Ready for 2018, here is all you need to know about Camera resolution, lens and speed, plus our pick of the best dash and backup cameras to start the new year.

Camera or Image Resolution

The Image Resolution is usually quoted as width × height in pixels: for example, “1920 × 1080” means that the picture width is 1920 pixels and the height is 1080 pixels. This is the basic standard TV size image. So a Dash or Backup camera should not require such a large resolution as the Monitor is rarely more than 7”. However one of the main reasons for installing a Dash camera is that the video footage can be used as evidence in an insurance or other dispute; in which case the monitor might be a TV sized screen.

So it is worth looking for a dashcam with 1920*1080 and many on sale are within this size.

Most rearview cameras are below 720p in the horizontal plane because the monitor is used whilst you are reversing with the image being displayed on a monitor of 7” or less (it might well be within your rear view mirror) and the resolution is sufficient at a lower intensity. So a horizontal resolution as low as 480p can be enough with a small 4” monitor.

Camera Lens

The Camera Lens is usually quoted as wide angle or 140/170 degrees. Most Dash cameras are 170 degrees but many Backup cameras are from 140 degrees to 170..

Dashcams are required to cover a wider field of view than Backup cameras and the image when you are reversing must be high quality very close to the vehicle. So a lesser angle of view by the lens is adequate.Rec

One other measure you might see in a camera specification is focal length of the lens and this is usually described in mm. A longer focal length means a larger zoom facility and therefore a narrower concentrated image. So because both front and rear facing video cameras require a fairly wide to very wide angles of view these cameras should be lower in focal length usually  between 20 and 30mm.

Recording Speed

The Recording Speed of a video camera is measured by its Frame rate and is expressed as FPS or frames per second – the number of frames the camera can take per second.

The current industry standard for clear, smooth video even with moving objects is 30 fps. (film and TV is usually 24/25fps.

A lower frame rate can result in choppy movement in a moving picture, but it is fine for locations without fast moving objects such as when reversing a vehicle.  But to record moving traffic as with a dashcam then 30 fps would be more likely to provide a smooth footage. Higher fps will increase the overall space needed in the recording file and thus shorten the overall footage. There is no need to go above 30fps for either camera.

Here’s our pick of the best rearview and dash cameras for the start of 2018:

Pyle Rear License Plate Camera and Replacement Rear View Mirror Monitor

We like:

We like this particular camera system from Pyle because it provides excellent images in all light conditions and has an extra video input that means that if your vehicle is not already equipped with GPS this could be extremely useful and at no extra cost.

Features:

Pyle is a well-known name in the vehicle backup and dash camera market and this particular reverse camera kit has received good reviews from buyers, commenting on the OEM replacement mirror as the monitor (instead of a mirror monitor that you clip over the existing rearview mirror), and the quality of the camera’s image both day and night.

The camera fits firmly on to the rear license plate and it has high IP67 waterproof and dust rating as well as a low LUX performance meaning good quality pictures even in poor light.

The compromise:

As this is a wired kit, either you need to be capable of running and connecting the cabling yourself or pay a professional service to install the system for you.

Conclusion:

Using 12 volts power, this backup camera kit is a good selection for a car, a pickup truck or a van with rear view mirror.

Click on the image for more information  from Amazon.

Auto-Vox M1 W

Recently introduced by Auto-Vox is an upgraded Wireless Backup Camera Kit.

Features:

This reverse camera system has a 4.3” Color Monitor held in place by suction pads and just one single cable and connector that fits directly into the cigarette lighter pocket. The suction pads are re-usable if you need to remove the monitor.

The screen has the usual grid lines for measuring the distance available for reversing – and with this installation, the monitor comes on when the vehicle is in reverse gear and stays off when in drive.

We particularly like:

The upgraded new backup Camera with 6 LEDs each 26 lumen brightness to give excellent vision in all light conditions including at night. The LEDs will come on automatically dependant on the intensity of light at the time.

