Best Wireless and Corded Backup Cameras for a Car

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 23, 2017
Car backup cameras have become an irreplaceable device on modern vehicles. Even if you are a mature driver you still have blind spots behind a car. If you worry about the safety of your "iron horse", you should read our car backup camera review to choose the product that suits your needs best. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
INFORMATIONAL CONTENT
DISPLAY
VIEWING ANGLE
Night Vision
Weatherproof
MOUNT
PICTURE TRANSMISSION
 
PROS
This car backup camera features wireless remote control for the display. It is also equipped with the night vision system that ensures high-quality picture even at night.
CONS
The included cable is not quite long for mounting in certain vehicle models.
OUR VERDICT
This camera offers an excellent combination of quality and price thus, everything you need for operation and mounting is included in a package. It is necessary to check up both camera's and vehicle's characteristics before purchasing this system.
detailed parameters
INFORMATIONAL CONTENT
Parking guidelines
DISPLAY
7-inch LCD
VIEWING ANGLE
170°
Night Vision
0.2 lux night vision
Weatherproof
Waterproof, antimist
MOUNT
License plate
PICTURE TRANSMISSION
RCA video cable
PROS
No need to drill holes or draw a wire, the system installation is quick and wireless. Standby mode is active even when the camera is on.
CONS
The signal loss might occur in case you use some other wireless devices in a car.
OUR VERDICT
The device offers the easiest way of car back-up camera system installation. Owing to the wireless connection all you need is several minutes of your time. Perfect for SUVs, trucks, towing boats and trailers.
detailed parameters
INFORMATIONAL CONTENT
Three-colored parking guidelines
DISPLAY
4.3-inch LCD
VIEWING ANGLE
110°, adjustable vertical angle
Night Vision
Works in a not totally dark place
Weatherproof
Weatherproof
MOUNT
License plate
PICTURE TRANSMISSION
Wireless
PROS
This backup camera offers the widest viewing angle for blind spots elimination. The manufacturer has provided the camera with 8 LED lights. In addition, this model ensures durability and moisture protection.
CONS
The mounting bracket might not fit a standard license plate.
OUR VERDICT
This camera features maximum high-quality and crisp image during both daylight hours and at night. Сonnect the camera to dvd player and switch the front, rear and mirror views with the control button.
detailed parameters
INFORMATIONAL CONTENT
Parking guidelines, LED lights for improved visibility
DISPLAY
Without a display
VIEWING ANGLE
180°, 45° adjustable lens
Night Vision
8-LED for night vision
Weatherproof
Waterproof
MOUNT
License plate
PICTURE TRANSMISSION
RCA video cable
PROS
This device supports up to 32GB SD card and thus, allows video recording in MP5 format.
CONS
To mount a display, you have to drill holes in the dash panel.
OUR VERDICT
The super quality backup camera provides vivid and clear images. Moreover, the included 7-inch LCD display supports a wide variety of video formats and can be used for other data readouts.
detailed parameters
INFORMATIONAL CONTENT
Three-colored parking guidelines, audible alerts
DISPLAY
7-inch LCD
VIEWING ANGLE
120°
Night Vision
Night vision with IR sensor
Weatherproof
Waterproof
MOUNT
License plate, bumper, back window
PICTURE TRANSMISSION
RCA video cable
PROS
Car Rover Backup camera boasts a barrier-free transmission of a signal over a distance of up to 328 feet. An advantageous design enables an easy installation and reliable fixation of the camera. The device comes with a video cable to connect a display.
CONS
The manual isn't sufficiently informative.
OUR VERDICT
The miniaturized and robust camera ensures recording video in decent quality and doesn't affect an aesthetic appearance of a vehicle. An excellent choice to make up your mind!
detailed parameters
INFORMATIONAL CONTENT
Three-colored parking guidelines
DISPLAY
Without a display
VIEWING ANGLE
Diagonal angle - 170°, Horizontal angle - 90°
Night Vision
A high-quality recording at night
Weatherproof
Waterproof
MOUNT
A mounting screw with a nut
PICTURE TRANSMISSION
RCA video cable

What is a Car Backup Camera

Car backup camera will be of service when you need to park in a narrow street, garage or in a store parking lot. Thus, the main task of this device lies in safety improvement of both pedestrians and your car while parking or backing up. The parking system consists of 2 main components: a camera and a display. A camera mounts on the rear of your vehicle and transmits a signal to a display located in a car. You should also know that a camera is powered by the rear lights and hence, a video is transmitted only when a car is backing up.

If you're looking for a device that is able to record video, you should definitely read our review on car cameras. Besides, if you want to know a charge level of a battery, take advantage of a car battery tester!

