An endoscope camera can come in very handy if you need to get a photo or video of a place that would otherwise be difficult to access. They can get in tight crevices and give you a good idea of what’s happening inside. What’s interesting is that there is no alternative product to them that does the same job – they’re pretty unique.
However, there’s a host of options out there on the market, and not all of them are worth it. Some are pricier, some are more budget-oriented, and choosing the right one for you can be tricky. There’s also different types of endoscopes, and what you buy may not be best suited to the job you need it for.
To help out a bit, we’ve got a couple of things for you. First, we’ll take a look at how they work, and then we’ll take a look at a few options, only to end up with a buyers’ guide that’s going to help you choose the best endoscope camera for you and your use case.
How do endoscope cameras work?
Today’s endoscope cameras are basically an improvement of an idea that’s been around since John Tyndall first thought of using fiber optics in 1854. Tyndall concluded that you can conduct light by a steam of water.
Later on, in 1930, Henrich Lamm was first to use a bundle of optical fibers to carry an image. You had real time observation, but there was no way of recording something. With the evolution of medicine, the first endoscope camera was invented in 1964. The device had the ability to take photos, and is basically the predecessor of what we have today.
What do you use an endoscope for?
It’s actually no surprise that many users have no idea what you could use an endoscope for. The primary use, as mentioned earlier, is in medical scenarios. An endoscope is used to reach places inside a patient’s body you would otherwise be unable to reach unless you were to cut said patient.
However, today we’ve got a host of uses for endoscopes that are far from medicinal. What’s the most popular one? Mechanical work. If you’ve ever popped the hood of your engine, for example, you’ll find that there are a lot of places you just can’t access unless you start removing parts. Since removing parts isn’t always the right solution, you need a way to see what you’re dealing with, and identify potential issues. Enter the endoscope. You can not only reach difficult places with it, but you can also get into places such as inside the cylinders of an engine, or inside the oil reservoir etc., and see if everything is right there, too.
You can also use an endoscope when you’re doing home renovations. Let’s say you have cables running through your walls, instead of outside. What if a cable starts acting up, but on the visible part, everything seems fine? Dragging the entire cable out can be difficult with some types of installation, so you need a way to look inside and inspect the cable. Again, you guessed it, an endoscope can be very helpful in this regard.
As you can see, while primarily used for medical purposes, endoscopes have found their way in many people’s everyday scenarios, as they perform a function basically no other tool can perform. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 10 best endoscope camera options on the market today, and see which ones are worth buying.
Top 10 Best Endoscope Camera of 2019
Resolution: 1600x1200P HD
Battery: 2200 mAh
To begin with, you have an 11.5 feet cable. It’s IP67 waterproof, which means you can even submerge it completely under water, and the diameter is 8.5mm. It’s actually perfect when you want to explore areas that could be damp or wet. The cable is semi-rigid and bendable, so it will bend when you need to get it in a tight spot, but will remain pretty rigid afterwards. You’ll be able to fit it inside tight spaces without much issue.
At the tip of the endoscope you have a 2.0 megapixels camera. You can choose a resolution, from 320×240, to 1600×1200, which is pretty great. It records video and captures photos, so you can use it for both. Also, whereas other endoscope cameras top out at 10fps, this one gives you 30fps video which is much smoother and a lot more usable. While we’re discussing the tip, we should mention the six adjustable blue LEDs. They’ll allow you to record in areas where there’s absolutely no light, and will give you a clear and very usable picture even in such situations.
Last but not least, this is a wireless endoscope, and one that doesn’t have a display. Instead, you download the DEPSTECH app to your smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android), and you connect the endoscope wirelessly. When you’ve done that, you can use your smartphone to control the endoscope’s camera feature, and view whatever it’s seeing.
All things considered, the DEPSTECH Wireless Endoscope is the best endoscope camera on the market today, especially for users who are budget conscious.
Resolution: 1600x1200P HD
Battery: 2200 mAh
Just like our top pick, our runner up also comes courtesy of DEPSTECH. What can we do when they’ve got the best endoscope camera models for users who are on a budget? It’s another great wireless endoscope that has water resistance and a great camera, and as you’ll see, it’s only a runner up because of one single thing.
