INSPECTION CAMERA REVIEW
Wireless inspection cameras are terrific tools for contractors and building inspection professionals as well as do-it-yourselfers doing repairs and renovations around the house. Inspection cameras have become very affordable in recent years and are becoming standard equipment for HVAC repairmen, electricians, mechanics, and plumbers. Any situation that requires observing what is happening in an otherwise inaccessible area can be made much easier with a good inspection camera.
Choosing an Inspection Camera
Let’s start by ruling out any inspection camera that is designed with a 1 meter camera shaft. What good is an inspection camera that doesn’t reach what you want to see? A good wireless inspection camera should have a shaft long enough to see around corners and underneath objects. A camera with a 3 meter camera shaft is simply more effective than one limited to just 1 meter.
Furthermore, a good inspection camera needs to provide good lighting to produce a good image of the target. Adjustable bright white LEDs are usually placed near the camera head for this purpose. If you do not have adequate light, the image quality will never be good enough. The images or videos captured from an inspection camera should be clear and high quality.
The DeWalt DCT411S1 captures both still photos and video and stores them on a micro SD card. The Bosch PS91-1A is also quite popular and receives good reviews. Prices for these units start at around $200. Ridgid sells an inspection camera with a 200’ reel for around $5,000 for demanding professionals and other high-end users.
A 200’ reel is complete overkill for an average user. Your typical handyman or mechanic can do very well with a wireless inspection camera with a 3 meter shaft as long as it provides sufficient lighting and produces a clear image or video.
New Trend in Inspection Cameras: High-Definition Cameras that Work with Your Smartphone or Tablet
The Aardvark HD3M waterproof wireless inspection camera is a recently developed camera design that interfaces with the user’s iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet. This inspection camera connects to the user’s wireless device via WiFi and features the desired 3 meter camera shaft length. The camera unit itself acts as a WiFi access point, so it may be used in remote areas where WiFi isn’t available.
The waterproof camera head provides high-definition images or videos (2 megapixel/1280×720) directly to your wireless device and the six adjustable high-intensity white LEDs placed at the camera head provide plenty of light. Most smartphones and tablets have a large high-definition screen, and since the images and videos are stored on the user’s wireless device, it’s very simple to email or text the files virtually anywhere. Perhaps more importantly, since the Aardvark HD3M inspection camera doesn’t have a video screen and doesn’t need a storage card, it is available for a much lower price than traditional inspection cameras, yet it provides superior performance compared to units that cost up to three times as much.
This wireless inspection camera includes a hardshell carrying case and a 3 meter flexible shaft as well as some handy accessories. The shaft diameter is 7.0mm while the actual camera head measures 8.5mm (outside diameter). It can provide crisp still images or videos at 30 fps. The unit runs on 4 AA alkaline batteries.