31 Jan 6 Best Back-Up Rear-View Safety Cameras for Your Car
According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA), over 500,000 accidents are related to reversing a car every year. And out of these, over 15,000 involve serious injury or even death, mostly among children under the age of 5 and senior citizens over 70.
Reversing your car can be quite dangerous because you have to constantly look in the rearview mirror for an inadequate view or to physically turn around. Your vision often has blind spots. But that’s where back-up rearview safety cameras for cars come in.
A back-up rearview safety camera allows you to see exactly what’s behind you so you can reverse carefully. Furthermore, you don’t have to turn around; you can keep your eyes straight ahead and occasionally look at the monitor. Back-up rearview safety cameras can drastically lower the possibility of getting into a collision.
However, with so many different types of back-up rearview safety cameras on the market, the search can be difficult. That’s why, in this article, I’m giving you a detailed and thorough overview of some of the best back-up rearview safety cameras for your car.
A back-up rearview safety camera is basically a camera that is installed somewhere in the rear of the vehicle. The camera has a complete view of everything behind you and it transmits that visual to a monitor hooked up to the front section. The video is either transmitted through wires or wirelessly through radio signals. The monitor is usually connected to the reverse lights so it gets activated the moment the shift lever is placed in reverse. This allows you to see what’s behind you and carefully back up the car.
According to the NHTSA, the use of back-up rearview safety cameras can reduce the possibility of accidents by 57%. The following are some of the prime benefits of using back-up rearview safety cameras for cars.
- Elimination of Blind Spots: A back-up rearview safety camera can provide a 120-degree to 170-degree field of view which allows you to see everything in the periphery. Traditional rearview mirrors only give you a little visibility and you have to physically turn your head for the rest. Compared to that, back-up rearview safety cameras can eliminate blind spots.
- Facilitating Safe Parking: Most back-up rearview safety cameras come with parking lines. You simply follow these guidelines to park safely in place. Furthermore, some devices also come with grids that indicate if you’re too close to an obstacle.
- Reversing Safely: Sometimes, you need to reverse your car but are afraid that it will hit the bumper of the vehicle behind you. Back-up rearview safety cameras can make that maneuver a lot safer.
- Keeping Occupants Safe: For all the aforementioned reasons, back-up rearview safety cameras help you prevent collisions. As such, they help keep your occupants safe.
Best Back-Up Rearview Safety Cameras for Your Car
1. Yada Digital BT53328M-1
The Yada Digital BT53328M-1 is one of the best back-up rearview safety cameras for cars because of its simplicity of design and ease of use. It is a reasonable and elegant solution to keep track of what’s happening behind your vehicle.
It comes with a camera that needs to be wired into the reverse lights and a 4.3” monitor that can be plugged into your cigarette lighter outlet. With this completely wireless device, you can pair the monitor and camera via the 2.4GHz digital wireless signal. It has a range of 30 feet, enough to cover the distance between your camera and the monitor. I tried connecting various other wireless and bluetooth devices in my vehicle and none interfered with the transmission signals, so I’m fairly satisfied with the reliability. The monitor immediately starts up the moment you hit reverse with no delay in response and the visuals are crystal-clear.
This is a license-mount camera, so it will have to be hooked to the rear license plate. You can tilt the camera to accommodate the car’s height. While the visual provided by the camera is clear and sharp, I am not satisfied with the lens angle. It has a 130-degree lens, which is alright, but it leaves quite a bit of blind spot as well.
Furthermore, when you’re close to the parking spot, the viewing angle looks extremely narrow and then spreads out at a distance. You do, however, get distance markings that go from green to yellow to red to allow you to judge how close you are. I would have preferred it to be a 170-degree lens with wide-angle vision throughout. As it now stands, objects 3-feet away seem to be 10-feet away, and the current guide isn’t ideal for parallel parking, where you need it the most.
In dim lighting, the light sensor automatically switches the camera to Night Vision mode using infrared lenses. As such, I’m happy with the visibility in the dark. I am also satisfied with the camera’s IP67 rating, which allows it to get through dust storms and heavy rain perfectly well.
The LCD monitor is quite clear and sharp. There are five buttons located on top of the monitor, and you can use them to change different modes, such as Parking Guidelines, Power, etc. It can be attached to the dashboard or the windshield. Basically, it is a perfectly user-friendly and clear monitor with natural movements, no delays in feed, and adjustability in color, contrast, and brightness. However, I do wish the screen was just a little bigger, but that’s a small issue.