That one single thing is the cable length. With the DEPSTECH 1200P you have a 16.4 feet cable. While you might think this is an advantage since it’s longer, it is actually at lengths over 12 feet that these kinds of cables start to become unwieldly and are more of an issue than a benefit. You still get the IP67 waterproofing, as well as the excellent semi-rigid cable, but the length may be more than you’d need.
The camera is excellent – 2.0 megapixels, a resolution of 1600x1200p, a focal distance of 16”, as well as live feed video. The quality is great, and you can record both photos and videos, depending on what you need. Again, you get the 30 frames per second recording which is pretty smooth, as well as blue LEDs to light things up at the end if you’re using it in a dark spot.
The battery is pretty good, with a capacity of 2200mAh, you can get around five hours of runtime. You will need a smartphone running Android or iOS since this is a wireless endoscope without a display, as well as the DEPSTECH app that allows you to use all of that functionality.
All things considered, this is just as good as our top pick, except for that cable length. Note, however, that if you do need a long cable in order to reach the places you’ll be inspecting, this could actually prove to be a benefit. It’s all up to your use case.
Resolution: 1920x1080p Full HD
Battery: 2800 mAh
4.3″ IPS Display
Third on our list is an industrial endoscope by Oiiwak. In terms of price, it costs around twice as much as our top pick, but it does come with a couple of features that make it worth the premium. Just not twice as much.
To begin with, this is an 11.5 feet tube, one that is semi-rigid and you can get pretty much anywhere. It’s also got a diameter of 5.5mm, so you can get it in pretty much any hole or tube you need it to. The wide field of view will allow you to get a good look at your environment, and the LED lights at the tip will make things a bit brighter. The focus range is 3 to 10cm, which is generous considering the use case.
The camera has 2.0 megapixels, but records in 1080p. This is a pretty high resolution video, and it’s definitely something you’ll notice compared to the DEPSTECH. You also have up to 3x digital zoom, and the image remains sharp.
This isn’t a wireless endoscope, but instead you have a 4.3” IPS display. You don’t need a phone to use it, and the color reproduction and image quality is excellent. And while you might think this uses up a lot of battery, the 2800mAh battery actually allows you to run it at up to 4 hours at a time.
It’s neat that inside the box, you also get a carrying case with all the required accessories, as well as an 8GB memory card for your recordings. If you’re willing to pony up a bit more, the Oiiwak could be the best endoscope camera that has a display and doesn’t require a smartphone.
Resolution: 1920x1080p Full HD
Battery: 450 mAh
5m Semi Rigid Cable
Going back to more budget-friendly solutions we have the KZYEE wireless endoscope. It’s a great pick for just about any user, and it comes with a host of features and excellent compatibility with smartphones.
First things first, the tube length is 16.5 feet, which as we mentioned earlier, is difficult to manage. Unless you really, really need that extra length, we’d suggest staying at around 11 to 12 feet. The tube is semi-rigid, which allows you to bend it and allow it to maintain its direction afterwards. It’s also IP67 water resistant, so you can comfortably explore wet or damp areas such as sewers.
At the 5.5mm diameter tip, you get a 2.0 megapixels CMOS sensor that records at anywhere from 640x480p, to 1920x1080p. The resolution is great, and you also have 6 adjustable LED lights that will make exploring dark areas a breeze. All things considered, the image quality you’ll get from the KZYEE endoscope is excellent.
As we mentioned, it’s a wireless endoscope, so you’ll need either an Android, or an iOS smartphone or tablet in order to operate it. There’s an app that you download, and then you’ll be able to use your device as a display, and a way of controlling the endoscope’s recording functions. Setting it up is pretty easy, and the Wi-Fi module of the endoscope makes for a pretty strong signal, so you won’t have any connectivity issues.
At the end of the day, if you’re willing to work with a long tube that could provide difficult to handle and manage, there’s little stopping you from going for the KZYEE wireless endoscope. It’s got a great camera, it’s got LEDs, setting it up is a piece of cake, and the small diameter lets you get in just anywhere.
