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The Best Backup Camera of [year] for Every Budget and Need

Last updated: May 29, 2021
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Best Backup camera

We’ve all been in that awkward position trying to parallel park on a busy street, wondering just how much room we might have. The reality is that parallel parking and back-in parking in general can be quite difficult, even for experienced drivers. If you struggle with parking, or if you just want to be more aware of the road around you, installing a backup camera in your car can be a huge help. In this guide, we’ve put together recommendations to help you find the best backup camera for your needs. Let’s get started!


Why Use Backup Cameras?

Backup cameras are extremely useful for preventing accidents. In fact, they are so useful that the federal government will begin forcing all automotive manufacturers in the US to make backup cameras a standard feature as early as 2018. The mandate to include backup cams is primarily intended to reduce the some ~300 annual deaths that take place from people accidentally backing up and running over children. The main benefits of backup cams include:

Improved safety – being able to see directly behind your vehicle – an area that is usually a blind spot – increases safety exponentially. With a backup camera, you can help keep children, pets, and wildlife safer by being fully aware of your surroundings. Each year, thousands of children are killed accidentally in back-over incidents – you can help reduce that number and improve safety by driving with a backup camera.

Easier parking – end the guessing game of questioning how much space you have behind your vehicle. Backup cameras give you a clear view of how much room you have behind your vehicle, and often have warning features built in if you get too close.

Peace of mind – by eliminating a common vehicle blind spot, you can have better peace of mind knowing that you’re less likely to cause an accident. Of course, keep in mind that experts warn that having a backup camera is no replacement for safe driving skills, so you should still take steps to manually check your surroundings before backing up.


What is the Best Backup Camera?

There are many different types of backup cameras, and hundreds of different models on the market. To make things easier, we’ve listed our top recommendation for each category. We made these selections based on our own experiences, backup camera reviews from customers, manufacturer specifications, and more. Below, find our list of the best backup cameras of 2019!


Best Backup Camera Overall: AUTO-VOX M6


The AUTO-VOX M6 is perhaps the best backup camera on the market, which also happens to double as a dash cam! Its clever design installs directly over your existing rear view mirror, and is very easy to install. It offers a front-facing camera to record the road in front of you, and a rear-facing camera that installs around your license plate to provide a detailed backup camera. The display is integrated directly into the mirror itself, so there’s no clunky monitor to deal with!

  • Two cameras: front-facing and rear-facing backup cam
  • Snaps onto your existing rear view mirror
  • Easy touchscreen operation
  • Easy to install
  • Provides a backup camera and a dash cam
  • Records in FHD 1080p
  • Back up mode automatically engages when car is in reverse
  • Parking mode keeps your vehicle protected from damage when stationary
  • Great reviews
  • Click here to learn more

This is an excellent product which consistently earns very high reviews from customers. We recently ranked it as one of the best rear view mirror dash cameras, and it also doubles as one of the best backup cameras! This 2-in-1 setup provides a ton of value for drivers, all in an easy to install, easy to use package.


Best Budget Backup Camera: Noiposi


The Noiposi backup camera and monitor combo is a steal of a deal at around $30. It’s a solid option for those on a tight budget, or those who are unsure whether or not they’ll actually enjoy the use of a backup camera. The display is relatively small at 4.3″, but it doesn’t take up too much room and provides adequate detail for backing up.

  • Includes camera (installs above license plate) and monitor (on dashboard)
  • Super affordable at around $30
  • 480 x 272 resolution
  • Waterproof camera
  • Infrared night vision
  • 1 year warranty
  • Great customer reviews
  • Click here to learn more

Overall, this is perhaps the best backup camera for those looking to spend as little as possible. It’s a solid all around camera, although the build quality is about what you’d expect for such an affordable camera. See our list of the best cheap backup cameras for more options like this.