All things considered, the Yada Digital BT53328M-1 is almost perfect in all aspects except one — its lens angle and ability to guide with parallel parking.
- Crystal-clear visuals
- Weatherproof and waterproof
- Wireless connection doesn’t get interrupted
- Monitor is user-friendly
- Turns on automatically when the car is put on reverse with no delays
- The lens angle could have been wider
- Not ideal for parallel parking
- The monitor could have been a little bigger
2. Esky EC170-09
The Esky EC170-09 is second on this list because of its ingenious design and ease of installation. This is a license-mounted back-up rearview safety camera. With most such license-mounted cameras, you have to hook the camera through holes in the license plate or manually drill a hole in the bumper to pass the camera wires. The Esky EC170-09 offers a simple remedy to that annoying installation process — it comes equipped with its own chrome-plated and corrosion-free license plate. As such, you can get rid of the old plates and simply attach this stylish frame, making installation extremely simple.
This back-up rearview safety camera has a macro-lens with a 170-degree viewing angle, the best angle possible. In addition to the angle, the camera also provides great color with its CMOS PC1030 image sensor. However, my big issue here is the resolution. It receives NTSC signals and provides a poor resolution of 510 x 496 pixels, which means your visuals will be pixelated, making it hard to discern tiny details.
This camera is IP67 waterproof rated. It will work perfectly even if submerged under several meters of water, and it will definitely be able to get through torrential rainstorms. The camera comes with 7 infrared LED lights so it can provide great visibility even in dim-lighting and darkness.
One of my concerns with this back-up rearview safety camera is its possible lack of flexibility since it comes attached to the license plate. However, it comes with tension screws that can be used to adjust both the angle and the height of the camera lens. The visuals provided in the monitor are clear and the grid lines are accurate. I generally used the red marks as my 6” mark, but you also get yellow and green lines to measure the distance. As a result of the wide angle lens, the view encompasses areas on either side of the vehicle as well.
If I had to get nit-picky with this camera, I would complain about the automatic feature. Like most back-up rearview safety cameras, it turns on the moment you hit reverse. However, there’s no way to manually turn it on when you’re not reversing.
- Great viewing angle
- Accurate grid lines
- Extremely easy to install because it comes attached to the license plate
- Accurate color
- Great night-time visibility
- Camera lens can be adjusted
- Extremely cheap
- Image resolution is really bad
- Visuals can be a bit grainy because of the blue protective film on the lens
- Cannot be manually turned on. Only turns on when the car is reversing
- You have to get rid of your old license plate to install it
3. QuickVu Digital
The QuickVu Digital is an extremely easy back-up rearview safety camera to set up and use. Most wireless cameras still have to be hooked to a power source and are only wireless in terms of transmitting information from the camera to the monitor.
However, this rearview safety camera is truly wireless as it can be powered by batteries. You simply have to attach the camera to your license plate, without any wires or drilling necessary. Following that, you plug the monitor to the cigarette lighter outlet, place it in an appropriate position, and pair it to the camera. In terms of installation, you can’t find a better back-up rearview safety camera.
While its true wireless nature makes it convenient for installation, it also has a clear drawback. The camera is powered by AA batteries that need to be replaced regularly. To do so, you have to take your camera off and install it again.
Furthermore, since the camera and monitor automatically turn on whenever you start the car, the battery drains pretty quickly. But if you’re careful, the battery should last a year or more. To replace the batteries, you’ll need to remove the screws from the back of the camera — which ensure that the camera remains water-tight — so be careful not to misplace them. That little drawback aside, I really loved the installation.
I am, however, a bit disappointed with its actual performance. On one hand, the wireless signal doesn’t get interrupted by other devices, so that’s good. On the other hand, there’s a slight delay in transmission from the camera to the monitor. Its a fraction of a second, so it’s not a big deal, but I’m still apprehensive that this little delay might prove dangerous in some situation.
The camera has a 150-degree diagonal viewing angle. This isn’t the best angle possible, but it’s adequate and minimizes blind spots. The camera is also equipped with infrared lights to provide LED-enhanced night vision. It is weatherproof and waterproof. My only issue with the camera lens is that it cannot be adjusted according to your needs since the entire casing is made in one piece.
