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best-inspection-cameras

The UK's bestInspection Cameras2022 Review

We've reviewed the best Inspection Cameras on the UK market.

Here are the products we believe are worth your consideration…

What To Look For in an Inspection Camera

The best inspection cameras have built-in, high resolution 4.3″ TFT screens of at least 2 megapixels (1,920 x 1,080p) and they 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…

See the best Inspection Cameras below

Compare Inspection Cameras Here

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

  • Our score
  • Best For
  • Type
  • Connection / Data Storage
  • Screen
  • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)
  • Focal Distance
  • Lens / Probe Diameter
  • LEDs
  • Max Resolution
  • Cable Length
    • 5
    • Best dual lens inspection camera
    • TypeCamera - Dual lens
    • Connection / Data Storage32Gb memory card
    • Screen4.3" TFT
    • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)Fixed
    • Focal Distance3 - 8cm
    • Lens / Probe Diameter7.9mm
    • LEDs7
    • Max Resolution 1,920 x 1080p (2mP)
    • Cable Length5.0m
    • 4
    • Best endoscope for focal distance
    • TypeEndoscope
    • Connection / Data StorageWiFi
    • Screenn/a
    • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)Fixed
    • Focal Distance7 - 40cm
    • Lens / Probe Diameter8.4mm
    • LEDs6
    • Max Resolution 1,600 x 1200p
    • Cable Length3.5mm
    • 4
    • Best inspection camera with narrow probe
    • TypeCamera
    • Connection / Data Storage32Gb memory card
    • Screen4.3" TFT
    • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)Fixed
    • Focal Distance4 - 5cm
    • Lens / Probe Diameter3.9mm
    • LEDs6
    • Max Resolution 1,920 x 1080p (2mP)
    • Cable Length2.0m
    • 5
    • Best dual lens endoscope
    • TypeEndoscope - Dual lens
    • Connection / Data StorageWiFi
    • Screenn/a
    • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)Fixed
    • Focal Distance3 - 8cm
    • Lens / Probe Diameter7.9mm
    • LEDs6
    • Max Resolution 1,920 x 1080p (2mP)
    • Cable Length5.0
    • 4
    • Best inspection camera for cable length
    • TypeCamera
    • Connection / Data Storage32Gb memory card
    • Screen4.3" TFT
    • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)Fixed
    • Focal Distance3 - 10cm
    • Lens / Probe Diameter8mm
    • LEDs6
    • Max Resolution 1,920 x 1080p (2mP)
    • Cable Length10.0m
    • 4
    • Best camera with 3x zoom lens
    • TypeCamera
    • Connection / Data Storage32Gb memory card
    • Screen2.31"
    • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)3x Zoom
    • Focal DistanceNot stated
    • Lens / Probe Diameter8mm
    • LEDs0
    • Max Resolution 320 x 240p
    • Cable Length0.95m
    • 4
    • Best endoscope for value
    • TypeEndoscope
    • Connection / Data StorageWiFi
    • Screenn/a
    • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)Fixed
    • Focal Distance3 - 6cm
    • Lens / Probe Diameter8mm
    • LEDs6
    • Max Resolution 1,920 x 1080p (2mP)
    • Cable Length5.0m

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Read Our Inspection Camera Reviews

B0928Q3T42
0755749903739
Best dual lens inspection camera
Depstech DS300 Dual Lens Industrial Endoscope
Top Pick

Best dual lens inspection camera

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Camera Quality
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 5
  • 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
  • Our Review

    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 the 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 Ddendocam 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 Ddendocam.
    • 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.

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B01NBFTAHE
0606860149882
Best endoscope for focal distance
Depstech WF010 Wireless Inspection Camera

Best endoscope for focal distance

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Camera Quality
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4
  • Type
    Endoscope
  • Connection / Data Storage
    WiFi
  • Screen
    n/a
  • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)
    Fixed
  • Focal Distance
    7 - 40cm
  • Lens / Probe Diameter
    8.4mm
  • LEDs
    6
  • Max Resolution
    1,600 x 1200p
  • Cable Length
    3.5mm
  • Our Review

    The WF010 is a quality inspection camera from specialist endoscope manufacturer Depstech. It’s a wireless borescope that does away with the screen altogether and uses Wi-Fi connectivity to shoot the images straight to your phone.

