7 Best Inspection Cameras | March 2017

We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. When you have to find the source of trouble in a hard to reach location, like an air duct, pipe, or engine component, an inspection camera will provide all the visibility you need. Our selection of borescopes (or boroscopes, if you prefer) includes high-tech models that will capture and record either still images or video for reviewing in real-time or at a later date. Skip to the best inspection camera on Amazon.
7 Best Inspection Cameras | March 2017


Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 4
Best High-End
★★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
★★★★★
7
The cable of the Vividia 9mm Portable Digital bends and snakes easily, allowing viewers to perform an up-close visual inspection for troubleshooting. It features a moderately-sized 2.4-inch LCD monitor and prominent control buttons.
6
The Extech BR100 borescope's IP67-waterproof, 17mm camera head pairs with a 2.4-inch, high-resolution TFT LCD monitor for crisp, clear, and glare-free images across the lens' wide field of view, even when objects are close-up.
5
The Ridgid 40043 Micro CA-25 is ideal for finding and diagnosing problems behind walls, under floors, or in those hard to reach places, like air ducts and pipes. Its pistol grip design makes for hours of comfortable use when a job keeps you working.
4
The Teslong NTS150RS Handheld features a clear, 3.5-inch QVGA LCD screen for live video review, and both its tube and body are water-resistant, albeit to different degrees of proofing. It can capture both still images and video with a 4x zoom function.
  • 6 hours of battery life
  • card storage up to 32gb
  • monitor is uncomfortable to hold
Brand Teslong
Model pending
Weight 2.4 pounds
3
The Lemonbest 720p Handheld H0162 features optoelectronic technology that sends images to your smartphone or laptop via Wi-Fi. You can pair it with an array of free apps available on multiple platforms, where the camera's 720p resolution can shine.
  • adjustable white led
  • 60-degree shooting angle
  • connection can drop out easily
Brand Lemonbest®
Model H0162
Weight 1.3 pounds
2
By doing away with a built-in screen of any kind, and allowing you to hook up to a computer directly via USB, the DBPower 5M gives you added tube length and flexibility. As long as you have a buddy manning the view screen, or your laptop close-by, you'll work quickly.
  • multiple resolution options
  • 2 mp cmos sensor
  • free replacement guarantee
Brand DBPOWER
Model pending
Weight 2.4 ounces
1
The tube snake on the Potensic 1M Digital Endoscope lets you inspect underwater gaps and holes while recording JPEG images or AVI video. Its waterproof camera is a must-have for the modern plumber looking to quickly diagnose a problem.
  • full-color monitor
  • 6 adjustable high-intensity leds
  • 1-year warranty
Brand Potensic
Model pending
Weight 1.9 pounds

Find The Cat If You Can

There's a story that gets told and retold on my dad's side of the family. It's about a day before I was born, when my grandma and her friends were all gathered around her dining room table to make rosaries as part of the charity work for their church. Suddenly, a strange thumping and scraping sound emitted from somewhere in the living room. Some of the women noticed, but went on stringing beads, not wanting to call attention to the sound.

But the sound continued, and before long all the women in the group wondered what it could be. They got up from the table and tried to locate the source of the sound. Fairly soon, they realized that it was coming from behind the wall in the front of the house.

It turns out that my grandma's cat Niki had found an open hole in the wall up in the house's attic and had made her way down among the cross braces like a feline Plinko chip.

Even having figured out that it was the cat behind the wall (it eventually stopped pawing and started mewing), determining its exact location proved to be quite difficult, and she kept moving toward different sounds within and without the house.

Eventually, they lured her out with some tuna, but the whole ordeal would have been a lot easier to handle if they'd had one of these great inspection cameras to feed into the wall.

That's because the inspection camera is a lot like a remote controlled snake with a camera and a light attached to its head. You can feed its cable through walls, under cars, into human bodies (though definitely not recommended), or anywhere else your hands and eyes could not reach.

Most of these units come with their own monitors, but you can connect a great deal of them to your smartphone or tablet, as well, for an enhanced viewing and exploring experience.

A Deeper Inspection Of The Inspectors

When you really take a close look at them, inspection cameras are pretty simple devices, especially in an age when we're so used to having high resolution cameras at out fingertips 24 hours each day.

What makes the inspection camera exceptional, though, is its reach, and that reach is the first thing you should think about when comparing devices. If you don't anticipate having a long way to snake your camera, you might be fine with a shorter cable, but having a longer run will only cost you the hassle of dealing with a little more line when you don't need it, while offering you much more reach when you do need it.

Then, of course, there's the resolution of the camera itself to consider. This is the strongest driver of price, as higher resolution and greater image quality come both from having a better sensor with more megapixels and from better lens components on the tip of the camera cable, both of which are expensive propositions.

That said, 1080 HD only requires 2 megapixels for its capture, so anything above that just increases sharpness and low-light performance.

When it comes time to view the image itself, the built-in monitors on the backs of these inspection cameras aren't usually of the highest quality. That screen is the other most expensive component of the inspection camera, and since the majority of users prefer to connect to their mobile devices for remote viewing, manufacturers don't have much reason to increase the resolution of their viewing screens.

If you're the least bit technologically impaired when it comes to tethering devices, though, you might want to invest in an inspector with a higher resolution screen on the back of it.

Nothing Boring About It

Imagine yourself at the proctologist's office. There may come a time where he advises that they take a look inside your nether regions to determine certain aspect of your health.

You're going to have to fast for a couple of days, and when you return, the doctor will reach for something called an endoscope, which is a camera designed to enter the human body through a particular orifice. The process sounds uniquely uncomfortable, but it's become a medical necessity as useful as the MRI or the ultrasound.

The endoscope is a device incredibly similar to these lovely inspection cameras, though I feel like I should repeat the disclaimer that these specific tools are not meant for an amateur medical examination. Both types of camera, though, are types of borescopes, a device that's been with us only since the 1960s.

The borescope was invented by an Indian-born American physicist named Narider Kapany, and was designed along a rigid line for use in mechanical engineering more than anything else.

As camera technology got smaller and smaller, low resolution black and white cameras on flexible lines of cable gave way to the kind of high-resolution digital inspection cameras we think are so darn cool.



Wiki Statistics and Editorial Log
0
Paid Placements
4
Editors
31
Hours
19,549
Users
34
Revisions

Revision History

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page. For our full ranking methodology, please read 'about this wiki', linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.

Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information

advertisement