If you need to see inside a tight space, you can get a lot of value out of an endoscope camera. While you may think you’d need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a great one, the truth is that you don’t have to spend nearly as much as you think to get a camera you’ll love.
Of course, it can be hard to tell which endoscopes you’ll end up loving when shopping online. There are so many to sort through, and it can be hard to compare them to get a good deal.
Our curated list of reviews of the best endoscope cameras of 2019 is meant to make that process easier. We’ve picked models that we think people will like the most, and revealed the good and bad parts of each so you can find the one that works best for you. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide so you can learn everything you need to know about endoscopes before you buy.
|DEPSTECH 1200P Semi-rigid Wireless / Wi-Fi Endoscope|
|BlueFire Semi-Rigid Flexible Wireless Endoscope||1 lb||4.6/5|
|AnyKit 1200P USB Endoscope|
(Best for the Money)
|Teslong NTS150RS||1 lb||4.3/5|
|YINAMA 1.6-198inch Industrial Endoscope||2 lbs||4.2/5|
Works for: Android and iOS
The DEPSTECH 1200P Semi-rigid Wireless / Wi-Fi Endoscope is the best wireless endoscope on our list. It’s battery-powered, so you don’t have to worry about being around an electrical outlet while you’re using it. The large, 2200 milliamp battery lasts up to five hours, letting you use this endoscope for long stretches at a time. It’s waterproof, which can make it a great tool for exploration or for repairs where water may be involved. It also has a semi-rigid cable, so you can bend and flex it to suit your needs, and make sure it travels where you want it to go.
Its best feature may be its bright LED light. It doesn’t matter where you can get your endoscope if you can’t see anything. The LED light on this one is super-effective, so you can make out the surrounding area and get good, high-quality images on your phone. While the endoscope itself works well, the app used to connect it to smartphones could easily be improved both in functionality and in design. Still, if you’re looking for a great endoscope, this isn’t one you’ll be disappointed with.
Works for: Android and iOS
The BlueFire Semi-Rigid Flexible Wireless Endoscope is another great endoscope for use around the house. Like the previous one, it comes with a semi-rigid cable, so you can put it in whatever position the job calls for. It also has an adjustable LED light, which provides enough light to illuminate the scene without washing out the image. This endoscope is capable of producing full 720p resolution video, which is more than enough to make out fine detail and to see crisp color.
Something else to like is the 33-foot cable. Keep in mind that this cable is semi-rigid, so it will have trouble navigating corners in narrow pipes, but there are lots of uses that won’t require such careful positioning in which this endoscope will do just fine. It has just a 500 milliamp battery, which is less than a quarter as large as the top choice on our list. That’s not great value, given that they’re the same price. However, if that model ever leaves the market, this one could easily take the top spot.
Works for: Android, MacBook, and Windows PC
The AnyKit 1200P USB Endoscope is the one to get if you’re looking for an endoscope you can use with a desktop or laptop computer. It’s not Wi-Fi-powered like the previous ones, but instead uses a USB connector to work with Android phones or Mac or Windows computers. Since it isn’t battery-powered, you don’t have to worry about charging it, which can save you some time and potential frustration. It also comes with a semi-bendable cable so you can position it as needed to get the proper view. The adjustable LED lights mean you can use the proper amount of light for the scene you’re observing.
What makes this the best USB endoscope on the market is its great price. You can get it for roughly half of what you’d pay for the top two on our list, which makes it a tremendous deal. If you want to get a high-functioning endoscope without breaking the bank, this is an excellent one to choose. We’d like it better if it supported iOS devices, but even without that, it’s still a good buy for many people.
The Teslong NTS150RS includes something other cameras on our list lack—its own screen. Since you don’t have to use a smartphone or computer to use this endoscope, you can be more mobile. It comes with its own rechargeable battery, so you won’t be putting any strain on your phone throughout the day. It’s also waterproof, so unlike some smartphones, it’ll be fine to use in the rain, and you won’t have to worry about anything from your pipes getting on it. Plus, it has a 2600 milliamp-hour battery. A battery that large will give you the better part of a full workday’s use before giving out, making this the one to get if you need to use this tool for extended periods.
However, it’s designed for higher-end users than the previous ones on our list, and its larger battery and inclusion of a screen mean it costs a lot more than those models. Unfortunately, customer service is hard to reach for this product, which means if something breaks, you’re pretty much out of luck. Unless you really need the included screen, there are better value options.
