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The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Right Backup Camera

The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Right Backup Camera


Backup cameras are quickly becoming an indispensible car safety feature. They didn't even exist two decades ago, but today backup cameras are so effective that the federal government will start requiring them in all new vehicles in May 2018.

Rear-facing cameras prevent backup collisions in all personal vehicles, but the technology is especially beneficial in SUVs, trucks, and other vehicles with large blind spots. Every year in the United States, 300 people die in backup collisions. At least 150 of these victims are children under the age of five, who are too small to be visible from the driver's seat.


If your vehicle isn't equipped with a backup camera, you still have the power to avoid this tragedy. Until mandatory backup cameras are included in every new lightweight vehicle, millions of drivers must make a special effort to take advantage of this life-saving technology.

Backup cameras are equipped with in-cabin displays, ultrasonic sensors, and other features that make it easier for you to monitor the space directly behind your vehicle. Don’t let the many technical specifications prevent you from purchasing a backup camera for your vehicle.

There may be a lot of factors to consider in choosing a backup camera, but answering the following questions will help you narrow down your options quicker so you can install your own backup camera as soon as possible.

What Kind of Backup Camera Display Will You Use?and your vehicle. Additionally, you must be able to set up a solid connection that provides real-time feedback and turns on at the right times.

Programming Requirements

Some automakers program their vehicles to make after-market installations more difficult. If your vehicle was available with a backup camera but you opted for a lower trim level, you may find that a new backup camera requires an authorization code or official programming at a licensed dealership. If you purchase a brand-name camera that matches the manufacturer's original feature, it may have similar programming requirements.

Video Input and Output Requirements

If you have a newer vehicle with a navigation or other display screen, you may be able to synchronize your camera feed to take over this screen when your vehicle is in reverse. If you don't have an in-cabin display, or if it's not compatible with your video input and output, you may need to purchase a backup camera kit or a separate display. No matter what, you will need to install wires or connect to pre-installed wires that will connect your indoor display to your exterior backup camera.

Hardware and Installation Requirements

Of course, when you retrofit your vehicle with an after-market backup camera, you need to install the display yourself (or hire a professional to do it for you). Most vehicles have convenient features, such as trailer hitches and license plate holders, that prevent the need for permanent alterations. If your vehicle was available with a backup camera but you didn't opt for one, it may already have the wired connections or physical space for a backup camera display.

Before you purchase a backup camera for your vehicle, explore your backup camera display compatibility options. Each camera has its own display requirements, and your vehicle may or may not be able to accommodate this essential technology.

Learn how to power up your backup camera how to power your backup camera. Your vehicle is a constant source of electricity, but when you install and plug in a backup camera, you'll need to establish connections to a wired power source as well as a power source grounded to your chassis.

Existing Backup Camera Power Sources

Your existing power sources and electrical configurations are unique to your vehicle, so it's important to understand the electrical system that will be responsible for sending signals and keeping your camera on. Your cabin already receives electricity for its radio, lights, air conditioning, heating, and other interior features, and some of these wired connections may be compatible with your camera output.

Automatic Capabilities

When automakers equip their vehicles with backup cameras, they usually include sensors that activate the feed only when the vehicle backs up. Some also disable other in-cabin technology, such as radio controls, in order to maximize driver focus. Your new backup camera will last longer and avoid unnecessary distractions if you hook it up to a power source that doesn't stay on all day. Your display's battery life will also drain quickly if it doesn't know when to turn off and on.

Learn to mount your backup camera mounting options for backup cameras, it's important to consider your vehicle's configuration before you decide on a camera model. Your viewing range will depend on your mounting methods, including the height at which you install your backup camera, so take this consideration very seriously as you explore your options and plan your installation.

Investing in a backup camera can improve vehicular safety and give you peace of mindautomotive backup camera that is compatible with your specific vehicle make and model. Of course, if you're not comfortable drilling holes, splicing wires, or establishing grounded and wired connections, consider a professional installation instead.

Camera Source offers dozens of after-market backup cameras for personal vehicles. To maximize your viewing range and prevent any complications after installation, remember to pay attention to each camera's power, display, and mounting requirements before making your decision. If you need any assistance in selecting the right backup camera for your vehicle, contact Camera Source today.