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5 Best Inspection Cameras (2021 Review)

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The best inspection cameras have built in, high resolution 4.3” TFT screens of at least 2 mega pixels (1,920 x 1,080p) and come with a fixed or zoom lens. Most inspection cameras come with a 5 metre probe that has a lens diameter of 7 to 8mm, although more specialist smaller probes can come with shorter cables of 2-3 metres and a lens diameter of just 4mm. To ensure the clearest vision the probe circumference should be fitted with 6 to 8 LED lights.

Endoscope inspection tools that use a smartphone for camera function and data storage, using WiFi connectivity, are also very common. Always check your smartphone’s operating system is compatible with the endoscope. Endoscopes use similar probes to dedicated inspection cameras.

Inspection cameras and endoscopes are handy little tools that can get to places and see things that people could only dream of. I’ve researched the best snake cameras available right now, so you don’t have to. Read on to discover what I’ve found out…

What is the Best Inspection Camera For You?

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Comparing the Best Inspection Cameras

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Type
  • Connection / Data Storage
  • Screen
  • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)
  • Focal Distance
  • Lens / Probe Diameter
  • LEDs
  • Max Resolution
  • Cable Length
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  

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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Inspection Cameras

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DEPSTECH Dual Lens Industrial EndoscopeDEPSTECH Dual Lens Industrial Endoscope

Best dual lens inspection camera

Camera Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
5
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DEPSTECH Dual Lens Industrial Endoscope Review

Specifications

  • Type: Camera - Dual lens
  • Connection / Data Storage: 32Gb memory card
  • Screen: 4.3" TFT
  • Focus (Fixed / Zoom): Fixed
  • Focal Distance: 3 - 8cm
  • Lens / Probe Diameter: 7.9mm
  • LEDs: 7
  • Max Resolution : 1,920 x 1080p (2mP)
  • Cable Length: 5.0m

With an incredible range of webcams, endoscopes and even otoscopes for looking in your ear, DEPSTECH are surveillance experts. Their DS300-SJ dual lens endoscope is one of the best inspection cameras available right now. The screen is crystal clear, and you don’t need to fiddle around with mirrors to get a better viewing angle.

First off, and what makes this the best inspection camera on my list is the dual camera setup. Not only do you get main front-facing camera, but another one pointing at 90° for an unbeatable field of view.

The camera lens itself has an excellent 70° field of view, and you can switch between three viewing modes with a single button. If the image on the screen is upside down, you can flip it through 180°. It’s a useful little feature you’ll use more often than you think.

The main front facing camera is surrounded by six bright LED lights. It does a great job at lighting up the workspace and doesn’t leave any shadows in the field of view. You can vary the light intensity as well, so you’re not stuck with a blinding light in front of the camera.

Overall, this is a well designed and comfortable to use inspection camera. It makes any sort of inspection work easy with the big screen and bright LEDs. I’m a fan.

Pros

  • The high quality 1080p true colour TFT screen is bright and shows up everything in superb definition. You can see what’s on the screen from an unbeatable 170° viewing angle too.
  • You can take high resolution 2 Megapixel (Mp) pictures during filming. It’s ideal if you need to take a closer look at something or share evidence other than videos.
  • The inspection camera sits on the end of a quality armoured 5 metre snake. It’s more than long enough for most inspection jobs.
  • I like that the inspection camera comes with a 32 Gigabyte (Gb) memory card. There’s plenty of space to save videos and still images and transferring them to a computer is a piece of cake.