The YINAMA 1.6-198inch Industrial Endoscope also comes with a screen. It features a display that allows you to see what the camera sees without a secondary device such as a smartphone or computer. It’s slightly larger than the screen found on the previous model and includes the option of recording video to play back later. This endoscope also has a focal range from 1.6 inches all the way to 198 inches, which is 16 feet. That means you’ll be able to use this camera effectively in all kinds of situations. The battery is rechargeable, too.
Unfortunately, it has a truly poor LED light. If you’re going to be primarily using your endoscope in very dark conditions, you’ll probably be happier with a different one. The display also suffers from several software glitches. It sometimes turns itself off, which can be a pain to deal with. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use camera that will make your job easier, you’re probably going to be disappointed with this one. Worse, it’s not inexpensive, so users end up paying a lot for an inferior experience.
Works for: Android and iOS
The ILIHOME WiFi Endoscope does a few things right. Like others on our list, it connects to your smartphone via WiFi, so you do have to have one of those devices to use it. It’s waterproof, which is very important given that you never know when you may run into a puddle or moist environment that could ruin an unprepared endoscope. It also comes with 1200p resolution, which is pretty good among affordable endoscopes.
However, it ships with inferior LED lights. They do a bad job of illuminating dark spaces, and you may need to add a flashlight to be able to see anything. It also includes a wimpy 800 milliamp-hour battery, which will last for about an hour or two before needing a recharge. What really sinks this camera on our list, however, is that it doesn’t have great durability. It tends to break within a few months of purchase, which means you’re getting really poor value for the money. Overall, there’s not a ton to like about this endoscope, so most people will be unhappy with it, no matter how little they spend on it.
The most important thing to consider before buying an endoscope is what devices it will be compatible with. Many of the endoscopes on our list work via Wi-Fi with smartphones, while others connect via USB cable to certain phones and computers.
If you’re going to be working outside, it’s a good idea to get an endoscope that connects to smartphones, as you typically won’t want to lug a laptop or desktop out there. If you’ll be working primarily indoors, it can be okay to get one that connects via USB.
While you may be hoping to get a camera that provides crisp full-HD video, the miniaturization that goes into this process means that full-HD video can be really expensive in endoscopes. However, you still have some options that can deliver crisp video without a huge price tag.
1200p endoscopes are a good choice. They provide image quality roughly halfway between 720p and 1080p, though it’s not as standardized as the other two, so it can vary. 720p endoscopes also produce good image quality at a reasonable price.
Length can be misleading with endoscopes. While you might think that more is always better, many users find that they just need a few inches or a few feet of cable, and anything beyond that gets in the way.
Something else to keep in mind is that most of the endoscopes on our list use semi-rigid cable. Semi-rigid cable bends, but it takes a little force to do so. That can make this type of endoscope bad for exploring pipes or tight areas with many narrow bends. There are other kinds of endoscopes that are better for those applications.
If you’re working with a battery-powered endoscope, you need to know if the camera and the Wi-Fi chip, if applicable, use a lot of power. If you have a battery with 1000 milliamp hours or less of capacity, you’ll get two hours, or less, of juice per charge.
At the other extreme, endoscopes that have battery packs with 2000-plus milliamp hours can provide more than five hours of work. If you’re looking for a device that can work for a big portion of a workday, you’ll need a device with a big battery.
The DEPSTECH 1200P Semi-rigid Wireless / Wi-Fi Endoscope is our favorite, due to its waterproof frame, semi-rigid cable, and bright LED lights. Next is the BlueFire Semi-Rigid Flexible Wireless Endoscope, which also has a semi-rigid cable, an adjustable LED light, and 720p resolution. Its small battery keeps it out of the top spot. The AnyKit 1200P USB Endoscope can attach to most computers, includes a semi-bendable cable, and has a low price that makes it the best overall value for the money here.
In fourth, the Teslong NTS150RS includes a display screen and a great battery, making it a good industrial choice. The high price costs it a few places on our list. The YINAMA 1.6-198inch Industrial Endoscope has a great battery and a display screen, but its poor LED light and software bugs drop it to fifth place. Last place belongs to the ILIHOME WiFi Endoscope, which is waterproof and has 1200p resolution but suffers from poor lights, a small battery, and poor durability.
We hope our reviews and buyer’s guide have given you a better feel for endoscopes and have helped you get the right camera for your next task.
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