PROS / You can hide this camera nearly anywhere because of its size.
CONS / This camera doesn't have a time-scheduled recording feature.
VERDICT / While it doesn’t double as an everyday household item, the Zetta Z12 Intelligent Security Camcorder proves to be a good nanny cam because of its small size and quality video capture.
The Z12 Intelligent Security Camcorder from Zetta Systems may not jump out initially as a typical spy camera. It doesn't use a disguise, nor does it have any functions other than being a video camera. However, its incredibly small size lets you hide this nanny spy camera anywhere, whether it's under an open book or in your entertainment center, which helps it earn our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
Video & Audio
Although this nanny cam is rated with a relatively low resolution of 480P, it did fairly well in our video quality tests. Under daylight conditions, the camera earned a score of 88 percent out of 100. The recordings were clear and smooth, particularly at close distances. Bright lights also weren't an issue. However, beyond 10 feet small details became blurry and unrecognizable. In our night video quality test, the camera produced grainy recordings, and we gave this unit a score of 78 percent. Although it wasn't the best, it wasn't the worse either. The lowest performing camera we tested received a 35 percent for this test.
The Z12 does not slouch when it comes to recording options. There are three options that you control from the side of the device. The first is continuous recording. The second setting is for motion-activated recording, but it only works if you manually set it from the Zetta Widget software. The last setting is for audio and vibration detection. This allows the camera to pick up the audio and start recording even if the person is out of the shot. However, the camera doesn’t have a scheduler that would allow you to set up specific times to record.
To help you track and file the footage, you can activate a time and date stamp, which is necessary if you want accurate and testable footage. You can also adjust the video quality you record in; the quality ranges from 320 x 240 to 640 x 480. This feature is helpful to reduce the size of recorded files, thus allowing you to save more footage on camera itself.
This camera has a decent design. Although it's not disguised as another object, it's small size allows you to conceal it in many locations, such as on a bookcase or between photo frames. As well-concealed this nanny cam is, it was not that easy to use. We gave the nanny cam a 79 percent on our ease-of-use testing, indicating some difficult in using the device. We found that the two button and light indicator system of this camera proved to be unreliable at times. On a few occasions we discovered that the camera wasn't recording when we thought it was.
This nanny cam has a better than average storage limit. It can handle up to a 64GB card, more than most of the other nanny cams in our review. With its battery, this camera can record for 8 hours continuously, and it can go much longer when you use motion recording mode.
Help & Support
This nanny cam has limited support. The camera has a standard one-year warranty that could be difficult to claim. Zetta is based in Hong Kong and may be troublesome to contact due to the language barrier and time difference. However, this company does have a U.S.-based phone line and support email listed on its website.
The Zetta Z12 Intelligent Security Camcorder falls a little short of the best nanny cams because it doesn't have a disguise. It doesn't double as a clock radio or power switch. However, with its small size, you can hide it anywhere and still record footage as long as the lens is exposed. The three recording settings let you control how you record, but there’s no scheduling feature to control when you record.