Cons

  • Compared to the Zoto inspection camera, the battery capacity isn’t quite as good. You only get a 2,000 mAh battery compared with the 2,600 mAh on the Zoto.
  • It’s a shame that the camera and cable come without a case. It would be very handy to have some way to store the lead, especially. The cardboard box won’t last long enough on its own.
  • At 7.9 mm, the probe diameter isn’t the smallest on the market. It’s nearly twice the width compared to the Ddendocam camera. If you need to get into seriously tight spots, it’s not ideal.
  • You only get a fixed focus on this inspection camera. In comparison, the Zoto inspection camera has a useful 2 x zoom function.
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ZOTO Industrial Endoscope Digital Inspection CameraZOTO Industrial Endoscope Digital Inspection Camera

Best inspection camera with zoom lens

Camera Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.6666666666667
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ZOTO Industrial Endoscope Digital Inspection Camera Review

Specifications

  • Type: Camera
  • Connection / Data Storage: 32Gb memory card
  • Screen: 4.3" TFT
  • Focus (Fixed / Zoom): 2x Zoom
  • Focal Distance: 4 - 8cm
  • Lens / Probe Diameter: 7mm
  • LEDs: 8
  • Max Resolution : 1,920 x 1080p (2mP)
  • Cable Length: 5.0m

Another company that deals exclusively with endoscopes, otoscopes, and microscopes is ZOTO. Their digital inspection camera is comfortable to hold on to and features an excellent camera with 2 x zoom.

This is a rugged IP67 rated endoscope that is easy to hang on to thanks to the large, adjustable handle. You can control all the functions with just one hand, leaving the other one free. You can then easily manoeuvre the long probe wherever you need it, without letting go.

There are 8 LEDs on the end of the inspection camera that can be set to three different brightness levels. It’s ideal for getting into the darkest and tightest spots you can find. Included with the kit is a magnet, hook, and mirror. These attach to the end of the probe and can be useful for retrieving lost items and for looking around corners when you need to.

The 4.3” TFT screen is high resolution and holds 480 x 272 pixels. It’s bright and easy to see even in direct sunlight. And if you need to light up the area a bit more, there’s a torch built into the end of the handle.

Pros

  • The 2x zoom on the camera makes this a superior bit of kit. Even if you can’t get the probe right where you need it, the zoom makes up the difference. It’s incredibly useful.
  • Compared with the DEPSTECH DS300-SJ, you get a hard plastic carry case to keep everything organised and safe.
  • I think the large handle and button setup make this supremely easy to use. You can operate the main controls with your thumb and leave your other hand free to guide the probe.
  • The LED torch on the end of the handle is useful. If you’re trying to feed the inspection probe into a dark corner, it saves you having to hold a separate torch.
  • The device includes a microphone, for adding commentary to videos you take. If you’re inspecting something, you can make comments at the time for later review.

Cons

  • It feels like a step backwards using a mirror for looking round corners compared with the DEPSTECH DS300-SJ. You can’t beat having a dual camera setup.
  • Some users have complained about the LED lights. Even on the brightest setting, they can still be a bit murky.
  • The snake probe itself is heavy duty and feels well armoured. However, the buttons and the overall build quality of the handheld section don’t feel as strong.
  • Even though there’s an SD included with the camera, it’s only 16 Gb. Compared with the 32 Gb one on the DEPSTECH DS300-SJ, you’ve only got half the recording capacity.
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DDENDOCAM Industrial Endoscope Digital BorescopeDDENDOCAM Industrial Endoscope Digital Borescope

Best inspection camera with narrow probe

Camera Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4
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DDENDOCAM Industrial Endoscope Digital Borescope Review

Specifications

  • Type: Camera
  • Connection / Data Storage: 32Gb memory card
  • Screen: 4.3" TFT
  • Focus (Fixed / Zoom): Fixed
  • Focal Distance: 4 - 5cm
  • Lens / Probe Diameter: 3.9mm
  • LEDs: 6
  • Max Resolution : 1,920 x 1080p (2mP)
  • Cable Length: 2.0m

Inspection camera experts DDENDOCAM make an impressive range of digital borescopes. This industrial endoscope is ideal for getting into the tightest spaces thanks to its tiny probe width. This minute camera is small enough to look inside just about anything you like.

