Reverse Camera Buying Guide

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Reverse Camera Buying Guide

Backup accidents happen too frequently in Australia, as what's directly behind the vehicle isn't visible, unless a reverse camera has been installed. Hence, in the 21st century, the use of high-tech reverse cameras has skyrocketed in a widespread effort to decrease such unnecessary collisions. Also known as back-up and rear view cameras, the primary function of reverse cameras is safety; having one can greatly reduce the likelihood of hitting a person, other car, or object when going in reverse.

This protective piece consists of a camera, monitor, power source and connection (either wired or wireless). When choosing a reverse camera, it's important to consider the vehicle being used, the desired type, and quality of the entire system. Determining what's needed for each of these will make getting the correct reverse camera much easier.


Uses for Reverse Cameras in Different Vehicles

For a driver of any vehicle, the reason to get a reverse camera is first for protection of the driver, passengers, pedestrians and the vehicle; moreover, having a rear view camera can make parking and other difficult manoeuvres simpler. For drivers of RVs, buses and emergency trucks, visibility is benefited greatly with a reverse camera, as blind spots in the back are quite large without one. For business and industrial use, reverse cameras limit the chance of workplace accidents, since delivery trucks, tractor trailers, forklifts and other vehicles can see clearly what's in the rear; thus, reverse cameras can reduce costs for companies and even save lives. With so many advantages to having a back-up camera, it's clear any driver or operator can benefit from having this piece of electrical equipment installed.


Types of Reverse Cameras

Wired and wireless are the two main types of reverse cameras. Wired cameras generally have better picture quality and a more stable connection, as distance and radio frequencies won't cause disturbances; hence, with large trucks and RVs, wired systems offer the reliability and capabilities that are required. Wireless cameras are great for smaller vehicles, as they're much easier to install (no cable running necessary), still boast solid picture quality and newer digital ones very rarely experience interference.

There are numerous ways to install reverse cameras as well. Reverse cameras can be mounted onto the bumper, hitch, tailgate, top of licence plate frame, or on the licence plate frame. All have distinct advantages. Also, note that large vehicles, like trucks and large construction equipment, may require more than one reverse camera to cover all the rear blind spots.


Quality of Reverse Cameras

There are several factors to look at when figuring out which reverse camera has the desired capabilities. These include view angle, image quality, monitor quality, special features and durability.

View Angle

Determined by a combination of the focal length of the lens and image sensor size, the view angle determines how wide of a rear picture you'll see on the dash monitor up front. Obviously, the larger the angle is, the more visibility you are provided. Go as high as possible so that every millimetre in the back is visible. The majority of reverse cameras have a view angle between 100 and 180 degrees.


Image Quality

Image quality is greatly impacted by the image sensor, which can either be CCD (charge-coupled device) or CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor). The main choice here is choosing the most suitable image sensor (what captures light and converts it to an image). Though the quality of CMOS image sensors is improving, the CCD image sensors still boast higher image and video quality, especially in low-light environments. However, CMOS cameras don't use as much power and don't cost as much, making them a budget-friendly yet capable option. Over the next decade, it's also predicted that CMOS reverse cameras will surpass CCD cameras in picture quality.

Monitor Quality

Size and resolution are what's important with the monitor. The larger the size and higher the resolution, the easier it will be to clearly see the rear. Many come with audio and video inputs, which enables the monitor to be used for watching DVDs and gaming.

Special Features

Prior to buying, it's important to think about what special features are wanted and needed. Cameras with night vision (especially night vision with infrared LEDs) are going to offer much better low-light performance. Some cameras also have a built-in microphone, a useful piece of equipment to have if hearing what's going on behind the vehicle is important. Many newer models offer parking assistance -- a line display that makes it easier to position into tight spaces. For those purchasing wireless systems, check the wireless range of the camera to ensure it's enough for the vehicle.


Obviously, having a camera that lasts is crucial. The high majority of reverse cameras are now waterproof. Many now are also shock-resistant and freeze-proof. A durable construction is also key to the camera not getting damaged. In addition to looking for these durability features, check warranty and availability of help and support prior to buying.

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