Our latest review of Backup (Reversing) and Dash cameras systems

Because an increasing number of suppliers are offering dual front and rear viewing video camera systems we have split this post into three parts.  Read on or jump to the section you are interested in.

In Dual Dash and Backup camera systems we have only listed kits that include a proper backup camera with parking guide lines and full vision of the rear of the vehicle. Some dual systems use rear facing cameras within the car just for recording – not for backing up.

In addition we have recently researched the results from those cameras that utilise higher technology to improve the images and footage. We refer to WDR and HDR which are becoming more common in Dash camera systems. We have been impressed by the results and list below those kits that we liked best.

Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) in a video camera both automatically balance different levels of light in a scene to produce a clearer image. This is achieved by combining different exposures from the range of light available. In dash or backup cameras the main effects are to produce very clear images so that license plate numbers are read easily and other smaller details are obvious; and to reduce glare from the sun, headlamps or security lighting.

It is important to note that WDR and HDR are not the same as DWDR which is a digital version and not so effective. So a dash or reversing camera offering WDR or HDR should give much better video footage and images than those with DWDR or no enhancement at all.

The camera systems listed here all take good advantage of WDR or HDR technology.


Dual Dash and Backup Cameras - Our choices

Auto Vox M6B

Features include:

  • A wired video system with a dashcam that records continuously when driving, in segments ranging from 1 minute to 10 minutes (selectable). The reversing camera does not record but operates automatically when the vehicle is in reverse gear, providing a very clear image of what is behind and shows parking guidance lines.
  • Both cameras have HD lens resolution – the dash up to 2304*1296 and the rear at 1280*720. The wide-angle lens’ cover 165 and 170 degrees respectively. So this is a serious high quality system.
  • The monitor is a replacement driving mirror that fits over the existing rearview mirror. This anti-glare  replacement mirror houses the dashcam and provides a touch screen control panel with a clearly marked menu.
  • All the necessary features are available on this kit including Motion detection when the vehicle is parked; but to use this will require a hard wire alternative to the charger/cigarette lighter power supply to the dash camera. Hardwire kits from AutoVox are less than $20 dollars (about £15 in UK).
  • The backup camera fits on the rear licence plate and is wired into the reversing lights power supply. It includes 6 LEDs to ensure good night vision. The video signal is transferred to the windscreen monitor via a cable which needs to be fitted through the vehicle. The Auto Vox rear facing cameras are known to be reliably sturdy and completely waterproof.

Our Conclusion:

If you want an excellent dashcam with a backup camera for reversing only and are prepared to install a wired system or use a professional installer then you won’t do much better than this dual dash and backup camera kit.


Toguard Dual Lens

Features include:

  • Dashcam is full HD 1920*1080p with a 4.3” monitor screen (virtually covers the whole back of the camera) and records front and rear footage. Fixes to windscreen with a suction cup.  WDR technology ensures clear vision and an anti-glare mirror surface.
  • Up to 32GB card so plenty of footage space (not supplied).
  • G sensor lock for locking recording in an emergency stop/accident; motion detection when parked.
  • Powered from cigarette lighter via a charger (supplied).
  • Backup camera has slightly less resolution (640*480p) but adequate for parking and recording in reasonable light.

Our Conclusion:

For the price this is a very good value kit.


Podofo Upgrade Dual Lens

Features:

  • This kit includes a solid look Monitor and two Waterproof backup cameras.   It is suitable for larger vehicles, including trucks, RVs and trailers, as well as cars.  The power is between 12 and 24 volts which is OK for most vehicles.
  • The 7″ Monitor has a stand for fitting to the dash and shows guide lines with a color image. There is a remote control as standard or use the picture rotation button to select which camera image you require. It has a TFT flat panel screen using standard PAL imaging which should provide a good picture.
  • Both rearview cameras have an Angle of View of 120 degrees with resolution of 582 x 510 pixels using Pal imaging. This a good size picture for the purpose. There are 18 Infrared lights on each camera which come on automatically for use in poor visibility at night. With aluminium waterproof covers they have fixing brackets and can be mounted on any flat surface on your vehicle.

Our Conclusion:

This is a budget system where two cameras and sturdy equipment is required. However, bear in mind our reservations regarding where to employ wireless kits.


Our Dash Cameras picks

OLDSHARK 3" 1080P Dash Cam with 32GB Card

Features:

  • A Great value dashcam covers an angle of 170 degrees giving an HD resolution image on the 3.0” LCD screen on the camera.
  • Mount the unit on the windscreen and plug into your cigarette lighter and it is ready for use, automatically starting to record once the ignition is on and turning off when the engine stops.

We like:

  • Continuous loop recording with a selection of 3,5 or 10 minutes video clips.
  • The emergency lock system (EMS) will lock the recording in the event of a crash or violent stop or turn. You can set the EMS to Low, Mid or High levels (to avoid unnecessarily frequent locking of the recording)
  • The casing of the dash camera is zinc alloy and should withstand high and low temperatures.
  • You can add Motion and Vibration detection when your vehicle is parked. The unit switches on for a few seconds if there is movement of a sharp noise near the car. This feature requires hard wiring to supply power.

