The 10 Best Backup Cameras

We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. When technology solves a potentially lethal problem, why not take advantage of it? These backup cameras can prevent a pesky ding or a major accident. All models in our selection give you a great rear view, with some packages offering everything from wireless convenience to front-facing cameras, too. We’ve included both flush and surface mount options. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.

10. TopTierPro C12B

The TopTierPro C12B has an extremely wide 170-degree viewing angle, which ensures you can see everything behind you, but unfortunately also slightly distorts the image. It’s designed to be flush-mounted, so be prepared for some drilling into your vehicle with this model.

  • 100-percent refund if not satisfied
  • Decent dynamic range
  • Picture quality is grainy at night

Model TTP-C12B
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Garmin BC 30

The Garmin BC 30 is designed to be used with the majority of the company’s Drive and Nuvi navigator models. It makes use of a wireless transmitter to send camera footage up to 45 feet, making it suitable for both small and large vehicles alike.

  • Rugged enough for all weather use
  • Adjustable parking guidelines
  • Doesn’t have ir capabilities

Brand Garmin
Model 010-12242-10
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Pruveeo D700

The Pruveeo D700 includes both a rearview and a dash cam, so you can increase your safety when reversing and prove your innocence in case of a frontal collision. The mirror monitor is capable of displaying both video streams simultaneously.

  • Supports loop recording
  • Can have audio recording on or off
  • Rear cam needs a wider field of view

Model D700
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Boss Audio BV430RVM

The Boss Audio BV430RVM boasts a swiveling and tilting mirror monitor with a 480 x 234 screen resolution, and two video inputs for accommodating multiple data streams. It is backed by a 3-year warranty and comes with a flush-mount camera.

  • Low power consumption at 7 watts
  • Can use most existing mirror mounts
  • Screen is hard to see in sunlight

Brand BOSS Audio
Model BV430RVM
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. Esky 7-Inch

The Esky 7-Inch dual camera system is a good value for RV owners experiencing trouble with large blind spots. Its rearview camera powers on automatically when shifting into reverse gear, while the other one can be set for manual control and mounted on the vehicle’s side.

  • Comes with a remote
  • Reliable cinch connectors
  • Installation takes a long time

Brand Esky
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. eRapta 2nd Generation

The eRapta 2nd Generation is a good choice if you already have a display screen and just need an affordable camera with which to pair it. You can adjust it as much as 45 degrees upwards or downwards, which greatly increases its mounting versatility.

  • Includes lifetime support
  • Records bright and crisp images
  • Included wires aren’t very long

Brand eRapta
Model pending
Weight 9.1 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Rear View Safety RVS-770812N

The Rear View Safety RVS-770812N features a built-in heater on the backup camera for withstanding the coldest temperatures. Its 50-foot viewing range delivers superior and dependable visibility regardless of where you travel.

  • 28 infrared lights
  • Includes all needed wires and mounts
  • Seems a bit overpriced

Brand Rear View Safety
Model RVS-770812N
Weight 5.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Auto-Vox M1W

Make your life safer and easier with the Auto-Vox M1W. It is a wireless option so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of running cables everywhere, and the included monitor mounts to the dashboard or windshield via a powerful, reusable suction cup.

  • 100-meter transmission range
  • Usb port integrated into the dc plug
  • Crystal clear video quality

Model M1W
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. LeeKooLuu LKL-080

The LeeKooLuu LKL-080 is an incredible value considering the low price, quality of the camera, and large 4.3-inch display screen. It offers a wide 135-degree viewing angle for providing you with a comprehensive look at everything behind you.

  • Monitor accepts two video inputs
  • Includes adhesive stickers
  • Impressive night vision

Brand LeeKooLuu LKL-080
Model LKL-080
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Auto-Vox M6

The Auto-Vox M6 displays the camera’s feed in the included rearview mirror, which is great for small cars with limited space. The simple and intuitive touchscreen interface makes it easy to navigate, and it snaps right over your existing mirror for effortless installation.

  • Motion detection capabilities
  • Parking guidelines
  • Supports microsd cards up to 32gb

Model DVR-M6
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

The First Backup Cameras

Most of us didn’t see our first backup camera until the mid to late 2000’s, so it might surprise you to learn that the first backup camera was actually installed in the 1956 Buick Centurion concept car. It was debuted at the General Motors Motorama and it used the backup camera to replace the rear-view mirror entirely. Of course nowadays, we know that even the best backup cams shouldn’t be a total replacement for a rear-view mirror, but rather something that can be used in conjunction with one for safer vehicle operation.

The first production car that had a backup camera factory installed was the 1991 Toyota Soarer Limited. The backup cam option was only available in Japan and not offered on the U.S. model, which was known as the Lexus SC. A CCD camera was installed on the rear spoiler and the video image was displayed on an electro multi-vision (EMV) screen, which was also used to control the vehicle’s audio components, a hands-free phone, and, if installed, a GPS navigation system.

In April of 2000, Nissan introduced the first car with an integrated backup camera intended for sale in North American markets at the New York International Auto Show. It was in their flagship sedan, the Q45, and featured a license plate-mounted camera and an in-dash 7″ monitor to view the image. It was the first unit that had colored onscreen guidelines to give you parking distance parameters and was officially launched for mass market sale in March of 2001. In 2002, the Nissan Primera introduced backup cam systems to markets outside of North America and Japan.

Types Of Backup Cameras

When it comes time to pick a backup camera for your vehicle, you’ll be presented with three different kinds. You can choose a flush-mounted option, a license plate-mounted model, or a surface-mounted one. Each of these options has its own benefits and drawbacks, and each is best suited for a certain type of application.

For the standard passenger vehicle, a flush-mounted camera is a suitable option and the kind that often comes factory installed. These are mounted through a hole in the vehicle’s body and are practically imperceptible at a casual glance. It provides a view that is most often directly level with the road, which can be a slight drawback as it doesn’t offer a high degree of depth perception. The great thing about this type of camera is the clean and professional look, which doesn’t detract from the vehicle’s style. Unfortunately it can be a bit intimidating to install yourself, as you’ll have to drill a hole in your car’s body.

A license plate-mounted option can be a good choice for the average person looking to do the installation themselves. It attaches to existing license plate mounting screws, so you don’t have to drill any holes. The drawback is that this style is a bit bulky and anyone can easily see that it was an aftermarket installation.

Surface-mounted cameras, while still noticeable as aftermarket installations, are considerably smaller than the license plate-mounted models and offer a cleaner look. They do require you to drill some holes, but this can often be done on the bumper of your car as opposed to the body, so installation isn’t too intimidating. This type is also a good choice for larger recreational vehicles as they can be aimed downwards to aid in parking, as they provide a good amount of depth perception.

In each of these types, you’ll be able to find all-in-one systems that include a camera and a display, and camera-only systems that can connect to your car’s current in-dash screen.

Backup Cameras And The Law

There is no arguing that having a backup camera system installed in your car can save lives and prevent injuries. Roughly 200 people die each year from light vehicle backup-related accidents, with another 15,000 injured in some way. Over 30% of these deaths and injuries are children under the age of 5, presumably because they are short enough that they cannot be seen in the rear-view mirror. Despite the shockingly high number of incidents that happen when vehicles are backing up, it took a lawsuit to get the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to act.

The NHTSA has finally passed a ruling that requires all new light vehicles manufactured that are under 10,000 pounds to have some kind of rear visibility by May of 2018. This means that every car from the most expensive luxury models all the way down to the most affordable budget models will soon have a backup camera and some kind of dash or rear-view mirror monitor.