Resolution: 1280×720 HD
10m Hard Cable
Continuing our trend of wireless endoscopes, this time we’ve got an option by THZY. In terms of pricing, it’s obviously made for budget conscious users, as it hovers in the same price range as the other wallet-friendly models we spoke about. What’s special about it is the tube length, and that may or may not be perfect for you.
While other endoscopes often come with 11.5 or 16.5 feet tube lengths, the THZY comes with a massive 33 feet tube. And since this is almost twice the length of other options, we’re going to stay true to what we’ve said a few times before – such a long tube is only a benefit if you’re sure you’re going to need it. Yes, this is a semi-rigid tube that’s a bit easier to manage and control, but the length is still pretty big. It is IP67 water resistant, though, which might be pretty beneficial in some situations.
At the end of that massive tube you have a 2 megapixels camera that can record at anywhere from 320x240p, to 1280x720p. You do get a few LED lights at the end as well, and the total diameter of the tip is 8mm, which is pretty manageable in terms of where you can use it. With this being a wireless endoscope, you’ll want a smartphone or a tablet to control it with. Setting it up is pretty easy, and you’ll be able to use your phone’s display to get a better quality picture.
All things considered, the THZY wireless endoscope is an excellent choice for users who want an endoscope with the longest tube possible, and don’t mind the handling issues. You get good picture quality as well as all the standard features of an endoscope, for a pretty affordable price.
Resolution: 1920x1080p Full HD
Battery: 450 mAh
View angle: 45 degree
The combination of a great tube length, an excellent camera, and a probe small enough to get pretty much anywhere might seem like an impossible feat at a decent price, but NIDAGE beg to differ. Their wireless endoscope covers all those bases, and still costs a lot less than some of the competition. Is it good, though? Let’s find out.
The tube length is perfect – you get a semi-rigid tube that’s 11.5 feet long. It’s easy to manage, and it’s easy to get it in tight places when you need to bend it and then have it stay bent. It’s also IP67 water resistant, so you could use it in places that could be wet or damp, without worrying it will get damaged easily.
The tube terminates in a wireless receiver on one end, but it’s the other end that’s piqued our interest. It has a 2MP camera that records 1080p video at 30 frames per second, and the quality is excellent. The probe is also a mere 5.5mm in diameter, and that’s including the LEDs that allow you to record in pitch black scenarios.
This being a wireless endoscope, you’ll want an Android or iOS smartphone (or tablet, for that matter), but if you’ve got one you can use as a display, it’s actually a piece of cake to set up and use. The signal is strong so there’s no data loss, and you’ll be able to instantly see what’s inside the area you’re exploring.
All things considered, it’s rare to find an endoscope that covers all bases really well, let alone at this price. You also get a carrying box included, which makes things even better, and this is certainly one of the best endoscope cameras if you don’t need any additional features.
Resolution: 1600 x 1200 HD
6 Adjustable LEDs
We know, we know. This is the third endoscope by DEPSTECH, but we promise it’s the last one, too. What it aims to be is an upgraded variant of our top pick. Yet, you find it much lower on our list. Why is that? Because the feature set is very, very similar, but the price is usually a little higher.
The first thing we’ll mention is the tube. It’s 11.5 feet in length, which is pretty much perfect, and you get DEPSTECH’s semi-rigid tube that you can adjust and use in a variety of situations. At the end is an 8.5mm probe that houses the 2 megapixels camera, as well as six adjustable LED lights. The entire tube is IP67 water resistant, so exploring damp or even downright wet areas, shouldn’t be an issue with it. The camera does record in resolutions from 320×240, to 1600×1200, and the quality you get is pretty great.
The battery capacity is 2200mAh, which allows you to use the endoscope for four to five hours (with the LEDs off), which is pretty good. It’s a touch more than what you’d get from most competitive products, honestly.
Setting up and using the DEPSTECH requires a smartphone, notably an Android or iOS device, and you’ll be connecting to it wirelessly, then using it as a display. It’s a breeze to set up, so you’ll have no issues with it whatsoever. Overall, it’s a pretty good endoscope, and will be useful for a variety of people.
Resolution: 1280x720p HD
6 Adjustable LEDs
DBPower is next on our list, with an endoscope that has a similar feature list like many others on our list, but also has an ace up its sleeve. At a price that currently makes it the cheapest best endoscope camera on the list, is it worth it?