    Boasting 3.5 m of armoured cable that literally gets to the bottom of your problems, there’s a 2 MP camera on the end that supports 1200P resolution images and video. The camera has a fixed zoom and 7 – 40 cm focal range and six LEDs to light up the way. The camera is IP67 protected and measures 8.7 mm across.

    Unlike the inspection cameras that feature a screen section, the WF010 can connect to Android and iOS phones via Wi-Fi. Using Depstech’s app, you can record video or take pictures, set a Wi-Fi password, and rotate the image on the screen by 90° both clockwise and anti-clockwise.

    Pros

    • Rather than making do with relatively low quality screens on standalone devices, you can make use of the quality screen on your phone or tablet computer. The extra resolution will make repairs easy.
    • One of the benefits of connecting this camera to your Wi-Fi enabled device is that it supports multiple devices at once. You could share your images with the other people on your job.
    • You can change the brightness of the LED lights on the unit, as well as turn it on and off. They are fully adjustable depending on how much light you need inside the pipework or wherever you use it.
    • The Depstech app is one of the better ones you can get to work with inspection cameras. Some other brands have apps that are hard to use and lack functionality.

    Cons

    • The 8.7 mm diameter camera is the biggest on my list. It’s not going to get into the tightest spots, especially when compared with the slim 3.9 mm camera on the Ddendocam.
    • When you connect to the Depstech via Wi-Fi, it means you’re signed out of all other Wi-Fi networks. That means you won’t have internet access while using this camera.
    • Several users have complained about the battery life. When you’re running the LED lights, Wi-Fi connection and recording video, the internal battery won’t last for long.
    • One of the problems with Wi-Fi connected inspection cameras compared with the Bosch UniversalInspect, for example, is that there can be lag between the camera and what you see on the screen. The image can drop out as well if the Wi-Fi connection is bad.

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B08CZDYZV8
0768691248476,0768754042355
Best inspection camera with narrow probe
Ddendocam Industrial Endoscope Digital Borescope

Best inspection camera with narrow probe

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Camera Quality
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4
  • 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
  • Our Review

    Inspection camera experts Ddendocam make an impressive range of digital borescopes. Their 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 Beva 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 8 mm one on the Skybasic 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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B08NT4GJ33
Best dual lens endoscope
Depstech WF028 Dual Lens Wireless Wi-Fi Endoscope
  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Camera Quality
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 5
  • 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
  • Our Review

    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.
    • 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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B082WCXPV5
0840011473659
Best inspection camera for cable length
Skybasic Industrial Endoscope with 10 Metre Cable

Best inspection camera for cable length

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Camera Quality
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4
  • Type
    Camera
  • Connection / Data Storage
    32Gb memory card
  • Screen
    4.3" TFT
  • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)
    Fixed
  • Focal Distance
    3 - 10cm
  • Lens / Probe Diameter
    8mm
  • LEDs
    6
  • Max Resolution
    1,920 x 1080p (2mP)
  • Cable Length
    10.0m
  • Our Review

    Inspection camera specialists Skybasic have made an incredibly useful borescope that’s ideal for when you need to get deep into the heart of the problem. Their industrial endoscope features a large screen, a simple menu layout, and an amazing amount of cable.

    To start with, you get a whopping ten metres of inspection cable. That’s more than double compared with the other cameras on my list and means this tool can get you just about anywhere you need to go. The cable is IP67 rated against water and dust incursion, so you can feed it underwater without issue. There are six bright LEDs on the end to illuminate the target area as well.

    The 8 mm diameter camera supports 1080P recording and has a fixed focus. The focal range is between 3 – 10 cm.  The viewing unit contains a large 4.3” TFT monitor, and all the functions including video or image playback are controlled with just five buttons. Powered by an internal battery, you charge the camera via USB, and all the images and video are saved to an included 32 GB memory card.

