We spent 55 hours researching and testing more than 20 different types of car backup cameras and found that ease of installation, cost, and performance were the most important factors with consumers who were looking for a car backup camera. LeeKooLuu Reverse/Rear View Camera scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. The LeeKooLuu is one of the best backup cameras on the market thanks to the super sensitive sensor that provides you with the ability to see the slightest movement behind your car even if it is small. It is very convenient to use and is waterproof as well so you don’t have to worry about the weather messing up the camera.
Car Backup Camera Comparison
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Car Backup Camera Buying Guide
What is a backup camera and what does it do?
A car backup camera is a device that turns on when you put your vehicle in reverse and start to back up. The camera will show you what is going on behind you via a dashboard video screen or sometimes through the rear view mirror so you can see a real-time image of the area that is in the blind spot when using traditional means. This camera can prevent you from running into other vehicles, fences, pets, children, bikes, and many other things.
Even if your vehicle did not come with a backup camera you can purchase them aftermarket and have a variety of models to choose from. Most of the backup cameras on the market are fully able to be integrated with a display panel that offers touchscreen capability even if there are no navigational capabilities.
Types of Backup Cameras
There are four basic types of car backup cameras on the market to choose from. We have listed all four below so you can see what is available and what the differences are between the different systems.
Camera-Only – This type of system can be added to your vehicle if there is a screen already present in the dash. Most camera only styles have the instructions needed so you can connect them to the existing monitors correctly.
All-in-One – This kind of backup camera system features both the display and the camera that you can mount in your vehicle. These all-inclusive models have everything you need to install and use a car backup camera and start reaping the benefits of safer driving.
Camera and Mirror Display – These can be purchased separately. With this type of system the display is placed on the rearview mirror and can be viewed that way while the vehicle is in reverse.
Individual cameras and display units – These are also purchased separately and can include a variety of different cameras and displays to fit any number of needs. If you want to choose individual components keep in mind where you want to mount the camera and display, how much room you have to work with, what your budget is and how handy you are at mounting products like this.
If you are adding a backup camera to a vehicle that already has a display in place you will end up spending less money than if you have to purchase a whole system. When purchasing a camera-only system you will wire it into the vehicle’s electrical system and use the existing monitor to provide you with the view. Make sure that any aftermarket cameras you purchase are compatible with your specific vehicle and also includes the proper interface needed to transfer the signal to the screen properly.
How to Choose the best Backup Camera
There are several things to consider when you are looking for a car backup camera for your vehicle. We have listed these considerations below.
Image Sensor – the majority of backup cameras have one of two sensors: the CMOS sensor or the CCD sensor. These sensors convert the light into a signal in two different ways. The CMOS is digital and the CCD is analog. The CMOS will take less power and works better in low light conditions. The CCD sensor is better at adjusting to light that fluctuates. Consider the type of environment you drive in to determine which style is best for your needs.
Mirror Image – The view that you see from your monitor is reversed like a rearview mirror is. Some systems allow this to be a selectable feature which can be helpful if you plan on using the camera as a front-view camera at times as well.
Parking Lines – A lot of the backup cameras on the market provide users with guidelines onscreen that will help you back up in tight conditions ore when trying to back into a tight spot. They can also help you determine distance between you and objects in your path, if you want the opportunity to opt out of parking lines look for systems that offer selectable parking lines as an extra feature.
Viewing Angle – Backup cameras off a great horizontal viewing angle that can be as expansive as 190 degrees. The wider the angle the more you will be able to see. Look for cameras that have a large angle of site so you can see all the areas you need to see when you are backing out of your driveway, out of a parking space and anywhere else you need to back up.
Low light conditions – Some camera systems have a minimum Lux rating that informs you of the least amount of light that is required to get a clear picture. A lot of cameras enhance their low light features with infrared light or additional LED light that comes on when the car is put into reverse.
Mounting is one of the most important aspects of a car backup camera. You want to choose one that is easy to mount and that works for you vehicle type, your needs, your budget, and your ability to mount it. Even some that state they are easy to mount may not be very simple for someone who does not put things together or mount things very often. Read the comments from other consumers that have purchased them to see how easy it REALLY is.
License plate mounts – there are many car backup cameras that are able to be mounted onto the license plate frame or that can be mounted with a strap. The strap mount fits over the license plate using the license plate screws.
Lip Mount – If you have an area of the car that is inset you can probably use a backup camera that is an angled lip mount design. This is a lot more subtle than the license plate mount.
Bracket Mount – The most universal mount for all vehicles is the bracket mount that uses an adjustable bracket that allows you to mount the camera wherever it is the best for your specific needs.
Vehicle-specific – Some brands offer car backup cameras that are vehicle specific and only fit certain makes and models of vehicles. You will need to enter your vehicle information to find the right vehicle specific car backup cameras. You can get vehicle specific cameras for trailers, ATVs, boats and others.
Purchasing a car backup camera for your vehicle is an excellent safety addition that will help you be a safer more aware driver. Backup accidents are sadly, far too common but they can be avoided with the right devices. The backup camera is one of these devices. Even if your vehicle did not come with a car backup camera there are plenty of aftermarket styles to choose from.
The three top-rated car backup cameras that we have featured above are all examples of quality backup cameras that will work with a variety of vehicles. All three are high performing, easy-to-install cameras that will give you the kind of visibility you want when it comes to what may be behind you.
Even if you look behind the vehicle before you get inside to drive away, pets and children can run behind the vehicle and be out of sight before you even realize they are there. With this car backup camera installed in your vehicle, you will not have to worry about accidentally missing something even if you are backing up at night or in rainy weather.
The information you have gotten in the buying guide will help you sort through the many different styles and brands of car backup cameras so you can better determine which ones are suited for your vehicle type and needs. The features we have shared with you are features that you want to look for when shopping to ensure that you get the kind of quality, user-friendly backup camera that will be easy to install and use and provide you with plenty of peace of mind.
Having the right information is the key to not purchasing the wrong car backup camera and then having to deal with the hassle of returning the wrong one, re-ordering the right one and having to wait longer before you can reap the benefits of using it. Once you have used a backup camera you will wonder why you waited so long to get one and how you backed up without it.