To begin with, you have an 11.5 feet semi-rigid tube that has IP67 water resistance. It’s more or less the standard affair with budget endoscopes, and there’s nothing wrong with that – it performs great in a variety of situations. At the end is a 2 megapixels camera that records HD videos and images, and allows you to wirelessly get a live feed of what you’re looking at, with minimal delay. The adjustable LED lights make it possible to use the endoscope even in pitch black scenarios, adding to its versatility.
What’s interesting is that this being a wireless endoscope, you not only have support for Android and iOS devices, but also for iPad and Windows devices, which lets you connect it to a laptop, for example, and get a massively large screen to look at.
Remember that ace up the sleeve we mentioned? Aside from the great features, the DBPower comes with a 100% money back lifetime guarantee. Since this is a product that you’ll very likely be using as a part of your job, having that kind of peace of mind is honestly impressive, and makes this the best endoscope camera on our list in terms of quality and guarantee.
Battery: 2600 mAh
3.5″ LCD Display
The Teslong Industrial Endoscope is the most expensive endoscope on our list, costing more than twice what our top pick costs. However, it comes with an excellent feature set and some of the best build quality we’ve seen on an endoscope.
The tube is 10 feet long, and is a semi-rigid metal gooseneck, making it extremely durable and water resistant. You can use it in just about any scenario. At the end of it is a 5.5mm diameter probe which houses the camera and LED lights to help you in dark situations. The camera records photos and videos, albeit at a resolution of only 640×480, and saves them on a micro SD card.
This isn’t a wireless endoscope, but at the other end of it you get a 3.5 inch LCD display with excellent color reproduction, so you don’t need to add a smartphone to the set. The battery is also a great 2600mAh, but considering it also powers the display, you can expect around four hours of battery life, and not much more.
The entire endoscope can be placed in the included storage box, which allows you to carry it to and from your workplace. What adds to the build quality is that not only is the tube water resistant, but the display itself is also rainproof.
If you need an industrial-grade build quality, the Teslong is more than worth the high price tag, and is the best endoscope camera for difficult, taxing situations.
Resolution: 1280x720p HD
View Angle：60 degrees
And so, we arrive at the last option on our list of best endoscope cameras. It’s another budget-oriented endoscope that aims to cover a wide variety of uses, but comes with a tube that’s simply too long, unless you need just that.
By ‘too long’, we mean 33 feet, which is quite a lot. Even though the tube is semi-rigid and actually somewhat manageable, unless you need that much, you’ll be getting more trouble from it than benefits. If you do need it, though, it’s actually pretty great and IP67 water resistant, so you can use it in a variety of situations.
At the end of it is a 2 megapixel camera with three resolutions to choose from (the best one is 1280x720p), as well as six LEDs that allow you to use it when there’s a lack of natural light. The image quality is pretty decent, but nothing to write home about.
This is a wireless endoscope, so you’ll need a smartphone or tablet to use it, and there’s compatibility with Android and iOS, so no iPad support unfortunately. Setting it up and using it is pretty easy, though, and you’ll get decent quality from it.
If you don’t mind the extremely long tube, or you actually need one at that length, the BlueFire could very well be the best choice for you. Add to that the wallet-friendly price, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
When you’re shopping for the best endoscope camera, you’ll come across a wide variety of options. While the core goal of each is the same – getting into tight spaces and showing you what’s inside, how they get to that goal is different. Let’s take a look at some of the various types of endoscopes, and see which ones work best for you.
Rigid vs. flexible
This is the first thing you’ll come across when shopping for an endoscope camera, and is what will basically dictate how you use it. Depending to the type and shape of the tube, you have rigid, or flexible endoscopes. Both types have their own pros and cons.
With a rigid endoscope, you can pretty much only push it forward, or deeper inside the hole you’re inspecting. This might be limiting depending on what you’d like to use the endoscope for, but the upside is that the image quality is significantly better than a flexible endoscope, and they tend to cost a lot less, too. They’re commonly used when you need to inspect things such as cylinders, guns, hydraulics or fuel injectors.