The handheld screen section feels rugged, with rubberised orange grips on either side. You can quite easily control the device with one hand, thanks to the well laid out rubberised buttons along the bottom. Cycling through the options is straightforward and easy to work out too.

Snaking out the thin lead is easy, and it has a decent balance of stiffness and flexibility to get into hard-to-reach places. The camera really is tiny at just 3.9 mm across, but you only get 2 m of cable to play with.

With a 4.3” TFT screen, it shows up images clearly at a maximum 1080p and even takes 3 Mp still images. It’s good to be able to save high resolution images when investigating faults.

DDENDOCAM have included a handy little accessory pack with a hook, magnet, and side mirror for seeing round corners. They even throw in a 32 Gb SD card for when you record video or take still images.

Pros

  • This is the best inspection camera I’ve found for getting inside extremely small spaces. Compared with the 8mm probe on the Zacro endoscope, it’s incredibly useful.
  • There are three adjustable brightness settings to choose from. The six LEDs do a good job at illuminating the target area and make those dark spots easy to see.
  • The 2m cable isn’t ideal for every job, but you don’t need to lug around 5m of cable all the time. For investigating electronics and other small items, it’s the perfect length.
  • The accessories included in the kit are seriously small. They don’t increase the overall width of the probe too much, so you can still feed it into tiny holes.

Cons

  • You’re not going to get very far inspecting drains or other deep holes. Compared with the 5 m cable on the DEPSTECH DS300-SJ, a 2 m cable is too short.
  • Several users have complained that the image quality isn’t as good as 1080p. They questioned whether the image on the screen really is high definition.
  • The narrow gauge probe isn’t going to be as rigid compared to the 7 mm one on the Zoto inspection camera. If you need to feed the snake round lots of bends, it’s not as effective.
  • If you prefer the pistol-grip shape inspection cameras, this one’s harder to hold on to. If you have small hands, it’s not so easy to use the buttons either.
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DEPSTECH Dual Lens Wireless Wi-Fi Endoscope DEPSTECH Dual Lens Wireless Wi-Fi Endoscope

Best dual lens endoscope

Camera Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
5
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DEPSTECH Dual Lens Wireless Wi-Fi Endoscope Review

Specifications

  • Type: Endoscope - Dual lens
  • Connection / Data Storage: WiFi
  • Screen: n/a
  • Focus (Fixed / Zoom): Fixed
  • Focal Distance: 3 - 8cm
  • Lens / Probe Diameter: 7.9mm
  • LEDs: 6
  • Max Resolution : 1,920 x 1080p (2mP)
  • Cable Length: 5.0

Inspection camera favourites DEPSTECH have an enormous range of useful endoscopes, otoscopes and even webcams. They know about making the best inspection camera, and the WF028-SJ Wi-Fi enabled endoscope is a brilliant bit of kit.

First off, you’ll notice the brilliant quality snake probe itself. The cable is 7.9 mm wide, so it’s not the narrowest, but it has unbeatable rigidity for getting round tight corners. You can bend it anywhere along its length and it will stay there, which is incredibly handy.

DEPSTECH are leading the way when it comes to the best snake camera thanks to the clever dual lens technology. You don’t need to fiddle about with tiny mirrors as there’s a second camera at 90° to the main one. They’re both well lit with an array of six LED lights for when things get dark.

What makes this endoscope different from the rest of the ones on my list, is that it’s Wi-Fi enabled. This means it creates its own little wireless network for connecting to your phone, laptop or even some TVs. This results in getting the best possible image quality. Your phone or laptop screen is probably miles better than the little one on a standalone inspection camera after all.

Pros

  • You’re not held back by tiny TFT screens. If you’ve got a tablet with a huge, high quality screen, your inspection camera output will be unbeatable.
  • This is a much smaller overall device. Without a bulky screen or controls, it’s easier to bundle it up and store in a tool case.
  • You don’t need to rely on the Wi-Fi connection. You can use the micro-USB port to connect to a laptop or TV if you want a wired connection.
  • Setting up the device on your phone is incredibly simple. The included quick-start guide is easy to follow, and the app is well laid out.
  • You can rotate the image by 90° with a single button. This makes viewing the image on the screen much easier to work out. It doesn’t matter about the orientation of the camera itself.

