When you’re driving a car, it’s important to see what’s behind you, and that’s why backup cameras are so popular. They allow drivers to see what’s happening while reversing and in their blind spot without turning around.
There are two types of backup cameras, wired and wireless. But which one is better for day-to-day use? Let’s find out.
Wired backup camera systems are more reliable and have better picture quality than wireless systems. They are permanently connected to the monitor and don’t have to worry about signal interference or strength of the connection. However, they can be more complex and costly to install.
Wireless systems are easier to install, cheaper, and more technologically advanced but may have occasional signal strength and picture quality lapses.
Tip: One important thing that determines the field of vision provided by the camera is the lens angle.
A wider angle will provide a greater field of vision, minimizing blind spots. All backup cameras are generally at least 120-degrees, but for the best rear image, you should aim for a backup camera with at least a 150-degree vision angle.
An excellent example of such a wide-angle camera is the LeeKooLuu LK3.
In this article, I will compare the main functions of these two types of backup cameras and help you decide which one is right for you.
What Is a Wired Backup Camera?
A wired backup camera is permanently connected to the monitor screen or the radio via the power harness, which means you’ll always get a crisp, clear picture.
Pros of a Wired Backup Camera
Wired backup cameras are best known for providing better quality pictures. But, all in all, there are many other excellent qualities, like:
- They are reliable in that you won’t have to stress yourself about signal interference, as the camera has a solid connection to the monitor. Therefore, you are assured of things running smoothly.
- They give fantastic image quality. Since the wired camera is connected to the monitor with a wired cable, its image quality is better than the wireless camera solution.
- Wiring cameras have faster picture data transfer than wireless cameras and hold more crisp and focused images. For security, it shows what is happening behind the scenes.
- They are popular: forget about the challenging installation process; the wired backup camera suits nearly every vehicle’s existing system.
- They are trustworthy. No matter the kind of vehicle you are driving, you can always find a wired camera that works specifically for you. You won’t have to stress about frequency or signal interference, even in bad weather, expect a clear signal plus uninterrupted video.
Cons of a Wired Backup Camera
- Tedious installation, if your vehicle is not wired to lodge the camera system, you’ll have to loop wires around the whole car to install the camera.
- There must be a connection linking the monitor and the camera to activate the system. In many cases, the installation is straightforward, although time-consuming.
- They are expensive, with the top-notch quality images, it is expected not to come cheaply. More so, additional installation expenses make the overall cost so high.
Examples of Wired Backup Cameras
LeeKooLuu LK3 – waterproof, 1080P, with excellent night vision
HD eRapta ERT01 – waterproof, 720P, color night vision
What Is a Wireless Backup Camera
A wireless backup camera doesn’t require any wires to set up or operate. Simply install the camera and keep a monitor by your driver’s seat for excellent views of what’s behind your vehicle.
Pros of Wireless Backup Camera.
- They are easy to install in just a few minutes.
- They are cheap for the simple reason that they don’t require cables or wires to install.
- They are very advanced, and if you are the kind of person who prefers more advanced gadgets, then a wireless backup camera is the way to go.
Cons of a Wireless Backup Camera
- Low-quality images, as the camera transfers the image data to the display wirelessly, also high chances of interruption and delay because of signal strength.
- Many connection issues can be caused either by analog or digital/analog wireless signals. They usually experience interferences that result in a lousy picture. There’s still a high possibility of signal dropping, even for digital ones.
Examples of Wireless Backup Cameras
Types of Backup Cameras
Side View Cameras
They are purposely made for large vehicles with large blind spots, for example, trailers, campers, RVs, and semi-trucks.
Having them in your car makes it safer for lane changing on the highway. In addition to the front-facing camera, rearview camera, and split-screen monitor, you’ll be allowed to view everything surrounding the vehicle.
If you commute miles away daily or drive commercially, the dashboard cameras will be ideal for you. In case of an accident, having a dash camera can provide precisely what happened and save your time on legal hassles regarding insurance.
Some versions of dash cameras possess dual swiveling cams that allow you to monitor the interior or front and rear in the case of tandem cameras.
These are most recommended for commercial/uber cars.
They are made to be mounted to the rear bumpers. Most trucks and modern cars have a removable piece to be mounted.
For older cars, you can do modifications for the installation.
RV Backup Cameras
They can be mounted on RVs, trailers, 5th wheels, farm equipment, and construction, among many others.
They feature a 120-degree field of vision, adjustable sunshade, automatic night vision LEDs, waterproofing housing, and adjustable U bracket for mounting.
License Plate Cameras
These are cameras made to be mounted upon the rear license plate practically on any car.
They are ideal for trucks, trailers, cars, RVs, etc. they automatically come in night vision LEDs, helping in low light circumstances.
Wired or Wireless Backup Camera? Which one is the best?
Settling for one between the two entirely depends on your needs and preferences, from features to price. However, they are both excellent in one way or another.
If you want a backup camera that gives you high-quality pictures, get yourself a wired backup camera.
But on the other side if you need a more pocket-friendly backup camera, feel free to get a wireless one. Not only is it cheap, but it’s also less time-consuming in terms of installation.
Many decide to purchase a backup camera that can be directly connected to the car stereo. This way, you can save on the extra monitor and make the whole installation easier with less wiring.
How Do You Install a Backup Camera?