On the other hand, if you opt for a flexible endoscope, you get a few things. First, you should choose between an articulating, and a non-articulating. With a straight area, a non-articulating endoscope gets the job done. However, if you have an area that requires a lot of movement, you’ll want to get an articulating endoscope, which has a tip you can remotely control. While they’re much more versatile in terms of usage, you’ll notice a significant quality loss with a flexible endoscope. Only get one if you really need the flexibility.
Length and diameter
The length and diameter will are also pretty important, as they’ll pretty much dictate how you’ll be able to use the endoscope. The smaller the tip of the camera, the smaller the area you are able to investigate. However, a larger diameter usually gives you a bit more in terms of image quality.
The tube’s length will also dictate what kind of scenarios you’ll be able to use the endoscope in. For example, a longer tube will allow you to explore more of a certain area. However, the tube operation will be a lot more difficult and nitpicky when you have a longer tube. A shorter tube gives you more precision, and usually a bit more in terms of image quality.
Display and wired vs wireless
Since an endoscope is basically a camera, you’ll want a way to see what it’s capturing. When it comes to endoscopes, the common solution is to have a display mounted at the other end of the tube. This is still the solution of choice for some models, but that display adds quite a bit to the price, and the resolution and quality may be worse than you’d expect.
On the other hand, today you’ve got a host of wireless endoscopes, such as the DEPSTECH we have as our top pick. Instead of having a display, they connect wirelessly to your smartphone, and come with an app that you’ll use as a display. This way, you’ve got your phone’s display which is usually better than what you’d find on an endoscope, and you get quite a bit in terms of quality. Oh, this also saves you a bit of money, so you have a small win there, too.
Direction of view
The camera at the end of the tube doesn’t always point straight at the front. Sometimes you have a subject that’s straight ahead, but other times, you have subjects that are very close to the point of entry. In the first situation, a 0 degree camera is best, since you see at the front. However, with subjects that are close to the entry point, such as engine valves near the hole for a spark plug, you’ll want either a 90 degree angle, or even a backwards-pointing 120 degree. It all depends on how you’re going to be using the endoscope.
Field of view and magnification
The field of view is another major thing that will impact how you can use the endoscope. You can usually choose between a narrow, medium, wide, or extremely wide field of view, and that should depend on what you’ll be using the endoscope for.
A narrow field of view usually shows what’s ahead of the endoscope, but not much more. You may get around 30ish degrees, and that’s about it. A medium field of view is around 40 degrees, while a wide field of view will go up to 65 or 67 degrees. If you don’t have a lot of room to move around, an extremely wide field of view is usually around 90 degrees, so that should get the job done.
The field of view is inversely proportional to the magnification. A narrower field of view will allow for greater magnification without losing out on image quality. Also, the closer the subject, the larger view you have of it, so if you don’t have a large subject you could go for a longer tube and get closer to it, which is one way of getting a bit more magnification.
Light, or other types of illumination
The tricky thing about endoscopes is that you often use them in areas where there’s little to no light. Therefore, many endoscopes will come with some kind of illumination. Common options include incandescent lamps, but the modern solution is actually fiber optics. They’re a lot safer, a lot more accurate, and don’t produce nearly as much heat as an incandescent lamp. If you have the option, by all means go for fiber optics illumination – it will help significantly.
Last but not least, we believe we must mention the price as a major factor when buying the best endoscope camera. Depending on the various types and various factors that impact the quality of the endoscope, it might be very budget oriented, or it might be extremely pricey.
So, what’s the best course of action here? Well, it would be smart to determine what you need the endoscope for, and then see how much quality you actually need. Once you’ve got that out of the way, you can determine a budget and try to stay within it.
Wrapping things up
All things considered, you’ve got a lot of options to choose from. They’re all at various price points, and come with different features that make them more suitable for certain types of usage. When you’re determining which one to go for, you might as well pick a budget and see what works for you that’s close to that budget, then just buy it.
Our Pick Again
Our top pick is DEPSTECH’s wireless endoscope. For a very reasonable price, you get a wireless endoscope which has excellent water resistance, and a high quality camera at the end. It’s excellent for a variety of situations, and it’s definitely the best endoscope camera on our list.