- Extremely easy installation
- Completely wireless and interference-free
- No drilling necessary
- Wide lens angle
- The monitor is just 4.3” — could have been bigger
- When the battery gets drained, you’ll have to physically remove the camera to replace them
- Slight delay in transmission of visuals from camera to monitor
4. KDLINKS R100
The KDLINKS R100 is one of the most impressive back-up rearview safety cameras if you care about great features. For starters, it’s the only camera on this list that can be used both in front-camera and rear-camera mode. Not only can you use it to reverse carefully, but you can also use it as a dashboard cam to record incidents. The footage can later be produced in a court of law as evidence.
In terms of design, it is different from the other back-up rearview safety cameras on this list. It comes in the form of a standard rearview mirror with a 5” screen. One end of the camera acts as a rearview mirror and rearview camera, allowing you to see whatever is happening behind you. The other end records what is in front of you. The camera lens is wide-angled at 140-degrees and records videos at 1080p resolution, making it sharper and better than most similar cameras.
The unit also comes with an inbuilt 64GB SD card where the recorded footage gets stored by a continuous loop recording feature such that new footage writes over the older footage when there’s a lack of space.
This camera is great for recording and viewing in low light situations as it’s equipped with superior night vision and infrared lenses. It has an automatic motion detection feature that starts recording videos the moment some movement is detected, but only for a few seconds. This feature works when the car is parked. This rearview safety camera can also be used while driving. The G-force feature immediately warns you if you’re getting too close to another vehicle, which helps you avoid other collisions.
You should, however, note that this is a great camera for overall driving, not just backing up. It doesn’t have features specifically designed for other back-up rearview safety cameras. such as parking grid lines. It also doesn’t have as clear and unobstructed a view of the rear as other rearview cameras.
- Has an advanced parking mode with automatic motion detection
- G-Force feature is useful in avoiding crashes while driving
- Can record videos and store them in SD card
- Has dual cameras
- Easy to install
- Ultra HD resolution
- Record in dim lighting
- Parking grid lines not available
- Rearview visibility isn’t as great as specific back-up rearview safety cameras
- Some users complain that the camera is unpredictable, turning on and off unprompted
5. Chuanganzhuo Backup Camera
The Chuanganzhuo Backup Camera comes with an all-inclusive kit equipped with power cables and monitor. The monitor is 4.3” in size and has a resolution of 648X488. I am not happy with the resolution because it tends to get pixelated so you can’t see certain necessary details. The signal format used is NTSC.
The camera lens has to be attached to the license plate and it comes with 7 infrared lights that provide visibility in the dark. However, the visuals aren’t as clear as other back-up rearview safety cameras with night vision. You’ll have visibility at dusk and dawn, but not in pitch black. The camera is completely waterproof and carries an IP67 rating.
Another issue with this camera is the display’s automatic feature. The display only turns on when the vehicle goes into reverse mode and you turn the rearview lights on. If you want to access the visuals any other time, you’ll have to set it up differently and get professional help to play with the wires.
I was also extremely concerned while installing this back-up rearview safety camera. The wires on the device have to be connected around the monitor and the camera. All the wires included in this kit are extremely delicate and are easy to tangle up. I had to be careful while handling them lest they might snap or get ruined. I haven’t used the device for long, but several users have complained about needing to replace the wires after a few months. It should have heavier wiring.
As you can tell, this back-up rearview safety camera isn’t one of the best out there. The video quality leaves a lot to be desired, the monitor size could be larger, and the night vision is grainy and weak. It also lacks advanced features like grid lines and parking assistance. Having said that, it is extremely cheap and has all the basic features you need from a back-up rearview safety camera. If you’re looking for an extremely basic and cheap camera for minor assistance while reversing, go ahead and get this one.
- Wide-angle lens
- Night vision isn’t effective
- Video quality is pixelated
- No way to manually turn the monitor display on whenever you want
- Monitor could be larger in size
- Delicate wiring
6. Rear View Safety RVS-770613-HD
The Rear View Safety RVS-770613-HD is a fairly decent back-up rearview safety camera. However, it’s also one of the more expensive on this list and the installation process is complicated, which is why I’ve placed it so low.
This back-up rearview safety camera is designed specifically for large trucks and RVs since it comes with a 66-feet cable. It is a completely wired system, so you’ll have to stretch out a wire from the camera at the rear, past the bumper, through the trunk, and connect it to the monitor on the dashboard or rearview mirror. This makes the installation process pretty complicated, and it might involve drilling as well. Unless you’re an expert with tools, you’ll have to hire professional help. Furthermore, once installed, it’s difficult to remove, so you’ll have to treat it like a permanent fixture.
