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Spy Cameras from the 20th and 21st Century

Have you ever wondered what gadgets the old school real spies used to use? Did they even have cameras back in the day?

Well yes, they did! As far back as the 1900s! Here’s a list of our favourite vintage spy cameras spanning over 80 years.

coronet cam

Coronet Midget Camera, was made in England in 1935. Because of it’s small size and classy finish it was a very popular mini camera.The Coronet camera was 6.5cm long and the body is 2.6cm wide. It took 16 mm film and would do six exposures. It had a single speed of 1/30th shutter with a Taylor-Hobson meniscus lens

univex cam

The Univex Folding Spy Camera from Universal Camera Company, 1950’s

The Univex Spy Camera was the only 4 inch by 2 inch by 3/4 inch folder camera that was small enough to fit in your pocket and be called a spy camera.

Binocular Camera 1960’s
bio camera Before the age of digital cameras, binocular cameras where quite rare,expensive and hard to find. These binoculars have a small camera built into them that takes a photo that captures whatever the person looking through them can see. Clever!

digital spy pen camDigital Spy Pen Spy Camera, Late 1990’s
One of the first miniature digital spy cameras to hit the market was the SpyPen. This was only a few years ago. They were very popular although the resolution was not that great. Other than being rather small and taking lower res pictures, they didn’t do anything else. They did, however, take fairly good pictures for it’s time period in the digital camera age.


Today you can buy a SpyPen that not only looks and works like a pen but also has motion and audio detection Sound Activated Hidden Spy Camera Pen with 8GB Memory Records for 3Hrsfeatures and has very high resolution camera compared to the first ones that came out in the 90s.

This pen is so much more advanced that it uses complex detection algorithms that specifically seek sound waves over 45dB, which then trigger the recording mechanism to activate.

Why 45dB? It’s about the right level for normal conversation at a few metres.

Another of our favourite spy gadgets is the Spy Watch. Designed to work as a funky fully working, waterproof watch. Hidden Camera Waterproof Spy Watch With High Resolution 4Gb Mini DVRIt has 1280 x 960 resolution for crisp clear images and great colour reproduction, it records onto a 4Gb Mini DVR, this will store around 4 hours worth of footage. The camera on the watch is located at the top of the face just by the “12 o’clock” symbol. To watch the footage back all you have to do is download it onto your computer and press play!

Oh how easy it is to be a spy these days….

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