By on August 27, 2019

best rear view cameras

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.


In 2019, most new cars and trucks come with a backup camera as standard equipment. Daddy Goverment decreed the rearward lens to be standard safety equipment about a year ago, with the effort pushing for this law gaining steam in the early 2000’s after a tragic driveway accident. Having more visibility astern is never a bad thing.

Not all of us are driving new cars and, this being TTAC, a good number of the readership would likely rather pilot a knackered 1993 Ranger Splash 4×2 than splash out on a new set of wheels (hey – I’ve been around here for nearly 10 years; I know you lot). A twenty-five-year-old Blue Oval pickup is unlikely to have air conditioning, let alone backup cams.

With that in mind, we present the best backup cameras – eight good options for fitting six o’clock peepers.

(Editor’s note: As noted above, this post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)


Best Backup Cameras

1. Editor’s Choice: TOGUARD Backup Camera 7″ Mirror Dash Cam Touch Screen

toguard backup camera

You author makes no bones about his refusal to sully the interiors of his personal cars with a wart of an obviously aftermarket product. Seamless integration is the name of the game, which is why I popped for an OEM trailer brake controller in my old Ram instead of an ugly Reese unit nailed into the lower dash.

It is the same reason I chose this cam as the editor’s choice. Its screen pops up in the lower right corner of a 7-inch touchscreen mirror that gets clipped over your factory rearview. Wired into both front and rear cameras, this thing also functions as a dash cam to capture nefarious drivers trying to scam your insurance company. There are five different view modes. A nifty G-sensor activates the unit when a collision is detected, handy if someone hits your car while it is parked overnight outside your parole officer’s home.

Pros: No ugly extra monitor screen, acts as a dash cam, g-force activation

Cons: Potentially messy wiring

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2. Cheap Insurance: hizpo Waterproof Car Rear View Camera

hizpo waterproof car rear view camera

We’re going to bet that most people (even TTAC writers) have more money in their pockets than the pricetag of this option. At less than 10 bucks, this thing is cheap insurance to running over Junior’s wayward bike he left in the driveway after coming home from bagpipe practice.

At this price, no separate monitor is included. Instead, it wires into the head unit of your infotainment system. This assumes it has some sort of screen with the ability to display the camera’s image, of course (owners of a 1993 Ranger Splash need not apply). The camera is designed to be bolted on to a license plate with two screws, providing a 150-degree view of what’s going on behind your car.

Pros: Dirt cheap, decent reviews from real customers

Cons: No monitor included, wiring may not be long enough for certain cars

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3. eRapta ERT01 2nd Generation Car Rear View Reversing Backup Camera

erapta ert01 car rear view camera

Like the above unit, this requires an in-dash stereo with a video input. Given that prerequisite, the eRapta (which sounds like a Jurassic Park attraction) will be a solid option providing an alleged waterproof camera with a wide thermal range. Overwhelmingly positive reviews from a large sample size should give buyers a dose of confidence.

Assist guidelines pop up on the screen when drivers heave the car into reverse and the camera is said to provide a 149-degree angle of vision. Hilariously, the seller shows this unit installed on a McLaren 675LT, a car whose owners would likely prefer to see self-immolate rather than slap a cheap backup cam on their high-performance luxury whip.

Pros: Works at night, fantastic reviews, parking assist lines

Cons: Needs a head unit accepting video inputs

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4. Hopkins 50002 Smart Hitch Backup Camera and Sensor System

hopkins 50002 smart hitch backup camera

We’re including a couple of these clip-on options for interior rearview mirrors as they’re a great way to see what’s behind you … both inside and outside the car. This unit measures nearly a foot long and three inches high, making for a lens that’s generous but not big enough to scupper your forward sightlines.

This one’s listed as anti-glare, a good thing as some customer report that it can mess with the day/night tab on the factory mirror. Twin adjustable buckles mean this thing should fit most cars and trucks, even though I’m sure one of you weirdos in the comments will carp about it not fitting the mirror in their Singer Gazelle.

Pros: Improves rearward sightlines, fits most cars, not exposed to weather

Cons: May impede stock day/night mirror tab

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5. Yanees Night Vision Backup Camera

yanees backup camera

Another unit that’s designed to play well with head units that have video input, this camera is marketed as providing a clear view astern at both day and night. Real-world customer images seem to bear this out, so long as the screen to which it is connected is capable of showing high quality video. The camera is rated IP69 waterproof.

There is plenty of feedback about the company providing great customer service and actually honoring their warranties, something that is all too rare in this digital age of faceless companies. However, your author is again laughing his ears off at sellers who show these things installed on cars with top-notch factory backup cams.