    Pros

    • The ability to record video with this inspection camera is a useful feature. It’s ideal for replaying your findings and might help you spot any problems you’d otherwise miss in pipework or inside an engine.
    • Skybasic have included some useful tools with this inspection camera. You get a strong magnet, a hook, a side mirror, and a protective cap. Everything you need to get the job done.
    • The cable is rigid, but still flexible enough to navigate through bends in pipework or through conduit. It’s an essential part of being able to get to where the problems are.
    • Compared with the Depstech WF010 that attaches to your phone, you don’t need an app to control this device. You also keep your expensive phone out of the dirt and the wet!

    Cons

    • There’s a downside to having all that cable. Unless you’re plumbing the depths of your pipework, having 10 m all coiled up just gets in the way! It doesn’t come with a decent holder either, just a piece of Velcro.
    • The cable is waterproof, but the screen section isn’t. If you’re doing dirty or wet work with this tool, be careful it doesn’t get splashed or submerged.
    • It takes between 3 – 4 hours to recharge the battery. Compared with the four AA batteries you need in the Bosch UniversalInspect, that’s a lot more downtime if you forget to plug it in!
    • Several users have complained about the battery life you get with this inspection camera. You’ll need to keep it fully charged between jobs, and don’t expect it to record hours of video at a time.

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B073S65LRP
3165140851060
Best camera with 3x zoom lens
Bosch UniversalInspect Inspection Camera

Best camera with 3x zoom lens

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Camera Quality
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4
  • Type
    Camera
  • Connection / Data Storage
    32Gb memory card
  • Screen
    2.31"
  • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)
    3x Zoom
  • Focal Distance
    Not stated
  • Lens / Probe Diameter
    8mm
  • LEDs
    0
  • Max Resolution
    320 x 240p
  • Cable Length
    0.95m
  • Our Review

    You don’t need to be a DIY expert to recognise the Bosch brand name. This German engineering firm has more than a century of experience making tools of excellence, and for a range of budgets. The Bosch UniversalInspect must be one of the best inspection cameras on the market right now. It’s compact, made from quality components, and has a useful zoom function.

    Supplied in a rugged carry case, it has a side pocket to hold the tools that come with the camera. What I like about this borescope the most is how simple it is. Where some inspection cameras have tons of buttons and features you probably wouldn’t use, the Bosch is simple. Zooming in and out, flipping the image, taking pictures, and viewing them is all done with just a few well laid out buttons.

    The 8 mm diameter flexible camera head contains 4 bright LEDs that do a good job of lighting up the darkest spots and have three different levels of brightness. You get 95 cm of cable to inspect pipes or behind wall cavities, which isn’t loads, but it wraps neatly around the unit and doesn’t take up much room.

    The screen is 2.31” wide and supports high contrast colour images, and you can make use of the 3 x zoom function as well. The whole thing is powered by four AA type batteries that can be swapped out in seconds, so you don’t need to wait for an internal battery to charge up.

    Pros

    • Compared with the Skybasic inspection camera, you don’t need to stow away a huge amount of cable. For most DIY jobs, just under 1 m of cable is enough to see behind walls and down pipes.
    • As you’d expect, the build quality of this device is excellent. Even though it’s a “green” level Bosch DIY device, it looks like it will last for a long time and can withstand knocks, drops, and thanks to the IP67 protection it’s waterproof too.
    • Swapping between high definition colour images and high contrast black and white images is simple. The bright LEDs can cause a lot of light reflection, so this feature is useful.
    • There’s enough internal memory for eight images, even without the micro SD card inserted. That’s almost as useful as having removable storage up to 32 GB. Having that backup will come in handy if the card gets misplaced.