What Features to Compare

So, you've decided to purchase a backup camera and sure that whichsoever device would suit you best. Then you should know that there's more to this than meets the eye. The first thing you should definitely look into is the Picture quality and features of the chosen system. First of all, a camera should transmit a sharp and clear picture both during daylight hours and at night. Whereas a picture quality depends on image sensor technology a camera is equipped with. There are two types of sensors available on the market: CMOS and CCD. CCD technology is the one that is used in digital cameras and provides the best picture quality, high resolution and better vision in obscured conditions. On the other hand, CMOS technology has lower resolution and poorer image quality in low illumination. Thus, the quality of a picture is not the most important criteria as a display in your car is not as big to require a high-definition image. So both CCD and CMOS sensors would provide an acceptable picture quality. Secondly, you should opt for a camera with a wide viewing angle so that it is able to cover an entire blind area of your back bumper. But you should know that an optimal viewing angle in car backup camera is just about 120-170 degrees. Because in chase of wider viewing angle you may get a fish-eye effect. In addition, it is preferable if a car backup camera features the parking guidelines (lines or a grid overlaid on a picture). This feature will assist with backing up in tight spaces and help you to understand how far away you are from something that is behind your car.

Also, pay attention to a camera's Mounting type and construction as it directly impacts on outside appearance of a car. Generally, a camera mounts onto a bumper thus, there are lots of different ways to install it depending on its construction. There are flush mount cameras or key-hole cameras that are mounted directly into your car key lock hole. Other cameras come in a "bullet style" and require drilling a hole into your car. But the most popular type is license plate mount cameras as they are the easiest to install.

With regards to Picture transmission of a camera to a monitor, the producers offer 2 different methods:

  • Wired system. A picture is transmitted by a video cable. It is quite complicated to install a wired system as you should run a cable through a passenger compartment to a monitor. However, this system is secured from radio interference.
  • Wireless system. A picture is transmitted via radio frequencies. It is really easy to install a system, just mount a camera and a monitor and it is ready to operate. Thus, the transmission distance is only about 15 m. In addition, a radio signal may be interrupted by electromagnetic disturbance, so you'd receive an inconsistent signal or no signal at all.

After purchasing a car backup camera, you should also check if it works properly. And what is more important, before drilling a hole for camera installation make sure that a mounting bracket fits well.

...Read more ...Read less

Pyle PLCM7500

Picture quality and features

This car backup camera is perfect for SUVs due to a wide viewing angle of 170 degrees. Thus, Pyle PLCM7500 offers the fewest picture distortion and provides clear and detailed representation of the body parts. What is more important, the camera has high light sensitivity of 02. Lux that guarantee high-quality picture even at night time. For your convenience, Pyle PLCM7500 backup camera is equipped with parking guidelines so it will be easier to analyze a parking path even in the tightest places. Moreover, this car backup system features reverse image and you'll be able to see all the objects behind your car as if you were looking in your rear view mirror. The only drawback of Pyle PLCM7500 is that the parking guidelines cannot be turned off in case you do not need them.

Review of Pyle PLCM7500 Waterproof & Night Vision

Mounting type and construction

Pyle PLCM7500 belongs to a license plate mount cameras and it means that the very system is suitable for any car. However, if you don't possess deep automotive or electrics technological knowledge, it would be hard for you to install the car backup system. Generally, the mounting process takes about 3 hours. We should also note that the manual contains the set of guidelines though they seem to be quite witty as judged by the user's reviews. As regards the display, you are able to choose among 2 practicable mounting methods. So, you can fix the display near the steering wheel with a suction cup or build the display into a dashboard. Although, a suction cup doesn't cling well to every surface. So, before driving along a bumpy road it is necessary to check if the display is mounted safely.

Pyle PLCM7500 Waterproof & Night Vision in the use

Picture transmission

The camera is connected to the display by an RCA video cable. The length of the cable that come in a box is about 17 feet that is quite enough for the majority of vehicles. Although, if you are an owner of a pickup or any other load-carrying vehicle you'd better purchase some extra cable and confer with grease monkey whether you need to drill additional holes in a car body to fix the cable. You should know that the displaying mode depends on the mounting method you choose. For example, a picture can be transmitted to a display constantly or just only when you are backing up.

Detailed review of Pyle PLCM7500 Waterproof & Night Vision

VIDEO
Backup Camera Installation - Pyle View PLCM7200
Pyle PLCM7500
Pyle PLCM7500
 

Peak PKC0BU7

Picture quality and features

Peak PKC0BU4 back-up camera has a 4.3'' display and 110° viewing angle. It is quite enough for complete rear-view coverage without image distortion. The three-colored parking guidelines will help safely backup and warn of the approaching obstacle. In fact, the parking guidelines can be turned off if you just want to see the rear cover. Unfortunately, the Peak PKC0BU4 backup camera doesn't offer a night vision system. Yet, those customers who've already tried this cam, say it's all right to use it at night with the rear lights on in the background.

