Backup cameras have been required in new cars in the US since 2018 because they make backing up easier. If your car was built before 2018, you may be feeling a little out of place, but don't fret. There are a lot of backup cameras that you can install yourself. All you need to do is mount it to the rear of your car (preferably as close to your center as possible) and send the footage to a monitor attached to an console display, your dashboard, or an inset screen on your rearview mirror, giving you greater visibility with no straining to see your blindspots while driving your vehicle in reverse.
Several backup cameras provide a simple rear view, while others use spherical views or dozens of cameras to simulate sweeping views of your car and its surroundings (particularly useful for obtaining traction on tinier vehicles). Several backup cameras have a sensor that produces squealing noises when your car is in contact with another object. Most screens will have a grid of lines that appear on the screen to indicate how close you are to objects in view.
Just because you have a rear view camera, it doesn't mean you're done with it. You can always upgrade your backup cam -- you may even be able to add more cameras to an existing system if you've got the technical know-how to wire it properly or know someone who does. If you drive an older car without a reversing camera, it's advisable to install one. It's better and safer to have a reverse camera -- especially one with fewer steps than if you're using dummies -- than to not have one. What is needed in a backup camera?
Based on expert opinions and consumer reviews, these are our picks for the best aftermarket backup camera in a variety of categories. Continue reading for some top tips on choosing the right rear camera system for you.
Best backup camera overall for backup cameras
If you want quick installation and excellent picture quality, the Auto-Vox CS-2 offers the best of both worlds. As it's a wireless camera, attaching the camera (with built-in wireless transmitter) to the back of your car or mounting the suction-cup enabled screen to your dashboard should be simple. That means you can save money by avoiding installation costs with this wireless system.
While wired cameras are generally more reliable than wireless cameras, the CS-2 -- like all of the other wireless devices we've mentioned here -- is not an exception to that rule. The camera uses digital wireless transmission (as opposed to analog), which means there's virtually no interference from other signals and no distortion to the image. Plus, the signal is clear, with Auto-Vox recommending the camera for any vehicle less than 32 feet long.
It should be noted that the viewing angle for the CS-2 rearview backup camera is 110 degrees, which may be too narrow for drivers who want a very broad field of view. 110 degrees, on the other hand, is a good option for parallel and close-quarters parking, as it reduces the amount of image distortion on screen.
The Auto-Vox CS-2 is $90 more expensive than some other car backup camera systems, but its outstanding performance and dependability make consumers happy with the purchase.
Best backup camera on a budget Best camera for backup on the go
If your car doesn't have a rearview camera and you're looking for arguably fewer cameras, the eRapta ERT01 is incredibly affordable. This camera easily attaches to a car's license plate and comes with RCA cable that can be connected to an output screen. While the camera does not include a screen, many cars already have screen displays that will work with the ERT01 -- make sure to check yours first, or you may be forced to buy receptacles.
As a wired camera, the ERT01 will be more difficult to install than the average wireless camera -- but only slightly. User reviews on Amazon cite the ease of setting up the camera, with only the single RCA cable necessary to connect the cameras to the screen. The camera is also supplied with a power cable.
The ERT01 is only $26 per package, but that's not the only reason why it' s become Amazon''S top selling backup camera. In addition to being simple to use, it's also a durable waterproof camera, operates at temperatures ranging from -50 to 80 degrees Celsius, and has 147-degree field of vision. It's a well-built product at an affordable price.
Best backup camera for RVs and campers
Unless you're a professional truck driver, an RV is -- by far -- bigger than any other vehicle you can drive. In such a situation, it makes sense to spend more and ensure that you, your passengers, and the people around you are safe.
Rear View Safety's 4 Camera Setup with Quad View Display allows RV drivers to get the most accurate view of their surroundings -- and they can do it all at once. There are four cameras in total: two to be mounted on the rear of the RV (with 130-degree viewing angles) and one for each side ( with 120- degree viewing views). The split-screen monitor can display feeds from all of the cameras at once, or just feed feed from the driver's choice.
