Assets: This one really is spy stuff — a still and video camera hidden in a Zippo-like lighter with a five-year guarantee.
Liabilities: You might feel a little silly flipping this open at the next sales meeting, and the video camera only holds 30 seconds worth of film. Plus, you have to explain why you are now a smoker.
Bottom line: The relatively low cost makes this flip-top a hit with the secret spy inside us all.
PHILIPS KEY019 KEY RING CAMERA, $249 (due for release this month)
Assets: The size of a chapstick, it snaps onto your key ring and acts as camera, MP3 player, and data-storage facility. It also records up to 24 minutes of MPEG4 video.
Liabilities: It’ll cost you more dough than some of the other models.
Bottom line: Although its multifunctions cost more, the microdevice is great for travelers who want to do it all.
EZONICS EZ-BINO CAM LX, $99
Assets: Zoom in on what you want with the binoculars, then snap a quality digital photo with this combo device.
Liabilities: Not exactly covert, this baby weighs about a pound. Still, casual viewers might not notice the onboard camera.
Bottom line: For long-range looking, this new model (or its
less-expensive, older siblings) captures detail in a snap.