Gone are the days of straining your neck to check your blind spots and rear view while driving in reverse. Backup cameras, which have been required in new vehicles since 2018, are placed in the rear of your car (preferably as close to the center of the car as possible) and send the images to a monitor attached to a console screen. , your dashboard, or a screen built into the rearview mirror, giving you better visibility without neck pain.
Some backup cameras give you a simple rear view, while others use a wide angle or even a series of cameras to simulate a bird’s eye view of your car and its surroundings (especially useful for a large vehicle). Some rear view cameras have a sensor that beeps when your car gets close to another object. Most will have at least a grid of lines that appears on the screen to provide context for how close you are to objects in view.
However, just because it has a rearview camera doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it. You can always upgrade your backup camera; You can even add additional cameras to an existing system if you have the technical knowledge to wire it correctly or know someone who does. On that note, if you’re driving an older car that doesn’t have a reversing camera, it’s a good idea to have one installed. Like dash cameras , it’s better, and safer, to have a reversing camera than not to have one. Either way, you’ll find yourself asking the same question: What do I need in a backup camera?
Here are our picks for the best aftermarket backup camera in a variety of categories, based on expert opinions and consumer ratings. And be sure to read on below for some pro tips on choosing the right rear camera system for you.
If you want easy installation and great image quality, AUTO-VOX CS-2 offers the best of both worlds. Since it’s a wireless camera, you should have no problem attaching the camera (with built-in wireless transmitter) to the back of your car, or mounting the suction cup-enabled display to your dash. That means you can save money by avoiding installation fees with this wireless system.
While wired cameras are generally more reliable than wireless, the CS-2, like the other wireless cameras we’ve featured here, is an exception to that rule. The camera uses digital (as opposed to analog) wireless transmission, which means there is virtually no interference from other signals and no image distortion. Also, the signal is strong and AUTO-VOX recommends the camera for any vehicle under 32 feet in length.
If your car doesn’t have a rear view camera and you’re looking for a less expensive alternative, it’s hard to beat the eRapta ERT01. This camera easily plugs into a car license plate and includes a 26-foot RCA cable that can be connected to a display with a compatible output. While there is no screen included with the camera, many vehicles already have screens mounted that will work with the ERT01; just be sure to check yours first, or you may end up needing to buy a separate screen.
As a wired camera, the ERT01 will be more difficult to install than your average wireless camera, but only slightly. User reviews on Amazon mention the ease of setting up the camera, with only the RCA cable needed to connect the camera to the screen. The kit also includes a cable to power the camera.
The entire package is only $26, but that’s not the only reason the ERT01 is Amazon’s best-selling backup camera. In addition to being easy to use, it is a waterproof camera, works in a temperature range of -50 to 80 degrees Celsius and has a field of view of 149 degrees. All in all, it is a reliable product that is offered at an affordable price.