This RV backup camera system also transmits audio, so even if the air conditioner is running or some music playing, you'll be able to focus on the sights and sounds of the road. The fact that this is a wired camera system ensures the transmission integrity -- and while you may need professional help installing this rearview camera, some Amazon reviewers reported that they were able to accomplish it themselves without too much trouble.
Best backup camera for cars is the one that provides backup for your vehicles.
Whether you have a backup camera or not, chances are that you're used to looking at your rearview mirror every few minutes. Not only were many of us initially taught to use the mirror when backing up, but unless you have a display with the capability, it's the only way to see what' is going on behind you while you're driving.
Toguard's Backup Camera combines that natural inclination with the high-tech features of today'' s driving experience by providing a display that replaces your rearview mirror and provides essentially the same -- but superior -- view. The display acts as a touchscreen and provides picture-in-picture capabilities to display satanic feeds from the included dash cam. All footage is recorded and played back.
And if you're not into all that fancy stuff, what a relief! You can tap the power button on the screen to turn it on and it will work like a normal rearview mirror. Even if the screen is in "mirror mode," both cameras will still be on and recording in case there's any footage you'll need to review.
Best backup camera for trucks for backups.
We've already seen that eRapta makes the best backup camera for drivers on a budget, so it's no wonder that they also make incredibly affordable models that work well for larger vehicles. The eRapta Backup Camera 2.0, which comes with an incredibly useful backup camera, is a great choice for making truck driving easier and safer.
The Backup Camera 2.0, like the Rear View Safety system, includes four different cameras that can be mounted on the rear and sides of a vehicle. The 7-inch split screen can display one, two, or four camera feeds at once, giving you a near-perfect view of your surroundings.
The eRapta Backup Camera 2.0 is a wired model, and with four separate cameras, there's inevitably hefty wiring involved. While you may always seek the assistance of a professional, eRapta promotes the model as easy to install. User reviews on Amazon help further support that claim of ease with many of the other wired camera models on this list.
Best backup camera for SUVs?
When it comes to finding a backup camera for an SUV, you want something that has the precision of ot - and coverage of truck cameras. You want to keep installation simple, because installing the wrong wired camera with a larger vehicle can quickly turn into hefty (or complicated) job.
The Zeroxclub W01 Digital Wireless Backup Camera Kit covers all of these bases. It's a wireless camera, which means installation is straightforward, with the monitor integrated into your vehicle' s lighter plug if you have one. Zeroxclub claims "100 percent no interference" and a transmission that works while driving at speeds of up to 85 miles per hour, and the signal is also strong.
The included LCD screen is 7 inches in diameter with a resolution of 1280x720, giving the driver's eyes firmly fixed to what' is happening behind their vehicle. The camera itself is waterproof, with infrared lights, a high-definition image processor, and 149-degree field of vision. All of these attributes ensure that the Zeroxclub camera is accurate and durable, which is crucial in a product no matter what vehicle you drive.
Best backup camera for trailers?
When it comes to driving and visibility, attaching a trailer to your car presents fewer challenges than installing nailed down trailers. First of all, you're driving a vehicle that's suddenly much larger than it is normally, which means that you won't have the same level of familiarity or comfort as if you were driving an RV or truck. Secondly, you can't use a wired backup camera, as it would require establishing ties between the trailer and your vehicle's dashboard.
Given these restrictions, Yakry's HD 720P Digital Wireless Backup Camera is an ideal choice. The wireless camera signal is strong, with Yakry recommending that it be used on vehicles up to 45 feet long -- a range that includes dozens of trailers. The device offers the ease of installation that drivers expect from a wireless camera model.
Of course, it's the viewpoint that'll be most important when it comes to driving safely. The signal is strong, but the camera is fog resistant, and the 150 degree viewing angle allows for a wide field of vision on the 5-inch display. The camera can be set to run continuously, but be aware of the risks of using a backup camera in such.
Best backup camera for vans?