    Cons

    • If you’re going to do a lot of inspection work, the cable length is really not long enough. Compared with the Skybasic’s enormous 10 m long cable, less than a metre is nothing.
    • You only get a single camera on this tool. Although it’s easy to manipulate the cable and you can flip the image through 180°, having a dual lens camera is incredibly useful. Plus, you can only take pictures, not video.
    • If you need to get into really tight spaces, the 8 mm diameter camera is quite large. In comparison with the Ddendocam’s 3.9 mm one, it’s pretty chunky.
    • Compared with the 4.3” screen on the Skybasic inspection camera, this one’s small. It’s easy enough to see on this 2.3” one, but if your eyesight isn’t great then you’ll appreciate a bigger screen.

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B0732VVCQT
0799460406087
Best endoscope for value
Beva Wireless Inspection Camera

Best endoscope for value

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Camera Quality
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4
  • Type
    Endoscope
  • Connection / Data Storage
    WiFi
  • Screen
    n/a
  • Focus (Fixed / Zoom)
    Fixed
  • Focal Distance
    3 - 6cm
  • Lens / Probe Diameter
    8mm
  • LEDs
    6
  • Max Resolution
    1,920 x 1080p (2mP)
  • Cable Length
    5.0m
  • Our Review

    Making all kinds of clever electronic kit, Beva have a good reputation for making some of the best budget borescopes on the market right now. This inexpensive wireless inspection camera is ideal for getting right into those nooks and crannies to find a blockage or avoid hitting a water pipe when drilling behind a wall.

    Supplied without a screen, this is a Wi-Fi enabled endoscope that hooks up to your mobile phone or even a tablet. Simply download the app, connect to the network, and you’ve got a decent image on a size of screen you can really see. There’s a really useful 5 m of flexible cable, and a 2 MP camera on the end of it. The camera has a fixed zoom and a 3 – 6 cm focal range. It’s surrounded by six LEDs and is supplied with a handful of useful tools as well.

    It’s a simple device that supports iOS and Android devices for taking pictures and recording HD video up to 1280 x 720 resolution. The cable is IP67 rated against water or dust incursion, but the Wi-Fi receiver end is not. Like the Depstech WF010, you can even cast the camera image to multiple devices at once.

    Pros

    • One of the most useful functions that this camera has compared to the Depstech WF010 is the inline camera button. You don’t need to reach for your phone to take pictures on the fly.
    • This is a much more affordable device compared with the Depstech dual lens inspection camera. For most DIYers, this is one of the best endoscopes you can get without spending a fortune.
    • The 5 m cable length is impressive. It’s more than five times the length compared with the Bosch UniversalInspect, which is great if you need to get deep inside a piece of equipment or an engine.
    • You’re not limited to just using your phone or tablet to connect to this camera. You can use your laptop or PC to connect via Wi-Fi or even the USB that comes with it.

    Cons

    • More than a few users have complained about lag between the camera and the screen you’re watching it on. This won’t happen with endoscopes that have inbuilt screens.
    • This camera suffers from the same issues as other Wi-Fi enabled devices. It takes over your Wi-Fi connection, and it’s unsecured as well for security conscious users out there.
    • The app that Beva recommends, called Wifi Look, isn’t great compared with the Depstech WF010 app. It’s harder to use, and some versions seem to be written with Chinese characters.
    • The quality of the included tools isn’t brilliant. The hook is flimsy and some users have complained that using the mirror blurs the image.

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Inspection Cameras Price Comparison

Every day DIY Garden scans thousands of products to help you find the cheapest prices. Not only do we want to help you find the best products through our in-depth testing, but we also want to help you find the best places to buy them too. We’re working hard to expand our network of retailers, and will be continually adding in new options.

The Cheapest Inspection Camera Prices Found Today

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How to Choose the Best Inspection Camera

Inspection cameras are versatile cameras that enable you to look at areas you wouldn’t normally be able to access. They consist of a tiny camera at the end of either a rigid or flexible cable. Whether you’re inspecting an area behind a wall, down into a drain or inside your car, an inspection camera can give you a clear view. 

Types of Inspection Camera 

There are a few different types of inspection cameras worth knowing about. 

Endoscopes are miniature cameras. These have very small lenses with a diameter of around 4 mm. Although used in a range of industries, these are most commonly associated with medicine. Endoscopes are used to view inside the human body and diagnose illnesses. 