The system has the ability to accommodate up to four cameras, although it comes with just one. I am happy with the 7” monitor ,as the size is large enough to see details clearly without straining. The monitor also comes with clear buttons for navigation and to change different modes and settings. Once the installation is done, actually using this back-up rearview safety camera will be easy.
The camera is extremely durable and carries an IP68 rating, one of the most durable waterproof ratings out there. Furthermore, the camera has a wide-angle lens and 18 infrared LED lights. This provides impressive clarity even in complete darkness. The camera lens is 130-degrees, so it’s not quite as wide as many others, but it’s adequate.
- Large monitor with clear visuals
- Great night vision
- Easy to use
- Waterproof and weatherproof
- Lens angle could be wider
- Installation is extremely difficult and might require professional help.
- Extremely expensive.
Different types of Back-Up Rearview Safety Cameras
Charge Coupled Device (CCD) Camera
These are the more expensive of the two types of cameras. Their video quality is a lot clearer and they are ideal for use in dim lighting. However, they don’t function well in high-speed situations and their frame rate can be a little slow.
Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) Camera
These are some of the first “analog” back-up rearview safety cameras invented. As such, they are a lot cheaper than CCD cameras and their video quality isn’t as clear. They also don’t perform well in dim-lighting, although they do provide better frame rates per second. They are generally smaller than CCD cameras.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Back-Up Rearview Safety Camera
It’s pretty hard to judge the true quality of the camera’s video based on specs on paper. I’ve seen SD cameras that are clearer than some true HD cameras. When it comes to back-up rearview safety cameras, you should place an emphasis on several factors such as color contrast, details, brightness, and resolution.
The lens angle determines the field of vision provided by the camera. A wider angle will provide a greater field of vision, minimizing blind spots. All back-up rearview safety cameras are generally at least 120-degrees. However, you should aim for a back-up rearview safety camera with a 170-degree lens angle.
Night vision is crucial for back-up rearview safety cameras, especially if you drive in the evenings or at night. There are two types of night vision cameras out there — infrared and night Vvsion. The former uses infrared lights to provide illumination in the area behind the car so your camera can capture it. The latter is a traditional night vision that provides visibility in darkness.
With some back-up rearview safety cameras, you can see virtual grid lines on the LCD monitor. This allows the driver to park perfectly and also gives an indication regarding the vehicle’s proximity to other obstacles. As such, it helps with parking safely.
Rearview mirrors tend to flip the image shown to you. If you want a seamless transition from your rearview mirror to your rearview camera, it should be able to flip the image. Make sure the camera comes with a mirror image feature; otherwise you might get confused between the rearview mirror and the camera.
All modern back-up rearview safety cameras come with LCD monitors. The best and clearest are TFT-LCD monitors. There are still some CRT monitors available on the market, but you should avoid them.
Monitor sizes range from 5” to 10”, so you can get one that suits your needs. You might find smaller monitors, but you should avoid them as you’ll have to strain to see the visuals clearly, which will, in turn, increase the likelihood of an accident.
Modern cars also come with a SatNav unit. In this case, you don’t even need a monitor. You simply hook the camera to the SatNav, as long as it’s compatible.
There are three primary types of monitors you can install in your car to gain visuals.
- In-Dash Display: These may come with the vehicle or you can purchase them separately. It’s located in the dashboard.
- On-Dash/ Rearview Mirror Display: These are placed on the dashboard or the rearview mirror.
- Wireless Display: These are wireless so they don’t need to be connected to the camera. They run on battery or you can connect them to a power source. You can install them anywhere you want.
Some back-up rearview safety cameras come with a microphone, so you can listen to the surrounding audio and also speak through the camera. This might be helpful in situations like backing up a trailer truck, but it’s not a necessity for most people.
Weatherproof & Waterproof Rating
Back-up rearview safety cameras are positioned outside your car and are exposed to external weather conditions. As such, you should carefully study the camera’s IP rating and operational temperature.
The IP rating is comprised of two numbers. The first digit should be at least ‘6’ so it can provide protection against dust. The second digit relates to how waterproof the camera is. It should be at least ‘3’, which indicates protection from rain; but it should ideally be higher than ‘6’ to also provide protection from high-pressure underwater situations. You should ideally get a camera with a waterproof rating of IP66 or higher. The best is IP69K as it’s meant for heavy-duty applications.
