You want to install an aftermarket backup camera system in your car or truck, but you don’t like the add-on GPS look that many of them have. That’s where a rear view mirror camera system comes in. A rear view mirror camera system replaces or clips on to your existing rear view mirror with a mirror and video monitor that performs both the function of your rear view mirror as well as displaying the view to the rear.
A rear view mirror camera system is a great option for those with limited space on the windshield or the dashboard area or for those who just want a cleaner, more custom look. It has the benefit of removing an ugly additional monitor that hangs from your windshield or sits on your dash giving you a much more integrated design. Another benefit is that it’s natural for you to look at your rear view mirror when you backup, so placing a video display of the view to the rear in the mirror just makes sense.
What should you look for in a rear view mirror camera system?
Rear View Mirror Display
Clip-On or Replace
While it’s tempting to choose a clip-on model because its generic and will fit most vehicles, a model that replaces the original mirror will provide a more custom look and fit. Most clip-on models don’t get high marks for looks or fit.
If you choose to replace, compatibility becomes an important consideration. Look for a mirror monitor display that is either designed specifically for your make and model or that can be adapted to your make and model.
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Admittedly, with some of the newer cars, there are so many functions built into the mirror that you may want to think twice about replacing it. By replacing or covering it with a rear view mirror camera system display, you will lose that functionality.
No matter which rear view mirror camera system display you choose, it’s likely to be smaller than some of the standalone models just because the display has to fit inside the dimensions of the mirror. A smaller display makes it more difficult to see the details in the image which are important in the case of a back up camera display. Look for a monitor size in the mirror of at least 4.3 inches in order to get the best image possible.
A video display can be difficult to see the picture it presents particularly in an ever-changing light environment. To handle this, some models come with built-in auto-adjusting brightness technology which adjust the brightness of the display automatically according to the ambient light conditions.
Some cameras come with multiple video inputs that can handle the inputs of both a car rear view camera and a car DVD player for instance. If that’s important to you, look for dual video inputs on any display you buy.
Some displays come with additional options that can be very helpful including Bluetooth hands-free capability. Bluetooth hands-free model can be connected to a Bluetooth-capable smartphone so that you can use your phone without taking your hands off the wheel. It’s a great safety feature and one that can prevent you from getting a ticket in states where hands-free is required.
This article actually recommends a separate car rear view camera mirror display and reverse camera because many of the existing complete systems are lower rated. So you need a car backup camera that can send the rear view to the mirror display.
How do you choose a camera?
Resolution of backup cameras is measure in TV lines (TVL). Look for a camera with at least 520 TVL or better. A 600 TVL camera for instance will support an HD image on your display.
Without going into a lot of detail, as you might expect, the larger the camera’s sensor, the better the picture quality. Most image sensors are at least ¼-inch in size. You should look for the largest image sensor within your budget.
Rear view cameras deal with all the weather and moisture your vehicle is exposed to and that can be a lot. So it’s important to get a camera that is waterproof. There are different water-resistance ratings and IP68 is one of the best. If possible, get a camera with an IP67 waterproof rating or better.
Some backup cameras come with built-in backup guide lines that help you judge distances and space while backing up. They can be invaluable, particularly if you feel uncomfortable backing up.
Mirror image would be the normal view of a rear view mirror. Some cameras are switchable between mirror and normal view. Normal view is used when the camera is installed as a front-facing camera.
Camera Field of View or Viewing Angle
Rear view cameras provide a mild fish-eye view that allows one camera to see the most area behind the vehicle. Look for a wide-angle camera that provides at least a 170-degree field of view behind the vehicle.
Low Light Capability
Of course you don’t always drive during daylight hours, so it’s important for a backup camera to have low light capability. Manufacturers usually publish a minimum Lux rating that is the minimum light necessary for the camera to present an acceptable picture to the display. Some cameras use infrared LEDs to enhance night vision. Get the lowest Lux value within your budget. Our camera choice has a 0.1 Lux rating.
Mounting style is important for two reasons. First, if you’re going to install it yourself, you should choose a camera that is easy to install. Second, is the camera going to stick out like a sore thumb on the back of your vehicle, or is it going to look like it belongs there?