The new HD reversing camera can be fitted to your existing license plate mount and is connected by a slim wire to the wireless transmitter which is placed in the trunk. The actual connector to the wireless transmitter is only 5mm thus making its installation easy.

All the cable and fittings required for a simple installation are supplied in this kit.

This small but very effective Camera has a wide angle of vision and claims a IP68 waterproof rating. This level of protection is particularly important with cameras fitted low on the vehicle.

Conclusion:

A good buy from an established brand.  Click on the image for the best price from Amazon.

 

And now for the ultimate in protection for safety conscious car drivers, the best dual, dash camera and backup camera system for 2018:

Rexing V1LG Dual Channel Dash Cam and Rear Backup Camera Recorder System

We think this dual camera kit from Rexing is worth a long look if you are considering the extra security of recording what happens in front as well as behind you when driving. A continuous record is kept of the last 3, 5 or 10 minutes’ motoring and when backing up.

Features:

This two camera set provides:

  • A Live Image and a Recording of the view from the windscreen
  • Coverage of the Blind Zone behind the vehicle when backing up
  • A continuous recording of the Rearview Camera when in use

In the unfortunate event that you require evidence about your road use, than this aftermarket kit provides it. In addition, the inclusion of a built-in GPS logger can show where you were and the speeds involved in any incident. An Accident Detection G-Sensor will automatically lock and save any video file recording when the camera detects abrupt movement or drastic change of position.

We like:

Rexing’s standard equipment pack has a 16GB Memory Card but you can insert a larger memory card (128GB gives about 12/13 hours of recording).

The forward camera has a wide angle lens of 170 degrees, whilst the  waterproof HD backup camera covers 120 degrees.

Sufficient cable to connect both cameras and provide power from the cigarette lighter pocket is included in this kit. However if you wish to keep the lighter free and/or hide more of the installation wiring you can purchase a hard wire kit from Rexing very cheaply.

Conclusion:

Overall this camera system is more expensive than some good backup camera sets but when you consider the extra safety and security features provided by Rexing’s 1080p Dash Camera, you might well agree it is a good investment.  Click on the image to find out more from Amazon.

 

Dash Cameras

Aukey Dashboard Camera Recorder with Sony Exmoor Sensor

We Like this small Dashcam from Aukey.

Aukey has a good name in car electronics and tech accessories. This Dash Cam is another good example of their expertise. This neat little camera will hide away behind the rearview mirror and record continuously in 1080p HD resolution.

Features:

This unit will accommodate up to a 128GB micro SD card (around 20 hours of footage) recording in segments up to ten minutes. Its emergency recording mode will ensure that any collision will lock the recent footage and ensure it cannot be overwritten until you decide to do so.

This dashcam will accept an Aukey GPS antenna for providing exact location and speed history. The antenna kit is around $20.

The power supply is 12/24v from your vehicle via a super capacitor which replaces the need for a battery. The dashcam will operate as long as the vehicle engine is running. If you hardwire this installation you can use the motion detection recording monitor when the vehicle is locked and unattended.

The camera is mounted with 3M double-sided tape so you can remove it when your vehicle is not in use.

Conclusion:

With a two years’ warranty, the Aukey Dash Camera is a sound purchase. For a full specification and latest Amazon price click on the image. 

 

 

 

Toguard Mini Dash Camera

Features:

A small front video recorder (2.75*1.97*0.79 inches in size) which clips securely to a windshield suction mount. One 3mm cable that plugs into your cigarette lighter so the camera will work all the time your engine is running – unless the off switch is used.

We like:

The camera can be unclipped from the mount if you wish to transfer the footage from the SD card to a computer or phone. Up to 32GB size card which you will need to purchase separately – we suggest you buy a card of 16GB at least and with an adaptor.

Compromise:

The instruction booklet is not the best but careful study will make it useable.

Unfortunately, suction mounts will only fix securely to windscreens as most vehicles do not have absolutely flat smooth surfaces anywhere else.

Conclusion:

A G sensor, date and time setting and a decent image quality make this a good buy at its current price on Amazon:

 

 

 

Happy motoring in 2018!