Backup cameras are designed to fit any car as long as it has not acquired a camera yet.
To install one, there are some simple steps you have to follow:
The first step is to ensure you have all the necessary tools, depending on your car and the camera type:
- electrical tape
- drill plus drill bits
- panel removal tool
Before buying the camera, you have to decide where it will be installed so that you can choose:
- bar mounts
- license plate mounts
- surface mounts
Plan your installation. Before installing the backup camera, you’ll need to have everything in place, and this will save you a lot of time when it’s time to install.
You need to know where you will place the wires, get rid of the panels, and cut pieces that will hide the cables.
If you want to put your backup camera on your car stereo, you should remove the radio from the dashboard to access the wiring inputs. Mark the location of the placement of the backup camera as well.
After the preparation is done, it’s time to start the mounting. Start by drilling the wire spaces, insert the wires carefully into their respective places.
You will need to connect in the reverse wire for your backup camera to work when your car is in reverse mode.
Many vehicles will have the reverse wire near the dashboard, at the front, or parking brake. Find it and connect it to your camera.
Finally, it’s now time to test your camera before the final installation. To try it, have your vehicle in reverse and check if the camera is working correctly. Also, make sure it is placed perfectly with all wires correctly connected.
Put the panels back into their proper place just like they were before, tidy up your vehicle to ensure a professional look.
For more information, check out my article about connecting backup cameras to the stereo.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Backup Camera:
Most drivers are installing backup cameras on their cars. They provide many benefits, and in some countries, it has become a must for your vehicle to have one.
You don’t just walk into a shop and buy a backup camera. So, what considerations should you have before buying one?
Once you’ve decided to get a backup camera for your vehicle, it’s essential to set aside some budget for it.
Settle for a camera that fits your budget; of course, you must also check its features. You can go through the reviews online and do thorough research before purchasing.
As cameras come in all shapes and sizes, it’s essential to get one suitable for your car. Some cameras are mounted at the back of the license plate, and others at the rear view window.
Compare the options available carefully before settling down on one.
Detailed specification gives you an idea about the features and basic parameters you can expect. An excellent camera should be the one to make your life worthwhile as you drive.
First, check the most important specs, such as:
- low light capabilities
- parking lines
- viewing angles
- and the camera’s clarity
These are very important to consider as they’ll determine what’s behind and aid you in driving reverse mode.
The viewing angle.
All cameras possess several viewing angles and wide viewing angles. These allow better visibility. It’s essential to check first and know which angles the camera has.
Cameras come in various sizes, an essential part of a camera. However, you should settle for one that fits your preferences and needs.
Brand store-settle for a trusted brand, you need to ensure that you are getting the best value for your budget. For example, you don’t want to buy a camera today, and then in a few weeks or days, it backfires on you.
Backup Cameras Troubleshooting Solutions.
Once in a while, you will notice that your backup camera is not functioning as it should be; you’ll experience issues like; no display or image quality. So how do you solve such problems?
In cases of no display issue, you will not see any image on display. The problem could be caused by either monitoring, transmitter, or connection issues.
Check your monitor to ascertain that it’s well connected to a power source and can be powered up.
If it powers on and verifies that it’s working and still unable to receive any signals, check on the antennae to ensure it’s correctly connected to the system and not broken.
Going to the transmitter, the monitor is well, and still, the issue persists, probably the transmitter could be the problem. In such a case, physically check the camera module in the car’s rear. Ensure the antennae is in place and no damage to the module.
If the camera was fully functioning before and there’s no damage on the transmitter, chances are the electronic components are defective.
Now to the connection, both transmitter and monitor are alright but not in communication terms. If you have another receiver module, check if it’s plugged in the monitor correctly. If it is okay, then it could be pairing issues.
On image quality issues, your backup camera could be alright, but you are having problems with the quality of the image; it’s not pleasing. What should you check?
Check if the images are faint; if that’s the case, then you could be experiencing a weak signal issue.
There could also be obstacles between the transmitter and the monitor. So you’ll have to bring the two parts closer and reduce the obstruction to solve this problem.
How about dirty images? These can be caused by environmental influences like dust or mud, which block the camera’s view. If the image looks dirty, wiping the monitor would be a good idea; exercise patience if the weather isn’t pleasing.
Both wired and wireless backup cameras are fantastic in their way, but when you value picture quality and signal speed, you should go for a wired backup camera.
Different types of cameras have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to you to choose the one that best suits your needs and your car type.
Why is my wired backup camera not working?
Make sure the wiring is connected correctly, and check for any loose or broken wires. Also, ensure the fuse for the camera is not blown and that the monitor is properly connected and turned on.
Why is my wireless backup camera not connecting to the monitor?
Check the strength of the connection and ensure the camera and monitor are within range of each other. Also, check that the camera is properly charged or powered on.
Why is the image on my backup camera blurry?
Make sure the camera lens is clean and not obstructed. Also, ensure the camera is adjusted correctly and positioned to provide a clear view.
Can I use my backup camera while driving forward?
Most backup cameras are only designed to be used while reversing, as they are meant to provide a view of what is behind the vehicle. Using the camera while driving forward with some aftermarket cameras may be possible, but it may not be legal in some states.
Can I install a backup camera on an older car?
You can install a backup camera on an older car, whether wired or wireless. However, you may need to purchase an aftermarket camera and have it professionally installed.