Things to Consider When Comparing Reverse Parking Cameras
Ever since they were first manufactured, cars have included mirrors to help people see any hazards behind them. The problem is, there are multiple blind spots that are not caught by these mirrors, which can lead to unfortunate accidents.
Reversing cameras have proven to be a game-changer, allowing drivers to easily glide in or out of car parks, driveways, garages and more while having a crystal clear vision of what is behind them. These cameras are not only beneficial for seeing cars or other vehicles that might be behind you, but they can also detect harder to spot hazards like small children, toys, bikes and animals that might suddenly appear behind you.
There are many different kinds of reversing camera kits and they each have their own degree of complexity; some are easy to install by yourself while others should be handled by professionals. But they are all fundamentally the same, featuring a camera that is installed at the rear of the vehicle (usually behind or near the licence plate) and wiring that connects it to a screen mounted or installed in the dash.
Each kit has its own pros and cons, so it pays to know what to look for to ensure you get a reverse parking camera that delivers all of the features and benefits you want from this innovation. If you’re wanting to purchase a reversing camera, here are some important features to look for.
The Camera Itself
These are the most important components of your setup, so you should look for a camera that ticks a lot of boxes before purchasing one of these kits. It needs to be strong because the camera is going to be outside of your vehicle and exposed to the elements, road debris and maybe (although hopefully not) the occasional collision.
The camera and the mounting method need to be durable. The best option is usually to install the camera behind the licence plate with a hole drilled through. This provides a shield for your camera. Try to avoid cameras that attach with adhesives and look for bolt-on options or, better still, internally mounted solutions.
Ensure the camera has a wide coverage area as a narrow field of vision could create dangerous blind spots. If you plan on towing a caravan or trailer and want extra cameras installed on those, you might need multiple devices to get a full field of vision.
You want a camera that delivers HD vision (1080p at least) and there are other features like night vision that can be extremely practical too.
There are three different options to choose from and the right solution for your needs will depend on your vehicle and your budget. The best option is to have a screen installed into your dash, but if you want a more affordable option or do not have the space in your dash to install it, there are other solutions.
You can get standalone monitors that will attach to your windscreen using a suction cup – much like navigation systems or mobile phone holders. Other screens can clip onto your rearview mirror itself, but these are generally smaller. The larger the monitor you get, the more visibility you will have.
Also look for options that include features like collision warnings, how much distance you have between your vehicle and obstacles, and other important information.
Which Features Should I Look For?
There are a number of additional features to consider; some are essential while others come down to personal choice. Additional features you should look at include:
Wired or wireless: If you plan on installing your reverse parking camera yourself, a wireless option will be less complicated.
Reverse start: These cameras will automatically engage when you put the car in reverse. Don’t consider cameras that do not have this feature.
CCD vs CMOS image sensors: Both of these sensors work effectively, but there are differences. CCD is an analogue sensor while CMOS sensors are digital. CMOS sensors also use less power, so they are usually the preferred option. But CCD options are better for fluctuating light conditions, so if you drive a lot at night, this option is probably better for you.
Guidelines: Look for as much flexibility as you can find here. The better reverse parking cameras will include selectable parking lines and active parking lines as features.
Should I DIY The Installation Or Seek Out Professional Assistance?
This depends on the complexity of the kit and your knowledge and understanding of wiring and electronics. In most cases, it’s better to have professionals take care of anything involving wiring. This way, you can be assured of a fully functioning setup with all of the wires safely tucked away so they are not visible.