Few cameras are as versatile and easy to use as the DoHonest HD 1080p Digital Wireless Backup Camera. Combining that with the wide 150-degree viewing angle, it is an ideal vehicle for a larger vehicle, such as if it were accompanied by swivel doors.
The DoHonest camera fits easily on a vehicle's license plate holder, and it has an internal transmitter, reducing the need for extra devices. The camera is waterproof, and the six-lens glass construction reproduces color well in video. Amazon's customer reviews rate the night-vision capabilities highly.
The screen -- which is connected to the camera by a digital signal capable of reaching up to 100 feet -- displays 720p HD video and can be attached to your dashboard or windshield. Overall, the DoHonest model is one of the most user-friendly backup cameras on the market, and considering its reasonable price tag, it's easy to see why it is so popular.
Best backup camera for older cars for storing valuables in the garage.
The biggest obstacle to putting a backup camera in an older car is the possibility of nipping at sizing unless there is. While many camera kits come with screens of their own, there are drivers who would rather have a single console-mounted screen for all of the display needs. If your car was built before a certain date, you may not have that option unless you're prepared to break the bank and get one installed.
The LeeKooLuu 1080p Digital Wireless Backup Camera is an easy-to-use device with a customizable 5-inch display that ensures any driver's comfort -- and while it may not be mounted on your dashboard, it' is the next-best thing. Qualities such as brightness, color saturation, and contrast can be changed, as well as the driver having the option to switch between a mirrored or facing view. That makes it possible to use on the license plate, if necessary (but remember, there's no substitute for looking at the road).
The LeeKooLuu backup camera itself is mounted in a license plate holder, making it easy to install. It's also waterproof, has a 150-degree viewing angle, and has eight infrared LED lights for night driving. All things considered, it's an excellent upgrade if you want to make your older car easier to drive in reverse.
What to look for in a backup camera?
For starters, there are three major categories to consider: wired backup cameras, wireless backup camera, and smartphone backup cams. Wired cameras are connected to output screens via wires, which increases the connection, but professional installation may be required.
Wireless cameras are relatively easy to install since there are no wires or cables connecting the camera to the monitor (although there may still be cables linking them to power sources), but the connection may be difficult to make, especially in bad weather. If you continue to have issues with your screen capturing images from the camera, you'll need to talk to a professional (and perhaps even switch to an unwired camera). Don't be discouraged, though -- any camera can be fixed. Zoriy Birenboym, the CEO of eAutoLease.com, advises: "Take it to [a service center] to figure out what's wrong with it." Birenboym spent over 15 years in the automobile industry as a salesman before founding the online auto leasing company. "If nothing is wrong with the wires, it should be an easy fix."
Smartphone cameras are wireless and use smartphones as display devices, making them easier to use, but also introducing even more connection issues. You may also want to consider your phone's screen size. Harry Anapliotis, sales director and full stack developer at Rental Center Crete, a rental car agency that's been serving the Greek island for over 45 years, says, "Make sure the screen is big enough for you to get glare." "It's all a show and it'll be useless if you're squinting to see the screen."
There are also certain attributes of certain backup cameras that may be of interest to you and there are variations between cameras. For example, different cameras have different field of vision, which determine how far of a lens angle you can see behind you. Angles typically range from 165 to 170 degrees, while angles under 120 degrees are considered too narrow by some to be. The larger the angle, the more distorted the image will be on your screen.
Some cameras provide night vision to help you see in darkness and low light, but there's a price difference between military-grade night visibility and standard night sight. The latter often simply refers to the addition of one or more infrared lights to a camera. Finally, as mentioned earlier, you may have your footage sent to a screen in your console, swivel screen, or rearview mirror inset. You can choose whichever you want, but a dashboard or screen will give you fewer details.
Aside from this, you may need to adjust your hunt based on your vehicle. You can add a rear camera to nearly any vehicle, but the details may change. Many RV owners, for example, are interested in backup cameras because of the difficulty of moving such large vehicles in reverse, but they may have to adjust their expectations in terms of cost and capability.