Best RV Backup Camera: eRapta ER01


The eRapta backup camera and display combo is our pick for the best backup camera for RVers. It’s also a great choice for semi drivers, box truck drivers, and anyone towing a trailer. It includes a 50 foot extension cable so it’s easy to install on any size vehicle. The 7″ LCD display provides more than enough room to safely view the road behind you, even in a large RV.

  • Includes camera (installs on rear of vehicle/RV) and monitor (on-dash)
  • Great for RVs and other large vehicles
  • Camera has 18 LED lights to help with night use
  • 7″ display for clear views
  • Waterproof/weatherproof camera housing
  • 2 year warranty
  • Great customer reviews
  • Click here to learn more

If you have a RV or another large vehicle, this might be the best rear view camera for your needs. It’s specifically designed for large vehicles, and consistently earns high review scores from RV owners. Find other good RV backup cameras in our complete guide.


Best Wireless Backup Camera: AUTO-VOX M1W


The AUTO-VOX M1W features an easy-install, wireless design. It uses a wireless transmitter to send video signal from the camera to the display unit. Keep in mind that this style will not necessarily be as reliable as a wired connection, simply due to the nature of wireless transmission. With that said, this is one of the best backup cameras we reviewed that has a wireless design.

  • Includes camera, transmitter and display
  • Wireless – transmitter replaces the need for a hard wire running to camera
  • Transmitter has 100 meter range
  • 4.3″ LCD display
  • Waterproof camera and transmitter
  • Camera has 6 LED lights for better night vision
  • Good reviews
  • Click here to learn more

Overall, this is a solid camera and a good option for those wanting a wireless setup. In backup camera reviews on Amazon, the product earns good ratings overall – but, several customers report quality control issues, with displays malfunctioning out of the box, and others report issues with wireless transmission. As mentioned, we find wired connections to be more reliable, but if you’re going to go with wireless, this is a good option. If you’re set on going wireless, see our other recommendations for best wireless backup camera.


Best Smartphone Backup Camera: Swift Hitch SH04

Swift Hitch SH04

The Swift Hitch SH04 is actually designed for use with RVs and trailers, but it works perfectly for small vehicles as well. The real value of this camera is in its automatic wireless transmission directly to your smartphone. The unit comes with a smartphone stand that mounts your phone (iOS or Android) to your dashboard, eliminating the need for a separate and clunky display. The camera is installed on the rear of your vehicle, and automatically transmits the live video feed to your phone.

  • Includes camera w/ wireless transmitter and phone mount
  • Broadcasts live video feed directly to your smartphone
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Up to 200ft range
  • Magnet base makes for an easy, damage-free installation
  • Simple and useful app included
  • 1 year warranty
  • Excellent reviews
  • Click here to learn more

While designed for use in large vehicles like RVs or trailers, the Swift Hitch is a very versatile unit. The wireless and simple installation is a huge draw, and the live video feed directly on your phone makes things as simple as possible for this kind of camera. If this model wasn’t quite what you were looking for, check out our guide to the best backup cameras for smartphones. We also have specific guides for iPhone backup cameras and Android backup cameras.


How to Install a Backup Camera

Backup camera installation depends on the setup you’re using. Most cams install on or around the vehicle’s license plate holder. You’ll then need to run a couple of wires through the car to a power source and video input. The video below does a good job of showing the basic installation process:

Keep in mind that the process for how to install a wireless backup camera is a bit different (and generally easier).

You’ll also want to check the specific installation instructions that come with your cam setup.

If you don’t want to do the installation yourself, you could hire it out. Expect to spend between $100 and $300 for labor for a backup camera installation. If you have a Best Buy in your area, their Geek Squad program will do a backup camera install for around $130. This cost is labor-only, so you’ll have to supply your own backup camera and screen.


Need More Information?

If you didn’t quite find what you were looking for, you may want to look through our related guides:

If you have questions about specific features or terms relating to backup cameras, see our backup camera glossary. If you still have questions or concerns, we are always happy to help!

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