Pros: Excellent video quality, plenty of positive customer service comments

Cons: Parking guidelines are permanent

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6. DohonesBest HD 720P Backup Camera and Monitor

dohonesbest hd backup camera and monitor

This belt-style camera setup is powered by connecting to a car’s reverse lights so it will activate when the vehicle is placed into that gear. It uses this connection to source its 12v power so, technically, it can be hooked into a key-on source for continuous operation. A 4.3-inch monitor displays the footage and can be placed on any flat surface with the included adhesive pedestal.

It is rated as IP69K waterproof for protection in bad weather and has a 150 degree viewing angle with seven LED lights for enhanced night capability. The camera is connected to its monitor via direct RCA video cable which means you’ll be running some wires. The included cord is 23.5ft in length but the advertisement says the company will provide cords up to 66ft long if asked.

Pros: Big monitor screen, can be wired up for constant broadcast

Cons: Brightness level reset after each use

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7. Zettaguard ZBC-100 Car Rear Vehicle Backup View Camera

zettaguard zbc-100 rear vehicle backup camera

This chrome dome looks like something out of Spaceballs, or at least a Douglas Adams book. The camera can be tilted through 90 degrees of angle once installed, meaning it will fit any number of vehicles no matter if its mounting point is high on the trunk lid or low on the bumper. An alleged 170-degree field of vision is exceptionally wide.

Relying on a car’s stock display system isn’t ideal for everyone and always requires extra fandangling during installation. Or, as some buyers suggest, pick up a cheap secondary monitor that accepts this type on input. Weighing a scant 2 oz, this camera will add more safety than weight to your car.

Pros: Affordable, wide angle lens

Cons: Not IP69 waterproof rated

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8. FHD 1080P Digital Wireless Dual Backup Camera

zsmj fhd 1080p digital wireless dual backup camera

The power of using a separate monitor for one’s backup system is driven home with this selection. Binning cords for a wireless solution, the cam broadcasts its feed to the large 7-inch monitor whether it’s being used continuously or just while reversing. Apparently the seller will toss in a second camera for free if you simply ask them.

If you do run a couple of cameras, the monitor can be set up as a split-screen, just like Mario Kart. This would be great for drivers who want to keep an eye on what’s going on in and behind their long trailer as they motor down the road. Customers report a sharp and clear picture on the monitor.

Pros: No messy wires, large monitor, split screen ability.

Cons: Expensive

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[Images provided by the manufacturer, lead image: otomobil/Shutterstock]

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5 Comments on “Cracked Rear View: Best Backup Cameras...”


  • avatar
    volvo

    I am a little confused. The author states

    “You author makes no bones about his refusal to sully the interiors of his personal cars with a wart of an obviously aftermarket product.”

    and then makes as his number one choice a large velcro on mirror with admittedly messy wiring.

    There are much cleaner options out there with OEM looking replacement mirrors containing a screen and clean wiring install. The author is correct that the display needs to be clean. There are lots of good inexpensive cameras out there. The only problem is that most use the license plate or frame as a mount and many of those are set back far enough under the trunk handle that the full field of view is not available. One of the cleanest good visibility installs I have see is a unit that is a combo license plate light/camera replacing the existing license plate light.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Which is right about where an OEM unit would be placed.

      Gentex has backup cameras with mirror monitors available in both the traditional framed electrochromic mirror, and the “smiley” frameless units, with HomeLink as a bonus, IIRC.

  • avatar
    Deontologist

    What in the world is this?

    Your second pick proclaims “Pros: Dirt cheap, decent reviews from real customers.” Yet your Amazon referral links shows that the camera has exactly 1 (uno) review. Reviews? More like “review,” without the “s.”

    Also, all of these cheap, no-name Chinese backup cameras are good for a few seasons, maximum.

    Anyone who shops on Amazon now without using Fakespot.com to vet the reviews is an utter fool. Your third pick has ~50% faked/bribed reviews on Amazon.

    https://www.fakespot.com/product/totally-upgrade-2nd-generation-car-rear-view-reversing-backup-camera-with-149-perfect-view-angle-design-7-led-lights-night-vision-9-level-waterproof-universal-car-hd-backup-camera-erapta-ert01

    You just can’t trust these Chinese products. They run ads everywhere, from Instagram to Facebook to Google, promising to refund the purchase price of the item in exchange for a 5 star Amazon review. Amazon catches onto the fake reviews, sometimes. That’s why I use Fakespot.com, which analyzes the reviews and gives me a sense of how much deception is involved. With the “eRapta,” there is ~50% fake reviews, which doesn’t lend me much confidence in the product. If it’s so great, why bribe 50% of the reviewers?

    Anyway, Matthew, I hope you enjoy the kickbacks from the Amazon ref links!

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I also would take some of the Amazon stuff with a salt packet, at least; as stated above, I would look for the various Gentex options in this case; in addition to what I stated, they also have a mirror with auto-dim, HomeLink, and a backup monitor and camera which also has OnStar buttons for GMs.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    One of the slickest backup camera mounts I’ve seen (I wish I could find it now) used a license plate bracket that fit behind the plate, so only the camera was visible.

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