Review of Peak PKC0BU7 Wireless

Mounting type and construction

Peak PKC0BU4 camera mounts to a license plate frame, hence it doesn't require drilling holes in a car body. Owing to the wireless picture transmission there is no need in running cables to a display through a passenger compartment. Thus, the whole mounting process is performed in just minutes. We should also mention that Peak PKC0BU4 offers an adjustable vertical viewing angle, so you can choose the appropriate angle without dismounting the camera. As regards the display, it can be affixed to your windshield or dashboard. To do that, you have to fix a monitor arm with a suction cup and then slide the monitor onto the monitor arm. It is obvious that you don't have to be a tech savvy to mount the whole system.

Peak PKC0BU7 Wireless in the use

Picture transmission

Peak PKC0BU4 back-up camera is the only model on our shortlist that offers a wireless type of picture transmission. Thus, it eliminates the need to run a cable in your car. You just need to connect a 2.4 GHz wireless transmitter to the reverse lights wiring and it will pass on a picture to the monitor via radio frequencies. However, you may frequently face the problem of signal loss and image quality degradation. The primary reason of this problem lies in the simultaneous usage of other wireless devices along with the camera.

Detailed review of Peak PKC0BU7 Wireless

VIDEO
Review of the Peak Performance Wireless Backup Camera - etrailer.com
Peak PKC0BU7
Peak PKC0BU7
 

Esky EC180-35

Picture quality and features

Esky 180-35 rear view camera features the widest viewing angle (180 degrees) in comparison to the other cameras in our review. Thus, it ensures elimination of blind spots behind a car that you rear mirror cannot reach. In addition, a 45-degree adjustable lens allows you to choose the appropriate viewing angle in vertical direction. Therefore, Esky 180-35 is perfect for large-size vehicles and for cars with both low and high clearance. What is more important, the camera transmits a high-quality image to the monitor even in a low illuminated environment owing to the upgraded night vision capabilities with built-in 8-LED lights.

 

Review of Esky EC180-35 High-Definition

Mounting type and construction

Esky 180-35 car backup camera doesn't require drilling during the mounting as it should be fixed to the existing license plate holes. Both the bracket and the fixers are made of metal so you can fearlessly tighten the bolts feeling secure about the durability during the operation. The unit's construction assumes several cameras usage, so you can fix a rear and a front camera for an additional safety on the road. The manufacturer has equipped the system with the One Button Control option that allows you to change easily the images over. Hence, you can switch views between front and rear cameras, turn off/on the parking guidelines or adjust a reverse image. However, Esky 180-35 car backup system comes with one camera, so you have to buy an additional one for front viewing.

Esky EC180-35 High-Definition in the use

Picture transmission

Irrespective of how many cameras you mount, the connection to a display is provided by an RCA video cable. This feature ensures constant and fast image transmission. You should also know that Esky 180-35 doesn't come with a monitor in a box, so it is preferable if you already have an in-dash screen. This will help you to reduce the cost of the system significantly. Otherwise, you should buy a display separately.
Detailed review of Esky EC180-35 High-Definition

VIDEO
2015 Upgrade LED Night Vision Esky EC180-19 180 Degree HD CCD Vehicle Car Rear View Backup CAMERA
Esky EC180-35
Esky EC180-35
 

TEC.BEAN Ultra-thin

Picture quality and features

TEC.BEAN car backup camera has quite a wide viewing angle of 120 degrees, thus you are able to see all the things behind your car when backing up. Additionally, this model comes with the 7-ich LCD display with 800 x 480 resolution providing you with a crisp and detailed image. On buying this camera you will protect your vehicle and pedestrians from accidental collisions even during night driving, since TEC.BEAN car backup is equipped with the IR sensor vision for night time.

Review of TEC.BEAN Ultra-thin Waterproof

Mounting type and construction

The universal mounting method this camera offers is suitable for fixing the device literally in any place you wish. But it depends on the way you are going to fix it. Therefore, you can stick it with a double-back tape to your bumper, license plate or back window, or fasten it with screws to your license plate. What is important, the backup camera is waterproof and works well in any weather conditions. This feature makes TEC.BEAN suitable for fixing it outside your car. As regards the display mounting, you can also attach it in 2 ways: get it screwed to your dashboard or stuck on the dash with the mounting tape. But it should be noted that fixing the display with screws is much more secure, but it will leave 4 holes on a dash.