One of the easiest camera types to install is one that’s integrated into a license plate bracket. You simply mount it where your license plate goes and mount the plate on top of it. This is also a clean install and usually looks good on just about any vehicle.
Beyond that, there are many different ways to mount a backup camera which depends on which model you buy. The important thing is to buy a camera with a mount that lets you place the camera where it will be the most effective and integrate with your vehicle’s design the best.
We searched consumer sites, retail sites, forums, social media sites, customer review sites, and manufacturer site to find a great rear view mirror display that will look good on your vehicle, has great performance and features, and is highly-rated.
Take a look at our choice and see if this is the best backup camera for your needs!
AUTO-VOX is a professional manufacturer of a variety of automotive accessories and their AUTO-VOX RVS-T1400-BT 4.3-Inch Bluetooth Car Rearview Mirror Display is one of the highest-rated, most popular models available. It has a high-end original equipment look that is sure to complement your vehicle’ interior. It features a built-in Bluetooth hands-free function that connects directly to your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone for hands-free calling. It has a large 4.3-inch 16:9 aspect ratio TFT LCD display screen that gives you a more detailed view to the rear of your vehicle. Here’s what you need to know.
Rear View Mirror Camera Display Features
- 4.3-inch, Bluetooth hands-free enabled, 480 x 272 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio TFT LCD high-end, OEM-look, rear view mirror display
- Built-in Bluetooth hands-free functionality connects directly to your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone for hands-free calling
- Automatic brightness adjustment presents the best image in a variety of light conditions automatically
- OE replacement bracket
- Dual video inputs allow you to choose to display the backup camera or an alternate video source like a DVD player
- Special anti-glare glass displays a better image in bright light
- Display automatically switches to rear view camera display when you shift to reverse
- Wire management casing presents a neat original equipment installation look
- Designed to be compatible with the original mounting bracket of most Toyota, Honda MPV, Honda CRV, Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai, Ford, Mitsubishi, Chevrolet vehicles plus others
The AUTO-VOX Rear View Mirror Bracket Model Monitor Adapter for Dodge Chrysler Jeep Car Series is also available to fit other models.
- 1 – Set cables for video and power
- 1 – Wire casing kit
The AUTO-VOX HD RVC-CMD24 Waterproof License Plate Backup Camera is a highly-rated backup camera and the perfect companion for the AUTO-VOX RVS-T1400-BT 4.3-Inch Bluetooth Car Rearview Mirror Display. It features 600 TV line (TVL) HD resolution and a large 1/3-inch image sensor for the best image in a variety of conditions. License plate bracket mount mean no mounting holes need to be drilled and it will integrate better into the look of your vehicle. Its wide 170-degree viewing angle insures you see the largest area behind your vehicle improving safety. Its 0.1 Lux extra-low minimum light rating provides acceptable video to the display even in very low light conditions. Camera is IP67 waterproof, shockproof, and resistant to electromagnetic interference. Built-in selectable parking guide lines help judge distances during parking. Here’s what you need to know.
- HD resolution, 170-degree viewing angle, waterproof, night-vision capable, color license plate backup camera
- 600 TVL HD resolution and a large 1/3-inch image sensor provide a high-quality image to the display
- 0.1 Lux extra-low minimum illumination allows this camera to present an acceptable video in very low light conditions
- Camera is vertically adjustable to achieve the best viewing angle
- Durable camera is shockproof and resistant to electromagnetic interference
- IP67 waterproof rating means that the camera will be resistant to water damage
- Selectable parking guide lines help you judge distances during parking
Switchable between normal and mirror image so the camera can be used as either a backup camera or front-facing camera
- Long 20-foot video cable will accommodate the installation requirements for most vehicles
- Automatic white balance function compensates for differences in light temperature
- Automatic gain control and back light compensation
- 1 – 5-foot power cable
- 1 – 20-foot RCA video cable
- 2 – Mounting screws
- 1 – Heat shrink tube
Rear View Mirror Camera System Comparison
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