Hidden camera

A hidden camera is a still or video camera used to film people without their knowledge. The camera is "hidden" because it is either not visible to the subject being filmed, or is disguised as another object. Hidden cameras have become popular for household surveillance, and can be built into common household objects such as smoke detectors, clock radios, motion detectors, ball caps, plants, and cellphones. Hidden cameras may also be used commercially or industrially as security cameras.

A hidden camera can be wired or wireless. The former will be connected to a TV, VCR, or Digital video recorder (DVR), whereas a wireless hidden camera can be used to transmit a video signal to a receiver within a small radius (up to a few hundred feet).

Some hidden camera television shows have led to lawsuits or being denied to air by the people who were trapped in set-ups that they found unpleasant.


Spy cameras

Ultraminiature still cameras have long been used for surreptitious photography, using film as small as 8×11 mm. In particular, Minox cameras were used for clandestinely photographing documents close up for espionage. Today, spy cameras can be bought by anyone for as low as $6 USD, and these modern cameras can be as small as a keychain and take high resolution video.[1]

Hidden camera shows

Hidden cameras are also sometimes used in reality television to catch participants in unusual or absurd situations. Participants will either know they will be filmed, but not always exactly when or where, or do not know they have been filmed until later, at which point they may sign a release or give consent to the footage being produced for a show. This latter sub-genre of unwitting participants began in the 1940s with Allen Funt's Candid Microphone theatrical short films . In 1996 the genre was given an overhaul by Travis Draft who introduced the glasses cam with his show Buzzkill. The show took hidden camera to a whole new level where the performer (Draft Himself and Cronies) were the focal point.

A few of many hidden camera television shows
Show Name Channel Years of Production Number of Episodes
$25 Million Dollar Hoax NBC 2004 3
Animal Kidding Animal Planet 2003 16
Balls of Steel Channel 4 (UK) 2005
Boiling Points MTV 2003-2005
Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty Oxygen 2006 14
Burned MTV 2003 30
Buzzkill MTV 1995
Candid Camera
Celebrity Undercover MTV 20
Crossballs: The Debate Show Comedy Central
Da Ali G Show Channel 4 (UK)
Damage Control MTV 2005 16
Dirty Sexy Funny: Olivia Lee Comedy Central UK 8
Faking the Video MTV 2004 7
Fire Me...Please CBS 2005 4
Funny Business
Girls Behaving Badly Oxygen 2002-2007 72
Guys Behaving Badly Oxygen 2005 5
Hi-Jinks NIK 2005
Hidden Howie: The Private Life of a Public Nuisance BRAVO 2005 6
Infarto Azteca América
Instant Recall GSN 2010 8
Invasion of the Hidden Cameras (When Hidden Cameras Attack) FOX 12
Jamie Kennedy Experiment WB 2003
Just For Laughs
Just Kidding
Kids Behaving Badly Oxygen 2005 10
Laugh Out Loud[1] M-Net
Meet the Marks FOX 2002 7
MotorMouth VH1
My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss
My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé
Naked Camera RTE 2005-2007 18
People Traps Animal Planet 2002 1
Peter Jacobsen Plugged In
Punk'd MTV 64
Que Locura Venevisión 2001
The Real Wedding Crashers NBC 2007 6
Really Naked Truth Playboy 22
Red Handed UPN 1999
Scare Tactics Syfy
Show Me the Funny FOX 1998 155
Skunked TV NBC 2004 13
Sledgehammer VH1 2001 5
Spy TV NBC 2001 27
Taxicab Confessions HBO
That's Funny 2004 80
Totally Hidden Extreme Magic NBC 2
Totally Busted PlayboyTV
Totally Hidden Video FOX
Tourist Traps 2001 6
Trapped in TV Guide TVG 2006
Trigger Happy TV UK 2000 / US 2003 13
TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes
Ultimate Revenge TNN/SPIKE 2001 26
What Would You Do? ABC since 2009
World Shut Your Mouth BBC 2005 7
You're On! Nickelodeon 1998
You've Got a Friend (My New Best Friend) MTV 2004 8

Hidden camera pilot episodes or unaired shows

5 Non Blondes VH1 2004
Celeb Look-Alike Show
Clipped February 2005
Close Encounters USA 2001
Evil Puppet Masters SPIKE TV 2003
Exploding Baloney NIK 2004
First Night (aka Skid Row) 2006
Gagsters WB 2004
Game Show In My Head CBS 2007
Go Sick ABC 2001
Guy's Night Out
Hotel Hell FOX 2001
The Joke's On You NBC 2006
The Jon Lovitz Show CBS 2005
Mabe in the USA
Make My Day WB 2003
Man Maid 2007
Only Human CBS 1993
Only Joking FOX 2000
Outfoxxed TBS 2003
The Papdits CBS 2006
Payback NBC
Relative Chaos 2006
Scare TV WB Kids
Shameless MTV
Stung MTV 2001
Sweet Revenge NBC 2000
Untitled Martin Lawrence Project TBS 2004
VH1 Undercover VH1 2001

Shows with hidden camera skits

External Links

Hidden Security Camera uses

See also


  1. ^ "Laugh out Loud". M-Net. http://www.mnet.co.za/lol/. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • hidden camera — noun A camera used to record footage of people without their knowing …   Wiktionary

  • Hidden Camera Jihad — also known as Jihad Hidden Camera is a propaganda film allegedly made by Al Qaeda and widely available on the internet. The film features clips of American British soldiers being killed by IEDs and snipers and is overdubbed with slapstick style… …   Wikipedia

  • In Your Face (hidden camera show) — In Your Face is a hidden camera Television show, on U.K. channel Bravo. It follows one man who plays various pranks on people, which is recorded on a tiny camera hidden within his glasses. His most regularly used tactic is to get the subject… …   Wikipedia

  • Caméra Café — Logo of Caméra Café, French version. Format Sitcom Created by Bruno Solo Yvan Le Bolloc h Alain Kappauf …   Wikipedia

  • Hidden Agenda (1990 film) — Infobox Film name = Hidden Agenda image size = caption = Theatrical release poster director = Ken Loach producer = Eric Fellner writer = Jim Allen narrator = starring = Frances McDormand, Brian Cox, Brad Dourif, Mai Zetterling music = Stewart… …   Wikipedia

  • hidden*/ — [ˈhɪd(ə)n] adj I 1) if something is hidden, most people do not know about it or understand it the hidden costs of being in hospital[/ex] 2) a hidden object or place is not easy to find a hidden camera[/ex] hidden valleys[/ex] II hidden the past… …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • hidden — adjective 1) a hidden camera Syn: concealed, secret, undercover, invisible, unseen, out of sight, closeted, covert; secluded, tucked away; camouflaged, disguised, masked, cloaked Ant …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • hidden — adjective 1) a hidden camera Syn: concealed, secret, invisible, unseen, camouflaged 2) a hidden meaning Syn: obscure, unclear, concealed, cryptic, mysterious, secret …   Synonyms and antonyms dictionary

  • Camera cachee (humour) — Caméra cachée (humour)  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Caméra cachée.  Une caméra cachée (ou plus anciennement, caméra invisible, ou encore télémiroir selon une recommandation de 1975 du Cilf) est, par métonymie, un type de programme… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hidden Palace — était une émission de la chaîne Nolife. Dans cette émission, le Dr.Lakav expliquait les secrets, clins d œils et anecdotes dissimulés dans les jeux vidéo[1]. Il s agit d une des émissions fondatrices de Nolife, elle fut lancée 11 juin 2007 et son …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.