RV cameras are available in wired, wireless, and smartphone varieties, but the connection between the cameras and screens in wireless models may be particularly difficult to operate in large vehicles, since the distance between them is more extensive. Because of the size of a vehicle, implementing 'wired' cameras may be more expensive than installing one in. RV cameras should be mounted higher than they would be on a normal car, with 9.5 feet off the ground considered ideal.
In some ways, however, all cameras are the same. For example, the quality of the view and the picture depends on your connection, and certain brands have a reputation for higher performance than others. Popular brands for car backup cameras include Auto-Vox, Yada, and LeeKooLuu. Rear View Safety, 4Ucam, and Furrion are some of the top RV cameras that are often cited as being the best.
Finally, it's important to remember that backup cameras come with their own rules. While mirrors make driving in reverse easier and safer, they don't guarantee complete 360-degree visibility (no matter what they claim), so it's important to use your mirror and remain alert while you drive. There are also ways to wire your camera so that it's on all the time, even when you're driving ahead -- but is it worth it? You'll have a better view of what's going on behind your car, but it may also distract you while you drive rather than aid your vision as it does when you're going in reverse.
What to expect to spend on -- and get from -- a backup camera?
Price is a major consideration when selecting op-ed backup camera, and prices can vary widely. Based on a variety of factors, such as the type and brand of camera, and whether or not you already have sat screen, they can range from $10 to $500, or even more for larger vehicles. The cost of the equipment you need and the tools you already have largely determine the amount of money you'll spend. This is apparent in the way cameras for sale are typically organized -- they're sold as camera units that connect to existing screens, individual components, and all-in-one systems.
Installation is another concern. If you plan to install your camera on your own, make sure you set aside 3 hours for the job. If you need professional installation, it may cost an additional $400 to $600. It's important to note that the most reliable backup wired cameras are also the ones that are the hardest to install before you make your decision. That said, the money and effort may be worth it -- if you purchase the right backup camera, install it correctly, and take care of it properly, you'll have 10 years of safer driving. Birenboym claims that "it might get older and not have all the best features," but that it should have enough life to last that long.
"People report backup cameras lasting anywhere between a month and ten years, which tells us that what we really need when looking for dependable backup camera is something that is strong and comes with if backed by securing reassurance," says Michael Lowe, CEO of Car Passionate. "The goal is that the camera will last as long as you own the car, but cars are strong and cameras not as strong." When you are buying, it's worth considering whether [the camera] comes in a protective case that can assist protect against accidents or falls. What you want is a product that does what it says on the tin and can last the distance. "Aside from all the fancy features, what you're looking for is an item that performs what its name suggests and lasts the test of time."
If you've decided to install your camera by yourself but are afraid of the challenge, you should consider a license plate backup camera. Einige of these wireless backup camera systems are mounted in license plate holders, while others can be easily attached to your existing holder. You'll need a screen, whether it's an existing one on your dashboard or stacked monitor. LeeKooLuu and Esky are two of the most well-respected license plate backup camera brands.
A backup camera may be a large investment or merely dwindling one, but having the knowledge necessary will help you make savvy investment decisions. In the end, what's most important is that you'll be able to drive more safely.
What you should know before buying a backup camera.
- Is your car already equipped with a screen in the dashboard? If it does, you may be able to broadcast the camera's footage. If it does, you'll need to have someone install a mounting bracket for an LCD monitor or choose 'a different viewing option'.
- Do you want a wired, wireless, or smartphone camera system? Before making a decision, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each camera type and compare them to your own needs and preferences.
- Are there any special considerations when adding a backup camera to your vehicle? Depending on the size and shape of your vehicle, you may need to mount the camera in a different location, or you might find that 'a certain brand or model' is better suited for the job.
- How much are you willing to spend? Backup cameras are expensive and have a limited budget in mind before you begin shopping. If you don't want to install the rearview backup camera yourself, you must pay an additional fee for installation.
- Which model best suits your needs? Once you've answered all the other questions, you can quickly search for backup cameras on the Internet (such as this list) to determine which is the best for you.
Scott Fried wrote this review for Roadshow.
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