Cons

  • The device creates a Wi-Fi network to connect with your phone or laptop. That means that during use, you can’t connect to the internet. It’s quite inconvenient.
  • You’ll need at least three hands to manoeuvre the probe, hold the device and hold your phone at the same time. Compared to the ZOTO industrial endoscope, it’s harder to use.
  • Using your inspection camera for drain or plumbing inspections can get seriously dirty. You might not want to use your expensive phone or laptop at the same time.
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Zacro Wireless Wi-Fi Enabled Inspection Camera EndoscopeZacro Wireless Wi-Fi Enabled Inspection Camera Endoscope

Best budget endoscope

Camera Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Zacro Wireless Wi-Fi Enabled Inspection Camera Endoscope Review

Specifications

  • Type: Endoscope
  • Connection / Data Storage: WiFi
  • Screen: n/a
  • Focus (Fixed / Zoom): 3x Zoom
  • Focal Distance: 5cm
  • Lens / Probe Diameter: 8mm
  • LEDs: 8
  • Max Resolution : 1,920 x 1080p (2mP)
  • Cable Length: 5.0

With a huge range of items from sports equipment to pet supplies, I was surprised that they also make an excellent inspection camera. Their wireless snake endoscope has a long probe length and a seriously handy 3 x zoom feature.

Unlike the standalone inspection cameras on my list, the Zacro makes use of Wi-Fi connectivity to transmit images and video. It’s a handy, slimline unit that has IP67 protection against dust and water ingress, meaning it’s ideal for using underwater.

The unique feature that makes this one of the best inspection cameras I’ve come across is the onboard controls. The two buttons on the receiver unit allow you to take pictures and zoom in and out. It means you can put down your phone and use the black box to control everything.

Another excellent feature of this inspection camera is the whopping eight LED lights. They cast a strong halo of light around the lens and can be dimmed using the control unit as well. The accessory pack is useful too, with a hook, magnet, and mirror for looking round corners.

Pros

  • Having buttons on the control unit is very clever. You can position your phone or tablet where it’s easy to see and leave your hands free to move the probe. Genius!
  • Having 3x zoom will come in handy more often than you think. The probe width is 8mm wide, so if you can’t get it through a gap, you can still see things up close.
  • The 2,600 mAh battery gives you a good amount of power. It’s possible to get 4 – 5 hours out of a single charge, and it’s USB rechargeable as well.
  • With a 5m probe length, you can use this snake camera to get into seriously deep holes. Compared with the 2 m one on the Ddendocam, it’s lone enough for any job.

Cons

  • This is one of the best inspection cameras let down by the app it connects to. You can’t flip the image, which is annoying compared with the excellent DEPSTECH wireless device.
  • The probe width of 8mm is on the big side. It’s never going to get into tight spaces in appliances or computers, for example. It’s on the big side for a delicate instrument.
  • Some users have complained about the build quality of the probe itself. The best snake cameras need to be tough to handle being put in difficult places. This one might not last.
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Things to Know Before Buying an Inspection Camera

Inspection cameras, aka endoscope cameras, aka snake cameras, are excellent tools for diagnosing problems where the issue is difficult to reach. Typical uses include checking car engines for blockages or leaks or inspecting plumbing for obstructions or checking various connections. They can also be used underwater, for instance when maintaining water features. Most inspection cameras come with a standard waterproof rating so they are perfect for plumbing or work under water. Inspection cameras often include accessories such as a magnet and hook to help you retrieve objects from previously inaccessible places.

Inspection cameras are extremely versatile tools that facilitate problem diagnosis and solutions without the need to necessarily dismantle everything. This means they can save you a lot of time and money.

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