Our Conclusion:

Whether or not you want the Motion and Vibration feature, this Dashcam is a kit worth considering.


ANKER ROAV Dash Cam C1 Pro

We like:

This is a high class dashcam with extraordinary image resolution at 2K Resolution (2560X1440p) using WDR, under all light conditions

You get the full package of features with:

  • Broad temperature resistance to cover most eventualities
  • Built-In GPS to record exactly where your vehicle has travelled
  • Built in Wifi for downloading footage and a dedicated App to share your recording
  • Wide-Angle Lens gives excellent road view
  • G-Sensor to lock in recorded video in case of a significant incident
  • A 2-Port Charger to free up the cigarette lighter for other use
  • Includes the 32G microSD Card you require and a Trim Removal tool to help you hide the USB cable.

Our Conclusion:

The only obvious weakness is the Instruction booklet in indifferent English (but that seems par for the course with dashcams).

The Anker Roav Dash Cam C1 Pro is a very worthwhile and discreet dashcam installation.


REXING V1 3rd Generation 4K

We like:

This is another excellent resolution dashcam with WDR and Ultra HD vision. It will take up to 128GB card and Rexing supply a 16GB card as standard. Optional extras include a Suction Cup Mount if you prefer that to the 3M adhesive for the windscreen; a Hard wire kit and a Two-Way charger to leave the cigarette lighter slot available for another device.

Accident Auto Detection (G-SENSOR): When the G-sensor detects a collision, the current video is locked, ensuring important footage is kept protected.

The compromise:

In fact the only feature missing is GPS.  Rexing sells their GPS Logger for around $30 but this means another cable to hide as the unit is connected to theV1 dashcam. It provides a similar service to inbuilt GPS.

Our Conclusion:

Rexing has a great name in dash cameras so you can buy with confidence. 


Backup/Reversing camera systems

Each of our selection includes the essential requirements for an effective backup camera to help you with parking your vehicle.

An important decision to be made before you search for a reversing camera is - should its signal/image be carried by a Wireless transmitter or a Hardwire cable?

The main advantage of wireless systems is that installation is simpler and quicker. You will have to provide a power supply to the backup camera and to the monitor. Mostly this is from the reversing lights circuit (usually in the trunk) for the camera and from the cigarette lighter plugin for the monitor. And presumably you will wish to hide the wiring as much as possible from the monitor to the cigarette lighter. But this is a lot simpler than running a video/power cable from the rear camera or a wireless transmitter situated in the trunk through the vehicle to the monitor on the dash or rear-view mirror – and hiding it behind the car’s interior trim and panelling.

These wireless systems are all good value.


AUTO-VOX M1W Wireless Backup Camera

We like:

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. Just plug the Monitor into the cigarette lighter slot and wire the backup Camera to the reversing light via the wireless transmitter.

Features:

The 4.3” Monitor has suction pads for fixing to the windscreen or dash and has a single power supply cable and charger to fit directly to the cigarette lighter pocket. The screen has the usual grid lines for measuring the distance available for reversing – and with this installation, the monitor comes on when you reverse, and stays off when in drive.

The small but effective Camera is clipped behind the license plate. It 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. Night vision is reasonable and the installation of the camera is simple.

Our Conclusion:

We suggest you consider this kit if its usage specification meets your requirements. The kit has received good reviews from customers.  This could be a real bargain backup camera system for cars. 


PYLE Backup Car Camera Rear View Screen Monitor System

This 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.

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

Features:

  • There are 2 video inputs which means that you can also connect this rear view mirror to your iPhone and utilise its Google Maps GPS system. This means the mirror monitor shows your backup camera when reversing and the Google Map system when driving. If your vehicle is not already equipped with GPS this could be extremely useful and at no extra cost.
  • The camera fits firmly on to the rear license plate and it has high waterproof and dust rating as well as a low LUX performance meaning good quality pictures in poor light.

Our 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.


CHUANGANZHUO Backup Camera and Monitor Kit For Car

Features:

  • This system uses a dash mounted Monitor with a similar sized image to that on a replacement mirror. It has an anti-glare surface, but with the versatility of placing the monitor where you wish. The screen shows distance lines and can take alternative video when not being used for reversing. So this unit offers some possible advantages over a mirror monitor.
  • Also offers V1/V2 connection for another unit.
  • The camera itself can be fitted to your rear license plate utilising the existing holding screws -so no drilling required for this. You can adjust it to provide the image you want. This is an HD camera with a good sized lens that provides a reliable color image for your screen. The whole camera fitting is well waterproofed and should give no vibration problems once securely fastened to the license plate.

Our Conclusion:

There is sufficient wiring for a car installation.