The three main types of aftermarket vehicle camera kits available are Backup or Reversing, Dash Cam or Forward facing, and Dual dash and reverse cameras.
Choosing which one to buy can be difficult.
Backup camera kits are purely for aiding the driver when reversing. Normally they do not record video footage.
A dashcam's main purpose is to record in front whilst the vehicle is being driven.
Dual dash and reverse camera systems record front and rear simultaneously as well as aiding drivers back the vehicle.
Most camera systems record sound as well.
All kits come with technical descriptions, so we have updated what you might want to know about camera resolution, lens angle of view and recording speed.
Then we have listed our choice of the best dash and backup cameras available right now.
Here we have updated what you might want to know about camera resolution, lens angle of view and speed, plus our choice of the best dash and backup cameras available right now.
Camera or Image Resolution
The Image Resolution is usually measured 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. With vehicle cameras this is mostly quoted as the height figure – 1080P.
Today, Dash cameras are likely to be 1080P whilst Backup cameras range from around 430Pto 1080P. However as one of the main reasons for installing a DVRs is to provide video recordings whilst driving so that the footage can be used as evidence in an insurance or other dispute, the better resolution is a good choice.
But if you buy a reversing camera purely as an aid to backing your vehicle then then resolution is not so critical. Most rearview cameras are 720P or below. The image being displayed on a monitor of 7” or less whether dash mounted or in your rear view mirror will be OK with a lower intensity resolution.
The Camera Lens is usually quoted as wide angle or 140/170 degrees. Many Dash cameras are 170 degrees but many Backup cameras are from 120 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.
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.
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 backup (rear view) and dashboard systems for 2020.
LeeKooLuu Backup Camera system
This is our choice from the LeeKooLuu range of waterproof rear facing cameras.It is wireless controlled with a 4.3” mirror monitor that includes two video inputs, so you can add a Dashcam or a second reversing cam for a trailer.
LeeKooLuu also sell a wired system with similar features and quality with the greater certainty of top visuals:
Emmako 4.3” dash monitor
An inexpensive wired reverse camera system with a 4.3″ Monitor mounted on the dashboard.
Pyle Rear License Plate Camera and Replacement Rear View Mirror Monitor
Best budget reverse camera system with a mirror monitorThis particular camera system has some very good reviews, commenting on the OEM (original equipment manufacture) replacement mirror as the monitor (instead of a mirror monitor that you clip over the existing one), and the quality of the camera’s image both day and night.
Auto-Vox M1 W
Still our pick of backup cameras.One of the first reversing camera systems we checked out and reviewed, and still a favourite. This Auto-Vox kit offers a one wire easy installation.
The most discounted budget dashcams:
Aukey Dashboard Camera Recorder with Sony Exmoor Sensor
With a two years’ warranty, a G sensor, date and time setting, and a decent image quality,the Aukey Dash Camera is a sound purchase. It is one of our favorites for 2019.
Toguard Mini Dash Camera
Toguard is well known and a big seller in USA and UK – this dashcam is a budget version. See what one of our readers thought when he bought one.
Rove R2-4K Dash Cam
Dual dash and backup cameras systems
Two good budget Dual vehicle camera kits:
Toguard 7” mirror monitor
A great dual camera system for the price. Read our reader’s opinion and review and watch his Youtube video too.
Pruveeo D 700 7 “ mirror monitorA popular budget dual dash and reverse camera system with a touch screen mirror monitor.
Rexing V1LG Dual Channel Dash Cam and Rear View Camera Recorder SystemThis is another excellent resolution dashcam with WDR and Ultra HD vision. And the memory card is included!
The two best deals for dual systems right now: