|1891 Lancaster Rover|
image by Geoff Harrisson (Image rights)
The term detective camera was used from the late 19th century to perhaps the 1920s. It refers to cameras that are inconspicuous (when compared to normal field cameras of the time) and usually hand-held, and so can be used to take photographs discreetly. Many detective cameras are box-form falling-plate magazine cameras (bulky by modern standards, and obviously cameras when examined), and the term is sometimes used to refer specifically to this type. Some makers also applied the term to disguised or concealed cameras; these spy cameras might be seen as a subset.
- See the category list of detective cameras.