TEC.BEAN Ultra-thin Waterproof in the use

Picture transmission

The TEC.BEAN camera belongs to a wired system and connects to the display by an RCA video cable. The monitor has 2 channel video input (AV1/AV2) and supports up to 32 GB SD card. Thus, you can record everything that happens behind your car while backing up and have proofs in case of a collision. Moreover, you can use the display for play backing different video and audio files to entertain your passengers.
Detailed review of TEC.BEAN Ultra-thin Waterproof

VIDEO
TEC BEAN 7' Ultra thin HD LCD Backup Camera Car Monitor Review, A fantastic back up camera set inclu
TEC.BEAN Ultra-thin
TEC.BEAN Ultra-thin
 

Car Rover Night Vision

Picture Quality and Features

Despite a compact housing, the Car Rover Camera features a great built-in lens with the capability to capture image behind your car within 170° x 90° viewing angles. This makes it suitable for installation on literally any car. To get the rear view of your vehicle, though, you will need to either connect it with an auxiliary display or use the one integrated into your stereo system. Rather than that, all is simple and you will quickly get accustomed to using it. What we liked about the cam is that the picture it captures in the nighttime isn't a fracture worse to any of those made by more expensive devices, therefore we can safely recommend it to all drivers who're looking for a budget-friendly but reliable solution to use round-the-clock.
Review of Car Rover Night Vision Waterproof Design

Mounting Type and Construction

To install the Car Rover Camera isn't a problem at all, even for an inexperienced person. All you need is to drill a hole in the tailgate handle, insert the camera and tighten a screw to ensure its proper fixation. Taking into account that most tailgate handles are colored black, the rear camerа won't affect an outer appearance of your car. It's also worthwhile to add that the camera housing is designed specifically to provide drivers with the maximal viewing angle when mounted.
Car Rover Night Vision Waterproof Design in the use

Picture Transmission

This 12V camera powered from a car battery can be connected to the wires of the closest taillight. The video transmission is provided via the supplied RCA cable that can be neatly hidden under a car trim in order not to spoil the look of your vehicle. Once you connect a display, you'll be able to clearly see all parking lines on it. A barrier-free signal transmission over a distance of 328 feet without quality loss and picture distortion is one more essential feature that makes this camera a decent product. Awesome!
Detailed review of Car Rover Night Vision Waterproof Design

Car Rover Night Vision
Car Rover Night Vision
 

Infographics

Comparison of Wireless and Corded Backup Cameras for a Car

FAQ:

Q: Can I use a backup camera at night? 

A: Yes. Most modern backup cameras come with infra-red lighting and provide a decent night vision. 

Q: Will I be able to install a rear camera on my own?

A:  As practice shows, many people install car rear cameras without external help. Otherwise, you can find a specialist in your area for professional installation of a camera. Pay attention that cameras require electrical power connection (12-24V), therefore, the use of a millimeter is recommended.

Q: Can backup camera systems work while I'm driving?

A: Yes, they can. You can adjust the operation of camera as you need.

Q: How long does it take to install a backup camera?

A: It generally depends on a vehicle, automotive wiring knowledge, electronics equipment and tools. Pay attention that it can be necessary to drill a special mount hole in a trunk or a hatch.

Q: What types of rear camera exist?

A: There are two main types of backup cameras used for rear view camera systems. These are standard mount and keyhole cameras. Each of these types has its own benefits and drawbacks, and each of them is designed for specific use.

Q: How to route cables and wiring and mount a rear camera?

A: A cable from a camera connects to a power supply box and goes to the rear of a vehicle. This cable is usually routed with other power cables used for powering tail lights. At the hatch, power cords pass through a special rubber tube and connect to a backup camera inside. A camera itself can be installed in a license plate frame. It is necessary to drill a hole and run a wire in and through a trunk or a hatch. 

Q: Does a screen size matters?

A: Yes, it definitely does. Size is an essential aspect when you are deciding on the right car backup camera system. Many drivers, for example, want their rear camera to include a large display showing a clear image from behind the car. Meanwhile, many backup camera systems can’t boast such a feature and come with a tiny display. Therefore, we recommend you to decide in advance what type of a display you actually want to have.

Q: Does a backup camera need to be weather-proof?

A: Yes, it does.  This is actually a must for a car backup camera. Vehicle rear view cameras should have at least IP66 rating and desirably IP67 rating. Now, most models are made to be weather- and water-proof. Likewise, there are rear view backup cameras that need to be installed inside a vehicle. Such cameras can’t be mounted outside your car, and they are not weather-proof.

Q: Is a wireless rear camera susceptible to interferences?

A: Since a wireless rear camera transmits video through the air, there can be some interference from a variety of different sources such as high power radio and television transmitters, and many others.


Sources:

1. How to Choose a Rearview Backup Video Camera for Your Vehicle, eBay. March 7, 2016.

2. Car and Truck Backup Cameras Systems, Consumer Reports. January 2014.

3. Alexander Hrabe Rear-view Cameras Buying Guide, Crutchfield. July 25, 2016.

4. Doug Newcomb Adding a Back-Up Camera to Your Car, edmunds. July 1, 2014

5. Julia Clark How To Install a Backup, Sonic Elextronix. January 9, 2015