuse. So the build quality is extremely important.

Usually, cameras with a solid-state oscillator can withstand shocks and impacts more effectively. All internal components should be sealed for protection. A drain inspection camera

should be fully water-resistant. In addition, the device should also be resistant to all chemicals including gasoline and diesel.

But that’s not all. A rigid inspection camera also comes with a durable monitor that can withstand knocks and bumps. The monitor should also be waterproof for use in any weather condition.

Let’s not forget the camera cable or pipe. Ideally, it should offer a great balance between rigidity and flexibility. To get into tight corners and around bends, the right amount of flexibility is essential. It should also be able to endure a certain amount of stretching to prevent snapping.

Storage for Photos and Videos

The ability to record and store images or videos is a practical feature for many professional inspections. In case you need this feature, it’s best to choose a borescope with SD card memory. That makes transferring the images or videos to a laptop super easy. Besides, it also helps you to save your precious Smartphone memory. 

Many cameras also come with inbuilt storage for storing images. That will allow you to use the device straight out of the box. In addition, features like pause, rewind, and fast-forward of the videos make it easier for a detailed inspection. Obviously, these features will add to the size of the device. Also, it’ll consume batteries at a faster rate.

Battery capacity

While heading outdoors with the inspection camera, battery capacity is an important aspect you can’t ignore. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a larger battery is a more practical choice. More so if the device comes with a screen which consumes more power.

In addition to that, you can choose between disposable and rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries are an economic choice when a power supply is readily available. By contrast, disposable batteries are ideal for outdoor environments where a ready power supply isn’t available. A hand-held inspection camera that supports both options is a good choice.

Ergonomics

Ideally, the design of any pipe or sewer inspection camera should allow easy operation through long periods. While buying, make sure you can operate the unit with a single hand. This makes it easy to control the camera pipe with the other hand.

With a well-designed unit, all the buttons should be within the easy reach of your fingers. Many cameras also offer a single-button for controlling all the functions. Beyond that, user-friendly menu options also ensure you can use it conveniently.

FAQs for the Best Inspection Camera

What is the best inspection camera for my use?

That’ll depend on the type of inspection you require. The dimensions of the area to be inspected, access constraints, and the need for lighting will also influence your choice. Lastly, you also need to balance your needs with your budget.

How many LEDs are needed for an inspection camera?

Actually, it’s the quality of the LED that’s more important than quantity. A single LED with high brightness and field of the beam can be good enough for your use. Many times, multiple LEDs also create strange patterns in a narrow space when their beams overlap.

What are the accessories I can choose with a digital inspection camera?

Depending on your use you can choose accessories like longer camera pipes and extension poles. Other attachments include mirrors, hooks, and magnets. These are used to recover metallic items and to look around corners. Needless to say, the quality of the accessories need to be top-notch.

holding camera closeup analog camera operator capture

Conclusion

Time to sum it up.

So we have given you all the details needed to choose the best inspection camera. Once you know the most important features you need, you can choose the best product as per your budget. 

After considering all the aspects, the DEPSTECH wireless endoscope emerged as the topper in this segment. You might be deceived by its simple looks, but guess what? The device is no slouch when it comes to performance.

Firstly, it’s small enough to sneak into the tiniest gaps. Next, the superb image quality and the ease of use make this a dependable choice for professional and home use. 

Also, you get top-class image resolution and clarity that comes in a durable package. The overall ergonomics also makes it perfect for one-handed use. In essence, it’s a great tool for the trickiest of jobs.

Most of all, it offers the perfect balance between price and performance we all seek. A point that sets it apart from the rest of the products.

So that’s all from our end. We hope this inspection camera review and guide will help you to make the best choice.

Now it’s up to you.