Also make sure that the camera can operate in both extremely cold and extremely hot temperatures. Most back-up rearview safety cameras have an operational temperature range of -10 degrees to 50 degrees Celsius.
Wired or Wireless
Wired back-up rearview safety cameras are permanently fixed to your car and generally require professional installation. However, they are reliable because there’s no interference of signals.
Wireless back-up rearview safety cameras are convenient, flexible, and can easily be installed by users. However, since their signals are often transmitted through analog systems, they are prone to interference, making them less reliable. However, reliability shouldn’t be an issue if you get a high-end and reliable model.
Ease of Installation
You should get a back-up rearview safety camera that you can install on your own and that comes with clear instructions. If you get one with a complex installation process, you might need to get professional help, which will cost you anywhere from $150 to $300.
The camera can be mounted in a number of different ways:
- Surface Mounted: These are generally meant for large vehicles like SUVs and large trucks. They are mounted pretty high in order to provide a greater range of vision and add depth perception.
- Flush Mounted: These discreet cameras are concealed from the unobservant eye. A small hole is drilled in the bumper, just big enough for the lens, and no additional accouterments are visible. However, in this case, the camera is usually located pretty low, so it doesn’t have great depth perception.
- License Mounted: These are located over the license plate. The camera’s depth perception depends on the plate’s location and how close or far it is from the ground.
Make sure that the camera is easy to use and you can navigate effectively with the monitor. If the controls are too confusing, the camera might end up distracting you.
How to Install Back-Up Rearview Cameras for Cars?
Installing back-up rearview safety cameras is usually pretty simple and takes just a couple of hours. If you’re not confident in your abilities, you can get a professionals to install it, The cost of having it professionally installed can range from $150 to $300; as such, I highly recommend learning how to do it DIY-style and making it a weekend project.
Back-up rearview safety cameras usually come with detailed instructions on how to install them. The installation process might differ slightly among different models. However, in most cases, they follow a similar template.
The following is a step-by-step guide on how to install back-up rearview safety cameras for your car.
- Disconnect Power: Disconnect the (-) battery wire from the car’s battery to prevent the possibility of a fuse popping or shorting.
- Access Tail Lights: From the inside of the vehicle, remove the tail light panels. These are generally located in the trunk. You’ll have to unscrew the trim pieces and then access the wiring for one of the tail lights.
- Mounting Location: Depending on the type of camera, there may be various mounting positions. The most common, however, is either on or near the license plate.
- Backup Camera Wiring: Remove the license plate and identify any hole through which you can run the signal wires to the camera. In lieu of a hole, you’ll have to drill a hole in the bumper for the wires to go through. Now pass the wire from the camera, through the hole and to the trunk. Tuck the wires to the tail lights and then connect the power wire to the reverse power wire used in conjunction with the reverse light.
- Connecting the Camera to the Monitor: Finally, you need to connect the monitor. As previously mentioned, there are three types of monitors available. For In-Dash or On-Dash Display monitors, you need to connect the signal wire from the camera to the back of the display monitor. For Wireless Display monitors, no wiring is necessary.
Can the Back-Up Rearview Camera’s Screen be Manually Turned On/Off?
Most back-up rearview safety cameras come with automatic monitors. When the reverse lights are activated, the monitor automatically comes on and starts guiding you. However, some back-up rearview safety cameras come with manual operational features so you can turn them on and off when you want.
Can the Back-Up Rearview Camera be Connected to my Vehicle’s Head Unit?
Yes, you can connect the back-up rearview safety camera to your car’s head unit, especially if it doesn’t come with an LCD monitor. If your head unit has a screen with video capabilities, you should be able to connect it to your back-up rearview camera without much of an issue.
Does a Back-Up Rearview Camera Eliminate all Blind Spots?
Back-up rearview safety cameras can drastically minimize blind spots, especially if you get an extremely wide angle lens. The biggest and most dangerous blind spot to eliminate is the area right behind the vehicle, thus minimizing the possibility of rollovers. However, they cannot completely eliminate all blind spots, so you should still use the camera in conjunction with your own line of sight and the rearview mirror.
Can Footage from the Back-Up Rearview Camera be Uploaded to the Cloud?
Some back-up rearview safety cameras only provide visuals, but they don’t let you record it. If your back-up camera has video recording capability, you can upload the video to the cloud after downloading it to your computer. In case of an accident, this is a great source of video evidence.
I hope this article has helped you decide on the best back-up rearview safety camera for your car? So now you can finally start reversing your car from sticky situations safely without getting agitated!