Borescopes are designed for industrial as opposed to medical use. These have either a rigid or flexible stem and are suitable for large equipment inspections. They usually have a larger diameter lens than endoscopes, illuminating a greater area.

Wireless inspection cameras use wifi to transfer data. The images and videos taken can be transferred to a screen for viewing. These are used in any situation where you need to view the data being collected in real-time. 

Telescopic cameras are used for areas out of reach. These are usually rigid and allow you to look at things above you, for example into pipework or ceilings. 

Connection and Amount of Storage

Inspection cameras usually have fixed internal storage, while others use removable SD cards. If you are simply using your inspection camera to diagnose a problem in your car or drainpipe, you won’t need a huge amount of storage. 

If your inspection camera has wifi capability, you should be able to transfer the footage to your smartphone and view it on the screen. However, you should check that your smartphone is compatible with your camera before purchasing. 

Screen or Display

If your inspection camera comes with a display, you should ensure it’s large enough for you to clearly view what’s going on. 3” and above tends to be the best screen size for viewing. Any smaller than this, and you may not be able to get a good view of the area. 

Not all cameras have a screen or display. More modern inspection cameras may be wifi enabled. This means that you can transfer the data to your phone or laptop screen, allowing you to get a better image quality. 

Waterproofing 

It’s important that your inspection camera is waterproof, especially if you’re going to be using it in damp areas or to inspect drains. Those with a fully waterproof rating can be used underwater. 

It’s worth noting that while the camera and cable itself may be waterproof, the screen and display might not be. This means a lot of care still needs to be taken when working in damp areas or around drain pipes. 

Focal Distance

The focal distance should also be considered. The cameras I’ve recommended have focal distances ranging from 3 cm all the way to 40 cm. You should consider whether you’ll be mainly using your camera for close-up viewing, or whether it’s more important for you to see the area as a whole. 

Of course, you may not know exactly what task you are using your camera for. The models I’ve recommended have variable focal distances; a distance of between 3 and 10 cm would be suitable for a wide range of tasks. 

Cable Type and Length

Inspection cameras generally have either a flexible or rigid cable. Rigid cables are better for areas above your head or in straight lines. These are best for inspecting drains and can also be useful if you’ve got some obstacles that you need to push through to get into a confined space. 

Semi-flexible cables are better for getting around corners. These can be manoeuvred and directed and will stay in the position you place them. However, they are slightly more practical than rigid cables because they can be manoeuvred around bends. 

The length of the cable is also an important factor. I’ve recommended cameras with cable lengths ranging from 1 m to 10 m. Those with long cables can get into areas a lot further away, but the camera itself will feel heavier. This makes the cable overall a little less manoeuvrable once you’ve managed to get it into a tight space. 

Shorter cables don’t give you quite as much versatility when it comes to the task, but you’ll have more control over the camera at the end. 

Battery Life

Inspection cameras are battery-powered, and the battery life is important. The charge time is also worth looking at. 

Some inspection cameras use disposable batteries. While these are more convenient because there’s no need to wait hours for the battery to charge, they may work out more expensive and you’ll need to dispose of the batteries after use. 

Rechargeable batteries are convenient provided they last long enough. Ideally, you’ll want a few hours of run time. This is especially important if your camera takes a few hours to charge, as many do. 

Camera Resolution 

Whether you’re buying an inspection camera, a CCTV camera or a bird box camera, the resolution is always going to be a factor. The higher the resolution, the clearer the image will be, but the camera will also be more expensive. 

If you’re not going to be needing an ultra-sharp image, you’ll be able to get away with a lower resolution. 

Led Lights

Many inspection cameras come with LED lights, meaning you can collect footage even in dark areas. A camera without LED lights will be fairly useless in areas behind walls, deep into drains or other areas that don’t receive a lot of natural light. 

The number of LEDs doesn’t matter hugely so long as the light is sufficiently bright enough to illuminate the area.

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Inspection Camera FAQ

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What are Inspection Cameras used for?

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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